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SUPPORT CFIEvery donation counts!
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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- My Job as a Trail Builder
– August 18, 2014
I consider trail building an art. I have spent eight seasons constructing trails all over the country, and I have had the pleasure of working … Read More
- Fourteener Climbing 101: Intro to Wilderness
– August 15, 2014
A few years ago I spent the summer working on San Luis peak, Colorado’s least visited Fourteener. In total we spent two years working on … Read More
- A Game of Cat and Mouse
– August 11, 2014
Thunderstorms approach Head down under tree cover Sky Crackles with Light Part of working in these mountains is accepting the constant cycle of storms that … Read More
- The Challenge Continues
– August 4, 2014
So here we are, already at the beginning of August! The summer goes by quickly in the Colorado high country, probably because it only lasts … Read More
Current & Future Projects
2014 Field Season
After what can easily be dubbed our most successful season ever in 2013, Colorado Fourteeners Initiative is anxious to get cracking on the following trail reconstruction, restoration and maintenance projects planned for the 2014 summer field season.
El Diente Peak: A two-person crew will work with members of the Southwest Conservation Corps to build a 1.1-mile re-route through the lush Kilpacker Basin. Work will involve building an elevated causeway through this wet, lush meadow and building an ascending traverse up the valley to near the waterfall. This reroute will move the trail out of the sensitive riparian areas along Kilpacker Creek and into higher, drier, and more resilient terrain along the south-facing slope of the valley.
Mount Bierstadt: CFI will have two leaders assisting the Forest Service and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps on the major trail reconstruction project on Mount Bierstadt, the most frequently climbed 14er and one of the peaks suffering the greatest physical impacts. Work in 2014 will occur high up on the peak and will involve narrowing and stabilizing the overly wide trail corridor, as well as closing, stabilizing and restoring areas adjacent to the trail. Numerous volunteer projects will help complete this work, which is expected to last two full seasons.
Mount of the Holy Cross: A two-person crew will continue trail maintenance work on the Halfmoon Trail east of Halfmoon Pass and on the Notch Mountain Trail, as well as the closure and restoration of user-created campsites in fragile riparian areas near creeks and lakes. Education of hikers about using the new designated campsites in East Cross Creek and the importance of following Leave No Trace practices while camping in this fragile ecosystem will be paramount.
Adopt-a-Peak Crew: Our Adopt-a-Peak crew will expand to four members and will spend the season carrying out annual trail maintenance and restoration projects on 19 of Colorado’s Fourteeners. The Adopt-a-Peak program is a partnership between CFI and volunteer groups, varying from high school students to working professionals to outdoor club members.
Sustainable Trails Program: The baseline data collection effort that was conducted in 2011-13 is now finished. CFI will begin a pilot season of work testing optical trail counters so that more accurate projections can be obtained regarding current hiking use on the 14ers.
Trailhead Kiosks: A new, three-panel trailhead kiosk will be installed at the Denny Creek trailhead to Mount Yale, as well as a new camping-specific kiosk near the East Cross Creek camping area, updated panels at the Holy Cross trailhead and a new, climbing-specific panel at the Mount Bierstadt trailhead.
Looking toward 2015:
Mount Eolus: After a year of work utilizing a three-member crew during 2013, CFI will take a season off before returning to Chicago Basin in 2015 to work on the third and last Fourteener in the area. Next season a larger crew will perform a major reroute of the summit trail in the cirque beneath the peak to resolve a damaging combination of high foot traffic and the lack of a stable, sustainably located trail.
Mount Columbia: CFI and the Forest Service are in final planning work for what we hope will be a major trail reconstruction effort commencing in 2015 to more clearly delineate a route up this Sawatch Range peak (and down the traverse from Mount Harvard). The commencement of work will depend upon funding.