| Madeline Bachner

Mt Evans Volunteers Rock out with Rocks

Retaining steps, single jacks, short pick, crush, pinners, gargoyles…don’t know what any of that means?  This year the Cottonwood Institute teamed up with Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI) to work on the trail from Summit Lake to the summit of Mt. Evans.  Our crew spent two beautiful days around 14,000 feet using these tools to improve this magnificent alpine trail.

The goal was to mitigate erosion on the highly used trail through fragile alpine tundra.  With excellent guidance from the CFI leaders, the group built 11 new retaining steps from local rock to stop the flow of water down the trail and make the hiking easier.  They also added rubble walls and rock siding to define the trail and put an end to social paths.  These are side trails that crop up as people short cut the trail and walk around harder spots.  In highly impacted areas, such as the Summit Lake trailhead, this can result in massive erosion and destruction of the alpine tundra.

The Cottonwood Institute volunteers had a great time getting to know the CFI crew leaders and spending two days camping and working outdoors at high elevation.  They moved a lot of rocks and marveled at the many alpine flowers, big horn sheep, and mountain goats as they took in the views from this gorgeous work site!  This was a great project and Cottonwood Institute looks forward to having an even bigger group next year to camp in this beautiful location and lend a hand to maintain the trails we love!  A big thanks to Colorado Fourteeners Initiative for providing amazing leadership, direction, and tools on this project and for all the work they do on our beautiful mountain trails.

Click here to view a slideshow of all the rewarding work these amazing volunteers accomplished throughout one weekend!



Categories: Cottonwood Institute News

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