Knife Edge Volunteer Project

August 16-21, 2020 - Registration CLOSED

12000 foot view of the San Juan Mountains

Registration CLOSED

minimum/maximum = 4/8
to confirm minimum project offering, registration closes July 26

Project Description:  This trail is one of those trails that doesn’t receive a lot of maintenance because it is difficult to transport crews to the project site. Our starting trailhead and worksite will require a 12-mile hike with an elevation gain of nearly 3,400-feet. Our camp will be above treeline at nearly 11,500-feet. The views are breathtaking and the experience is one you want to put in your scrapbook.

Working closely with the Divide Ranger District, our task is multi-purposed. The project is rated difficult (due to distance and elevation required to reach the worksite) but relatively easy in project scope which is primarily lopping willow that is above human height and a day benching very narrow tread on the Knife Edge.

No prior trail experience is required but a good attitude is helpful.
Everyone has a job on our projects.

What is a Volunteer Trail Work Project:  This six-day project is focused on specific trail maintenance needs in the Rio Grande National Forest. Designed as fun work in the backcountry, our focus is safety and enjoyment, followed by completion of the project goals. We recognize that the public land system is used by hikers like us. This project is a way to give back to all of the boot prints we have put on the trail tread.

Projects like these offer a day-to-day reward of accomplishment. You will be amazed at what you and your co-crew can achieve with loppers and Pulaskis. As a crew, we will complete important trail work. You will meet new friends, share meals and chores. We want you to enjoy the experience, and come back.

This project is open to volunteers who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a great attitude and desire to work with other volunteers to accomplish a project goal.
  • Ability to adhere to the following basic rules: Be Safe. Have Fun. Get Some Work Done.
  • Physical stamina to hike to and from camp, hike and work at a moderate pace throughout the day.
  • Have the appropriate gear and equipment for the week; all food and tools will be provided for you.
  • Ability to participate for the full length of the trip; no late arrivals or early departures.
  • Willingness to learn – no prior trail work experience is necessary.
  • Must be 16 years old with parent or guardian.

Cost:  $275 per person.

Includes:  All in the field meals, snacks and necessary tools.  Group gear and equipment will additionally be provided.  We have limited personal gear and equipment available.  Any requests are available by first request/first reserve and should be made no less than 14 days prior to project start.

We will be hiking into our alpine camp for the project – approximately 12-miles from the trailhead. You will be permitted to put a small bag with personal gear/equipment on the pack string for delivery to the volunteer project camp but you must carry your own day pack with the 10 Essentials for the hike in and out. Dimensions and weight requirements will be provided to registrants.

Our Work Week: Subject to change.

  • Pre-Arrival – Saturday, August 15th
    You are encouraged to arrive to the trailhead on Saturday afternoon to reduce your Sunday morning departure stress.
  • Day 1 – Sunday, August 16th
    Hike to camp, set up camp and review the principles of Leave No Trace. We will meet at the trailhead at 7a for breakfast and pre-project notes before hiking to our high alpine basecamp.
  • Day 2 and 3 – Monday, August 17th and Tuesday, August 18th
    Trail work.
  • Day 4 – Wednesday, August 19th
    Day off! This day is your day to relax or explore the local trails, peaks and views of the wilderness.
  • Day 5 – Thursday, August 20th
    Trail work.
  • Day 6 – Friday, August 21st
    Break down camp, hike out. We expect to finish at the trailhead at 3p.

Our Work Day: Subject to change.

  • 6:30 – Morning wake-up call.
  • 7:00 – Coffee and breakfast served. Please be on time! Make your lunch.
  • 7:30 – Cleanup crew washes dishes, puts food away, etc.
  • 8:00 – Leave for project site.
  • 8:30 to 9:00 – Begin work at the project site, taking periodic breaks.
  • Noon – Lunch break. At least 30-minutes, probably an hour.
  • After lunch to 3:30’ish – Continue trail work, taking periodic breaks. Don’t overwork!
  • 3:30 – Leave for camp.
  • 4:00 – This time is your free time to enjoy the landscape, read a book, write in your journal or take a nap.
  • 6:00 – Dinner served. Please be on time! Enjoy a big plate of delicious, nutritious, filling hot food.
  • After Dinner – Cleanup crew washes dishes, puts food away, etc.; everyone else on own.

All About Food: Nutritious! Filling! Yummy!

A menu will be provided approximately two weeks prior to the project. Our menu is designed to ensure nutrition, is not carbohydrate heavy but instead blends all nutritional needs including: fruits, vegetables, fats and proteins as well as carbohydrates.  This project is above 10,000-feet.  Expect dinners to be a soup base. We have found that hearty, filling soups assist with ensuring you feel better, sleep better and maintain hydration. You won’t be hungry, we promise, there is a lot of food!  Allergy and dietary restrictions can be accommodated if we are advised in advance – like, when you register!

About Our Landscape – Weminuche Wilderness:  The Weminuche Wilderness is the largest wilderness area in Colorado – extending more than 488,210 acres.   Designated in 1975, and expanded to its current size by the Colorado Wilderness Acts of 1980 and 1993, the wilderness contains the headwaters of dozens of major streams and rivers, these water sources drain into the Rio Grande and San Juan Rivers.  The landscape is of glacial valleys, windswept ridges and crags. The ragged peaks and soaring cliffs, formed over millions of years as volcanic eruptions covered the landscape and adds to the dramatically different mountain landscapes this wilderness area offers in its largeness.

About Registration:  Although you are a project volunteer, there are costs associated with this offering including a significant cost for packing in group and personal gear. Your registration fee assists with paying for permit fees, food, necessary tools and outfitter transport of group gear and personal gear.

 We understand emergencies but ask that you reserve your space only if you are going to attend. There is no refund for cancellation in this project. It is very difficult to fill recently vacated spaces, particularly within three weeks of the project start date when most cancellations tend to occur.

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