Backcountry.com sponsors National Trails Day Event
Colorado has 54 Fourteeners and someone has to take care of themby Kendall Card
The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (www.14ers.org) hosted a National Trails Day project this past Saturday, June 18 on Grays and Torreys Peaks. These are two of the 54 peaks in Colorado known as “Fourteeners” as their summits extend beyond the 14,000 foot level. Although trail construction work on these two Front Range peaks was finished in 2001, their popularity with weekend hikers keeps them at the top of CFI’s maintenance list.
Backcountry.com couldn’t stand by without pitching in. Trail work volunteers were treated to some Backcountry.com donated water bottles and other swag, not to mention discount codes for their next purchases. We didn’t want these volunteers to go home empty handed. Thanks for your hard work!
On weekend days in the summer, the trails on Grays and Torreys Peaks are typically hiked by hundreds of individuals. This high level of use—combined with the unstable soils common to high altitude—creates a vital need for continued maintenance.
The 2005 National Trails Day project focused on addressing some of the maintenance work needed to ensure that this trail will remain a sustainable one. Work done included cleaning and rebuilding water bars, building and repairing check dams, installation of signs, and closing off new trail braiding.
Backcountry.com is proud to work with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiate on this and other trail work events and encourages you to become involved with CFI or your local trail maintenance organization.
Goals of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative Programs-Restore damaged and eroded areas to protect sensitive alpine plant ecosystems from further degradation.
-Establish well-delineated, sustainable hiking routes that maintain the challenge and adventure associated with climbing the peaks, while providing for long-term protection of alpine resources.
-Educate hikers on sustainable recreation practices and Leave No Trace principles.
-Maintain and monitor routes and ensure their long-term sustainability.
-Create a structure for local community awareness and involvement in Fourteener stewardship.
In 1994, the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI) was established in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and five founding organizations: Colorado Mountain Club, Outward Bound West, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Rocky Mountain Field Institute, and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. The mission of CFI is to protect and preserve the natural integrity of Colorado’s 14,000-foot through active stewardship and public education.
In cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, CFI has completed impact studies on all of Colorado’s 54 Fourteeners. Using criteria on resource damage, rate of change, impacts to threatened, endangered, or sensitive species, and U.S. Forest Service priorities at the district level, CFI has identified 35 heavily impacted peaks and basins for priority action. To date, CFI has conducted trail restoration and delineation work on 17 Fourteeners.