In an effort to develop and improve our relationship with the Columbine Ranger District Forest Service Office, whom is responsible for making sure we are able to access certain parts of our course and granting us our permits, we are going to be enhancing our volunteer trail work program beginning this summer. Hardrock will be joining efforts with Megan Finnesy and the Silverton Double Dirty 30 as well as the Silverton Single Track Society to adopt and maintain the trails in the Silverton area.
The Hardrock Trail Work days will be the weekend before Hardrock, July 9-10. We are looking for a handful of people who are willing to get trained to be Trail Boss Leaders and Chain Saw Certified. Each trail boss will work with a group of 8 - 10 volunteers and direct them in making much needed trail improvements, improving water drainage, deberming, and laying rock for steps if needed. We will be working on the Engineer Mountain Trail and the Rico-Silverton Trail. Some may even camp out if they want.
Please email Megan ASAP if you are interested in helping keep this valuable resource alive. Trainings are coming up in April and May and we need to get people signed up now to make these happen.
If you are interested in becoming a trail boss and are not able to make it to this training you can get trained through Volunteers of Outdoor Colorado and find another date and location on their website. This training is a charge of $75 that you will need to pay. There is one in Montrose May 14 - 15 and another in Castlewood Canyon June 11 - 12.
If you are interested and live in a different area you can get the training and certification in your area. We are looking for at least 6 - 8 Hardrockers to get trained as a trail boss so that we can maximize all the volunteers that show up on Hardrock week to do trail work.
Update 6/21/16 from Megan Finessy:
Backpack in for trail work
For the trail work to be performed on the Silverton Double Dirty 30 race course we MAY have the option of sending a group or two out on a backpack trail work trip. We would head out Saturday morning with the rest of the crews, but we would come with our backpacks packed and ready to camp out for the night. We would camp somewhere between the junction of the Colorado Trail and the Engineer Mountain Trail and the Engineer Mountain Trail and the White Trail. We would perform much needed work in this section which is a couple miles long.
We would need at least 8 people who were interested packing in for the night to make a group.
We also have the option of camping as a group at the end of Bandera mine where we will start the hike up on the Rico-Silverton Trail to our work area.
If you are interested in either of these options please email Megan and let her know so we can see if we have enough interested folks to make a group or two. You will need to have all your own backpack gear and bring your own food.
Update 7/6/16 from Rick Trujillo:
This is it, the eleventh hour, the moment of truth, time to perform or perish, etc. This will be my last information email before we meet to do our trail work on the coming weekend. As stated in the past few emails, the trail work will be done on the two consecutive days of Saturday July 9, and Sunday July 10.
As announced in my June 21 info email, this year there is a second official Hardrock trail work program, that of Megan Finnesy on the Silverton Double 30 trails system. This is in addition to the normal Hardrock trails sytem, the work on which I oversee. Because the two above said official Hardrock trail work programs are in completely different areas, and because most volunteers will be camping or otherwise lodging in the Silverton area it seems most efficient that we meet there to organize in the mornings of both days. This will be somewhat awkward for the Ouray area work on day one, but since there is no way to know for sure just who will actually show up for work on each day it is the only way we can effectively allocate the volunteers. Therefore, for both Saturday July 9, and Sunday July 10, all volunteers will meet at 8:00 am at the Silverton school gym (see map below).
On day one (July 9) after registering and allocating all the volunteer workers that show up at the Silverton School Gym, Meganís workers will depart for her work areas southwest of Silverton and my workers will travel north over Red Mountain pass to the Bear Creek trail head at the tunnel on US550, 2.5 miles above Ouray. In addition to the Bear Creek Ouray work crew we will organize a second group to go to Ouray with Hale Holt to work on the Horse Thief Trail just north of town.
There may be some volunteers staying in the Ouray area who want to work Bear Creek Ouray and who elect to wait at the Bear Creek trail head rather than travel to Silverton just to return. This is OK, but please do not start up the trail until we have arrived with tools and I can register you. I hope that we will arrive at the Bear Creek Ouray trail head by ~9:15 am. However, it may be somewhat later, as late as ~10:00 am. This is because there is active road construction near the summit of Red Mountain Pass. Traffic will be held up for as long as 30 minutes beginning at 8:00 am Saturday morning. This out and back is awkward, yes, but there doesn't seem to be any other way to effectively register and allocate everyone.
On day two (July 10) after the 8:00 am registration and allocation, Meganís workers will again depart for her work areas southwest of Silverton and my workers will travel over Ophir pass to access the trail (Blixt Road, see attached jpg pictures) to Oscarís Pass (work at Mendoza Saddle is not necessary). I will need several volunteer 4x4 vehicles to carry my workers over the relatively mild but still rough Ophir pass to get to the Blixt Road, exactly how many vehicles will not be known until we know the number of workers.
It is important that every work volunteer try to be at the Silverton School gym at 8:00 am both Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10, to be registered so that you will get credit for trail work. I will make the final registration of names and work on the mornings of each of these scheduled work days. For those who will be able to attend and work on one or both days, great; for those who for whatever the reason(s) will not be able to do so, then "asi es la vida" (that's life).
The work of each day will entail considerable physical labor (digging, raking, moving rocks, pounding, carrrying log cribbing, etc.). The weather forecast is sunny for both days, meaning hot and dry, but there is always a chance of rain (the monsoon season has kicked in right on schedule). Be sure to bring proper work cloths, including gloves and rain gear, and food and plenty of water (water on each of the trails is available only with a long walk). On each of the trails the major effort may simply be in getting to the work sites (up to 3 miles walk one way). I feel that we will be able to complete each of the days' tasks in somewhat less than the symbolic eight hours.
HRH Trail Work Volunteers Coordinator