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Rocky Mountain High

The Town of Breckenridge resides at 9,600’, but if you ride any of the trails in the surrounding hills you will find yourself much higher, in elevation AND on stoke. With short summer seasons, the Town of Breck works hard every year to develop and maintain an impressive local trail network, further cementing it as a four season recreational paradise. But, as the town and trail network grows, so do the needs of the local land managers to recruit and train volunteers on proper trail maintenance and building practices. Queue the Trail Care Crew. As we teach in our presentation, trails rely heavily on volunteer power, so Breck Trails had us stop by for a weekend of education and a call to arms, drawing volunteers from around Colorado to build a new stretch of intermediate trail.

Our weekend visit began with a day of field work alongside the Breck Trail Crew. After establishing our corridor, Alex and I pin flagged the tread design using manageable grades, large undulations and swooping contours linking previous trail construction with a forest road intersection. After giving us the final nod, Breck Trails workers cleared the corridor and prepped for the ensuing work party to be held the following day. 

Our Saturday presentation would bring over 40 people to the Town Council Chambers for a lecture on trail planning and design principles, construction methods, and maintenance best practices. It was certainly one of the most official presentation spaces we have encountered, but the framed cycling jerseys on the walls made us feel at home. After a quick lunch we assembled on Mineral Hill for a tool safety speech and a quick demonstration on bench cutting trail on-site. The next three hours would prove to be one of the most productive and impressive volunteer efforts to date. Roughly 600’ of trail perfectly bench cut, backsloped, and aligned in a lodgepole pine forest on a shady hillside. It was a beautiful choreography of training, labor, artistry and craftsmanship as the flagline quickly evolved into a sculpted trail with every scoop of dirt cast over the hillside. A great cap to a great weekend.

This project brought many groups together to work on a common goal while showing support for a public agency that is providing such great opportunities for the local community and wider region. We would like to extend many thanks to the Town of Breck for hosting us, and also the Friends of Breck Trails, USFS, Friends of Dillon, Summit Fat Tire Society, and Summit County volunteers for donating their time, muscle, and skill to build a great new trail.

Cheers,

Craig Brickser and Alex Riemondy

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