It was early on a Saturday morning, and I had plans to meet a CTA Trail Chief to begin repairs on the Catamount Trail after a severe winter storm. Picking up the phone, I called ahead to confirm our rendezvous, only to discover that while I was still drinking coffee, he had already hit the trailhead to begin clearing blowdowns. When it comes to enthusiasm for the trail, it can be tough to keep up with these hardworking and motivated folks who keep the Catamount Trail in tip-top shape.
With 31 sections and over 300 miles of trail, the Catamount Trail requires a considerable amount of upkeep throughout the year. Much of this work is spearheaded by “Trail Chiefs”, volunteers who adopt and caretake a portion of the trail. Trail Chiefs handle the bulk of trail clearing efforts, whether they are running the chainsaw themselves or leading volunteer crews. Trail Chiefs also serve as CTA liaisons in the many communities through which the trail passes. After the December snowstorm that caused so much damage, Trail Chiefs rallied and found the time and people to contribute over 500 hours to trail repair during midwinter!
As you can tell, here at the CTA we are very fond of our Trail Chiefs, and we are sad when they “retire” from their duties on the Catamount Trail. Recently we said farewell to a number of Trail Chiefs who left a lasting mark on the Catamount Trail. Of course, many of these folks still remain involved in the Vermont skiing community, and have merely passed the torch on to the next generation of Trail Chiefs. Here are some of these CTA all stars.
- Trail Chief of Section 19, from Route 17/Battlegrounds Condos to Huntington Gap (Mad River Valley).
- Helped in a multi-partner and multi-year planning process to relocate the CT and protect additional lands in the area.
- Identified multiple relocations that lead to the development of current, beautiful route up to Huntington Gap.
- Creator of the famous Markie Moose Pin, available at the CTA store.
- Enthusiastic leader of volunteers on trail projects.
- Frequent participant in CTA tours.
- End to Ender, finished trail in 2003.
- Trail Chief of Section 9 north, from route 155 to Healdville/Route 103, near Okemo Mountain.
- CTA Member since 1994.
- 3+ Terms on Board, 2005 –2014.
- Created and Coordinated Pico Telemark Clinic.
- Founding Tours Team Member.
- Avid tour participant.
- Trail Chief for Section 24, from Sterling Valley to Ryder Brook Golf Club.
- Trail Volunteer for several organizations for many years, including the CTA and GMC.
- Moved to Oregon—best of luck!
- Co-Trail Chief for Section 20 from Camels Hump Road to Duxbury Road.
- Worked with Peter Cottrell to help maintain this section.
- CTA tour and event participant.
- Trail Chief for Section 12 N, from Brewers Corner to Route 4 in Rutland/Mendon.
- Avid backcountry skier known to collect many days of skiing every season.
- Helped identify and implement several improvements on his section.
- Very helpful in response to Tropical Storm Irene, which was particularly devastating in the Killington area.