To promote more patrols in the remote Wilderness Areas, PWV has established a WildXX initiative where XX is the year since the U.S. Congress passed the national Wilderness Act in 1964. This year as part of Wild52 there was a tremendous turnout for PWV backpacking and hiking patrols focused on the Rawah Wilderness (PWV patrols 4 Wilderness Areas; additionally: Cache La Poudre, Comanche Peak, and Neota).
Wild52 had 25 PWV members participating by putting in 79 patrol-days covering 13 of the 14 trails in the Rawah Wilderness during the extended week of August 12 - 21. Wild52 participation ranged from day hikes to several-day backpacking trips. Three of the longer backpacking outings are described below.
The major work effort was conducted by Trail Crew members (pictured above) Lucas Haine, Jeanne Corbin, Alan Meyer, David Cantrell, Joan Kauth, David Bye, Caitlin Zacharias, and (not in photo) Mike Corbin. The group started at the north boundary of Rawah clearing the trails of fallen trees for two days. Alan, Joan, and Mike continued the backpacking trip, covering a total of 41 miles in six days, ending at Blue Lake Trailhead at the south end of Rawah Wilderness. The team cleared a total of 127 trees from the trails.
Another significant backpacking adventure was conducted by Gerry Cashman and Tom Adams in the Rawah Wilderness. Their 5 day, 30 mile trip started at Rawah North Trailhead and ended at the Blue Lake Trailhead. Their trip included Rawah North, Rawah South, Camp Lake, Sandbar Lakes, West Branch, Twin Crater Lakes and Blue Lake trails. Their major effort to preserve the pristine Wilderness was to remove 7 illegal fire rings. The adventure produced some beautiful mountain photos and lots of great memories.
The longest patrol of nearly 100 miles was backpacked by Paul, John Walker, and Karl Riters who over 13 days hiked all 4 Wilderness Areas. Since there are no continuous trails connecting the four Wilderness Areas, they had challenging bushwhacking experiences in Cache La Poudre, Neota, and Rawah Wilderness Areas. Photos show three bushwhacking segments: the totally burned out (2012 High Park wildfire) Cache La Poudre Wilderness from Mt. McConnel to Flowers Trail, the rousing of a family of moose in the Neota Wilderness and the steep descent from Montgomery Pass to reach Blue Lake Trail.