Saturday, April 20, 2013

Volunteers needed for backcountry painting this summer

Volunteer John Kemple takes a break at the Mowich Cabin
Some volunteer jobs are really tough. Imagine spending all day painting or staining a backcountry cabin or fire lookout in the mountains of Mount Rainier National Park, then hanging out at the cabin in the evening with no television or Internet, a rough bed to sleep on and a camp stove to cook on, with nothing but gorgeous scenery to relieve the tedium. It's a rough assignment... but someone has to do it!

That's why we're looking for volunteers, two or three in a group, to spend a couple of days at a time at locations throughout the park performing basic maintenance and painting on backcountry structures. Some locations (the Mowich Cabin, for example) would involve little or no hiking to get to, but others (Golden Lakes Cabin, for instance) might take an additional full day of strenuous hiking to get in or out of.

Due to snowpack, the work would not begin until at least July, but after that the dates are flexible and would be coordinated between your schedule and ours. You'd hike in with a member of the park's backcountry maintenance staff, who would get you set up and work with you part of a day before leaving you to finish the job on your own. Once you're up to speed, more complex and independent projects may become an option later on.

For more details, or to express interest in participating, contact Mitch Anderson, Backcountry Carpenter, at 360-569-6726 or

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