Lead Backcountry Caretaker
Posted: January 14, 2021
Location: Mount Mansfield, Camel's Hump
Time Commitment: 2021 Position Dates: May 10th – October 22rd (limited start and end date flexibility)
Green Mountain Club Caretakers are the public face of the GMC and true stewards of Vermont’s Long Trail system. The program as we know it was born during the hiking boom of the 1970’s, but individuals have been caring for the Long Trail and its shelters since the GMC was founded in 1910. Lead Caretakers on Mt. Mansfield and Camel’s Hump coordinate the caretakers on those mountains to facilitate efficient summit education, trail maintenance, and backcountry shelter coverage. Acting as a role model of dedication and sound judgment, the Lead Caretaker guides and instructs the four caretakers on their mountain.
During the months of peak hiking activity (June – October), the Lead caretakers work and live on their mountain five days per week, with two days off a week. They live at private, state-owned backcountry cabins four nights per week, and are generally not responsible for staffing a Long Trail shelter. The cabin are also used by other caretakers on their crew when not stationed at shelters.
Work weeks are a mix of field projects and office-based responsibilities. The Lead participates in environmental education on the summit and trail maintenance along with the general caretakers, but also spends time overseeing the work of the general caretakers, checking in with Field Assistants, creating weekly schedules for the mountain, acquiring supplies, and completing special projects around the mountain.
Lead Caretakers are responsible for their own food and transportation to/from the trailhead and days off. Green Mountain Club provides a stove, stove fuel, tools, field guides, maps, and informational resources. More detail about on-mountain housing is available during interview. Communal day-off housing is available in Waterbury Center.
- Oversee and support three or four Backcountry Caretakers in their regular duties.
- Oversee maintenance of backcountry facilities, including privies.
- Directly coordinate and assist with maintenance of 12.3 miles of hiking trail using hand tools.
- Educate hikers about fragile ecosystems at high-use sites along the Long Trail.
- Compile summit use data from in neat and orderly fashion.
- Submit weekly shift reports.
- Write formal End of Season report of work completed throughout season.
- Coordinate acquisition of supplies for mountain with Caretakers and Field Assistant.
- Coordinate communication between staff, including via radio and cell phone.
- Develop and foster healthy working relationships with and between all Mansfield staff.
- Maintain high standards of work and safety in a range of weather conditions.
- Encourage and model Leave No Trace practices and low impact behaviors on trails and at summits, camping areas, and backcountry shelters.
- Serve as professional backcountry representative of the GMC, both as knowledge source and as behavioral role model.
- Act as GMC on-site liaison with ski resort and Vermont Forest, Parks, and Recreation staff.
- Carry first aid kit and sufficient supplies to travel safely in the backcountry at all times.
- Participate in Search and Rescue operations on a voluntary basis.
- Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
- Valid Driver’s License required
- Wilderness First Aid certification required (class available free-of-charge during training); WFR preferred (re-certification available free-of-charge during training)
- Strong backpacking and outdoor skills
- Ability to live and work in a remote area with little supervision
- Experience working multiple days outdoors in adverse weather conditions
- Experience with basic hand tools (trail maintenance training provided during orientation)
- Ability to perform manual labor and to carry heavy loads as a regular part of the workday
- Ability to problem-solve independently and collaboratively in the backcountry
- Strong organizational skills, including setting, adhering to, and adjusting work plans
- Ability to effectively communicate with individuals and groups
- Environmental and/or outdoor education experience preferred
- Basic knowledge of Long Trail/Appalachian Trail system
- Must be willing to work weekends
Salary and Benefits
$500/week, plus housing for days off
To see other available positions please visit the GMC website.
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