(Please also read the Backcountry Caretaker position description. Ridgerunner positions are very limited; consider applying for Caretaker as well.)
Green Mountain Club Ridgerunners perform routine trail maintenance and manage waste along highly trafficked sections of the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail in southern Vermont. Ridgerunners are supervised by the Southern Lead Caretaker and the Caretaker Supervisor.
Compared to a Backcountry Caretaker, the Ridgerunner role is more heavily weighted toward trail, shelter, and privy maintenance. Ridgerunners backpack throughout their range during the workweek rather than remaining at an assigned overnight site. This is a highly independent position that requires planning, flexibility, and logistical creativity.
Ridgerunners are responsible for maintaining 25-35 miles of trail: clearing drainage structures, cutting blowdowns, trimming overgrowth, installing signs, and painting blazes.
Each Ridgerunner range contains 4-6 overnight shelters and/or tenting areas. Ridgerunners are responsible for maintaining a clean and well-kept site, performing minor repairs as necessary, and reporting site conditions to field leadership.
All overnight sites include a composting outhouse which must be serviced by the Ridgerunner on a weekly basis. Protective equipment is provided when working with human waste.
Hiker education occurs through informal interactions over the course of the workday. Ridgerunners should be prepared to provide information about the Long Trail, encourage low-impact hiking and camping practices, and explain the mission of the Green Mountain Club to trail users.
All Ridgerunner positions require the ability to work independently, desire to educate the public, and drive to do gritty behind-the-scenes work (including privies)! All Ridgerunners must be comfortable spending 4 nights per week camping in a tent, sometimes alone and sometimes sharing campsites with the public. Ridgerunners are responsible for their own food and transportation to/from the trailhead. Green Mountain Club provides tents or shelters, stoves, stove fuel, water filtration, first aid supplies, tools, field guides, maps, and informational resources. Communal day-off housing is available in Waterbury Center and Danby, VT.
2023 Position Dates:
Commitment to full season preferred.
Full Season: May 31 – October 13
Summer: May 31 – August 11
Fall: August 7 – October 13
Schedule: Five days per week, typically including weekends. Camping on-site required four nights per week. Regular weekly schedule assigned at start of season.
Compensation: $600/week, plus housing.
Benefits: Housing provided, Wilderness First Aid class included with training, Retirement (403b) matching, eligible for pro deal gear discounts.
- Maintain 25-35 miles of hiking trail using hand tools.
- Maintain assigned backcountry facilities.
- Regularly maintain assigned composting outhouses.
- Encourage and model low impact hiking practices on trails and at summits, ponds, camping areas, and backcountry shelters.
- Collect visitor use data during the course of the workday.
- Submit weekly shift reports and group use feedback forms.
- Write formal End of Season report if leaving in October or informal mid-season report if leaving in August.
- Serve as professional backcountry representative of the GMC, both as knowledge source and as behavioral role model.
- Carry first aid kit and sufficient supplies to travel safely in the backcountry at all times.
- Voluntarily participate in Search and Rescue operations.
- Assist with weekly cleaning of staff housing.
- Strong backpacking and outdoor skills
- Ability to live independently and work in a remote area with little supervision
- Comfort working multiple days outdoors in sometimes adverse weather conditions
- Comfort with basic hand tools (trail maintenance training provided during orientation)
- Knowledge of Leave No Trace principles (training provided during orientation)
- Ability to effectively communicate with individuals and groups
- Basic knowledge of Long Trail/Appalachian Trail system preferred
- Wilderness First Aid certification (class available free-of-charge during orientation)
- Must be willing to work weekends and holidays, these are the busiest days on trail!
- Physical Requirements:
- Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds at a time
- Ability to be on foot for prolonged periods of time, including hiking several miles with a heavy pack
- Ability to perform difficult manual labor and to carry heavy loads as a regular part of the workday
- Must have valid driver’s license. Access to a personal vehicle is strongly preferred.
Ridgerunner hiring will begin in January! Check back, or follow GMC on social media to get notified.
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