CDT #14 - Granite Butte Lookout
September 13-17*, 2013
Project Name: Granite Butte Lookout
Project Dates: September 13-17*, 2013
Trail Crew Volunteer Limit: 6
Trail Crew Spaces Left: 0 - PROJECT FULL, waiting list only
Camp Cook Spaces Left: 1 of 2
Level of Difficulty: Moderate (with heavy lifting)
Location: near Stemple Pass, between Lincoln & Helena, MT
Type of project: Frontcountry; car camping
Travel to worksite: Drive to site from camp
Meeting Time and Place: Stemple Pass (map here)
*2-3 volunteers are asked to stay for an extra day or two to move new furniture into lookout
Basic Project Description
This is our second year working on the Granite Butte Fire Tower Lookout structure. Last year, CDT Montana volunteers completed work on the exterior of the building with new shutters to protect the windows and new paint to give the dusty building a face-lift. In 2013, we plan to tackle the inside by installing new flooring and furniture. A limited number of volunteers are necessary as the space to work in is tight and small. The first task will be flooring from Sept 13-17 and a few volunteers are asked to stick around for 1-2 more days to help move in new furniture. If you are comfortable with heights, great views and some heavy lifting - this project is for you! Check out photos from last year.
Meet your crew leader and the rest of your crew on the afternoon/evening of Friday, September 13th at Stemple Pass (click here for map). Arrival to the meeting location is on a dirt road (about 1 hour from hwy) so a 4x4, high clearance vehicle is suggested for travel to this project. It's very possible to carpool with other volunteers if you do not have a 4x4 vehicle. Check your tire pressure, fuel up and be sure you have plenty of what you need.
Hike to Worksite
From camp, it's possible to drive about 1/4 mile to the lookout tower each day, however, it's a nice uphill walk in the morning to warm up and a great way to stretch your muscles for a downhill hike back to camp at the end of the day.
This is a primitive frontcountry (car camping) campsite. The camp area has a fire ring, but we'll be digging a latrine for the group to use while on project. There is no running water in the area or at camp so volunteers will be asked to bring personal drinking water. MWA will supply cooking water.
Volunteers will assist in preparing the campsite for the week including setting up tarps, kitchen equipment, and group latrine. Crew will be educated on Leave No Trace practices, and asked to follow these principles throughout the week. Because this is car camping, volunteers are permitted to bring a few more amenities to make themselves comfortable, but please remember to keep computers, and electronics at home.
Food and Water
Your first meal provided will be dinner on Friday night. We'll use the first evening to get to know one another and outline the project for the weekend. Please inform your crew leader of any dietary restrictions, or requirements at least a week before the project start date. Even if this just means you’re a picky eater…tell us what you don’t like! We need you to be healthy, and full of energy for the work, so we want to make sure you’ll eat what we provide. Volunteers will be expected to assist with cooking meals, and cleaning dishes throughout the week. Please remember to bring your own dishware and utensils.
We currently DO NOT have a camp cook volunteer for this project. If you would like to volunteer to support a CDT Montana crew with your amazing chef skills please contact our staff at 406.781.0627 (Shannon) or email us here. Two camp cooks are ideal for each project so if you have a friend that wants to help - even better!
What to Bring
A recommended gear list will be provided to you upon project confirmation.
The work involved in this project is moderate, but can be very difficult at times with bending, lifting, crouching and twisting. You will be required to bring your own pack and help carry tools to and from the work site. Volunteers need to be in great physical condition, and should spend a few weeks prior to the trip preparing, and getting into shape.
Wind, wind and more wind! Bring a windbreaker and a hat that is secure (or extra duct tape to keep it in place). For mid September, be prepared for the possibility of rain, sleet, snowstorms, high winds (did we mention that?) and cold weather. This is an exposed work area. Unpredictable weather is to be expected – bring proper gear. It can snow in high elevations – even in September! If we do experience actual summerlike temperatures, be prepared for sun exposure. Bring hats, long sleeves, and sunscreen!
Here is a link to the weather forecast on NOAA.gov. However, don't be fooled; weather on the divide can be very different than predicted. Please be prepared for all kinds of conditions, regardless of the forecast.
Your day will begin with hot coffee, tea, or cocoa and breakfast starting at 7:00 AM…or earlier if you pefer! During this time you will prepare your day pack, pack a lunch, fill water bottles, and bring necessary layers and gear you need for the weather. The work day begins at 8:00 AM, which does include the hike to the worksite. We will spend the day out on the trail with a 10 minute morning break, 40-45 minute lunch, 10 minute afternoon break, and wrap up the day with a hike back to camp around 4:30. You will always have a little personal time in the late afternoon before dinner. Evenings are spent however you like…socializing around the campfire, reading, bathing (in a refreshingly cold creek!) or early bedtime if you feel you need a little extra sleep!
- Airport: Helena Regional Airport, Helena, MT (406) 442-2821 Helena Air
- Car Rental: Alamo (800) 327-9633 • Avis (800) 331-1212 • Hertz (800) 654-3131
- Pre/Post Camping: Helena National Forest : Lincoln & Helena loctions (406) 449-5201 Helena Nat'l Forest Camping
- Pre/Post Lodging: Limited choices in Lincoln, MT with full amenities in Helena, MT
If you are planning to travel by airplane to a CDT Montana project, please schedule your flights one day before and one day after your project dates as plans can change and unexpected delays can occur in the woods and on dirt roads.
- Local Emergency Contact: Lewis & Clark County Sherriff's Dept (406) 447-8235
- Chamber of Commerce: Helena Chamber of Commerce (406) 447-1532
- Hospital: St. Peter's Hospital , Helena (406) 442-2480
- Outdoor Retailers: The Base Camp (406)443-5360:Base Camp Bob Wards (800)800-5083: Bob Wards Bob Wards
- Montana State Wide Tourism
IMPORTANT COMMUNICATIONS NOTE
Volunteers are responsible for checking project website for updates up until the day before the project start date. Last minute changes can take place due to weather, bad river crossings, wild fires or other events out of our hands. If you are traveling before your project, be sure to check your email to receive any last minute updates. MWA staff may be in the field and unreachable 1-2 days before your project so plan ahead!
Do not show up to a CDT Montana project without registering or without receiving a confirmation email from CDT staff. Unregistered volunteers will not be permitted to participate on projects. Minors require a hard copy volunteer registration with two signatures: one from volunteer, one from parent/guardian.