Vasque honors the PCTA’s “uber-volunteers”

Boots and volunteers are essential ingredients at the Pacific Crest Trail Association. Hiking isn’t possible without proper footwear, and trails aren’t possible without volunteers! When one of our valued corporate partners, Vasque, reached out with an offer to support our top volunteers, we were honored by their generosity and excited by the synergy between their footwear, our volunteers and our mission to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest Trail.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Pacific Crest Trail. We steward 2,650 miles of backcountry trail, used by many thousands of hikers and horseback riders each year. We simply couldn’t do it without the tireless efforts of our volunteers. In 2015 alone, 1,825 PCTA volunteers put in nearly 100,000 hours of effort to maintain nearly 1,500 miles of the PCT.

Supremely dedicated volunteer, Kim Owen, ties his newly donated Vasque boots before a day on the trail.

Supremely dedicated volunteer, Kim Owen, ties his newly donated Vasque boots before a day on the trail.

We appreciate each of our volunteers – but some of them occupy a special realm of commitment and endurance. These “uber-volunteers” put in extraordinary quantities of time and toil to make sure our community has a safe, sustainable trail experience year after year.

Thanks to Vasque, we were able to recognize the extraordinary commitment of our top 22 volunteers (selected by total lifetime hours volunteered). Together this group has given nearly 85,000 hours of volunteer service, not only volunteering on PCTA crews but also the behind the scenes planning and coordinating projects and trainings. That’s an amazing average of 3,900 hours per volunteer!

To thank these super-volunteers, Vasque generously awarded each a pair of Vasque Eriksson GTX backpacking boots. These burly boots are an excellent choice for a long day of moving rocks, trimming brush and grading trail!

John Lyons, founder and namesake of the PCTA Lyons’ Pride trail crew, is one of these super volunteers, putting in thousands of hours in the Shasta-Trinity and Klamath National Forests for more than 15 years.

“Thanks for your effort with Vasque to reward the tired feet of your crews,” John wrote, after receiving his new boots. “As I write this note, I sit here with very comfortable boots that really fit that I have had on since they arrived today at noon. I, too, would like to help spread the word of the great company that has taken the step to share their product as a reward for hard work.”

According to Vasque Marketing Manager Joe Peters, “At Vasque, we’re fortunate to make footwear people have trusted on the trail for over 50 years, and we hope to do it for 50 more. Our partnership with the PCTA is incredibly important to us as it gives us the ability to give back to the trail that has given — and we hope will continue to give — so much to us. We take volunteerism seriously, and we’re eager to help those who give back in any way we can.

As 2016 ends – the PCTA has an enormous sense of gratitude for all our volunteers and corporate partners. Thank you!

Author: Angie Williamson

Angie Williamson is the Director of Philanthropy for the Pacific Crest Trail Association. She oversees our fundraising work so that we have the resources we need to fulfill our mission. Her favorite part of her job is talking with donors who share our passion for the PCT.