Leadville Trail Dozer Operations

CMC Sculpts New Trails and Leaders in Colorado’s Trail Building Industry

Trail Dozer Operations
Cooper Mallozzi, Professor of Outdoor Education at CMC, drives the SWECO 480 Trail Dozer to the next work site at the Leadville campus.

Trail Dozer Operations in Leadville

Colorado Mountain College’s Leadville campus recently partnered with Tony Boone Trails, LLC out of Salida to pilot Trail Dozer Operations, a class in mechanical trail construction. Utilizing two state-of-the-art trail dozers, six students practiced sculpting contoured trails, berms, and grade reversals on the campus trail system. The 4-day course was a trial run to see if further curriculum development between the Ski Area Operations and Outdoor Recreation Leadership programs could help provide work-ready graduates for the rapidly growing bike park industry in Colorado and across the nation.

By offering aspiring trail dozer operators a chance to dig in the dirt with a SWECO 480 Trail Dozer and a Sutter 300 Mini Trail Dozer, Tony and local faculty member Cooper Mallozzi were able to gauge interest and refine course curriculum in this emerging and unique job market.

Trail dozers have revolutionized the trail building industry in North America, allowing builders to create sustainable, fun trails in a fraction of the time of hand-built trails. These kinesthetically diverse, “dozer-flow” trails are highly sought after by mountain bikers and runners of all ages and abilities.

Trail Dozer Operations
Hugo Benitez, of Timberline Landscaping in Colorado Springs, practices his new bench cutting skills in a Sutter 300 Mini Dozer at 11,000 feet at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado.

Leading the Trail Building Industry

Tony singlehandedly created the beginner loop trail behind Leadville’s residence halls over just three days on his Sutter 300 “Baby Flow” (pictured) in the fall of 2014. He and Cooper believe Colorado Mountain College can be a leader in the instruction and training of professional trail builders. Cooper has been consulting with Ski Area Operations faculty Paul Rauschke and Jason Gusaas to explore summer operations curriculum for students in that program, a project that could become interdisciplinary with the Outdoor Recreation Leadership program given the interest in the mountain biking profession by students in both programs.

The 2014 Colorado Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan estimated that “Statewide, outdoor recreation contributes over $34.5 billion in annual economic activity and creates 313,000 jobs.” The hope is for CMC graduates to learn the fundamental skills to assume some of those jobs, specifically in the up and coming bike park industry.

For more information contact Cooper at 719 486-4272 or Tony at 719-221-3421.

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