The Forest Service is looking for winter recreation enthusiasts to volunteer at the Gordon Reese Cabin located at the Chief Joseph Cross Country Ski area this winter.
Volunteers are welcome to assist in maintaining this popular facility throughout the winter season. Each Tuesday and Friday during the ski season is set aside for volunteers to serve as Forest Service cabin hosts, helping maintain the cabin and trailhead facilities during the day and staying overnight for free. It is not necessary for volunteers to stay in the cabin through the entire day. Volunteers and their guests are encouraged to enjoy and explore the trails and surrounding winterscape. The Forest Service asks that volunteers occasionally return to the cabin to tend the woodstove fire, ensure snow is melting for hot water, and make the cabin clean and comfortable for visitors to use as a warming shelter during the day.
General volunteer host duties include: meeting and greeting the public; answering visitor questions; shoveling paths leading to both outhouses at the cabin and the trailhead; clearing snow from the deck and doors; stocking and cleaning the cabin and both outhouses; restocking firewood from the basement to the main floor and tending the woodstove fire.
To volunteer at the Gordon Reese Cabin, call the Wisdom Ranger District office at (406) 689-3371 beginning October 2, 2017 at 8:00 AM, MST. Due to the popularity of the cabin volunteer program, this will be the only number used for volunteer sign-up; the main District Office phone number will be kept open for regular business calls.
The Gordon Reese Cabin is available to the general public to rent from December 1 through April 15. Reservations are $10 per day and can be made on-line beginning on October 2, 2017 at www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777. Cancellations are also handled through www.recreation.gov. However, due to the popularity of renting the cabin, last minute reservations and cancellations may be filled by contacting the Wisdom Ranger District office at (406) 689-3243.
As with other rental cabins, renters are responsible for cleaning the cabin, and packing out everything they pack in. During the day, the cabin is available as a warming hut to cross-country skiers, so renters do not have exclusive use of the facilities and are expected to act in a welcoming manner. The upstairs sleeping area can be closed off to provide limited privacy during the day. Pets are not allowed at the cabin or on the trails. Visitors, volunteers and overnight guests must bring their own drinking water and are encouraged to share the large snow-melting pot for boiling water.
The cabin is located approximately ½ mile from the Chief Joseph Pass parking area/trailhead on Montana State Highway 43, 10 miles south of Sula, MT and 25 miles west of Wisdom, MT. Access to the cabin is an easy ½ mile snowshoe or ski on well groomed trails. The Chief Joseph Cross-country Ski Trail system encompasses over 30 miles (48 kilometers) of groomed trails of various difficulty. The trails are groomed and maintained throughout the ski season by a
partnership between the Bitterroot Cross Country Ski Club, Lost Trail Powder Mountain ski area, the Forest Service, and the State of Montana. Contact the Wisdom Ranger District for more information at (406) 689-3243.