Our Team

Backpacking the Collegiate Peaks of Colorado

Founders Alison Wright and Sarah Castle met during college in Colorado and became fast friends over their mutual love for the outdoors. In 2017, they returned to the state where their friendship began to explore a section of the Colorado Trail and Continental Divide Trail new to both of them.

Instagram: @alison.m.wright | @sc_castle

160 Miles in 9 Days

In 2017, Alison and Sarah headed to backpack the 160-mile Collegiate Peaks Loop of the Colorado Trail, a landmark route pioneered by women’s adventure icon Gudy Gaskill. The Collegiate Peaks Loop connects the Colorado Trail East and Colorado Trail West sections, offering the change to adventure through a variety of landscapes in the shadow of some of Colorado’s most iconic mountains.

Fundraising Goal: $20,000


Stories and Tips from the Trail

Read more about this adventure by checking out Alison’s and Sarah’s Trip Reports from the eastern and western sections of the Collegiate Peaks Loop, and Alison’s essay on the unexpected discoveries this adventure offered.

About 9
Sarah Castle
Founder - The Cairn Project

Sarah Castle grew up in a small mountain town west of Denver, Colorado, and has spent most of her adult life a stone’s throw away from the Rocky Mountains. Though she held a fascination for wild places at a young age, it wasn’t until late high school that she became captivated by the high elevations and unbeaten paths of the mountains in her backyard. Merging her love for both exploration and grit, Sarah pursued a career in soil science, studying the effects of global change and land use on natural and managed ecosystems. Currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota, you’re likely to find her either trail running or logging one of many 70mi. weekend bike rides. Sarah holds B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. from the University of Montana.

Aw Cf Sup
Alison Wright
Founder - The Cairn Project

A San Francisco native, Alison grew up in a family that enjoyed the privilege of outdoor access – many memories were made in California’s iconic mountain and coastal landscapes. Alison has spent her career in the philanthropic sector, advancing initiatives for justice and empowerment internationally and closer to home. In addition to her leadership at The Cairn Project, she directs the Environmental Defenders Collaborative at Global Greengrants Fund, channeling support to frontline environmental activists around the world.