Their workplaces are the numerous mountain trails in the Davos Klosters region. There, the five-member Trail Crew lead by Jann Guler work day after day with great dedication and passion to maintain trails and prevent damage to the natural landscape. A visit to the Flüela Pass.
Monday morning. The sun is already shining in all its splendour. Not a cloud in the blue sky. A perfect day. Ideal for a small mountain hike. So then, let's go. The path leads from the parking lot of the guesthouse «Tschuggen» on the Flüela Pass road past the small, almost picture book-like Tschuggen chapel. It’s getting warmer and warmer. After the first few turns, the path becomes steeper and the sweat beads on my forehead become more numerous.
There is absolute stillness. The traffic noise from the streets are now completely gone. Pure nature. One almost already feels like in different world. Then – after a few minutes of peaceful walking – voices suddenly appear from further up the mountain. It must be them, the men of the Davos Klosters Trail Crew. Because according to the crew coordinator Sandra Gredig, the workplace of the five-member team today is right here on the trail from the Flüela Pass down to Tschuggen.
And indeed, there they are, the five men lead by crew leader Jann Guler. Each of them, equipped with a shovel and pickaxe, working on a different spot of the trail. «Yes, there really are worse workplaces than this one», Guler laughs as the guest – admittedly out of breath – arrived at the trail workers. However, Guler and his colleagues do not have time to enjoy the wonderful view.
From mid-May to mid-October, the Shaper, as the quintet are referred to, work daily on the numerous paths of the Davos Klosters region. Their main task is primarily trail maintenance. «Our goal is to make the path so attractive that no one needs to take a shortcut», says crew member Joos Keller, who has just created a type of water drainage.
The work of the Trail Crew, which was created about five years ago by an initiative of the Davos Klosters destination, is not only important so that bikers as well as hikers always find perfectly prepared trails. The team also prevents erosion and damage to the natural landscape, builds river crossings, shovels landslides away or assembles fence passageways. «It does not get boring for us so quickly», says Dominik Schless smiling, after he has just moved a big stone out of the way.
«Many of the bikers and hikers stop when they see us and linger for a short chat.»
On average, the trail crew works on each individual path twice a year. For heavily frequented routes it can also sometimes be more. In addition to this are special assignments after storms and the like. A hard, physically demanding job. A job which is however also, as Jann Guler says, highly appreciated. «Many of the bikers and hikers stop when they see us and linger for a short chat.» He and his colleagues thereby very well recognize the gratitude of the trail users. «Here and there we even get a piece of cake or something like that», Keller reveals.
No question, the Davos Klosters Trail Crew does a good deed. On the one hand, for all the bikers and hikers who are day after day on the paths of the «single-track paradise of the Alps» – as the bike destination Davos Klosters is not called just by chance. On the other hand, also for the environment and nature. Nature that shows itself from its most beautiful side up here. Probably one of the reasons why his colleagues nod approvingly as Guler says that the work as a crew member comes quite close to what people commonly call a dream job. Although it can get a bit uncomfortable in the cold and rain, so he adds laughingly.
However, from the cold and rain is far and wide nothing to be seen or felt on this Monday morning. On the contrary. It's almost too beautiful to be true. Accordingly, it feels hard to descend – past all the areas that the trail crew has repaired. Because on this wonderful summer day in the Davos mountains, the return to civilization could have waited just a little longer.