Take Five 14 • Take a trip 16 • Take the high road 22 • the longest trip taken 36
Trail & timberline The Colorado Mountain Club • Winter 2010 • Issue 1009 • www.cmc.org
World Trail & Timberline
Protecting Colorado's wild places, connecting young people to the outdoors, and preserving access to your favorite mountains takes a steady stream of donations.
Start donating year-round through our electronic funds transfer (EFT) program today.
Every new donor to sign up for monthly recurring donations before March 1 will receive a complimentary overnight stay for two at Vagabond Ranch Huts, near Grand Lake, Colorado. www.vagabondranch.org
Join the Summit Society, the CMCâ€™s exciting new donors circle, for only $84 per month. You will also receive a complimentary copy of Colorado Lake Hikes from the CMC Press. Sign up at www.cmc.org/support or call Sarah Gorecki, Development Director, at 303-996-2752. To be eligible, you must donate at least $10 per month and remain enrolled for one year. Only new EFT donors qualify. Vagabond Ranch gift certificates are good through May 1, 2011. The value of the gift certificate is $72. 2
Trail & Timberline
Letter from the President An update on CMC marketing and Membership Outreach
want to update you on CMC’s plans to strengthen our club’s brand, build awareness, attract new members, and increase member retention. We have several strong initiatives underway, both at the state level and in cooperation with the groups. With our 100th anniversary approaching, now is a great time to re‐invigorate our outreach efforts, make sure we’re appealing to a broader set of prospective members, and ensure that CMC is delivering the high‐quality experience that will keep members coming back. Sign‐Up Fee Waiver Earlier this year, at the request of several groups, we agreed to waive the $25 sign‐up fee for new members at certain times during the year; the groups had to request a waiver and commit to a strong membership development or marketing plan. Several groups, including Denver, Boulder, Gore Range, and San Juan are already taking advantage of this opportunity. For example, the Denver Group has identified several calendar periods through year‐end when prospective members can join with no sign‐up fee. The group is focusing marketing efforts on these dates with events such as outreach at local REI stores, featuring a new presentation that conveys the benefits and value of CMC membership. The Boulder Group will offer the discount at its monthly open houses for prospective members and also for non‐members attending the group’s annual holiday dinner. Web Site Upgrades We’ve taken steps to make the CMC website more user‐friendly, with further improvements in the works. If you’ve visited our site lately, you’ve probably noticed the four large buttons at top left (“Trip Schedule,” “Class Schedule,” “Why Join,” and “Contact Us”), which address 75 percent of what most visitors are looking for when they come to our site. These buttons make it easy for visitors to move quickly to the information or function they need. We’ll continue to improve the user experience on the CMC site, for current members and prospective members. Marketing and Outreach Staff Support We are investing in the growth of our club by hiring a new full‐time marketing and
outreach manager, Rachel Scott, who began work on July 26th at the state office in Golden. Rachel has a strong marketing background, most recently working for an outdoor industry company in Nashville. In her new role, Rachel will work with groups, operating committees, and the state board to develop and implement a CMC marketing and outreach plan, with help from volunteers including the state marketing committee. She will visit in person with all the CMC groups to discuss specific group marketing and membership development needs. Rachel will focus on coordinating with the groups to increase membership, improve retention numbers, and grow the CMC name. Increased Presence and Visibility You will be seeing and hearing more about the CMC across the state in the coming months. We plan to ramp up our presence at outdoor recreation events appealing to a broad cross‐section of members and prospective members-from our own events, such as Mountain Fest and the Backcountry Bash, to other festivals celebrating outdoor recreation, like the Teva Mountain Games. We are planning more membership drives, including outreach on Colorado’s university campuses, to attract younger members. The state will coordinate with the groups to provide them with tools for outreach in their local communities. We’re also working more with the media. You may have heard our statewide CMC message as a sponsor of Colorado Public Radio. We’re also seeking more “earned media” publicity. For example, Fort Collins group chair York was recently interviewed on the radio about CMC and what we have to offer, along with the club's CEO, Katie Blackett. We have also started on a “We Miss You” campaign to entice expired members to rejoin the club at either a reduced rate or as a “Friends of the Mountain” supporter. New CMC Logo and Tagline Like many of the leading mountaineering and outdoor associations (including the American Alpine Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Mountaineers, the Mazamas, and
the Sierra Club), the CMC is updating its look with a new logo and tagline, approved by the state board on September 14, 2010. For nearly 100 years, the bighorn sheep and the “More than a great hiking club” tagline have served us well. But the tagline says more about what we are not than about what we are and aspire to be; the sheep logo does not convey-instantly, powerfully and in a contemporary way-that our club is about the mountains of Colorado, or enjoying, celebrating, and preserving them. The CMC plans to retire the bighorn sheep with honor, although he will reappear from time to time in recognition of his long service to our club and his place as part of our heritage. Our new logo is a strong, simple image based on the silhouettes of two of Colorado’s most recognized and photographed peaks-the Maroon Bells. As you know, we experimented with many logo designs, sought two rounds of feedback from groups and state committees, and took this feedback into account in developing the new design. Logos are highly subjective things. Given the diversity of strong opinions among our members, our powerful attachments to heritage and tradition, and a natural tendency to resist change, we recognize not everyone will like this decision. After careful deliberation and consideration of a wide range of feedback, your board feels we must look to the future and present the CMC to the world with a more contemporary face. The quality of experience we deliver to our members, and the energy and enthusiasm we bring as volunteers to our outreach efforts, are even more important predictors of our future than our logo, and we intend to focus our energies there. We also have adopted a new tagline for the club, “A Passion for the Mountains,” which will replace “More than a great hiking club.” You will see our new logo and tagline beginning to appear as part of the club’s marketing and outreach efforts soon, beginning with our website and gradually including printed materials, signage, and branded apparel. We will strike a balance between moving promptly to introduce our new Continued, page 4 Trail & Timberline
22 Hope and Peace and Pain: Found on the Walker's Haute Route, Chamonix to Zermatt
33 Vertical Epic: The Tarahumara of Mexico's Copper Canyon
The greatest trek in the world? The scenery is beyond gorgeous; the people you'll meet will stay in your memory forever; the undulations will make you work for your beer (or hot chocolate). What more can you ask from a trek?
Deep in Mexico's Copper Canyon, there is a brutal race for big bags of corn.
Text and Photography by Chris Case
36 The Longest Trip: The CMC's 1964 European Alpine Outing
28 Winter Tradition: Two decades of Yellowstone in Winter What keeps people heading toward Yellowstone in winter? Sights, stars, skis, and the CMC. By Polly Hays Photography by Frank Burzynski
Text and Photography by Michael Huckaby
The club's first official overseas trip was a grand undertaking yet to be matched. By Woody Smith
38 The Fourteener Files (and Beyond) Who made the lists this year? Will you join them? By Linda Crockett, Teresa Gergen, Dave Goldwater, and Chris Ruppert
Winter 2010 Trail & Timberline â€˘ Issue 1009 â€˘ www.cmc.org
Trail & Timberline
Departments 01 Letter from the President 06 On the Outside 08 Mission Accomplishments
Learn the latest from the conservation and education departments, as well as the Mountaineering Museum.
14 The Clinic
Stop, assess, plan. Keeping mountain travel safe with simple steps. By Brenda Porter
What do Transylvania, Kamchatka, and the Wicklow Way have in common, besides their great names? They are all part of the club's Adventure Travel program. Wander the world with the CMC. By Valerie Miller, Janet Martel, and Linda Ditchkus
42 CMC Adventure Travel
Want to get away? Wander the world with your friends at the CMC on these classic trips.
On the Cover
The mesmerizing view of the Grand Combin, along the Walker's Haute from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland. Chris Case
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brand and managing costs by using up certain materials with the old logo. The impact on the CMC’s finances will be minimal, since we applied for and are receiving a generous grant to help fund the development of more contemporary marketing materials for our club. Delivering an Improved Member Experience A brand is much more than a logo or tagline-it’s the sum total of user impressions and experiences. For the CMC, the most frequent and powerful expression of our brand is the experience our members have during trips and schools. Ensuring our leaders deliver a consistently positive experience is among the most important things we can do to improve member recruitment and retention. The State Safety and Leadership Committee, comprised of volunteers with school and trip leader experience from across the state, has begun work on a trip leader standards and training program. The program is directly aimed at giving our much-loved volunteers-who truly are the frontline for the club-the tools and skills needed to deliver a consistently great experience during their outdoor quests, including safety, group dynamics, communications skills, and leader expectations. At the July board meeting, the board and guests gave the State Safety and Leadership Committee a charge to come up with some basic leadership standards that all leaders will have. There is no timeline set for these standards to be developed. As you’ve already seen, we’ve asked for your input. And your perspectives, experience, and knowledge will continue to be sought. This will ensure that we remain true to our mission of providing a safe experience in the backcountry. Many of our leaders already possess these skills. Our intent is to raise our game to a consistently high level across the state, ensuring our members have a memorable and impactful experience with us, so that they not only stay as part of our family but tell all of their friends to join as well. Your Support and Involvement Are Important We invite and encourage you to be a part of the solution. How can you get involved? • • • • • •
Talk with people you know about the CMC, share your positive experiences, and encourage them to check us out. Invite non‐member friends to attend our events, like Mountain Fest, Backcountry Bash, or group open houses. If you’re part of social networking sites like Facebook, post photos from your CMC trips on your Facebook page-and/or upload them to the CMC Facebook page. Share your ideas for getting the word out about the CMCcontact your group council, your staff liaison, Rachel, or Katie. Volunteer to help with marketing and membership outreach, either for your group or at the state level. Encourage fellow members to stay involved in club activities by going on trips, signing up for schools, or enjoying the fun social opportunities of the CMC-because members who are involved are much less likely to drop out.
Thank you for your continued support of the Colorado Mountain Club. See you on the trail.
Trail & timberline
The official publication of the Colorado Mountain Club since 1918.
Editor, Director of Photography & Design Chris Case email@example.com
Advertising Sales Robin Commons
The Colorado Mountain Club 710 10th Street, Suite 200 Golden, Colorado 80401
The CMC is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.
www.cmc.org The Colorado Mountain Club is organized to ▶ unite the energy, interest, and knowledge of the students, explorers, and lovers of the mountains of Colorado; ▶ collect and disseminate information regarding the Rocky Mountains on behalf of science, literature, art, and recreation; ▶ stimulate public interest in our mountain areas; ▶ encourage the preservation of forests, flowers, fauna, and natural scenery; and ▶ render readily accessible the alpine attractions of this region. © 2010 Colorado Mountain Club
All Rights Reserved
Trail & Timberline (ISSN 0041-0756) is published quarterly by the Colorado Mountain Club located at 710 10th Street, Suite 200, Golden, Colorado 80401. Periodicals postage paid at Golden, Colorado, and additional offices. Subscriptions are $20 per year; single copies are $5. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Trail & Timberline, 710 10th Street, Suite 200, Golden, Colorado 80401. Advertisements in Trail & Timberline do not constitute an endorsement by the Colorado Mountain Club.
Please recycle this magazine. Printed on 10% post-consumer waste recycled paper.
Wynne Whyman President, Board of Directors 4
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For Members member benefits → Join us on over 3,000 annual trips, hikes, and activities in the state’s premiere mountain-adventure organization. → Expand your knowledge and learn new skills with our schools, seminars, and events. → Support our award-winning Youth Education Program for mountain leadership. → Protect Colorado’s wild lands and backcountry recreation experiences. → Enjoy exclusive discounts to the American Mountaineering Museum. → Travel the world with your friends through CMC Adventure Travel. → Receive a 20% discount on all CMC Press purchases and start your next adventure today. → It pays to be a member. Enjoy discounts of up to 25% from retailers and corporate partners. See www.cmc.org/benefits for details.
opportunities to get more involved Charitable Donations
Join our select donors who give back to the club every month by using electronic funds transfer (EFT). It is easy and convenient, you can discontinue anytime, and you’ll provide support for critical programs. Sign up at www.cmc.org/support. By naming the Colorado Mountain Club in your will, you will be able to count yourself among the proud members of the 21st Century Circle. Read more at www.cmc.org/legacy. Please consult your financial advisor about gift language. If you have any questions about donations, please contact Sarah Gorecki, Development Director, at 303.996.2752 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to share your time and expertise, give back to the club by volunteering on a variety of projects, from trail restoration to stuffing envelopes. Visit www.cmc.org/volunteer for a complete listing.
Our Membership Services team can answer general questions every weekday at 303.279.3080, or by email at email@example.com.
The Colorado Mountain Club thanks the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District and its citizens for their continuing support. www.scfd.org
The Colorado Mountain Club is a proud member of Community Shares of Colorado.
It PAYS to be a member!
▶ 50% off admission at the American Mountaineering Museum
▶ 25% off titles from The Mountaineers Books
▶ 10% at Neptune Mountaineering, Boulder
▶ 10% at Bent Gate Mountaineering, Golden
▶ 10% at Wilderness Exchange Unlimited, Denver
Not a member?
▶ 10% at Mountain Chalet, Colorado Springs ▶ 10% at The Trailhead, Buena Vista ▶ 10% at Rock'n and Jam'n, Thornton Trail & Timberline
On the Outside Near Loveland Pass, Colorado. Chris Case
Trail & Timberline
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Mission Accomplishments Share and Share Alike
An agreement between the CMC and other mountaineering clubs leads to success on Mount Elbrus
In the Caucasus Mountains of Russia sits Mount Elbrus, at 18,510 feet one of the world’s Seven Summits. Because of its location several kilometers north of the main ridge line of the Caucasus, cartographers consider the mountain to be in Europe and, thus, the continent’s highest point. The mountain, with its twin summits, has long held strong allure for members of the CMC. Many members have climbed it on their own or with friends, among them noteworthy, world-class climbers like Gerry Roach, Gary Neptune, and Glenn Porzak. In 1994, the CMC made its first official climb of Elbrus, sponsored by the club’s High Altitude Mountaineering Section (HAMS). Since then, the club's climbs of Elbrus have started to resemble Super Bowl games in name, with the attempt in August 2010 being Elbrus VII. This year’s trip was a special event for members of the CMC. In addition to 11 CMC climbers from Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, the team also included four members of the Mountaineers from the greater Seattle area. The Mountaineers’ climbers included Tab Wilkins, chairman of their board of directors for 2010. The four were the first non-CMC members to participate in a club climb as part of the reciprocal agreement signed this year by the executive directors of the CMC, Mountaineers, Appalachian Mountain Club, Mazamas, Adirondack Mountain Club, and the American Alpine Club. The reciprocal agreement allows for members of each club to go on trips of the other clubs, and to use various club facilities, all at member rates. The ubiquitous liability waivers must be signed, but generally no other paperwork is required. “Our affinity with CMC folks was instant as we were welcomed and fit right in as if we were regular members,” said Wilkins. “But the experience reminded me of how great it is to be a Mountaineer, as reflected in conversations with CMC members and in comparing our two clubs.” As the initial outing with members of other clubs, Elbrus VII was a resound8
Trail & Timberline
Courtesy of Bob Dawson (2)
By Steve Bonowski
ing success. Most CMC members on the climb had not done a big peak expedition before and weren't sure how to react at first—both to an elevation higher than any Colorado fourteener and with the distinguished guests. However, the fraternity of mountaineers is a solid one; in no time at all our Mountaineer guests fit in well. Most importantly, 12 of the 15 climbers on the trip, including all four Mountaineers members, reached the summit and safely returned to camp without incident. “Going with fellow mountaineering folks meant that we'd have the same goals in our trip overseas, lots of similar experiences to share, which meant, in theory, that we'd have a better time—with all turning out to be true!” echoed Wilkens. “Plus, in the true spirit of the climbing world we knew it would be reasonably priced and we liked the idea that it was led by someone who had done this before from the climber’s perspective.” The St. Petersburg-based outfitter, CET-Neva Mountaineering, again provided quality service, something they’ve done on two previous trips to Elbrus and on a 2008 attempt of Muztagh-Ata in China. We look forward to many more trips and shared experiences with our new Moun-
▼ Trail & Timberline has now made it to the top of three of the world's Seven Summits. Here, Bob Dawson holds it atop Mount Elbrus.
taineers friends and future friends from all the clubs. “The affinity was almost instantaneous—amazing in some ways and I expect there will be future connections made as we pass through Colorado, or as folks (like the HAMS members) come to Washington State,” Wilkins said invitingly. △ Steve Bonowksi has been the primary leader for all seven of the club's Mount Elbrus climbs.
A Little Adventure in the Great Outdoors
The Youth Education Program’s 2010 Camping and Climbing Teen Getaway By Heidi Potter, YEP Coordinator and Summer Program Director
Heidi Potter (2)
The sounds of rap music waft through the campsite, but the lyrics aren’t what you’d typically hear from a teenager’s mouth. Instead, we hear: My compass, my directional homie, my lovely useful compass, check it out! These campers really crazy, gettin' lost every-daily, they shoulda looked at landmarks, they coulda used a compass, the sun and the cairns, directions they be sharin', and if you takin' carin' then you will get back home.
▲ Vedauwoo is known for its off-width cracks and mild weather, not to mention the great views from climbing sites. This is how one group decided to share their knowledge of compasses at this year’s Youth Education Program (YEP) Teen Camping and Climbing Getaway. The duo went on to explain how to use a compass and then let us practice our newfound skills as dusk descended on the campground. Another group taught us how to hang a bear bag in a tree and properly dispose of human waste.
The Teen Camping and Climbing Getaway started one year ago with a trip to Eleven-Mile Canyon, Colorado. This year’s group established camp in Vedauwoo, Wyoming. The goals behind the getaway are to get youth away from their usual surroundings and into nature, build leadership awareness and skills, and do some serious climbing. After the presentations, we found our way to our campsite where a couple of students built a fire; then we made banana boats (banana, chocolate chips, and marshmallows melted into a gooey mess on the campfire). Then, it was typical teenager talk: funny stories, recollections of past experiences at climbing camp, what to climb tomorrow, and who brought the best non-essential item. Most students who attend the getaway have been with YEP for years and have taken many of the summer courses offered. However, it is open to anyone who is interested. One student who joined us this year had never been camping or climbing before. Another student had just moved from California and was looking to make new friends. Others were simply excited to get away from their parents and fill their summer with some fun. Instructors teach the basics of camping and climbing. The kids can also learn the more advanced skills and concepts of the outdoors, if they wish. As they learn about something specific, they are asked to share their knowledge with the group. Sometimes that means a simple presentation, while other times we get some creative entertainment. When asked to identify his most memorable moment from the getaway, Andrew Nilles, 15, answered, “...When I climbed the Potato Chip slab with Kip in Vedauwoo and we rappelled down. The rope got stuck and we thought we were going to have to cut it. We were all exhausted, and it made me so happy when we finally got it free.” There’s always a little adventure waiting in the great outdoors. △ The Camping and Climbing Teen Getaway is one of many summer adventure courses being offered by YEP. For more info on the YEP school year and summer programs, visit www.cmc.org/yep.
For the Kids
CMC Receives $25,000 to prevent Nature Deficit Disorder and Fight Obesity in Youth By Brenda Porter, CMC Director of Education
In October, the CMC’s Youth Education Program (YEP) was awarded $25,000 by the Sprint Foundation. One of two nonprofit grant recipients in the Denver area, YEP was selected by a committee of Sprint employees because of its ability to provide outdoor activities with health benefits to 5,000 youth annually. Rock climbing, hiking, snowshoeing, and team-building activities help prevent Nature Deficit Disorder, fight childhood obesity, and provide leadership and social-competency skill development. Students learn through fun
activities that foster understanding of academic subjects, self-awareness, and cooperation. YEP also succeeded in Sprint’s competitive grant process because of its strong volunteer program. Last year, 146 volunteers provided vital support and mentoring to youth. Through direct grants and a robust matching-gifts program for employees and retirees, the Sprint Foundation creatively and thoughtfully delivers Sprint’s commitment to championing the communities where Sprint customers and employees live. △ Trail & Timberline
CMC Stewardship 2010 An Interim Report
By Lisa Cashel, CMC Land Partnerships Manager
The Colorado Mountain Club’s stewardship program continues to grow across the state, both in size and scope. CMC groups have initiated projects with local, state, and federal land managers in their regions; the state office is working to identify and strengthen partnerships with these land managers, CMC groups, and partner organizations in our key conservation landscapes. Volunteerism and collaboration are the glue that hold our stewardship program together and, for that, we thank our 2010 trail crew leaders, volunteers, and land management partners. Over 300 club members volunteered over 3,200 hours on more than 80 different workdays between May and October. These numbers represent conservative estimates, as not all groups have reported as of press time. Project partners included the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Colorado State Parks, and other agencies. The inkind value of CMC members’ time amounted to over $68,000. In addition, new crew leaders received certification through the Outdoor Stewardship Institute’s Crew Leader Training program, after participating in
two-day trainings offered in Golden, Grand Junction, and Colorado Springs. CMC staff continue to work on access issues, mapping the Lincoln Ice Falls approach route before the snows fall, and pursuing conversations with land owners on access to Mount Bross. The club installed a new kiosk with three beautiful map and interpretive panels at Kite Lake to educate users about the Mount Bross closure and sustainable routes to the summits of mounts Lincoln, Cameron, and Democrat. Due to the prioritization of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded projects on federal lands, many of the CMC’s state volunteer-based trail and restoration projects were put on hold until 2011. On Engineer Mountain and Blanca Peak, these include social trail closure, signage, alpine restoration, and trail construction. Our work on Wilson Peak will conclude in 2011 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, after completion of the process needed to open the Rock of Ages trail that leads to the summit of this popular fourteener. The conservation department is actively recruiting trip leaders for a new conserva-
tion hike series, to be launched during the winter of 2010-11. We envision a growing constituency for our conservation program, inspired and educated through field trips to priority landscapes where we advocate for land protection, recreation access, and resource stewardship. Finally, the CMC welcomes Lisa Cashel as our new Land Partnerships Manager. Lisa is the first conservation department staff member to focus on our emerging stewardship program. She will be directing the state program by coordinating projects across Colorado, and linking volunteers with key conservation landscapes within our campaigns to protect wild places and restore the quiet experience. She is also working to support our groups by marketing our stewardship volunteer opportunities, creating a resource toolbox, and developing a grant program specifically for the groups. △ For more information about the CMC's conservation program, stewardship, or to get involved, visit www.cmc.org/stewardship.
A Smashing Success
The 18th Annual Backcountry Bash By Jay Heeter, CMC Campaigns Coordinator
The 18th annual Backcountry Bash was a storming success, with over 300 skiers, snowboarders, and other revelers attending the event on November 13 at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden to kick off the ski season. Some members of the Aspen, Gore Range, and Friends of Routt Backcountry groups traveled from as far away as Carbondale, Edwards, and Steamboat Springs. While munching wholesome grub and quaffing local brews, CMCers scored sweet deals at the silent and live auctions. Stellar bargains were had on items ranging from K2’s hottest skis to 10th Mountain Hut Division trips, Backcountry Access beacons, and a Telluride ski and stay package. CMC member and outdoor gear representative Tom Gordon said, “A lot of companies are more than happy to donate gear to a solid program like CMC’s Backcountry Snowsports Initiative. The kind of education and outreach work BSI does is fundamental to backcountry winter sports, to 10
Trail & Timberline
▲ Legendary extreme skier Chris Davenport was in attendance to present his new ski film, "Australis: An Antarctic Ski Odyssey." ◀ Another successful live auction helped raise over $28,000 for the Backcountry Snowsports Initiative.
Hidden No More
Congressman Polis Introduces Wilderness Bill for Colorado
September 29, 2010, was an historic day for Colorado’s wildlife and wilderness aficionados. On that Wednesday evening, with wilderness supporters watching from the balcony of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado’s Second Congressional District introduced a new wilderness bill: The Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act. The bill is the result of years of hard work by the Colorado Mountain Club and our partner organizations, under the title “Hidden Gems.” Though Congressman Polis’ bill diverges from the original vision in some ways, it is certain that there would be no bill today without the hard work of CMC members. From mapping biologically sensitive areas to conducting on-the-ground surveys of the land, from negotiating with user groups and other stakeholders to holding public hearings, the journey has been long and rewarding. The new bill, if passed by the House and Senate and signed by the President, would protect 166,000 acres of public lands. Of that acreage, 90,000 would be protected as wilderness, with the balance representing other protection designations that guard the land from most resource extraction threats. “After working extensively with stakeholders and examining the areas in question trail-by-trail, I am proud to introduce this legislation that has gained support and backing from the community,” Congressman Polis said in a press release. Members of the CMC have advocated for the Hidden Gems bill for years, writing countless letters, making phone calls to decision makers and fellow members, and at-
By Jay Heeter, CMC Campaigns Coordinator
tending intense public meetings. “Some of those public meetings were not what I would call polite discourse,” said Lee Moosburger, a member of the Gore Range Group. “We had to say to ourselves, ‘This is important. These are places our members have been visiting for decades. If people can’t be polite and talk about protecting them, well, we’ll just keep trying.’” In the end, all that public support won out over a few loud voices who would not give up their private interests for the public good. Many of the special places that would be protected under the introduced legislation are frequented by the club’s members. In fact, some members attended hikes of the areas this past summer, helping to guide locals into the wilderness surrounding their communities. Nickie Kelly of the Boulder group helped to lead a hike in the proposed Ute Pass Wilderness Area on August 29. The group of CMC members and other locals breathed fresh air, took in the vistas, ate wild blueberries, and
snapped pictures of abundant mushrooms. “These places are beautiful and so fragile,” said Kelly. “It’s a pleasure to be able to take people up here and see them get inspired to take action. Congressman Polis introduced this bill because he heard from his constituents. People getting involved is what it takes to make sure our most special lands are protected.” The next step for Colorado Mountain Club members interested in supporting this and other wilderness bills is to contact their senators and representatives. Newly elected Congressman Scott Tipton in the Third Congressional District needs to hear from his constituents on the wilderness proposal in his district, dubbed “Hidden Gems 2.0.” Neither Senator Udall nor Senator Bennet has yet introduced legislation in the Senate to protect areas in Hidden Gems 2.0 or Rep. Polis' bill. Members can find contact information for their senators and representatives at www.congress.org. △ ▲ McCullough Gulch, near the Tenmile proposed wilderness area. ◀ Director of Conservation Bryan Martin and Campaigns Coordinator Jay Heeter spent time in Washington, D.C., for Wilderness Week. ◀◀ The map of the Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act, many years in the making and now introduced before Congress. Trail & Timberline
say nothing of the vital land protection work they also do.” The Backcountry Snowsports Initiative is Colorado’s largest human-powered winter recreation advocacy program. CMC member and longtime backcountry advocate Lee Rimel commented, “CMC’s Backcountry Snowsports Initiative is a voice for those who love our quiet winter backcountry. Colorado’s backcountry needs advocates, and it finds advocates in CMC’s members.” Many of those members have worked for years on winter backcountry management issues. Leslie Lovejoy, chair of CMC’s Friends of Routt Backcountry Group, is working with the Forest Service and other users of the Routt National Forest to see that winter play areas are well-managed. “Backcountry skiing is rapidly increasing in popularity, which is great” said Lovejoy, “but unfortunately many of our favorite backcountry locations are threatened by rampant, unregulated motorized vehicle use. We need to make sure backcountry skiers and snowshoers understand the threats and organize themselves to meet them.” Since a controversial rule change made in 2005, snowmobiles have been exempted from the rules that govern the use of summer offhighway vehicles. Now, the north Routt region, considered the backyard for the Friends of Routt Backcountry group, is faced with a new project that would put snowmobile trails and parking lots in the heart of traditionally non-motorized terrain. The CMC’s conservation department supports substantial changes to that project and advocates that the Forest Service implement comprehensive travel management planning for winter activities. Across Colorado in situations like this, BSI is working to create good policy and strong enforcement for our public lands in the winter months. One ardent supporter of BSI’s work is extreme skier Chris Davenport. Near the conclusion of the evening, enthusiastic party goers
sat down for a showing of Davenport’s new film, “Australis: An Antarctic Ski Odyssey.” Davenport stars in and directed the movie. “I’m always happy to support CMC and BSI,” said Davenport. “It’s a great program, doing important work. The world’s backcountry faces so many threats, it always inspires me to see people come together to support it.” CMC members heartily supported the Colorado’s backcountry at the Bash, raising more than $28,000 for BSI. Just as importantly, a good time was had by all. △
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co m ods.
Dale Johnson Receives Ellingwood Award The Ellingwood Mountaineering Achievement Award is given to those members who best reflect the CMC’s climbing ethics, demonstrate and teach strong climbing skills, and who push the boundaries of climbing accomplishments in Colorado and around the world. This year’s recipient is Boulder group member Dale Johnson. The 1950s and 1960s were the golden age of rock climbing in Colorado and Dale Johnson pioneered seven first ascents during those decades, among them the Second Buttress of the North Face of Hallets, the South Face of the Matron, and the Red Garden Wall in Eldorado Canyon. Dale was the second to climb Shiprock in the Navajo Nation, and narrowly missed the first opportunity to climb the Diamond on Longs Peak when two California climbers got the first permit from the National Park Service.
His climbing biography includes climbs in New Zealand, East Africa, Peru, Canada, Nepal, Japan, Switzerland, and Italy. Dale joined the CMC while a student at the University of Colorado. There, he may have gained his most enduring fame by being the first to paint a “C” on the Third Flatiron. For fun, he also climbed the Third Flatiron in roller skates. Dale has led CMC trips to Peru, Kenya, New Zealand, Canada, and the European Alps. A successful businessman, Dale invented Frostline Kits, make-it-yourself gear popular in the 1960s and 1970s. He was also an ad-
By Gerald Caplan
venturous pilot and scuba diver. He has volunteered to pilot his plane for LightHawk, surveying territory for environmental groups. The CMC is proud to honor the accomplishments of one of its exemplary members. △
Walt Borneman Receives Blaurock Award By Gerald Caplan
The Blaurock Award recognizes CMC members who have invested substantial efforts to help the CMC, and whose leadership results in significant improvements to the club. This year’s recipient of the award is Walter R. Borneman. Walt, a member of the Longs Peak Group, joined the CMC in 1975. In 2003, he was elected to the Board of Directors of
the Colorado Mountain Club Foundation (CMCF); in 2006 he was named chair of the CMCF fundraising committee. The committee had as its goal raising $400,000, part of the cost to build and furnish the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden. In 2008, Walt became president of the CMCF and continued in his tireless efforts to raise money for the museum. He became a spokesman for the campaign, speaking at events throughout the state, meeting privately with donors, and encouraging everyone in the effort. The CMCF, under Walt’s tenure, raised $650,000 for the museum. The museum is now a showpiece of mountaineering history and the first of its kind in the nation. Because of his outstand-
ing leadership, he was awarded the Presidential Leadership Award from CMC president Janice Heidel. Walt has been active in other areas as well. Walt’s first book, A Climbing Guide to the Colorado Fourteeners, written with Lyndon Lampert, came out in 1978 and thousands of climbers have carried it in their packs to the top of fourteeners. Since then Walt has written nine other books, many of them histories published by major houses such as HarperCollins, Random House, and Little Brown. Walt was the founding chairman of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, a public/private effort to preserve Colorado’s peaks over fourteen thousand feet, and has been on the Board of Directors of the American Discovery Trail Society and Historic Georgetown. Walt is president of the Berry Foundation, a foundation that supports postdoctoral students at Stanford University School of Medicine. Walt Borneman is an outstanding club member and leader, and is a worthy recipient of the Carl Blaurock Award. △ Trail & Timberline
The Clinic Take Five for Safety Simple Steps for Mountain Travel By Brenda Porter, CMC Director of Education
Identify the hazards present
Observe the current environmental and human conditions
Make a plan
Communicate the plan
Stop and verbalize that the group needs a safety check
Thunder sounded in the distance, darkness was near, and Julie, a strong hiker, was now lagging behind. Cindy Gagnon, the trip leader, knew it was time to stop the group, assess the situation, and make a plan. 14
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Cindy was describing this trip to me while we were sitting together at a workshop about assessing hazards in the wilderness. We were among 350 outdoor leaders, attorneys, insurance agents, and program directors gathered to learn about and discuss our common issues at the annual Wilderness Risk Managers Conference organized by the National Outdoor Leadership School, Outward Bound, and the Student Conservation Association. Cindy continued her story. The group of eight hikers was at the saddle, about half a mile of steep climbing from the top of Bear Peak, their destination. They had gathered at 5 p.m. for a summer “Best of Boulder” after-work hike. There were three other CMC trip leaders in the group. Cindy asked them to observe and describe the changing weather and human conditions. After some discussion, Julie, a new CMC member, said that she was very afraid of the thunder because she had recently moved to Colorado and was used to conditions in the East. Cindy did some teaching about field weather forecasting in Colorado; they could see storm clouds to the southeast. The group made a plan to keep a close watch on the clouds and stay wary for lightning, but continue on to the summit. They agreed to turn back if it started to rain (as the rock scrambling at the top would be treacherous) or if anyone saw lightning. They reached the summit of Bear Peak and showed Julie how the storm was moving south of them. The group hiked back to the parking lot; they reached their cars at twilight, as rain started to fall. Cindy felt that the safety model presented in the workshop—entitled “Take Five for Safety”—was much like the decision-making process she used on the Bear Peak trip. It is a strategy that we can all use to make our trips safer, whether we are a trip leader or participant. I have modified the five step process for the CMC. The concept is simple: whenever there is a transition in trip activity or a change in people or environment, take the following steps: 1. Stop and verbalize that the group needs to do a safety check. 2. Observe the current environmental and human conditions. 3. Identify the hazards present. 4. Make a plan. 5. Communicate the plan. The goal is for everyone in the group to be involved in the process, not just for the leader to assess the situation. This is a great teaching process for participants and helps to develop a culture of safety throughout the Colorado Mountain Club. So, the next time you’re out in the mountains, remember that a few moments of consideration can lead to a safe summit and safe return—and a lasting memory. △ Trail & Timberline
▲ The Wicklow Way, Ireland
▲ The Sphinx, Transylvania, Romania
▲ Kamchatka's Volcanoes, Russia
Left to Right: Courtesy of Ian Stehbens; Mickael UNG; Lost World, Ltd.
Colorado is a spectacular place to live. But, there’s more to this world than our famed Rocky Mountains. What better way to see far-flung worlds, experience distant lands, and climb the summits of unfamiliar territory than with someone you know and trust? That’s what the Colorado Mountain Club offers with its Adventure Travel program. So, here we sample a few of the most impressive destinations the club has to offer. Climb to the crater rim of volcanoes, wander along the bucolic ways of Ireland, steep yourself in the rich history, culture, and lore of Romania’s Transylvania. And, do it with friends. 16
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Land of Fire and Ice Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula
August 18 – September 3, 2011 $1,900 - $2,900 Led by Mike Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
By Valerie Miller half century to visit Kamchatka—one of five major geothermal areas in the world, and a main link in the Earth’s ring of fire. In 1996, the Volcanoes of Kamchatka was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it was expanded in 2001. It now encompasses about 30 active and 300 extinct volcanoes. If all those volcanoes aren’t exciting enough, the area is also known for having one of the highest densities of brown bear in the world, estimated at between 8,000 and 10,000 bears. The reason for this rich and
wild environment? Blame Soviet military secrecy surrounding the peninsula. Because of it, the wildlife population of the region was able to flourish. The bears of Kamchatka aren’t just any bears: they are known for their large size, some exceeding 1,800 pounds. Despite these intimidating dimensions, the species is know to have a generally peaceful disposition, with very few documented attacks on humans. Welcome to the land of fire and ice... and bears. Courtesy of Lost World, Ltd. (2)
At the far eastern edge of Russia, the Kamchatka Peninsula is one of the most remote regions of the world. As recently as 20 years ago, the region was closed to the public— that included Russia’s own people. Because of its isolation, the peninsula is home to some of the most pristine wilderness in the world. Incidentally, it’s also one of the most actively volcanic regions on Earth. In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, westerners and other outsiders were permitted for the first time in over a
▲ Mutnovsky Volcano With the CMC - August 2011 The group will access the region in giant, sixwheeled buses that are able to travel through the wilderness, where there are very few roads and, certainly, no paved ones. During the trip, we will climb three of the region’s volcanoes, including an ascent of the still-active Mutnovsky Volcano. With a nest of merged craters, Mutnovsky is perhaps the most beautiful volcanic phenomenon in Kamchatka. The view from its summit is magnificent, with steep walls surrounding the vast and deep crater lake, framed by hissing steam vents, jets of superheated water, and rocketing plumes of smoke. Everywhere there is the deafening roar of volcanic madness and exhilarating rumbles underfoot. In addition to exploring the volcanoes, we’ll have ample opportunity to relax in thermal
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Courtesy of Lost World, Ltd.
hot springs and Russian saunas. Along the way, we’ll see some of the area’s abundant wildlife, including the legendary brown bear and Steller’s sea eagle. The journey also offers a fascinating cultural component: an opportunity to meet and learn about the indigenous people that have lived in Kamchatka for thousands of years. One day of the trip will include a drive to the settlement of Esso, home to the Evens people, one of four indigenous peoples of Kamchatka. There, we will visit the local museum to learn something of their culture and partake in a welcome dinner with an Even folk concert. On another day we will visit a local farmer for a folk concert in a yurt; we will have a farewell party sampling various seafood dishes and drinking Russian vodka and homemade balsam. Very few places on earth offer the visitor such a unique combination of pristine wilderness, abundant wildlife, geologically active surroundings, and fascinating local peoples.
Out You Go Volcanoes One of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world, Kamchatka boasts a high density of active volcanoes, a variety of types, and a wide range of related features. The most famous might be Mutnovsky Volcano, a composite stratovolcano with a large twin crater at its summit; the craters have lakes in them. Eruptions occurred between 1945 and1952, again in 1960, and the latest in 2000 when gas and steam plumes reached 1,000 meters above the volcano. Peoples The Evens people fish, hunt, and herd reindeer. They were traditionally nomads, but now live in two villages, and comprise only 30
percent of the total indigenous population of Kamchatka. They have a Mongolian origin, distinguished by their almond-shaped eyes. They are an offshoot of the Ewenki, another indigenous people, both linguistically and culturally. Formerly known as the Lamut (a term meaning "ocean people" in Even), the Evens live generally to the east of the Ewenki, occupying mostly the coastal areas along the Sea of Okhotsk. Like the Ewenki, the Evens absorbed an earlier population believed to be related to the Yukagirs, from which they adopted certain linguistic and cultural traits. Today there are about 17,000 Evens people, but only about
Ireland's Wicklow Way By Janet Martel What comes to mind when you think of Ireland? Pints of Guinness? Leprechauns? Potatoes? Well, how about mountains, upland lakes, steep-sided glacial valleys, fastflowing mountain streams, forests, and farmland? The Wicklow Way offers all of the above, perhaps with the exception of leprechauns. Established in 1981, the 82-mile trail passes through the mountains and uplands of Wicklow, Dublin, and Carlow counties, in the east of Ireland. The northern terminus of the trail sits at Marlay Park in Rathfarnham in south Dublin city. The southern terminus of the trail rests in the village of Clonegal. In its middle section the trail passes through the Glenmalure and Glendalough valleys, both known for their interesting history. Nature lovers enjoy the trail for the bountiful species of flowers, sedges, grasses, ferns, hardwoods, and evergreens that can 18
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be found in Wicklow Mountains National Park. And no Irish trek would be complete without its history: ancient monasteries, rock tombs, cairns, druid rings, millstones, rock art depicting long-forgotten tales—all can be found along the route. Certainly, the iconic landscape of the Emerald Isle has
7,000 are fluent speakers of their language (the others having adopted Russian or Yakut). Wildlife The region contains an especially diverse range of arctic flora (including a number of nationally threatened species and at least 16 endemics), and bird species such as the Stellar’s Sea Eagle (50 percent of the world’s population), white tailed eagle, gyr falcon, and peregrine falcon, which are attracted to the availability of spawning salmon. The rivers inside and adjacent to the World Heritage Site contain the world’s greatest known diversity of salmonid fish. All 11 species coexist in several of Kamchatka’s rivers.
June17 – 27, 2011 $1,842 Led by Janet Martel email@example.com
something to offer as well. The Wicklow Mountains are formed from a granite mass that is the largest in northwestern Europe. And, though Ireland has been settled for over 1,500 years, vast stretches of wilderness still exist; the Wicklow Way passes through the heart of it.
Courtesy of Superbass
With the CMC - June 2011 The typical day? After a hearty Irish breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon, potatoes, tea, coffee, juice, and fried tomatoes, you might just want to climb back under the down comforter of your bed. Alas, you'd be missing one of the nine full days of adventure, history, scenery, and exercise that comprise the Wicklow Way trek. Just think how much you’ll need the exercise after all that good food. Lucky for you, drivers will transport our luggage to the next village as we cruise on foot over hill and dale, a daypack as your only burden. The trail will often take us over rivers, and through forests, farms, mountains, and villages. Lunch will be taken in one of the many pubs in the villages that dot our way. In June, the long days of summer will be upon us; so, we have 16 hours or more of daylight to get to our next destination. Covering between 8 and 10 miles per day, we’ll have ample time to absorb the Irish mystique, or adventure off the main path to take side trips.
Out You Go Irish Charm The Wicklow Way is more than a hiking trail, it’s a path through the unique charms of Ireland. Visit Osborne's Pub, near 400-year-old Huntington Castle, with its bar counter made of coffin lids. Explore 200-yearold barracks that have seen action as everything from military compounds during the failed Irish Rebellion, to reformatories during the Potato Famine in 1850, to an orphanage during World War II. Brush up on your Gaelic by trying to
decipher the waymark signs: Knocknacloghoge or Cnoc an Eanaigh. Glendalough Perhaps medieval sites are more to your liking. The ruins of Glendalough, a sixth century monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin, a hermit priest, rest along the Wicklow Way. The remains comprise some of the more remarkable monuments in the entire country. Granite arches, round towers, cathedrals, and numerous churches are scattered about the
Walking in Dracula’s Shadow Trekking in Transylvania
glacial valley, the “Glen of Two Lakes.” Lugnaquilla At 3,035 feet, "Lug," as it is affectionately known, is the highest peak in the Wicklow Mountains, and the thirteenth highest in Ireland. From its summit on a clear day, views extend east across the Irish Sea to the hills of the Llŷn Peninsula and mountains of Snowdonia in Wales, and west to the mountains of County Munster. It’s name comes from the Irish Log na Coille, meaning "hollow of the wood.”
July 21 – August 1, 2011 $2,227 Led by Linda Ditchkus firstname.lastname@example.org
By Linda Ditchkus The last fragments of orange dissolved from the sky, leaving the trekker gazing into the purple remains of the Transylvanian sunset. He turned from his solitary perch to face the imposing Saxon church that dominated the highest point of the citadel. Now in shadow, the restored church looked much the same as when it was built in the 17th century. Heavily buttressed to keep safe the treasure of Gothic altars and murals, it was bolted shut to deter uninvited evening guests. He zipped his fleece jacket against the evening chill and headed toward the top of the covered stairway that connected the sentry point over the town walls and the medieval village of Sighişoara below. Startled by the quickness of enveloping darkness, he realized the other visitors on the lookout had
long since departed. He hurried toward the glow of lights inside the staircase. He had counted each of the 175 steps when climbing the hill just an hour earlier; a leisurely pause on each landing had afforded views of the town’s needle spires and towers. His dawdling ascent would now be contrasted with a sprint back to the town. Upon reaching the top stair, he instinctively reached for the railing; the back of his neck tingled as he felt some-
thing pass over the top of his outstretched hand. Was it the remnants of a cobweb or ▼ Bran Castle
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With the CMC - July 2011 The CMC’s Trekking in Transylvania trip is not simply about ghost stories and ghouls. Transylvania offers breathtaking mountain scenery and rich cultural heritage. Nearly 1,000 miles in length, the Carpathian Mountains are the second longest range in Europe and arc across eight countries. The largest portion of the range is within Romania and many of the more dramatic peaks are in the region of Transylvania. The itinerary includes climbs of several high points in the range, including Moldoveanu, Romania’s high point at 8,346 feet. The climbs will provide views of the visual gems unique to the Transylvanian landscape. For example, along the Bucegi Plateau the wind and rain have turned mammoth rocks into spectacular figures such as the Sphinx and Babele. Wildlife sightings are likely and may include wolves, bear, and lynx, which are elusive but still inhabit the remote Romanian wilderness. Accommodations will range from clean and cozy three-star hotels to the Podragu Chalet, a nicely appointed rustic mountain hut with running water and indoor toilets. Other highlights of accommodation will be two nights in the quaint restored Saxon village, Malancrav, and a night in a charming chalet next to the glacial Bâlea Lake. This trip was designed to appeal to travelers who want more than a hike in a foreign country. The extremely friendly Romanian people will provide a deeper knowledge of how the Romanians, Magyars (Hungarians), Germans, and Gypsies coexist in this land of breathtaking mountain views, lively music, hearty cuisine, and rich culture. Perhaps, in looking back, participants may also suffer a faint quiver when recalling thoughts of mystery and horror about Transylvania’s famous resident, Count Dracula.
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the remaining stairs, his heart beating as if it would break free from his chest. The echo of his pounding footfalls rumbled in his ears. His pace did not slow until he stumbled into the restaurant, red-faced and gasping for breath. A wooden cutout of a life-size, cartoonish Dracula stood sentry just inside the door. This campy character was not frightening, he mused, chastising himself for his earlier fear. As he rushed toward the fire blazing in the stone fireplace, his gaze rose above the carved mahogany mantel. He spotted an ancient oil painting, cracked and dusty from years of display. The scene depicted a 15th-century battlefield soon after the Romanians had won
the battle and the fighting had ceased. The Romanian forces and their Ottoman Turk captives were being directed by the Romanian leader Vlad Dracul III, known to many as Vlad the Impaler. Vlad was the most prominent figure, depicted larger than all the other military figures. He was orchestrating the hideous torture of the captive Turks; his methods for disposing of soldiers were wellknown, designed to deter any uncaptured Turks from engaging in future battles. The trekker turned away from the painting in squeamish disgust. With a shrug of his shoulders, he surmised that Sighişoara, as the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, deserved to have its share of ghosts. Top: Courtesy of Mihaiteo; Bottom: Courtesy of www.podragu.ro
the caress of an early evening breeze? Perhaps nothing at all, he thought, as he smiled and shrugged off the incident as part of an active imagination. Nevertheless, he shoved his hands protectively into his pockets and started down the stairs two at a time. His pace slowed as he neared a turn in the staircase. He shook his head, attempting to rid himself of dark thoughts. Instead, he would focus on a dinner of hearty Romanian specialties and the camaraderie of the other hikers awaiting him in the cozy, fire-lit pub below. Eerie silence was pierced by beating wings from the rafters above. Instinctively, he crouched and covered his head, but his delay lasted only an instant. His desire to be free of the claustrophobic covered stairs surpassed the urge to cocoon himself against the evil of the night. He leapt to his feet and careened down
▲ Bâlea Chalet ▼ Podragu Chalet
Out You Go World Heritage While trekking in Transylvania, participants will visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The first is Sighişoara, founded by German craftsmen and merchants known as the Saxons of Transylvania. Famous as the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, this walled city has a mighty clock tower and the renowned Scholars’ Stairs leading up to the aforementioned 17th-century Saxon church. The second World Heritage Site is in Biertan, which lays claim to Transylvania’s best Saxon fortified church. Completed in the 16th century, the church is positioned high on a hilltop and fortified with two and a half rings of protective walls. Biertan is connected to the hilltop church by a covered stairway, similar to the covered stairway in Sighişoara. Climb to the top if you dare. Daytime ascents are recommended. Castles Scheduled visits to other Transylvanian hot spots include a tour of Bran Castle. Built between 1377 and 1382, the castle is perched on a rocky bluff and is locally referred to as “Dracula’s Castle”; however, the connection to Vlad Dracul is rather murky. A visit to the richly decorated Peles Castle (built in 1875 in the style of a romantic Bavarian castle) is planned while in Sinaia, a ski resort nestled in the shadow of the
breathtaking Bucegi mountains. Music and Culture Participants won't want to miss the opportunity to explore Transylvania’s cultural offerings. Popular Romanian music ranges from modern rock and roll, to worldrenowned classical music, to the wild melodies of Hungarian and Gypsy origin. Common country people still proudly wear the traditional Transylvanian folk costumes: rich, vibrant colors in intricately embroidered blouses and thick woolen skirts and leggings. Romanian food is hearty and heavily influenced with earthy mushrooms, fragrant cheeses, and spices such as garlic, thyme, and tarragon. Transylvania is also known for world-class wines and sophisticated brandies distilled from plums, apples, or pears.
Colorado's Mountains are
By designating the CMC or the CMC Foundation in your will, your investment in them lives on. Join the 21st Century Circle today. Contact our Development Director at 303-996-2752 to learn more about planned giving. Trail & Timberline
HopeandPeaceandpain Found on the Walkerâ€™s Haute Route | Chamonix to Zermatt Text and Photography by Chris Case
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Of walkers, Robert Louis Stevenson said, “He who is of the brotherhood does not voyage in quest of the picturesque, but of certain jolly humours—of the hope and spirit with which the march begins at morning, and the peace and spiritual repletion of the evening's rest. He cannot tell whether he puts his knapsack on, or takes it off, with more delight.” chamonix We arrive by train from Paris, late in the afternoon rain. Brianna and I are traveling like the rather strapped fans of spontaneity that we are. What to do? Well, there’s finding a cheap place to sleep and a cheap place to eat. And then there’s wandering in Chamonix. We wander a bit; European villages are best discovered through the art of impulsive choice. Why worry about later when you can feel good about what you’re doing now? Eventually we find Hotel Le Boule de Neige. Just maybe, the Hotel Snowball is the same place I stayed years earlier, when passing through Chamonix (having traveled over the Alps from Italy by a series of big téléphérique and small télécabine) before heading to Barcelona. The Snowball has everything we need, which at this point is a well-built roof; the rains are still trickling. We’re shown to our room: we have Mont Blanc views, and the crisp Alpine air blowing through the window allows for a warm, mummified sleep in the down duvet. We dream of backpacks. Day 1 || Chamonix to Trient We’re treated to homemade banana pancakes in the morning. Then, it looks to be a fine day for some walking. Chamonix to Argentière to Le Tour to Col de Balme. Before you begin, the names don’t mean so much—they’re just foreign names that you may even have a hard time pronouncing. Then, you spend all day climb-
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ing toward these names, these places, reading them over and over again in your guidebook, on the trail signs, buildings, and alpine huts. Then, you’re in these names, in these places, and they become something: they become your own discoveries. You’ll never forget their sound, their sight, that feeling of freedom. So many more places to absorb. We cross the border from France to Switzerland at Col de Balme. Brianna’s mysterious knee pain commences somewhere on that first ascent. Over hours of descending, the pain level increases to what we’ve dubbed “threat level nine.” Reluctantly, we let it dawn on us: The entire trip is, as unimaginable as it may seem, in jeopardy. Do we abort? Already? We limp down the neon green grasses into Switzerland and the Trient Valley, stumble through the scattered homes of Le Peuty, and reach the village of Trient and its one accommodation, the Relais du Mont Blanc. As we try to find beds, confusion ensues: a concoction of language troubles, unfamiliar customs, and chaos in the combination dining room/reception desk/bar/convenience store. Perhaps it's because I don’t speak French, and Brianna, who does, can’t feel her knee, her leg, or her tongue at this point. Alas, we get beds, a fine dinner, and more. As we eat, we eavesdrop on the strangest trilingual family dynamic that we’ve ever witnessed, including a dinner-time, pants-unbuttoned belly rub by the young mother. An American man speaks English to his German-speaking son and wife. They
respond in German. He speaks to the waitress in French. Occasionally, the parents converse in fluent German. Sometimes, the father would make the son speak French to the waitress. It is hard to comprehend. For all their conversation and intelligence, their entire dynamic is awkward. They don’t seem enthusiastic about life, or each other. Come to think of it, Brianna doesn’t either, given her knee has exploded (or is it imploded) on this, the first of 13 days of Alpine trekking. A British man is left at the bar by his hiking compatriots. He orders two more beers and two more shots of whiskey and sits quietly by himself. We’re off to bed, avoiding the obvious. Day 2 || Trient to Champex Lac Sticker shock. Swiss extortion. We learn that dortoir must mean “little for lots” in French. We pay 70 CHF (Swiss Francs; about $70) per person to sleep on a 2-inch thick mattress next to 14 strangers. We put those terrible thoughts behind us. We are in Switzerland. It is beautiful. We debate the terrible thought of bro▶ The scarred valley carved by the Glacier du Trient, near the village of Trient. ▼ The shifting mist and light from the balcony of the Cabane du Mont Fort, on day 4 of our trek.
ken anatomy. Our procrastination is aided by the communal computer in the corner. Where should we go? Zurich? Rome? Hell, Prague isn’t that far away. A short search for train tickets across Europe leads us nowhere: We both know what we really want to do is move on, onto the trail, outside, up the path, through the pastures, over the col, onto the next valley, and on. We get our packs and start walking somewhere, desperate not to stop. Finally, the ubiquitous yellow-signed junction forces a decision. Do we proceed? Do we veer off course and toward a bus link? “F*** it!” Let’s do this.” She is angry at her knee. At 5 feet 2 inches, 110 pounds, Brianna is a force to be reckoned with. We continue upward; she’s just committed to 12 days of various amounts of pain. Me? I’ve just let her. We head for the Fenêtre d’Arpette, a ragged col some 4,457 feet above where we now stand, alongside a magnificent scene: the Glacier du Trient. We borrow a branch from the side of the trail; young people never start with trekking poles. The scenery, the stick, the sensation of being lost far from home bring the pain down to level two. Over the col, we head down to Champex Lac in the rain. The long day is saved
by the mighty stick. We eat a Swiss favorite, rösti, made of potatoes, cheese, bacon, onions, and tomatoes and it is just right: It is warm, and it is filling. We only slightly wince at the price. We transfer weight from pack to pack, hers to mine. I scold Brianna for bringing reading material. That’s because she has chosen one of her favorite books to bring along: the 6-pound unabridged translation of “The Count of Monte Cristo.” It gets left at the campground treasure bin. Look for it when next you’re trekking through Champex. Goodbye, Count. Hello, knee. Day 3 || Champex to Vilette From Champex Lac we stroll along grassy trails, passing back and forth with what sound like an American young man (with his New York Yankees hat) and a British young lady. We’re strolling through beautiful pastures and working villages, passing by understandably gruff Swiss lumberjacks. It’s all a pleasure to see. We get caught in the rain again, so the rain gear goes on. The sun comes out; the rain gear comes off. Dark clouds; rain gear on. Winds pick up, rains turn to downpour. Now it’s the hood-down, wet-stare walk. Of
course, the skies clear, and the heat builds. The rain gear comes off. We reach the day’s terminus village and, again, we find ourselves wandering, this time through rustic Le Châble. There’s meant to be a bed and breakfast here, but we’re too foreign to find it. Along the way we spy the hay in people’s garages, stilted homes from the 1600s, and the character of this Swiss hamlet, defined by its craftsmanship, tidiness, humble proportions. Nothing here feels large or daunting or pretentious. At the only hotel we can find, Hotel du Gietroz, across the river in Vilette, we consume an exquisite dinner of lamb in a burgundy sauce, a fried mountain of polenta, soup, salad, and chocolate mousse. And we thought we were going to live inexpensively. And eat poorly. And sleep in a tent. And dine on bread and cheese and chocolate. But we can’t. And we’re fine with that. Day 4 || Vilette to Cabane du Mont Fort We start the day with a bang: Stolen walking stick! Fantastically, the trail climbs quite steeply. And it does so for five hours. We spot a girl coming up behind us as we’ve stopped for a snack of Toblerone and fine, Swiss potato chips. It seems to be the Trail & Timberline
same British girl from the previous day. But where’s the Yankee? She greets us with bon jour and now we’re quite confused. Didn’t she hear us speaking English? Once past, Brianna and I discuss the possibilities. Is it a different girl? A doppelgänger? Are our eyes failing? Were the two of them not together in the first place? Finally, after much conjecture on this most serious of matters, I reckon he’s just being lazy (or suffering from an injury) and has taken the ski lift while she’s hiked. At the next trail junction, she happens to be there again, looking confused. I decide to inquire. Two points for me. It was the same 26
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girl we had seen the day before; and he was taking the lift. Turns out he had injured his groin. I mention his groin only because it makes for an interesting aside later in this tale; normally I wouldn’t talk about groins. Kerfuffle settled, Brianna and I push on and head toward Cabane du Mont Fort, amongst the clouds. That night, we see the two of them together again. I approach and tell the man that he is a rotten scoundrel for being lazy and taking the lift. We strike up a conversation and make new friends over dinner and card games. We learn the game of whist. Minus two points for me. Our new friends are Aashray Lal and Mandy Craw-
ford, both from Glasgow, Scotland. Ashray is of Indian descent; he spent his childhood in India, Saudi Arabia, London, and, now, Glasgow. Mandy is Glaswegian, through and through. They are young medical students. Mandy’s backpack must be big enough to carry Brianna in it the next day. Outside this stone-built alpine hut, the sky shifts from misty, backlit sunset to soupy fog bank and back again. Day 5 || Mont Fort to Cabane de Prafleuri We have breakfast with Aashray and Mandy, the first faces that have become familiar to us. They head out a few minutes before we do. When we leave, we see them coming
◀ For much of our fifth day, we stared at the dazzling vista of the Grand Combin―and hoped not to trip. ▼ After leaving Cabane du Mont Fort, we crossed through the rocky slopes that ibex and chamois call home. back towards the hut. “Getting a bit of a warm-up in before tackling the real route?” I ask. It turns out it wasn’t their first wrong turn. Lucky for us, we acquire new trekking partners on this, one of the finest days of our fortnight on the trail. We’re in known chamois and ibex territory, and in combination with the dangerously spectacular views, the lush green mountain slopes we’re coursing through nearly bring us to our knees. It’s all broccoli-green slopes merging with sinister tongues of glacial debris, whipped-cream snow bowls, and shark-teeth ridge lines. Then, passing from one valley to the next by another drastic col, it’s all barren metallics and glacier-scoured rock valleys. Meanwhile, it was getting warm and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go swimming in a glacial tarn. Yes, I did it for beer—a beer from each of the three witnesses. But, in the end, it was most satisfying to know that I just swam in 33-degree water in polar bear-themed boxer shorts in front of two near-complete strangers. For lunch we have a snowball fight, then make our way to Cabane de Prafleuri, where a liter and a half of water is a luxurious 8 CHF. I settle for three beers. We sleep next to 20 others, including the “hand man.” Without any barriers between mattresses, I give Brianna the wall slot. I deal with the man whose hand seems to creep ever closer to me throughout the night. I go to the bathroom and when I return? Yes, his hand is draped across my domain. Needless to say, Brianna stayed warm the rest of the night with a human blanket. Day 6 || Prafleuri to Arolla Without words, we’re now a group. We head out together, down past Lac des Dix, Pas du Chat, all the while learning about our new friends. They’ve both traveled quite a bit. Aashray has toured southeast Asia, trekked to base camp on Everest, visited cousins in Santa Cruz who say “oh...my...god” a lot. Mandy lived, worked, and wandered through Australia for six months, and has been skiing at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine with her primary school. To that I gasp, “Oh....my....god!” To fly across the Atlantic to ski at Sugarloaf seems mad. The Scottish don’t think it is particularly out of the ordinary, and then we learn how inexpensive it is for them to go just about anywhere in the world. Hence, their palmarès. I finally ask: it turns out they are not a couple, though they’ve known each other for a decade or so. Aashray comes from a long line of doctors. Mandy’s father is an accountant who works in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and takes the ferry from Scotland every week. We slowly work our way down to Arolla, having tackled another sharp ascent and descent which seems to roil the knee; they cruise ahead. We’ve finally found another place to camp—only our second opportunity to legally do so—while they stay at Hotel du Glacier for their last night on the trail. We meet for dinner. With their stay they receive a fine fourcourse meal; for us, it’s the savory melted cheese in a pot (fondly called fondue). We play no cards, but remain embroiled in conversation. We talk about what we like to cook and eat when we’re at home. We all agree that hummus is one of the best foods there Trail & Timberline
Winter Tradition Two Decades of Yellowstone in Winter
February 2 – 7, 2011 $1,060 – $1,190 Led by Polly Hays email@example.com
By Polly Hays Photography by Frank Burzynski
Yellowstone in Winter is a classic trip that the CMC has offered for over 30 years. What attracts club members time and time again, sometimes for a repeat trip? Let me count the ways. I had seen this trip advertised for several years. Each time I read about it there was a little tug—a voice inside that said, “Someday.” Then, two years ago, something inside shifted and I signed up for the trip. It turns out that Renee Howbert, the leader that year, had just made an important change to the itinerary by replacing the overnight bus ride with a daytime trip from Golden to Jackson, Wyoming. It was a change that, in retrospect, might have been what compelled me to action. My memories of the trip are many, but it’s hard to beat the anticipation and excitement of that brisk walk through the snow out to the geyser basin on the day of our arrival in the park. We arrived just in time to see Old Faithful shoot skyward in the fading 28
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pink light of late afternoon. Or, perhaps my fondest memory was made a couple of days later, when several of us made a ski excursion through the forest along Spring Creek: sun and shadow dappled the snow pillows along the banks. But, maybe the most exquisite experience was the moonlight walk through the Old FaithfuI geyser basin that I talked my roommate and a few others into one night. Sure, it was cold, but we were well rewarded for our efforts. The sounds of that eerie landscape—of burbling mudpots and steaming vents—were amplified by the dark of the night. The steam rising around us, occasionally swirling to obscure the moon, both spooked and amazed us. But it might be the balance of this trip that keeps people coming back. You have the opportunity to build camaraderie on outdoor adventures, during happy hours and meals; you have the chance to tailor each day’s snowy outings to your own skills and ability, as well as your energy level for
the day. For some, it’s about discovering a new season. “I never knew winter could be so fun,” observed one of last year’s participants. Well put. I had so much fun that first time, I went back for more as a leader of the trip the following year. And I’ll lead again this winter. The Snow Lodge at the Old Faithful Geyser basin serves as a luxurious basecamp for this adventure. Winter access to this portion of the park is via snowcoach only, so one of the treats of the trip is the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this landscape in the absence of the crowds that mob Old Faithful in the summer. Especially on that first trip, I made the short walk from the lodge over to Old Faithful many times, and often there were only a few others on hand to witness the splendor. Once in the park, I enjoyed the fact that there are numerous trails leaving right from the lodge. The snow coaches create even more opportunities by dropping ski-
ers or snowshoers at a variety of trailheads, allowing for a one-way return to the lodge. My first ski in the park was to Fairy Falls—an easy but long ski to a beautiful frozen waterfall. Our group couldn’t have done it if the snowcoach ride hadn’t cut off about 5 miles of the trip. Of course, the bison grazing at the trailhead did delay our start a bit, but luckily they wandered off down the trail in the opposite direction, so we had great photos and memories, and still got our ski in. Wildlife, especially bison and coyote, are common
in the geyser basin and if you’re lucky you may see moose, elk, or a trumpeter swan on the Firehole River. The beauty of Yellowstone in winter provides an unparalleled setting for skiing and snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, and geyser watching. Do it once, and you may agree with one of last year’s participants: “Yellowstone was grand and glorious, and I want to do it all over again.” △ Trail & Timberline
▶ The Cabane de Moiry (perched on the dark ridge line on the left) affords magnificent views of the glacier below. ▼ The gnarled face of Glacier de Moiry; the radiant blue waters of Lac Bleu. is. And, chocolate is also very special. We say goodbye and Brianna gets some Scottish pain ointments from Aashray. He had been putting them to good use on his groin; she will now slather them on her knee. It is of no concern to her. She seeks relief. We head down to the campground in the rain, in the dark, on a trail of mud in our sandals. A fellow camper has decided to set up his tent two feet away from our tent door, though there is a soccer pitch worth of grass to choose from. Good night. Day 7 || Arolla to La Sage We must travel back up to Arolla in the morning for its grocery store. A granite staircase makes for a fine breakfast nook, around the town square of ten quiet buildings. The day starts calmly, with a grassy stroll past Lac Bleu to Les Haudéres in the rain. I think we both miss our friends, though we don’t mention it. Without any large ascents this day, we’re each left strolling at our own pace, with our own thoughts, memories, and questions. Will we ever see our friends again? Should we plan a trip to Scotland to see our friends? Are they on Facebook? We make it to La Sage in the mist, and stay at an interesting cafe/restaurant/dortoir with few rooms, the only place in town. Is this a town? It’s maybe a hamlet, but it feels like the perfect place to have a home, and make a fire, and celebrate friendship. Well, you can’t have it all so early in life. Brianna gets grumpy after seeing a man walking around in his underwear and walking in on another in the shower room who forgot to lock the lock. She is more bashful than the wrinkly old men from the Old World seem to be. She also just doesn’t like seeing naked old men. Day 8 || La Sage to Cabane de Moiry We climb and climb out of La Sage, through more rain and mist, among long silky grasses, past shepherd villages, and weathered shacks with rock roofs. We climb above the cows, their pastures, and their shepherds, and find ourselves in a scree-filled basin near
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Col du Tsaté, at 9,400 feet. We eat what must be the world’s finest Snickers bar. My god, it is so...satisfying. Finally, we see the sumptuous sun down in the valley of Moiry. We work our way under the clouds, down to incredible views of the Glacier du Moiry, frozen in mid cataract from the roughhewn slopes of the valley’s head. Our elation doesn’t last long for once, as we notice the depressing views of the parking lot and bus stop that comes up from the other side of the valley. Our five hours of climbing should be rewarded with solitude, we vehemently argue. Instead, we find eroded trails and those evil bus-riding cheaters strewn about, relaxing with their picnic lunches. I find little satisfac-
tion in thinking about how much less satisfying their Snickers must taste since they haven’t climbed 5,000 vertical feet to get it. We try to relax; we remind ourselves that this isn’t the middle of Flat Tops Wilderness area. The Alps possess other qualities that make up for its lack of solitude. After lunch, spent off the main trail but directly in front of the majestic moraines and frozen milk of the catatonic glacial cascade, we forge up the short but relentlessly steep final pitch to Cabane du Moiry. An early 20thcentury stone hut fused with a 21st-century iron and glass dining room, anomalous among the rocks and ice and organic vistas, the hut sits just in front of and over the most
sheer slope of the crystalline blue glacial ice. The juxtaposition is difficult to comprehend, especially when you’re enjoying a vegetarian meal of beans and beets and beans with 12 other very hungry hikers. That evening, a few days removed from losing our Scottish friends, we form a new bond with “The Irish Ladies,” Kay and Nora. We had seen them for a number of days; unfortunately, we were focussed on another territory of the Commonwealth at the time. Kay is probably 45; Nora maybe a decade older. They are tough and tenacious and Irish. Day 9 || Cabane de Moiry to Zinal We set out early, down the jarring slopes Trail & Timberline
from Cabane de Moiry and out along the belvedere, hugging the contours high above the Aquafresh-colored waters of Lac de Moiry. Brianna is so excited by the color of the water that she decides to do a somersault off a cliff. I kid, of course. She was once prone to clumsiness; it happened to return here. Luckily, a rock stopped her from plummeting the 2,000 feet or so to the lake. We climb amongst the clouds and cows, to the Col de Sorebois, with glimpses of the ferocious Weisshorn. It’s another fine vista from which to enjoy Snickers and chips while perched on a rock. We end today, as we have many days in the past, with a descent into a small village in a picturesque valley, the chimes of church bells and the tinny thud of cow bells calling to us. Today, it’s Zinal. And, today, the de-
Day 10 || Zinal to Gruben Rain. We catch The Irish Ladies and learn they’ve managed to get a place to stay in Gruben, the next destination on our route. We had tried days earlier to reserve beds and were told there was no room. We stand there in the rain, in the woods, and bashfully place a mobile phone call. I can’t say I enjoy this jarring use of technology, but, lucky us, we now have a place to stay. And the rain continues. Brianna gets so excited about the rain, she decides to play slip-and-slide in a mud bank. I kid, of course. Her screeches alert me to her cartoonish troubles. Like a sprinting cat on linoleum, her strides amount to wasted energy and nothing more. Finally, after I’ve screamed instructions through the
Of course, I’m thinking, “We’re from Colorado. We live at the same elevation as this high mountain pass of yours.” We figure they are more local than the two of us and, thus, take pride in having a little fun with the foreign couple. We scramble up through the snow, which turns out to be nothing more than a thin, rimy coating. Nothing treacherous really, unless maybe if you happened to be carrying a mountain bike. As we pass over the Forcletta, we witness slightly clearing skies; but there are still no views. We emerge from the confines of the basin and enter another series of lonely shepherd villages, and on to Gruben and the Germanspeaking portion of the Swiss region of Valais. The tiny hamlet of Gruben is dominated by an intimidatingly large hotel, Hotel
scent is dizzying, with 100 switchbacks or more. I can only think, “I’m glad I’m not Brianna’s knee.” She looks a bit pale by the time we reach the town, but we find a market, and its entire aisle devoted to chocolate (a solid 30-foot section), is enough to revive her. Whereas in the U.S. you might be overwhelmed by the number of, say, toothpastes that you must choose from, the Swiss have flipped the paradigm on its head. You only really need one kind of toothpaste to brush after you’ve chosen from the 500 kinds of chocolate. I like it here. We search for the campground that’s said to be in town. No luck. We place a call to the tourist information office. “Is the campground still open?” I ask. “Um, it’s the summer.” I’ll take that as a “no.” We find the small but lovely Auberge Alpina, whose windowsill flower boxes neatly frame our views of the surrounding cirque. And then it was time for lasagna.
now-horizontal rain, she makes her way up under the tree I’ve found for cover. I compliment her mud-covered butt and admire the filth that drips from her pack. We pass the time by playing a word game, reciting back and forth a series of words whose first letter is A, then B, and so on, taking turns while adding a word each time. Artichoke. Balthasar. Cacophony. Deuteronomy... As the slope rises to the pass, we spot the first signs of snow and near a pair of German-speaking mountain bikers, halfnaked in the mist. They’re changing into dry clothes after having crested the pass, heading in the opposite direction from us. They are large men and they’ve just carried their bikes down from the snow-covered scree fields in the clouds. They smile, or maybe smirk, then ask us if we have schneeshuhe as they point in the direction of the fog-shrouded pass. They raise fingers stretched 6 inches apart. “Nein, nicht schneeshuhe,” I say, fumbling with the German word for snowshoes.
Schwarzhorn. We’re greeted by a wonderful cat that bounds to us, rolls for us, gets his fill of us, and runs from us as cats do. This fleeting moment of feline exuberance fills us with sheer joy, knowing that the innocence and enthusiasm of cats is shared the world over. Now we are exuberant. After plodding around bashfully with wet clothes and dirty boots, we find our room, a fine example of the simple yet finely crafted and handsome woodwork of our many Swiss accommodations. Brianna attracts more awkward moments: She knocks on the shared bathroom door and a naked man exits into the hallway to tell her he will be a minute; he then returns to the bathroom. She finds another shared bathroom in the lobby and quickly realizes that she is interrupting two people sharing a moment in the shower. I wonder if, with the change in language, we will note a change in menu, or decor, or personality. I don’t have to wait
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Vertical Epic The Tarahumara of Mexico's Copper Canyon
Feb. 27– March 9, 2011 $2,400 Led by Janet Farrar firstname.lastname@example.org
The Copper Canyon is celebrated as the Grand Canyon of Mexico. In reality, it’s quite different, which you will discover if you travel with the CMC on a 10-day, burro-assisted hiking adventure into the canyon. Among the highlights are a traverse of the canyon rim and a descent into the heart of the home of the Tarahumara Indians. And among the fascinating culture to be witnessed, the Caballo Blanco Ultra Marathon is among the most compelling. The Tarahumara Indians are hailed as world-class runners and you’ll have a chance to witness this vibrant culture up close.
Text and Photography by Michael Huckaby “Guériga! Guériga! Sapuca!” urged the dusky onlookers crowded on the footbridge. “Animo! Apúrate!” urged the locals lining the dusty track as they spied their favorites wading out of the Rio Urique. Dozens of runners emerged barefoot with huaraches in hand; others clambered onto the banks squirting water out of their soggy socks and high-tech running shoes. They had completed the first 8 kilometers of the 75-kilometer Caballo Blanco Ultra Marathon, in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. Some of the Tarahumaran Indian contingent ran in traditional white muslin loincloths, with brilliantly colored blouses catching the early morning light. Many carried sticks, possibly since their typical running game involves moving a carved pineroot ball along a fixed course. The sticks help them get the ball out of difficult situations. Today, as with most days, the Indians had extra help from the Virgin de Guadalupe; she adorned hats, crucifixes, and shirts. Nearly 150 participants had set off in the early morning on the first Sunday in March. “Andale! Look Alive!” we yelled as a strawberry blonde girl ran effortlessly below us. It was a particularly big event for this sleepy mining town. Tourists, reporters, and even the Danza Folklorico from the University of Sinaloa in El Fuerte had all made their way here. The elite runners from the United States and other parts of the world had, only the day before, completed their review of the course after the "Club Mas Loco" run from Batopilas to Urique. The route between these two towns in adjoining canyons, separated by a hogback range of hills over 4,000 feet high, serves as the springboard for this grueling endurance race. That was their price of admission, not in dollars or pesos,
but in endurance and enthusiasm, and the extraordinary amount of time it takes to get to these remote parts. Korima The winners of the Caballo Blanco Ultra Marathon win sacks of corn. They get a cash prize, too, but corn is the secret ingredient. Gringo runners would have a world of problems transporting 80-pound sacks of grain
up and out of the canyon, onto the train or the plane—even if they wanted all that corn. Korima is the intrinsic beauty of Caballo Blanco's race. Korima is the Tarahumara word for sharing; it is often used in time of want to lessen the impact of hard times, but at a post-race award ceremony it allows all of the contestants to share in the victory of the event, and not just the individual's
achievements. Plus, there are prizes for every conceivable category: men, women, young, old, fastest, slowest. The Anglo winners who took the stage to accept their prize shared their costales de maize with a local who paced them or inspired them, or donated it to a cause or a family. The proud Tarahumarans are in their finery at the presentation, the women in their voluminous skirts and the men in pleated blouses. Woolen sashes and colorful headbands allow them to distinguish different ranchos. Afterwards, Mexican conjuntos strike up a tune (albeit out of tune), and the party goes on all night. Walk, Don't Run! Our little group of onlookers had taken the easy way to watch the event. We had merely walked from a nearby mesa down to the canyon bottom. Not that our trip was without its measure of endurance, either. This is a mountainous region where mechanized transport is secondary to foot travel. We had taken the Camino Real from the Copper Canyon Train whistle-stop at Posada Barrancas on a 3-day, 40-kilometer hike to watch the event. Three days walking to see an eight hour race: Viva la vida loca! The Sierra Madre rise from 7,000 feet at Bahuichivo to 7,700 feet at Divisadero as the train travels. Most of the trails parallel the drainages and go deep into the canyon from the rim, so our guide Jilo was an essential component to correctly bisect trail after trail on our way from one mesa to the next. From Posada to San Rafael to Guitayvo to Churo we followed a spiderweb of well established routes… △ The author is the owner of Copper Canyon Trails, the outfitter that will be leading the CMC's Adventure Travel trip. Trail & Timberline
long, as our first dinner in German-speaking Switzerland was pork and a big beer. Big. As our schedules seem to be diverging from that of The Irish Ladies, we bid them good luck and farewell. Day 11 || Gruben to St. Niklaus The next morning is filled with drizzle. We hope to get an early start to beat the crowds that now occupy the trail; our route now overlaps with the Tour of the Matterhorn. We fail and are behind large, meandering groups all day. The rains quiet the woods; the pass is covered in snow again. Today we slide over and through the Augstbordpass, famous as a trade route from the Middle Ages onward between the Rhône valley and Italy. We don’t see much besides rime-covered sign posts and hints of the shattered walls of rock that surround us. It’s eerie and gorgeous, though we reckon less dramatic than if we could see through clouds. The rest of the day is spent in the fog until, finally, we stop for lunch on a rock, waiting for the clouds to part. We'd learned that near this spot is one of the most breathtaking vistas on the entire two-week trek. What can we do but wait and hope that the god of itinerant travelers grants us our wish? 34
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We must have wished halfheartedly, as the clouds part, but only briefly to reveal the enormous Dom. Damn, it’s very brief! Shooting clouds rush through the valley, but we’re left wishing we had more time to sit and wait. We are faced with the proposition of another knee-cartilage-shredding descent from Jungen to the Mattertal valley, a precipitous 2,700-foot drop in less than 2 miles. Our goal has, to this point, always remained the same—the Haute Route by two feet. So it is. “Down with lifts!” we mumble, our enthusiasm waning with the thought of surgery. We forge downward, literally and figuratively. Brianna is more of a masochist than I had originally expected. Good for her. For the first time our room has a TV but we refuse to watch it. Weren’t we supposed to be living in a tent? The luxury we’re subjected to when faced with limited choices in accommodations is alarming. Day 12 || St. Niklaus to Europa Hut We start our final push up the Mattertal valley, toward the iconic Matterhorn, with another intrepid refusal. While many people take the bus to the village of Gasenried to begin the Europaweg (the trail that runs upvalley high on the shoulder of the Mattertal),
we decide our young minds, legs, and feet can carry us more satisfactorily. So we sweat our way up, rising high above the clutter of arteries, both road and rail, that squeeze through the neck of this glacial gorge. With the Bernese Alps above Interlacken now at our backs, we rise higher still and gain immaculate views of glaciers, peaks, rivulets, waterfalls, rockslides, clinging hamlets, delicate meadows, and the steep and dramatic topography that Switzerland is so famous for. And the trail slices right through it all. Well, soon after Brianna begins to question the trail, the “weg” (way) in Europaweg, as the way seems to be washed away by rock slides, avalanche, and glacial detritus. Now and again, we pass through exposed sections with signs that, when translated, read, “Run, but do so slowly” and frail-looking bridges with warning signs that actually say “Not swing!” It makes for our longest day. But, it is perhaps the most beautiful day, as well, with glimpses of the crooked finger that is the Matterhorn, and constant views of the imposing, monstrous Weisshorn and the many lesser, but no less interesting, peaks and glaciers that defy gravity, like cookie batter clinging to tree bark. The heights, the precarious ledges, our
◀ For two days, we coursed along the undulating Europaweg. ▼ Our grand prize: the Matterhorn dashes across sheer, sand-slope washes, make for a mentally taxing, physically demanding day, and the elevation gain of 5,200 feet satisfies us all the more. It’s official: We’re both bloody masochists. Finally, we arrive at the Europahütte knowing we sleep on the floor. When they run out of room in the dorm beds, they open up the dining room for extras. And, tonight, we’re extra. Over dinner, as if our brains hadn’t been stressed enough, we have a remarkable, but mind-numbing conversation with Florian (a native of nearby St. Niklaus) and Stefanie (from Strasbourg, France) in a dizzying combination of German, Schwyzerdütsch (the local dialect), French, and English, or “Freutsch” as I like to call it. Our heads hurt. Their heads hurt. We drink beers, big and small, and Brianna finally drinks the glass bottle of wine that she bought in Zinal three days earlier! Day 13 || Europa Hut to Zermatt Could it be?! We had seen it the night be-
fore. We were told it was only three weeks old. With Florian’s binoculars I can see the prayer flags. And then, after dashing under an icy waterfall, we arrive at a brand new, Swissengineered, rockfall-defying, heart-palpitation-inducing, suspension bridge, the likes of which I have never seen before. Strung between two rock precipices, over a filthy slope of crumbling stone and sand, it seems like an improvement over trying to cross this stretch of rockslide highway. And, it isn’t too bad, except for the part where you can look down to the chasm we are floating over and see the avalanche tunnel that has disintegrated under the crush of falling rock, presumably prompting the construction of this marvel of mountain trail enhancement. It takes six and a half minutes of constant, steady walking to get across. I know, I have a video of the entire thing. A few deep breaths for Brianna and she’s ready for solid ground again. For a final day, we couldn’t be luckier with the weather, the temperatures, the scenery, or the company. We cruise much of the rest of the day with views of our new favorite mountain, the Matterhorn. We cannot take our eyes off it, with every step we see a new wrinkle, a better angle, a finer de-
tail on its many weathered faces. Did I say we were lucky? That is until we arrive at the Winkelmatten trail. On any other day, we’d be able to leisurely stroll on the partially paved trail and, in fact, there were families of smoking Dutch and baby-laden Italians doing just that alongside us. But now, oddly, they are doing all the passing. Twelve and a half days after originally feeling excruciating pain, Brianna’s knee finally decides to return to threat level nine. We limp arm in arm through the peaceful village of Winkelmatten, then wrestle through the scrum that is Zermatt proper during its summer heritage festival. We calculate that camping and eating in this luxurious and posh village will be almost as expensive as staying in a hotel we already know, Hotel Bahnhof, and cooking dinner in their fabulous kitchen. We trade the bad luck of a busted knee for the good luck of claiming the last room for the night, and have ourselves pleasant dreams. Vive Le Haute Route! △ 40,646 feet of elevation gain ◆ 38,852 feet of elevation loss ◆ 114.4 miles ◆ 13 days ◆ 11 passes ◆ 6 Snickers ◆ 4 new friends ◆ 3 walking sticks ◆ 2 feet + 2 feet ◆ 0 chairlifts, buses, trains, or cars
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The Longest Trip The CMC’s 1964 European Alpine Outing On June 22, 1964, 42 members of the Colorado Mountain Club departed New York for Zurich, Switzerland, and the club's first official overseas trip. The outing, led by Dale and Julie Johnson of Boulder, would last seven weeks and circumnavigate nearly 600 miles of the mountains and glaciers in the Swiss, German, Austrian, Italian, and French Alps. The club had been warming up for this frozen epic. Although summer outings had been held since the club's inception in 1912, the first “foreign” trip didn't occur until a 1955 visit to Yoho National Park in Alberta, Canada. In 1958, the club made another border crossing at Glacier National Park, Montana. In 1962, Mt. McKinley, Alaska, was the far off destination. The first trip to another continent took place the following year with the 1963 Peruvian Andes outing. The Johnsons had received their baptism of leadership on the Peru trip, giving them a taste of the perils to be endured. "...we often wonder why we dreamed up this [Alps] outing and volunteered to lead it. Just naïveté, we guess," wrote the couple in the February 1965 Trail & Timberline. “Nevertheless, we did it and lived through it, too.” They continued, “In November  formal registration began and the fat was in the fire. As hotel reservations were made and cancelled... car rental companies contacted and pitted against one another, we gradually reached and passed the ulcer stage.” The intensive planning was such that “if time is worth anything,” they wrote, “we would have gotten off cheaper if we had simply forked over our $748.00 each and sat back and relaxed.” After successfully reaching Zurich, the party and members of the Austrian Alpine Club drove east in Volkswagen buses, skirting the northern edge of the Alps along the Swiss-West German border. A stop was made in Innsbruck, Austria, and a much anticipated visit made to Sportaus Witing, then Austria's largest Alpine equipment store, to stock up on climbing supplies. The group then travelled south to Cortina, for Italian sightseeing and ascents in the Dolomites, including Marmaloda, at 36
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10,968 feet the range’s highest summit. After a week and a half the group moved base camp to Interlocken, Switzerland. Here, pre-arranged “men-only” accommodations forced the group into a week of communal co-ed habitation at the city's bomb shelter. Ascents included the Jungfrau (13,642 feet), the Mönch (13,474 feet), and the famed Eiger (13,025 feet), climbed by seven stalwart souls. The group then moved to Zermatt, Switzerland, for climbs of the Matterhorn (14,692 feet), ascended by 19 club mem-
bers, and Monte Rosa (15,203 feet), which was climbed by 12. The final stop was at Chamonix, France, and the apex of Europe, Mount Blanc (15,782 feet). On July 26, the party left for the climb, a two-day affair which began with a ride up an aerial tramway, followed by a ride on a cog railway. From the railhead at 7,827 feet, that day's destination was the Goûter hut, near 12,500 feet. The hut, wrote Howard Snyder, was “a modern steel-and-aluminum structure, perched on the top of the Aiguille de Goûter.
By Woody Smith
The front of the hut looks out over a precipice, and the back is nestled against a huge snow ridge which rises fifty feet above the hut. One could conceive the uncomfortable notion that this snowbank might someday decide to play glacier, and playfully nudge the hut off the mountain.” A crowded evening's sleep was enlivened by lightning flashing in the clouds outside the window. Nonetheless, the climbers were up at 2 a.m., readying for a 3 o'clock start. As the hut buzzed with activity, the members put on their “crampons...and clinked out into the night air. The sky was clear over us, and to the north the lights of Chamonix were twinkling merrily, over 9,000 feet below.” The climbers roped up in groups of four and by the time adjustments were made, found themselves near the end of a “long procession.” When the moon was shortly obscured by clouds “many of the climbers ahead broke out flashlights and lanterns,” wrote Snyder. “The scene, with long lines of climbers winding up the vast white slope, some carrying lights which glowed in the heavy mist, is one I shall never forget. It was straight out of Lost Horizon, the funeral march in the Himalaya, complete with torches.” For nearly two hours the climbers edged upward through the fog and mist, up and then over the Dome du Goûter (14,120 feet), “...the mountain one must climb to reach Mount Blanc.” As day broke the team pulled ahead of the procession, and “elevation began to take its toll. The sun burst through...which revealed an army of climbers in cold pursuit. We went up and up the narrowing, steepening slope, every ridge now giving false promise of a summit... only to see another sweeping upward in the dense clouds. ...The final summit ridge was high and very narrow, with the beautiful but awesome aspect of a gateway to heaven. ...At 6:13 a.m. we reached the high point on the summit ridge of Mount Blanc, the highest gable of the roof of Europe.” But the weather was cold and cloudy, and as the summit grew more crowded, the team’s departure became imminent. But, “as
Peaks Climbed By Members of the 1964 Outing Dolomites Cima Grande de Laverado Cima Ovest de Laverado Mt. Nuvalau Sassolungo (Langkofel) Torre Grande of Cinque Torre Group Civetta Marmolada First and Third Sella Towers Ascents from Zermatt Matterhorn Monte Rosa Breithorn Kleine Matterhorn French Alps Aiguille du Triolet Petit Aiguille du Triolet Col du Triolet (not a summit) Mont Blanc Berner Oberland (Interlaken) Eiger Mönch Jungfrau
5 persons 5 persons 23 persons 7 persons 10 persons 12 persons 29 persons 8 persons
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if on cue, the clouds broke, this time for good,” wrote Snyder. “Beautiful vistas were opened up and our descent postponed in favor of an orgy of picture taking. After a delightfully frost-bitten half hour on the summit...we started down at 6:43 a.m.” Aided by a glissade, four of the climbers had returned to the Goûter hut by 8:15 a.m. By dinnertime the climbers were back in Chamonix, snacking on an enormous ice cream confection known as the “Mount Blanc.” The club members returned to the U.S. in mid-August. “All in all we figure the trip must have been a success,” wrote Dale and Julie Johnson. “Either that or the participants don't want to hurt our feelings. Statistically it appears to have been successful for in only thirty climbing days (the other 22 were spent traveling and rubbernecking) nineteen summits were attained on 39 trips for a total of 221 manascents. Actually, most of those were women-ascents for our membership was tipped rather heavily to the feminine side. Our group of 42 persons was made up of 25 women, 16 men and one boy... Ages were from 9 to 72 and both of those extremes climbed several peaks each. “Thanks to all who participated in and helped with this trip. You made this the best outing the CMC has had yet.” And the longest trip ever. △
Wilderness Exchange's Reilly Anderson spending his day flying over and into the pow -Green Wilson Hut backcountry
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The author would like to thank David Hite, Roger Fuehrer, and John Devitt for their assistance with this article. Read more captivating stories of the club’s adventurous spirit in “Colorado’s Mountains and Mountaineers,” the working title of our book to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the CMC, scheduled for release in the fall of 2011.
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Fourteener Files the
1 Alex Henes traverses from El Diente to Mount Wilson. 2 Christopher Bauer with his climbing companion, Denali, who climbed her first peak, Mount Antero, at the tender age of 10 weeks old. 3 Jennifer and John Danese completed all of the fourteeners atop Mount Columbia. 4 Mike Anderson (in the cowboy hat) finished his quest atop Castle Peak with his wife, Sue, his son, Richard, and his son's girlfriend, Jodi McGrath.
By Linda Kothe Crockett The notable and quotable from this year’s letters include familiar tales of success. In addition to his fourteener climbs, Ted Mahon reported skiing all of the peaks on the list, finishing in April 2008. Ted’s wife, Christy, finished skiing all of the peaks in May of this year, and claims she is the first woman to do so. For photos of their ski trips, see www.stuckintherockies.com. 38
Trail & Timberline
Martin Olsen says, “I’ve met many great people on the trails, all of whom share a common love of the outdoors. I would say, though, that the most impressive people I have met are the various search and rescue people—my hat is off to them!” Dave Pellegrini finished the Colorado fourteeners, 50 states highpoints, and 64 Colorado county highpoints all on the
same peak, Mount Elbert, in August. “Since then,” he says, “I’ve bought an RV and cases of beer and plan to live down by the river because now I’m officially ‘listless.’” Lowell Forbes shares this: “My experience of climbing all of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks can best be described by Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead: ‘What a long, strange trip it’s been.’” △
March 3 & 4, 2011
2010 / 2011
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The World’s Best Mountain Films www.banffmountainfestival.ca Major Partners Made in USA
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Supporting Partners Photo: Jared Jumping, Fitz Roy Range, Argentine Patagonia © Topher Donahue / Aurora
The Paramount Theatre is located at 1621 Glenarm Place, Denver. Tickets available beginning December 7 at REI Boulder, Denver, Englewood, and Lakewood locations, and the Paramount Theatre. Show tickets include parking. Proceeds will benefit the Colorado Mountain Club. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets purchased at the Paramount Theatre will incur additional service charges. During the third week in February, visit www.rei. com/stores for the local play list and other information.
YOUR MOUNTAINEERING LIBRARY NEEDS THIS BOOK “I
N FALL 2008, the Colorado Mountain Club published a guidebook that was riddled with typos and 70 years out of date, at a time when online competition has put the future of even the most current printed guidebooks in question. And it charged $185 per copy. “‘It sounds crazy,’ Alan Stark, the club’s publisher, said recently as he cracked open a new, hardbound copy of the guide. ‘Obviously, this is not a typical guidebook. It’s a collector’s piece. People will buy it not to use it, but to have it.’ “The book is called The San Juan Mountaineers’ Climber’s Guide to Southwestern Colorado. It was first published in 1933—hand-typed and hard-bound in less than a half-dozen copies. It was the first modern guidebook in Colorado, and with its maps, photos, and route descriptions, it set the template for the hundreds that have followed. “Climbers have passed around photocopied and stapled versions for The San Juan Mountaineers’ generations, making it an almost mythic book. The club reproduced it Climber’s Guide to Southwestern Colorado exactly, down to the crossed-out letters and handwritten notes in the margins of the typed pages. L I M I T E D E D I T I O N AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FROM THE COLORADO MOUNTAIN CLUB PRESS “In one sense, the Guide to Southwestern Colorado is a history book. ORDERS: 303-996-2743 In another, it is still a living guidebook.” —Dave Philipps, The Gazette, Colorado Springs
Trail & Timberline
the Fourteener Files
By Linda Kothe Crockett
Those who reported completion of Colorado's fourteeners in 2010 No. 1346 1347 1348 1349 1350 1351 1352 1353 1354 1355 1356 1357 1358 1359 1360 1361 1362 1363 1364 1365 1366 1367 1368 1369 1370 1371 1372 1373 1374 1375 1376 1377 1378 1379 1380 1381 1382 1383 1384 1385 1386 1387 1388 1389 1390 1391 1392 1393 1394 1395 1396
Name Larry Newlin Kevin V. Duncan Ted Mahon Christy Mahon Steve Hokansson Tim Heckel Brian Kalet Greg Gorrell Dave Morano Lisa Heckel Joseph M. Riddle Don Deane Ellen Flannelly Frank Partipilo James D. Zimmerman Dan Turk Mike Via John Facchini David Gillilan Kenneth E. Kunkel Dan Salmore Tori Cloud Eric Cronkright Roland Erickson Otina Fox Dave Gaffield Ken John Ryk McDorman Darrin E. Nicholas Martin Olsen Dave Pellegrini Grant Siders Dani Silvestro Mike Silvestro Mike Anderson Gary W. Ballard Dawn Barton Christopher Bauer Matthew Clay Conger Jennifer Danese John Danese Lowell P. Forbes Jon Frohlich Alex Henes Patrick Kelley Keith Kiggins Major King Joseph Michaels Scott Nichols Jim Patrick Barry Raven
First Peak Mount Elbert Mount Eolus Pyramid Peak Snowmass Mtn. Grays Peak Pikes Peak Pikes Peak Mount Antero Grays Peak Mount Sherman Longs Peak Longs Peak Mount Bierstadt Grays Peak Mount Bierstadt Longs Peak Torreys Peak Longs Peak Longs Peak Pikes Peak Pikes Peak Mount Elbert Pikes Peak Longs Peak Quandary Peak Longs Peak Longs Peak Longs Peak Pikes Peak Mount Shavano Mount Wilson Quandary Peak Pikes Peak Pikes Peak Mount Antero Mount Bierstadt Mt. of the Holy Cross Mount Sherman Mount Elbert Mount Sherman Mount Sherman Longs Peak Quandary Peak Mount Yale Mount Sherman Mount Bierstadt Longs Peak Grays Peak Mt. of the Holy Cross Grays Peak Mount Eolus
Date Jul 1973 Aug 1984 Jul 1997 Jul 1999 Jul 1985 Jul 1969 Jul 1982 Jul 1997 Aug 1997 Sep 1963 1979 Oct 1982 Aug 2000 Aug 1988 Aug 1998 Aug 1999 Aug 2007 Sep 1993 Aug 1986 Jul 1988 Aug 2003 Jul 1999 Aug 2004 Jun 2000 Aug 2003 Jul 1982 Aug 1993 Jun 2008 Jun 2007 Jul 2002 Aug 2000 Jun 2010 Jun 2010 Sep 1996 Jul 2008 Jul 1977 1993 Sep 2005 Jul 2009 Jul 2009 Aug 1979 Jul 2001 Jun 1995 May 1996 May 2007 Aug 2000 Jun 2003 Jul 2001 Jul 2003 Aug 1980
Final Peak Crestone Peak Sunlight Peak El Diente Pikes Peak Mount Evans Culebra Peak Wilson Peak Longs Peak Culebra Peak Castle Peak El Diente Culebra Peak Culebra Peak Mount Sneffels Culebra Peak Capitol Peak Windom Peak Wetterhorn Peak Kit Carson Peak Longs Peak Sunlight Peak Culebra Peak Culebra Peak Mount Sneffels Longs Peak Mount Evans Snowmass Mtn. Snowmass Mtn. Longs Peak El Diente Mount Elbert Mount Evans Pyramid Peak Pyramid Peak Castle Peak Snowmass Mtn. Crestone Needle Sunlight Peak Mount Missouri Mount Columbia Mount Columbia Pikes Peak Mount Evans Mount Wilson Capitol Peak Mount Evans Sunlight Peak Capitol Peak Snowmass Mtn. Maroon Peak Mount Massive
Date Sep 1993 Jul 2000 Oct 2001 Oct 2004 Aug 2005 Aug 2006 Aug 2006 Jul 2007 Jul 2007 Aug 2007 Aug 2007 Sep 2007 Sep 2007 Oct 2008 Aug 2009 Sep 2009 May 2010 Jul 2010 Jul 2010 Jul 2010 Jul 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Aug 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010 Sep 2010
1 Barry Raven finished atop Mount Massive, accompanied by a host of family and friends. 2 Jon Frohlich celebrates atop Mount
Evans. 3 Alex Henes with his wife, Kristi, atop Capitol Peak.
For recognition in next year's issue, send the registration form (visit www.cmc.org/14erform) by Oct. 15 to the Colorado Mountain Club at 710 10th St., #200, Golden, CO, 80401; or you may send an email to email@example.com. For Beyond the Fourteeners/Thirteeners recognition, please include the date and name of the last peak.
THE FIRST 100
Are you one of the first 100 hundred on the completers' list? Do you know someone who is? If so, Woody Smith (CMC Archivist, 2003-2009) would like to collect your tale(s) for a proposed book on the first 100 people to summit all of Colorado's fourteenersâ€”a nearly 50 year history! To date, those who have contributed invaluable recollections include Robert Melzer (#6), Virginia Nolan (#38), four-fifths of the "Climbing Smiths" (#82-86), Jim Gehres (#93), and Giles Toll (#237). Other contributors are former CMC presidents Robert Ellingwood (#57), Al Ossinger (#101), and John Devitt, who isn't in the "54 Club," but did climb a lot. Also interviewed was Paul Stewart, a close friend of Carl Blaurock (tied for #1). But time is working against history. In the past months, two climbing notables, Dr. Carol Rymer Davis (#73) and Spencer Swanger (#102), have met with untimely ends, taking their firsthand stories with them. A loss for everyone. Please help preserve this unique human history of Colorado's mountains and the CMC. Don't be shyâ€•small stories can offer great insight. Contact Woody Smith (#861 on the list) at 303-282-8630 (sorry, no email at present). 40
Trail & Timberline
Beyond the Fourteeners No.
100 Highest Peaks
Ted Mahon Greg Gorell Gary Neben Dorothea Frohner Robert "Bob" Trester Patrick Kelley Erik Kling David "Hoot" Gibson Laurie Pearce Christy Mahon Monty Cleworth
Jagged Mountain Vermillion Peak Thunder Pyramid Vestal Peak Jagged Mountain Vestal Peak Vestal Peak Vestal Peak Vestal Peak Gladstone Peak Mount Oklahoma
7/17/06 7/8/10 8/8/10 8/17/10 9/4/10 9/4/10 9/4/10 9/5/10 9/10/10 9/11/10 9/18/10
Gerry Roach Mike Hruza
Animas Mountain US Grant Peak
Hunter Peak Animas Mountain
Hilliard Peak Animas Mountain
300 Highest Peaks 32 33
Debi Hruza Gerry Roach
400 Highest Peaks 21 22
Debi Hruza Gerry Roach
150 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182
200 Highest Peaks
Beyond the Thirteeners
By Chris Ruppert
Debi Hruza Gerry Roach
600 Highest Peaks 19 20
Gerry Roach Debi Hruza
All Thirteeners 19 20
Gerry Roach Debi Hruza
700 Highest Peaks 7
900 Highest Peaks 6
Indian Trail Ridge
1000 Highest Peaks 6
1100 Highest Peaks 5
1200 Highest Peaks 5
1300 Highest Peaks 5
All Twelvers 5
1400 Highest Peaks 2
1500 Highest Peaks
500 Highest Peaks 19 20
By Teresa Gergen
Hilliard Peak Animas Mountain
Animas Mountain Boreas Mountain
Animas Mountain Boreas Mountain
1600 Highest Peaks 1
1700 Highest Peaks 1
All Eleveners 1
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Trail & Timberline
CMC Adventure Travel For your benefit and enjoyment, the following trips have been reviewed and approved by the Adventure Travel Committee and are officially sanctioned by the Colorado Mountain Club.
Visit www.cmc.org/at for more detailed itineraries and registration forms.
Yellowstone in Winter
Feb. 2 – Feb. 7, 2011 $1060 – $1190 (depending on accommodations) Steaming geysers, bison, elk, and other wildlife are all part of the experience of Yellowstone National Park in winter. Skiers, snowshoers, and photographers will enjoy the convenient trails leading directly from the lodge to geysers and waterfalls. The trip includes round-trip bus and snow coach transportation between Denver and Yellowstone, a one-night stay in Jackson, three full days and four nights at Old Faithful, snow coach drop-off fees, happy hours, and several meals, and all entrance fees and gratuities. While in the park, participants can ski or snowshoe on their own or with other trip participants, or just relax. In the evenings, our happy hours and buffet dinners provide the opportunity for participants to share details of their day’s adventures, and find ideas and companions for the next day. The trip leaders will also lead outings for smaller groups. Trip cost does not include remaining meals, optional sight-seeing excursions within the park, equipment rental, or trip insurance. Register with the leader, Polly Hays, at 303-964-8225 or polly_ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hiking in Mexico's Copper Canyon February 27 – March 9, 2011 $2,400
The Copper Canyon is renowned for being the Grand Canyon of Mexico, but it is really quite different. We will discover this on the 10-day, burro-assisted day hiking adventure into the canyon. We’ll start in Los Mochis, Mex., and be transported to the historical town of El Fuerte, founded in 1564. Then we’ll board the Chihuahua Al Pacifico train for an excursion through the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Madre, arriving at the rim of the Copper Canyon. We’ll load the burros and traverse the canyon rim before descending into the heart of the home of the Tarahumara Indians, with spectacular
Trail & Timberline
views at every turn, camping for six nights. Day 8 is the Caballo Blanco Ultra Marathon, which we will observe. The Tarahumara Indians are hailed as world class runners, and we’ll see this vibrant culture up close. After the race, we’ll ascend back up to the pine clad mesa and ride the train back to El Fuerte, then continue on to the airport at Los Mochis. Price includes land transportation from Los Mochis, lodging (camping six nights; hotels four nights), most meals. Not included are airfare to Los Mochis (approx $750), four meals, travel insurance, personal spending money, tips. Contact Janet Farrar at email@example.com or 303-933-3066.
New Leader Training February 26, 2011
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a leader of a CMC adventure travel trip or possibly a HAMS expedition? Well, as a CMC trip leader at the Group level, here is your chance to find out. On Saturday, February 26, the new advanced leader training seminar will have its first session. There will be additional field trips into the spring and an optional graduation trip to Bolivia in early June. Watch for more details and signup information in the winter issue of Trail & Timberline and on the CMC website. This class is sponsored by the Adventure Travel Committee, and cosponsored by the CMC Education Department and the High Altitude Mountaineering Section.
Kilimanjaro 19,340' March 11 – 25, 2011 $3,730
Here's another great outing sponsored by the High Altitude Mountaineering Section. Kilimanjaro is the world's largest free-standing mountain and is one of the fabled Seven Summits. The CMC uses the Machame Route. The trip includes a four day budget safari to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Nights are a mixture of a comfortable and rustic hotel; traveler's camps; and tents. Trip size is limited to 18 persons, plus the trip leaders Steve Bonowski and Roger Wendell. To join, you must be in excellent physical condition and be comfortable with Third World
travel. Recent graduation from a CMC entry level hiking school is desirable. Final cost may vary slightly depending on airfare and currency exchange rates. Posted price includes lodging at double occupancy, ground transport, climb and park fees, most meals, Tanzanian visa, gratuities, leader expenses, and CMC fee. Not included in the $3,730 is airfare to Tanzania (est. at $1,800 and $2,000), shots and medication, a few meals, trip insurance, souvenirs, airline baggage fees, single supplement for lodging, and bar tab. Leaders will hold a mandatory planning meeting in early October to answer questions. Trip packets are available electronically beginning Memorial Day weekend from the senior trip leader, Steve Bonowski (climbersteveb@gmail. com). No phone calls please. Climb Kilimanjaro with the CMC and save thousands.
Best of the Grand Canyon: Colorado River Raft & Hike April 23 – May 5, 2011 $4,140 (Limit 18)
Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, this unique trip to the Grand Canyon offers participants the opportunity to experience this World Heritage Site on a motorized raft for 188 miles through the best of the canyon, departing from the historic Lee’s Ferry and ending with a helicopter ride from Whitmore Wash and a plane flight back to the start. It is especially ideal for those who would like to hike in areas which can be reached only from the river, and those who have always wanted to experience the canyon but who do not wish to make the 7 mile, 4,500’ backpack in and out. Our outfitter, Hatch River Expeditions, has been guiding river trips through the canyon for over 70 years. We will have four guides and 20 participants on two 35foot S-rig boats running fuel-efficient and quiet 4-stroke outboard engines. Hatch offers us daily guided hikes at different hiking levels, or one may choose to rest in camp. There are several opportunities for point-to-point hikes where we may hike from one drainage to the next and the raft will pick us up later in the day. Register with leaders Blake Clark or Rosemary Burbank at (303) 871-0379 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Escalante River and Canyon Llama Trek, Utah April 25 – 29, 2011 $982
This trip begins at the Red Rock 'n' Llamas Ranch in Boulder, Utah. We begin hiking near the town of Escalante at the headwaters of the river. Our first day follows the river and passes many interesting ancient Anasazi Indian petroglyph panels. After about 7 miles we arrive at our camp at the mouth of a canyon called Death Hollow. Tuesday we spend the day up in Death Hollow. This is an amazing canyon with white slickrock walls reaching all the way down to the creek. We will be walking in the water a lot of the day since that is the only way up this canyon. Day 3 we pack up and continue to head down the river. This spectacular camp next to the river gives us great access to Day 4's hike up above camp. We will hike up to a hidden Anasazi granary, take a swim in some nice big pools below a waterfall, cross the desert and take an exciting route into Sand Creek. Our last day we continue down the river past the Escalante arch and natural bridge, the echo wall, more rock art and granaries, and big spectacular canyon walls. We come out to our awaiting vehicles where Highway 12 crosses the river. Included: tents, sleeping bags, bag liners, ThermaRest pads, cooking gear, meals (breakfast day 1 through lunch day 5), llamas, guide and wrangler service. Hike with just your daypack. Price does not include round trip travel to Boulder, Utah, 2 nights motel, 2 evening meals and wrangler tips. For more information, contact Bob Seyse, 303-718-2005 or email@example.com.
transportation to and from the rides and hikes which are accessible with any automobile. You also need to bring your own camping gear and bike (if you ride), or rent one in Moab. Carpooling is encouraged. There are rides and hikes suited for beginner to advanced riders of all ages. Price does not include transportation to Moab, or bike rental (if needed). Price increases after March 1 to $300; between April 11 and May 10, $325; after May 10, $350. Contact Janet Farrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-3066.
Day Hiking in Northwest Spain May 30 – June 13, 2011 $2,700
The Picos de Europa in northern Spain is a limestone massif that offers a unique range of natural, cultural, and gastronomic experiences, including the Upper Paleolithic cave paintings of Altamira and the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela. Join us for a peek into the best kept secret in Europe. If group size allows, there will be two levels of hiking offered: B hikes and C hikes. Included are ground transportation in Spain, lodging, breakfast and dinner (water or wine included), transfers and cable cars. Not included are airfare from the U.S., travel insurance, lunches, and entrance fees, except those listed in the itinerary. Price may change depending on exchange rate and number of participants. Contact Janet Farrar email@example.com or 303-933-3066.
Ireland's Wicklow Way
June 17 – 27, 2011 (exact dates TBD) $1,842
Moab Mountain Bike and Hike Adventure May 19 – 22, 2011 $275 (before March 1)
We will base camp near Moab in this new adventure and explore the famous mountain biking and hiking trails in the Moab area, as well as Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. We will ride (or hike) with groups of various sizes and abilities for four days of adventure in this amazing desert wonderland. A favorite for biking or hiking is the seldom traveled Hidden Canyon trail with its prolific Anasazi art and hunting ruins. Savory food is provided and prepared by experienced desert gourmet chefs. Also included in the price are camping fees, all your water needs, and portable toilets. You will also receive a t-shirt custom designed for this year’s adventure. A large campfire with live music, drum circles, sweat lodge, desert croquet and other games, and group activities round out the afternoon and evening fun. You provide your own
of the early Christian monastic settlements. The trip is 10 days with 130 km (81 miles) total walking distance. The CMC hiking classification is B moderate with a couple of B difficult days. Costs include lodging, airport transfers, luggage transport, hearty breakfasts. Final exact cost to be determined based upon currency exchange. We will hike with day packs only. Lunch and dinner will be on your own in the many fine pubs and restaurants in the villages that we encounter. Airfare from Denver to Dublin not included. For more information, contact Janet Martel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The countryside of Ireland is a patchwork of many different landscape types, including several mountainous and upland areas. One of the most spectacular of these is in county Wicklow, just south of Dublin which, despite its proximity to the capitol, contains many kilometers of wonderfully unspoiled mountain trails. The Wicklow Way combines easy accessibility with a wide variety of scenic experiences, some of them in truly remote upland areas. They include mountains, upland lakes, steep-sided glacial valleys, fast flowing mountain streams, forests and farmland. The Wicklow Way begins in Dublin's southern suburbs and travels in a south-westerly direction across the Dublin and Wicklow uplands, then through the rolling hill country of southwest County Wicklow to finish in the small village of Clonegal 127 kilometres later. We will be doing this walk in reverse order terminating in the Dublin suburbs. En route the Wicklow Way passes mountain lakes, ruined buildings, occasional memorials to historic events of past centuries and extensive remains
Trekking in Transylvania July 21 – August 1, 2011 $2,277
Thrills, chills, and old-world romance abound in Count Dracula’s homeland. You will trek 60 miles (8-12 miles per day) in the breathtakingly beautiful and rugged Carpathian Mountains, and climb Romania’s highpoint (Moldoveanu Peak at 8,347 feet). Carry only what you need for a day hike on this fully supported trek, which includes excursions to Dracula’s castle, Peles Castle (a Neo-Renaissance Castle built between 18731914), an Orthodox monetary, and Sibiu�the wealthiest citadel of the Transylvanian Saxons. Price includes six nights accommodation in 3-star hotels or guesthouses, two nights in a mountain hut, and two nights in restored Saxon houses in a village. Most meals are included. Includes guided hiking and site-seeing tour guide, ground transfers from/to Bucharest airport and to cities/sites within the program, and admission to the mentioned cultural sites. Price does not include airfare to Bucharest, Romania, but the leader will assist participants with scheduling. For more information, contact Linda at email@example.com. No phone calls please.
Exploring Russia's Kamchatka: Land of Fire and Ice August 18 – September 3, 2011 $1,900 - $2,900
Kamchatka is a stunning mountain paradise and one of the most isolated regions in the world. The Kamchatka Peninsula is a 1,250-kilometer long peninsula in the far east of Russia. There are more than 160 volcanoes on the peninsula, 29 of which are active. The main attractions of Kamchatka are volcanic calderas, geysers, and mineral springs, all in pristine condition. Supported by 4/6WD bus, this tour passes through the most active volcanic zone of the peninsula and along a high mountain plateau, surrounded by nine of Kamchatka’s highest volcanoes. We will climb three volcanoes, all of which are still
Trail & Timberline
active. There will be plenty of wildlife to see, including the legendary Kamchatka Brown Bear. We will have opportunities to meet and learn about the local and indigenous peoples of Kamchatka. The trip cost includes all Kamchatka lodging and meals (except extra beverages), ground transportation, guide fees, and CMC fee. Not included in the price: Round trip airfare to Petropavlovsk, Russian visa, beverages, rented equipment, tips, and personal spending money. Travel insurance is not included but highly recommended. Hiking level: Participants should be capable of Difficult B/Easy C hikes. For a trip packet, contact the leader at firstname.lastname@example.org.
speaking guide, fees for National Park and Eagle Festival, four-wheel drive vehicles, nomads with their camels or horses carrying the camp gear, cook, all camp equipment, welcome and farewell dinner, breakfasts in Ulaanbaatar. Not included in price is round trip flight to Ulaanbaatar, two lunches, one dinner, tips, single supplement of $30 per night, bottled water, drinks, and personal items. The trip is limited to 10 people with a sense of adventure, and flexibility for traveling in this remote country. For more information, contact Bea Slingsby at 303-422-3728 or email@example.com.
Trekking in Nepal Mongolia: Trek, Culture, Eagle Festival
October 1 – 18, 2011 $2806
Trekking with Mongolian Kazak herdsmen with their camels or horses carrying our camp gear, lush green valleys, hiking over Jolt Pass at 10,300 ft. in the Western Altai Mountains in one of the most remote parts of the world. Magnificent views of the snow capped Altais, staying in gers and tents, visiting with nomads who have trained Golden Eagles to use for hunting. Petroglyphs, deer stones, balbals (stone carved men), being at the crossroads of emerging cultures of ancient times. Two days at an Eagle Festival with various competitions involving the eagles, horse racing, and locals wearing very colorful native dresses. Time to visit museums in Hovd and Ulaanbaatar. These are just some of the experiences we will have on our 17 day trip. At Chigertei Lake we will stay for two nights, hiking in the area and meeting the nomads with their grazing animals. The trek will be six days (approximately 7 to 12 miles a day), going over Jolt Pass. From our arrival in Ulaanbaatar until we fly out of the country, there will be an English speaking guide with us. A visa is not needed for U.S. citizens. Included in the price is four nights’ hotel in Ulaanbaatar, internal flight to Western Mongolia and return, all meals outside of Ulaanbaatar, English
Join Pemba Sherpa, a native of the Khumbu region of the Nepal Himalayas, on this spectacular trek through the foothills of some of the world’s highest peaks. Pemba has been guiding visitors to his homeland since 1986 and will do so again in 2011, taking us into the heart of the world’s majestic Himalayan Mountains around Annapurna. The classic Around Annapurna trek offers a complete panorama of culture and ecosystems, including high mountain passes, the deepest valley in the world, the desert of the Tibetan plateau, pine forests, rice paddies, monasteries and people as diverse as Tibetan lamas and Hindu farmers. We commence trekking near Ngadi, ascend the ridges over the Marsyandi valley. We follow the Marsyandi valley north beneath the mountain of Manasulu, Lamjung Himal, and the Annapurnas before entering the drier reaches of the Manang valley, not far from the Tibetan border. Here we acclimatize before crossing Throng La (17,769ft.), the highest and the hardest part of this trek. The elation as you reach the top of the pass will suppress any feeling of fatigue. We descend to Muktinath, one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites in Nepal, then farther down to the Kali Gandai Gorge, the deepest valley in the world, we descend Kali Gandaki to Jomson and fly back to Pokhara. For more information, please contact Pemba Sherpa at (303) 525-6508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 5 – 22, 2011 $2700
Trail & Timberline
WINTER 2010 ORDER FORM order form S E N D O R D E R F O R M A N D PAY M E N T T O :
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DISCOUNTED BOOK PRICING FOR MEMBERS OF THE COLORADO MOUNTAIN CLUB ___ Best Boulder Hikes, ISBN 978-0-9799663-4-7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10.36 ___ Best Colorado Springs Hikes, ISBN 978-0-9799663-6-1 . . . . . . . . . $10.36 ___ Best Denver Hikes, ISBN 978-0-9799663-5-4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12.76 ___ Best Fort Collins Hikes, ISBN 978-0-9799663-0-9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $11.96 ___ Best Front Range Hikes, ISBN 978-0-9799663-9-2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $19.96 ___ Colorado 14ers Pack Guide, ISBN 978-0-9760525-3-1 . . . . . . . . . . . $9.56 ___ Colorado 14ers Standard Routes, ISBN 978-0-9799663-8-5 . . . . . $17.56 ___ Colorado Lake Hikes, ISBN 978-0-9799663-1-6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $19.96 ___ Colorado’s Quiet Winter Trails, ISBN 978-0-9760525-1-7. . . . . . . . . $17.56 ___ Colorado Scrambles, 2e, ISBN 978-0-9799663-3-0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $18.36 ___ Colorado Snow Climbs, ISBN 978-0-9760525-9-3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $18.36 ___ Colorado Summit Hikes, ISBN 0-9724413-3-6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $15.16 ___ Colorado Trail, ISBN 978-0-9760525-2-4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $19.96 ___ Colorado Trail Databook, 4e, ISBN 978-0-9799663-7-8 . . . . . . . . . . $7.96 ___ Colorado Wildflowers, ISBN 978-0-9842213-0-1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $18.36 ___ Colorado Year Round, ISBN 0-9724413-2-8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $15.16
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Trail & Timberline
Don’t let this be you. We offer expert boot ﬁtting.
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Weekdays 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Weekends 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. 303-499-8866 633 South Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305 Table Mesa Shopping Center •
Providing discounts to CMC members for over 37 years. Gary Neptune CMC member since 1964.
Trail & Timberline