Denver ’76 22 • Early Season Snow Adventures 34
The Fourteeners and Beyond 38
The Colorado Mountain Club • Winter 2013 • Issue 1021 • www.cmc.org
Winter in the
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Letter from the CEO Winter in the Rockies
think most of us who live in Colorado have friends and family who live elsewhere, and every year we listen to their comments about how much snow Colorado gets. We chuckle and tell them, “those are the mountains you hear about on the news.” Little do outsiders know, most of us who live in Colorado experience what I call Disneyland winters. It snows, and may even get quite cold, but the sun usually comes out the next day if not later that day and melts most of the snow. In fact we recreate outdoors year-round, and sometimes even in shorts and T-shirts in December! Yes, winter in the Rockies is magical and sometimes misunderstood. One objective we strive for at the CMC is educating our members and the public on safe and responsible outdoor recreation.
With the rapid changing of the earth’s climate, and the disruptive impact it is having on us, we are seeing and hearing more and more about dangers in the backcountry caused by warming temperatures. During the winter, avalanches are one of those big dangers. Avalanches aren’t just a concern in the backcountry. We are now seeing avalanches increase in strength, type, and frequency throughout the world, including in our favorite recreational spots. While it’s unknown what impact climate change will have on avalanches in the future, we can and should do what we are able to now to educate ourselves on avalanche risk and be aware of the signs and conditions to avoid. Fortunately the CMC offers a variety of avalanche safety and awareness classes throughout much of the state. On
pages 20–21 you can read about some of the things that go into planning a backcountry ski trip, including the importance of taking an avalanche safety and awareness class, from one of our corporate sponsors, Dynafit. I hope you are having a Disneyland winter of your own. Enjoy the holidays. △ Best,
Katie Blackett Chief Executive Officer
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22 22 Denver ’76
26 34 Early Season Snow Adventures
The Winter Olympics That Weren’t By Jay Fell
Exploring Chicago Lakes and Berthoud Pass during Winter By Alan Apt
26 Traversing Rollins Pass
36 Berthoud Pass
30 Who was Brainard?
38 The Fourteeners and Beyond
Three CMCers Take a Trip Back in Time By John Lacher
The Story behind the Lake and Cabin By John Wallack
A Long-ago CMC Favorite By Woody Smith
Who made the lists in 2013? By Teresa Gergen, Dave Goldwater, and Chris Ruppert
Winter 2013 Trail & Timberline • Issue 1021 • www.cmc.org
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Departments 01 Letter from the CEO 06 On the Outside 08 Mission Accomplishments
Learn the latest from the conservation and youth education departments, as well as news on our new Director of Member and Volunteer Engagement
12 Around Colorado
What’s happening in your group?
14 Letter from Gerry Roach
On the Cover
The Ouray Ice Festival. By Anne Martin
20 Safety First
Be prepared for your backcountry ski trip. By Donny Roth
42 End of the Trail
Remembering those who have passed.
43 CMC Adventure Travel
Want to get away? Wander the world with your friends at the CMC on these classic trips. Correction: In the Fall Issue, three photos in the “Alpine Start” article were incorrectly credited to Frank Burzynski. The photos on pages 34 and 36 were taken by Fred Larke.
Dream Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, with Hallett Peak in the background. Frank Burzynski
Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation
1. Publication Title: Trail and Timberline 2. Publication Number: 0041-0756 3. Filing Date: 10/1/13 4. Issue Frequency: Quarterly 5. Number of Issues Published Annually: 4 6. Annual Subscription Price: $20 7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 710 10th St., Suite 200, Golden, CO 80401 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: 710 10th St., Suite 200, Golden, CO 80401 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Publisher: Colorado Mountain Club, 710 10th St., Suite 200, Golden, CO 80401; Editor: Christian Green, 710 10th St., Suite 200, Golden, CO 80401; Managing Editor: Christian Green, 710 10th St., Suite 200, Golden, CO 80401 10. Owner: Colorado Mountain Club, 710 10th St., Suite 200, Golden, CO 80401 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None 12. Tax Status: Has not changed during preceding 12 months. 13. Publication Title: Trail and Timberline 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: Fall 2013 (September) 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation: a. Total number of copies (Net press run): Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 5,078 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 4,262
b. Paid Circulation (1) Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include paid distribution above nominal rate, advertiser's proof copies, and exchange copies) Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 3,874 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 3,198 (2) Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include paid distribution above nominal rate, advertiser's proof copies, and exchange copies) Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 1,104 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 964 (3) Paid Distribution Outside the Mails Including Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid Distribution Outside USPS® iv. Paid Distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail®) Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A (4) Paid Distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail®) Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A c. Total Paid Distribution: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 4,978 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 4,162 d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (1) Free or Nominal Rate Outside-County Copies included on PS Form 3541 Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single
Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A (2) Free or Nominal Rate In-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541 Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A (3) Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail) Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A (4) Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail (Carriers or other means) Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: N/A No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: N/A f. Total Distribution Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 4,978 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 4,162 g. Copies Not Distributed Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 100 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 100 h. Total Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 5,078 No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 4,262 i. Percent Paid Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months: 100% No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: 100% 16. The Publication of Statement of Ownership will be printed in this, the Winter 2013 issue of publication. 17. I certify that all information state above is true and complete. Christian Green, Editor, October 1, 2013.
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Trail & timberline
The official publication of the Colorado Mountain Club since 1918.
Editor Christian Green firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Colorado Mountain Club 710 10th Street, Suite 200 Golden, Colorado 80401 303-279-3080 The CMC is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.
www.cmc.org The Colorado Mountain Club is organized to
What do you give the Outdoor Addict who already has
!? g n i h o the CMC. yt ip t r e e emb rsh m v f o ift eive them the g G
No long lines, no last minute shopping, and no racking your brain (and wallet) to find the latest gear craze. The CMC connects people with the Colorado Mountain experience. What holiday gift can you think of that offers 25 skills schools, 3000 trips per year, discounts on gear, books, international travel, a mountaineering museum, access to film, music, art festivals and more? It’s not your latest gadget. Your outdoor enthusiast will appreciate membership to the premier organization providing human-powered mountain adventures that are safe, enjoyable, and environmentally responsible since 1912.
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▶ 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. © 2013 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.
→ 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 30% from retailers and corporate partners. See www.cmc.org/benefits for details. → Receive the Shared Member Rates of other regional mountaineering clubs and a host of their perks and benefits, including lodging. Visit cmc.org/Alpine6 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. By donating $1,000 or more to the Annual Campaign, you'll enjoy the exclusive benefits of the Summit Society, including hikes to places that the CMC's conservation department is working to protect, an annual appreciation event, and a complimentary copy of a new CMC Press book. If you have any questions about donations, please contact Sarah Gorecki, Development Director, at 303.996.2752 or email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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! ▶ 40% off admission at the American Mountaineering Museum
▶ 20% 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 Visit www.cmc.org/join Trail & Timberline
On the Outside Moonscape between Mount Cameron and Mount Lincoln. Rick Gaither
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Mission Accomplishments Conservation Department Launches New Programs By Heather MacSlarrow
The CMC Conservation Department is driven not only by the overarching mission of the CMC, but also by four key directives: to promote stewardship, defend quiet recreation, enhance public access to Colorado landscapes, and protect wild places. Every year, the conservation department delineates a work plan with action items designed to fulfill these mission statements. We plan and lead stewardship projects across the state, engage in state and federal agency travel management planning, maintain public access to important recreation sites, and work diligently on new wilderness designations. This year, in addition to continuing our work on public lands, we are broadening our reach to include private lands. Private lands are both ecologically and recreationally important. There has been an increasing awareness among the conservation community that issues need to be addressed from a watershed or ecosystem viewpoint to increase project success. The thought is that conservation issues, such as wildlife habitat corridors or invasive species, are not confined by land ownership boundaries, but rather by natural boundaries and should be managed as such. We are applying that principle to our work here, so that we can address conservation issues on a truly statewide basis, rather than just on the network of public lands across the state. Together, public and private lands hold the keys to increasing access statewideâ€”creating new areas for quiet recreation, allowing for an even greater breadth of stewardship and volunteer projects, and protecting important lands from excessive development. We are in the process of developing a suite of programs to partner with private land owners to meet our conservation mission and objectives and provide incentive to landowners to engage in conservation activities. These programs are as follows: EcoStay, EcoGo, and EcoWeek Ecotourism is gaining widespread popularity as a way to travel to amazing places without negatively impacting the destination environment or culture. There are 8
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many interpretations of the definition and application of ecotourism, with trips running the gamut from passive experience (viewing) to active experience (stewardship) and everything in between. We are looking to partner with landowners who want to use their property for ecotourism programs. With EcoStay, owners will be able to rent out houses and adjacent land for nightly use and recreation purposes, while EcoGo will be designed to allow individuals to purchase day use passes to use available private lands for quiet recreation. Finally, EcoWeek will be composed of week-long ecotourism trips that are made up of recreation and stewardship activities. Landowners are compensated for use, which provides incentive to keep land undeveloped and to maintain wild places. Community members are allowed access to beautiful locations and increased infrastructure for quiet use recreation. EcoRights More and more companies are choosing to become environmentally sustainable, both for moral and resource use purposes, as well as to appeal to a growing market that chooses products from ecologically responsible companies over their competitors. One of the best tools for companies to achieve sustainability is to offset their resource use with resource conservation. For instance, a brewing company that wants to become â€œwater neutralâ€? may compensate water rights holders to leave water in the stream for some months out of the year and essentially subtract the water saved from water used. Or a technology company that wants to offset fossil fuel use may compensate mineral rights owners to leave minerals undeveloped and weight them against fossil fuels used. These follow the concept of carbon trading, where companies that need to offset carbon use purchase carbon offsets from entities that planted trees or sequestered carbon in another way. Rights agreements can follow any timeline (monthly, annually, in perpetuity) so they can be adjusted to other land use needs, such as agriculture. We are hoping to connect Colorado landowners interested in leveraging their rights to such conservation programs. This
would allow us to protect and steward important wild places throughout Colorado. All of these programs are in fledgling stages, and their success, which relies on the CMC building a strong coalition of private landowners, remains to be seen. We need your help to implement them. Please contact Heather MacSlarrow, director of the Conservation Department, if you or someone you know has appropriate properties and would like to be involved in any of these programs. You can e-mail her at email@example.com. For Eco Stay, EcoGo, and EcoWeek, we are looking for properties with significant acreage that can be used for recreation purposes and have wild characteristics. For EcoRights, we are looking for property owners that hold water or mineral rights they would like to conserve. We look forward to hearing from you. Please Take a Minute to Complete Our Online Survey The Conservation Department is looking for YOUR feedback! The CMC Conservation Department develops a work plan every year that outlines our education, stewardship, and advocacy goals. These goals are based around our four conservation directives mentioned above. The nature of conservation is that all of these issues are linked: the designation of wilderness provides places for quiet recreation, and the nature of recreation management affects wild systems, such as nutrient cycling, biodiversity, pollution, and water tables. Our ability to provide volunteers for stewardship projects affects the access granted to us and determines future access by encouraging responsible trail use. As such, we keep our finger on the pulse of all conservation issues affecting Colorado, from small ecosystemspecific idiosyncrasies to global resource flows. We want our actions to reflect the conservation priorities of our membership and supporters, because we speak within the conservation community on your behalf. This year, we are launching a feedback project to better inform our efforts. Please take a moment to check out and complete our online survey: https://www. surveymonkey.com/s/HRHFRJW. It should take less than five minutes of your time. In addition, we will be asking you about your conservation opinions when we see you at meetings and events. You can also contact our Conservation Department with any thoughts you have by e-mailing Heather MacSlarrow, Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Q&A with Our New Member and Volunteer Engagement Director, Brenda Porter On October 1, Brenda Porter, formerly the director of operations for the CMC, moved into a new position with the Club. During September, she began developing a plan for her first 90 days and met with numerous volunteers to hear their thoughts on volunteerism and membership within the Club. 1) Describe your new role and how it will benefit our members and groups:
My new role is significant because it is the first senior CMC staff position dedicated entirely to supporting members and volunteers. My position focus is a result of CMC research demonstrating that new members who donâ€™t get engaged in activities are less likely to renew their membership. So, one of my priorities will be welcoming all new members with a personal phone call and helping them to get onto a pathway to our many activities. I will lead our membership services team to provide on-going support to our members, including new Web-based and in-person training. I will also conduct a needs assessment for volunteers in all of our groups and help develop volunteer capacity through recruitment, training, incentives, and support. For example, the CMC needs a statewide Outreach Team to provide speakers for group monthly meetings and mountain skills education for our groups statewide. Another focus of my job is to provide support to the Adventure Travel Committee and Adventure Travel trip leaders, as well as the State Safety and Leadership Committee. 2) What are some of the challenges you will face and what are you most looking forward to in working with the different groups?
Starting a new program from the ground up is exciting! I am looking forward to getting to know even more of our inspiring members and volunteers and finding ways to sustain them in the CMC. One of the challenges is finding enough resources-both time and money-to devote to all of our groups. Another challenge is managing all of our information; I am already working with a group of volunteers and staff to develop a new volunteer database. â–ł
Courtesy Brenda Porter
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Youth Education Program Brings the Mountains to After School By Molly Daley, Youth Education Program Coordinator
There’s a chill in the air and the vibrant colors of the changing leaves have begun to fall and scatter in the wind. The school year is in full swing and, as such, the CMC’s Youth Education Program (YEP) has once again returned to its bustling schedule of school group and after school programming. While the dog days of YEP summer are now just a collection of pleasant memories, many of the familiar faces of past summer participants continue to grace the Mountain Explorer’s Lab through our rapidly expanding After School Programs. The vision behind YEP After School Programs is to demonstrate and instruct the fundamental skills and concepts of rock climbing and other outdoor recreation in a fun and safe environment, thereby providing accessibility for local kids to explore and enjoy their Rocky Mountain “backyard.” It is our hope that these programs will help instill confidence, leadership, and decisionmaking ability by facilitating activities that encourage communication, support, and trust. A year ago marked the beginning of YEP After School Programs, with an inaugural 8-week session of After School Climbing Club for 3rd through 6th grade students at Fairmount Elementary, in Jefferson County. In no time, it became clear that there was significant interest among Fairmount families, as registration for the first session quickly reached maximum enrollment. The energy and eagerness to learn brought by the Fairmount students only added to the success of this pilot program. Word spread swiftly, with more and more parents starting to inquire about YEP and the programs we had to offer. That success carried through the rest of the 2012–2013 school year, leading to a second sold-out session of Climbing Club and the development of the Fairmount Early Release Day program series. Riding the momentum generated by Fairmount Elementary, we quickly moved to extend our after school offerings to students at Bell Middle School, in Golden. There was a keen desire to integrate new challenges and more advanced skills among the older group, which prompted us to incorporate some outings to a couple of local
Members of Bell After School Climbing Club brave the early spring conditions and test their skills outside at Tunnel One climbing area in Clear Creek Canyon. Molly Daley
climbing areas. The Bell students couldn’t seem to get enough! It was that very enthusiasm that inspired the creation of an entirely new program—Bell Outdoor Leadership Club. Throughout a 5-week session last spring, we traveled to a number of nearby parks and explored a variety of outdoor recreation skills, while also focusing on leadership development. With the arrival of the new school year, we have added yet another Jefferson County school to our growing community—the Manning School. Already this fall, after school programs are well under way at each of our current partnering schools. The excitement, however, does not stop there. We continue to receive requests to facilitate after school programs with schools and non-profit youth organizations across the Front Range. As an outdoor educator, my motivation is helping kids establish a deeper connection to the natural environment and their own personal development through outdoor adventure. One of the most fulfilling aspects of working with the CMC’s Youth Education Program is witnessing the impact our programs can have on a student. This is especially apparent with the students who devotedly enroll in our camps and after school programs. One student, in particular, stands out as a devout YEP participant—
Taylor. Taylor has attended numerous YEP summer courses during the past few years, with no shortage of enthusiasm or desire to send every climbing route in sight. He and his mother have also been the driving force behind launching after school programs at not one, but two schools in the Jefferson County School District. This past summer, Taylor participated in our Camping and Climbing course and traveled with us to beautiful Penitente Canyon, located in the San Luis Valley. One morning, Taylor approached the YEP instructors and announced, “Today is my birthday!” Everyone wished him a happy birthday and began to discuss a proper celebration for when we returned to camp later that evening. “Not a bad place to celebrate, eh Taylor?” I added, as we prepared to embark on the day’s climbing adventures. “It’s exactly where I wanted to be. This camp was my birthday present!” That statement struck a chord with me that continues to resonate. These kids are so invested in the outdoor recreation activities and programs we offer that they ask to participate in YEP courses for their birthday. It is inspiring to know that we are making that kind of impact in a young person’s life. △ Trail & Timberline
Our groups across the State DENVER Who Are We? Our website—www.hikingdenver.net—is where you’ll find everything about the Colorado Mountain Club’s Denver Group. With over 3,200 members, we offer something for everyone 18 years or older who loves the outdoors. The CMC leads over 3,000 trips a year into the mountains. Would you like to meet folks in your age range? Check out the Trailblazers (21–40) or the very popular Over the Hill Gang (50+). For more information, take a look at the e-version of our monthly newsletter, Mile High Mountaineer, at www.hikingdenver.net Get Involved Get involved with hiking, including wildflower and photography hikes; fly fishing; rock climbing; learn new skills at our schools; or work on a conservation project. All of our trips and schools are led by member volunteers. Learn More Send an e-mail to email@example.com for specific questions. Or attend one of our New and Prospective Member Orientations on January 7 or February 24, both of which start at 6:30 pm at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden. For more details go to www.cmc.org/Calendar/ Events.aspx Upcoming Schools and Programs (All held at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden). Please check out the links below: Fly Tying School Starts January 7. For more details go to http:// www.hikingdenver.net/schools/flytying Basic Mountaineering School Orientation Held January 7 and January 13. Interested Members must attend one of the sessions. Basic Mountaineering School Starts March 10. For more details go to http:// www.hikingdenver.net/schools/bms Avalanche Terrain Avoidance (two separate sessions) Starts January 9 or February 5. For more details go to http://www.hikingdenver.net/schools/avalanche-terrain-avoidance-seminar Open Climbs Indoor climbing at the American Mountaineering Center. Members must know how to belay. Bring your own helmet and harness. For more dates and details, look for “Open Climb” on the schedule: www.cmc.org/Calendar/Trips.aspx High Altitude Mountaineering School Starts January 22. For more details go to http:// www.hikingdenver.net/schools/hams
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CMC members enjoying the Via Ferrata in the Dolomites.▼
AIARE Level 1 (two separate sessions) Starts January 31 or February 26. For more details go to http://www.hikingdenver.net/schools/ aiare-i-avalanche-school Winter Camping School Starts February 4. For more details go to http:// www.hikingdenver.net/schools/wintercampingschool Wilderness First Aid Starts March 5. For more details go to www.hikingdenver.net/schools/wilderness-first-aid Fly Fishing Monthly Program Starts March 20. For more details go to http:// www.cmcflyfish.org/ BOULDER Who Are We? The Boulder Group came into existence in 1920, eight years after the Colorado Mountain Club was founded. Today, the group’s 1,100-plus members enjoy a variety of climbing, hiking, backpacking, running, and skiing activities. Boulder Group outings range from casual after-work hikes to leisurely flower photography walks to high mountain meadows. With our proximity to the Flatirons and Eldorado Canyon, it’s no surprise that rock climbing is a favorite activity. Details about Boulder Group Outings may be found at http://www.cmcboulder.org/trips/ Get Educated One of the hallmarks of the Boulder Group is the robust set of classes and clinics it offers. During the winter, the Boulder Group offers advanced mountaineering school, telemark clinic, backcountry ski clinic, ice climbing clinic, ski mountaineering, and winter camping. The list of schools and clinics can be found online at http:// www.cmcboulder.org/bms/winterSchedule. html. Online registration began October 15. Fill out the application and email it to bmswinter@ cmcboulder.org. Get Involved There are many ways to become involved with the Boulder Group, by participating in outings, taking courses, volunteering, working on conservation projects, and leading trips. New trip leaders and co-leaders are always welcome; interested persons should contact the Outings Chair and/or view the information at www.cmcboulder. org/trips/#TripCoLeaders A great way for new and prospective CMC members to learn more about the Boulder Group and its many classes, trips, and activities is to attend one of the Open Houses that take place at 7:00–8:30 pm on the 3rd Wednesday
of every odd-numbered month. Open house dates will be listed on our Meetup (http://www. meetup.com/Colorado-Mountain-Club-Boulder-Group/) and Facebook pages (https://www. facebook.com/ColoradoMountainClubBoulder). Experienced members will be on hand to share their enthusiasm and knowledge about hiking, camping, peak bagging, rock climbing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and more. The Open Houses take place at the Boulder Group club room, in the Table Mesa Shopping Center, on the southwest corner of Broadway and Table Mesa Road. We hope to see you and a friend there! FORT COLLINS The Fort Collins Group is the fourth-largest Group in the CMC with nearly 400 members from the north Front Range area. We offer year-round activities, from monthly programs, to hiking, climbing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, various schools, and more. This year our Annual Dinner Meeting was held on November 9 and featured keynote speaker Colorado landscape photographer John Fielder. Normally our programs are on the third Wednesday of the month ( January to June and September to October) and feature a potluck dinner in February with talks by members on topics such as lessons learned from recent trips. In addition, our annual picnic BBQ is held every June. We recently concluded our highly successful mountain hiking school with a graduation hike up Mount Mahler and a leadership session involving skill building
for trip leaders. Our activity leaders are trained and lead trips at all levels of difficulty and interests. We are offering snowshoe and cross-country ski workshops, as well as avalanche awareness training this winter. Our Young Adventurers section focuses on trips for those from 18 through 40+ years old, and isn’t exclusive. For further information on the Fort Collins Group, visit our Web site at http://www.fortcmc.org/. PIKES PEAK Who Are We? The Pikes Peak Group is based out of Colorado Springs. We are a diverse group of approximately 600 members with a variety of activities and challenge levels that include: hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, biking, ice climbing, skiing, snow climbing, conservation activities, and snowshoeing. In addition, we offer courses in basic mountaineering, which includes wilderness fundamentals, land navigation, rock climbing, alpine snow mountaineering, ice climbing, and backpacking; high altitude mountaineering, which includes glacier travel; backcountry skiing; anchor building; lead climbing (rock and ice); introduction avalanches; snowshoeing; wilderness first aid; hut to hut clinic; scrambling clinic; lightweight and ultralight backpacking clinic; winter wilderness survival; and GPS training. Below is a list of upcoming classes, beginning in January: PPG Pikes Peak Intro to Backcountry Skiing January 6, 2014; Cost $50 Learn the gear, maintenance, safety, and entrylevel techniques for backcountry skiing. Backcountry skiing is a great way to enjoy the wilderness with a little more skill and finesse, yet it is still a wonderful way to beat the ever rising resort lift ticket fees and crowds. There will be two classroom and three field sessions for the class. The cost is $50 for the classroom sessions and handouts. There are also rental costs, if you don’t own the gear, and the fee for a trail pass for one day at a Nordic center. Classroom dates are January 6 and 9, from 6:00 to 9:30 pm, and the field dates are all day, January 12, 19, and 26. A general fitness level to go on a full-day ski trip is required for the field sessions. The first classroom session is the same as the snowshoe class below. PPG Snowshoe Class January 6, 2014; Cost $20 Learn the gear, maintenance, safety, and entrylevel techniques for this entry into the winter wonderland for many people and a common activity in the winter schedule. This is also a wonderful way of beating the ever rising resort lift ticket fees and crowds. There will be two classroom sessions on January 6 and 8, from 6:00 to 9:30 pm, and one field session on January 11. The
course cost is $20. There are also rental costs if you don’t own the gear. A general fitness level to go on a full-day snowshoe trip is required for the field session. The first classroom session is the same as the backcountry ski class. PPG Avalanche Level 1 January 28, 2014; Cost $125 This is the Level 1 avalanche training required for both HAMS and BMS students, and is highly recommended for anyone going into the winter wilderness. The classroom sessions will teach you about proper gear; proper route selection; proper pre-trip research; and making safe decisions by providing an understanding of terrain, snowpack, weather, and triggers. The field session will give you the chance to practice evaluating terrain, doing a beacon search, probing and digging for a “victim,” and digging evaluation pits. This is the course to help make all other winter activities safer. Classroom dates are scheduled for January 28 and 30, from 6:00 to 9:30 pm. The field session is scheduled for all day, both February 1 and 2. All field sessions are scheduled separately as CMC trips. Attendance at both classroom sessions and both field sessions is required to successfully complete the course. The cost for this class is $125. For class details, please contact Eric Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org. A general fitness level is required to spend the day hiking around and digging in the snow. PPG Basic Mountaineering School— Colorado Ice Climbing February 3, 2014; Cost $52 This is the final module in the 2012 BMS series. Completion of this course allows certification in the BMS Alpine Mountaineering track. Congratulations! This course has a prerequisite of the BMS Alpine Snow Mountaineering and Rock Climbing modules or similar proven skills. Classroom dates are February 3 and 5. The field session is either February 8 or 9. There will be an optional extra trip to Ouray from February 14 to 17. All field sessions are scheduled as CMC trips. The cost for this class is $52. The optional overnight trip will include additional hotel and travel expenses. To register, please contact Dave Anderson at email@example.com. PPG Winter Wilderness Skills February 26, 2014; Cost $35 So now you have learned from the other classes how to get out and play in the winter wilderness, but what do you do if you get stuck out there for the night? This class will discuss the gear requirements and concepts of survival in the winter wilderness of Colorado. We will then spend a night in the wilderness to put those concepts to practice. We will build several types of winter shelters, and you will have the chance to spend the night in them using just what you carry on a win-
ter day trip, or a bit more if you are concerned. The classroom session is on February 26, from 6:00 to 9:30 pm. The overnight is March 1–2, all day both days. All field sessions are scheduled as CMC trips. The cost for this class is $35. A general fitness level to be out overnight and digging snow shelters is required. Learn More Attend the monthly Pikes Peak Group meeting the third Tuesday of each month (except May, November, and December) at 7:30 pm, at our new venue, the All Souls Unitarian Church, 730 N. Tejon Street, or connect with members of the Pikes Peak Group by joining us on one of our many trips or classes. ASPEN The Aspen Group has many trips to look forward to this winter. We have two hut trips planned, at the McNamara and the Barnard huts. Our banquet will be December 14 at the Mountain Chalet in Aspen. We always love to have guests from other groups. On February 25, Paul Andersen, the director of Huts for Vets, will talk about his program to help our veterans, as they return from combat. The program takes place each summer at the 10th Mountain Division Huts. We also look forward to our chili cook-off, on March 8, preceded by cross-country skiing. And we will have our full moon snowshoe evening in Lenado, on March 14, followed by a potluck dinner. The Aspen Group will also host a leadership class on May 17. It is always a good idea to take a refresher course on how to lead safe hikes. You can look up all of our trips on the CMC Web site, but be sure to call each listed leader to sign up for our events, because we don’t do sign-ups on the Web.
▲ Founder of the Aspen Group Jack de Pagter and current Aspen chair Carol Kurt enjoying the fall colors in Ashcroft
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It’s Not the List, It’s the Love
October 18, 2013
When I started climbing in the 1950s, the only thing I knew about the sport was what I had seen in a cartoon: Two goofydressed figures clung to a cliff with no visible means of support, connected by a rope swinging in space in loose loops. Their only tools were a pick thing and a jaunty cap feather. Choosing a non-laundry day, I swiped my mom’s cotton clothesline and lifted my dad’s claw hammer from his tool chest. Up on the Flatirons above my home in Boulder, the rope hung useless on the rock, threatening to trip me, and with no idea what to do with it, my dad’s hammer, stuck in my belt, just clawed at my gut. My climbs were secret affairs for fear that, if discovered, I would be grounded. After several climbs, each more terrifying than the last, my stealth climbs were discovered, and my fledgling climbing career came to a sputtering stop. After a period of reflection, my parents relented and said that I could climb, but only if I got proper training. I did learn the ropes and was soon going to Fourteeners with the Colorado Mountain Club. I couldn’t afford a pad and only had an Army surplus chicken feather sleeping bag. On my first climb of North Maroon in the summer of 1957, I remember a late Friday night drive to the trailhead after which I just tossed my bag on the ground right next to Maroon Lake for a chilly sleep, a solution that would be impossible today. On another Club trip, we also hiked Culebra’s complete Snake Ridge. In the summer of 1959, I scored a job as kitchen boy for the CMC’s Teton outing based in Coulter Bay. My tasks included splitting firewood, hauling water, setting, serving, clearing tables, and of course, washing the dishes. The worst was the dreaded oatmeal pot after breakfast. My pay was a chance to climb several Teton peaks, including the Grand. These humble beginnings with the CMC launched my lifelong passion for mountaineering. Now, after climbing around the world for nearly 60 years and authoring 15 books about climbing, I continue to field many questions. My most fielded question is, “How do I get started?” My immediate answer is always, “Join the CMC and take their excellent classes!” There is no better way to get proper training and meet like-minded individuals. It was at the November 1994 annual dinner in Denver that I first met my wife to be, Jennifer. We both still share many lifelong friends that we met through the Club. The Club’s menu of classes has grown over the years into a smorgasbord of topics ranging from basic hiking and navigation skills to preparing for a Himalayan ascent. These choices have expanded to include first aid, weather, photography, youth programs, and even slacklining. The CMC also runs an extensive list of trips each year. When you first look at the schedule, you may be staggered by the choices. There are easy walks, Fourteener climbs, hut trips, outings, international explorations, and major expeditions. The Club is also directly involved in conservation efforts, activities that touch the future of our ability to enjoy the mountains. There are many competing interests for the mountain resource, several of which are not compatible with the freedom of the hills that we too often take for granted. The CMC understands that, as John Muir said, “When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.” The Club’s scope has grown beyond what a dedicated volunteer army can support: Membership dues cannot pay for all that the Club offers. Beyond classes, trips, and far-flung adventures, the Club offers a mountaineering museum, gear sales, youth education programs, film festivals, social gatherings, annual banquet dinners, and a press. A reprint of one of my first guidebooks, Flatiron Classics, was produced by the CMC Press. Please look beyond your immediate passion, and help preserve tomorrow’s destiny. Remember, it’s not the list, it’s the love. Please consider making a direct financial contribution to the Club. There are many ways to do this. Simply go to cmc.org/ support, or use the envelope in this issue to make a donation. If you sign up for the CMC’s monthly donor program by December 31, you’ll receive a Mountainsmith cooler as a thank-you gift. In times of swirling consternations, it is increasingly important to focus our attention on efforts that really matter. The Colorado Mountain Club helps spread joy and knowledge beyond the immediate. Please contribute! Sincerely,
Gerry Roach SummitSight.com Montrose, Colorado 14
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Gerry Roach atop Mount Angayukaqsraq, the highpoint of Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska. Angayukaqsraq was his 53rd National Park highpoint.
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Climbing Ouray’s Mammoth Icicles By Anne Martin
Combining weight-shifting technique and strength, the climbers ascend gracefully and quickly, occasionally resting on their holds or the ropes to shake blood flow back into their frozen hands.The canyon echoes with the sharp sounds of metal on metal and the loud clinks of metal on ice, while the soft sound of the nearly frozen Uncompahgre River can be heard in the background. Climbers’ commands resonate through the canyon, such as “belay off” or “climb on!” Occasionally a loud break and sharp warning shout of “ICE!”, followed by a crash silences the canyon before the tick of tools on frozen formations resumes.This frigid place is the Ouray Ice Park, the world’s only farmed ice park. The sport is ice climbing, which is an often-overlooked activity, either because of its inaccessibility or the perceived danger involved. Ice climbing is breathtakingly beautiful, but temporary. Ice forms and changes with falling water or changing conditions. Unlike rock climbing, the route evolves over the years and even by month. New problems, such as billowing ice mushrooms, delicate icicles, and giant pillars, arise that beg to be resolved. It can be dangerous, but with proper gear to protect oneself from falling ice, in addition to awareness of conditions and technique training, the risk can be managed. Climbing ice is quite different than rock. With rock you can feel with your fingers the gaps and pits, but with ice, 16
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“School Room” climbing area. Kevin Martin.
your hands are at the end of a steel tool that searches for holds. Your feet are more fixed with the crampon points and lose the ability to be fluid in finding steps. However, unlike rock, holds can be created with the tools. Ice climbing is rooted in European mountaineering and is a relatively new addition to the world of climbing, as it started in the early 1900s. There are two basic types of ice climbing, alpine and water. Alpine ice climbing refers to the ascent of ice formed by precipitation that freezes on a mountain. Examples of alpine ice are the permanent icefalls and glaciers broken by deep crevass-
es on mountains such as Rainier, Everest, or K2, or the temporary snowfields or ice bands that form high in the Rocky Mountains. Climbers will often climb alpine ice after a long approach, and it is usually as a means to reach a summit. Water ice climbing refers to the ascent of formations resulting from freezing waterfalls or other water flow. While the technical nature of alpine ice can far exceed that of water on certain routes or in some environments, generally water ice is sought out for its more technical nature. The flow of water freezing in layers forms caverns, overhangs,
Anne Martin climbing. Kevin Martin
mushrooms, long icicles, and pillars, which all have different considerations for negotiating a climb. Mixed climbing refers to a combination of ice and rock. Each style has a separate ranking system and all are considered different categories of sport. Ouray Ice Park is home to more than 200 water ice-climbing and mixed-climbing routes. Many of these routes are top-roped, which means they are climbed from a rope that is fixed to an anchor above. However, there are also several areas to challenge climbers skilled in lead technique, or placing ice screws and fixing the rope as they ascend. The park is located mere steps from the town of Ouray and provides some of the most accessible climbing in the country. Furthermore, the park is free to climbers, because it is maintained entirely by volunteer time and funds. Climbers are asked to become members of the ice park for a $40 annual fee. While not required, it is encouraged so the park can continue to operate and be supported. The park started much by accident, as two enthusiasts, Bill Whitt and Gary Wild, while exploring the canyon, discovered natural formations as well as walls created by leaks in the water supply to Ouray. Inspired by the leaky water supply, Whitt and Wild used personal funds and supplies to run common PVC pipe and many garden hoses up the canyon supplying water. They attached faucets and showerheads to spray out water and create formations. In 1997, Ouray Ice Park, Inc. donated volunteer time and supplies that provided a more sophisticated system. The current system gravity feeds overflow water from the City of Ouray’s water tank. While visitors have been coming to the park since the 1970s, it was the upgrade of the system and ice climbing gear that prompted hundreds of climbers to visit Ouray each year. Local guiding companies, such as San Juan Mountain Guides, instruct novice and expert climbers on basic and advanced techniques. The schools are led by some of the most expert climbers and skilled mountaineers in the world. The gear required to ice climb is similar to basic mountaineering equipment, but with simple design modifications that allow it to be used on vertical ice and withstand the environment. Europeans climbing the Alps began experi-
menting with crampon design in the 1930s by positioning the front point to be more horizontal and the crampons themselves to be more rigid. This allowed climbers to kick into more vertical formations and rest their weight on the crampons without fear of popping out of the hold. However, it was with Yvon Chouinard’s changes to the ice axe in 1966 when ice climbing rapidly gained popularity. Traditional mountaineering axes measured approximately 150 to 160 centimeters with the pick having only a gentle curve. Chouinard shortened the axe to only 55 centimeters and dramatically increased the curve of
the pick, which aided in the stability of the tool in holding the climber’s weight. Current axes have only changed slightly, with removable leashes for the climber’s wrist, slightly shorter shafts, and with revolutionary materials allowing for extremely lightweight gear. Ropes used for ice climbing have a dry coating that helps the rope resist taking on water. A wet rope is heavier, becomes larger, and is more difficult to manage. Aside from the crampons, axe, and rope, other gear to navigate the Ouray Ice Park includes all the basic climbing standards: anchor-setting webbing and locking carabiners, a belay Trail & Timberline
Ouray Ice Festival, Box Canyon. Flags represent countries participating in the competition. Anne Martin.
device, harness, non-locking carabiners, stiff-soled boots (usually plastic), and warm clothes, not to mention a helmet to protect oneself from falling ice, which is common. As water freezes, air pockets form within the ice. Additionally, changes in temperature cause softer or harder ice. Debris from neighboring rock, blowing dust, and dirt can incorporate itself into the ice and weaken the formation. When an ice axe is thrown into the ice, if temperatures change or too much ice weights a formation, blocks will dislodge and fall. If not in the way of danger, it can be an incredible sight to behold, so climbers must be aware and careful of where and how they place their tools and hold their weight. The vertical walls of Ouray’s ice castles are ever changing, based on how quickly the water freezes and how the water settles and forms. An ice route can contain any number of formations, from bulbous cauliflower steps, long delicate chandeliers, and aerated pocketed walls with countless places for pick placement, to solid pillars plasticized with melting water. Each formation and 18
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combination presents problems for the climber to resolve and be challenged. The park is filled with these formations, and it is the amplitude of challenge that sparked the first Ice Festival in Ouray, which is now the largest festival in North America, if not the world, and perhaps the only festival of its kind. The festival was first organized by Jeff Lowe in 1996 as a way to attract attention to the park and the sport. By 2008, the festival saw its record number of attendees reach 5,000, and it has attracted worldclass climbers, such as Ines Papert of Bavaria, Germany, and France’s Simon Duverney, the top female and male competitors at the 2013 Ouray Ice Festival, sponsored by Asolo and Rock & Ice magazine, among others. The Ice Festival is host to two competitions, the elite mixed and, new to 2013, the speed competition. The mixed climbing competition features a route chosen in the canyon of moderate difficulty. The festival organizers affix a structure above the route made of plywood, plastic climbing holds, a hanging log, and rods. Climbers are judged on how quickly they ascend the ice, transition from the ice to the log, and then return to the plywood wall that reaches to the top. The speed climbing competition is on a separate route and is exactly how it sounds, although spectators are shocked when climbers Kevin Martin climbing. Anne Martin.
reach the top of a typical route in less than a minute. The Ouray Ice Park’s board of directors chooses all competitors based on an application evaluating experience and accomplishments. Approximately 15 to 20 competitors participate in a given year, competing for $16,000 in prize money. While the elite competitor field is small, in a typical year, 3,000 climbers and spectators visit the festival. The festival organizes clinics for kids, novice adults, and experts. Local guides and even some of the top competitors instruct these half-day or fullday courses. So popular, the courses typically reach capacity within the first few days of being announced, so it is an experience to be planned in advance. Clinics range from introductory, advanced mixed, lead climbing, women’s specific, children, and specific techniques, such as footwork or ice screw placement. In addition to clinics and competition, the festival attracts major sponsors that provide free gear demos for athletes and climbers. In addition to climbing, films on athletes and the sport are featured each night at the Ouray Main Street Theater and the Wright Opera House. In 2013, a feature film of Ines Papert’s attempt to climb the southeast face of Mount Kyzyl Asker (5,842 meters)
Ines Papert during the speed competition, at Ouray Ice Festival. Anne Martin.
in Kyrgyzstan had viewers on the edge of their seats. After the show, Papert treated visitors to a slideshow of climbing the ice city at the Harbin International Ice Festival in China, which is not permitted, but for which she was granted special access after proving she would not harm the ice structures. Visitors leave the festival inspired and in awe of the sport and its athletes. The 19th Annual Ouray Ice Festival will be held January 9–12, 2014. Although the specially designed ice-climbing route is restricted to some of the best ice climbers in the world, many clinics and events are open to the public. The free Kid’s Climbing Clinic introduces children ages 8 to 17 to the art of ice climbing, while other activities include zip-lining and ice carving, not to mention music, parties, and entertainment. Reservations for clinics and hotels should be made well in advance. For those who want to start to learn the sport of ice climbing, enthusiasts often recommend the gear demos and clinics offered
at the Ouray Ice Festival to get a feel for the sport and learn basic techniques. Beginners are advised to rent or borrow gear the first time, because it is expensive to buy and difficult to sell, especially out of season. It can be helpful to first practice with crampons and ice tools on low angle snow or alpine ice in the mountains, read as much as possible about the sport of ice climbing, and learn basic rock climbing techniques taught by instructors at the Colorado Mountain Club (see http://www.cmc. org/Classes/CMCClassesandSchools for upcoming schools). Seek out basic ice climbing instruction that teaches site awareness, technical ice axe and crampon use, handling rope systems, understanding ice protection, selection of proper gear, and how to fuel the body in frigid winter temperatures, such as that offered by San Juan Mountain Guides in
Ouray and the Colorado Mountain Club (see http://www.cmc.org/Classes/CMCClassesandSchools). Then head out to Ouray’s icy wonderland and have fun! Anne Martin is a native Coloradan and a member of the Denver Group. She is a novice climber of vertical ice and rock but thoroughly enjoys class 3 and 4 scrambling in high alpine environments. She also enjoys glacier travel and has made two unguided summits of Mount Rainier via the Emmons Glacier route and hopes to spend more time on the Northwest volcanoes. Most of her time is spent training for marathons and ultramarathons on trails across Colorado. Ouray and Silverton are her favorite areas to train and spend time. Anne has volunteered as an assistant instructor for Wilderness Trekking School (WTS), while her husband, Kevin, has volunteered as an assistant instructor for Basic Mountaineering School (BMS). △
Climbers and belayers below prepare for the speed competition at the Ouray Ice Festival. Anne Martin.
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Some Tips for Planning a Backcountry Ski Trip
By Donny Roth, Dynafit Athlete and Professional Ski Guide
Don’t slip! Be careful! Be safe. How many times have you said these words? And yet, do they really help the situation? They elevate awareness levels, which might be good, but if your attention is not properly directed, it may make matters worse. Skiing in the backcountry—the mountains beyond the ski resort boundaries—becomes more popular with each season. The industry and the experts are all now trying to get people to “Be Responsible.” What exactly does this mean?
Dynafit hits the skin track. Garrett Grove
If you are skiing in a place where the ski patrol does not work, you are in the backcountry. It does not matter if it is five feet outside the resort boundary, or the most remote place in Alaska. Everyone understands that the ski patrol is there as a rescue service of sorts; they are there to pick up injured people. They also do a tremendous amount of work to prevent incidents. They do avalanche control work, mark hazards, and tell people to slow down or be aware of a particular hazard. In the backcountry, there is no ski patrol. You’re on your own, so be responsible. Being responsible for yourself in the backcountry means understanding the skill level and motivation of your group; picking an objective that is appropriate and considers the real hazards; planning and preparing properly; and finally, making sound, rational decisions while traveling. Take an avalanche safety and awareness
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course. If you haven’t taken a Level I avalanche course in the last three years or so, take another one. After you’ve completed an avalanche course, you should have a much easier time reading the avalanche bulletin and identifying other significant hazards in the backcountry. Today, most avalanche bulletins go beyond a “danger scale” and try to identify the actual hazard in the field. At the airport, we have been at “Orange” (High) threat level for more than 10 years, but that doesn’t often register. But if someone told you that at every odd-numbered gate there was a guy ready to hit you with a water balloon, I bet you would plan accordingly. It doesn’t mean too much when we say the hazard for the day is “Considerable.” It is a lot more helpful to say something such as: “there is a storm slab on a reactive layer at a certain aspect and elevation.” Taking an avalanche course will help you understand the hazards you will encounter.
Most avalanches occur on slopes with angles between 30º and 45º. This is also the range of slope angles most of us would consider “good” skiing. If the pitch you are skiing feels like one of your favorite runs at a ski resort, it is likely avalanche terrain. The important thing to keep in mind is that many of the same sensations you look for at a ski resort are actually the ones that can lead us to trouble in the backcountry. Look at this new environment with a fresh perspective—and new questions! Be well prepared. Clothing that keeps you warm and dry while you are in motion and at rest is essential. Dial in your layering system. You need to have enough food and water for the day. Bonking leads to poor decisions, which leads to accidents. Consider having between 200 and 300 calories of food for every hour you plan to be out. You should probably have at least a liter of water for every three hours, but this var-
Donny Roth finds the powder in British Columbia. Garrett Grove
ies greatly depending on the day and the person. Remember: don’t let it freeze! Have a plan for navigation. Maps and compasses still work well. GPS devices and even some smartphone apps work really well and can be fun to use. Have a plan for how you will communicate to the outside world in case it’s needed. Consider having a way to build a very simple shelter, a good first aid kit, and a basic repair kit. Beacon, shovel, and probe? Check. These three items are a given in the backcountry. They work together and everyone in the group needs to have all three. You should also have dependable gear. If those old, flimsy three-pin bindings you bought at a gear swap fail on the first turn, your 30-minute slide back to the trailhead will become considerably longer. Prioritize the pieces of gear you will depend on to return home safely. A $150 pair of gloves or the latest, greatest GoreTex jacket will make you a little more comfortable, but you are likely to depend more on your skins, bindings, and headlamp. Once in the mountains you will be required to make a lot of decisions. This decision-making process can be the crux of the matter. If you wait until you are in the field to gather information, you will inevitably be influenced by emotions— this is not a weakness, it is human nature. The key to making good decisions in the backcountry is to make most of them in the house. You make much better decisions while warm, dry, and well fed. Spend some time inside gathering
information and create a list of options for the day. All the options should be acceptable for the group. Then state what conditions would dictate heading for each particular option. For example: if we find what we expect, we’ll head up and ski the north side of Chrome Dome, but if there’s more new snow than we anticipated, we’ll head over to the Loser Cruiser. The most important piece of the puzzle will be to identify terrain that you will not travel in under any circumstances. Again, make this decision while warm, dry, and well fed. Backcountry skiing is an incredible, rewarding experience. The joy of descending through soft snow is only made greater by putting in the effort to get there. Sure, you don’t get as many laps as you might at a resort, but every run is spectacular in some way. With this freedom comes some responsibility as well. You must make good decisions in a complex environment that’s very different than resort skiing. To have a great time in the mountains, take a little extra time at home to set yourself up for success. Pick your partners and objectives wisely. Plan and prepare with good equipment, the right amount of “just in case” gear, and plenty of food and water. Understand the avalanche hazard. Then, while in the field, be aware of emotions creeping into the decision-making process. Go back to the plan you made while warm, dry, and well fed. It will keep you safer and enable you to have a great day. △
Dynafit athlete Trevor Hunt goes for recon mission in the British Columbia backcountry. Garrett Grove
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The Sniktau Snafu: The 1976 Denver Winter olympic Games That Weren't By Jay Fell
"Colorado voters sent the 1976 Olympics in search of a new home Tuesday," wrote a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News a few days after the November elections in 1972. "Anti-Olympic forces viewed the vote as the beginning of a new era in which politicians will be more attuned to limiting population growth and rendering priorities for spending tax funds." And just days later, Denver officially ended its bid to host the 1976 Games, the only time in history that a city awarded an Olympiad has ever relinquished them. But that in effect was the decision of Colorado's voters in an election with powerful environmental concerns that shaped the state for decades to come. The official logo of the 1976 Denver Winter Olympics. Courtesy Denver Public Library.
The idea of holding the Winter Olympics in Colorado had begun years before, when the postwar ski industry took hold as a major force in recreation, tourism, and the Colorado economy. Though downhill and crosscountry skiing stretched back to territorial days, it was the advent of new techniques and technology that created a huge boom in downhill skiing along the new I-70 corridor west of Denver. While the Loveland and Arapahoe Basin areas preceded World War II, as did the ski jumping center of Steamboat Springs, the postwar boom accelerated development, and downhill skiing became the prestige winter sport of the affluent new baby boomers. Keystone, Breckenridge, and Vail leapt into being as destination resorts. And the construction of I-70 22
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farther west of them made access to Aspen far easier than ever before and accentuated the advent of the so-called Aspen Renaissance launched by Elizabeth and Walter Paepcke just after World War II. This remarkable boom inevitably led to the quest to land the Winter Olympic Games. Serious efforts to that end began in Denver through the work of the Denver Organizing Committee in the mid-tolate 1960s. Their goal—the 1976 Winter Games. The proponents were well-connected, and beginning about 1967, they began to hold a series of essentially secret meetings to plan their strategy. The plan that evolved was to use existing facilities in Denver for the skating events, lands around Evergreen for the Nordic or cross-country events, and either Vail or a new resort west of Vail for the alpine competition. The University of Denver would host the skating events and the Olympic Village. But the organizers ran
afoul of Olympic rules. Since all the events had to be held within 45 miles of Denver, the committee selected Evergreen as the locale of the cross-country events; the Denver mountain parks near there for the sledding competitions; and Loveland Basin and Mount Sniktau for the alpine events. This plan was badly flawed. Even members of the committee would later acknowledge this. And compounding these problems was the committee’s approach to its work. It met mostly in secret, which contributed to bad public relations, an in-yourface attitude and contempt for the general public. But the committee, too, would run into forces beyond its control—the Denver/ anti-Denver split in state politics, the growing environmental movement, opposition to rampant growth, and Colorado’s penchant for fiscal austerity. Those issues were not apparent as the committee members presented their case, first for the United
Painted by Michelle Shappelle, a 10-year-old student in Colorado, this image depicting the skating events became a Christmas card used by the Denver Organizing Committee to secure and promote the proposed games. Courtesy Denver Public Library.
States Olympic Committee and then to the International Olympic Committee, backed by $475,000 in funds voted for by the Colorado legislature. Influential business and political leaders had long sought the Games. In 1969, then governor John Love stated frankly that “Hosting the Winter Olympics has been a goal of Denver for many years. . . . Denver has been watching, waiting, and grooming itself ” to host the event, and the effort was “strongly backed . . . by its people.” And seeking the Games had widespread support. Newspapers supported the effort, letters to the editor lauded the idea, and even future opponents, such as Colorado Mountain Club member and then State Representative Dick Lamm of Denver (later the most prominent opponent of the Games), voted with a unanimous House of Representatives to support Denver’s bid. But there were already signs of dissent. The first key opponent was Vance R. Dittman, Jr., a retired professor of law at the University of Denver He supported the Games, but not the planned schedule of Nordic events around Evergreen, where he lived. He found out that the organizers, working mostly in secret, had planned for the cross-country events to cross his property and that of his neighbors. The DOC failed to reply to his queries or evaded direct questions. And so in 1968, he began to organize opposition to the Evergreen site, even before Denver received the award. He and several colleagues also did research that revealed that the temperatures in February
would be too warm for the Nordic events— temperatures were generally above freezing. Other groups, such as the Hill and Dale Society, followed up. And still more opponents cited the economic and environmental costs, but they were all drowned out by those who saw the Games as a triumph for Colorado, its ski industry, and continued strong growth in housing along the Front Range and in the foothills.
Growth of the anti-olympics movement
This early opposition notwithstanding, in May 1970, the International Olympic Committee awarded Denver the Games. Once Denver had the Games, opposition to them began to mount. In August, Dittman organized the first entity to oppose the Games, Protect Our Mountain Environment, or POME, as it came to be known. And the prominent columnist for the Denver Post, Joanne Ditmer, wrote that she feared a “solid line of phony alpine motels and condominiums” running “from Denver to Loveland Ski Basin.” Her column linked the Olympics to Colorado’s booming growth, which was fast becoming a public issue. The environmental community in Colorado was new and split over the Games. Some like the Rocky Mountain Center for the Environment actually favored the Games, because it would be another six years that would allow for careful planning to address concerns such as road construc-
tion, parking, and new trail development. The Colorado Open Space Council said nothing on the subject at all. And this left small organizations like POME swinging in the wind. But the burgeoning issue in the state at that time was uncontrolled growth, particularly the housing boom that saw new communities sprawling onto the plains. There was growing concern among many Coloradans that developers and other progrowth elements had become too large and too influential. It was said that they owned some communities and city councils. Many older residents who had lived through hard times during the Great Depression welcomed growth. So, too, did miners in the coalfields around Denver who found better jobs in construction and new industries as the mines closed after World War II; small business people who sought to sell everything to new homeowners in town; and farmers who wanted to sell agricultural lands and water rights at huge profits. But arrayed against them were the growing environmental groups concerned about unregulated growth and interested in wilderness areas, especially the new baby boomers coming into Colorado with better jobs and a different social, economic, and environmental commitment than many older people. The growth of the anti-Olympics movement was in some measure a generational conflict. They feared that the Olympics would stimulate faster, uncontrolled growth that might destroy the good life they had come here to enjoy. As debate over the award intensified, it increasingly focused itself along a progrowth/anti-growth narrative and so stumbled into the larger, statewide pro-growth/ anti-growth debate. Debates over growth and the environment aside, the Games needed public moneys if they were to be held. Here the Denver Organizing Committee had miscalculated badly. When it made its first proposal to the United States Olympic Committee in 1968 and then to the International Olympic Committee in 1970, the group had grossly underestimated the costs of holding the event. The proponents claimed that Denver already had about 80 percent of the facilities in place and that the city needed Trail & Timberline
This annotated depiction of Mount Sniktau, near Loveland Pass, appeared in a promotional tract to show the proposed men’s and women’s downhill at the games. Based on a photograph taken in mid-to-late March 1969, the image clearly reveals the lack of snow on the lower two-thirds of both courses. Courtesy Denver Public Library.
only a modest $14 million more for the remaining facilities. They would be low-cost, low-key Games that fitted into the existing urban footprint. With the Games awarded, however, the cost estimates surged almost overnight to $25 million. Critics pointed out that Grenoble, France, had spent some $250 million for the 1968 Games, and it appeared that Sapporo, Japan, was about to spend somewhere between $750 million and $1.3 billion for the 1972 event. By 1972, the DOC had to concede that the projected cost of the Denver Olympiad had risen to $65 million. Later in the year, it had to increase that figure to somewhere between $81 million and $91 million. It was obvious to many that cost estimates were rising exponentially with no end in sight, and the critics chimed in with new bumper stickers that read: “Olympics—$100 million snow job.” In June 1970, the DOC and opponents in the Evergreen area, the upscale home to some of Denver’s most prosperous business leaders, met at Evergreen High School to try to iron out their differences over the site of the Nordic events. Some 600 people filed into the building. It was a stressful meeting. Pro-Olympic speakers were often shouted down. The DOC, however, apparently failed to take such vociferous opposition seriously. Even Governor Love tried to reassure the Dittmans and others that the DOC would review the selection of these Front Range sites, although the DOC stated that it 24
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would make no explicit promise to move the Nordic events. Basically, the DOC was engaged in an effort to stonewall the people around Evergreen with platitudes, while pushing ahead with its original intentions. This became blatantly apparent as time passed. When a reporter for Sports Illustrated investigated the growing imbroglio in February 1971, one member of the DOC told him that if the International Olympic Committee would not countenance moving the Nordic events to another locale, “Evergreen is just going to have to eat it.” Despite growing opposition centered in Evergreen, the DOC still controlled the destiny of the Games. What the opponents mostly wanted was moving the Games out of the foothills of the Rockies—and even some supporters of the Olympics, such as Lieutenant Governor John Vanderhoof, thought that a good idea. But general opposition was clearly growing, fueled in part by the Sports Illustrated article and other factors. For the first time, Dick Lamm and Representative Robert Jackson thought about the possibility of moving the Games elsewhere, though Jackson ran into a buzz saw of opposition when he raised the issue in his district. And as opposition grew, the Dittman group released its research that the foothills of the Front Range were too warm and had too little snow for the Nordic events—less than five inches of snow had fallen annually since 1963. The DOC had little retort for that except to suggest
creating artificial snow.
Citizens for Colorado's future and the November 1972 election By the end of 1971, Lamm, Jackson, Dittman of POME, and others met in Denver to see what actually might be done about the Olympics and the plans of the DOC. This led to the organization of Citizens for Colorado’s Future, which overnight became the center of opposition to the Games. It first began to advertise to counteract the official press releases of the DOC. It sought to gauge public sentiment more fully. And it soon took a political position. Lamm came out in opposition, calling the Games “rich man’s games paid for by poor man’s taxes.” This opposition, however, had led to internal changes at the DOC and an effort to relocate the Nordic and ski events of the Games. By 1971, the DOC finally admitted that Mount Sniktau with its high winds and lack of snow would not work for the alpine events—the Sniktau Snafu, the writer for Sports Illustrated called it. And so, the committee decided to shift the downhill events to Vail’s new proposed ski area, Beaver Creek, and the Nordic events to Steamboat Springs (both outside the 45-mile radius of Denver, as required by the Olympic Committee), but only to find those communities lukewarm to the ideas. Opposition to the Games was now growing powerfully. Citizens for Colorado’s Future obtained thousands of signatures opposing the Games and in 1972 stormed
A billboard advertisement in the fall of 1972 urging voters to reject the proposal to deny public funding for the Olympic Games. Courtesy Denver Public Library.
the Sapporo meeting of the International Olympic Committee to present them, until police intervened. Overwhelmed, the IOC withdrew its invitation for Denver to host the Games. It was stunning news, but the Denver Organizing Committee moved quickly to secure an endorsement from President Richard M. Nixon and a Congressional Resolution sponsored by Secretary of the Interior Rogers C.B. Morton to the effect that the federal government would provide financial support. The Games were back on. Though taken aback, Citizens for Colorado’s Future now went directly to the people. During the next few months, it obtained more than 77,000 signatures to put
on the ballot a measure forbidding both state and city funding of the Games. Governor Love and Mayor of Denver Bill McNichols came out strongly against the measure. But the anti-Olympic movement had now garnered widespread support from groups concerned about the environment, the creation of wilderness areas, restricting unbridled growth, and curtailing the power of developers. Growth and cost now intertwined as the central issue as to whether the city and state would provide the moneys to fund the Olympic Games—a paltry $5 million—far less than the moneys actually needed. In the newsletter for Citizens for Colorado’s Future, Lamm wrote that the solution to Colorado’s growth issues was not to “build a wall around Colorado,” but to have stronger land use controls. “One of the first things we do is stop ‘selling’ Colorado . . . Stop the mindless promotion and the Chamber of Commerce boosterism, exemplified by the Olympics, which has so characterized our past policies.” The Olympics had come to be seen as symbolic of uncontrolled, unbridled growth. In November 1972, the voters made their choice. By small margins statewide and in the City of Denver, they prohibited the public funding of the 1976 Olympic Games. That did them in. On November
9, the Denver Olympic Organizing Committee formally declined the Games and disbanded. The International Olympic Committee soon shifted the Games to Innsbruck, Austria, where in 1976, the Austrian Franz Klammer won one of the most celebrated downhill runs in history and the American Dorothy Hamill captured the gold medal in women’s figure skating. And it was just as well that the Olympics had not come to Denver and other towns in Colorado. The year 1976 was dry—there was hardly any snow at all. The campaign against the Denver Olympics, however, was a watershed event in Colorado. Opposition to the Games united many disparate groups and various environmental organizations into an important coalition that had a profound impact on Colorado’s development and political landscape during the years to come. Many pro-growth advocates who had supported the Games fell by the political wayside in the 1972 and 1974 elections, and CMC-member Dick Lamm got elected to the first of his three terms as Governor of Colorado. Growth in the Centennial State certainly did not come to an end, but for the first time, at least in part owing to the imbroglio over the Olympic Games, environmental concerns became a centerpiece of public, private, and political concern. △
This annotated image depicting the proposed bobsled and luge events at Indian Hills, Colorado, appeared in a promotional tract used by the Denver Organizing Committee to promote the games. Courtesy Denver Public Library.
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REVISITING A 1933 SKI TRAVERSE OF ROLLINS PASS
By John Lacher
Ascending to Arestua Hut. Jim Dlouhy
A good many years ago I entered the Historical Mail Route Ski Race. We went up over one of Colorado’s many Cottonwood Passes from US 40, south of Granby to Hot Sulphur Springs. The course was about eight or nine miles. We were well outfitted with lycra, carbon fiber ski poles, and skating skis. This race commemorated the men who carried the winter mail from Empire to Hot Sulphur Springs during the later years of the 19th century. They skied over Berthoud Pass on handmade wooden skis, bringing the mail to people in Middle Park. During those years, there was no reliable winter transportation into that part of the state. Because this race honored their legacy, we had to carry weights in our packs. I believe it was 12 pounds. At the end of the race, we gathered at the Grand County Historical Museum to receive our shirts, rewards, and glasses of warm apple cider. We had entered that great fellowship of hardy mountain skiers. Afterwards, I read about these pioneer skiers. They were rather stout fellows. One man, Bill Kimball, had the route in 1875. He was described as “. . . a wonder, the best snowshoe man ever known in Middle Park. His pack was never less than 70 pounds of mail, and I have known him to carry 105 pounds. He often packed through from Empire to Hot Sulphur, going night and day, with no sleep, stopping only for meals. He never wore gloves, and only one pair of wool socks, with ordinary cityman’s rubber over them"1. During this time skis were 26
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usually called Norwegian snowshoes or just Bob Clifton and Bob Fernie. I was hooked. snowshoes. The letter reads in part: After hearing about Kimball, our heroic effort seemed somewhat diminished. We left Tolland at 2 am and were able to drive part way to East Portal in a car. When snowdrifts stopped the car, we walked up the railroad track to East Recently, Doug Long shared a letter with Portal. This point we left at 3:45 am and me that his dad, Carleton Long, wrote in followed up the valley of South Boulder Creek for a scant mile before turnl933 describing a ski traverse from below the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel to the ing north and up the wall of the canWest Portal by way of Arapaho Lakes. This yon. Incidentally peculiar hazards were was done on February 25 in company with encountered while on the floor of the
Wagon road, above Rollins Pass. Jim Dlouhy
canyon. In the old days (and again while the tunnel was being bored) there were people living along this valley. And, as such people frequently do, they strung clotheslines in their backyards. Ours was the misfortune to choose these backyards for a ski route. In the darkness of the night we would occasionally run the tips of one or both skis under a partially snow-buried clothesline. Trying to shake off the loose wire presented all the comical (but not to us) aspects of a movie comedian trying to remove sticky-flypaper (Tanglefoot!) from his hands. Oh, life in the great outdoors certainly does present its hardships and obstacles! Some distance further on we really did have an obstacle. We had just crossed over an old mine workings feeling our way gingerly along in the darkness for fear of breaking through the snow crust of an open shaft (a somewhat remote but nevertheless distinct possibility) when we came to a steep snowdrift the face of which it was necessary for us to mount. It would have presented no unusual aspects had it not been for the breakable crust. It was a thin, hard crust that almost but not quite would hold our weight. Beneath the crust and going down to an unknown depth was loose, powdery snow. We averted the danger
of plunging through the crust and on down into the loose mass beneath by carrying a ski under each armpit. Then when we broke through, we had the skis to hang onto. It was quite a strenuous job to surmount this drift because of the great exertion and effort necessary to progress even a few feet. Up in the higher timber the skiing was wonderful. A cruel wind had buffeted us about almost unmercifully on our way to East Portal, but now not even a breeze disturbed the quietness of the before-dawn solitude. Only the
reassuring “slick-slick” of our skis broke the cold silence as we passed smoothly along beneath the frost-covered trees. The sun rose at 6:40 flooding the forest with great beams of orange and pink light, hues which the crystals of last night’s fresh fall of snow reflected back and forth like a scintillating array of miniature diamonds. Here the waiting wind once more grasped at us with icy cold talons. Onward we pushed seeking some sheltered cove where we might find enough respite from the galling gale to hold a council of war. At length we found a rock against the ice side of which we crouched and talked things over. It seemed reasonable that the closer we approached to the base of the divide, the less the wind would actually hit us, because most of it would be going over our heads. This surmise proved to be correct, and by the time we were ready to attack the final slope only an occasional vagrant breeze disturbed the fresh snow surface. The snowfield we were about to push up rose at an even angle of thirtythree degrees for a thousand feet right up to the crest of the divide. We alternated between kicking steps and digging steps with the heel of a ski. Neither method was very satisfactory, and both were quite tiring. In fact the slope was most boring, the only consoling feature
Larry Withman, next to the Arestua Hut. Jim Dlouhy
Trail & Timberline
Steep climb up to Rollins Pass. Jim Dlouhy
Rifle Sight Notch Trestle. Jim Dlouhy
being the knowledge that, once surmounted we were THERE. Forty-five minutes later, at ten o’clock to be exact, we reached the crest. The view of winter mountain scenery was, of course, superb. A light, cold breeze was blowing. The day had turned out to be one of those cloudless scorchers which we occasionally have in February. Three hundred yards down the western side of the divide we reached skiable snow. It was considerably wind blown, consequently the skiing afforded was rather sporty. From timberline on down we had an uneventful ride. We said “hello” to Graeme McCowan at West Portal an 1:45 pm. A couple hours later we caught the train back through the tunnel and retrieved our car.
Bob Clifton recalled the trip in a 1993 letter to Doug Long:
Carleton, Bob Fernie and I packed our long skis and climbed over the Continental Divide at Rollins Pass in February one year and at the top put on our skis and slid down to what was later called Winter Park, then rode the train back through the Moffat Tunnel to East Portal, all in one day. At Winter Park we learned they were using skis that were less than nine feet long and more maneuverable. We took the hard way, but life seemed sweeter then.
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After sharing the letters with CMC members Larry Withman and Jim Dlouhy, we resolved to do the trip. Well, not exactly the same trip, but close. Since we didn’t have to be back to Boulder for classes, we decided on two days. We also elected not to climb up the rather steep 33-degree slope above Arapaho Lakes. We eschewed riding the train back, but elected to stash a car. We would stay in the Arestua Hut above Eldora Ski area. This would give us a closer approach, a good warm meal the night before, followed by a pleasant evening discussing the various aspects of retirement plans and health care packages. This Rollins Pass tour is described in some older Colorado ski tours books, such as Richard DuMais’s 50 Colorado Ski Tours.
On March l8, three intrepid snow voyagers deposited skis and packs near the Eldora Nordic Center, parked the truck back by the official trailhead, and geared up in full Eldora meteorological conditions. The trail to the Arestua Hut climbs along the east side of the alpine slopes, crosses a ridge, and descends westward into the Jenny Creek drainage. Once in the trees, the wind decreased, gentle snow fell, and silence was supreme. The day was wonderful, and the fresh snow a testimonial to the joys of getting off and making first tracks. We had decided to not push the pace, hoping to
arrive rested, and perspiration free. This we did, taking a bit over four hours for the five miles and about 1,700 vertical feet. This hut is a treasure. It was built by and now maintained by the volunteers of the Boulder Group of the CMC. Available on a firstcome basis, it is outfitted with a wood stove, sleeping benches, and a new window, and the Boulder Group only asks for a small donation. Volunteers maintain it during the summer, making necessary repairs and restocking cut firewood. It is small but clean and comfortable. After lunch we toured around the top of Guinn Mountain on wonderful snow and scouted the route for the following day. We bedded down in comfort, dreaming of a gentle trip. The Geriatric Strike Team awoke to the morning red glow flowing through the hut windows. Rather late, but refreshed. Fire, breakfast, coffee, packing, and sweeping up, all guaranteed a nice late start in great weather and with good snow. Proceeding westward toward the top of Guinn Mountain, we reached the old wagon roadbed, and descended gently to the bottom of a snow-crusted ridge. The ridge gains about 200 vertical feet before reaching the old railroad bed. Some of the members (3) expressed concern about avalanche possibilities, but the slope was not too steep, and the crust was stable. We climbed up in about 30 minutes, to be greeted by the icy talons of the cold wind, which we had hoped would
Just about to Rollins Pass Road. Larry Withman Jim Dlouhy, with John Lacher serving as rear scout. Larry Withman
be content to wait another day or so. We crossed the roadbed, and carried our skis up along the old wagon road, now thoroughly wind scoured. A few members of the group were saying not very kind things about the wind at this point. The wagon road climbs gradually toward the west, staying 100 or more feet above the railroad grade. A good part was skiable. At the divide we crossed just above Rollins Pass, skied down to the roadbed, and began to descend southward. More lively discussion ensued about the unkind nature of the wind as we skied another three miles or so down toward Rifle Sight Notch Trestle, just at timberline. Although pretty much on the roadbed, the route is not quite as clear when snow-covered and windy. Oh, and did I mention the wind? The wind improved at Rifle Sight
Notch. We believed we were in tall clover from there to the West Portal. We descended steeply southwest from the notch down the south fork of Ranch Creek, cutting off a couple of miles of following the railroad grade. This area is now fairly well used by commercial snowmobile groups, and the trail was a six- to eight-foot-wide trench incised into the snow. The banks are vertical in most places. Not much room to maneuver. It was a luge run. I will not go further, except to say it wasn’t pretty. We regained the roadbed, and after another half mile turned off again from the roadbed to descend the rest of the way down a recreational road. This road descends the Buck Creek drainage and ends on a Denver Water Board lateral road about a half mile from the Bonfils Stanton trailhead. All of this was accomplished with
some artful application of the stem turn, snowplow, puddle skiing, and postholing as the conditions demanded. Eight hours from leaving the hut, three whipped puppies debarked for the eastern slope with visions of skiing like the men of old. Wooden skis. Iron men. △ Note 1. Jean Miller and Jim Wier, eds., “1859– 1950 Skiing in Middle Park,” special issue, Grand County Historical Association Journal 4, no. 1 ( January 1984). *Thanks to Doug Long and Cathy Gates for sharing information about the 1933 ski trip and showing us Carleton Long’s skis.
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The Two Stories of Brainard Lake By John Wallack
Brainard Lake from a November Brainard Cabin work party. John Wallack.
itting around the fire at the Brainard Cabin celebrating Wooden Ski Day, the talk turned to the history of the cabin and Brainard Lake area. When was the land designated National Forest? Who owned the old chimneys that haunt the junction of the CMC South and Little Raven trails? Who was Brainard? After some research, I would have to say that the Brainard Lake area has an interesting history indeed. As Paul Alford, the South Zone Archaeologist of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests points out in his paper â€œHistorical Context of Brainard Lake and the Civilian Conservation Corps,â€? the area has been influenced by both mining activity and public lands development. This place of stunning natural beauty is, in fact, a manmade lake and was only transferred to the National Forest in 1949 as part of a land swap with the Utica Mining, Milling, and 1875 Survey Map with no Brainard or Mitchell Lakes. Circle is future location of the lakes. Plat_175259_1. Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States Office, www. glorecords.blm.gov.
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Reservoir Company. But I am getting way ahead of myself. The stories of both mining development and recreational use go back much earlier. Colonel Wesley Brainerd (Brainard) and Mining Development As you are skiing up the CMC South Trail from the Red Rock Trailhead to the Brainard Cabin, you may notice that for several long stretches the route follows a series of old ditches. The ditches are signs of the mining activity that pre-date the Roosevelt National Forest. The online history of Ward describes the two mining booms. The first rush started in 1860, when Calvin Ward discovered gold in Left Hand Canyon. The
mining camp that formed took his name. Placer mining gave way to stamp mills to process ore. The second mining boom began in the 1870s, as the extent of the Columbia Lode was realized. This vein was 8 feet wide, 1,000 feet long, and as much as 500 feet deep. By 1900, more than 50 mines operated in the Ward Mining District. The following year a fire devastated Ward and started its decline. One of the companies formed in 1876 to mine in Left Hand Canyon during the second boom was the Chicago and Colorado Mining and Milling Company. It was financed by Lyman Gage and the president and manager of the company was the man for whom Brainard Lake is named. This
1895 St. Vrain Placer claim filed by John Reid, et al. Reservoir becomes Brainard Lake. There was eventually a land swap for this property in 1949 between NFS and the Utica Mining, Milling, and Reservoir Company. Plat_254122_1 St. Vrain Placer, Courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States Office, www.glorecords.blm.gov
man was Colonel Wesley Brainerd, born September 27, 1832, in Rome, New York. A relative of Wesley, Lucy Abigail Brainard published The Genealogy of the BrainerdBrainard Family in America, 1649–1908 and used both spellings, because both spellings were used by different lines of the family. As early as 1881, the Boulder County map shows W. Brainard in “Talcot” and lists W. Brainard as the Superintendent of the Chicago and Colorado Mining Company in the Ward District index. As late as 1926, the lake was designated as “Brainerd’s Lake” in Drumm’s Wall Map of Boulder County. A short biography of Wesley Brainerd is available online in Portrait and Biographical Record of Denver and Vicinity, Colorado,
Chapman Publishing Company, 1898. Brainerd was educated at the Rome Academy and continued his education as an apprentice at the Norris Locomotive Company in Philadelphia. Locomotives were the high-tech industry of the day, and Norris, as the leading U.S. manufacturer, produced 1,200 locomotives between 1832 and 1866. Brainerd completed his apprenticeship as draughtsman and locomotive builder and continued to work for Norris, starting new locomotives in the United States and Canada. In 1858, he took a position of master mechanic for a railroad in Georgia, but when civil war seemed inevitable, he moved back to Rome. In Rome, Brainerd raised a company of 18 men and he was commissioned as captain. Much of Brainerd’s story has been preserved as part of the Voices of the Civil War Series: Bridge Building in Wartime— Colonel Wesley Brainerd’s Memoir of the 50th New York Volunteer Engineers, edited by Ed Malles. Brainerd was promoted several times for bravery, and by the close of the war he commanded 950 engineers and 750 dismounted cavalry to construct fortifications, repair bridges, and set pontoons near Richmond, Virginia.
Left Hand Canyon Prospecting After the Civil War, Brainerd moved to Evanston, Illinois, where he operated a lumber company. In 1873 he managed the Brighton Smelting Works, which kindled his interest in mining. Two of the proprietors of Brighton were Lyman Gage and Mancel Talcott. Both had previously lived in Rome, New York. Talcott, a veteran of the California gold rush, traveled with Brainerd to investigate Georgetown, Boulder, and other mining districts. They bought the Moltke Mine near Ward. In 1876, Brainerd, Gage, and others formed the Chicago and Colorado Mining and Milling Company. Brainerd moved to Camp Talcott, located below Ward in Left Hand Canyon, to manage the operations. Brainerd’s mechanical and civil engineering background soon came into play. As he toured the base of Mount Audubon, he saw the potential of the available water power. In 1884, Brainerd worked with John S. Reid, the manager of the Utica Mine, to construct a flume to carry water five miles through the Utica Mine in Ward and on to Camp Talcott. The upper flume from the St. Vrain Creek to the Utica Mine required 350,000 feet of lumber, while the lower section to Camp Talcott required 150,000 feet of lumber. A sawmill was set up in the mountains to provide the necessary lumber. The lower flume emptied into 2,700 feet of steel pipe to a powerhouse to drive four generators. Power was controlled by telephone communication to multiple mines to hoist and haul ore using electric motors. In the July 24, 1896, Boulder Daily Camera article “Electricity in Mining” the reporter wrote “that is living”, as he was able to read the newspaper by the glow of incandescent lights in Brainerd’s cheerful home. The area prospered. According to the United States Geological Survey Bulletin 1463 (1980), “Through 1970, Boulder County had produced base and precious metals and tungsten valued at about $45 million. Of this, gold accounted for $25,056,350; silver,
Wesley Brainerd, circa 1898. Courtesy of Portrait and Biographical Record of Denver and Vicinity, Chapman Publishing Company, Chicago, 1898, (p. 304), Denver Public Library.
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CMC members (Gayle Waldrop on the left) in front of the newly built Brainard Cabin. Courtesy of Janet Robertson.
$8,633,303; lead, $854,900; zinc, $4,583; and tungsten, $10,613,754.” Train service was provided by Colorado and Northwestern (C&N) through Gold Hill on to Ward in 1898. One of the stops was the Brainerd Camp. Wesley Brainerd retired to Point Loma, California, in 1906, and died there four years later. He is buried in the Gage family plot in the Rosehill Cemetary in Chicago. The train service to Ward continued until 1919. When the train service stopped, the last of the mining came to a close. Public Lands for Recreation When you look out the Brainard Cabin window at Navajo Peak, you are looking at the western boundary of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. The United States bought the land between the Mississippi River and the Continental Divide from France for 3¢ per acre. Based on various geographic references, the land was surveyed and divided into 36 square-mile townships, each further divided into 1 square-mile sections. The cabin and the present-day Brainard Lake are located in Section 4 of Township 1N Range 73 West of the 6th Principle Meridian. The original 1875 survey map shows Long Lake, but no Brainard or Mitchell lakes! Taking this 1 square mile section of land through its various designations from the time of Jefferson to the present, it outlines how the United States developed its National Forests. 32
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In 1891, the National Forest Reserves were established. President Benjamin Harrison signed a proclamation creating 15 Reserves totaling 13 million acres. President Grover Cleveland added 15 more Reserves totaling 25.8 million acres. During his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt brought the total up to 162.8 million acres! Today the 155 U.S. Forests total 188 million acres. One of Roosevelt’s Reserves of 1902, the Medicine Bow, was initially within Wyoming. Then on May 17, 1905, Proclamation 557 annexed the current Roosevelt National Forest into Medicine Bow. Our R.73W.T.1N Section 4 was within the boundaries of the annexation. In 1905 Gifford Pinchot was named the first Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, and in 1907 the Forest Reserves were renamed National Forests. The Colorado portion of the Medicine Bow Reserve was renamed the Colorado National Forest in 1910 and then, in 1932, was renamed by President Herbert Hoover to honor President Theodore Roosevelt. As mentioned, one of the questions that arose during our discussion about the history of the cabin was “who built the old chimneys along the CMC South and Little Raven trails?” In 1905, Pinchot’s priorities for the Reserves were the management of logging, grazing, and water. With increasing urbanization and the introduction of the automobile in the decade prior to the First World War, recreational use of Na-
tional Forests soon became a priority. The 1915 Term Occupancy Act permitted summer home construction on National Forest lands for up to 30-year terms. Initially, the National Forest Service encouraged such structures to reduce fire danger from transient camping and give citizens a vested interest in the forests. The Forest Service permitted the construction of nine summer homes around Brainard Lake in the 1920s. The Denver Boy’s Club built Camp Audubon and the CMC built the Brainard Cabin. In The Front Rangers (1971), Janet Robertson details the first 50 years of the CMC Boulder Group, from 1920–1970. In the 1920s, getting to the mountains was more difficult than today and having a base for mountain outings had great appeal. On April 5, 1927, Professor Van Valkenburg, CMC Boulder Chair Elect, proposed that the Group build its own cabin. Credit for the project was given to CMC members “Van”, Gayle Waldrop, and Charles Hutchinson. Dr. Francis Ramaley chose the “mosquito-free” site. (Front Rangers, 10) The only written details of how the cabin was constructed were supplied by “Van’s” son, Horace Van Valkenburg III. He remembered that the builder was Joe Stapp . . . Joe’s carpenter for the cabin was a C.U. student named Theron Fry. . . . [ Joe] had strong practical ideas about how to
Skis in front of Brainard Cabin. Courtesy John Wallack.
construct a really tight cabin. Accordingly, he had logs, six inches thick and flat on two sides, slabbed at a sawmill in Peaceful Valley. These logs went by truck up to Brainard Lake, and then by horse-drawn wagon up to the cabin site. . . A 1 X 4 was placed between each log and the next to provide a minimum wall thickness of 4 inches . . . (Front Rangers, 10) The cabin was finished in the summer of 1928 and the kitchen was added in 1930 for $45. “The U.S. Forest Service fee for the use of the site was raised from $15 to $25 but eventually in 1934, the Club signed a fifteen-year lease for a $20 a year fee.” (Front Rangers, 10) “Within a rather short time the Brainard Lake Cabin was the real home of the Boulder Group. ‘House Parties’ were held there during every season of the year. For hundreds of people through the years this structure was a beloved place, a place completely associated with a perfect mountain day among friends.” (Front Rangers, 11) As detailed in Alford’s paper, during the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made significant recreational improvements in the area. The Brainard Lake Dam was reconstructed in 1934. In 1937, the CCC Work Plan included the Red Rock Lake and surrounding ski
trails. In 1956, the National Park Service initiated a 10-year plan, “Mission 66”, to renovate the Parks. In response, the National Forest Service initiated its own “Operation Outdoors” in 1957. The Brainard Lake development plan was significantly changed as a part of this initiative. In addition to revamping campground and picnic areas, it was decided that the day-use of the area outweighed the private permitted use. So the residence permits were allowed to expire by 1970. Most of the structures were purchased by locals and moved to Ward, but the chimneys still stand. Because
the Brainard Cabin provides service to the general public, the CMC has been able to renew the Special Use Permit. If you are visiting the Brainard Lake area for skiing or for summer outings, look around and imagine the miners setting up their flumes and digging the ditches. Check out the old chimneys and signs of Camp Audubon. Let’s hope the CMC can continue to provide a friendly place, open to the public, for some shelter on a winter ski tour. Also, mark your calendars: February 8, 2014, will be the second annual Brainard Cabin Wooden Ski Day! △ Brainard Cabin today. Courtesy John Wallack.
Trail & Timberline
Two for the Road
A Couple Early Season High Altitude Skiing and Snowshoeing Adventures By Alan Apt
View from the top of the Chicago Lakes Trail of the Mount Evans Massif. Alan Apt
It is that time of the year when high altitude trails are turning white, and will stay snow covered until June. Trails above 10,000 feet are slippery enough to make cleats and poles necessary for traction. Above 11,000 feet, you can choose between using snowshoes, skis, or post holing. Post holing can mean suddenly plunging up to your thigh into snow that has soft spots. This is usually not entertaining, and can cause leg, hip, or back injuries. The prudent high altitude adventurer will avoid the plunge with the right equipment. If you decide on an early season ski, try to avoid rocks and stumps just below the surface with low speed route choices. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued their first warning about possible slab avalanches on high, steep terrainâ€”above 30 degrees. Their first reports started November 1, so visit https://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php for the condi34
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tions at your destination. Here are a couple of high-altitude trails that can offer early winter fun.
Chicago Lakes Trail
This 9-mile trail starts at Echo Lake, below Mount Evans, and heads into the spectacular Mount Evans Wilderness Area. It is suitable for snowshoeing or backcountry skiing with deep snow; hiking is good in thin conditions. It is a short drive from Denver: take I-70 to the Mount Evans exit (#240), near Idaho Springs, and then drive 14 miles on CO 103 to the Echo Lake picnic area. Echo Lake is 10,600 feet, so the snow cover arrives early and stays late. From the picnic area the lakeside trail will take you west around the end of the lake. Enjoy the view of the Mount Evans massif from the lake. When you round the end of the lake and bear right uphill, you will see the sign for the Chicago Lakes Trail. The
trail rolls over a small hill and descends. The descent requires intermediate ski skills. A stunning panorama greets you when you break out of the trees. The trail is narrow and has a 500-foot drop on the west side, making it a good idea to bring along a leash, if your dog joins you. Donâ€™t use this trail if avalanche danger is high, because the side-slope above you on the left is steep. Early season, before major storms, is a good time to visit. The trail descends 500 feet to the Idaho Springs reservoir road. Turn left when you reach it, and you will climb slowly up to the reservoir. This is a good turnaround point for an easy outing. The trail continues south around the west side of the reservoir with spectacular views of the cliffs above. The rocky trail slowly climbs southwest, above the sparkling riparian valley, rolling over small hills. The soaring ridgeline on the east looks ever
To order Alan Apt’s book Snowshoe Routes: Colorado’s Front Range, or any CMC Press title, visit our online store at http://www.cmc.org/Store, or we can take your order over the phone at 303-279-3080 (in Colorado) or toll free at 800-633-4417. CMC members receive a 20 percent discount on all CMC Press books.
COLORADO MOUNTAIN CLUB GUIDEBOOK
SNOWSHOE ROUTES SECOND EDITION
View of the 13,000-foot ridgeline above Chicago Creek. Alan Apt
more rugged, as it climbs to 13,391 feet on Rogers Peak. The trails climbs to 11,500 feet before it begins to descend toward the Chicago Lakes at 11,400 feet.
Berthoud Pass—Eastside Trails
The former Berthoud Pass Ski Area has the elevation (11,300 feet) to make early season snow adventures worthwhile. The Eastside Trails offer great views and terrain that isn’t highly avalanche hazardous or steep. From Denver take I-70 west to the US 40 exit
for Winter Park, and then drive 14 miles to the pass summit. The slopes are south of the restrooms. If you are skinning up on skis and want a rapid ascent, take the left/north edge of the slope next to the trees. You will be on the bottom of the former Powderline alpine ski trail. When you reach treeline, you can ski back down the same way, or edge over to the south for the Bonanza run. Both are blue (intermediate) difficulty. If you want a mellower snowshoe ascent, go to the south end of the parking lot and head
up the summer road. It switchbacks more slowly to treeline (11,700 feet), where you will see spectacular views. You can climb all the way to the top of Colorado Mines Peak (12,493 feet), which is 4 miles round trip. It is usually very windswept, and portions of the road could be snow free. You will have sweeping views of the Continental Divide as your reward. It is always a good idea to wear an avalanche beacon, and take a shovel and probes, in this kind of terrain. △ Trail & Timberline
Old winter haunts of the CMC:
Berthoud Pass By Woody Smith
First Creek Ski Cabin, February 22, 1935. Colorado Mountain Club Archives
eginning in 1916 the Colorado Mountain Club made a tradition of holding an annual winter outing, usually at the Fern Lake Lodge in Rocky Mountain National Park. Activities included the “new” sports of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ski jumping, and in limited form, downhill or alpine skiing. Some members longed for more, and made pilgrimages to the Alps and other European locales. They returned with stories of unending ski runs, thousands of feet long, running from summit to valley. In 1926 John L.J. “Jerry” Hart wrote of his European trip the previous Christmas with the Oxford Ski Club:
[One] Climb of a thousand feet leads to the Parsenn-Furka Pass [Switzerland], from which the famous run drops five thousand feet in seven miles to Kublis on the railway. On this run, at times one’s skis seem to be resting on air, the sensation being one of flying . . . [In Norway], Finse is unequaled for ease and speed. . . . One of the best runs is on the Hardanger Jokull, a hill covered with a circular glacier six miles in diameter and crevassed in only a few places. Coming down this glacier, there is nothing but the resistance of air to restrict one’s speed. We were certain that we hit fifty miles an hour. (T&T, 8/1926)
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Arriving home, Club members began looking for open, yet snowy mountainsides to create their own “endless” ski runs. As luck would have it, a major construction project—years in the making—would help the CMC, and the City of Denver, find Colorado’s next winter playground. **** In the 1860s, when railroad routes over the Continental Divide were being scouted, Central City mayor Andrews N. Rogers, a mining engineer by trade, suggested a tunnel under the divide at James Peak. (Colorado’s Other Mountains, Walter R. Borneman, 15–16). During the 1880s railroad magnate David Moffat, who was searching for a more direct link to the Western Slope, liked the idea enough to fund surveys. But Moffat could never raise enough capital for construction. He passed in 1911, still trying to make the tunnel a reality. But the dream lived on, and in 1922 finally found support in the Colorado Legislature. The final plan called for two 6-mile-long tunnels, one for water, the other for trains. The east bore started below Rollins Pass, at the headwaters of South Boulder Creek, near 9,200 feet. The west bore began at 9,240 feet, near the headwaters of the Fraser River—a gentle slope to the east of 6 1/2 feet per mile. Construction began in 1923 and con-
Berthoud rope tow, February 27, 1937. Colorado Mountain Club Archives
cluded in 1928. The cost was $18 million, three times the original estimate. Twentyeight workers were killed during the project. The first freight train passed through on February 14, 1928. But Club members were lucky enough to get a preview just 10 days before the tunnel opened:
One of the most interesting ski trips of the season was enjoyed by members the week-end of February 4 when as guests of the Moffat Tunnel Commission they visited the tunnel country. Driving to the East Portal it seemed the trip would prove a failure from the viewpoint of skiers but after making the ride through the Pioneer Bore to the West Portal they were greeted with enough snow to bury them. It was such a welcome sight with the moon-glow on the snow that several hours were spent enjoying the slopes in the camp. Put up in bunk houses, they were served a regular Tunnel breakfast after which even our best found difficulty in navigating. Ascent to Timberline was made up the old logging trail. After lunch a speedy drop into camp and return through the Pioneer Bore to cars at the East Portal was made in record time (Nancy Crisp “Denver Doings,” T&T, March 1928).
With regular rail service, the West Portal area gained quick popularity. By 1930 the CMC was making regular visits. Wrote Malcolm Collier:
During the winter months the Denver Group have enjoyed many excellent ski trips. The opening of the Moffat Tunnel has made available the West Portal area for skiing. The conditions at West Portal are almost ideal and there is always sufficient snow to assure a successful ski trip. The beautiful country around West Portal affords strenuous trips for the experienced and gives those [who] desire less skiing an opportunity to enjoy the lovely scenery of this region. There has been greater interest shown during the winter in skiing than for some time and the attendance has been excellent. The railroad officials have co-operated with the club helping to make the trips a success (T&T, April 1930).
Another factor in the area’s popularity was the improvement of the road over Berthoud Pass. In 1920, as a push to build new roads swept the nation, the route over Berthoud Pass was incorporated into a planned coast to coast highway that stretched from New York City to San Francisco. First called the Midland Trail Auto Road, then the Victory Highway, and by the late 1930s, US 40, the road over Berthoud Pass became an important link between east and west. In
1930 the route was widened and paved. It opened for year-round traffic in 1931. But local skiers had a different advantage in mind: You could drive to the top of the pass and ski down. Soon Berthoud Pass was swarming with weekend skiers. Races, slalom, and jumping events were organized and drew hundreds of spectators. The CMC fanned the flames of the new fad by showing ski movies at least twice a month during ski season. The Club even shot their own movies “. . . showing the beautiful country surrounding West Portal and many amusing incidents . . . where the participants were caught unawares.” (Malcolm Collier, T&T, April 1930). But all this activity did not escape the notice of Denver’s parks manager, George Cranmer. Cranmer was a CMC member and an avid sportsman, both summer and winter. Appointed by Denver mayor Benjamin Stapleton in 1935, Cranmer saw the future. He revealed his vision in the Denver Post on March 28, 1937: Colorado has millions of dollars ready for taking, but we sit back and don’t touch it. . . . I refer to the magnificent scenery, the snow, the crystal clear streams, the majestic mountain peaks, the wildlife, the
sunshine. Directly west of Denver . . . we have absolutely everything essential to an ideal winter playground . . . a winter playground that would be the world’s best. Concentrating on summer tourist business, we have completely overlooked the possibilities offered by our mountains during the winter. We shouldn’t overlook the fact that people like to play in the winter as well as the summer. We advertise our attractions and persuade people to come to Colorado in the summer. When winter comes we just fold up until the next summer. But to get them out here, we must have something to offer in the way of accommodations and some kind of winter program. We can’t expect them to come out and sit on the side of a mountain just to view the scenery. If we will get busy there is absolutely not one single reason why this area . . . should not become the center of the world’s leading winter playground. Cranmer’s vision was validated. Today, Colorado’s ski industry is worth billions. △
Berthoud Pass/Winter Park Timeline
Early 1920s: The Berthoud Pass Inn is built to serve motorists on the new transcontinental road. The inn is struck by lightning in 1939 and later torn down. 1923–1928: Construction of the twin Pioneer and Moffat tunnels. 1929: CMC member Graeme McGowen buys an unused staff building left over from tunnel construction and converts it into a ski clubhouse. September 1933: T&T announces a joint Forest Service/Civilian Conservation Corps project to build “several miles of trail, with one cabin in the region above West Portal and below Berthoud Pass [First Creek].” The trail “will be built to connect the present trail on Mary Jane Creek with the wonderful area above timberline.” December 1933: T&T outlines the CMC’s goal and plans in regard to skiing. These include ski trail standards, lessons, trip plans that cater to different levels of skiers, a planned Canadian trip, ski cabins, and a “snow train.” January 5, 1936: The CMC Ski-Bus makes its initial run to Berthoud Pass. Round-trip fares from Denver are $1.75. Bus shuttle from Fraser River switchback [north side] to the pass, .15¢ for CMC members, .25¢ for non-members. The shuttle trip back to the top is made three times per day. 1936: Monarch Mountain and Loveland Ski Area open with single rope tows. Monarch’s tow is powered by a Chevy truck engine. November 1936: The Colorado Winter Sports Council is formed. Members are cities and clubs, including the CMC, organized to promote winter activities in the state. February 1937: T&T publishes a map of West Portal ski trails. February 7, 1937: Rope tow on Berthoud Pass begins operation. The motor is a V8 donated by Denver Ford dealers. The same day two German skiers disappear under a nearby avalanche. Their bodies are found in the spring. August 21, 1938: US Forest Service grants Denver permission to take over 6,400 acres of land on the west side of Berthoud Pass for use as “a winter sports paradise.” December 18, 1938: Plans are unveiled for two new rope tows and ski trails that are the forerunner to Winter Park/Mary Jane. Fall 1939: The city of Denver, with private contributions, builds a new ski tow on Berthoud Pass. The cost is $44,000. December 1, 1939: West Portal renamed Winter Park. January 13, 1940: Winter Park opens a new rope tow with an uphill capacity of 600 skiers per hour and new wider ski trails as part of $100,000 upgrade. January 29, 1940: Winter Park officially dedicated with “slalom and jumping events.” Governor Ralph L. Carr, Mayor Stapleton, and parks manager Cranmer each speak at the dedication. 1940: The Ski Train begins 69 years of seasonal service [December–March] on the Front Range. December 1940: The CMC buys a cabin in Winter Park.
Trail & Timberline
the fourteener files Scott Farish, with some close friends and family dressed as superheroes, atop Mount Sneffels, on August 31, 2013.
“My fondest memories are that I started hiking the 14ers with my son when he was 4 years old. We hiked them all together and finished when he was 18. When we started I used to talk him all the way up and bribe him with food. On our last ones, he was telling me how to breath and coaxing me along. I learned more about my son and his life as we talked on those long hikes.” —Juli Frey
“The aspect of climbing all of these peaks that is number one in mind is all of the adventurous people I have met along the trail. I climbed quite a few of the 14ers with the Club and once again it’s like-minded people doing what they love. It’s a good feeling to know I’m one of them.”—Jim Finley “My first Catholic Mass on top of a 14er, Redcloud Peak.” —Father John Nepil
“The 14er journey took me to places in this state I didn’t even know existed. Chasing this goal is the equivalent of chasing storms. I drove for hours into the night, from trailhead to trailhead, sleeping out of the back of my car and days on end without a hot meal or shower. Many of the later trips required backpacking, which added a whole new element to my definition of mountaineering. Now instead of grabbing everything out of my trunk and throwing it in a daypack, I needed to handle the logistics of planning a trip into the field for 2 or 3 days using a backpack. My top memories include the snow climb of Snowmass Mountain. This was my first climb that required crampons and an ice axe. It was also the most physically and mentally demanding climb I have ever had to do. We encountered rain, snow, lightning, thunder, hail, wind, and even a little bit of sunlight. I still tell the story of this trip.”— Jake S. Phillips “Grilling hot dogs on the summit of Elbert for my finisher.”—Eric M. Holle
“My fondest memory is probably of my late friend Steve Gladbach. He led a Pikes Peak CMC trip up Mount Elbert on New Year’s Day, 1995. That summer he had summited Denali, so he was quite accustomed to extreme temperatures in a hostile alpine environment. However, that morning it was 38
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10 degrees below zero and we could not persuade him to get out of his car to start the climb. Fortunately, we finally succeeded and had the most wonderful time on the summit, amidst the calm and balmy 9 degrees.”—Denise Snow
“My first 14er was Windom, sometime in the late 1980s, on a backpacking trip from the East. . . . At the time I had no idea how many 14ers there were or that I’d ever climb them all, so I didn’t record the date. I wasn’t seriously bitten by the 14er bug until 2006. To help make the record official, I climbed Windom again on September 8, 2012, during a trip to the other Chicago Basin 14ers. Many thanks to the excellent volunteers of the Pikes Peak Group who run their courses. My comfort and confidence on the final snow climb were certainly helped by taking their Avalanche Awareness and Winter Mountaineering courses.”—John Golob
“We have had a great time climbing with our friends at CMC over the years and have climbed some of the 14ers twice, along with many other worthy peaks. This past summer was quite a push for us to finish, starting out with Little Bear as a snow climb in late May, then South Maroon, North Maroon, Pyramid, El Diente, and finally Pikes Peak, which we saved for last. It was great to have a nice bathroom and recep-
tion complete with champagne and snacks and lots of friends at the top!”—Julie and Hilary Smith
“I climbed my first 14er, Longs Peak, when I was attending CSU in the summer of 1969, about the same time Neil Armstrong took “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” My climbing partners and I went up the cables, and came back down through the Keyhole. I did not realize at the time that climbing all the Colorado 14ers would one day become a personal goal. . . . One year I climbed only 3 14ers. Another year I climbed 17. . . . I finished all 54 by climbing Capitol Peak only a few months before my 60th birthday! Climbing peaks has become an important part of my life, a means and a reason to keep myself physically fit, active, and mentally healthy.” —John Redmond “The knife edge on Capitol Peak in 2012 was exhilarating. I made the summit solo that day and believe I was the only one on the Northeast Ridge trail to summit that entire day.” —Greg Peoples
“Our first 14er was Quandary Peak on August 8, 2009. We met and got married in Telluride, so the Wilson Peak finisher was a perfect conclusion to a five-year journey.”— Christopher and Noelle Whitestone
The Fourteeners list
Those who reported completion of Coloradoâ€™s fourteeners in 2013 NO.
Amy K. Goins
North Maroon Peak
Eric M. Holle
North Maroon Peak
J. Britt Jones
John J. Smrcka
Little Bear Peak
Desiree Brickell Wubben
Little Bear Peak
Little Bear Peak
Jason Andrew Sayre
North Maroon Peak
James Winchester Schermerhorn Longs Peak
Nathan T. Hughes
La Plata Peak
Mount of the Holy Cross
Sarah R. Schmeer
Glen R. Cipriani
El Diente Peak
El Diente Peak
Stephen Mark Megison, Jr.
Amy K. Gray-Smith
Trail & Timberline
San Luis Peak
Richard W. Taylor
Jake S. Phillips
David W. Mulder
Daniel J. Kesterson
North Maroon Peak
Timothy K. Jordan
Paul S. Arell
North Maroon Peak
Matthew B. Hall
For recognition in next yearâ€™s issue, send the registration form (visit http://www.cmc.org/Portals/0/GoverningDocs/Fourteener_Completion_Form%20_2012.pdf) by October 15 to the Colorado Mountain Club at 710 10th St., #200, Golden, CO, 80401; or you may send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For Beyond the Fourteeners/Thirteeners recognition, please include the date and name of the last peak.
John Redmond atop Capitol Peak, August 21, 2010.
Denise Snow (rear), with Cathy McKeen, climbing the Cross Couloir on Mount of the Holy Cross.
Christopher and Noelle Whitestone after completing the Fourteeners on Wilson Peak, September 8, 2013.
John Golob, after a snow-climb up little black bear, on april 26, 2013, to complete the fourteeners.
Trail & Timberline
Jake Phillips on the summit of Snowmass Mountain.
The twenty-fifth person to finish the Thirteeners, Kathee Thomure is pictured here with Gary Spruytte on the summit of Dallas Peak.
Beyond the Fourteeners By Chris Ruppert and Dave Goldwater 100 Highest Peaks NO. 88 120 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214
Name Dave Cooper Ginni Greer Derek Wolfe Beth Dwyer Marianne Curtis John Kirk Eric M Holle Sue Personett Doris Spencer Kent Willoughby Stephen Droke Roger Linfield Debbie Welle-Powell
Final Peak Hagerman Peak Capitol Peak Huerfano Peak 13828 Jupiter Mountain Jagged Mountain Jupiter Mountain Jagged Mountain Jagged Mountain Jagged Mountain Jagged Mountain Teakettle Mountain Mount Oklahoma Rio Grande Pyramid
200 Highest Peaks 74 75
Derek Wolfe John Kirk
Clark Peak Mount Oso
300 Highest Peaks 39 40 41
Derek Wolfe John Kirk Duane Nelson
Gold Dust Peak Mount Oso Greylock Mountain
400 Highest Peaks 28 29 30 31
Carrie Cooney Tim Cooney Derek Wolfe John Kirk
Precarious Peak Precarious Peak Gold Dust Peak Mount Oso
500 Highest Peaks 26 27 28 29
Carrie Cooney Tim Cooney Derek Wolfe John Kirk
600 Highest Peaks 25 26 27 28 29
Belleview Mountain Belleview Mountain Bennett Peak Mount Oso
Kathee Thomure Carrie Cooney Tim Cooney Derek Wolfe John Kirk
Unnamed 13164 Boreas Mountain Boreas Mountain Bennett Peak Mount Oso
All Thirteeners 25 26 27 28 29
Kathee Thomure Carrie Cooney Tim Cooney Derek Wolfe John Kirk
Unnamed 13164 Boreas Mountain Boreas Mountain Bennett Peak Mount Oso
Date 8/3/1996 6/30/2001 7/1/2013 7/7/2013 7/17/2013 7/28/2013 8/11/2013 8/20/2013 8/29/2013 8/29/2013 9/7/2013 9/19/2013 9/29/2013 8/18/2013 8/31/2013
8/20/2013 8/31/2013 9/18/2013
7/11/2013 7/11/2013 8/20/2013 8/31/2013
7/13/2013 7/13/2013 8/24/2013 8/31/2013
7/16/2013 8/3/2013 8/3/2013 8/24/2013 8/31/2013
7/16/2013 8/3/2013 8/3/2013 8/24/2013 8/31/2013
BEYOND THE THIRTEENERS By Teresa Gergen
900 Highest Peaks 7.
Trail & Timberline
End of the Trail Walt Ruthenburg ▶ 1942–2013
Walt Ruthenburg on CMC’s inaugural Raft and Hike the Grand Canyon Outing in 2007. Courtesy Kathleen Brennan.
By Kathleen Brennan
Walter J. Ruthenburg III, 71, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was killed Sunday, August 4, in a tragic accident in Colorado. He was traveling from his Colorado family to his families in Illinois and Ohio. A horse ran onto Interstate 76. Walt was one of two fatalities. Walt was born in New York City on April, 1942, and grew up in the New York/New Jersey area. He graduated with a chemical engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree from Kent State University. He retired from Goodyear after 35+ years of service. Walt was an Eagle Scout, an avid outdoorsman, and his lifelong passion was cycling. Walt would routinely cycle more than 6,000 miles in a year. In 2013 he had just completed 3,100 miles for the year. Walt received a special recognition from Goodyear for riding his bicycle to work for 1,500 consecutive work days. He completed cycling tours in all of the 48 contiguous states. He was a founding member of Team R.O.M.E.O. (Retired Old Men Eating Out) bike group in Akron. Walt celebrated his 50th high school reunion by bicycling from Akron to his high school in River Edge, New Jersey. In recent years, Walt spent much time in Colorado. Here, he became an accomplished downhill and cross-country skier by following his soul mate, Kathleen Brennan. In turn, he introduced her to the joys and pain of bicycling tandem. Cycling trips included Yellowstone, Quebec, the Rhein, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. Hiking adventures were to the High Points of Costa Rica, Scotland, Ireland, and 24 states, plus 3 14ers. He joined the CMC in 2006 and was on the CMC’s first Hike and Raft the Grand Canyon trip. Walt is survived by his companion of 14 years, Kathleen Brennan, of Denver; daughter, Katie (Chris) Hinrichs, of Mundelein, Illinois; son, David (Terra) Ruthenburg of Wadsworth, Ohio; three grandsons; and a brother. Walt’s Colorado family will miss him: mom, Joan Brennan, of Denver, brother, Mark (Myna) Brennan, and nieces, Laura and Julia Brennan, all of Centennial, and Brennans in Texas and Ohio. As Walt directed, “the ashes are to be scattered at some scenic site where I have enjoyed bicycling, hiking, or skiing.” Walt and Kathleen volunteered for Colorado 14ers Initiative and for the National Park Service at Lake Powell. Contributions in Walt’s honor can be made to Colorado 14ers Initiative: email@example.com
Mary Sullivan Hopper ▶ 1930–2013 By Kathleen (Kay) Hubbard
Mary joined the CMC in 1966 after coming to Denver from Boston. She was energetic, outgoing, and wanted to explore the wonders of the mountains. After Basic Mountaineering School, Mary was off each weekend on a new hiking adventure. She was encouraging and supportive to others and soon began leading hikes, backpacks, and camping trips. She hiked in Norway on a CMC sponsored trip and her backpack was always the largest and heaviest. In winter she enjoyed downhill and cross-country skiing and leading Club trips to Crested Butte, Aspen, and Aspen Highlands. Mary planned and put on the monthly Denver Group Travel Programs, which were held in the Club Au42
Trail & Timberline
Mary Hopper. Courtesy Kathleen Hubbard
ditorium for many years. On one of those adventures Mary met a young fellow named Fred Hopper who matched her energy and love of the outdoors. After several years of sharing their love of adventure, they were married in October 1978. They traveled extensively with the CMC on canoe and raft trips, hiked through the Grand Canyon and canyons of Utah, biked down the Oregon and Maine coasts and in foreign countries, including the Black Forest and Bodensee of Germany to name a few. When they retired, Mary and Fred left the Denver Area and settled first in Steamboat wSprings and later on the Western Slope. Mary joined the Grand Junction Group and continued to hike and ski until recently. Those of us who knew her and joined on these excursions have many wondrous memories to cherish and will remember her bright smile and twinkling Irish eyes.
Stanley Boucher ▶ 1927–2013 A life member of the CMC, Stanley Boucher had a strong affection for the mountains, which led to his involvement with the Boulder Group. He often led hikes, climbs, and cross-country ski trips with the group, served a term as the group’s president, and presented the annual safety lecture to the group’s mountaineering school. He also wrote an unpublished mountaineering book while he was in his 20s. Born on October 19, 1927, in Colorado Springs, to Paul and Edythe Boucher, Stanley attended Colorado Springs High School and Colorado College, majoring in English and history and graduating in 1949. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he received a master’s in Social Work from UC–Berkeley in 1957. He would go on to work as a psychiatric social worker for the Mental Health Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health, the Colorado Department of Institutions, and then as director of Mental Health Continuing Education for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Stanley is survived by his wife, Virginia; his son, Eric; and his younger brother, Gary. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Julie, and his son-in-law, Clive Baillie, who died in a mountaineering accident on Mount Toll in 1996.
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/AdventureTravel for more detailed itineraries and registration forms.
Pico de Orizaba (18,475’) and Izta (17,350’) January 11–19, 2014 Second trip: TBD February/March CMC Members: $1,000 It’s finally here; the first CMC trip in several years to the highest mountains in Mexico. Orizaba, third-highest peak in North America and a country highpoint, is a straightforward climb on snow in good conditions. Izta has less snow climbing involved. The first trip is led by Dave Covill; the second by Roger Wendell. Expand your climbing experience on peaks far above the 14,000’ level, with a climb of a 17er and 18er. There will be moderate snow travel and some moderate angle icy sections on Orizaba. Interact with locals in Mexico; there may be time to visit cathedrals and museums in Puebla, two hours away. The Mexican volcanoes are a logical next step for Colorado climbers wishing to test themselves for higher altitude or moderate alpine snow conditions. We will climb Izta as a warm up to Orizaba, unless nearby Popo is smoking excessively and travel there is prohibited, in which case we will climb La Malinche, 14,640’. We’ll stay at the Canchola House B&B, which caters to American style travelers, with small bedrooms, meals cooked for us, and other amenities. For a trip application packet, contact the trip leader at: dave_covill@eogresources. com Phone calls are OK, at 303-517-0355. Roger can be reached at: Rogerwendell@ rogerwendell.com
Yellowstone in Winter January 29–February 3, 2014 SOLD OUT! 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 Lodge or cabins, happy hours, and several meals (four breakfasts, one lunch, and three buffet dinners), and all entrance fees and gratuities. Trip leaders are Rick and Deana Pratt. To get on wait list, call 303887-3717 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Zealand Great Walks February 15–March 2, 2014 SOLD OUT! Join the CMC for an unforgettable adventure to hike two of the famous Great Walks in New Zealand—the Milford and Routeburn Tracks. This trip features 7 days of moderate hut-to-hut backpacking in Fiordland National Park on the South Island of New Zealand. These scenic walks are considered some of the finest tracks in the world. Layover days in Queensland (between tracks) and in Auckland (at the end of the trip) will allow participants to explore additional cultural activities on their own. To get on wait list, contact Patrick McKinley, Phone: 303-973-7387, E-mail: email@example.com
Best of the Grand Canyon—Colorado River Raft and Hike, 2014 April 26–May 8, 2014 CMC members: $4,265 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 that 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, 4500’-trek in and out. Our outfitter, Hatch River Expeditions, has been guiding river trips through the canyon for over 70 years. We will have 4 guides and 20 participants on two 35’ S-rig boats running 30 hp 4stroke outboard engines (fuel efficient and quiet). Each boat holds 18, so for this trip we will have plenty of room. An average motorized raft trip through the Grand Canyon is for 7 days with short daily hikes. Hatch is adding 5 days to the trip with over 100 possible hikes, depending on the group’s interest and the weather. They offer 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: 303-871-0379, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wolverine Canyon-Escalante Trek May 5–9, 2014 CMC members: $2,080
This trip will be in the beautiful desert canyons outside of Boulder, Utah. We will have a base camp using llamas to carry all of the cooking and camping gear. The guides will prepare all of our meals. The trip will begin in Boulder, Utah, where we will have an orientation of loading llamas and then drive about 1 hour to our trailhead. This hike begins in an open canyon in the Chinle formation. The colorful mudstone has purple tones contrasting with the red rock towers above and the Utah sky. As the hike progresses, the canyon walls constrict, and by 4 miles in we are using our bodies to negotiate the slot canyon. The slots and narrows continue for about 2 miles before the Trail & Timberline
canyon opens again at its confluence with Horse Canyon. At camp, Horse Canyon is a bit wider with large cottonwood trees and a small spring-fed stream. The llamas and all the gear will be waiting when we arrive. On days 2–4, we will have options depending on the weather and hiking abilities of the group. We can hike out of Horse Canyon overland above the river canyon and drop into the next canyon over, then hike along the Escalante River returning to the mouth of Horse Canyon and back to camp. This is a roughly 6-to-7 mile loop with some steep climbs, river crossings, and bush whacking. We can also hike up to a bench above camp on an old sheep trail. Vast slick rock terrain follows the canyon below offering amazing views and a profusion of wildflowers. This hike is about 4 to 6 miles long. If we want a more relaxing day, we can hike to the river and side canyon, about 4 to 6 miles. On day 5 we will pack up the gear and load the llamas, then hike out Wolverine Canyon through great narrows just wide enough for the llamas. The canyon begins to open up after the first 4 miles, and the total hike to the trailhead is 7.5 miles. Contact trip leader Carol Kurt at kurtskarma@aol. com or 970-925-6648
The Way to Santiago (Walking the Camino de Santiago) May 10–24, 2014 CMC members: $855 The Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage route that follows many tracks throughout Europe to arrive at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the apostle St. James are said to be buried. Our Camino adventure starts from the small town of Ponferrada, Spain, 11 days’ walk from Santiago on the Camino Frances (French Route). We will walk across a variety of terrains—from vineyards to fields and forests—and on a variety of road/trail surfaces. From Ponferrada there is an optional tour of a Roman gold mine. Our first day’s walk warms us up for the following two days—when we’ll climb two lovely mountains—and then it’s smooth sailing through the beautiful rolling hills of Galicia to arrive at Santiago de Compostela. Along the way we’ll have opportunities to meet and talk with people from all over the world. Our accommodation will be a mix of small private albergues (shared, 44
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co-ed dorms generally with bunk beds) or small family-owned pensions with single or double private rooms. We will have our backpacks transported each day to our accommodation.Contact trip leader Kris Ashton at email@example.com. No phone calls please.
Iceland 2014: Landmannalauger to Skogar July 7–18, 2014 CMC members: $2,968 Welcome to the land of the early Vikings, also known as the land of ice and fire! This Iceland trip is your opportunity to step into a totally different world of breathtaking, sometimes surreal-looking scenery; cultural diversity; Icelandic peoples, language, and settlement history; and at times, a sense of contented remoteness from the rest of the civilized world! Join us for 7 days hiking hut-to-hut with our experienced Icelandic mountain guide through multi-colored hills and gullies containing hundreds of steaming hot springs and mud pools; the black deserts of Maelifellssandur; a magnificent canyon cut 600 feet down; arctic birch forests; a climb up and through a high pass dividing two glaciers. Descend the last day along the Skogaa River, enjoying the gorges and 29 waterfalls along the way to the seacoast town of Skogar. Also explore Iceland’s crown city, Reykjavik, and its surrounding attractions. It’s your once-in-a-lifetime trip! This 7-day trek requires that you be in good physical condition for hiking 6–10 miles/ day with 1,000–3,000’ elevation gain/loss. Denver Group B hiking level or equivalent ability is required. The first 2 and last 2 nights in Reykjavik will be spent in a guesthouse close to the town center and within short walking distance of the Bus Terminal. Contact trip leader Peter Hunkar at email Peter629@comcast.net or by phone at 303323-5775. v Wind Rivers Wyoming Llama Trek August 4–10, 2014 CMC members: $2,300 This trip is a classic Wind River Range trip and covers a large portion of the northern Popo Agie Wilderness, with glacial cirques and many high alpine lakes with plenti-
ful trout fishing. Participants will carry day packs and the llamas will carry all of the camp gear. Our guides will do all of the cooking. The trip begins at the North Fork Trailhead. Starting at approximately 9,300 feet elevation, we will hike down to the North Fork of the Popo Agie River and follow the river to an open, meandering high alpine meadow just below tree-line (7 miles hiking distance). On days 2 and 3 we will hike to the Cirque of the Towers area in Lizard Head meadows, gaining about 600 feet elevation and camping at approximately 10,100 feet. Here we will lay over for 2 nights. On the layover day we may split the group, if we choose, to take various day hikes at different levels of difficulty. Participants may enjoy the Cirque of Towers scrambling up Jack Ass Pass or Texas Pass, or simply fishing the headwaters of the North Fork out of Lonesome Lake, enjoying some of the best views of the Wind River Range. On day 4 we will hike up Lizard Head Trail and merge with Bears Ears Trail, climbing a steep 6 miles and traversing past Cathedral Peak at 11,800 feet with grand views. Then we will descend and merge with Moss Lake Trail, a distance of 4 miles, to Ranger Park at the confluence of Little Wind River at 10,200 feet, for a total day’s hiking distance of approximately 10 miles. On days 5 and 6 we will day-hike to Washakie and/or South Fork Lakes, viewing spectacular cirque walls and experiencing the remote solitude. Day 7 has us hiking back up to Bears Ears and descending to Adams Pass to Bears Ears trailhead, a distance of 12 miles. Contact trip leader Carol Kurt at kurtskarma@ aol.com or 970-925-6648
Trek the Haute Route in Switzerland August 8–24, 2014 CMC members: $2,409 Hike the famous Swiss Haute Route and witness one of the greatest collections of 4,000-meter peaks in all of the Swiss Alps, visit some of the area’s most spectacular valleys, wander through tiny villages and hamlets, skirt hanging glaciers, traverse lonely passes and fill your days with wonder. Hiking is ingrained in the Swiss culture and you will trek for 11 days from Champex, near the French border, to the Matterhorn region without carrying a tent, sleeping bag, or stove because all nights will
be spent in Swiss Alpine Club huts, private mountain refuges or small hotels, mainly in remote locations, and most with hot showers. Participants should have excellent physical conditioning, experience hiking in an alpine environment, and the ability to hike 11 consecutive days with an average of 2,400 feet of vertical gain per day and one day of 5,366 feet. Participants should also be comfortable with a certain amount of exposed hiking using chains, rungs, or ladders as aids. Contact trip leader Denise Snow at denisedansnow@q. com or phone 719-687-9576.
Mount Ararat, Turkey, 16,854’/Mount Musala, Bulgaria, 9,596’ August 15–26, 2014 CMC members: $2,420 This is the first CMC trip to Turkey in many years and our first ever CMC trip to beautiful Bulgaria. The trip will offer a combination of hiking, cultural experiences, and a limited amount of technical mountaineering. The outing will offer the opportunity to climb the highest peak in both Turkey (Ararat) and Bulgaria (Musala), which is also the highest peak in the Balkans. The educational value of the trip is immense, with numerous historic sites from pre-Roman times; through the empires of Byzantium, Bulgaria, the Ottomans; to modern times. Mount Ararat is comparable to a “D” hike. The top of Ararat is a snow climb requiring ice axe, crampons, roped travel skills; however, trekkers can skip the peak and enjoy the views from the high camp hut while the climbers do the summit. Musala is a difficult Class “B.” Note: the Denver Group hiker classification system does not apply to this trip. Prospective participants will be asked to provide a hiking resume. Ararat summit climbers must have ice axe, crampons, and roped travel skills. All participants must have excellent physical conditioning with screening by the trip leader. Required attendance at pre-trip meeting in March. Attendance at a majority of training hikes and climbs beginning in April (exception may be made for out-of-state participants at the discretion of the trip leader). Note: Leader must forward copies of participant passports in early June to the Turkish outfitter in order to secure Ararat climbing permits. Contact trip leader Steve Bonowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
small elegant hotels in Bolzano, Lake Garda, and Monterosso, Italy. T Tour of Mont Blanc August 31– September 15, 2014 SOLD OUT! The TMB is one of the classic world hikes with the perfect mix of awe-inspiring mountain views and vibrant influence of three distinct European cultures. Our journey begins in Milan, Italy, but the trek starts and ends in Courmayeur, Italy, and circumnavigates Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe at over 15,770 feet. We will cross the Alps in Italy, Switzerland, and France enjoying the views, interactions with locals, and hearty foods. The trek covers approximately 105 miles over 11 days plus a rest day in Chamonix, France. On most days, we carry only a day pack with our luggage transported from hotel to hotel. For our three nights in mountain huts, we will carry only slightly more weight, because the huts provide food and bedding. Excellent physical conditioning is required. To get on wait list, contact trip leader Cynthia Saer at email@example.com.
Best Hikes of Italy September 14–26, 2014 CMC members: $3,950 Explore three distinctly different areas of Italy as we hike in the Italian Dolomites, trek in the hills above Lake Garda, and experience the trails connecting the Cinque Terre, five beautiful villages on the Italian Riviera. Starting in Milan, Italy, we transfer to Balzano to tour the (Reinhold) Messner Museum, followed by three days of hiking in the towering Dolomites. Next, we transfer to beautiful Riva del Garda on Lake Garda. In addition to two day hikes, there will be opportunities for recreation, including beautiful beaches, boat rides, formal gardens, and more. One evening we will enjoy an Italian cooking class. We will transfer by train to Cinque Terre and stay at a charming 4-star inn. We will hike the trails that connect these villages. On our return to Milan, we will visit Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Throughout the trip, we will enjoy the delights of Italian cuisine in charming restaurants and pubs. Hiking level will be B and C level over 6–7 days. The trip includes 12 nights’ accommodation in
Great Smoky Mountains National Park October 18–26, 2014 CMC members: $800–$1,000 Please join us for another epic adventure in the Southern Appalachians! Experience one of the most biodiverse regions in the United States and discover its incredible beauty. Your trip leader has lived and hiked in these mountains for over a decade and will take you to some of the coolest places in the park at one of the prettiest times of the year: Mid-October is prime fall foliage season in the Southern Appalachians. The planned itinerary is to spend six or seven days exploring Great Smoky Mountains Park, including touring, a lot of hiking, and an optional bicycle tour around Cades Cove one morning. We will do day hikes throughout the western half of the park (some hikes will be on the Appalachian Trail) and will take the weather into consideration to try to pick a good destination every day. If possible, we will spend our last night at Charit Creek Lodge in Big South Fork National Recreation Area near the Kentucky border. Charit Creek is a historic and very rustic hike-in lodge with one-room log cabins that sleep 12, a solar-powered bathhouse, and a historic dining room for dinner and breakfast (included). From the lodge, we will do an afternoon loop hike to the impressive twin arches (6 miles, 450 feet). Our base in the Smokies is a cabin in Townsend, Tennessee, just yards from the national park boundary. Our cabin has five bedrooms and three bathrooms, a screened-in porch overlooking the creek, a deck with a hot tub, a wood stove, a full kitchen, washer and dryer, etc. While at the cabin, we will be responsible for preparing ALL our meals— breakfast, sack lunches and dinners—unless we decide to go out to eat. The trip fee includes funds for the group meals. Every participant will be required to actively participate in meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up. Your trip cost includes all ground transportation in Tennessee, all overnight stays, as well as group meals at the cabin and Charit Creek Lodge. Any meals we choose to eat out are on your own. If interested, contact Chris Dohmen at firstname.lastname@example.org
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