Trail & Timberline #1033

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TIMBERLINE The Colorado Mountain Club • Winter 2017 • Issue 1033•



MARCH 2 • 3 • 4 | 7 PM | CMC.ORG/BANFF PARAMOUNT THEATRE | DENVER, CO Proceeds support the education & conservation efforts of the Colorado Mountain Club


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Letter from the Executive Director Wanderlust Edition


he Colorado Mountain Club was founded in 1912 by a group of individuals who shared a love of adventure and mountains. In the last century plenty has changed in Colorado, but one thing remains consistent: the CMC exists to help Coloradans learn valuable outdoor skills, be conscious stewards of our public lands, and provide opportunities to explore the mountains. The CMC helps fulfill that desire to pursue something unknown, to reach a new summit, to break out of comfort zones. We see this through our Youth Education Program, which welcomes over 7,000 diverse youth to the outdoor world each year, inspiring future mountaineers for generations to come. Our goal is to provide a pragmatic learning environment for these kids, empowering them to get outside while teaching them to be respectful of nature. We see this through our Conservation and Stewardship team and volunteers, who worked hard again this year restoring trails on our 14ers, protecting alpine environments, and fighting to keep our public lands public. In 2017, CMC efforts helped improve some of our state’s most well-loved and highly-trafficked trails, including Pikes Peak, Mt. Elbert, and Quandary Peak. Our commitment to the responsible conservation of our public lands will help millions of outdoor enthusiasts to chase their own adventures on Colorado’s summits. We see this through our Adventure Travel Program, ever-growing in popularity and its diversity of destinations. This year alone, CMC Adventure Travel will open up the world to members with trips to places like New Zealand, Scotland, Patagonia, Bryce Canyon, and the French Alps. We’re adding new trips regularly and are always eager to see CMC members serve as ambassadors for our state both in Colorado and abroad. But perhaps most importantly, we see this in our membership growth. In 2017, the CMC saw our membership grow to 6,300— our highest number of members in five years! We’ve also seen a huge increase in members under the age of 30, thus helping ensure the future of our Club. Moving into 2018, we plan to continue our growth, asserting ourselves as a leader in adult and youth outdoor education, as staunch advocates for public land, and as publisher of the best guidebooks in Colorado. Our goal is to help as many Coloradans pursue their adventure as possible and with our members’ help, we’re proud to be doing this in more ways than ever. Whether in Colorado or around the world, I hope you’ll find new adventures in 2018—enjoy the journey along the way.

Photo by Andrew Bradberry

See you on the trail,

Scott Robson Executive Director

Trail & Timberline


28 28 Why Slovenia?

A long-time CMC Adventure Travel Leader shares her experience in beautiful Slovenia. by Denise Snow

34 Wanderlust: Finding Adventure & Empowerment in India

34 41 Eclipse Viewing at Wyoming’s Laramie Peak Front row seats on a summit for totality. by Jennifer Schmidt

42 Home is Where You Park It

The ups, downs, and breakdowns of #Vanlife. by David Boersma

The 50-State Highpoint Speed Record Holder and explorer brings you along on her latest adventure: India. by Maddie Miller

Winter 2017 Trail & Timberline • Issue 1033 •


Trail & Timberline

Departments 01 Letter from the Executive Director 06 On the Outside 08 Mission Accomplishments

The CMC’s been busy! Check in with the membership, conservation, youth education program, CMC Press, development, adventure travel, and safety departments.

14 Around Colorado

Find a local CMC chapter and get involved!

42 On the Cover

18 Pathfinder

Hidden Valley’s backcountry in winter. by Alan Apt

20 Safety First

Improving the odds of success. by Stephen Szoradi

26 CMC Adventure Travel

Follow your Wanderlust with trips around the globe organized by the CMC.

30 The 14er Files

Stories and photos from the latest completers.

44 End of the Trail

Remembering those who have passed.

CMC member Nikki Beck surveys connecting ridgelines on the trail to Mount Ida in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo by Valerie Hawks


Trail & Timberline



The official publication of the Colorado Mountain Club since 1918.

Editor Reed Fischer

Contributing Editors Sarah Gorecki Rachel Vermeal Designer David Boersma Advertising Sales

The Colorado Mountain Club 710 10th Street, Suite 200 Golden, Colorado 80401

16th Annual

MOUNTAIN FEST Saturday, March 24, 2018

303-279-3080 The CMC is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization. The Colorado Mountain Club is organized to ▶ unite the energy, interest, and knowledge of the students, explorers, and lovers of the mountains of Colorado; ▶ collect and disseminate information regarding the Rocky Mountains on behalf of science, literature, art, and recreation; ▶ stimulate public interest in our mountain areas; ▶ encourage the preservation of forests, flowers, fauna, and natural scenery; and Colorado Mountain Club Open House | Golden, CO Showcase of Trips, Classes & Programs Outdoor Skills Clinics • Free & Family Friendly

▶ render readily accessible the alpine attractions of this region. © 2018 Colorado Mountain Club

All Rights Reserved

Trail & Timberline (ISSN 0041-0756) is published biannually by the Colorado Mountain Club located at 710 10th Street, Suite 200, Golden, Colorado 80401. Subscriptions are $10 per year; single copies are $5. 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. 4

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guide to membership

We summit 14ers, ski, climb, backpack through wilderness areas, explore international destinations, and so much more. Being connected to thousands of other adventure-loving mountaineers through our outdoor schools and outings makes your membership matter. CMC has regional groups all over Colorado... find the group nearest you and get outside! The Club comprises regional Groups across the Colorado to serve the local needs of its members and partners. Plus, activities of any CMC Group are open to members regardless of home group affiliation. Build your trail family by meeting people through the skill clinics and great trips that we offer. Questions? Contact us anytime at or 303-279-3080 x2.

CONNECT with the outdoor

community – Make new friends and adventure buddies by interacting with other members

VOLUNTEER and give back to

the organization – Become a volunteer trip leader, be an instructor with our courses or help out with youth education (YEP)

GO on a CMC-led trip – The club offers more than


to your favorite cause – Make a taxdeductible contribution toward conservation, youth education or the area of greatest need

1,600 trips annually. From easy after-work hikes to difficult 14er routes, there’s something for everyone

EXPLORE the world with Adventure

PROTECT the natural environment –

Travel – Receive special member pricing on active vacations in the US and abroad

ATTEND a CMC event – Members

receive exclusive pricing for film festivals, famous speakers, Backcountry Bash and more


MEMBERSHIP PAYS FOR ITSELF! MEMBER PRICING Courses and Skills Clinics Adventure Travel - Domestic & International Trips Youth Education Adventure Courses

Lend a hand on a conservation project and meet other passionate about stewarding our lands

LEARN a new outdoor skill and enroll in

a CMC course – No matter your skill level, you can always know more!

GUIDE BOOKS & PACKGUIDES Save 20% on CMC Guidebooks and Packguides, and be the first to know about upcoming titles

FILM & EVENT DISCOUNTS Radical Reels Banff Mountain Film Festival Backcountry Film Festival Backcountry Bash Happy Hours

GEAR DISCOUNTS • Asana Climbing • • (100+ brands) • Icebreaker • Mountainsmith • Slackline Industries • Zeal • Local gear shops • ... and 100’s MORE!


CMC.ORG/MEMBERDEALS Trail & Timberline


On the Outside The Great American Eclipse putting on a show. Photo by Tom Jagger {


Mission Accomplishments An Interview with Scott Otteman, Lifetime Member How long have you been a CMC member?

Why did you become a Lifetime Member?

Scott: I formally joined the CMC around 2010 because my son and I were coming to Colorado every summer to climb 14ers. I think my father was a member in the 1970s, when we started hiking 14ers as a family while I was growing up in Fort Collins. We went on a couple of CMC-sponsored trips up some of the more tricky peaks, and I remember learning the “rest step” and some other tricks of the trade from CMC stalwart volunteer Al Ossinger.

Scott: I decided to take the plunge and become a Lifetime Member at some point after I joined the CMC state board a few years back. Joining the board allowed me to become more intimately familiar with the group’s leadership and its broader mission of preserving mountain habitats, ensuring continued access for hikers and climbers, and educating the public on mountain safety and Leave No Trace principles. I concluded those were lifetime goals I’d be comfortable supporting far into the future. Best outdoor advice you’ve ever been given? Scott: Dr. Stanley Henson, my dad’s surgical partner and our family’s longtime climbing partner, always used to remind us eager young beavers on 14er climbs: “The important thing isn’t who gets to the top first, it’s that we get everyone in our group up (weather and health permitting) and down safely.” As I’ve transitioned from a follower to a leader of hikes, that bit of wisdom has stuck with me and helped guide my actions on the mountain. Most memorable moment or accomplishment outdoors? Scott: That’s easy. This past August on top of Mt. Wilson in the San Juans. That summit marked the final 14er for my son, Daniel, who—after twelve summers of mountain

Scott Otteman atop Maroon Peak. Photo by Daniel Otteman

Types of hikes/trips you’ve led? Predominantly rock climbing. Favorite trail food? Salami. 8

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Favorite Colorado view or trail? Scott: The first time my family climbed Uncompahgre Peak in the San Juans in the 1970s is cemented in my memory as a hike with classic views. I remember gazing down on green fields dotted with grazing sheep and having our heavy breathing and thumping hearts interrupted periodically by “bahs” wafting up from below. It felt like what I imagined a European hiking experience might be like. Of course, at the time my idea of European hiking was based exclusively on the opening scenes of The Sound of Music. Nonetheless, that nostalgic vision has stayed with me over the years, especially a memory of eating salami and cheese for lunch on a treacherously steep grassy slope while observing the bucolic scene below. ▲

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A LIFETIME MEMBER? Learn more about the benefits by visiting or call membership services at (303) 996-2748.

Meet a School Director: Matthew Foster How long have you been with the CMC? Since 2013. I’m currently the co-director of the Pikes Peak Group Basic Mountaineering School.

vacations traveling from Washington, DC—now enters a tiny pantheon of those who have summited all the Colorado 14ers before turning age 18. At the same time, that Mt. Wilson climb was also the final peak for me on my second round of 14ers! So it was a double whammy, made all the more special by being up there with my brother, Shawn, my nephew, Nathan, and my niece, Ayana. Seeing the joy on Daniel’s face as he was embraced by his cousins, amidst whoops and cheers, was pretty special.

Best outdoor advice you’ve ever been given? To be a critical thinker. Not a quote, but a consistent lesson from CMC mentors. Favorite view in Colorado? Wilkerson Pass. Visually signifies being in the middle of everything I want to be doing. ▲

Road Trip Recipe By the CMC Youth Education Program

CREATING AN EPIC ROAD trip is a bit like cooking a delicious meal: you need inspiration, preparation, and the ability to improvise when needed! Here at the Youth Education Program we plan and execute many overnight trips throughout the year. We share our secret recipe below.


Select a beautiful, wild part of Colorado to visit. Talk to friends, peruse maps, scour the internet, and make a list of adventure ingredients. Dreaming up a road trip is almost as fun as going on one! Pick a place that inspires you and start researching. Some of YEP’s favorite off-the-beaten path locales in Colorado include: Penitente Canyon, the Flat Tops Wilderness, and a few top-secret climbing areas.


• 1 State of Colorado • 2 scoops of fun outdoor activities • Assorted permits & reservations • 2–3 well-aged summer staff • 6–10 energetic teenagers • A pinch of games (Frisbee, beach ball, cards) • 1 large passenger van • Heaps of camping equipment


Create a budget, obtain permits, and book campsites. Chill on the CMC website for 4–6 months.

Teen Ventures Multi-Sport Road Trip attendees, ready to shred at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Photo by Annabelle Cooper

Identify critical components that need to be completed in advance. These make up the “crust” that holds your trip together. YEP plans months in advance to reserve hard-toget campsites and obtain permits to operate on public lands (NPS, USFS, BLM, State Parks, County Open Spaces, etc.).

The first few hours set the tone for the rest of the trip. At YEP we love to start with a few high-energy games to break the ice, learn names, and establish a culture of teamwork. Don’t forget to do a final equipment check, too. Then it’s time to hit the road!


Add mixture to a stunning Colorado locale and sprinkle with equal parts adventure and sweat. Bake for 5 days.

Combine teenagers and icebreaker games. Pour into a 15-passenger van and mix well. Stir in camping equipment, a few CMC staff, and simmer for 2–3 hours.

This is where it all comes together. Appreciate where you are, what you’re doing, and the people you’re with. On YEP’s Teen Ventures summer multi-sport trip, we hiked along the Continental Divide, watched sunsets and shooting stars in the clear desert sky, and came up with inside jokes while rafting the Arkansas River.


Creativity and a willingness to go “off recipe” can take a meal (or road trip) from good to great. Be ready to improvise and work with what’s on hand. Carpe Diem. While driving across the San Luis Valley from the Great Sand Dunes we saw signs for a UFO Watchtower. Was this on our itinerary? No. Did we make a U-turn to check it out? Absolutely! Dinner is served! Theo’s one-pot wonder on the Teen Ventures Backcountry Trekking trip. Photo by Theo Hopfer

Voila! We hope this inspires you to cook up a tasty adventure. ▲ Trail & Timberline


Public Lands Protection in a Changing Political Climate By Julie Mach, Conservation Director

IN 2017, CONSERVATION advocates have been working hard to protect national monuments, the Antiquities Act, federal agency funding, and more—but with these challenges come new opportunities for grassroots engagement and rejuvenated passion for public lands in Colorado. At CMC, the Conservation Department has focused on helping protect conservation laws by generating hundreds of postcards and letters to the Secretary of the Interior

Conservation advocates at a letter-writing happy hour expressing their support for national monuments to the Secretary of the Interior. Photo by Julie Mach

at social events, festival booths, and conferences. Using our new online advocacy tool, CongressWeb, over 500 CMC supporters submitted more than 2,100 contacts with their congressional representative in support of the Antiquities Act—all within twelve hours of receiving an Action Alert! Now, more than ever, CMC hikers, mountaineers, and skiers are motivated to speak up and, as a new member of Outdoor Alliance, the Club is able to strengthen our voice in collaborative advocacy efforts with climbers, paddlers, and mountain bikers. While threats to public lands are high, proactive protection campaigns for wilderness, special management areas, and other designations are gaining momentum across the state. Advocates are working with stakeholders to build support for the Continental Divide Wilderness & Recreation Act, the San Jan Wilderness Bill, and the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative, and CMC is working closely with conservation partners on the Rio Grande National Forest Plan, which currently includes proposed wilderness expansion on 14ers in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. CMC co-hosted the Colorado Wilderness Gathering in Palisade, where Representative Diana Degette un-

Comment postcards collected at a CMC letter-writing happy hour expressing support for national monuments to the Secretary of the Interior. Photo by Julie Mach

veiled renewed efforts to refine a statewide wilderness proposal to protect hundreds of thousands of acres across Colorado. Now is the time to build momentum for these campaigns, and we need you to get involved. Visit to sign up for our e-newsletter and check out our current action alerts. ▲

A Proactive Approach to Stewardship By Brink Messick, Conservation Outreach & Project Manager

THE RECENT TRENDS IN Colorado’s booming population are no longer new news. Attracted by the quality of life and access to the natural world, families and individuals alike are flocking to the state to experience all it has to offer. CMC Conservation is providing assistance to land managers and local trails groups across the state to help stay ahead of the curve and mitigate some of the impact that this increase in use has on the landscape and the trails used to access it. In 2017, the CMC Stewardship Crew worked for 5 months to maintain over 80 miles of trails, construct 8,400 feet of new trail tread, remove 384 downed trees, restore 6,700 feet of social trails, install over 120 drainage structures, and engage volunteers in over 1,000 hours of service work on public lands. Unsustainable, user-created trails are going the way of the dodo, and are being replaced by intentionally designed alter10

Trail & Timberline

CMC Stewardship crew members Jeremy Aaron (left) and Noah Hirsch (right) use a crosscut saw to clear trails in the Raggeds Wilderness near Paonia. Photo by Jeremy Aaron

natives that will work with the terrain to provide sustainable recreation opportunities on Colorado’s public lands for decades to come. During the 2017 field season, CMC Conservation staff Todd Loubsky and Brinkley Messick assisted with design of new trails and reroutes in the Midland Hills Trail System (Buena Vista), Penitente Canyon

Trail System (La Garita), Stone Quarry Trail System (Del Norte), and Greenie Mountain Trail System (Alamosa). With over 25 years of experience between them, Brink and Todd work with both the local land managers and local user groups to create access that meets the needs of the public with minimal impact on the resources that we are there to enjoy. ▲

CMC Increases Course Offerings in Wilderness Medicine, Single Pitch Instructor By Philip Swiny, Safety & Operations Director

AS WE ALL KNOW, the summer and early fall are always busy seasons for the CMC and this year has been no exception! Not only are the Group Schools facilitating outdoor adventures for an ever-growing number of members, but the State Office is providing additional courses to help meet demand for classes like Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and advanced-level trainings for leaders and instructors like the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) courses and assessments. Due to both increased demand from members and the logistical challenges associated with smaller CMC groups providing their own classes, the State Office increased the Golden-based WFA classes and is assisting with organizing medical courses around the state. Despite increasing the frequency of classes to one per month, there continues to be more participant demand than classes! Due to this interest, a combination of both larger and bi-monthly class offerings will begin in 2018. In addition to more WFA classes, the State Office is looking to increase medical training offerings with the possibility of adding Basic Life Support (CPR/AED) training to the class offerings in 2018. The State Office is also proud to announce the offering of AMGA SPI courses for key personnel. These classes focus on the skills and techniques to improve both the teach-

SPI course in action at the crag in Golden. Photo by Philip Swiny

ing of climbing as well as site management safety. To date, twelve CMC instructors representing three of the four groups with schools and staff have attended the intensive three-day course. Further courses and assessments are being planned for spring of 2018. Courses like the WFA and SPI are vital for CMC leaders and instructors. Not only do trainings like these ensure that we are up-to-date on current protocols and medical standards, but they also enable us to access our vital public lands. For example, Colorado State Parks requires that all instructors who lead groups on park lands to

have a minimum of WFA and CPR/AED for non-technical activities (such as hiking), and an AMGA, WFA, CPR/AED training for all technical activities (such as rock climbing). The State Office plans to continue increasing the frequency and size of current courses while at the same time striving to add new offerings that would further improve the competencies of not only leaders and instructors, but also that of our general membership. The more well-trained individuals there are in the mountains, the better for all who recreate there, and we at the CMC will strive towards this goal. ▲

Meet John Linsley, CMC Adventure Travel Program Manager JOHN GREW UP EXPLORING the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. He went on to college at St. Lawrence University on the edge of New York’s Adirondack Park, where he was president of the Outing Club and studied abroad in Kenya and Tanzania. This experience in East Africa instilled in him his passion for travel. John’s professional background spans the fields of adventure travel, study abroad, teaching, and health and safety. Most recently, he was a program director and trip leader with Putney Student Travel and its partner organization, National Geographic Student Expeditions. In this role, he oversaw the development of educational travel and adventure programs from inception to launch. Previously, he worked in safety and operations for an international environmental field studies program. Trip leadership positions and field assign-

ments have brought him to East and West Africa, South Asia, Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, and to destinations across the US and Canada. Some of his favorite travel experiences have included trekking in the Indian Himalaya, climbing volcanoes in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, cycling through the Portuguese countryside, and exploring the pastoral lands, wildlife parks, and high peaks of East Africa. A certified EMT for over 17 years, John has completed training in wilderness emergency medicine and travelers’ health and wellness. John speaks Swahili, the regional language of East Africa and holds a master’s degree in international relations. World geography and current affairs are major passions of his, and he enjoys delving into the history, cultures, and languages of the places he travels. He is a strong believer in the value of immersing oneself in our nat-

ural world and in new environments and communities through purposeful and responsible travel. Here in Colorado, John is an avid trail runner and skier and you’ll find him on the trails whenever he has the chance. ▲

The CMC welcomes John Linsley to the Adventure Travel Manager position. Photo by John Linsley

FOR MORE INFORMATION about CMC Adventure Travel and 2018 destinations, visit Trail & Timberline


CMC Press Releases Eight New Guidebooks and New Urban Hiking Series By Clyde Soles, Director of Publishing

IN 2017, the CMC Press was cranking away at the printing press to release eight new titles. In January 2017, we published the immensely popular Coloring Colorado, a coloring book for kids from 3 to 93. Over the summer, we produced four new pack guides: The Best Crested Butte Hikes, The Best Lost Creek Wilderness Hikes, The Best Steamboat Hikes, and The COLORADO MOUNTAIN CLUB GUIDEBOOK

Classic Colorado Ski Descents, by Jon Features: Kedrowski, showcases 70 great ski lines with options for many more. Available now for $24.95.

Best Summit County Hikes. These all have upgraded topo maps and other enhancements to make this popular series even more useful. This fall, we introduced the first of a new series of books: The Best Urban Hikes: Denver. This pack guide covers thirty nature hikes all within the C-470 loop to help people escape the city without




Perfect gift for all ages!



Founded in 1912, the Colorado Mountain Club is the largest recreation, education, and conservation organization in the Rocky Mountains.

Inspirational and fun


Clients include: USA Pro Challenge, American Alpine Club, Ouray Ice Climbing Festival, FIBArk Kayaking Festival, Eddyline Brewery, and the Mountain Toad Brewery. His impressionist style and bright colors have led to several murals in the town of Golden, where he lives with his wife and Great Dane.

15 outdoor adventures


An elementary art teacher, Jesse often connects his work with the playfulness of his students and is inspired by the energy they bring to the classroom. He graduated from Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado with an M.A. in Art and Art Education.

34 iconic scenes from around the state



JESSE CROCK is an artist with a love of climbing, cycling, and the outdoors. The rich color and sharp contrast of his acrylic paintings attempt to capture the vibrant Colorado landscape and adventures. As an outdoor enthusiast, he brings the viewer to places seldom painted.





Coloring Colorado, by Jesse Crock, is a coloring book featuring 34 iconic scenes from around the state. This coloring book makes a great gift for adults and kids alike! Available now for $14.95.

leaving the city. This coming year, we will add The Best Urban Hikes: Boulder and then continue to grow the series along the Front Range and beyond. For winter 2017, CMC Press released Classic Colorado Ski Descents, which features detailed descriptions of 70 ski and snowboard lines, plus recommendations for hundreds of variations. These include ascents of 36 of the 14ers and 22 of the 13ers and a whole lot of other goodness. Last but not least is Ski & Snowshoe Routes: Colorado’s Front Range, which offers a wide range of tours for people of all ability levels. This 328-page book provides 80 routes with full details and topo maps. Don’t forget that CMC members receive a 20 percent discount on all CMC Press titles, plus all books published by The Mountaineers Books! Looking ahead for 2018, we have fourteen titles in the works. ▲

SUMMER ADVENTURE Register today! •

Explore the mountains with the CMC Youth Education Program! Specialized multi-day courses offer outdoor skill-building, climbing and adventure for youth ages 9-18. 12

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Celebrating CMC Members, Supporters, and Advocates By Jay Cordes, Development Director

AS THE YEAR COMES to a close and the Colorado Mountain Club enters 2018, the Development Team would like to thank all of our members and supporters. Colorado Mountain Club is the premier outdoor recreation nonprofit in the state, dedicated to teaching skills needed to enjoy the mountains we call home, inspiring the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, and protecting our wild spaces. The CMC cannot do this without generous supporters and advocates. We are grateful for all of you for choosing to partner with the CMC to ensure that the Club can continue to provide scholarships for thousands of youth to participate in our Youth Education Program and reclaim and restore hundreds of miles of trails. This year the CMC celebrated its 25th annual Backcountry Bash, a great party that raised crucial funds for our programming. We are proud to say that this year’s Bash was one of the most successful to date, and a big congratulations to our award winners. We were excited to highlight pro climbers John Long and Chelsea Rude, who provided a

great spotlight on the need to protect our crags and public lands for future generations. The CMC’s Development Team continues to prioritize the protection and stewardship of our open spaces and public lands through grant funding and other crucial campaigns. Looking forward, the Development Team will also be prioritizing new corporate partners for the Club to bring our members great benefits and support programming. Additionally, one of our favorite events, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, will once again be held in March this year, so save the date. There are many ways to get involved with the Club and support the CMC’s mission. Please continue to come out to our awesome speaker series, happy hours, and other events. We so appreciate your membership and the Development Team wants to remind you that there is always an opportunity to sign up for monthly giving to sustainably support the Club or contribute during one of our special appeals. Donations to the CMC are what allows the organization to

Friends of the CMC gathered at the McNichols Building in Denver to celebrate the 25th annual Backcountry Bash. Photo by Terrence Wong

do more, whether that’s teaching avalanche classes or getting kids outside. Thank you for everything you do for the Club. ▲

Join the CMC’s Summit Society or 21st Century Circle Today!

Support the Club through annual giving or by designating a legacy gift. Your generosity will help fund CMC programming for generations to come. Please contact us at or (303) 996-2752 to learn more. Trail & Timberline


Around Colorado Our groups across the State WE ARE THE CMC The Colorado Mountain Club is the state’s leading organization dedicated to adventure, recreation, conservation, and education. Founded in 1912, the CMC has helped Coloradans enjoy the mountains for more than a century. The Club acts as a gateway to the outdoors for novices and experts alike, offering an array of year-round activities and events. The CMC’s local chapters host a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, skiing, and many other outdoor activities. See for a current listing.


Chair: Mike Miller Email: Website: Aspen Group members mainly live in the Roaring Fork Valley; however, some members live across the country and have special connections to Aspen. In addition to mountain recreation activities, Aspen hosts picnics, an annual banquet, and slide shows on winter evenings.


Chair: Gary Johnston Email: Website: Members enjoy a huge variety of hiking, backpacking, climbing, and skiing activities throughout the year in addition to local social outings and a Group Annual Dinner, every November celebrating our members. The Boulder Group also operates the Brainard Cabin and Arestua Hut in the Arapaho–Roosevelt National Forest.

Colorado Wilderness Families

Chair: Jennifer Teece Email: Website:

This group is for families who gather together to enjoy the outdoors safely. Activities are generally designed for the participation of the whole family—including babies to early teens—and include overnight camping or “cabining” hikes, wall climbs, and map and compass practices.


Chair: Brian Le Blanc Email: Website: Newsletter: The Mile High Mountaineer The Denver Group is the largest CMC Group and holds most of its programs and school lec14

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tures at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden. Activities are scheduled almost every day of the week, including weekends and holidays. New member meetings—for new and prospective members—feature informative and interesting videos and briefings on hiking skills and trip policies, and are strongly recommended for all new members. For schedules and more information, visit Denver also has groups of people who meet and recreate together around specific interests. Additional fees may apply for these special interest “sections.” • Rocky Mountain Over the Hill Gang: for 50+ year-olds • Photo Section: for photography lovers • Fly Fishing: everything fly fishing

El Pueblo

Chair: Jill Mattoon Email: Website: The El Pueblo Group provides outdoor experiences for people in the “un-crowded” southern and southeastern parts of Colorado. El Pueblo holds several social and educational functions each year, including a potluck dinner and monthly meetings with entertaining guest speakers. The monthly meetings are held the 3rd Friday of most months at 7:00 PM in the parish hall at Ascension Episcopal Church, located at 18th St. and Grand Ave. in Pueblo.

Friends of Colorado

Contact: Scott Otteman Email: Website: The Friends of Colorado Group was created in 1987 to support the many CMC members who live out of state but still want to take part in CMC activities when visiting Colorado. Friends of Colorado members receive all the benefits of being a CMC member; visit for a complete list of member benefits.

Friends of Routt Backcountry

Chair: Leslie Lovejoy Email: Website:

Located in Steamboat Springs, this group was created by the CMC during our adoption of the Backcountry Snowsports Alliance. The Backcountry Snowsports Initiative supports non-motorized winter recreation through advocacy and on-the-ground efforts.

Fort Collins

Chair: Gordon Thibedeau Email: Website: Newsletter: The Fort Collins Group has members of all ages from Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and the surrounding communities. The Fort Collins Group has outings for everyone, from leisurely slow-paced flower hikes to challenging high mountain summit climbs. The Group hosts monthly programs, a winter potluck, a summer BBQ, and an Annual Dinner. For more information on upcoming activities visit Trips and search on the Fort Collins group.

Gore Range

Chair: Dale Pfaff Email: Website: Many Gore Range Group members live in the shadow of the magnificent Gore Range in Summit and Eagle Counties. Members from as far south as Salida and north to Kremmling and from out of state are also part of the group. A Gore Range Group newsletter is sent out twice a year, as well as periodic emails.

Longs Peak

Chair: Mike Pippis Email: Website: The Longs Peak Group has members in Longmont, Lyons, Erie, Louisville, Mead, Niwot, and

[Left] CMC Members enjoy Basic Mountaineering School. Photo by Matt Stevens [Right] Trailblazers. Photo by Makayla Braden

the surrounding area. Formed in 1963, and named for the majestic peak which dominates the western horizon, Longs Peak offers a range of outdoor activities throughout the state.

Pikes Peak

Chair: Kristen Buckland Email: Website: The Pikes Peak Group, located in Colorado Springs, offers a variety of outdoor activities, educational opportunities, and social events. Trips are designed to accommodate all ages and skill levels. Activities include hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, cross-country and downhill skiing, cycling, and many other outdoor activities. Monthly meetings feature presentations on regional activities, local history, and trips to exotic places. In May the group gets together for a potluck dinner, and in November they celebrate their members with an annual dinner.

Shining Mountains

Chair: David Sanders Website: Email: The Shining Mountains Group serves CMC members in Estes Park, Loveland, Lyons, and the surrounding area. Rocky Mountain National Park benefits from the many volunteer stewardship projects sponsored by the group. “The Friendly Bunch,” organized to help singles of all ages get acquainted with each other, hosts a variety of activities; while most participants are single, all CMC members are welcome.

CMC Trailblazers

Staff Lead: Logan Chandler Email: Website: Trailblazers is a statewide group for young adults ages 21 to 40. From after-work hikes in Golden to Saturday 14er climbs to weeklong excursions to Moab, this group gets adventurers together nearly every week. There are also regular happy hours and social events. For more information, find the CMC Trailblazers group on Facebook.

Get Involved in Your CMC

• There are many volunteer opportunities throughout the Club. All group activities are led by dedicated and skilled volunteers. Visit for more information or contact your local group. • To ensure the continued enjoyment of Colorado’s pristine places, the CMC leads efforts to protect wild and public lands with its conservation and stewardship programs. • The CMC’s Youth Education Program inspires confidence and academic achievement in youth through school programs, summer camps, after-school programs, and young adult programs.

• The Club has published its magazine, Trail & Timberline, since 1918, and operates the CMC Press with more than 50 titles in print. • The American Mountaineering Museum celebrates the rich history of the mountains and mountaineering.

Mountain Education The CMC offers many educational opportunities through our regional groups. CMC courses appeal to people new to the outdoors as well as people looking for new ways to enjoy the mountains and expand their personal horizons. These affordable courses encourage individuals to improve their outdoor skill sets. CMC instructors are volunteers and members of the Club. They are experienced users of the outdoors who have polished their skills on Club trips and demonstrated their leadership abilities. Safety and personal responsibility, respect for the natural environment, and leadership skills are stressed in all courses. Students of all ages gain the skills and knowledge to comfortably participate in mountain trips. See for a calendar of upcoming schools.

Western Slope

Chair: Open Website: The Western Slope Group has members throughout the Grand Junction area. We bring people together who love the outdoors and the natural environment. The group inspires their members to get outside and enjoy the Colorado Mountains through hiking, backpacking, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and cycling. If you are interested in helping out with the Western Slope Group or being a Trip Leader please contact the CMC office at

Pikes Peak Group. Photo by Dean Waits {

Trail & Timberline



Coming Together to Restore Our 14ers Stewardship Volunteers Team Up to Tackle Tough Terrain By Jeremy Aaron, CMC Stewardship Team Member

Hikers enjoy a snowy vista atop Mount Bierstadt’s summit. Photo by Jeremy Aaron


rost covers the fly of my tent and it’s still dark as I pull myself out of the warm cocoon of my sleeping bag and into the early morning chill. I make my way to the cook’s tent and greet the hardworking camp chefs who have already been up for hours preparing breakfast. Coffee warms my core and brings my attention to the task of signing in and orienting the incoming volunteers. The morning light rises and snow flurries start falling through the subalpine fir and lodgepole forest, bringing even

more excitement to the group of volunteer trail workers that will spend the weekend camping together on Quandary Peak. We’re all eager to start digging, get our blood pumping, and keep our limbs from going numb, so we keep our introductions brief. After a quick safety talk led by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and an overview of the tools we’ll be using, we break out into groups with Colorado Fourteeners Initiative leading the charge. Up the mountain and on to the work!

Just below treeline we reach our work site, take a drink, and review our plan of action. To mitigate the continual trend of soil erosion along the trail, crews will install log check steps, build log and rock retaining walls, and restore side trails. We see more and more hikers ascending the trail, giving us ample opportunity to catch our breath and feel appreciated. Colorado’s 54 summits above 14,000 feet have become more than just mountains, they have become peaks of mythic proportions, drawing in visitors from all over the world. Yet with this growing popularity comes a growing need to ensure that the human impacts on the mountainsides remain in check and that we allow the fragile alpine ecosystems to continue to thrive.

and sponsor new trainings for volunteers and trail crews tailored to the alpine environment. In 2017, the CMC participated in all three NFF-sponsored projects, including Pikes Peak, Mt. Elbert, and Quandary Peak, some of the most trafficked mountains in Colorado. Partnering up with local and statewide conservation-oriented volunteer organizations

*** This is part of the reason the National Forest Foundation, a nonprofit working in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, has launched the “Find Your Fourteener” campaign, an effort to bring together Colorado stewardship organizations to improve the conditions of some of the most challenging trails to maintain. “By working collaboratively, we believe we can develop and implement new trail restoration approaches and build the capacity of organizations and volunteers to increase the overall amount of work on Fourteeners,” says Emily Olsen, Colorado Coordinator for the NFF. The campaign, which was launched in 2016, hopes to add one 14er each year 16

Trail & Timberline

Jeremy Aaron crushes rock for a check step restoration. Photo by Stevi McNeill

Colorado’s 54 summits above 14,000 feet have become more than just mountains, they have become peaks of mythic proportions.


CMC volunteers prepare transplants. Photo by Stevi McNeill

like VOC, CFI, and others, the group efforts have helped reroute and restore heavily eroded and poorly designed routes on Mt. Elbert and improve the existing trails up Quandary Peak and Pikes Peak. “Many hands make light work,” remarks Sarah Rockford, a CFI project lead for the Elbert and Quandary restoration projects. In this day and age of shrinking agency budgets, the help of volunteers is all the more appreciated. To help prioritize which routes and trails need the most work, CFI has inventoried the most popular summits and developed report cards based on existing trail conditions. Mt. Elbert’s South and North Trails came in with F’s on all categories, including trail erosion, braiding, widening, and existing structures. Quandary Peak’s East Ridge Trail, having undergone an extensive reroute in 2002–2003, came in with a C. According to CFI, Colorado’s 14ers now have over 300,000 visitors per year and that number is growing rapidly. Elbert tops the list with nearly 30,000 visitors in 2016, an increase of over 10 percent from 2015. Quandary Peak comes in between 15,000 to 20,000 per year, but can still host well over 100 visitors a day. With so many people setting foot on these iconic peaks, it is important to stop and think about the impacts we may be causing on and off the trail. Prior to the trail reroutes on Mt. Elbert, it was estimated that around 300,000 cubic feet of soil erosion occurred each year, about the same amount of soil that could fill 56 standard rail cars. Many of our mountain trails were first developed by finding the most direct route to the summit and “wearing in” this path over time. Unfortunately, with the amount of traffic these peaks now see, this approach will only lead to more erosion and destruction of wildlife habitat, which is why it is so important to maintain sustainable trails in our alpine environments. It may mean a longer approach to the summit for some, but in the end it will be a longer lasting trail we can enjoy for generations.

As we near the end of our final workday, clouds roll in and a light snow begins to fall. Howls of appreciation for the weather bellow out from the many trail crews up and down the mountainside. Just as we hit our “tool up” time, our crew finishes laying the final touches of organic matter, or “duff,” all around our newly improved switchback, now stabilized with log check steps and burly rock retaining walls. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of a job well done and knowing what you’ve built will last for years to come. “We worked our butts off and met a lot of great people,” Trever Townsend, a firsttime CMC volunteer proclaimed. “The entire weekend was a blast!” We all know the feeling when we push through a long and challenging approach and finally reach the alpine, feeling a renewed sense of dedication and commitment toward our goal. But upon reaching the summit, our job is not over, it is just beginning. We have found our 14er, and now it is our duty to tread lightly and do our part to give back to the mountains that mean the most to us. For more information on 2018 CMC Stewardship opportunities, check out ▲

A friendly reminder to be aware of your surroundings on Long’s Peak.. Photo by Jeremy Aaron

Trail & Timberline





s winter rolls through again, we are invited outdoors by a different kind of beauty. Winter in Colorado is a world of dazzling snow, spindrift, and ice crystal winds. One of the best places to enjoy these spectacles of nature is the gem of our National Park System—Rocky Mountain National Park. RMNP features some of North America’s most spectacular scenery. The Park’s winter landscape casts an almost mystical spell upon visitors. From the craggy peaks of the Continental Divide, to the gentle beauty of the glacial moraines and meadows or the cascading frozen streams, Rocky Mountain National Park is a hotbed for winter snowshoe and ski trails, many of which I highlight in my new CMC Press book, Ski and Snowshoe Routes: Colorado’s Front Range. The Hidden Valley trail is one of my favorites. Hidden Valley is a former small alpine ski area that is now ideal for snowshoeing, tubing, and cross-country and telemark skiing. The area promises an enjoyable experience for beginning explorers and veterans alike. The ski runs are still well defined, making it easy to navigate. Go out as far as you like, and turn around when you have gained enough elevation to enjoy the views of the Mummy Range. You can climb up to closed Trail Ridge Road for longer ski runs and even better views of the Mummies. Alpine Touring or Telemark skis are the best choice for this area, though you could use lighter weight “skinny” skis if you aren’t climbing high. Snowshoes will also take you everywhere. The trailhead offers a warming hut and heated restrooms, great for prepping for and recovering from the trek. Skiers prepare to descend Tombstone Ridge run—a great reward after a trek through the backcountry. Photo by Alan Apt


Trip Length: 2 miles to Trail Ridge Road; 3 miles to top of Tombstone Ridge Difficulty: Easy to challenging Skill Level: Novice snowshoers; intermediate skiers Highest Elevation: 11,500 at top of Tombstone Ridge; 10,500 at Trail Ridge Road Elevation Gain: 1,200 feet to Trail Ridge Road; 2,200 feet to top of Tombstone Ridge Avalanche Danger: Low to moderate Map: Trails Illustrated #200, Rocky Mountain National Park Contact: Rocky Mountain National Park

THE ROUTE: The area offers an initially uphill, out-and-back A view of Tombstone Ridge Run, one of Hidden Valley’s ski runs above Trail Ridge Road. Photo by Alan Apt 18

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option, as well as a potential car shuttle. From the warming hut, travel uphill past the tubing area to the south. For skiing or snowshoeing, turn northwest and you will see two potential uphill routes that are former ski runs. They are unmarked and unnamed. You


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can take either run uphill. You can snowshoe or ski along the edge of the trees that line both sides of the wide former downhill ski runs. The trails get gradually steeper as you climb, so go as far as you like before turning around. If you continue for more than 1 mile, you will climb much more steeply to intersect Trail Colorado’s Front Range Ridge Road, which is closed in the winter from October through May. If you turn around at the road, you will have a 2-mile round-trip and ALAN APT around a 1,000-foot gain. If you want more adventure, and even more impressive views, you can cross the road and climb much more steeply up to the top of Tombstone Ridge, the top of the old ski area. That is another 1,000 feet of climbing in just over 0.5 mile, a very vertical stretch. This section is steep enough to avalanche, so don’t climb it unless you know the snow is very stable, or can dig a snow pit to check it. Ask about potential avalanche danger with the RMNP rangers, or check the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) forecasts on their website ( You will have an exciting advanced intermediate descent on skis, or you can also take a traversing route on snowshoes and make your own switchbacks. If you don’t want steeper climbing, but do want a longer trek, take Trail Ridge Road east or west. You can do this as an out-and-back trip, and return to the base area. If you turn west, you will go uphill toward the 12,000-foot top. Another Trail Ridge Road option is a car shuttle. Leave one car at the road closure on Trail Ridge Road, and then drive back to the base area and climb up, and then east on Trail Ridge Road and back to the car at the closure. It is 2.75 miles



nowshoe includes:





A view of the mighty Mount Ida from Trail Ridge Road. Photo by Alan Apt

to the road closure and your vehicle. The road descends gradually downhill to the closure, losing around 600 feet. Your one-way trip will be around 4 miles. You can, of course, do it the other way around. If you start from the Trail Ridge Road closure you will get the best sustained views, although probably the least consistent snow; parts of the road are often blown free of snow. As you travel northwest on Trail Ridge Road you will be looking at the Mummy Range across the valley. After less than a mile, you will see the former ski area and the route from the bottom to Trail Ridge Road. You will be climbing steadily but gradually as you follow the road toward the top of the ski area, where shuttle buses used to drop off skiers. You can turn around at any time after you have had your fill of the sweeping mountaintop scenery, or ski down if you have solid intermediate to advanced skills. If you wait until spring and the opening of Trail Ridge Road, you can drive to a turnout 0.5 mile east of the Ute Trailhead. You can traverse over to the top of the former Hidden Valley ski runs, but be prepared to hike the snow-free areas.

GETTING THERE: From Estes Park, continue west to the third

traffic light, where you will see a sign for RMNP. Turn left at the sign and go up a hill, bear right at the stop sign, and then bear right at the intersection 0.5 mile after the next traffic light. You will see signs for the Beaver Meadows Visitors Center. From the Beaver Meadows entrance, at the Bear Lake Road turnoff on the left, stay straight/ right and drive 4 miles northwest to Deer Ridge Junction. Continue straight through the intersection toward Trail Ridge Road. After 2.25 miles, you will round a sharp hairpin turn and the Hidden Valley parking lot will be on the right/west side of the road. ▲

Start your trek in the warming hut at the base of Hidden Valley. Photo by Alan Apt

Alan Apt has been exploring Colorado for years as a member of the CMC. He is an avid outdoorsman who loves hiking, biking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing and backpacking. He is the author of the CMC guidebook Ski & Snowshoe Routes: Colorado’s Front Range. Alan’s book features trails like the one found here, and is available now at Trail & Timberline


Safety First



t’s been a difficult year in the Elk Mountains, and for Pitkin County, with numerous rescues and eight fatalities so far this year. Statistics aside, the idea of a small community absorbing repeated losses is difficult on just about everyone. Our mountain town is small, but is home to a fairly dynamic group of individuals that historically don’t hold back their opinions of Main Street happenings. It’s often easier to discuss when the incident involves individuals from outside the community—it’s always easier to comment on the way in which an accident unfolded when there aren’t any close ties to the friends and family. This summer has been different. I’m cautious as I write because this summer has been a serious mix of emotions for our community. Perhaps the initial few accidents were to be expected. History shows that people do hurt themselves and also can lose their lives on technical peaks. We have all learned to absorb those base numbers as what might be a tragic, but also an anticipated, number of incidents. There is a tipping point though, and unfortunately for our community it involved the loss of two individuals who had made Aspen their home.

Descending through the Pyramid Peak Amphitheater after the summit. Photo by Stephen Szoradi, Aspen Alpine Guides 20

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In the guide service industry, we start with a progression. Generally, we like to have successful climbs with our guests, and in order to do that with a new client we start with basic questions: What have you climbed, or are you a hiker? How long have you been climbing, or do you want to learn how to climb or scramble on rocks? What exercise do you do on a regular basis? A peak can typically take between eight and twelve hours of somewhat continuous cardiovascular exertion, so knowing that your climbing partner has something in tank is important. What is your goal, both short- and long-term? After a few minutes of conversation, it becomes fairly apparent where to start the progression. Perhaps it starts with a Class II hike of a 14er, or a longer day hike that goes up and over a pass, potentially progressing to a Class III, IV, or V climb. Again, we always try to set our guests up for success. It’s a whole lot easier to manage the risks of weather, hydration, calories, fatigue, or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) when you’re on a trail or a scramble than when you’re in technical terrain. It’s also a whole lot more pleasant to succeed at a peak rather than having a conversation mid-peak that it’s time to turn around because you’re just not managing to get it done safely. It’s important to remember: no amount of experience or skill makes you immune to the risks of the alpine. There is always room to understand a new perspective, or find a new way to approach things. Mountaineering or mountain climbing as we know it has consequences. Hopefully, those consequences result in a smile and a bonding experience at the end of the climb. Sometimes not, and in order to mitigate that risk of a negative consequence there is a fairly long list of skills and acquired experiences that can improve the odds. One of those learned skills is understanding what you are working with: with rock climbing and mountaineering, your material is rock. Different rock requires different tactics. The Elk Mountains are home to large piles of broken rocks, and need to be approached differently than other ranges with softer lines and rounder summits. Learn how to move on the rock by using downward pressure on the flakes of rock, and learn how to put pressure and counter-pressure between slabs. Risk can be managed and risk can be mitigated with some knowledge of the rock formations and with a practical approach to the basic three points of contact. Moving on vertical rock is certainly a skill, but equally as important is moving through boulder fields on talus slopes, across scree fields, or finding your way from trail to route. This is just one exam-

ly and mentally? And most important, how do we maintain balance in our lives? These are questions that are appropriate to ask friends and are appropriate to ask yourself. How do you, whether a professional athlete, experienced mountaineer, or an outdoor enthusiast, maintain a balance in your life and your mountaineering?

Crater Lake from North Maroon Peak. Photo by Stephen Szoradi, Aspen Alpine Guides

What’s being done. Mountain safety is being discussed and will continue to be discussed by land managers, public safety departments, rescue teams, mountaineers, and guides. The process to discuss and present experiences of climbing in the Elk Mountains is being developed and has the support and resources committed by the Pitkin County Sheriff, the USFS, Mountain Rescue Aspen, and our local mountaineering guides services, and will include the CMC. The first goal is to create a common curriculum for a seminar presentation to include practical experiences with planning and logistics, mapping, and route and alternate route options. A weather and pack discussion including gear, footwear, and apparel, along with communication, is also being considered. More importantly, though, is the inclusion of assessing skills and evaluating risk tolerance to include fitness, expectations, goals, and group dynamics. The second goal is to create field programming with a series of mountaineering clinics that focus on issues specific to the Elk Mountains. Some of the topics will include: • • • • • • • • • • •

Map reading on the North Fork Lake Trail. Photo by Mary Frances Szoradi

ple of a fairly larger requirement for hiking, mountaineering, and climbing in technical terrain. There is also a social factor that should be evaluated when we’re making our decisions to get out in potentially dangerous terrain. Social pressure can be super motivating, or unintentionally detrimental—and can be problematic, because it perpetuates the mountain town cycle of upping the ante. Social pressure can be seen across the spectrum, from novices to professional athletes. That said, professional athletes are paid to stay creative and exceptional in their field. In order to showcase their accomplishments, the benefit of social media use has been interesting and compelling. We also discuss longevity in the guide service: What does it take to get old doing what we do? How do we stay healthy both physical-

Field experience Route finding Use of ropes Risk management 360-degree assessment of risk Avoidance of other climbing parties Practical skills Ascending and returning from the mountain Calories and hydration Weather and field requirements Knowing when and how to turn back

It’s crucial to work with a committed group on a coordinated effort to share our experiences of climbing in the Elks. They are truly great mountains and have allowed for some amazing memories and friendships. Some of those experiences have involved rescues—and unfortunately, some have included recoveries. But whether climbing with buddies, working with guests, or volunteering to assist, at the end of the day the balance needs to be met, and the mountains provide that for me. ▲ Stephen Szoradi has been working year-round as a guide for Aspen Alpine Guides (AAG) since 2008. He is currently the managing partner of the guide service, where he guides in and around the Aspen area and also in Moab and Canyonlands, Utah. He works in all aspects of AAG, including guide operations with safety, medical, and risk assessment. He serves on the State Board of the Colorado Mountain Club and is chair of the CMC Risk Management Safety and Schools Committee. In addition to his guiding responsibilities, he is a volunteer member of Mountain Rescue Aspen operating in the field and also as a tier-three hoist tech on a state cooperative program with the National Guard (HAATS) Helicopter Deployment Team. Trail & Timberline


CMC History: The In-State Outing By Reed Fischer, Marketing & Communications Manager Photos courtesy of CMC Archives


ver 100 years ago, a small group of adventurers gathered in Denver to form the Colorado Mountain Club. The Club was created to help Colorado’s residents escape their day-to-day lives into the mountains, finding new places, friends, and perspectives along the way. One of the first actions of the newly-formed CMC was to organize an annual “In-State Outing” for Coloradans. Since its genesis, the In-State Outing (ISO) has evolved from a small group exploring the backcountry into a highlight for many CMC members. Part of the reason the ISO is a highlight is due to its history, but a bigger reason is the memories participants make each year. In the early years, the In-State Outings were modest affairs. A small group of CMC members would agree upon a location, and then pack in all the needed camp supplies and food. It’s astounding to think about these outings now. Most of the outings were to places we now think of as well-known and popular destinations—Red Rocks, Grand Lake, Silverton. But in the early 1900s, they were still untouched and unknown, many of them without established trails. In a way, early In-State Outings were more exploration than recreation. Many participants knew little about the destination and relied on maps and the leader’s experience to find hikes. CMC members spent days mountaineering in formalwear, having donkey-pulled wagons haul their gear in. It puts into perspective just how much things have changed over the last century. The Colorado Mountain Club Archives provided black and white photo after black and white photo that reminds us how fortunate we are to have things like cars, synthetic fabrics, and deodorant for adventuring in the 21st century. Another interesting finding from the Archives was that many In-State Outings have returned to the same parts of Colorado. Places like Aspen, Ridgeway, and Silverton were home to CMC In-State Outings in the early 1900s as well as the early 2000s. It’s a testament to the enduring beauty of our state—these places are still naturally beautiful, offering something similar, yet unique to each participant across the years. Each location and year offers something a little different to those who attend. CMC member Bea Slingsby attended her first In-State Outing in 1973, returning year after year for decades. Slingsby returned because the ISO was “a great way to explore a different area of Colorado The announcement memo for the CMC’s first In-State Outing. each year. Hiking in areas other than August, 1912. the Front Range is always a treat.”


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In-State Outing participants hold a reunion at a CMC member’s house in anticipation of next year.

ISO participants enjoy some time on Grand Lake at one of the first Outings.

This love for exploring new areas of the state is a common sentiment among CMC members. Rosemary Glista echoed Slingsby, saying, “There’s just something I love about the exploratory nature of the In-State Outing. The opportunity to get out of my typical scenery and do some incredible hiking in a new area of Colorado keeps me coming back,” Glista said. While the scenery and hiking at In-State Outings are unquestionably gorgeous, there’s something more that draws CMC members in: the company. Part of what has made the CMC successful is the

Adventure dogs aren’t a new thing—Al and Biddy enjoy some down time in camp.

people. The folks we meet on the trail, at an event, or in the alpine help the Club remain personal, and the ISO is a shining example of this. Linda Ditchkus has been an ISO regular—when asked why she returns, she summed things up well: “It’s the energy of the ISO— forty people sharing an experience for a week. It’s such a positive experience because there’s so much camaraderie,” Ditchkus said, “It’s an opportunity to meet people from around the state, around the country, even around the world, and hear their stories about the mountains.” Since 1912, the In-State Outing has unquestionably changed, but many aspects of the ISO remain untouched. Traditions like giant campfires, the mess tent, and good people still live on to 2018. At its core, the ISO is a way for CMC members to form and rekindle relationships with fellow lovers of the outdoors. The ISO is a way to explore areas of Colorado many of us don’t traditionally venture to. The ISO is a quintessential part of the CMC, because the ISO is a shining example of why the CMC was founded: to get people into the mountains of Colorado to form lasting memories and bonds with one another. ▲ JOIN THE CMC FOR THE 2018 IN-STATE OUTING AUGUST 5–10 IN SILVERTON, COLORADO! Silverton is a magical place with history galore, a gorgeous mountain backdrop, and plenty of trails. Three to four hikes will be offered daily, along with music, ranger and historical talks, plus great food. Head to or contact trip leader Sandi Bianchi at for more information.

A pair of ISO participants enjoy the view of Loch Vale in Rocky Mountain National Park.

A few participants enjoy a glass-bottled Coca-Cola in celebration of summiting Apache Peak.

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The CMC celebrated award winners at the 25th Annual Backcountry Bash. Photo by Terrence Wong



he Colorado Mountain Club is proud to recognize and honor our members achieving great things in the world of the outdoors. CMC members serve as positive examples and inspirations for the Club and the state of Colorado as a whole. In 2017, the CMC awarded our two highest awards, the Ellingwood and the Blaurock Awards to passionate and engaged volunteers. In addition to these awards, the CMC recognized some of Colorado’s blossoming adventurers through the Colorado Young Climber of the Year Award and

Ellingwood “Golden Ice Axe” Mountaineering Achievement Award

Blaurock “Silver Piton” Volunteer of the Year Award

Steve Martin

Steve Bain Photo courtesy of Steven Martin

A CMC member since 2002, Steve Martin has dedicated his life to climbing. Steve has summited all the 14ers, 126 named and 24 unnamed peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park, the 50 US highpoints, and Colorado’s 64 Colorado County highpoints. What makes Steve so worthy of the Golden Ice Ax is his leadership and mentorship of new climbers in the Club. Steve has led “Ellingwood Appreciation Climbs” including multiple ascents of La Plata Peak via the Ellingwood Ridge and has scaled the Ellingwood Arete on Crestone Needle. 24

the Aspiring Mountaineer of the Year Award. All nominations were reviewed by the CMC Awards Committee before selecting the winners from an impressive pool. The 2017 CMC award winners were all announced and recognized at the CMC’s 25th Annual Backcountry Bash. The event was held in Denver in October 2017, drawing hundreds of CMC members and friends. In addition to celebrating the CMC award winners, the Club recognized 14er and Centennial Completers.

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Photo courtesy of Steve Bain

Steve Bain joined the Colorado Mountain Club in 1976, making him a 40-plus-year member! Steve took Basic Mountaineering School with the Denver Group. Since then, he has completed Colorado’s Fourteeners, and has climbed in the Alps, Alaska, Africa, the Andes, and the Himalayas. Steve practices environmental and natural resources law with Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley in Denver. Steve is currently the Board President of the Colorado Mountain Club Foundation, where he volunteers countless hours supporting both the missions of the CMC and the CMC Foundation.

Gudy Gaskill Award Linda Lawson Photo by Carol Munch

Linda Lawson has been a Colorado Mountain Club Denver Group member since 2000. She is a hike and snowshoe leader and an instructor or assistant instructor in multiple schools. Linda has served on Denver Group Council and numerous committees. Linda is passionate about adult education and has used her skills learned at the CMC to teach how to recreate safely in the backcountry, volunteering countless hours in CMC’s avalanche safety courses.

Colorado Aspiring Mountaineer of the Year Lindsay Huffman (female winner) Photo courtesy of Lindsay Huffman

Lindsay Huffman is a CMC HAMS graduate and now instructor who is using what she learned to climb high mountain objectives and technical peaks. With her HAMS knowledge Lindsay continues to climb in the Pacific Northwest, with multiple technical ascents of Rainier and a car-to-car summit of Mt. Baker via the North Ridge route. Additionally, Lindsay has climbed extensively in Bolivia, notching three summits, including Illimani at 21,122 feet.

Colorado Young Climber of the Year Brooke Raboutou (female winner) Photo by Justin Roth

Brooke Raboutou has climbing in her blood. A 16-year-old attending Fairview High School in Boulder, Brooke travels the world for outdoor and competition climbing and is on Team ABC. She is youngest female to send 5.14b (8c). Brooke has multiple competition wins on the biggest stage and was the 2016 Youth World Champion in the All Around category.

Colorado Aspiring Mountaineer of the Year Noah McKelvin (male winner) Photo by Alton Richardson

Colorado Young Climber of the Year Max Manson (male winner) Photo by Amy Manson

A resident of Louisville, Max Manson started bagging peaks early in life. He grew up exploring Boulder’s foothills and finding a love for the outdoors. By age 12, Max had already topped all of Colorado’s 14ers, speaking about his experience through the “Kid to Kid, Climbing 14ers” lectures. After completing the 14ers, Max has moved on to climbing. He now coaches youth climbing teams at Evo Gym in Louisville.

Noah McKelvin currently resides in Colorado Springs, CO. He’s been exploring the outdoors since he was 13 with a passion for all climbing disciplines. His adventures have taken him around the world, from all over North America to South America, Europe, and Mexico. Despite tackling some serious feats, including a rare complete traverse of the Mt. Logan massif in 15 days, Noah’s biggest goal is to keep his adventures fun—never sacrificing enjoyment for seriousness. ▲

Nominations for the 2018 CMC Awards are always being accepted! Head to to nominate someone today.

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ADVENTURE TRAVEL CMC Adventure Travel specializes in active vacations and small group itineraries to inspiring mountain destinations around the world. See for more details.

Enjoying the view from the sea cliffs of Sligo, Ireland. Photo by AwayWeeTravel

Chamonix Ski Adventure

Croatia Sport Climbing & Hike Adventure

Moab Mountain Bike & Hike Adventure

March 4-12, 2018 Trip Leader: Scott Robson Price: See

August 2018 Trip Leader: See Price: See

May 16–20, 2018 Trip Leader: Rick Pratt Price: From $395

Ski off-piste in Chamonix, France! Experience breathtaking views, classic ski tours and descents on this guided adventure in the heart of one of the world’s most renowned alpine settings.

Climb and hike in one of the world’s most beautiful climbing destinations. Lead or top-rope climb spectacular limestone sport routes overlooking the Adriatic Sea on the Island of Hvar and along Croatia’s island-speckled coastline, and explore the country’s captivating sights and culture.

From our base camp outside of Moab we explore the famous mountain biking and hiking trails this area of Utah has to offer. Rides and hikes are available for all ages from beginner to advanced levels.

Mt. Rainier via Disappointment Cleaver Route

Iceland Trek

Yorkshire Dales & Lake District Trek

July 15–19, 2018 Trip Leader: See Price: See

July 23–August 1, 2018 Trip Leaders: Bill Blazek & Patty Laushman Price: From $4,800

August 19–September 1, 2018 Trip Leaders: Kris Ashton & Jen Pruchnik Price: From $3,435

Summit the iconic Mt. Rainier via the Disappointment Cleaver Route, with nights spent at Camp Muir and Ingraham Flats. Climb with CMC’s partners at North Cascades Mountain Guides, AMGA-trained guides who will lead a small group of 4 at a ratio of 2:1.

Travel to Iceland, known for its breathtaking scenery, and hike the 50-mile Laugavegur Trail, ending at the stunning 200-foothigh Skógafoss waterfall. Trek past fields of obsidian, colorful mountains, black sands, geysers, and glaciers.

Spend a week in the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, two of England’s most iconic walking areas. Enjoy stunning scenery, friendly locals, and charming pubs along this 79-mile trek. Begin and end in London and visit Bath and Stonehenge along the way.

Alta Via 1, 3, & 4 In The Italian Dolomites

North of Ireland Hiking Adventure

Ancient Ruins Bike & Hike Adventure

August 24–September 9, 2018 Trip Leader: Denise Snow Price: From $2,855

September 3–14, 2018 Trip Leader: Chris Englert Price: From $4,755

October 1–6, 2018 Trip Leader: Rick Pratt Price: From $735

In the northeast corner of Italy, the white and pink limestone of the Dolomites towers dramatically upward from rolling green meadows. Trek along a vast network of foot trails serviced by a system of superb overnight huts.

Travel along the gorgeous northern and northwestern coasts of the Emerald Isle from Dublin to Shannon by way of Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway, and Sligo. Spend your nights at bed and breakfast inns and enjoy meals at local pubs.

Spend 6 days mountain biking, hiking, and camping in the heart of ancient Puebloan country in southeastern Utah’s Cedar Mesa region. This vehicle-supported adventure takes you across high plateaus and into deep canyons to extraordinary but little known Anasazi ruins.


Trail & Timberline

Grand Canyon Raft & Hike 2019 April 27-May 9 Trip Leader: PAT MCKINLEY Price: See

Experience the Grand Canyon’s hidden areas on this 12-day, hike-intensive raft trip. Hatch River Expeditions will lead our group down 188 miles of river on 35-foot, motorized S-rig boats, while giving us access to hikes in areas that can only be reached from the river. Book your spot on this classic CMC Adventure Travel trip today! Waitlist available for the 2018 Grand Canyon departure. See for details

Navigating the rapids of the mighty Colorado River on the Grand Canyon Raft & Hike trip. Photo by David Smith

Oaxaca Mexico & Sierra Madre Trek

Japan: Koyasan & Nakasendo Way Walk

Northern Tanzania Wilderness & Walking Safari

Late October 2018 Trip Leader: Chris Englert Price: See

October 30–November 12, 2018 Trip Leaders: Kris Ashton & Christine Petty Price: From $3,985

September 2018 Trip Leader: John Linsley Price: See

Starting in Oaxaca, we’ll tour pyramids, ancient sites, and a crafts center where traditional woodcarvings, or alebrijes, are made. Continue on to the Sierra Madre Mountains and trek for 8 days experiencing canyons, caves, waterfalls, and sub-alpine forests.

Begin in Koyasan, where we stay in a Buddhist temple and share the food and rituals of the monks who live there. Then admire the incredible fall foliage as we spend 6 days walking the Nakasendo Way and exploring the scenic Kiso River Valley.

Discover Tanzania’s iconic wildlife on this safari adventure in Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Arusha, Tarangire, and Serengeti National Parks. Explore both by vehicle and on foot with our professional safari guides.

Japan: Kyoto & Kumano Kodo Trek

Making Tracks in Patagonia

Aconcagua Expedition

November 14–28, 2018 Trip Leader: Kris Ashton Price: From $3,985

November 10–23, 2018 Trip Leader: Denise Snow Price: From $4,915

December 27, 2018–January 15, 2019 Trip Leader: David Covill Price: From $5,995

Begin in Kyoto admiring the fall foliage and touring this 18th-century imperial city. Then head south to Tanabe and the start of our 7-day trek through the rugged Kii Peninsula to visit three Grand Shrines. Take in coastal views as you journey back to Osaka by train.

Carved by fjords and capped by glistening glaciers, Patagonia is a land of extremes. Trek past towering granite spires and watch glaciers calve into high alpine lakes on this exploration of Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks.

This is a HAMS-level Adventure Travel trip to climb Aconcagua (22,895 feet), the highpoint in the Southern and Western Hemispheres and one of the Seven Summits. Led by US guides, we will use the more scenic and less-travelled Polish Traverse route up the Vacas Valley, and descend the standard Horcones Valley route. Trail & Timberline


In the Bovec region. Photo by Domen Strle


hy Slovenia? What is Slovenia? Where is Slovenia? Many of you may have never heard of it or may have confused it with another European country. My stepfather thought it was the country that had Slovenia is a small country of about two million people in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia, and Hungary and became independent from Yugoslavia in 1991. Slovenia is incredibly clean and is an environmentally friendly nation that is steeped in a rich hiking and climbing culture. Slovenia is so proud if its natural wonders that their flag includes Mount Triglav, the nation’s highest mountain. I led a CMC Adventure Travel trip to Slovenia in August 2017. Why pick Slovenia as a vacation destination, you may ask? Many of my friends had told me how wonderful Slovenia was and called it “the undiscovered Alps.” In spite of all of these wonderful reviews, I really wasn’t prepared for what I was about to experience. Apparently, neither were the members of the CMC. All six members who joined me on this trip had an unexpected yet truly remarkable adventure, and are ready to return to this beautiful country. From the moment we landed at the airport, about a 25-minute drive from Ljubljana, I knew that we had arrived in a magical place. The tiny airport is surrounded by deep woods reminiscent of fairytale stories, with towering peaks in the background. Our trip was designed to be a hiking sampler of Slovenia, so we had the fortunate opportunity to visit many distinctly varied regions. Our travels started with a bike tour of the capitol city of Ljubljana, one of Europe’s cleanest and most livable cities. The old town section has one of the largest car-free areas I have ever seen and—combined with 28

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been invaded by Russia. Even those who know the country’s location still may not know exactly why they should be interested in going there. But after spending some time in this amazing country, it is not a place I’ll ever forget. the emerald green Ljubljanica River that flows through the middle and numerous riverside cafes—makes for an enjoyable experience for both pedestrians and cyclists. After leaving Ljubljana, we entered the breathtaking Logar Valley. The valley’s entrance captivated us as we drove through its expansive meadows on a winding road surrounded by the towering walls of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. We journeyed on to Lake Bled, a crystal-clear lake tucked below the mountains. The lake’s beauty was added to by

After harvesting the grapes in the Gorinska Brda. Photo by Denise Snow

a quaint little island, topped with an impossibly cute church and overlooked by a dramatic cliffside castle. Next, we visited the rugged Triglav National Park, which includes Mt. Triglav as well as river gorges, waterfalls, caves, alpine meadows, and the pristine region of Lake Bohinj. We continued on to explore the valley of the brilliantly turquoise So a River, a base for many adventure activities such as rafting, hiking, fly fishing, and zip-lining. Our next adventure took us to the wine hill country of Gorinska Brda—Slovenia’s much greener version of Tuscany. The region is covered with vineyards, dramatic landscapes, and ancient hilltop fortressed towns. We finished on the Adriatic coast in the medieval stone city of Piran. The oceanside city was a reminder of the diversity of Slovenia as we inhaled the sea air, admired the Venetian architecture, and climbed to the top of the city walls. While we all enjoyed the natural beauty of this unique country, we were equally dazzled by the nation’s culture and people. Our trip was an incredibly rich dive into Slovenian culture made possible through our guide, Domen. Always keeping us guessing what could possibly come next, Domen put us on a roller-coaster of intriguing encounters with local characters, crazy-steep hikes on top of white limestone rock (karst) mountains—in many cases using cables and iron rungs for aid—and a smorgasbord of local cuisine. On a hike up to Velika Planina, the largest alpine pasture in Europe, we learned about the old tradition of farming cattle in this high, unforgiving environment—a tradition that is gradually dying out. We were able to stop at a farm where a warm, matronly woman let us sample her homemade wares of sour milk, similar to kefir, followed by a warm bear hug. After leaving the Velika Planina, we were introduced to a mythical dragon in the Logar Valley. We saw his lair, where his reptilian body dared us to approach closer, and were jocularly entertained by a local shepherd (aka storyteller) who told us about how the dragon was slain and the valley freed from his onslaught. This was followed by a raucous game of golf using split pine logs for clubs and pinecones for balls. One of the best rewards of CMC Adventure Travel is getting to intimately know fellow travelers in a way not usually possible on day trips. Everyone roared after I asked one of the participants, Leslie, how a lawyer like herself would play the game, and she subsequently told the shepherd to “look over there” while she cheated and moved the pinecone into the hole. Along our journey, we visited traditional mountain farms and huts, learned how people lived and farmed centuries earlier, hiked to the tops of several peaks with the opportunity to see elusive chamois (a goat-antelope native to Europe), and explored the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Škocjan Caves. We learned that Slovenia isn’t only a natural gem, but also a nation with a rich history. We had the opportunity to visit WWI trenches, bunkers, fortresses, and museums. One area we stopped at had a historian, reenacting the part of a WWI Italian colonel, who helped us to understand the horrors of war in his country. All the while we were treated to incredible gourmet meals with lots of wonderful local wines and beers. In the wine region of Gorinska Brda, we happened to hike by a group of friends and family harvesting grapes. While just wishing to be able to watch them harvest, soon we were participating! After about an hour of picking, we had reduced the time that the harvesters had scheduled by two hours! They offered us samples of the wine and cookies and amid handshakes, thank yous, and photos. We were soon celebrities of the local community on Facebook and were later

Velika Planina. Photo by Denise Snow

Leslie Fields with Mt. Triglav in the background. Photo by Denise Snow

recognized by the owner of a local lunch spot. Moments like these exemplify how welcoming and unique Slovenia is. CMC member Leslie Fields writes, “The diversity of Slovenia’s ecosystems will amaze and delight you. From high alpine mountains to terraced vineyards that are mindful of Tuscany, in one country you have it all. When one adds to this experience Slovenia’s history, culture, and great food, it makes for a truly remarkable adventure that will not soon be forgotten.” I have trekked and climbed numerous times around the world and this was my sixth time leading an CMC Adventure Travel trip, but this was probably one of the best trips I have taken. I cannot wait to return to Slovenia. Slovenia is a small country with a big heart. My time there was magical and I would encourage those thinking of taking a trip to put this wonderful country on their short list. ▲ Denise Snow has been a CMC member for 28 years, a trip leader for 24 years, an instructor in Wilderness First Aid, BMS and HAMS, has led 6 Adventure Travel trips and plans to lead AT trips to the Dolomites and Patagonia in 2018. Trail & Timberline


the fourteener files “I started climbing 14ers at a young age with my parents. My goal was to tackle fourteen 14ers by the time I was 14. I never knew if I wanted to do them all, until I started going with my sister. We did almost all of them together, so it’s been a special experience to share. The 14ers make a great goal, but most of all, I want to remember the humility the mountains have taught me, and not the ego or mindset of conquering them. Each mountain teaches breath, or brings a song, or exposes the nakedness of vulnerability. These are the memories that count to me.” —Allison Stewart “Every weekend was a story.” —Dillon Sarnelli “From hiking Mt. Elbert in a snowstorm at age 12, to many memorable family 14er hikes growing up, to watching impromptu waterfalls cascade down the Blanca group into the basin above Lake Como during a storm, to running up Mt. Oxford to make it back home in time for a soccer game, to secretly racing another hiking group down the last 4 miles of Longs Peak with my sisters and cousin, to glissading from the saddle of Grays and Torreys down over a thousand feet in a couple of minutes, to amazing wildflower displays while hiking in the San Juans, to carrying our son up Culebra for his first 14er, to many backpacking trips and hikes with my loving husband and climbing partner, to a spectacular sunrise on Eolus capping off an amazing trip into Chicago Basin—it is the joy of hiking all around the state, doing what I love with those I love, and enjoying God’s beautiful creation that makes this journey most memorable.” —Karen Lollis “It’s been a long journey, and it hasn’t always been apparent that I would complete this life-

The Fourteeners List


long goal. When I first climbed Pikes Peak as a pudgy 13-year-old Boy Scout, the thought of ever climbing another 14er was not something I really considered. Thankfully, through the instruction of our recreation director (Jay Zarr) while in the Youth Conservation Corps in Pueblo during the summers of 1975 and ‘76, I learned mountaineering through many weekend trips to the Sangre de Cristo range during those summers. Having lived out of state between 1980 and 2015, it was a challenge to keep climbing, especially while constantly having to acclimatize from sea level, but I always found a way. I am so thankful for my friends and family who were always willing to join me on a climb, especially my son, Andrew, and my daughter, Lauren. As a parent, it is one of the most satisfying things to have passed this passion onto my kids and to have joined them on so many peaks toward their goal of summiting all of the 14ers.” —Roger Stewart “This is actually a declaration of my second round-trip of all the 14ers (have not posted the first 14ers completion). I finished my first round, also on Challenger, on August 15, 1996. I have been on 14ers 128 times, 93 of those with my brother by a different mother, my best friend and cancer survivor, Dan Erickson. I have enjoyed 26 consecutive annual August adventures with Dan, Ed Guignon (Dallas), and Stu Wilson (Sarasota, FL). Ninety-five percent of those long weekends of camaraderie and reunion we chose to do on Colorado 14ers. The experiences on the trails in the deep, gorgeous, and challenging terrain of this awesome state have indelibly changed my life.” —Jon Hood “I really value the opportunity to access the mountains in pursuit of a dream. Climbing 14ers has taken me to places in the state that

I never would’ve seen otherwise. I’ve also made so many wonderful friends along the way and met many great people on the trail. In addition to making new friends, climbing with established friends and family strengthened relationships. It’s been amazing from beginning to finish and I look forward to my future climbs to help my friends and family with their goals moving forward.” —Mindy Williford “It truly is the journey and not the destination. I’m amazed and inspired by the speed records set now (under 10 days), but I feel that taking 44 years to complete was a blessing that kept me healthy, active, and allowed me a lot of time to spend in the mountains with family and friends—and for that, I was blessed with a priceless, 44-year gift.” —Tom Morrison “My first 14er was Mt. Democrat. My friend and I decided to give it a try after reading Dave Cooper’s column on Denver Post. We knew nothing about alpine start and left the trailhead at 10 AM. Summited around noon but were soon chased down by a thunderstorm. In 2008, I got lost while descending Mt. of the Holy Cross, didn’t return to the trailhead until the next morning—that was a close call. In 2009, I ran into two CMC leaders on my way up to Mt. Sneffels and learned about the Club. I immediately joined after the trip and have been a member since. It took me 7 years to complete all the 14ers and another 5 years to finish the highest 100. I am truly grateful for CMC. The mountaineering skills I learned in various schools and lectures, the experienced and patient leaders who led me up to some of the more difficult peaks, and the members I ran into on Club trips who became my regular climbing partners.” —Frank Dong ▲

Those who reported completion of Colorado’s Fourteeners in 2017



First Peak


Last Peak


1737 1738 1739 1740 1741

Matthew Lavington Allison Stewart Stacy Thibedeau Gordon Thibedeua Buz Graves

Mt. Bierstadt Culebra Peak Mt. Elbert Mt. Elbert Pikes Peak

November 1972 July 1997 October 1991 October 1991 August 1994

Pikes Peak San Luis Peak Mt. Wilson Culebra Peak Crestone Peak

October 2016 August 2015 September 2005 August 2005 September 2016

Trail & Timberline

1742 1743 1744 1745 1746 1747 1748 1749 1750 1751 1752 1753 1754 1755 1756 1757 1758 1759 1760 1761 1762 1763 1764 1765 1766 1767 1768 1769 1770 1771 1772 1773 1774 1775 1776 1777 1778 1779 1780 1781 1782 1783 1784 1785 1786 1787 1789 1790 1791 1792 1793 1794 1795 1796 1797 1798 1799 1800 1801 1802 1803 1804 1805 1806 1807 1808 1809

Steve Martin Katie Williams Mindy Williford Justin Tarkington Joe Glass Stan Peterson Pyrenee Steiner M Steiner Jeremy Bauer Chris Mueser Johnathan Tyman Kayla Jensen Richard E. Palmer Robin Lindsay Kim Bessler Shawn Adrian Dillon Sarnelli Andrew Weilert Steve Megison Joe Shrigley Troy Slater Scott Shaver Kevin Cahill Phillip Erickson Richard Bullock Noreen Haines Scott Eichorn Jim Folwell Darin Baker Shaun Wulff Karen Lollis Benjamin Weilert Martin Sargent Kurt Zimmerman Jason Ciernia Tim Holden Max Kiefer Terry Walwick Roger Stewart Lisa Fisbeck Michael Malick Timothy Best Margaret Turner Jeffrey Yoder Brandon Hull Zach Braddock Sam Heller Leon Stor Glen Mizenko Chad Brenner Seth Schwimm Kristopher Black Tiffany Mead Keith Olin Hung Lieu Mark Lopez Jon Hood Lindsay Fisher Rick Crandall Tom Morrison Lee Breshears Kathleen Nordine Shad Mika Greg Epp Vladimir Solovey Nick Mesenbrin Daniel Otteman

Maroon Peak Quandary Peak Mount Elbert Mt. Yale Mt. Elbert Uncompahgre Peak Longs Peak Longs Peak Pikes Peak Mount Elbert Grays Peak Grays Peak Pikes Peak Mount Sherman Mount Bierstadt Grays Peak Mount Bierstadt Grays Peak Mt. Yale Pikes Peak Capitol Peak Quandary Peak Grays Peak Mount Bierstadt Quandary Peak Mt. Harvard Longs Peak Mt. Lincoln Pikes Peak Longs Peak Mt. Bierstadt Grays Peak Mount Democrat Longs Peak Grays Peak Grays Peak Mount Democrat Mt. Elbert Pikes Peak Grays Peak Longs Peak Mount Democrat Grays Peak Quandary Peak Longs Peak Mt. Elbert Mt. Bierstadt Grays Peak Grays Peak Mount Democrat Longs Peak Pikes Peak Mount Antero Torreys Peak Quandary Peak Mt. Columbia Longs Peak Grays Peak Huron Peak Longs Peak Torreys Peak Mount Massive Longs Peak Pikes Peak Grays Peak Longs Peak Mount Evans

August 1962 August 2005 June 1913 June 2014 September 2000 July 1975 July 2005 July 2005 August 1997 August 1996 August 1981 June 2003 August 1992 August 2012 June 2013 July 2010 June 2011 August 1989 July 2004 August 2009 August 1996 August 2008 June 1994 June 2005 July 2008 July 2002 July 1992 September 1990 October 2001 September 2002 July 2000 August 1994 July 2003 August 1988 August 2005 July 1993 July 1986 August 2002 July 1973 June 2009 August 2005 October 1996 July 1999 August 1998 August 1995 May 2013 July 2009 August 2006 September 2001 July 2013 August 2004 September 2002 June 2011 June 2000 June 2014 July 2000 August 1986 June 2012 August 2006 July 1973 June 1992 June 1990 May 2005 August 1975 September 2009 September 2000 August 2006

Culebra Peak Kit Carson Pikes Peak Capitol Peak Sunlight Peak Mt. Sherman Culebra Peak Culebra Peak Capitol Peak Snowmass Mountain Crestone Peak Crestone Peak Handies Peak Uncompahgre Peak Pikes Peak Mount Eolus Handies Peak Mount Sneffels Longs Peak Uncompahgre Peak North Maroon Peak Mount Eolus Culebra Peak Capitol Peak Snowmass Mountain Wilson Peak Culebra Peak Mount Eolus Longs Peak Culebra Peak Mt. of the Holy Cross Mount Sneffels Mount Wilson Mount Wilson Little Bear Peak North Maroon Peak North Maroon Peak Uncompahgre Peak Pyramid Peak Mt. Elbert Mt. Sherman Wilson Peak Capitol Peak Capitol Peak Little Bear Peak Mt. Lindsey El Diente Peak Mt. Wilson Handies Peak Mount Eolus North Maroon Peak San Luis Peak Capitol Peak Sunlight Peak Pikes Peak Mt. Harvard Challenger Point Mt. Evans Pikes Peak Uncompahgre Peak Pikes Peak Pikes Peak San Luis Peak North Maroon Peak North Maroon Peak Pikes Peak Mt. Wilson

August 2004 September 2015 July 2017 July 2017 July 2017 July 2017 July 2016 July 2016 August 2017 August 2017 August 2017 August 2017 August 2007 August 2017 August 2017 July 2017 August 2013 July 2017 August 2014 August 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2005 September 2014 July 2017 August 2017 July 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2013 August 2017 July 2017 August 2015 August 2017 August 2015 August 2017 August 2017 August 2017 August 2017 October 2016 August 2017 August 2017 August 2017 August 2017 September 2017 September 2017 September 2017 September 2017 September 2017 August 2017 September 2017 September 2017 August 2016 August 2016 September 2017 September 2017 August 2017 September 2017 September 2017 September 2017 September 2017 October 2011 September 2017 August 2017 August 2017 September 2017 August 2017

Have you completed the Colorado 14ers, 13ers, or any of the CO Hundred Milestones (Highest 100, 200, etc.)? Submit your name to the Colorado Mountain Club by September 1 to be recognized in the official records and be published in next year’s issue of Trail & Timberline. Visit and submit your name today!

Trail & Timberline


Beyond the Fourteeners by Chris Ruppert and Dave Goldwater 100 Highest Peaks


200 Highest Peaks


700 Highest Peaks


800 Highest Peaks


900 Highest Peaks


1000 Highest Peaks


1100 Highest Peaks


248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 200 36 37 10 11 9 9 7


Final Peak



Final Peak



Final Peak



Final Peak



Final Peak



Final Peak



Final Peak


Lisa Heckel Darin Baker Bo Johnson Paul Andrews Nephi Thompson Matthew Lavington Bill Stafford Kristi Henes Alex Henes Kurt Mensch John Soderberg Dennice Soderberg Del Gratz Frank Dong Benjamin Lysdahl James Hitch George Kasynski Jane Reuteler Stephen Mueller Roger Linfield Alyson Kirk Alyson Kirk Craig Patterson Alyson Kirk Alyson Kirk Alyson Kirk

Turret Peak Dallas Peak Jagged Mountain Mount Meeker Teakettle Mountain Jupiter Mountain Jupiter Mountain Jagged Mountain Jagged Mountain Mt. Hope Jagged Mountain Jagged Mountain Cathedral Peak Vermillion Peak Uncompahgre Peak Jagged Mountain Mt. Dunraven California Peak 15

Mesa Lato Peak 9

Peak 9 Meadow Mountain Peak 9 Peak 9 Peak 9

7/2/17 7/9/17 8/3/17 8/10/17 8/11/17 8/11/17 8/17/17 8/18/17 8/18/17 8/27/17 8/27/17 8/27/17 8/29/17 9/3/17 9/14/14 9/19/17 9/22/17 9/24/17 9/2/17 8/14/17 9/17/17 9/17/17 9/26/17 9/17/17 9/17/17 9/17/17

1 Duane Nelson Completed the 64 Colorado County High Points by summiting Custer County’s high point, East Crestone Peak (14,260’) on Sept. 4, 2017. Duane’s first summit was Boulder County’s Longs Peak in July 1969. Duane is a member of the El Pueblo Chapter of the CMC, and is the leader of that group. He finished the Colorado 14ers in 1992, and the Colorado 13ers in 2015.

[This Page] 1: Duane Nelson enjoys one of the 64 County high points of the Centennial State. [Images on Page 33] 2: Frank Dong on Jagged Mountain, September 2016. 3: Kristopher Black shows his Centennial State pride on his final summit: San Luis. 4: 32

Trail & Timberline

Kristopher Black on the summit of North Maroon Peak. 5: Lindsay Fisher appreciates the view from Elbert’s summit. 6: John & Denise Soderberg celebrate reaching the summit of Jagged Mountain. 7: Lindsay Fisher gets a furry high-five atop Mount Princeton.








Finding Adventure and Empowerment in India BY MADDIE MILLER


EEEEP! BEEEEEEEEP! The sustained shrieking of the Jeep’s horn jolted me upright. Bobbing from side to side, I rubbed my exhausted eyes, remembering that I am nine hours into a car ride that I figured might be the end of me. I pried my eyes open with all the willpower I could manage just so I could monitor our Indian 34

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taxi driver’s blind-corner passing. Winding and narrow don’t even begin to describe this high-altitude Himalayan road. Landslides had wiped out miles of road, leaving ruts, ditches, and rocks. Clearly, these were perfect conditions for two foreign female passengers with no seatbelts, an immense language barrier, and a whole lot of wanderlust.

This particular drive happened on my most recent search for adventure, propelled by wanderlust: my post-grad Southeast Asia trip. In March, when classmates were getting accepted into med school, applying for corporate positions, and committing to ski bumming, I had my sights set on travel. Vivi Engen, my greatest confidant, adventure buddy, and former roommate, was feeling similarly adventurous. So we began the planning phase for a trip to Asia! Having found the perfect travel companion, my dreams of returning to Asia after graduation could finally be realized. Indeed, I had been to India four years prior on a NOLS program, consisting of a forty-five-day trek through the old Himalayan trade route, an intimate homestay in a small mountain village, and a whitewater rafting trip down the Khali River. Needless to say, traveling to a developing country changed my whole perspective on the true importance of life, and I went into college seeking happiness rather than a monetary notion of success. As I was able to harness this “happiness” through wanderlust, I hoped that a return to Asia would broaden my horizons as I entered adulthood. What is this wanderlust? What drives these decisions to travel on dismal roads with little sleep and even less sanity? In short, there is no real answer. Wanderlust is all relative, having a different meaning for every person. People have different preferences, different thresholds, and different fears. Some answer their wanderlust by climbing Mount Everest without oxygen or learning to perform heart surgery. Others find it visiting New York City or driving across the country. Even though this concept has so many different connotations for different people, we are all united by our desire to explore, our desire for new destinations. When I think of the word, I think of finding the balance between wander and lust. These rather opposite words came together to create this adventure concept that most of the population seeks to grasp. More people are climbing Fourteeners, more people are travelling the world, more people are trying new things, than ever before. When breaking down wanderlust, “wander” implies a level of exploration, lightheartedness, and nonchalance, while “lust” implies a level of passion, eagerness, and desire. Ultimately, a balance between wander and lust must be achieved to make self discoveries in an adventure. Now four years later, I return to India with my best friend, a backpack, and a college degree, yearning for this concept of wanderlust and leaving all social expectations behind. Even though going with a NOLS group was incredible, I return as my own leader, planner, and logistical coordinator, a vulnerability I did not previously have. Indeed, without my entourage of NOLS boys, Vivi and I stood out unbelievably so, causing the visit to be an entirely different experience. After travelling for two days straight, we arrived in New Delhi, immediately taking off on another plane to a village named Pantnagar. From Pantnagar, we were meant to meet our prearranged taxi driver, with whom we could then make our eleven-hour drive up to a Himalayan village called Munsiyari. We stepped outside the Pantnagar airport, a one-terminal airport in the middle of nowhere, only to be greeted by hordes of taxi drivers yelling “Best price, madame!” One man came up to us naming our correct destination,

Ultimately, on the search for wanderlust, companions are just as important as the destination, if not the most important part.

[Opposing Page] The author attempting to be zen, doing yoga on an overlook of the Panchichuli Peaks. Photo by Vivi Engen [This Page] Stringing marigolds and peeling potatoes on Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Photo by Vivi Engen

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[Top] Maddie and her travel buddy, Vivi, on a hike. Photo by Pushpa Devi [Middle] A group photo of the Women’s Collective before departure. Photo by Maddie Miller [Bottom] Bells are significant to Indian culture. Their sound waves were thought to communicate with the gods. Photo by Maddie Miller


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“Munsiyari! Munsiyari!” Although my trusting persona wanted to believe him, my father’s words echoed through my head: “Trust no one and be smart.” I frantically called the taxi service owner, Suresh. “Suresh! Suresh! Can you hear me? What is the driver’s name? Name, Suresh!” I turned to the big Indian man and asked, “You, name?” My two backpacks were hanging from my small physique like a very poorly designed hat stand, and the beads of sweat dripping down my forehead were not helping them stay put. “Gurdu!” he said with a puzzled look on his face. Instant relief came flooding through my body as “Gurdu” was the same name I was told on the phone just moments before. I plopped the backpacks in the trunk, ducked into the tiny car, and hoped I hadn’t just made the biggest mistake of my young life. After those insane eleven hours on the most windy, rocky, and narrow road I have ever been on, we were greeted by our lovely host mom, Rekha, at her turquoise house upon the hillside. It was midnight by now, but Rekha had waited to eat dinner until we had been served, as per her culture’s very strict hospitality custom. Having been carsick all day, we were quite ravished at this point and engorged ourselves on roti (Indian tortillas), gobi masala (Indian vegetable stir-fry), and dahl (lentil soup). After passing out for a good ten hours, we woke up to a view of the incredible Himalayan Panchachuli peaks, a ridgeline of snowcapped peaks that truly takes one’s breath away. Having been to Munsiyari with the NOLS course four years earlier, I was returning to this village to work for an incredible nonprofit organization called Maati Women’s Collective. This collective is a group of women seeking empowerment, financial independence, and support for the entire female population of Munsiyari. They are very well-known around the state of Uttarakhand, and some women have walked many miles to find help from the collective. For instance, during our stay, a woman had walked 15 miles to reach them, having escaped a drunken and abusive husband. Stories like these broke my heart but motivated my work. Our work with the Women’s Collective project was twofold: we created an online inventory for the collective members’ handmade items for sale, and we used social media as a platform to present some of these items, as well as to tell the women’s stories. This technological change would allow for the world’s population to gain perspective into the lives of these women and allow for a wider clientele of buyers. Although incredibly rewarding, it was very difficult to work with the women, with their lack of internet or technological knowledge, and a huge language barrier. Everything took twice as long, and we had to adapt our multitasking personalities to simpler working styles. Though difficult, working for the women’s collective was incredibly rewarding, empowering me as a female entering adulthood. When taking photos for the inventory, we asked young women passing by to model the scarves, shawls, and sweaters—to involve more of the community, help us make a connection with locals, and allowing for a personalization of our final product. When attempting to take pictures of the food and to name it, we laughed with the two collective members, Bina and Basanti, as they desperately tried to describe what the dried foods were in English terms. After playing twenty questions and using many hand motions, we rejoiced when we discovered that the strange yellow-looking dried vegetable was, in fact, a carrot!

Two village girls help model for the Women’s Collective’s online inventory. Photo by Maddie Miller

Although many of our differences were immense, such as appearance, language, and culture, the unbelievably real connections Vivi and I made with these women as two foreigners were extraordinary. Additionally, Bina and Basanti’s awareness for each other’s needs, willingness to just laugh at the mishaps, and their ability to finish each other’s sentences were all traits that I find in my friendship with Vivi. Regardless of culture, a best friend is so valuable, a gift worth cherishing. Ultimately, on the search for wanderlust, companions are just as important as the destination, if not the most important part. We left Munsiyari with full hearts, ready to take on Haridwar, a farming village with a huge religious presence. Here, we stayed and volunteered in an ashram, or monastery, which was also the home of an orphanage. The ashram was truly a family, treating the happy children with loving kindness. We stayed in the guesthouse, participating in meals with the kids, in Hindu Aarti prayer, and in afternoon frisbee games. While the kids were at school, we got to take walks into Haridwar. We went on a walk midweek to Chanda Devi Temple, a temple high up on the Himalayan hillside. We walked out onto the road and hailed a tuk-tuk, a three-wheeled motor vehicle meant for four, but usually stuffed with close to ten very sweaty, smelly people. I shimmied my way in between a tiny Indian woman in her beautiful red sari and a very large Indian man dressed in his finest suit. When we arrived at the temple gate, we made our way up the paved trail, where vendors had lined the trail, creating a wall of smells. We passed vendors cutting cucumbers, guava, and bananas, creating an aura of sweetness. This saccharine ambience was followed by the po-

tent blanket of incense, turmeric, and marigolds, all of these items were being sold for offerings at the temple. Farther up, vendors had created a tasty aroma of samosas, pakoras, and the other fried decadences. My eyes were wide with the colors of red, yellow, and orange that beckoned us forth. This sidewalk encapsulates India’s feast for the senses—for touch, for smell, for sight—and by the time we finished our mere half-hour walk to the top, we were utterly exhausted by this all-encompassing experience. Ultimately, this walk was one of many moments when I was truly mesmerized by the incredibly vibrant culture of India. However, although such a dynamic environment existed in this country, I began to grow weary of my senses’ constant engagement. By now I had been in India for almost three weeks, and the constant people, smells, and vivacity started to wear on me. On a later walk in Haridwar, we strolled along the boardwalk of the Ganges, stretching our legs and enjoying the holy river. I stopped to grab a water at a vendor nearby, and we noticed we had a man behind us. He did not buy anything, he merely stood there, staring. Although we were used to the unwavering eyes by now, this man seemed awfully persistent. We decided to keep walking, checking if he would follow. When he did indeed follow, we sat down on a bench to see if he we just go on his merry way. But alas, he stopped as well. My stomach dropped. As it had been over an hour of having a follower, my heart began to race and my shirt was stuck to my skin from the nervous sweating from my back: “What if he threatens us? There are not a lot of people around. Who would notice? What if he hurts us?” We found some tuk-tuks, but every driver was asking to take us to Rishikesh, a destination not even remotely close to the ashram. While desperately searching for any drivers who were heading that way, a man finally understood my request, and we hopped into that beloved vehicle with five other Indian woman. The driver took off, and we were driving back, leaving our persistent follower behind. I got back to the ashram, locked myself in the room, and broke down. I finally let myself cry. Letting the warm tears roll down my already sweaty face, I thought, “What am I even doing here? I don’t belong here! Why couldn’t I have just stuck with a normal job?” I was hot, tired, anxious, and annoyed. Despite feeling completely hopeless, this emotional release allowed me to see just how much I had accomplished on my own in just three weeks. Even though it had been difficult, I was travelling India, finding a completely new sense of independence and empowerment. Nonetheless, the beauty of finding wanderlust is having to go through those breaking points, as adversity is what defines adventure, making for a much stronger and more enlightened human. Ultimately, after a very whirlwind tour of Southeast Asia, I have let wanderlust be the driving force behind my travels, keeping me moving forward when all I want to do is turn around. When those moments of adversity arise, I have chosen to adapt, creating adventures that have empowered me and shown me just how capable I am. Some days I have felt lost and misguided while other days I have felt completely overwhelmed by my emotion and passion. As I continue on my travels, I hope to find the balance between my free spirit and my driven passion, a goal that can potentially translate to my everyday life even after I return home. On my quest for wanderlust, my goal is to achieve balance in my life so that I can be my happiest self, helping to make our planet a happier place. Where will your wanderlust take you next? ▲ Trail & Timberline



Osprey Variant Packs In winter 2017 Osprey donated several of their Variant backpacks to the Youth Education Program (YEP). After a year of testing, YEP instructors are ready to give our review.

YEP goes sand sledding at Great Sand Dunes National Park. Photo by Maren Stubenvoll

HOW WE TESTED YEP teaches classes and leads trips in all seasons, so we were able to test the Variant across a variety of conditions and uses. During the summer we used the packs on summer camps and overnight trips, and in fall and spring on environmental science hikes with schools and after-school rock climbing. Winter uses included snowshoeing hikes, a weekend hut trip, and ice climbing. COMFORT AND CARRYING Multiple testers agreed that this is a comfortable pack. Generous hip belt padding and 38

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a contoured frame help the pack hug your body and transfer weight to the hips. “This thing carries heavy loads like a champ. It’s more supportive than my 75L expedition pack,” one tester said. The body of the pack is a simple top-loading design. A removable lid has two zippered pockets. The Variant comes in two capacities, 37L and 52L. The 37L was our go-to for day outings. The 52L is best suited to overnight trips and other equipment-intensive activities. We used it for schlepping 50-plus pounds of rope and metal during summer climbing camps, snowshoe hikes, and a weekend trip to the CMC Brainard Cabin.

FEATURES Osprey touts the Variant series as “Built for ski mountaineers and ice climbers. Variant packs are ideal for mountain travelers who need a durable pack to transport skis and ice tools with security and comfort.” The Variant’s feature set reflects this claim. Large buckles are easy to use with gloves. The ice axe attachments completely cover the pick and are reinforced with plastic so you don’t have to worry about accidental rips or slices. The front of the pack has a reinforced compression pocket for storing crampons or an avy shovel. In practice we found this pocket difficult to use when the pack is fully stuffed. Carrying skis is easy to rig with A-frame carry loops. One of our testers commented that “even though I wasn’t using [winter specific features], it was cool that I could adapt them for other uses, like packing out Dromedaries and med kits and climbing gear.” Our favorite feature was the removable top lid. Unless the Variant is fully loaded, the top lid annoyingly bounces around. Without the top lid the Variant is equipped with a nifty flap that covers the top of the main pack opening. Another tester said, “I really like being able to remove the lid and still have a little top pocket to use.” We found that, more often than not, instructors removed the top lid for a lighter, more manageable pack. FINAL VERDICT We feel the Variant is solid jack-of-all trades backpack for four seasons of mountain adventure. It gets the job done for mountaineering, ice cragging, backcountry skiing, and summer hikes. The 52L could easily be used for summer backpacking. The ability to remove the top lid adds to its versatility. There are certainly other packs that are better for specific uses, but the Variant does them all reasonably well.

Icebreaker ITEMS: BodyfitZONE Half Zip Baselayer • BodyfitZONE Leggings • Ski+ Ultralight Horizon Socks

Icebreaker leads the pack on the track on a chilly day in Boulder. Photo by Drew Hunter

HOW WE TESTED At the CMC, we’re avid outdoor enthusiasts. We put this gear through a variety of activities—from trail running, to alpine skiing, to hiking the Front Range. We used Icebreaker’s products as base layers underneath outerwear and as stand-alone layers in a wide range of temperatures and conditions to put the gear to the test in real scenarios. COMFORT AND FIT Most people think itchy when they think wool. Icebreaker surprised us with their soft, cozy fabrics that lay next to the skin with no irritation, thanks to flat seams and a fitted form. On the run, we found the gear gave a wide range of motion and kept us warm, but not “clammy” like some synthetics. A note here—the leggings ran a little short on a tester, but when paired with crew length socks there was no problem. If you’re lanky, you may want to consider ordering a size up. On the mountain, the leggings added a lowbulk and toasty layer under ski pants, and the option to unzip the top as the day progressed

was a huge plus. The Ultralight socks were a perfect weight for a snug-fitting pair of boots and kept our feet warm and dry throughout the day. FEATURES Icebreaker has made a name for themselves by committing to natural wool products— no exceptions here. All of the products tested featured a Merino/Lycra blend that made for a fit that moves with you. Icebreaker Merino is also known for its breathability and performance in a huge range of temperatures. We loved that the gear was machine washable, although Merino wool is odor-resistant so there wasn’t much of a need to wash. The top and leggings both feature Icebreaker’s BodyfitZONE construction—combining lightweight 200gm stretch merino with mesh panels to dump heat where needed. This came in big when temperatures rose during our tests.

FINAL VERDICT We gave Icebreaker’s gear a trial by fire. We relied on it to get us through a day on the slopes, a 12-mile training run, and a day of hiking. Whether keeping testers dry on the trail or locking in warmth while above treeline, Icebreaker’s base layers had us covered the whole way. The gear’s ability to handle the range of activities and conditions impressed us, and these pieces will likely become go-tos for future outings. ▲

CMC MEMBERS: Score a steep discount on this gear and all of Icebreaker’s products. Log in to and use your member benefits to shop now! Trail & Timberline


United States and Brazil Share Best Practices for Outdoor Stewardship By Allison Stewart, Public Lands Partnership Coordinator (USFS/BLM), Upper Arkansas River Valley


n August 2017, I helped provide training to volunteer coordinators from Brazil’s Chico Mendes Institute for the Conservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio). Facilitated through the US Forest Service International Programs, the goal of this technical visit for the IMCBio

participants was to gain an understanding of how public land management agencies in the United States structure their volunteer programs. The visiting Brazilians were eager to learn ways to engage partners, manage information, increase volunteer numbers, and promote compliance. I am part of the Colorado Mountain Club’s Conservation Department, where I continue in my role as Public Lands Partnership Coordinator for the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management based out of Salida. This experience made me a natural fit to work with ICMBio. In working with the Brazilians, I found new ideas for myself and was able to get a taste of the conservation world outside of US borders. ICMBio’s purpose is “to promote public engagement in the conservation of biodiversity through volunteers and the public acknowledgement of this contribution,” an idea that is equally important to the CMC.

This opportunity for US public land management agency coordinators to teach and learn from Brazil’s park area managers was mutually beneficial and instructive. ICMBio participants had a full week of events, including presentations from the National Forest Foundation, National Park Service, Job Corps, and the USFS Regional Office. They heard from the perspective of partners, including statewide organizations, and local nonprofit stewardship groups, including several housed in the American Mountaineering Center. Highlights also included talking with youth members of the Southwest Conservation Corps and spending a day working with Colorado Trail Foundation volunteers on a project above treeline in southcentral Colorado. It was also an opportunity to reflect and assess the evolution of the American-based volunteer programs such as the CMC’s, spotlighting both examples of great partnerships

IMCBio participants visit a Southwest Conservation Corps crew working on the Poncha Loop trail on the Salida Ranger District of the San Isabel National Forest. Photo by Allison Stewart 40

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Participants gather together at the Salida Ranger District during the weeklong workshop on volunteer program management. Photo by US Forest Service

and identifying areas that need improvement. Besides different legislative barriers, the Brazilians noted that their society has a different cultural view on stewardship from what they observed in Colorado. In the US, our culture and volunteer demographic is changing too, and it’s important to have long-term strategies in place to ensure we care for our public lands into the future. Working with partners and youth ensures we stay relevant to the public. The week served as a reminder that across the globe, people are fighting to protect the lands they hold dear. From the United States to Brazil, an unwavering love for the outdoors helps bring people together. Thank you to all the partners and individuals who came together in the planning and execution of this technical visit. Learn about ways in which you can participate in statewide stewardship efforts with Colorado Mountain Club by visiting ▲

Stewart and fellow participants exploring the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Photo by US Forest Service

Eclipse Viewing at Wyoming’s Laramie Peak By Jennifer Schmidt


riend Park Campground in Wyoming’s Medicine Bow National Forest isn’t easily accessible. It’s off I-25 followed by two hours of open-range dirt roads with every representative of the animal population meandering into the way. I began to expect unicorns since we’d seen nearly everything else (deer, antelope, wild hares, cows, turkeys). When the animals thinned out and I could focus on the scenery around me, it was not what I had expected. The deep-green landscape of rolling hills with a scattering of trees was out of a travel brochure for Ireland. It was the eve of the solar eclipse, and our trip leader had found the perfect hike along the line of totality. Over dinner, we settled in for the night: “7:30 a.m. start, right?” “No, we leave for the trailhead at 6:30 a.m.” “If I’m not up by 5:00 a.m., make scratching sounds near my tent; that will wake me up.” Laramie Peak, named after French Canadian fur trader Jacques La Ramee, is a standout in the range at 10,276 feet. While small by our Colorado standards, the mountain was an important landmark for those on the Oregon Trail. It can be seen miles away from Scotts Bluff National Monument in Nebraska, and helped guide those on their way to the Rocky Mountains. Our voyage would be slightly less than the pioneer trip of 100 miles; we expected 5.5 miles to the summit with an elevation gain of 3,000 feet. “I can’t believe how many people are here,” our trip leader, Glenn, remarked at the trailhead the next morning. “I really thought this was so out-of-the-way that we would have this place to ourselves.” Evidently, the population of Wyoming was expected to more than double during the eclipse. All things considered, we were lucky to have a fairly quiet location and a cloudless sky. With some scree and a rocky path, it was an otherwise beautiful hike: a small waterfall, tall pines, and moss-covered rock formations of pink and white granite. A few CMC members recognized and named some wildflowers. We came across many athletic yet red-faced and winded people who were not acclimated to elevation—or perhaps to hiking in general. We encouraged those we passed and made sure they were resting and not in need of help. Being Leave No Trace stewards, we picked up a lot of garbage as we hiked along. As Tom said, “If each of us on this mountain picked up just one piece of

trash, this trail would be pristine.” At the summit we settled in, rather than the usual quick turnaround back down the trail. Solar glasses helped us safely check the moon’s progress as it crossed in front of the sun. We ate lunch and chatted with fellow hikers as we awaited the eclipse. Gradually, we felt the temperature drop as a chill wind came across, and the rocks we sat upon began to cool. The changes in the sky became more obvious at 95 percent totality, but it was as if our eyes were not made for such a thing. Imagine a light on a dimmer switch which clicks incrementally toward darkness every thirty seconds. The shadow of the moon covering the valley below us from right to left let us know the eclipse was almost at totality, but we were awed by the sudden darkness. The Laramie Peak summit provided us with an unobstructed 360-degree sunset. Unlike the shades of dusk or dawn, every surface was tinted a deep blue. Stretching our heads up, we could see stars and the bright planets Mercury and Venus. The reason for the travel, camping, and hike, besides the camaraderie, was this nearly indescribable sight: the ring of the sun known as Baily’s Beads—so-called because the moon’s rough topography allows the sun to shine through in some places but not in others (first ex-

CMC member Emily Cousineau taking a photo of the sun as it nears totality. Photo by Jennifer Schmidt

plained by Francis Baily in 1836). It’s much more than the white circle commonly seen in pictures and on television. Totality is a full experience: an eerie silence, wild temperature fluctuations, an unexpected range of colors. As quickly as it started, it was over. Once the moon moved incrementally away from the sun, the sky instantly brightened. Our group of nine CMC members and 100 fellow hikers erupted in applause. For the sun. I can’t say I’ve clapped for the sun before! The winds calmed and the temperature gradually increased by 20 degrees as we leisurely packed up at the summit and began our descent. While Colorado experienced a partial eclipse in 2017, we won’t have to leave home on August 12, 2045 to see an eclipse in totality. Astronomers are predicting Colorado Springs and Grand Junction as prime viewing spots. Let’s plan that Pikes Peak hike for 2045! ▲

CMC trip leader Glenn Barr shows off his solar glasses as CMC member Jennifer Schmidt looks on. Photo by Glenn Barr

Trail & Timberline


Home is where you

Park it The ups, downs and breakdowns of #Vanlife. story by David Fisher Boersma


o matter how nostalgic its historic Midwestern storefronts and red brick streets made me feel, the last place I wanted to be was Russell, Kansas. No offense to Bob Dole or the rest of its past and current residents. You have a nice enough town. But the frigid winter winds sweeping across your flat and endless plains only made the bite of breaking down all the worse.

photos by Tara Fisher Boersma

art by Whitney Bradberry

It was December 19, 2015, and my partner Tara and I, along with our two dogs, were trying to make it to Arkansas to see family for Christmas. I suppose it was our fault for trying to get there via our ‘93 pop-top Eurovan named Helga, who time and time again reminded us of the perils of purchasing a rusty quarter-million-mile clunker. We’d only had Helga a year and had already doubled our purchase price in repairs alone. Getting hung up for sixty-five hours in Russell, Kansas, on a dead alternator was the last straw. All those #vanlife pictures you see on Instagram... lies. Don’t buy it. Go ahead and look up @helgathevan and meander through our former feed full of craft beers, 42

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cute pups, national parks, and big mountain backdrops, sprinkled in with hashtags like #wanderlust and #forthehelgavit. Between each one of those idyllic photos was a white-knuckled stress-spiked traverse. I never cared to look at the speedometer because it wasn’t ever going to top 67 anyway. When I glanced at the dashboard— which was often—it was to monitor the bobbing engine temp and array of other warning lights I quickly familiarized myself with. Every time I turned Helga’s key, my blood pressure popped the top and went through that Westfalia roof. The glory of #vanlife was a myth. To a point anyway—it did have its mo-

ments. In the single year we owned Helga, we tacked on some 20,000 miles, sputtering around half the country every second we had away from work—which we try our best to keep to a minimum. There is a certain kind of feel-good, feet kicked up, drink on table in the back while traveling along mountain passes, one epic vista after another around every bend. As much as we were able to tune out the constant vibrating hum of Helga’s engine, it was easy to forget her misgivings in the wake of so many memories made. On a good day, we’d wind our way through mountain plateaus, trusting the map down a series of washboard dirt roads, before pulling off at the most obscure spot

we could find. We’d slide open the back door, let the dogs loose, pop the top, crack a couple beers, and head out for a long walk under a sunset sky—exploring another place we’d never been before. After dousing the last flames of a fire, we’d snuggle up top under a bundle of blankets, eyes peering out the mesh window at the star-strung sky. But the best parts about Helga had little to do with her. They were always about where we were going and who we were with. So, after thousands of miles of stressful navigation, when we found ourselves stuck in a wintery roadside campground in Russell, Kansas, I knew that was it. As soon as we returned to Denver from our Christmas road trip, I was logging online to put Helga back where she belonged—on Craigslist. So, I did. And we sold her to another couple who had aspirations like ours who sold her to another woman with aspirations like theirs. At first, I thought Helga’s buyers had to be half insane. But then I remembered why I’d bought her in the first place. There’s an undeniable reason why I was willing to suffer through repairs and setbacks with Helga: I wanted to explore. I had a need to get out there, to experience the openness of nature and to share that with the people I care about. So, no—I suppose they aren’t crazy after all. Home is where you park it. ▲ David Boersma grew up along Lake Michigan, hiking its woods, climbing its dunes, and kayaking its shores, before heading westward in search of bigger playgrounds. He has spent the last decade designing for various outdoor brands and organizations, including the Colorado Mountain Club’s Trail & Timberline. Today, he lives in Denver with his partner, Tara, and their two dogs, where they split time at home and working from the road.

[Opposing Page] Helga drops by the Tin Shed, Ventura, CA. [This Page, Top] Road Pup, Kona, scopes out adventure, Bishop, CA. [This Page, Middle Left] Helga’s madentrip, Indian Creek, UT. [This Page, Middle Right] Maeby plays fetch as David preps camp, Elephant Butte, NM. [This Page, Bottom Left] Helga breaks down on I-80, Russell, KS. [This Page, Bottom Right] Tara chalks up another Yahtzee victory from the road.

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End of the Trail Orrin “Jay” McCausland ▶ 1943–2017

A long-time member of the CMC, Orrin “Jay” McCausland passed on November 15, 2017. An avid adventurer, Jay loved the outdoors and physical activities, especially golf, tennis, fishing, hunting, hiking, and biking. At one point, his business cards titled him a “recreational generalist.” As an Air Force officer, Jay was stationed in New Jersey, Alaska, Arizona, Korea, and Colorado; he retired from the Air Force in 1987 with the rank of Major.

Jay joined the Colorado Mountain Club in 1980. His size 13 boots were perfect for hiking around the world. At last count, he had climbed twenty-six 14ers. One of Jay’s favorite CMC trips took him to summits in Austria, Germany, and Italy. That trip was led by the “Mother of the Colorado Trail,” Gudrun “Gudy” Gaskill. Jay also participated in CMC trips to Switzerland, Kenya, Norway, Tanzania, and Nepal and enjoyed regional backpacking trips into the Grand Canyon, Glacier, the Wind River Range, Yellowstone, the Snowy Mountains, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Grand Tetons, and the Appalachian Trail. After many years, he finished hiking all 486 miles of the Colorado Trail. Orrin “Jay” McCausland’s burial will be on March 9, 2018, at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

Stanley Nunnally ▶ 1955–2017 Western Slope CMC members were shocked to learn of the death of former Western Slope Chapter President Stanley Nunnally on November 18, 2017. Stanley passed away at age 62. He will be remembered as an active CMC member who worked tirelessly to enlist new members in the Western Slope Chapter. He led dozens of hikes across the Western Slope during his seven years as president. His favorites were the Corkscrew in the Colorado National Monument, Cactus Park, Dominguez and Escalante Canyon, Anthracite Canyon, Hovenweep National Monument, and Crag Crest on Grand Mesa. Stanley was passionate about snowshoeing and snowboarding on Grand Mesa with his sons. He also joined

many CMC work crews in helping to rebuild and reroute many of the trails in McGinnis Canyons, especially in the Devil’s Canyon area. Stanley was a special, caring CMC member famous for his cranberry pie during the holidays and for his willingness to help many Western Slope members with home improvement projects. He was also known throughout the Grand Valley for his elegant woodwork projects, including the tiny library he designed and built on Little Park Road. Stanley will be missed by all his friends and those whose lives he touched in the Colorado Mountain Club. See you on the trail, Stanley.

Orrin “Jay” McCausland

Lawrence Scott Skiffington ▶ 1953–2017

Lawrence Scott Skiffington

Lawrence Scott Skiffington passed on August 24, 2017, after a six-year battle with cancer. Larry was native Coloradan, a lover of all things outdoors and a long-time member of the Colorado Mountain Club. Larry was a graduate of the University of Colorado before earning his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the J. Ruben Clark Law School at Brigham

Young University in 1979. Over the next twelve years he practiced energy and environmental law working in Salt Lake City, Utah. He shared his expertise with peers as a speaker at the 28th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute. Larry gained strength being outdoors. He camped and hiked extensively in the Utah and Colorado mountains. His commitment to the environment included serving as a volunteer for the Sierra Club for many years. Larry’s quirky sense of humor, goofy antics, and kind heart will be deeply missed by those who knew him.

Sunset over the Rockies at Gross Reservoir. Photo by Reed Fischer


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