The future climate of Colorado • Pioneering climbs of pikes peak • the art of peakbagging
Trail & timberline The Colorado Mountain Club • Winter 2009 • Issue 1001 • www.cmc.org
Does winter really have to end? Colorado hut trips for everyone
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With so many philanthropic choices and fewer dollars to give, how do you decide which causes youâ€™ll help to the top?
Consider putting the Colorado Mountain Club high on your list. Youâ€™ll fund critical programs that operate without the support of membership dues. Only with your donations can we protect the wildest places in Colorado, teach children about the connections to our natural world, and preserve mountaineering history in our museum.
on today and give to your
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Letter from the CEO
The word of the year seems to be change
elcome to the new Trail & Timberline. As you’ll read in the following pages from the new editor Chris Case, this issue of the magazine marks a new chapter in the long history of the publication and of the CMC. I am very enthusiastic about this new direction, as I hope you are. I also want to take the time to publicly acknowledge and thank Tom Beckwith for his many years of service to the Trail & Timberline. He left big shoes to fill and we wish him the best. The word of the year seems to be change. Regardless of political affiliation, I think we all realize that times change and businesses change too—nonprofits as well as for-profits. The CMC is moving closer to its 100-year anniversary in 2012. Our challenge is to strike a balance of respecting and remembering the past, while keeping pace with the changing marketplace and ensuring a healthy future. This challenge is actually very appealing to me. I’ve always enjoyed trying to make magic with limited resources. I have some big goals—some for the next year, some in three years, and some in five years. Here they are: 1) Leadership training is one of my highest priorities. Strong trip leaders are our greatest asset and I want to give them the professional resources and training they deserve. In 2009, we will develop new online training materials, a traveling "All Star Team" of trainers, and strengthen communication with trip leaders throughout the CMC. 2) I recently attended the Wilderness Risk Management Conference and brought back some great tools to update and improve our emergency action and risk management plans. Fortunately, most of you will never have a need for these, but I hope it brings a bit of comfort to know that the CMC is creating the most up-to-date emergency
plans and implementing best practices in this area. 3) Like any business, the CMC will benefit from a strategic marketing plan. To this end, I have already filled a desperately needed position in marketing. Believe it or not, there are people out there who have never heard of the CMC. The organization
fected by economic hard times. As we head toward our 100th year, my vision for the future of the club is simple. We’ll follow our mission-based strategic plan and become better at all the things we already do so well. The CMC is a leader in outdoor recreation, providing over 3,000 volunteer-led trips annually. We’ll continue in our leadership role, but we’ll learn to improve our services as we partner with other prominent mountain clubs across the nation. The club is a respected partner in a regional coalition of conservation-minded organizations, working to protect Colorado’s wildest places. We’ll continue that work, evermore important as untraveled and pristine places become scarcer each year. Finally, our award-winning Youth Education Program is stronger than ever, serving more than 5,000 school kids each year. As we collaborate with our partners, we’ll create more positive connections for these future leaders. We’ll keep doing these things, but we’ll do them better than ever. We want the diverse groups around the state, as well as the public, to know just what we accomplish at the CMC and how we make improvements each year. This transparency will create a sense of unity among the groups, and will provide a reminder of our ever-relevant mission statement. I truly thank you all for your continued dedication and loyalty to the club.
"I’ve always enjoyed trying to make magic with limited resources." needs a solid brand out there, and a bigger push in professional marketing. 4) There is great benefit to bringing younger members to our CMC family. The problem of getting youth outdoors is not just a club difficulty, but rather a problem for our entire country. I have plans to partner with universities, recreation centers, and other youth-focused organizations to help us increase the number of younger members. As I write this, markets around the world are crashing, and a sad truth is that non-profit businesses tend to be strongly af-
Katie Blackett Chief Executive Officer
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17 The Fourteener Files
28 Does winter really have to end?
The winter issue marks the return of a CMC tradition: the listing of the finishers of the state's fourteeners, thirteeners, and beyond. by Linda Kothe Crockett
What's best at the end of a crisp winter's day backcountry skiing through Colorado powder? A log cabin, of course. by Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan EXTRA: Suggested hut trips for your exploring pleasure.
EXTRA: We also pose the question to a select group of peakbaggers: Why do you climb all these mountains?
31 High and dry?
22 Early ascents of Zebulon Pike's highest peak A remarkable collection of historic maps is coming to the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum this January. A Denver-area map collector and scholar recounts the early ascents of Pikes Peak, illustrated through a series of early maps of the West. by Wesley A. Brown
What will climate change mean for the future of winter recreation in Colorado? by Tom Easley
34 Spurred on by the Gore Range
Nature is one of the greatest classrooms. An adventure tale that helps us to learn the principles of Leave No Trace is almost as good. by Alyson Sothoron
Winter 2009 Trail & Timberline â€˘ Issue 1001 â€˘ www.cmc.org
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01 Letter from the CEO 04 On the Outside 06 Inbox 10 Mission Accomplishments
Learn the latest from the Conservation and Education Departments, as well as the Museum.
14 The Clinic
Prevent skiing injuries and make more turns.
16 Peak Profile
We take a closer look at Quandary Peak.
This new department highlights a series of Colorado hut trips.
37 CMC Adventure Travel
Want to get away? Join a hand-picked CMC trip to Prague, Bolivia, the Winds, and more.
40 End of the Trail
In memory of Charles Jacoby, 1932-2008
41 From the Archives
In the first edition of this new column, we take a look at the iconic "Good Woodsman" sign.
42 CMC Press Catalog On the Cover
A late November afternoon brings warm sun to a cold Brianna Gustafson, below The Sawtooth and Mt. Bierstadt. Chris Case
Plan your next adventure: order the classic Guide to the Colorado Mountains or choose from many other titles.
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On the Outside The Sawtooth (left), to the North of Mt. Bierstadt Chris Case
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Inbox thieants n o g n i d n SSthaoulders of g e raphs by Jak
Giants Among Us You should feel very proud for having published the article on George Mallory. It was very touching, and nearly brought me to tears. I have taught many world-class mountaineers in my days, and I know that they will appreciate reading about this saga. Congratulations.
Madeline Framson, Estes Park Jake Norton has worked as a professional mountain guide and photographer for over twelve years. His climbing and photographic exploits have taken him to the summit of Mount Everest twice, to the summits of continental highpoints Mount McKinley in Alaska and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and eighty-eight times to the summit of Mount Rainier in Washington. Learn more about Jakeâ€™s adventures at www.mountainworldproductions.com. Lhotse Face, Mount Everest
Photo of the Quarter The annual CMC Photo Show brought us some fine photography. This year's "Best in Show" winner, and our Photo of the Quarter, is "Uinta Mountain Sunrise" by member Stephen Weaver.
Outbox We want to hear from you. Send your letters to Trail & Timberline, Colorado Mountain Club, 710 10th Street, # 200, Golden, Colorado 80401 (attn: Letters to the Editor) or email us at email@example.com. Please include your name, mailing address, email address, and phone number. Published letters may be edited for length and clarity. 6
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For Members opportunities to get more involved Monthly Giving
Join our select donors who give back to the club every month by using electronic funds transfer (EFT). It is easy and convenient, you can discontinue anytime, and you’ll provide support for critical programs. Sign up at www.cmc.org/support.
Gift and Estate Planning
By naming the Colorado Mountain Club in your will, you will be able to count yourself among the proud members of the 21st Century Circle. Read more at www.cmc.org/legacy. Please consult your financial advisor about gift language.
If you want to share your time and expertise, give back to the club by volunteering on a variety of projects, from trail restoration to stuffing envelopes. Visit www.cmc.org/volunteer for a complete listing.
Annual Report Available Online
We’re proud of the efficient way we use your donations. Download the PDF at www.cmc.org/AR and read all the details.
Shop and Search
Use www.goodsearch.com and www.goodshop.com to raise money for the club when you designate CMC as your beneficiary.
If you have any questions about donations, please contact Doug Skiba, Development Director, at 303.996.2752 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Membership Services team can answer general questions every weekday at 303.279.3080, or by email at email@example.com.
member benefits → Join us on over 3,000 annual trips, hikes and activities in the state’s premiere mountain-adventure organization. → Expand your knowledge and learn new skills with our schools, seminars, and events. → Support our award-winning Youth Education Program for mountain leadership. → Protect Colorado’s wild lands and backcountry recreation experiences. → Enjoy exclusive discounts to the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum and Base Camp gift shop. → Borrow from 60,000 items in the world’s largest mountaineering library.
The Colorado Mountain Club thanks the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District for its continuing support.
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New life, new editorial staff for the club's magazine
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agazines aren’t dead, but in this new era of internet communication, magazines and newspapers have struggled to compete for timeliness and relevance. Why read a magazine when you can go online and get the news days or weeks before you get your magazine in the mail? With the hiring of Katie Blackett as the new CEO/Executive Director, the Colorado Mountain Club has been infused with great energy and enthusiasm for the old as well as the new. And Katie has recognized that Trail & Timberline is still relevant, as part of both our future and our tradition. We—the new editorial staff, and Katie—have given the magazine a new look and feel; we have introduced a series of entirely new columns that we feel will bring a new level of interest to our readers; and we have included new elements that are aimed at meeting current industry standards. We've done all of this in an effort to make the magazine something you anticipate each quarter, and something you keep for years to come. We want Trail & Timberline to provide an entertaining and resourceful read, inspiring your outdoor adventure. These changes, I hope you will agree, make for a more compelling and visually stimulating publication, one that stands on almost 100 years of history and tradition, and simultaneously helps us to thrive in this new era of print media. What better place to start anew than with this issue, number 1001. To give readers a little background on the new editorial staff, let me start by telling you about myself. You may recognize my name from my time spent with the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum. I began as the creative director of the museum before moving on to my role as curator. However, my background is actually in journalism. I received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in documentary photography, from the University of Texas. I have worked as a freelance photographer in Colorado, and have also
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Editor, Director of Photo & Design Chris Case Assistant Editor Doug Skiba Advertising Sales Robin Commons
The Colorado Mountain Club 710 10th Street, Suite 200 Golden, Colorado 80401
The CMC is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization.
www.cmc.org The Colorado Mountain Club is organized to ▶ unite the energy, interest, and knowledge of the students, explorers, and lovers of the mountains of Colorado; ▶ collect and disseminate information regarding the Rocky Mountains on behalf of science, literature, art, and recreation; ▶ stimulate public interest in our mountain areas; ▶ encourage the preservation of forests, flowers, fauna, and natural scenery; and
worked at the Jane Goodall Institute in the Washington, D.C. area. Doug Skiba is, first and foremost, the Development Director for the club. I made sure he was hired as my assistant editor in order that the magazine would benefit from better oversight and production qualities. In this case, two minds are better than one. Doug is a fantastic editor, having worked for the university news service at his college in Wisconsin. He is a perfectionist by nature. Finally, Katie Blackett has come to the club with great enthusiasm and has put great trust in her staff. Her letter, found on page one, offers her thoughts on the state of the club from her first six months. Collectively, we look forward to the challenge of producing a publication that the Club can be proud of, while serving the diverse desires of its membership. It is no small task to bring about the level of change you see in this issue of the magazine. We have carefully considered the responses that many of you gave in our reader survey. In the coming issues, we hope that you will be able to appreciate a better product, one that you helped create. We have attempted to enliven the magazine, and bring it to the level of other publications with which you may already be familiar. We hope we have done so, and we hope that you'll let us know how we have done. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. On behalf of the new editorial staff and all who have helped make this new issue possible, we thank you for your continued interest.
▶ render readily accessible the alpine attractions of this region. © 2009 Colorado Mountain Club All Rights Reserved. Trail & Timberline (ISSN 0041-0756) is published four times a year, with supplemental Activity Schedules. It is, and has been, the official member publication of the Colorado Mountain Club since 1918. Periodicals postage paid at Golden, Colorado, and additional offices. For annual membership dues, or to become a member, visit www.cmc.org. Subscriptions are $20 per year; single copies are $5. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Trail & Timberline, 710 10th Street, Suite 200, Golden, Colorado 80401.
Chris Case email@example.com
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.
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Thimble Rose Levy, 8, focuses on her trip up the climbing wall during Mountain Fest. including folks like Kaya Sandlow and her father, J.M. After learning about ways to safely start a fire with flint (just a firm strike, not a wild, reckless swing like reality television stars demonstrate) and how to construct a leanto as part of an outdoor survival seminar, J.M. and Kaya Sandlow were headed off to climb on the indoor climbing wall. “We just moved here. I'm thinking about joining because I'd like to find more climbing buddies and hiking buddies,” said J.M. “We hike, we climb; this is part of our lives. We thought this would be interesting for Kaya—a good resource. I'm always inountain est terested in classes like this.” Annual fundraiser for Youth Education Program informs and excites youth and adults Both girls and boys scrambled up the indoor wall. By Joshua Cole Many, like Willow Jay Levy, 4, were climbHer eyes wide, mouth agape, hands ing for the first time, while others, such as frozen, Kaya Sandlow clutched a snowball her sister, Thimble Rose Levy, 8, used years out of which—almost unbelievably—shot of experience. Thimble Rose completed her climb as her mother, Clare Cone, watched flames four inches high. This juxtaposition of two extremes was and cheered, a smile expanding on her face one of the themes prevalent at the Colorado with each successive body length. Cone and Mountain Club's 2008 Mountain Fest, on her family joined the CMC less than a week Oct. 18 at the American Mountaineering before Mountain Fest. Erin Youngkin, 15, has been an active Center in Golden. Throughout the day, interested learners participant in YEP for two years and a volcould see a multitude of demonstrations and unteer belayer and potential “mentor” for workshops, everything from backcountry the Levys, Cone said. Youngkin started climbing on a field cooking to an introduction to ice climbing, from learning to spot constellations to sur- trip that her school took with YEP and vival needs and mountain rescue. Adventur- she's been excited to climb ever since. While ers also could tour the exhibitor tent to learn some climbers were ascending the wall for more about outdoor organizations or bid on the first time, others, including Youngkin, items for the silent auction. That same eve- were learning advanced techniques. Youngkin related the appeal that many ning, Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind per- son to successfully climb the world's “Seven feel about the CMC, YEP and Mountain Summits,” inspired a packed auditorium Fest: “I like the people, and I like the climbing. It's two great things I like.” with his story. The annual event benefits the CMC's Youth Education Program (YEP) and pro- Joshua Cole is the communications direcmotes the CMC to potential new members, tor for the Technical Climbing Section of the Colorado Mountain Club.
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New Museum Director Hired When the search began for a new director of the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum, museum advisory board member Dave Robertson recommended that the candidate have “sparkle.” And though he would be hard pressed to describe himself in that way, climber, photographer, guide, and professional speaker Jake Norton has taken the position much to the delight of Robertson and many others involved with the museum. “I’m just really excited to be here and bring this great museum to more people, and bring it up to a new level of recognition,” said Norton, the former chairman of the museum advisory board. A professional climber and guide, Norton has taken thousands of people up peaks ranging from Mount Rainier in Washington (88 ascents and counting), to Mt. McKinley in Alaska, to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Himalayan giants like Cho Oyu and Gurla Mandhata in Tibet. He has been on five Everest expeditions working as an historian, photographer, and climber. His most notable Everest expedition was the 1999 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition, whose members discovered the 75-year-old remains of British pioneerclimber George Leigh Mallory at 27,000 feet on Everest’s North Face. In addition to his expertise in the mountains, Norton has been recognized with his skills behind the lens, working as a professional photographer for PBS/NOVA, BBC, Outdoor Life Network, Discovery, Channel 4-UK, and many others. He makes his home in Golden, Colo., with his wife, Wende Valentine, their dog, Pema, and daughter, Lila. Learn more about Jake at www.bwamm.org.
Take the Children Outside
groups (among them the CMC), which are conHouse agrees, Senate still needs to act cerned with social trends that reduce children’s By Brenda Porter, CMC Education Director contact with nature, and have been shown In September of 2008, the U.S. House to negatively affect the health of our citizens of Representatives passed the No Child Left and our environment. Inside Act (HB 3036) sponsored by John P. Childhood addictions to video games, Sarbanes (D-MD). The Act requires K-12 television, and computers have been linked schools to include environmental education to health problems such as attention deficit activities as a regular part of their curriculum, improve environmental education training for teachers, and provide federal grants to help schools pay for outdoor education from qualified providers (like the Colorado Mountain Club’s Youth Education Program). Educational pressure to increase standardized test scores has resulted in reduced time for physical education, less outdoor recess for elementary students, and less support for field trips that help students learn about their communities and the environment. “This Act is a great way to utilize our disorder as well as rising rates of obesity. treasured natural resources to get our young Studies indicate that national childhood people off the couch and out into nature obesity rates have doubled in the past 30 where they can be active and learn to ap- years, to 16% of children, and can lead to preciate nature’s value firsthand,” said Rep- lifelong ailments such as diabetes, asthma, resentative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV). and cardiac arrest. According to researcher The No Child Left Inside movement D.S. Ludwig, “Our children may be the first has been supported by a coalition of over generation ever at risk of having a shorter 600 organizations, including environmen- lifespan than their parents.” tal, education, public health and business The No Child Left Inside Coalition is
also concerned with developing constituencies that will support public lands in the future. Studies overwhelmingly conclude that adults who currently support national parks and public lands were frequently exposed to nature as children. Because today’s youth spends less time on public lands and in natural places, it is logical to conclude that tomorrow’s adults may be less inclined to support parks and public lands. Numerous research studies, compiled by Richard Louv in his groundbreaking book Last Child in the Woods, conclude that experiences in nature tend to promote physical activity, creative thinking, and cooperative play and work. Furthermore, he asserts that nature reduces stress, promotes healing and physical health, and even leads to academic improvement. Environmental education and outdoor experiences can help prepare our future workforce to tackle complicated environmental problems and succeed at innovative green jobs that strengthen our environment and economy. HB 3036, co-sponsored by Colorado Representatives Ed Perlmutter (CD-7) and Diana DeGette (CD-1), passed with resounding bipartisan support. Unfortunately, the Senate bill did not reach the floor last year. Please contact Senators Mark Udall and Ken Salazar and urge them to support the “No Child Left Inside Act” in the next session of Congress.
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To Conserve and Protect
Accomplishments of the Conservation Department in 2008 By Clare Bastable, CMC Conservation Director
Recently, while sorting through old conservation files, a prophetic article surfaced from a 1982 Trail & Timberline (No. 759). It was written by Denver Group conservation committee chairman Roger Fuehrer who, at that point, had been a CMC member for nearly three decades (he is now a lifetime member). He had provided testimony for the passage of the Wilderness Act and prevented dam construction projects in Grand Canyon National Park. In addition, Fuehrer and others set the tone for the club’s engagement in local, statewide, and national environmental issues that continues to this day. Over 25 years later, the focus remains the same. Our conservation goal, as outlined by the CMC Board of Directors in our sixyear strategic plan, is "to sustain wilderness, wildlife, and native ecosystems in Colorado for the appreciation and enjoyment by current and future generations." To achieve this, our work follows three fundamental themes: to permanently protect our last remaining roadless areas and wildlife corridors; to protect and restore the quiet experience; and to 12
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protect the ecological integrity of our region by reducing the impacts of recreation on the natural environment. Living up to these goals, the CMC Conservation Department has had a successful and productive year in 2008. In October, the CMC co-sponsored the landmark Colorado Conservation Summit. The gathering brought together over 270 people, including sportsmen, land managers, elected officials, and conservation leaders to create a 10-year strategic plan for wildlife habitat protection in Colorado. This was an enormous step forward, and plans are already underway for future summits. On the law-protection front, the efforts of the club and its coalition partners led the US Senate Committee on Natural Resources to approve the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Act in September, a significant step towards permanent Wilderness designation. The club has also taken a leading role in the statewide effort to strengthen the Colorado Roadless Rule, closing loopholes that would allow for new road building in roadless landscapes. As Fuehrer could certainly attest to,
natural quiet, remoteness, and solitude are becoming increasingly hard to find in Colorado, and can no longer be taken for granted on public lands. Efforts to restore quiet backcountry experiences moved forward in March 2008 when our CMC conservation staff led a diverse coalition effort to pass House Bill 1069, authorizing state law officers to enforce federal off-road vehicle regulations. A second bill, Senate Bill 63, also set sound emission limits for offhighway vehicles. As the season shifted toward winter, the club co-sponsored the 4th Annual Winter Recreation Advocacy Conference, providing activists from around the country with important tools for protecting the humanpowered, winter backcountry recreation experience. Most of the club’s 3,000 annual trips take place on public lands. To balance this land use, members donated over 1,300 volunteer-hours last year towards stewardship projects with the US Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management. We have also been working diligently to reroute the trail—and restore access to—Wilson Peak. Furthermore, we are working to regain access on the west side of Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle, as well as access to Mts. Lincoln, Bross and Democrat. Our ambitious goals for 2009 mirror the words of Fuehrer: “Work will be needed to assure that these activities of the club will continue, and that they will continue in a great mountain environment that can be enjoyed by all in the future in the way we know it should be.” Next year, we hope to secure full protection for Colorado’s roadless landscapes under the Colorado Roadless Rule; encourage club members to donate at least 2,000 stewardship hours during the year; work towards Wilderness designation for Dominguez Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Park; maintain quiet recreation in the travel plans for the White River and Pike-San Isabel National Forests; and institute a Memorandum of Understanding with the USFS, establishing the CMC as a formal partner. To learn more about conservation and how you can support the club, visit www.cmc.org/conservation.
rom the snow-capped summit of McKinley to the towering peaks of Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro to the ultimate challenge, Mount Everest, Erik Weihenmayer’s memoir Touch the Top of the World, is a story about daring to dream in the face of impossible odds. According to Publisher’s Weekly, Erik’s memoir is “Moving and adventure packed, Weihenmayer tells his extraordinary story with humor, honesty, and vivid detail, and his fortitude and enthusiasm are deeply inspiring.” Erik’s memoir has been used in numerous school curriculums worldwide, giving students hope, inspiration and motivation to see beyond themselves and as Erik puts it, “to truly have vision.”
w w w.touchthetop.com 2008/2009
a program of
with support from
Photo: Caroline George ascending Storm Mountain Falls. © Andrew Burr
The World’s Best Mountain Films www.banffmountainfestivals.ca
Paramount Theatre, Denver
Thursday & Friday (2.26.09 & 2.27.09) @ 7:00 PM
Ticket sales begin Tuesday, December 9. $15, available at the CMC office, plus REI Boulder, Denver, Englewood & Lakewood Proceeds will benefit the Colorado Mountain Club Trail & Timberline
The Clinic Ski Injury Free Make More Turns An interview with physical therapist Patrick Naylor What are you seeing in terms of the prevalence of ski injuries in recent years? We’ve seen a 50 percent decrease in the number of injuries in skiers since the 1970s, due in part to improved gear, bindings, training and preparation by athletes. We see that children between the ages of 11 and 13 have the highest rate of injury, but that teenagers—who have the second highest rate—have more severe injuries. Women tend to have twice the injury rate of men. Specifically, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in women racers are six times higher than in male counterparts. Why do you see higher rates of ACL injuries in women? It comes down to two factors: anatomical and hormonal. Anatomically, women’s hips are relatively wider than men’s, which leads to a greater quadriceps angle (the angle between the quadriceps muscle and the patellar tendon on the knee— also known as the ‘Q’ angle), and consequently more stress on the ligaments around the knee. This creates a situation where the knee tends to collapse inwards in women. The hormonal effect in women can cause ligaments and tendons to be less taut and, therefore, reduce the overall rigidity and strength of the joint. What are the most common ski injuries? One third of all skier injuries occur in the knee. In snowboarders we see less knee injuries, but more hand and wrist injuries. Head and neck injuries are also more common and there are higher rates of ankle-joint injuries due to impact. In skiers, tears to the medial collateral ligament on the inside of the knee are the most common mechanism by which beginners hurt themselves. Here, the person ends up in a forward fall, usually in a snow plow, by crossing their tips and collapsing inward on the knee. Injuries to the ACL account for another 10 to 15 percent. This most often happens when someone finds themselves in a backwards twisting fall. Sometimes people refer to this as the phantom foot injury: when you start to feel yourself falling backwards and leveraging your stiff ski boot, you begin to twist and it feels as if someone is stepping on the tail of your skis, hence the phantom foot.
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Is there any way to help prevent this type of injury? I always tell people that if they find themselves falling backwards on their skis, to throw their hands forward in front of themselves as hard as they can. The trade-off here is that this may prevent ACL injury, but may promote “yard sales.”
Do you see different injuries between backcountry skiers and resort skiers? Skiers at resorts, with their predominantly hard-pack snow, are associated with more impact-based injuries, such as fractures. The heavy snow of the backcountry is associated with more torsion-based and twisting injuries. How can skiers reduce their risk of injury? Generally, the best way to prevent these types of common injuries is to strengthen the muscles around the ACL and across the knee, ankle, and hip joints. In our clinics, we teach athletes to take off and land properly from a jump or ski turn. Strengthening these areas of the body helps the impact to be directed straight forward. What can I do to prepare for the ski season? Condition. The fundamental concepts for the pre-season break down into developing an aerobic base. That comes first if you don’t have time for anything else. If you do have time, strength training is best. It’s a great idea to work on balance and agility training, and explosive/ coordination training is a great extra. Anything specific that I could work on? Two minutes of continuous skiing uses 50 percent of the aerobic system and 50 percent of your anaerobic capacities. The shift towards the aerobic and endurance qualities of the body is only going to increase on a long day of skiing. The aerobic base is the most important to develop. Having that aerobic base prevents the fatigue which can lead to more injuries. Fatigue prevents the muscles from operating optimally, and skiing at Colorado altitudes just exacerbates the problem. Skiing is a constant battle against gravity and centrifugal forces. Building an aerobic base helps you to combat those explosive forces. For pre-season conditioning, inline skating is great cross-training, as is skate skiing. They both combine edge control with the need to move in three different planes: side-to-side, front-to-back, and up-and-down.
For pure aerobic and coordination training, road cycling and mountain biking are great ways to cross train. Endurance training can be as simple as completing 30- to 60-minute workouts, three to five times per week, for six to 12 weeks. Once you’ve established an aerobic base you can add anaerobic training to your regimen. Anaerobic means “without oxygen” and refers to your muscles’ ability to function in a state of oxygen deprivation. By training your anaerobic system you improve your body’s ability to process lactic acid so that you can ski at a higher intensity for a longer period of time. Anaerobic training is often done by performing intervals of hard work for 30 seconds to three minutes followed by a rest period of equal time. An example would be inline skating at a fast pace for one minute, coasting for one minute, then repeating five more times. You could then take a five- to 10-minute break and do another set. The total amount of time that you are working hard should be 10 to 24 minutes a session. Doing one or two anaerobic training sessions per week for one to two months, while decreasing your endurance workouts to two to three times per week, will ensure that
your “engine” can actually handle a full day on the slopes. What if I want to include strength training? For strength training, focus primarily on the legs and core. Typical squats and lunges are great, as are free weights which require more balance and coordination than machines. Make sure that you have someone you trust to show you proper technique. If not, machines are the way to go and may be safer, with just slightly less benefit. Yoga and Pilates also offer great benefits as they strengthen while helping to make you more flexible. For more advanced training, air disks and exercise balls (sometimes called physioballs) help to increase the difficulty of any movement and, therefore, increase the workout potential. The same can be said for decreasing the number of contact points (two legs down to one), by decreasing the stability of the surface, or by closing your eyes and relying on proprioceptive (the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body) feedback. All of these techniques will help you to strengthen not just your muscles but those other qualities that make skiing a unique activity. Finally, there is explosiveness/coordi-
nation training. This component can be developed through one to two sessions per week of plyometrics, which are jumping and bounding exercises that incorporate controlled landings with quick and powerful takeoffs. Plyometrics should not be performed until you’ve done a basic strength training program for at least six weeks. Plyometric training is designed to improve reaction time and increase explosive power, eccentric muscle control, and coordination of fast movements. For more advanced skiers, this type of training simulates on-slope conditions, reactions, and explosiveness. Box jumps, scissor- or tele-jumps, and hurdle bounds are a small sample of the many different types of plyometric exercises. ▼ Patrick Naylor, MSPT, is a physical therapist and Physical Therapy Manager at the Boulder Center For Sports Medicine. He is a former competitor on the Pro Mogul Tour and won a gold medal in the downhill inline race at the 1998 ESPN X Games.
For additional information, visit www.vermontskisafety.com & www.ski-injury.com Trail & Timberline
Quandary Peak 14,270 feet / 4,349 meters Range Tenmile Range Ranking 13th highest First Recorded Climb Most likely in the 1860s, probably by miners.
Quandary Peak is the only fourteener in the Tenmile Range. Because of its broad east slope, it may also have the distinction of being one of the first fourteeners to be climbed on skis. As many mining ruins still remain, it was probably miners who first stood on the summit.
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Origin of Name A group of miners found themselves in a "quandary" over the identification of a mineral on the slopes of a peak with various namesâ€”McCullough's Peak, Ute Peak, and Hoosier Peak. Quandary stuck.
the fourteener files By Linda Kothe Crockett
“Hooked” was the word Mel Downs used to describe the feeling he had after finishing his very first fourteener. “I decided right away that I wanted to climb all 54,” he writes. Like many others, that’s just what he finished doing. In the summer, when other people are enjoying lazy days, barbecues, or relaxing at the beach, the fourteeners crowd is busy with pre-sunrise starts, prodigious drives, and physically grueling days as they make pilgrimages to the summits of Colorado’s mountains. This year adds 39 climbers to the ranks of fourteener finishers, bringing the current list to 1,281. Many have written the Colorado Mountain Club recounting their sojourns to Colorado’s highest peaks. These are their stories. Larry Martin’s recollections of Pikes Peak, his first fourteener, are less than affectionate. But, like Mel Downs, he was hooked. “It was raining, snowing, and sleeting all at the same time, as I was to discover is normal for the high country of Colorado. We had planned on taking the train on the return trip, but it was so full we [instead] ran most of the way back down. It was almost as difficult going down as it was going up… I had trouble walking for three weeks. “[Late starts] made lightning my number one fear in the earlier years, but as difficulty and exposure increased, I found that it wasn’t just lightning I had to worry about— it was rock fall, lightning, and fall exposure (in that order)—followed by injury to myself or my vehicle, getting lost, and then animals.” Both mosquitoes and bears made his short list of animals to be respected. Near encounters with rockfall on three separate occasions led Martin to observe, “Warnings, my reflexes, and God’s will (not necessarily in that order) saved me.” Finisher Ricardo Peña, a native of Mexico City now living in Colorado, is well known for being the discoverer of the remains of the survivors of a plane crash in the Andes—popularly retold in Piers Paul Read’s book Alive: The Story of the Andes
Survivors. Peña subsequently led a National Geographic expedition to retrace the escape route of survivors. “The Colorado fourteeners challenged
Carlton Stoiber began his quest at the age of 25 in 1967, atop Mt. Sneffels. At age 66, he completed his quest atop Longs Peak.
me in many different ways,” writes Peña. “They left me very sore in the early years, they scared and intimidated me at times, they overwhelmed me in different ways— but they always gave me great satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment. I love the simplicity of an easy hike up peaks in the Sawatch or Tenmile Range; the spectacular rock and steep peaks in the Sangre de Cristos; the wilderness character of the San Juans; and the challenging nature of the Elks.” Jim Randa, finishing at age 61, takes pleasure in the fact that he can still climb with two artificial hips. “I climbed or reclimbed about half of the fourteeners, including the ‘hard’ ones, since getting new hips,” he says. Carlton Stoiber may have spent more time thinking about the fourteeners than he did climbing them. “It took me about half a century to get them done,” Stoiber writes. “The fourteeners were always on my horizon growing up in Boulder during the late 1940s and ’50s.” Stoiber joined the CMC in 1958 as a high school student. Under the tutelage of CMC instructor Prince Willmon, he completed CMC’s climbing school. Stoiber climbed three fourteeners at age 25, before moving to Washington, D.C. He waited 31 years to climb his fourth. “Colorado was not only far away, but sea-level lungs discouraged higher altitude climbs on short family visits,” he writes. Following retirement, he managed to “fitfully knock off the peaks” from his D.C. base. He saved Longs Peak for last, dedicating it to his first climbing teacher, Prince Willmon, who died on Longs Peak in 1960. “At age 66, I feel a real sense of satisfaction and emotional completeness at finishing off these fascinating climbs,” he says. “I recognize that these 54 peaks represent a somewhat artificial set of goals—but that could be said of many of life’s aims.” Finisher Mark Obmascik, who is well known for his years as a reporter and columnist for The Denver Post and for his book, The Big Year, also claims a lengthy hiatus before regaining his love for the fourteenTrail & Timberline
The Fourteeners List Number 1243 1244 1245 1246 1247 1248 1249 1250 1251 1252 1253 1254 1255 1256 1257 1258 1259 1260 1261 1262 1263 1264 1265 1266 1267 1268 1269 1270 1271 1272 1273 1274 1275 1276 1277 1278 1279 1280 1281
Name John Bregar Larry Martin Mel Downs Lori Prater Tom Sachtleben Alex Robertson Doug Robertson Jason McDonald Philip Yancey Debbie Markham Lucy Hecker Ed Brady Clint Baker Chris Ilg Anthony Wada Takeo Wada Mark Obmascik Nona Gladbach Prakesh Manley Kurt Hamann Robert Cabell Carlton Stoiber Del Gratz Derald DeYoung Ed Shattuck Dave Langley Terre Cavalier-Topp April K. Gray Marcia Omafray Ricardo Peña Jamie Nellis Debbi Sheinman Constantin Nickonov Mike Offerman Uwe Sartori Gary Belliveau Dennice Soderberg John Soderberg Jim Randa
ers. Seventeen years and 40 pounds after his first ascent, he was bitten by the “hiking bug” when his 12-year-old son hiked Pikes Peak during summer camp and announced to his father that he wanted to climb peaks together. “We both survived,” Obmascik says. He rapidly accelerated from then on, completing the last 46 peaks in one summer. “During my summer of 46 peaks, I lost 15 pounds, but gained many new friends, as well as newfound awe at the beauty of our home state.” Not only did he finish the 18
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First Peak Lincoln, Mt. Pikes Peak Harvard, Mt. Longs Peak Longs Peak Longs Peak Yale, Mt. Little Bear Peak Sunshine Peak Longs Peak Antero, Mt. Democrat, Mt. Longs Peak Longs Peak Evans, Mt. Evans, Mt. Elbert, Mt. Humboldt Peak Longs Peak Longs Peak Belford, Mt. Sneffels, Mt. Pikes Peak Longs Peak Democrat, Mt. Quandary Peak Elbert, Mt. Antero, Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Longs Peak Bierstadt, Mt. Pikes Peak Longs Peak Elbert, Mt. Pikes Peak Princeton, Mt. Pikes Peak Pikes Peak Longs Peak
Date Jun 1975 Jul 1993 Aug 1979 Aug 1996 Aug 1985 Aug 1986 Aug 1985 Sep 1996 Jun 1993 Jul 1994 Sep 1997 Aug 1999 Aug 1998 Oct 1991 Jul 2005 Jul 2005 Jul 1989 Jun 1991 Jul 2006 Jul 1973 Aug 1989 Aug 1967 Jul 1975 Aug 1994 Aug 2004 Aug 2002 Aug 1987 Jun 2000 Jun 2000 Aug 1996 Jun 2005 Jul 1997 Aug 1998 Aug 1980 Sep 1995 Nov 1999 Jun 2004 Jun 2004 Aug 1979
summits, he’s also finished writing a book about fourteener climbers. Called Halfway to Heaven, it is due out in 2009. In a world that seems obsessed with firsts of all kinds, stories of the fourteeners more often seem to be about lasts. Take, for instance, the last fourteener on Peña’s list. After working until 1 a.m. on the morning of the climb, his friend drove him to Culebra Peak, where he climbed the peak and, thus, finished all of the fourteeners, in a driving rainstorm. “It felt like the fourteeners didn’t let me
Last Peak Handies Peak Snowmass Mtn. El Diente Pyramid Peak Capitol Peak N. Maroon Peak N. Maroon Peak Uncompahgre Peak Maroon Peak N. Maroon Peak Crestone Peak Wilson Peak Crestone Peak Culebra Peak Massive, Mt. Massive, Mt. Pikes Peak Evans, Mt. Capitol Peak Pikes Peak Wilson, Mt. Longs Peak Crestone Peak Crestone Peak Little Bear Peak Little Bear Peak N. Maroon Peak Capitol Peak N. Maroon Peak Culebra Peak Culebra Peak Ellingwood Point Windom Peak San Luis Peak San Luis Peak N. Maroon Peak Kit Carson Peak Kit Carson Peak Sherman, Mt.
Date Sep 1976 Aug 2000 Aug 2001 Sep 2005 Jul 2006 Sep 2006 Sep 2006 Jun 2007 Aug 2007 Aug 2007 Aug 2007 Sep 2007 Sep 2007 Sep 2007 Sep 2007 Sep 2007 Sep 2007 Sep 2007 Jul 2008 Jul 2008 Jul 2008 Aug 2008 Aug 2008 Aug 2008 Aug 2008 Aug 2008 Aug 2008 Aug 2008 Aug 2008 Aug 2008 Aug 2008 Sep 2008 Sep 2008 Sep 2008 Sep 2008 Sep 2008 Sep 2008 Sep 2008 Sep 2008
List compiled by Linda J. (Kothe) Crockett, 11-17-08
Those who reported completion of Colorado's fourteeners in 2008
walk away without reminding me that, at all times, they have the final word on our success.” he says. “It’s a good reminder that any fourteener can be a challenging endeavor!” To register completion of your fourteeners, send a letter to the CMC, Attn: Fourteeners, 710 10th St., #200, Golden, CO, 80401; or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 31. Letters received at a later date are held for the following year. Include the name and date (month, year) of your first and last summit. Stories and photos are welcome and become CMC property. For digital photos, please include photos on a CD.
Beyond the Fourteeners
By Chris Ruppert
Those who reported completion in the following categories in 2008 Number
154 157 158 159 160 161 162
Dave Hattan John Prater Steve Knapp Jim Rickard Dave Madonna Stephen Mueller Madeline Slavin
Gladstone Peak Hagerman Peak Jagged Mountain Jupiter Mountain Jagged Mountain Jagged Mountain Jagged Mountain
8/25/07 10/11/07 7/18/08 8/3/08 8/8/08 8/30/08 9/18/08
Lookout Peak Peak Fifteen
Hanson Peak S 6 Peak Fifteen Graystone Peak
9/2/07 9/15/07 9/8/08 9/16/08
Peak Fifteen Mount Warren
Peak Fifteen Mount Warren
Peak Fifteen Mount Warren
Peak Fifteen Mount Warren
100 Highest Peaks
200 Highest Peaks 53 60
Steve Gladbach Dave Landers
300 Highest Peaks 26 27 28 29
Steve Gladbach Dave Anshicks Dave Landers Robert Packard
400 Highest Peaks 19 20
Dave Landers Steve Gladbach
500 Highest Peaks 17 18
Dave Landers Steve Gladbach
600 Highest Peaks 17 18
Dave Landers Steve Gladbach
All Thirteeners 17 18
Dave Landers Steve Gladbach
Beyond the Thirteeners
By Teresa Gergen
Those who reported completion in the following categories in 2008
700 Highest Peaks 5 6 7
Teresa Gergen Kirk Mallory Debby Reed
800 Highest Peaks 5
UN 12990 (Pole Creek Mountain quad) East Desolation Peak UN 12940 (Granite Lake quad)
9/29/06 7/26/08 9/14/08
For recognition in next year's issue, please send all information to the Colorado Mountain Club at 710 10th Street, # 200, Golden, CO 80401, by October 31, 2009, or email email@example.com. Be sure to include the name of peak and date of that climb. Congratulations to all on your accomplishments.
Trail & Timberline
? WHY the art (or is it obsession) of peak bagging by chris case
There are many folks who hike Colorado’s trails for their love of nature, their quest for solitude, or for the simple pleasure of a walk in the woods. In summer, they can be seen scrambling to the occasional summit to enjoy the view and the effort; come autumn, they’re ambling through aspen groves to seek that perfect photo of foliage. There are others, however, who are not satisfied by the intermittent climb. They have taken that weekend hike and turned it into a lifelong quest: for summiting mountains on lists, bagging peaks of rank, and (for some it seems) getting to the top of every knob drawn on a map. True, Colorado has more land over 10,000 feet than any other state or province in North America. “Why not climb it?” they seem to be asking. The first people to climb to the summit of each of Colorado’s fourteeners were Carl Blaurock and William Ervin, who complet-
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ed the quest in 1923. Today, over 1,200 people have climbed all 54 of the state’s highest peaks. In 1937, Carl Melzer and his 9-year-old son, Bob, climbed all of them in one season. The current time record is under 11 days. The fourteeners all have been climbed in winter, and they all have been skied from their summits. Almost two dozen people have climbed all 637 of Colorado’s 13,000-foot peaks, beginning with guidebook author Mike Garratt, who finished the quest in 1987. His co-author Bob Martin climbed every Colorado peak over 10,750 feet, a mark he reached at age 78. So, for those of us who are not so serious about completing lists, I made a list of people I wanted to talk to, and then I asked them one simple question: Why do you do it? Teresa Gergen
Teresa Gergen is listed in this issue of Trail & Timberline for having completed the top 700 and 800 highest peaks in all of Colorado. Not bad. But can she help me understand what inspires her to climb all of those peaks? “People who climb mountains," she says, "are always asked, ‘Why?’ Equally perplexing is the question of what my motivation is for completing a peak list. Easy answers surface first. Peak bagging familiarizes me with the whole state. That's true, but some people prefer to climb lists of peaks that keep them in their own backyard—all the peaks in a county, a national park, or a wilderness area. “Peak bagging allows me to spend my time in the mountains, the place I love most to be. That's true, too, but it would be just as true if I climbed the same mountain over and over instead. Climbing new mountains to complete a list means each time I climb I am presented with an opportunity to puzzle out a route and any surprises I find on it. Still, I suppose a rock climber feels that way about any new route they climb at the local crags. “Completing peaks on a list means some climbing that is wildly technical and some climbing that is technically "mild.” But, on those days, when the climbing is uneventful, that's when I can focus on the mountain instead. But that's not really the answer, either. “I suppose the answer is much simpler. I complete peak lists because it's satisfying to me. I complete peak lists because I can and because, for any number of reasons, there will come a time when I can't. I complete peak lists because, when you find your home, it would be a shame not to just move right in. “And I guess either you understand that, or you don't.” I can relate to that, but I think we’d all like to know more. Jack Dais
Jack Dais has climbed 1312 or so peaks, he estimates. “I’ve been doing it for 26 years. But only 19 years of that has been serious peak bagging.” Only 19 years. Jack is not unlike other folks who have climbed thousands of peaks in their day, in that he is humble about his motivations. “The list itself is a motivating factor. It helps me get out of bed in the morning, so to speak,” he says with a laugh. Along with the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing what he has set out to do, Jack also points to the mental challenges of peak bagging. “It’s intellectually satisfying to do the planning that’s required for all of the trips.” What about climbing things you’ve already climbed? “Repeating a peak would be a little bit of a waste of time. Repeats would use up my time and energy to get towards my goal of getting all the peaks.” I’m beginning to understand. But there’s still something missing. Charlie Winger Charlie Winger, a relative featherweight among the other climbers featured here (having climbed only the 200 highest mountains in Colorado), is of the prag-
matic ilk. “You get a peak and you get one view, then another peak gives you another view. Making your own lists gives you a goal, and a way of looking at what’s around you—a method. It’s like going to school, and then having the goal of going on to another school.” Charlie’s school of thinking, however, does allow for an admission. “It’s an illness. Other people think I’m obsessed with lists. Once I start with a list it’s something I finish—that could be described as an obsession. When it becomes a goal to the exclusion of all other things…well…” Like so many others that climb— whether for a list or not—Charlie emphasizes that climbing creates camaraderie, and that leads to lifelong friends. “Those are the friends that then accompany you as climbing partners on your next 100 peaks.” I understand that. I think we all can. Ken Nolan Ken Nolan moved to Boulder in the summer of 1978. Six years after his arrival, he had finished the traditional fourteeners. It took him eight more years to climb the 584 mountains over 13,000 feet. By 2003,
he had completed the list of all peaks over 12,000 feet. Was he satisfied then? Well, Ken has made more than 3,500 ascents of Colorado peaks over 11,000 feet, first time and repeats combined. “In any given year, I spend about half my time exploring new peaks and half revisiting ‘old friends.’ I've climbed some peaks dozens of times.” Hard man to please, this Ken. Why do you keep going? “Completing a list, just like climbing a single peak, provides a neatly wrapped, definable, achievable physical task. Contrary to many things in this day and age, you know when you're done and you know whether you did well.” What keeps you searching for more? “I've always been attracted to tangible goals, although I learned long ago that completing a goal, while providing closure, does not leave me satiated. I'm hungrier than ever…Once you get beyond the peaks with guidebook descriptions and off the trails, the route-finding and technical solutions are all up to you. I look forward to the surprises that appear when least expected.” I think I know what you mean. But,
don’t you think you’ve taken it too far? Where does it end? “Obsession? Filthy, disgusting habit? Maybe. At this point, it's simply ‘what I do.’ The lifestyle seems very comfortable and natural for me. Am I stuck in a rut? Or am I the luckiest guy in the world to have hit on something that has proven so enduringly satisfying?” Do you do this for pride, for status, for records? “Ego? That's obviously a factor, but the number of people who are impressed or even care is so small that recognition is rather elusive. If that were a major element, I suspect life would be frustrating. I'd probably find some more popular endeavor in which to excel.” So, you’re telling me that you do it for yourself? “If the elevation lists did not exist, I would come up with other tangible goals to work on. It's all just a game and an excuse to keep getting out and hobnobbing with the mountain gods.” Ah, yes. Now I understand.
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Figure 1. Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pikeâ€™s map from 1810, officially titled "Chart of the Internal Part of Louisiana," which shows Highest Peak (Pikes Peak). Source: David Rumsey Historical Map Collection and Cartography Associates
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By Wesley A. Brown
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n late 1806, Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike and 20 men traveled across the plains in a daring attempt to find the headwaters of the Arkansas River and, thereby, determine a western boundary of the recently expanded territory of the United States. Only three years earlier, the nation had purchased the enormous Louisiana Territory from France, adding 885,000 square miles to the young nation. Prior to the start of this expedition, no section of the mountains rising starkly above the eastern plains of the region that is now Colorado had ever appeared on a map that still exists. Pike’s bold expedition, with men unprepared to spend a winter in Colorado’s mountains, brought several of them close to death. It also proved a diplomatic embarrassment when Pike was later captured by the Mexicans while trespassing on Spanish territory. However, Pike’s journey would add significantly to the knowledge of the Southwest by putting what is today’s eastern Colorado on the map for the first time. Aiming for the highest point on the western horizon, the group left the stockade near present-day Pueblo at 1 p.m. on November 24, 1806, Pike had estimated they would arrive at the summit the following afternoon. Expecting to return to camp the next evening, they left their blankets behind. After having hiked for three days, Pike wrote on the morning of November 27: “Arose hungry, dry, and extremely sore, from the
Figure 2. A portion of map created in 1823 by Major Stephen Long. Note the name James Peak for Pikes Peak. Source: Wesley A. Brown 24
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Arose hungry, dry, and from the inequality of which we had lain all no human being could ascended to its pinnacle. inequality of the rocks, on which we had lain all night.”1 Later that day they found themselves waist-deep in snow, with temperatures dropping to 4 degrees below zero. Still 15 miles from the summit, Pike decided to turn back, speculating that “no human being could have ascended to its pinnacle.”2 He explained his decision on “the condition of my soldiers who had only light [cotton] overalls on, [moccasins] and no stockings, and [were] every way ill provided to endure the inclemency of the region.”3 So ended the first recorded attempt to climb one of Colorado’s famed “fourteeners.” Pike’s map (see Figure 1) is the first to illustrate the grand mountain designated “Highest Peak.” This map accompanied the expedition’s official report published in 1810. Twelve years later, in 1819, Dr. John Robinson named the peak after Lieutenant Pike. Robinson, a member of Pike’s expedition, and one of Pike’s three companions to attempt the climb, considered Pike a friend and sought to honor him after he had died in the War of 1812. The label on the map stated “Pikes Mountain 10,851 feet above its Base.” Dr. Robinson and Pike had estimated the mountain’s altitude. Much to the relief of modern hikers, Pikes Peak only rises approximately 8,100 feet above its base at Colorado Springs. Robinson’s giant map of the West, today a valuable rarity, had modest circulation after publication in 1819, and its influence at the time was limited. The next expedition to the region was that of Major Stephen H. Long, who was conducting a “scientific expedition” for the War Department’s new Topographical Bureau. Exploring the South Platte River upstream, Long’s men “were cheered by a dis-
tant view of the Rocky Mountains” on June 30, 1820. “For some time we were unable to decide whether what we saw were mountains, or banks of cumulous clouds skirting the horizon.”4 They soon spied a high peak, which they did not climb, but which was ultimately named Longs Peak for the Major [As with Pikes Peak, there is officially no apostrophe in the name, although a number of Colorado residents continue to object to this ruling by the Board on Geographic Names.]. Long’s men trekked south along the South Platte River and Plum Creek. They crossed the Monument Divide, getting closer to the “Highest Peak” that Pike had described 14 years earlier. They established a camp in the area that became Colorado Springs. From this vantage point they carefully measured the peak’s altitude, determining it to be 11,500 feet above sea level. Dr. Edwin James (who served as the expedition’s botanist) and two companions departed to assault the peak. Leaving their horses at the boiling springs near present-day Manitou Springs, they soon encountered “loose and crumbled granite, rolling from under our feet, rendering the ascent extremely difficult. We began to credit the assertions of the guide, who had conducted us to the foot of the Peak; and left us with the assurance, that the whole of the mountain to its summit, was covered with loose sand and gravel, so that though many attempts had been made by the Indians and by hunters to ascend it, none had ever been successful.”5 Nevertheless, at 4 p.m. the following day, the weary party arrived at the summit. After an hour, they descended, eventually reaching timberline. “It has now become so dark, as to render an at-
extremely sore, the rocks, on night ... have
The leader of the expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase, and to attempt to find the headwaters of the Arkansas River, was Lieutenant Zebulon Montgomery Pike. Source: AAC Library Trail & Timberline
tempt to proceed extremely hazardous, and as the only alternative, we kindled a fire, and laid ourselves down on the first spot of level ground we could find. We had neither provisions nor blankets; and our clothing was by no means suitable for passing the night in so bleak and inhospitable a station…. By the aid of a good fire, and no ordinary degree of fatigue, we found ourselves able to sleep during a greater part of the night.”6 When Long produced his map three years after the expedition, he named the peak, which Zeb Pike had first observed, James Peak, for his friend who had first climbed it (see Figure 2). In Long’s words, “Dr. James having accomplished this difficult and hazardous task, I have thought proper to call the Peak after his name, as a compliment, to which his zeal and perseverance … give him the fairest claim.”7 But Long’s attempt to credit James by naming the peak in his honor did not last. Pike’s name was once again associated with the peak on the map produced in 1836 by Lieutenant Enoch Steen (see Figure 3). This map chronicles the 1835 expedition of Colonel Henry Dodge, who led a company of U.S. Army dragoons across the western plains to the Front Range of today’s Colorado. The mountain men, some of whom Dodge employed as guides, had continued to refer to the peak in Pike’s honor, ignoring Long’s suggestion of James Peak. From this point onward, most maps would identify the grand mountain above Colorado Springs as Pikes Peak. Stephen Long’s name would later be associated with his own “Highest Peak,” first depicted on his map (see Figure 2). In 1866, the name of James Peak was assigned to the prominent thirteener across from Winter Park Ski Area. Pikes Peak would gain national recognition when the gold rush came to the Front Range of Colorado. The area that was to become Denver had no permanent inhabitants in the spring of 1858. By the close of 1859, however, about 100,000 people had come to the region in search of riches. Although most eventually returned to their eastern homes, thousands remained to build the city of Denver. Miners found “ripe diggings” at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, but prospectors at the eastern foot of Pikes Peak came up empty handed. Even so, the gold rush was named for Pikes Peak, at that time the most famous landmark in the area. A rare map published by the Toledo, Wabash & Great Western Rail Road in 1859 advertised “The Direct Route 26
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to Pikes Peak and the Gold Regions.” Of all the rugged characters who figured in the early climbs of Pikes Peak, there is one slender young woman who may have outclimbed them all. While modern climbers feel accomplished when they reach the summit of Pikes Peak from Manitou Springs, Julia Archibald Holmes climbed the peak hiking from over 500 miles away in eastern Kansas. Hearing that gold might exist along the Front Range, John Holmes and his bride, Julia, were among the earliest travelers to the rough prairie reaches of what was then western Kansas. Julia Archibald Holmes, a 20-year-old adventurer and ardent member of the women’s suffrage movement, was one of the first non-Hispanic white women to enter what would become Colorado. In her journal, Julia described their departure for the peak on August 1, 1858. “After an early breakfast this morning, my husband and I adjusted our packs to our backs and started for the ascent of Pike’s Peak. My own pack weighed 17 pounds; nine of which was bread, the remainder a quilt and clothing.”8 Beginning on the east side of what is today Colorado Springs, they planned on six
Figure 3. A portion of map created in 1836 by Lieutenant Enoch Steen to show the expedition of Colonel Henry Dodge naming Pikes Peak. Source: Wesley A. Brown
days to climb the peak. For an intellectual companion, Julia carried a favorite volume authored by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Arriving at the summit on August 5, Holmes read some favorite passages by Emerson and finished a letter to her mother:
I have accomplished the task which I have marked out for myself, and now I feel amply repaid for all my toil and fatigue. Nearly every one tried to discourage me from attempting it, but I believed that I should succeed; and now, here I am, and I feel that I would not have missed this glorious sight for anything at all. In all probability I am the first woman who has ever stood upon the summit of this mountain and gazed upon this wondrous scene, which my eyes now behold. How I sigh for the poet’s power of description, so that I might give you some faint idea of the grandeur and beauty of this scene. Extending as far as the eye can reach, lie the great level plains, stretching out in all their verdure and beauty, while the winding of the great Arkansas is visible for many miles…. Then the rugged rocks all around, and the almost endless succession of mountains and rocks below, the broad blue sky over our heads, and seemingly so very near; all, and everything, on which the eye can rest, fills the mind with infinitude, and sends the soul to God.9 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Major Z. M. Pike, An Account Of Expeditions To The Sources of the Mississippi, and Through the Western Parts of Louisiana… (Philadelphia: C. & A. Conrad, & Co., 1810), p. 168. Ibid., p. 169. Ibid. Edwin James, Account of an Expedition from Pittsburg to the Rocky Mountains …. Under the Command of Major Stephen H. Long. 2 vols. (Philadelphia: H. C. Carey and I. Lea, 1823), Vol. I, p. 489. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 25. Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 32 -33. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 45. Agnes Wright Spring, editor, A Bloomer Girl on Pike’s Peak, 1858: Julia Archibald Holmes, First White Woman to Climb Pike’s Peak. (Denver: Denver Public Library, 1949), pp. 30-31. Ibid., p. 39.
Wes Brown is a prominent map collector and scholar. A selection of his maps will be on display in an exhibit at the American Mountaineering Museum opening in January.
O n High C ar tog rap hy of Topog raphy
January 23 - May 31, 2008
Maps from the 15th through 20th centuries, including maps from Lewis & Clark, Pike, Ruysch, and others
www.bwamm.org At the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum Trail & Timberline
really have to end? Cross-country skiing to Colorado's hidden backcountry huts
By Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan
hen you’re a newly minted Coloradan, there’s nothing so exhilarating as your first Rocky Mountain winter. Back in the Midwest, the bitterly cold, gray-skied stretch between November and March is just something to be gotten through. But in Colorado, to your great surprise, people are actually excited about winter, for one simple reason: the snow. It took me most of my first winter to un28
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derstand, I admit. But last year, as I followed a set of parallel ski tracks through a pine-fir maze in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, I got it. My friends back home were shopping for bikinis and praying for warm weather—but I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend a spring afternoon than bundled against the chill at 10,000 feet, gripping my poles and wishing for another few months of winter. Time was running out—but I had managed to squeeze my first hut trip in before
the big melt hit the mountains. It was my friend Patrick’s 30th birthday, after all, and what better celebration spot could there be than the Brainard Lake Cabin? In the parking lot I quickly shoved my sleeping bag, dinner ingredients, and some surprise birthday brownies into my daypack, pulled my hat over my ears, and set off via the quickest route. I’d skied the CMC South Trail a halfdozen times that year: a gentle 2.6-mile roll-
Pathfinder er coaster of a path that follows the snowedover summer road up a slight grade before diving into the woods. The late-season flakes were stickier than normal, but luckily my waxless skis had little trouble swishing along the double tracks left behind by another winter lover—maybe my friend Jenn, a new Nordic fan who had just splurged on a sweet set of backcountry metal-edgers. I settled into an easy rhythm, connecting the blue-blazed trees as I skirted whitewashed meadows and glimpsed the jagged Indian Peaks rising ahead. The rest of my group was probably already kicking back around the fireplace, wine glasses in hand. But I was more than happy to be alone for a few more moments in the utterly silent forest. Earlier this winter, I had skied this trail in the biting wind, cinching my hood tightly around my face and swinging my arms to force blood back into my numb fingers; I had skied it in a flurry of snowflakes, squinting to find the tracks in a suddenly monochromatic landscape. But today, all was perfect and still. Finally, the trail reached the edge of the woods and led me across a wide, open valley. Frozen Brainard Lake was just up ahead. I stayed to the left, kick-and-gliding back onto the road, then cut into a small stand of evergreens. A pitched roof peeked through the boughs: the cabin. I stepped out of my skis and plunged them into the deep drifts outside the door, then clip-clopped into a toasty, cozy refuge. Half of my group was already there, lounging on the couch and armchairs wearing fleeces and fuzzy slippers. Another very friendly family gathered around a big wooden table across from the kitchen—the Brainard Cabin cheerfully hosts multiple groups at once—where they were cooking an entire Thanksgiving-style spread on the wood stove. The birthday boy and a few more
◉ friends arrived soon after, shaking the snow from their pants and draping mittens over the fire to dry. Soon after, Patrick and I got to work in the kitchen, chopping onions and stirring hominy into a big pot for the night’s meal of southwestern chicken wraps. They weren’t quite oven-baked turkey and stuffing, but after a long day of skiing (and with a generous glass of pinot noir), they hit the spot. Add brownies with birthday candles and a swig or two from Patrick’s flask of schnapps, and it was a thoroughly satisfying
◉ long underwear bottoms, zip up our soft shells, and strike out to Long Lake. I would challenge myself with the steepest slopes I’d ever tried, herringboning up and snowplowing down through thick pillows of powder, cheeks flushed with exhilaration. But that was tomorrow. Tonight, the crackling fire was oh-so-soothing and my belly was pleasantly full. My sleeping bag was waiting for me up in the loft, and I knew I’d have time for just one thought before drifting off: Does winter really have to end? Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan is Assistant Editor at Backpacker Magazine.
O UT YO U GO Brainard Lake Cabin
Trailhead Red Rock Lake Trailhead, Brainard Lake Recreation Area (25 miles west of Boulder) Amenities Sleeping pads, wood stove for heat/cooking, fireplace, kitchenware, outhouse, lights Cost $12/person/night Capacity 12 (more can be squeezed in upon request) Elevation 10,400 feet Reservations Email cabins@ cmcboulder.org; at least one group member must undergo training in dayhosting and cabin maintenance More info cmcboulder.org/ cabins.html ©iStockphoto.com/David Parsons
evening. The blazing fire began to quiet as I sank into a chair and kicked my feet up, heavylidded eyes fighting to stay open as the conversation hummed around me. But it was no use: I was wiped out. Tomorrow we would rise early and venture out to fill our buckets with spring water for coffee, then feast on spicy breakfast burritos. We’d pull on our
Skiing above timberline in the Pearl Basin, in the Elk Mountains between the towns of Crested Butte and Aspen.
▶▶▶ Continued on page 30 ▶▶▶
Trail & Timberline
A day of quad-burning Nordic skiing through Colorado’s snowy scenery, followed by a night kicking back in front of a fire in a backcountry haven? We can’t resist, either. Here are a few of the state’s best hut-trip options for every ability level. By Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan
Grass Creek Yurt The southernmost yurt in the Never Summer Nordic system, this cozy 16-foot shelter lies just .7 mile from the trailhead— making it ideal for families and first-time skiers. The flat trail follows Grass Creek along the edge of a forest (with little avalanche danger) and delivers skiers to the well-stocked yurt. From there, novices can explore the area’s meadows or take an easy tour through the valley on the north side of the creek, back toward the road. For a challenge, ski the old logging roads up to Gould Mountain, where intermediate-level telemark terrain awaits. Tip: Pack an extrawarm sleeping bag—yurts tend to get a bit chillier than huts do.
Hinsdale Haute Route huts A string of high-elevation ski shelters smack in the middle of the stunning San Juan Mountains—which also happen to be in one of the least-populated counties in America? For epic Colorado alpine views and solitude, it doesn’t get any better than this. This system of three yurts—Jon Wilson Memorial, Rambouillet (pronounced “ram-bo-lay”), and Colorado Trail Friends—lie along a 10,000-foot-plus, gently undulating ridge that follows the old La Garita stock trail. There’s little elevation gained or lost along the trails, making the trip suitable for strong beginners and intermediate-level skiers—but be prepared for exposure and harsh weather along with the wide-open views. Route-finding skills are essential in case of bad weather.
Friends Hut High in the Elk Mountains, this log-cabinstyle hut serves as the ideal link between the ski-crazy towns of Crested Butte and Aspen—but you’ll have to earn it. Located in a stunning spot beneath Star Peak, Crystal Peak, and Pearl Pass, getting to the hut from Crested Butte requires a strenuous 11-mile approach along Brush Creek. Get there and you’ll be surrounded by alpine bowls, remote woods, and miles of touring terrain. However, this trip is for experienced skiers only—avalanches are a very real danger all along the route, and breaking trail to the hut requires stamina, route-finding skills, and self-sufficiency.
OUT YOU GO
Trailhead North Fork Michigan Trailhead, Colorado State Forest (75 miles west of Fort Collins) Amenities Beds for five, two mattresses for the floor, woodstove, propane cook stove, kitchenware, outhouse Cost $90/night on weekdays; $110/night on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. State Parks pass required for parking.
OUT YOU GO
Trailhead Sawmill Park Road Trailhead, Rio Grande National Forest (15 miles southeast of Lake City) Amenities Cots and bunks, woodstove, propane cookstove, lights, out-yurts Cost $100/night for the first two nights; $75 each additional night
Capacity 8 each
Elevation 9,040 feet
Elevation 10,450 feet ( Jon Wilson Memorial); 11,680 feet (Rambouillet); 11,800 feet (Colorado Trail Friends Memorial)
Reservations Book up to a year in advance by calling 970-723-4070. More info neversummernordic.com
Reservations Call 970-944-2269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org More info hinsdalehauteroute.org
Trail & Timberline
OUT YOU GO
Trailhead East River Trailhead, White River National Forest (About 5 miles southeast of Crested Butte) Amenities Loft, beds, woodstove, propane cookstove, lights, kitchenware Cost $25/person/night ($18.75/person/ night if booking the whole cabin) Capacity 8 Elevation 11,370 feet Reservations Hut is booked through the Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association. Call 970-925-5775; Tenth Mountain Division members can also apply for the hut through the early lottery system starting on May 1. More info huts.org
High & Dry?
Climate change and the future of winter recreation by
hat does climate change mean for the future of winter recreation in Colorado? What will happen to our world-class snow and our verdant forests? It would be difficult to conclusively prove that the future will be grim. A look at some recent studies, though, indicate that the future could prove to be dramatically different. Most of the analysis on the topic of climate change and winter sport has been focused, thus far, on alpine skiing. Still, those studies, combined with what we know about changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, paint a broadbrush picture of how backcountry snowand ice-sports could be impacted. Recently, the Colorado Water Conservation Board (www.cwcb.state.co.us) published Climate Change in Colorado, an assessment of western water. In it, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Colorado, and Colorado State University combined observed-trends, modeling, and projections of temperature, precipitation, snowmelt, and runoff. Their findings, based
upon modeling techniques, tell us plenty about what can be expected in the future. First, it is projected that Colorado will warm by about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit (all temperatures listed are in Fahrenheit) by 2025, and 4 degrees by 2050, compared to baselines seen between 1950 and 1999. Winter projections include fewer extreme cold months, more extreme warm months, and more consecutive warm winters. No consistent long-term trends in annual precipitation have been detected in Colorado, and the models do not agree as
Since 1978, the onset of spring runoff has shifted earlier by two weeks in Colorado. The report concludes that the runoff will come even earlier in the future. Broader evidence of a changing climate comes from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO), which has published three reports on the subject. Their findings only reinforce what was seen in the report for Colorado. The Southwest has warmed more than any other part of the U.S. outside of Alaska. For the last five years, the global climate has averaged 1 degree warmer than its 20th century average. RMCO found that during those five years, the Colorado Dr. Jonathan Overpeck, University of Arizona, as quoted in The Denver Post, 2006 River basin averaged 2.2 degrees warmer than the to whether average mean precipitation will region’s 20th century average—more than increase or decrease by 2050. But around double the global rise. the West, widespread increases in the pro- The Colorado River is the major source portion of precipitation falling as rain rather of water for the driest part of the country. than snow, and reductions in snowpack due Upwards of 30 million Americans across to warmer winters, have been observed. The seven states now depend on it for agriculturmodels anticipate further declines, especially al, municipal, industrial, and hydroelectric below 8,200 feet. Much less drastic declines needs—and the basin is among the fastest are projected for Colorado’s high country, growing areas in the country. but are still in the range of a 10- to 20-per- The changes we’ve seen in the climate cent reduction by 2050. have contributed to reductions in what mat-
“The West is warming dramatically. Things are just going to get hotter. You can bet the farm on it.” [ ]
Trail & Timberline
Colorado River Basin Temperature Change 1908-2007 5-Year Average Temperatures Compared to 20th Century Average
The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization’s 2008 report, Hotter and Drier: The West’s Changed Climate, documents how climate change is already affecting the West, which has warmed more than most of the world. The greatest warming in the United States other than Alaska has been centered in the Colorado River basin. 2° F
The Colorado River Basin: 2.2°F Warmer in 2003-2007
1° F 0° F –1° F
Average temperatures for five-year periods – beginning with 1908-12 and through 2003-2007 – compared to the basin’s average 20th-century temperature. Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Analysis by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. to refill them to capacity. Other reports of the RMCO have looked at climate change and its effects on wildfires in the West. Compared to the previous 17 years, the fire season of the last 17 years has increased by 78 days. Furthermore, the number of fires has increased fourfold, and nearly seven times as many acres have burned. While it is acknowledged that past
fire-suppression policies have been a factor, the overriding cause is the drying of fuels resulting from a 1.5-degree increase in average temperatures. Finally, according to another of the RMCO's reports, the Colorado State Forester blames an “unprecedented combination of drought and warm winters” for the infestation of 1.5 million acres of Colorado Chris Case
ters most in the basin: the volume of water in the Colorado River. Between 2000 and 2004, the river measured below-average flow for five straight years, a first since the start of modern records. The Colorado River’s two main reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, are now only 45 and 50 percent full, respectively. It could take 15 to 20 consecutive years of what used to be normal inflow
Trail & Timberline
lodgepole pine forests by mountain pine beetles. Foresters project that nearly all mature lodgepoles will be gone within five years. Severe beetle outbreaks in spruce and piñon-juniper forests have also been documented, and new studies blame drought and heat as the cause of sudden declines in aspen stands in western Colorado. So, what does this all mean for the future of winter recreation in
“We’ve known for decades that the hydrology of the West is changing, but for much of that time people said it was because of Mother Nature and that she would return to the old patterns in the future. But we have found very clearly that global warming has done it, that it is the mechanism that explains the change and that things will be getting worse.”
Tim Barnett, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, as quoted in The Washington Post, 2008
Colorado? What might this mean for you? Implications for winter sports fall into two categories. First, the combination of less snow, shorter winters, and rising snowlines could lead to concentration of use and the potential for crowding in areas— simply put, more people in less space. Despite this, even in an altered climate Colorado would still have some of the best snow conditions in the world due to its high elevation. It is not difficult to imagine snowstarved people flocking to Colorado, increasing crowding problems. Secondly, backcountry skiers, snowshoers, and climbers would witness a dramatically changed forest landscape, a result of the projected increases in the number and intensity of wildfires and beetle infestations. Trails and routes obliterated by catastrophic wildfires and deadfall from beetle-killed trees could also be expected. Recreation budgets for federal agencies are increasingly being diverted to expanding fire-fighting costs and trail clean-up and maintenance projects have a difficult time competing for limited funds. In addition, standing dead trees have already led to fatalities, and the precedent of campground closures due to safety concerns should make recreationists wonder about the likelihood of closed trails or backcountry areas for the same reasons. Only time will tell what the future holds, but the evidence is compelling: recreationists in Colorado can expect dramatic changes. To learn how to reduce your contributions to climate change and more, visit www.rockymountainclimate.org. Tom Easley is the Director of Programs at the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.
Some of the BEST kind of fun happens in winter!
GET OUT! ENJOY LIFE! WE HAVE THE GEAR!
1200 N. College Ave • Fort Collins, CO • (970) 221-0544 • www.jaxmercantile.com
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Spurred on by the Gore Range by alyson sothoron
Trail & Timberline
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
▶ Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow. ▶ Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams. ▶ Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary. In popular areas ▽ ◉ Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites. ◉ Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy. ◉ Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent. In pristine areas ▽ ◉ Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails. ◉ Avoid places where impacts are just beginning. Be Considerate of Other Visitors ▶ Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. ▶ Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail. ▶ Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock. ▶ Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors. ▶ Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
hick clouds had been building since we broke camp. Much of the trail along South Willow Creek was downhill but our pace was slow. Perhaps it was the heavy packs, or our bad start. For at least 15 minutes we had traveled on the wrong trail and spent another 15 minutes discussing which way to go. The simple map I held in my dirtstained hands was only a printout from a website, and it was difficult to confirm which tiny dotted line marked our route. By now, the temperature had dropped 20 degrees and cool, wet sprinkles dotted our faces. Two fitful nights of sleep, miles of hiking and, now, our uncertainty as to which trail would bring us from these woods explained our current level of impatience. “Perhaps we shouldn’t have taken so many pictures,” said Thomas in his thick, Swiss accent. Thomas was on holiday from studying English in Denver, and this was his first backcountry excursion in the States.
principles of LEAVE NO TRACE
Tired from an early start, a long drive and a day’s hike, we finished our evening with steaming-hot beans and rice, good con▶ Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit. versation and, finally, the night sounds of ▶ Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies. mountain wildness singing us to sleep. ▶ Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use. ▶ Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups. Dawn greeted us with ridges dipped in golden sun, contrasted by deep shadows ▶ Repackage food to minimize waste. of night’s remaining darkness. Dewy grass ▶ Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging. smothered my boots. A pika squeaked from somewhere in the moraine. As I’ve “…Or explored the talus field near the tional Forest. Gore Creek Trail, a relatively done so many times before, I set out to capcampsite,” Amy added. It was obvious that easy hike among aspen groves and meadows, ture the morning’s beauty on film. she was a bit unsettled by our dilemma. sees quite a bit of traffic. Many folks opt for Thomas and Amy had nearly finished I had spent a good portion of the morn- the extended day hikes amid the tentacles of packing up camp when I returned from my ing on a car-sized boulder warming in the trails streaming throughout the range. The musings. Cold oatmeal graciously awaitbright sunshine, listening to the gurgle and Gore Lake Trail seemed far less traveled. ed me. Within hours of breakfast, we had babble of snowmelt feeding into a stream. Amy was exploring the smattering of quickly rejoined the fork of the Gore Creek Time passed as I watched spiders crawl tarns and small waterfalls when I finally made Trail. It was Saturday and many hikers greetaround tiny water puddles gathered in the it to the lake. A riot of purple and yellow ed us along the way. We were engulfed up to boulder’s nooks and crannies. wildflowers speckled the rocky meadow. Talus our waists in a meadow of lush plants and My companions and I had embarked fields surrounded much of the lake. “Maybe wildflowers. I’d never seen two days ago at 8,680 Colorado so fertile. After a feet from the Gore Leave What You Find challenging huff up numerCreek trailhead in ous switchbacks, Red Buf▶ Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures East Vail. Gore Lake, falo Pass rewarded us with a and artifacts. our first day’s destipriceless vista of mountain ▶ Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them. nation, rested high peaks, sunny skies, and hues ▶ Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species. above at 11,400 feet. of brown, gold and green cas▶ Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches. We’d hiked about cading west into Gore Creek’s five miles when I novalley. We rested at the saddle, ticed how out of shape I was compared to we shouldn’t have started so late,” I said. soaking up as much of the view as possible. my traveling companions. Amy, a triathlete- Thomas pointed to a camp spot, “It is We happily huddled together for a nap bein-training, forged ahead. Thomas was long no problem. This is a good spot, don’t you fore descending to the east. gone. Humbly, I trailed behind. Decked think?” Our final campsite nestled itself along in denim shorts and a sleeveless cotton T- Admittedly, Amy and I had our opinSouth Willow Creek at the base of Buffalo shirt, Thomas did not look as if he should be ions on what a “good” campsite was. “Let’s Mountain. On both sides of the valley walls, climbing anything alpine. Yet, he vigorously see if there is another, more level site with no single patches of evergreens had seemingly tackled the rock steps and elevation gain need to move rocks,” I suggested. defied the fury of tumbling rocks and bouland left us Coloradoans to bring up the rear. As we set up camp, the surrounding ders strewn around them. At first I hadn’t I stopped for a drink of water and a short peaks mirrored their grandeur in the glistenwanted to leave, but now the chilly rain and break of sweet dates and almonds. Maybe I’d ing water below. What might have been a tiny hail marketed well the comfort of dry, luck out and Thomas would already be set- mule deer skipped off into the cluster of evting up camp when I got there. A girl could ergreens east of our site. Evidence of others conditioned spaces. Civilization no longer wish, right? before us started to appear. There were well- seemed so bad. In a tumultuous down Each mini-meadow and plateau teased me trodden human paths meandering along the pour, it was pointless to avoid puddles and with a false finish. “Next hump!” Amy smiled lower end of the lake and the glint of vari- streams flowing along the trail. Our boots, as she sympathetically waited for me. Pictur- ous bits of trash caught my eye. Gore Lake fully saturated now, splashed thickly in the esque meadows continued to open up to more clearly was visited often, and so I scoured the muddy water. We ran. Both heart warming curving trail. Soon, the beautiful contours of site for those human marks I could remove. and heart breaking, the trail opened up onto Ryan Gulch Road. the Gore Range peaks We dashed across revealed themselves, Dispose of Waste Properly the road, hurled displaying tooth-like our dripping ▶ Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. ridges. I marched on, packs and bodies Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter. spurred by this visual into the car and ▶ Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug six to eight inches deep at least 200 feet encouragement. breathed a collecfrom water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished. “The Gore” sits tive sigh of wet, ▶ Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. above Vail in the sopping relief. ▶ To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and Eagle’s Nest WilderWe’d made it and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater. ness Area within the had experienced White River NaPlan Ahead and Prepare
Trail & Timberline
Brockwehl shares math and science through love of climbing the contrasting beauty of natureâ€”extreme comfort and peacefulness with extreme discomfort and confusion. Like most wilderness experiences, it was a good trip. Alyson Sothoron is a freelance writer, researcher and group facilitator who can be reached at email@example.com.
Respect Wildlife nearly a decade. A last minute call to fill-in for a belayer who show upaatdistance. the climbing wallfollow isnâ€™t aor problem. Reviewâ–ś Observedidnâ€™t wildlife from Do not approach them. ing (or teaching) middle schoolers (as well as the other staff)natural â–ś Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters trigonometry its relationship to physics and climbbehaviors, basic and exposes themand to predators and other dangers. ing anchors is taken in stride year after â–ś Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. year.at Heallquietly request for â–ś Control pets times,absorbed or leave athem at home. a new experiment display and then â–ś Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
returned a week later with beautifully constructed experiment anchor boards edged with retired climbing rope. Minimize Campfire Impacts Although Brockwehl is not an early â–ś Campfires can during cause lasting impactshetocan thebe backcountry. Useupa lightweight stove riser, the summer found setting top for cookingropes and enjoy a candle lantern light. at local crags for youthfor rock climbing courses. Since â–ś Where fires areBob permitted, use established fireone rings, fire pans, or mound fires. 2003 has committed more than hundred hours â–ś Keep fireseach small. Only use sticks from ground that to canchallenge be broken by hand. summer coaching and the inspiring youth â–ś Burn all wood and coals tohas ash,brought put outacampfires then scatter themselves. â€œBob wealth of completely, knowledge, pasBy Brenda Porter cool ashes. sion, and history to YEP! His dedication and assistance with Nine years ago Bob Brockwehl never imagined he would the YEP! rock climbing camps has been instrumental in the spend his days teaching youth about math and science growth and success of the program,â€? says Krista Javoronok, through his love of rock climbing. A retired teacher, inThis 1999 Youth Education Manager. copyrighted informationField has been reprinted with permission from the Leave No Giant smiles and enthusiastic nods from youth are the Brockwehl simply returned a phone call and thus became Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org best â€œThank Yousâ€? Brockwehl can receive, But his willingthe CMCâ€™s new Youth Education Programâ€™s first volunteer instructor. ness to lend a hand both behind the scenes and directly with Everyone needs a helping hand occasionally, and the youth cannot be overstated. Both staff and students take our Youth Education Program (YEP!) is certainly no exception. hats off to Bob Brockwehl for being the Youth Education YEP! relies on volunteers and a very few part-time staff to Programâ€™s longest team member. provide low cost academic and leadership classes to thouTo find out more about the CMCâ€™s Youth Education sands of young people each year. Program or to volunteer, visit www.cmc.org/yep or contact Stacy Wolff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Brockwehl lends a helping hand like no other. His dedication to youth in the Colorado Mountain Club has spanned
leave no trace
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