The Front Room of the Clubroom Project

March 19, 2016 by

The Front Room at the Boulder Clubroom is in sad need of some cheery care; looking at this photograph, would you not agree?


The Front Room of the Clubroom needs help!

There may a donated rug there in the near future, but in the meantime, if you have any ideas on how to make this space more inviting, please do contact me.

We have a limited budget to add some other items, but the main input should be the creativity and energy of CMC members.

There are a number of framed pictures that could be hung, but having someone with a sense of decor advise and coordinate the effort would be very welcome.

If you have any time to put into this effort, please let me know! You can email me at

— Rick Casey, chair Boulder CMC group

CMC Boulder 2015 Grant to Wildlands Restoration Volunteers

March 9, 2016 by

The CMC Boulder’s 2015 grant to the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (WRV) went toward helping repair the Brainard-Mitchell Trail Connector.

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Key information from the WRV Grant Report:

With help from the Boulder group, the WRV was able to continue the next phase of new trail construction at Brainard Lake. The organization coordinated two weekend and one single-day volunteer events, two youth projects, a sawyer project, a carpentry project, two skills trainings, and two extra full-day projects to complete the trail connection between Brainard Lake and the Mitchell trailhead.

With the support from the CMC, the WRV logged 1,989 volunteer hours for the project (valued at $45,886). The grant even made it possible for WRV to engage youth groups like the Knights of Heroes, a group for girls who have lost a parent in the military that logged 248 hours of service and learned environmental education during the process.

The volunteers built over 2,375 ft. of new trail, retrofitted/enhanced more than 2,360 ft. of existing trail, constructed 80 ft. of boardwalk in seasonally wet areas, built three bog-bridge culverts where the trail crosses drainage ditches, replaced 400 ft. of social trail with singular designated trail, and cleared the trail corridor by removing hazardous trees.

The new connector trail is located next to the CMC Brainard Cabin and better connects the cabin to the parking area and Mitchell trailhead. It helps safety issues on the roadway and provides better access to the wilderness.

“We are very grateful for the support and partnership of CMC Boulder to help the Brainard-Mitchell Trail Connector in 2015,” said Sarah Egolf, the WRV development director. “Your financial contribution was leveraged extensively with large federal and state grants that require a match contribution from locals.”




Clubroom update, March 2016

February 29, 2016 by

As the Council chair, I felt it was my responsibility to let our members know what’s happening with the Clubroom situation, and how well it is going, and where we still need help.

Since last month, we have added an electric line (of sorts) which gets power to the west side of the main room without running an extension cord across the floor. So now we can power the stereo and digital projector more easily. This was thanks to Joel McGuire and Gretchen Gaugler. They also installed some climbing anchors on the walls for use during the spring climbing classes. They make for an interesting wall decoration otherwise…

The illuminated sign was moved from its old location to the new one last week; however, the illumination is still not working, which is being addressed. But at least the new sign is in place!


The front room is still pretty cheerless, though, and the rug fragments that were salvaged from the old clubroom are not exactly enhancing the decor. There is one sofa there, but if anyone has any old rugs or stuffed armchairs that they would like to donate for the cause, these would be greatly appreciated. We still need to construct some shelving or a cabinet in the bathroom as well, to put the supplies somewhere.

As far as other details, I have constructed a “List of Clubroom Tasks” in an online document (a google sheet) so that this can be easily referred to. This can also be accessed via our website,, and then clicking on the “List of Clubroom Tasks” link in the left panel, or click here.

As you can see there, it’s not a long list, but it is the small things that makes a space more livable. If anyone wants to volunteer, just send email to, and I will put you in touch.

Rick Casey

chair, Boulder CMC Group


Building Schools in Nepal: A CMCer’s Journey to Conquer Peaks and Expand Education

February 6, 2016 by

Valerie Hovland accomplished a feat some mountaineers only dream of: summiting Everest. But after a couple trips to Nepal in the early 2000s, Hovland shifted her focus to a much different dream: building a school in rural Nepal.

Hovland, the director of the Advanced Mountaineering School at the Boulder CMC, first traveled to Nepal in 2003.

“I fell in love with the mountains, and I just kept going back,” she explained.


Hovland stands in front of Ama Dablam in 2004

In 2004, CMC members organized a trip to Ama Dablam (22,349 ft.) in the Himalayas, and Hovland decided to return to Nepal for a second time—a trip that instilled in her both a dream to climb Everest and a desire to help people in rural Nepal.

After the trip, Hovland began fundraising to help children by building a school in Nepal, a country with a 57.4 percent adult literacy rate and 24.8 percent of the population below the international poverty line, according to UNICEF (for reference, the U.S. has around 15.1 percent below the poverty line). With tourism and development focused on bigger cities like Kathmandu (the capital), Nepal education initiatives often fall short in rural communities.

Hovland began her effort to build a school by connecting with Room to Read, an education platform that focuses on literacy and gender quality that has roots in Nepal and works in collaboration with communities and local governments throughout Asia and Africa.

“I clicked with how they did things and started volunteering with them,” Hovland explained. “That’s when I decided to raise money to build a school there.”

Through her slideshows of mountaineering trips, Hovland reached the CMC community and beyond, including friends and family. After summiting Everest in 2008, she made a documentary and presented it throughout 2009, completing her fundraising goal.

Val-Everest-R2R logo

Hovland poses on Mt. Everest with a Room to Read poster

The five-room school was finished in 2010 in the plains of rural southwestern Nepal. Hovland got the chance to visit in 2011, where its 900 students sung and danced for her. Hovland describes it as “one of the most amazing experiences of [her] life.”


Hovland is greeted by students at the school she built in Nepal

R2R dancing

Students dance outside of the school to welcome Hovland


The school is two stories, including a library dotted with vibrant colors where each class comes once or twice a week. It includes literacy programs and color/rating systems to help students progress.

R2R school

Hovland and students celebrate outside of the two-story school building

R2R library 2

Hovland joins students and Room to Read educators in the school’s library

Hovland was inspired by the experience, and decided to start fundraising to build another school. She is currently working toward her goal of $40,000-$45,000.


Back in Boulder, Hovland says her experiences in Nepal have affected her life significantly.

“I think more globally now,” she said. “I have a sweet spot in my life for Nepal, even when I’m on the trails here…I have two small kids now, and I’m excited to take them there someday.”

Hovland has currently raised $24,240 of her goal to build a second school in Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, or Sri Lanka.  To help her reach it, check out her Room to Read fundraising page.

CMC Boulder’s Grant to the Front Range Climbing Stewards Goes to Needed Trail Work

February 3, 2016 by

The Boulder CMC offered a conservation grant in 2015 to the BCC Front Range Climbing Stewards, a full-time team of three trail builders who work with volunteers to fix trails for Boulder climbers.

Climbing is one of the fastest growing sports in the world today, putting huge pressures on the environments that foster the sport. Approaches and descents from crags damage trails, creating the need for single, durable approach trails that everyone can use.

In order to maintain and create trails like these, the Boulder Climbing Community and the Access Fund partnered to launch the Front Range Climbing Stewards in 2014—a mobile crew that builds durable approach trails in loose, delicate terrain.

In 2015, the team performed trail work on the Turkey Rocks and Castleton Tower climber’s approach trails, using the CMC donation to get quality and necessary work done on federal land where climbing access often falls low on land managers’ priorities.

The Turkey Rocks Approach Trail project took place on September 30, and the FRCS improved the approach trail by creating “hardened, durable surfaces for the trail tread and mitigating the erosion that takes places because of the trail’s alignment.” They enhanced the trail with stone structures and off-trail log check dams.

The Castleton Tower Campground/Approach Trail project near Moab took place between October 17 and 27 and focused on providing maintenance on the climber’s access trail, campground, and trailhead—all of which serve as access to multiple crags with over 35 routes, including the famed Kor-Ingalls route that is one of the “50 Classic routes of North America.”

The FRCS raised over $27,800 in 2015 through fundraising. In 2016, they are planning work on the iconic Third Flatiron descent trail, the Plotinus Wall, the Castleton project, access trails at Turkey Rocks and Lumpy Ridge, and the Dark Side boulders near Morrison.

The cost of running the three-person FRCS crew in 2016 will be around $120,000, of which between $70,000 and $100,000 comes from land manager contracts and other for-fee programs and services. The remaining money comes from fundraising, making it a vital part in the group’s success and ability to maintain and repair trails.

“On behalf of all of us at BCC and the Front Range Climbing Stewards, thanks for your support,” said FRCS program director Roger Briggs.


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