Archive for November, 2013

2015 Year of the Mountaineer – RMNP Centennial Celebration

November 9, 2013

We are excited to share with you CMC’s Plans for the 2015 Year of the Mountaineer statewide program. We are looking for experienced, engaged tip leaders to get involved with the Rocky Mountain National Park centennial celebration, beginning September 4, 2014 through September 4, 2015.

If you are interested in learning more click on RMNP Centennial Celebration

CMC members played a significant role in 1915 in the designation of RMNP as a national Park. The Department of Agriculture would not provide a map to Congress of the area to be designated without having named speaks on the map. CMC members drove to the Arapahoe Indian reservation in Wyoming and returned with the initial peaks named by the Arapahoe natives. Because of CMC’s unique involvement 100 years ago, we want to support RMNP’s Centennial!

There will be two separate programs as part of this effort:
1. RMNP Centennial Celebration Activities (Peak Bagging Top 100s in the Park, covering 100 miles of trails, wildflower hikes, etc!)
2. Climbing Six of the Seven Summits: Denali, Mt. Everest, Mt. Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kosciuszko, and Aconcagua.

This information was harvested from a letter sent November 1st, 2013 from the CMC RMNP Centennial Committee. Information included here is subject to change and is being sent merely to get the word out. We hope the Boulder Group Trip Leaders will enjoy being part of this program!

For more information, or questions about the program, please contact Sherry Richardson or Linda Lawson through the state CMC office.

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2013 BRS Wrapup: Another Successful Season! (and some close calls…)

November 5, 2013

by Rick Casey

With the beautiful Indian summer weather in the last week of October, the Boulder Group’s Basic Rock School came to a close. This fall there were 12 students who signed up, and 10 passed. Last spring, there were 31 students, of which 25 who successfully completed the course. Congratulations to the 2013 graduates, who are listed at the end of the article. All the best in your future climbing endeavors!

My Fall BRS group climbed Seal Rock on Sunday, October 27, which included Don Byington and Keir Hart (assistant instructors), and Ulla Westerman and Jonathan Dunder, students. We have lots of pictures!  You can view them here:  Don’s pictures   Rick’s pictures  Jonathan’s pictures

One interesting story that I would like to relate involved a rappeling situation that happened on our descent. This was similar to Eileen Monyak’s story in the September 2013 Compass about a rappel rescue she performed earlier that year in the same location.

In our story, Don Byington, an assistant instructor, was the first to rappel off the 150 foot Seal Rock rappel;  I was in communication with him via radio. Unbeknownst to Don (because it was not visible from the top), the gusty winds that had kicked up had carried one of the rope strands into a tree far off to the left, some 30 to 40 feet to the side, making it impossible to reach the ground. He was unable to free the rope by shaking it, and attempted to hand-over-hand in that direction, using his auto-block to rest, which proved exhausting. After communicating with me on top, we verified that (Thank God!) the knot that tied the two rappel ropes together was situated such that he could transfer to the single strand that was free, and complete the rappel on a single rope. This he accomplished by attaching himself to a temporary anchor with a cam in a crack while he re-rigged his rappel. The rest of the group waited anxiously on top during the slow minutes that passed until Don radioed back: he was on the ground, and had freed the other rope. Hooray!

This illustrated several key factors that all BRS instructors might want to keep in mind: always send an instructor down first on a big rappel, radios really help, and if it is windy, consider “saddle-bagging” the rope strands in butterfly coils on either hip using a sling, which pay out as you rappel down. There is a good description of how to do this in the 2012 Accidents in North American Mountaineering , or in this article on the American Alpine Institute blog.

Climb safe!
–Rick Casey, BRS Director

For 2013 Basic Rock School Instructors and Graduates, click below to read more!
(more…)

Tribute to Stanley Boucher, 1927-2013

November 5, 2013

Picture of Stanley Boucher
Photo and Blog Courtesy: Rick Casey
Obituary Courtesy: Virginia Boucher

Stanley Boucher passed away on September 30, 2013. He was born to a Colorado College physics professor and his wife, Paul and Edythe Boucher, in Colorado Springs on October 19, 1927.

He graduated from Colorado Springs High School and went on to Colorado College in Colorado Springs where he majored in English and history, graduating with honors in 1949. Drafted into the army during the Korean conflict, he worked as a social work technician in an experimental psychiatric unit serving all of the Eighth Army located north of Seoul, Korea. Following discharge, he earned a Master of Social Work degree from the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley, 1957.

His career as a psychiatric social worker covered years with the Mental Health Division of the Colorado Dept. of Public Health, later time with the Colorado Dept. of Institutions, and finally as the Director of Mental Health Continuing Education for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, a 13-state organization based in Boulder.

He maintained a lifelong interest in mountains, especially those in Colorado. He was a life member of both the Colorado Mountain Club and the American Alpine Club. He frequently led hiking, climbing, and cross-country trips for the Boulder Group of the Colorado Mountain Club. He is remembered for giving the annual safety lecture for the mountaineering school and serving a term as President of the Boulder Group. He wrote an unpublished mountaineering book in his twenties, when not many had taken to the mountains or knew what they were doing. He composed poems throughout his life. A compilation of his poems will soon be printed.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Virginia; his son, Eric; his younger brother, Gary, and his older brother Wesley. He was predeceased by his daughter, Julie and her husband, Clive Baillie who died in a mountaineering accident on Mount Toll in 1996.

A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, December 14, 2013, at the Chautauqua Community House at 2pm.

Please mail memorial contributions to the American Alpine Club, 710 10th Street, Suite 100, Golden, CO, 80401, attention Stanley Boucher Memorial Fund. Contributions will support the digitization and online accessibility of Stanley’s unpublished manuscript, The World at Our Feet, via the American Alpine Club Library’s website.