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CMC + NSP Avalanche Course Recap

January 12, 2017

This past weekend, the National Ski Patrol and CMC geared up and headed outside for two full field days to conclude the Level 1 avalanche course.

Day 1: Saturday, January 7. Instructors and students headed to St. Mary’s Glacier for a day of analyzing snowpits, using beacons to locate buried beacons and learning about decision-making in avalanche terrain.

Day 2: Sunday, January 8. A much longer hike into the backcountry along the Second Creek Trail on the north side of Berthoud Pass led instructors and students into a winter wonderland (pictured below).

Students rotated between stations that focused on analyzing snowpits, making good decisions, finding beacons, immediate search training and complex immediate searches. The final exercise (complex immediate searches) acted as real-life scenarios with multiple burials–beacons and wetsuits were buried in the snow and students were instructed to locate them as quickly and efficiently as possible in the midst of chaos.

At the end of the long, snowy day, students were given certificates of completion at the trailhead, while instructors were applauded for their hard work and dedication.


Along the Second Creek Trail on the north side of Berthoud Pass


Instructor Jordan Lipp (left) teaches students how to dig and analyze snowpits to study the many layers


Students got down on their hands and knees when they approached buried beacons, before they started digging to find them


Instructor Cindy Gagnon (right) teaches students how to read the information displayed on their beacons before beginning another beacon-finding exercise


Instructor Lin Ballard points to avalanche terrain, explaining to students how to identify dangerous slopes and estimate safe distances from them


The view from Broome Hut along Second Creek Trail on the north side of Berthoud Pass. Students traveled up to the hut during one of their rotations to study the terrain and (thankfully) warm up for a few minutes.


The weekend concluded with the presentation of certificates to students and applause for the volunteer instructors.

Denver Group is Bringing Climbing Self-Rescue 2 Class to Boulder

January 12, 2017

Jerry Allen and Bill Haneghan of the Denver Group will be teaching this advanced rock climbing self-rescue class in the Boulder clubroom on 3/21 and 3/23 with a field trip on 3/25. They’ll teach skills to help you get out of difficult situations, using only the people in your group and the gear you have with you. The class size is very limited, and we’re especially interested in enrolling Boulder group members who have an interest in teaching this class as one of our offerings in the future. If you fit that description, please contact

Wilderness First Aid Class in the Boulder Clubroom Feb 4-5

January 12, 2017

WFA is a great way to prepare yourself for outings in the backcountry and nearby parks and instill confidence in your first aid skills. This two-day class is being offered at a deeply discounted rate of only $75. WFA is now a requirement for trip leaders including senior class instructors, and they will be given priority to register for the class until Jan 15th with a passcode available from After that it’s open to everyone, space permitting. For more info, visit the state website here.

Spring/Summer 2017 Boulder Mountaineering School Open for Registration

January 12, 2017

This spring, we have a full slate of classes to teach hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and snow travel skills! Our goal is to help you enjoy the mountains with a better focus on safety, preparation and stewardship. For more information and a complete list of classes please see our website here. Registration limited so sign up early. Also, if you’ve taken any of these classes before and would like to volunteer to help teach, please email Hope to see you in school!

CMC Boulder 2015 Grant to Wildlands Restoration Volunteers

March 9, 2016

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.”