Colorado Mountain Club Blog

Another day on the trail

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Six Years in the Making

Me, rappelling into the notch on the east ridge of Mount Bancroft (13,250’) August 30, 2014. Photo courtesy of Jim Berryhill.

“Am I ready? I’m putting in the hours… into planning, into training, into mental preparation. But am I ready?” This is a necessary thought. Certainly, it can be destructive if you let it fester into self-doubt; but without this thought, I would argue that you are lacking a critical reflex of self-assessment. Frankly, it goes […]

On Setbacks

The view from just below Camp Hazard on the rock rib between the Wilson and Kautz Glaciers on Mount Rainier (14,410’). June 18th, 2013.

You may recall from a previous blog post that I’ve had some knee surgeries: three of them, to be exact. I first tore my right ACL in November of 2007, with surgery happening early the next year. That first repair failed six months later, and I had a second ACL reconstruction – or ACL “revision” […]

What’s in a Name?

Denali's summit, June 2013. Photo courtesy of Kelly Greaser

There is an unofficial competition on Denali for best team name. It is my understanding that innuendo usually trumps all else. That being said, given that we are representing the CMC, we thought it best to go another route – pay homage to some of the pioneers of Denali climbing. To that end, one of […]

Winter Rewards: Climbing Mountains in the Frosty Months

A storm clears on the approach to
the East Ridge of Mount Bancroft.
Dave Cooper

By Dave Cooper It might be cold, it might be windy, but winter can be the most rewarding time to climb Colorado’s mountains. Gone are the crowds on the fourteeners. Nasty scree slopes can be hidden under a blanket of snow. Also buried are the trails, requiring (and inviting) you to make your own tracks. […]

The Myth of Solutions

Denali traverse plan

If you’ve been reading any of my previous posts, you know that my Denali team and I are preparing to take on the West Rib Cutoff route this coming June. The Cutoff takes the standard West Buttress route from an elevation of around 7500’ up to “14,000’ Camp” (coming into the photo from the left […]

The Line Between Disorder and Order

Members of the Denali team down climbing into the saddle between Apache Peak (13,441’) and Navajo Peak (13,409’): (from left to right) Chris Schuhmann, Sally Wier, Aaron Sallade, Jim Berryhill, Patrick Hutchinson, September 14, 2014. Photo courtesy of Jason Kolaczkowski.

A lot of things about climbing can be viewed as walking a “line between disorder and order.” Admittedly, quite a bit of what we do is a bit out on the edge. That being said, for me personally, climbing is about mitigating risk, not about seeking risk. I’ve written about training as a key component […]

Solo Adventures to Chicago Basin: Part 1

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Part 1: The Buildup by Erin Thompson, Denver Group Member I left work on Tuesday the 12th and began my 6.5-hour drive down to Silverton. Most of the time was spent listening to “Denali Howl’s” by Andy Hall. It was a fantastic book, and kept me occupied for the entire drive! When I got to […]

Sharpening the Ax

Sunrise on the Avenue of the Volcanoes: (from left to right) Iliniza Sur, Ilinza Norte, and Corazon from the Northwest flank of Vulcan Cotopaxi (19,347’) Ecuador, December 25, 2012. Photo courtesy of Jason Kolaczkowski.

Every big climb starts with fitness. I’m as big into logistics and planning as any climber, probably more so; but in the end, your body must be able to execute the plan. You cannot see sunrises like the one I was fortunate enough to have as my Christmas present while on Cotopaxi if you can’t […]

How Your 95th Summit Can Be Your 1st

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The first thing you hear is a loud grind and then a pop. It’s like the whole of your body vibrates with sound. And then you collapse. That’s what an ACL tear sounds like – at least to you. If you don’t do any damage to your meniscus, then it really doesn’t hurt that much; […]

Gannett Peak: Like Rainier, But Different

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By John Martersteck, HAMS Director For years, the High Altitude Mountaineering School (HAMS) of the Colorado Mountain Club has headed up to the Cascade Range during the week of July 4th to climb one of the standard routes on Mt. Rainier, usually the Emmons Glacier, as a HAMS graduation test piece.  Although only a “14er,” […]