cftbq wrote:I checked the "too much bureaucracy" box, but there's another reason which was not mentioned: the cost! I simply can't responsibly budget enough to start a CMC membership.
But as to bureaucracy: What I've read (here and elsewhere) certainly does sound too structured and stuffy for my tastes. And ScottP's revelation about how they've been forced to knuckle under to the hegemony of insurance companies certainly explains a lot.
I also went to a CMC presentation a few years back, because I kept hearing about how it was such a great place to pick up more mountaineering skills. What they person with whom I talked told me (if I understood correctly) was that there was exactly one course offered per year which had the slightest relevance to my desires to expand my skills, and that was only offered in Denver, and, furthermore, I had just missed the one for that year (late summer). Just doesn't sound worth it to me.
It was a great idea when it was started. I find it hard to believe that what's going on now is fair to the legacy of people like Carl Blaurock, Albert Ellingwood, and Robert Ormes.
I'm sorry you feel that way, Patrick. You're sacrificing a little less than 2 tanks of gas for a yearly membership that is well worth the cost. I use the CMC more for the education than anything else, which is top notch. I went through both the BMS and HAMS programs through the Co. Springs chapter and thorougly enjoyed it. It was through BMS that I learned the skills to do couloir climbs and glacier travel. You won't find any programs any cheaper anywhere else for the essential skills you can learn with the CMC. I went on a guided climb of Rainier for only $400! I hope to take advantage of their dirt cheap international trips in the future as well.
The few times I have signed up for a Denver hike where the rating system is used, I simply tell the leader what I have done. I sometimes go on the hikes in winter when I can't find a partner, but obviously the success rate is much lower. It's sad to see so many people with a skewed negative opinion of the CMC. Sure, there's a little red tape, but I don't let it bother me. The C. Springs chapter doesn't have a rating system, so that has been nice. The educational opportunities themselves is worth the membership cost alone.
Always do what you are afraid to do. -Ralph Waldo Emerson