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CMC Membership- a poll

Items that do not fit the categories above.

Do you belong to the Colorado Mountain Club?

I belong to the CMC ; I enjoy it and recommend it.
27
24%
I belong to the CMC, but only to use the occasional perks or support their causes.
12
11%
I used to belong to the CMC, got what I needed, then quit.
6
5%
I used to belong; disliked it or it wasn't worth it.
15
13%
I never belonged; just don't think thy have anything to offer me.
25
22%
I never belonged; turned off by the bureaucracy and/or attitude.
28
25%
 
Total votes : 113
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CMC Membership- a poll

Postby sgladbach » Thu May 08, 2008 1:07 pm

There as been recent talk about the value of the CMC. I know the bureaucracy and red tape has been a concern. That issue is more pronounced in some groups of the CMC than others. The smaller groups ( even the Pike's Peak group) are more low key on that stuff. I read some people see an elitist attitude; I wonder if this is synonymous with the Denver/Boulder Red Tape of attaining classification to go on difficult trips.

For now, just curious what people think.

Steve
"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby ColoradoScott » Thu May 08, 2008 1:26 pm

I've been a member of the CMC since 1983. I don't hike/climb w/ them as much as I did years ago, but part of that is my climbing desires and gained experience today. They have excellent schools for the newbie climber. Unfortunately they [u]do[u] have a bureaucracy thanks to one dumbass participant on a winter climb of Grizzly Pk. from Loveland Pass that was in over his head that day, turned around and got lost and suffered frostbite, etc. Then the lawyers made the CMC (w/ their volunteer leaders and all) pay thru the nose for his pain and suffering. Now their risk management is all dictated by that one incident.

They do provide an excellent variety of hikes, but rarely do they lead trips up the harder 14ers/13ers now. Too bad.

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby J-RockandRockpile » Thu May 08, 2008 2:41 pm

I was given a membership as a gift from my mother this christamas; however, because I ve been on the road non-stop for work I have yet to get the chance to enjoy the perks and or take a couple of classes. The only reason I want to be a member is to take, a basic mountaineering class. Obviously there are pre-requists which I view as being helpful to refresh my memory of skills I may have forgotten. However, I disagree with this classification of hikes. Again, I have not had the opportunity to join in, but if I were to be turned away from an outing because I have yet to prove my skill/ ability to hike as class a,b,c,d, I would find it funny considering I've probably had more experience then several of those allowed on the hike.

Best way to learn and acquire mountaineering skills is to get out there and do it! (assuming you have knowledgeable comrads)
I have been to the top of the mountain, and it is good

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby J-RockandRockpile » Thu May 08, 2008 2:43 pm

one more thing, I'm a firm believer of trial by error (as long as, the result is not death), but the pioneers of moutaineering, climbing, inhabiting the mountains didn't have instructors, they just went out and gained experience.
I have been to the top of the mountain, and it is good

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby Steve Bonowski » Thu May 08, 2008 3:32 pm

Re ColoradoScott's comments, no organization that takes people into the backcountry is without liability insurance these days; at least if they have a clue as to what they're doing. CMC's risk management is/was not dictated by one incident in 1984, and BTW, the individual in question was a "she." The Club carried liability insurance long before that incident.

Re "rarely leading trips up the harder 14ers/13ers," I see the following in the current activity schedule: May 29-North Couloir of Quandary; May 31-Mt. Neva Juliet Couloir; May 31-Dead Dog Col on Torreys; June 5-Citadel, NE Couloir; June 6-Cristo Couloir on Quandary; June 7-Flattop Mtn (RMNP), Dragon's Tail Couloir; June 8-Torreys, NW Face; June 14-15-Ice Mtn, Refrigerator Couloir; June 14-15-Mt. Jackson, East Face; June 14-15-Grizzly Chute on Grizzly Peak (13,988'). Hmmm.....that looks like 10 hard 14er & 13er routes scheduled in just 18 days.

As for the notorious classification system, I can speak only about Denver Group (personal opinion). I suppose it has its drawbacks. But as a person who has led harder 14ers (most recent: Crestone Needle last Labor Day weekend), I don't care to spend an immense amount of time screening people over the phone. I have had occasions where I let someone on a trip without a classification and they turn out to have misrepresented their skills and background. That's not a type of "trial & error" that is useful. On the other hand, I started an "open hike" program several summers ago; taking unclassified members on walk-up "D" level hikes ("D"=15 or more miles and/or 3,500'+). The unclassified persons did fine. So, no easy answers. Steve

CG_old

Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby CG_old » Thu May 08, 2008 3:37 pm

I considered it when I moved out here, but the requirements/classifications to go on trips sorta soured me to the whole concept. I understand completely why they do it, and don't have a problem with, it's just something I don't feel like taking the time to complete. Would rather be out in the mountains with good friends, having fun, instead of testing out of various skills classes.

That said, I think it's a good organization and they've done a lot to further mountaineering in the state.

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby ColoradoScott » Thu May 08, 2008 3:53 pm

Steve Bonowski wrote:Re ColoradoScott's comments, no organization that takes people into the backcountry is without liability insurance these days; at least if they have a clue as to what they're doing. CMC's risk management is/was not dictated by one incident in 1984, and BTW, the individual in question was a "she." The Club carried liability insurance long before that incident. Steve


Steve, Thanks for the correction of that incident and your dedication to the club over the years. =D> The answers are complicated and much of the problem lies with a volunteer club having to have liability insurance and membership waivers and all the legal red-tape, in the first place. I'm an old-fashioned person that believes that if I were climbing with a friend and he/she broke a leg, that they wouldn't remotely think of suing me. We go into the mountains to escape that societal BS. I do consider that to be a flaw of any organized hiking/climbing club...not just the CMC.

As far as climbs go...maybe I've just been up too many of the front range peaks to get excited by the offerings now. There is not as many Denver Group climbs in the Elks or Sangres as their used to be. Maybe that's the liability...maybe that's the membership driving it.

I do agree with matching climbers of similar abilities. Part of hiking w/ any small group is the compromise between the fastest/strongest climber with the slowest/weakest. The A to D classifications do prove that you can hold your own within that category.

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby Kojones » Thu May 08, 2008 4:12 pm

I responded "I never belonged; just don't think thy have anything to offer me." This is primarily because I have been well-acquainted with the mountains at this point, and I have the knowledge and skill to do most of what I want to do. In terms of gaining the experience I do not have, I will both just go out and do it, and may join a group like NOLS which actually offers courses about the more advanced mountaineering. But I mainly rely on experience, and I'm a strong believer that baby steps are the way to go. Just because I've summited 14ers in the snow and cold doesn't mean I should head straight up to K2 right now. Brave caution is what I'll call it.

Kojones
Climbing partner: "Is this uphill the whole way?"
Kojones: "No, only half the hike is uphill."
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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby CG_old » Thu May 08, 2008 4:19 pm

Thanks for the clarification robinmtns... it's not the way I had understood it. Good to know that's the way it is...

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby coloradokevin » Thu May 08, 2008 5:14 pm

robinmtns wrote:Good poll, except that last choice: How can one know anything about the club's bureaucracy without ever having being a member? Word of mouth? That is usually quite inaccurate. So much more obviously after reading all the posts on here from folks that have never been members, but have lots to espouse about the failings of the club.

That being said: The CMC does in fact have a certain level of bureaucracy, but it is apparently somewhat misunderstood.

...

One aspect of the CMC that people pretend to ignore: some have labled the CMC as the Colorado Mating Club. Well... It is !!!

But why is this pooh-pooed? People call it that in a derogatory fashion for some reason.






On your first point, I believe I felt the pull of their bureaucracy when I first went to their website to check them out... Started reading about required (lengthy) classes that didn't fit my schedule, hiker ratings, trip classifications, etc. All of that sort of turned me off to begin with, and then I heard the same complaints by word-of-mouth. Now, I'm certainly not saying that you are incorrect, because I am sure it is possible to do stuff outside of the bounds of "policy". But, all of that policy turned me off to the organization before I ever had the chance to become involved with them. I'm also not saying that this is without reason, but it just doesn't fit with my goals in the mountains most of the time (having led trips in a mountaineering club, I can fully appreciate the desire that CMC has to prevent the underskilled from getting on trips over their heads!).

On your second point, I'd never heard the "CO Mating Club" line before. I, too, see nothing wrong with it... It is a social organization dedciated to the mountains. My wife and I met in a mountaineering club, and I really think couples often do best when they share common passions. I'm married now (obviously), so that aspect of the club wouldn't attract me, but it also wouldn't turn me off to the organization.

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby covfrrider » Thu May 08, 2008 5:20 pm

I have no direct contact with the CMC, so I didn't pick an answer in the poll. I did however meet a couple of CMC members at a social event about a year and half ago. One member in particular was leading a snowshoe group... which was not a CMC event, but something he was doing on his own. I expressed interest and was told I couldn't go because and I quote: "I had to pull a permit for the wilderness area and there aren't any open slots".

Now this was an interesting answer... I have lived in Colorado most of my life, and while I'm no "expert" on the Wilderness areas, I do know that he was full of a brown substance. The area they were going to indeed is a Wilderness area, but "pulling a permit" consists of opening the box at the trail head, removing the permit, filling it out and attaching it to your pack. I basically called BS on him, only to be dressed down as not knowing what I was talking about and he's been a member of the CMC XX years, blah blah blah... and the other person rushed to his defense as being this "pro" when it comes to showshoeing.

Really turned me off to the CMC, as they made it sound like they were these mountain gods that I wasn't worthy of.

I have heard they do great things, and in the future, I may check em out again... but for now, that incident left a pretty bad taste in my mouth.

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby hotrod » Thu May 08, 2008 5:28 pm

I am not from Colorado so am not sure how that wilderness stuff works. But I was supposed to be on a national Sierra Club week-long trip in the Holy Cross Wilderness about ten or so years ago, and the club cancelled the trip. I was told that groups (not individuals) need a permit, and they were too late in applying for theirs. Maybe that would explain the CMCer's answer?
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