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.
I belong to the CMC, but only to use the occasional perks or support their causes.
I used to belong to the CMC, got what I needed, then quit.
I used to belong; disliked it or it wasn't worth it.
I never belonged; just don't think thy have anything to offer me.
I never belonged; turned off by the bureaucracy and/or attitude.
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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby Hacksaw » Thu May 08, 2008 4:31 pm

My answer to your poll isn't on your poll:

I am not a CMC member, but I am a member of another mountaineering club.
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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby covfrrider » Thu May 08, 2008 4:34 pm

hotrod wrote: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?

Don't know, but I think a true ambassador of the back country would have said hey look, just pull an individual permit when we get there... not made up some bunch of baloney!

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby Scott P » Thu May 08, 2008 4:35 pm

I think the CMC is a good organization and I used to be a member. The only reason I let my membership expire is because since moving to Craig in 2004 they don't do many trips out my way and I don't want to drive far away every weekend. They do many trips in other parts of the state though so if I lived in one of those areas I would definately be a member.
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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby J-RockandRockpile » Thu May 08, 2008 4:48 pm

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

I agree, I never really looked at it from the group leaders point of view
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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby timstich » Thu May 08, 2008 5:00 pm

robinmtns wrote: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.

Yeah, you see people get all uppity about this aspect to a lot of socializing, not just within clubs but also on forums. I think the kinds of people riled by this aren't comfortable with that sort of thing, if you know what I mean.

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby ktimm » Thu May 08, 2008 5:21 pm

I'm a member. I've went on one hike. I thought it was cool and met a couple people I might hook up with (for climbing , not mating) later. I also found out about a couple other cool hikes. You can get turned off by the rating stuff, but really it's probably necessary from both sides. If I let my membership slide (which I probably will) it will be because they don't offer a lot on the western slope. Most stuff the Aspen group does are weekdays, the Sneffels group is not very active. I might get involved with the Durango group and see how it feels. I really need to use it more, and even the 3 day weekends I can't usually take. I can't really use the schooling stuff without driving to Denver and giving the cost of gas I'm pretty interested in staying near home.

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

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

covfrrider wrote:
hotrod wrote: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?

Don't know, but I think a true ambassador of the back country would have said hey look, just pull an individual permit when we get there... not made up some bunch of baloney!

Covfrrider, I can assure you there are permits required for larger group hikes in wilderness areas (ie Lost Creek Wilderness, Indian Peaks, Etc). I am sure Robinmnts or Steve Bonowski can confirm the details better than I since they lead many of the classes and hikes.

As for my thoughts on the CMC, you get what you put into it. If you go in with an open mind and willingness to look past some of the red tape, its a great organization and offers a lot of opportunities to learn and meet people. While I am on the younger end of the CMC, I have met all of my closest friends in the group, and all of my most trusted climbing partners.

Anyways, just a few of my thoughts.

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby Van McDaniel » Thu May 08, 2008 5:51 pm

Steve Bonowski and robinmtns have shead some very good light on the CMC subject and thanks for doing it. I do not find any disagreement with their comments. I myself have been a member of CMC since Sep.'85 and I can honestly say that the CMC has been a Godsend to me. I have taken many of their schools and have also instructed for many years. It is the best time and money that I have ever spent. I am a hard headed, opinionated loner by nature. I have never been one to "join" anything and I have little use for structured recreation. In spite of myself I have managed to find a home at the CMC and have had much education and edification along the way. As a trip leader and instructor I can still do things my way as long as I observe the rules in place for our safety.....Does that sound like any burden at all to work within?

With as many people that the CMC has to manage, things can get a little cluttered from time to time but most of us just work around it. One trait that I have almost always observed among mountaineers is a strong sense of individuality and self reliance....I am told by my fellow climbing chumbs that I am guilty of such personality traits...they should know because most of them possess the same traits. Saying that to say this, IMO, many of the members of this site fall into the same group....That is why there is this sometimes going back and forth on join or not to join, for various reasons, of course. IMO and memory, I do not recall too many introverts that became too involved in mountaineering, let alone becoming successful at it. That last comment is my observation, some may not agree. I think that it is safe to say that few of us are short on ego. For the most part, I have learned to channel most of my ego excesses some time ago. I burn up a lot of mental energy pursuing my true passion, mountaineering. I can hear the same being done by many of you as I read your postings.

If any of you have any questions regarding a particular CMC trip, then by all means, call the trip leader. As trip leaders we have a very fair amount of discretion as to say who goes or does not go on a trip. There are no hard and fast rules that states that a non-member cannot attend. Don't oversell yourself either and be prepared to follow the trip leader's instructions...Example...A non-member is on a CMC trip up Skywalker on South Arapaho and the snow is HAAAARD!!!! The group is roping up/crampons/helmet, etc. The guest is expected to do the same. The trip leader does not want to hear how the guest wants to "Do his/her own thing". If a CMC trip leader should entertain such a request from a guest or member, then the trip leader may have just thrown away all good judgment here and made themself and the CMC LIABLE and the trip leader knows better.

At the CMC we do spend a lot of time and effort trying to keep existing members and keeping them motivated towards mountaineering, among other things. But we are always looking for new blood(oops) be they new guests or members. This is a good place to pursue an education in mountaineering and to commit to the lifestyle.
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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby Tigerbear » Thu May 08, 2008 6:36 pm

:D I am a member of CMC and love it. It is a great way to meet like minded people and travel safely. I have not had a problem getting on to any trip and I hike with many different chapters! I like what the CMC stands for!
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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby Eaglevu » Thu May 08, 2008 6:55 pm

A word from another well-liked CMC trip leader.

I wonder if those who 'pooh-pooh' the CMC for being bureacratic and too controlling have issues with other organizations and institutions in there life. Such as their employer or the federal government. Just wondering. :-k

Aside from that, since joining the club in 1990, CMC has definitely put my 30 year old passion for climbing mountains in to Hi-DEf clarity - and let me hang out in the Rocky Mountains with folks just like you. Besides, it's so much more affordable than going with those expensive outfitters who are more concerned with getting your money than getting you on the summit.
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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby d_baker » Thu May 08, 2008 7:15 pm

Interesting poll and timing with all the "elitist talk" lately. ;-)

I've been a member since 2002, and for me the club has been great. I joined to meet others to hike with and I soon heard about BMS (Basic Mountaineering School) and started taking classes.
In the Pikes Peak Group, BMS is modularized, so one can take certain classes independently of one another. So I started with outdoor fundamentals and then land navigation. Then I decided I wanted to learn how to do snow climbs safely. Then rock. Then ice. And then.....get the idea? It snowballed and it's been a great learning experience for me.
I also met all of my climbing partners in the club.

I eventually became an instructor in the BMS program, and now I'm the co-director of BMS for the Pikes Peak Group. This is my way of giving back to the club that has helped me, and I enjoy helping others learn new skills. Simply put: GOOD KARMA.
I also enjoy meeting new people all the time with such great enthusiasm to learn and share in the experiences.

I agree there's a certain amount of bureaucracy, and at times (for me) it is a pain. But in the end, it all works out for the best.

I would recommend the club to anyone that wants to learn mountaineering skills designed with safety oriented instruction. For a low price.
And I would recommend the club to anyone that wants to meet others to hike with. Beginner or not.
However, you get out of the club what you put into it.

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Re: CMC Membership- a poll

Postby cftbq » Thu May 08, 2008 8:39 pm

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.
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