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Culebra Winter Hike

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Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby Johnson » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:58 am

I Man, got your PM. I guess what I mean is that on the surface of your post there is friction between your situation and the ranch. I of course don't I know all of the details, but from your post is sounds as if somebody ripped you off. Not a very good testimony considering they just changed management. I would just use caution in whatever communication you have either on this forum or to them in person as it could sour a relationship that many of us would like to keep intact. I am sure your cognizant of all of this and that things will be fine.
Last edited by Johnson on Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby I Man » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:02 pm

wildlobo71 wrote:So, Both Culebra and Red were going to be made available for the one-time winter fee of $200 at the outset of the communications to Cielo Vista? Darrin is right, we all know this, Red is typically $50 extra and unless you can make other special arrangements, it's usually tacked on to the $100 summer fee for Culebra. So people who only went for Culebra paid $200 and those who may have intended to do Red A were also told it could be included within the same amount?


This is correct. $200 is for Culebra only but Red is an option if you are fast enough.

wildlobo71 wrote:As for their expert versus your expertise - they own the land, pure and simple. It's up to them and you either live by their rules, or you break them. Breaking them is a sure way to get access denied to all people in the future - they don't make their money off of hikers, they make it off of logging, ranching, and hunting on their land... we provide their pocket change with our hikes.


Absolutely. That is why i respected their wishes and did not poach. That would not have been fair to other hikers.

wildlobo71 wrote:It sounds like you are out no money - just the opportunity. That's frustrating, but it happens everywhere in society - climbing a mountain on private land is no different than thinking you had access to the entire Phish catalog, with your $20, but then finding out later it didn't include the late-90's live recordings... (trying to speak your language Matt.)


You are a silly man :lol:
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Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby SurfNTurf » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:22 pm

It sounds to me like the ranch was worried there might be avalanche danger on the traverse to Red Mountain and simply didn't want to risk being held liable. They were probably open to allowing access Red Mountain in the weeks leading up to the trip, but the area got a boatload of snow only a few days before the hike.

I don't see where they were misleading. Maybe they could have communicated more clearly, but the ranch being concerned about hiker safety is no reason to invent other lines of reasoning and throw them under the bus.

In hindsight, was it safe? Probably. But you can't blame the ranch for covering their ass.

From the CAIC:

On Saturday February 2nd there were at least five avalanche incidents across the state from the Wyoming border to Silverton in southern Colorado. There was one fatality, and several people with reported injuries.

The current snowpack across Colorado is in a delicate state of balance. Before the last storm cycle moved across the state the base layers of the snow were exceptionally weak. The new snow during the storm came in with significant wind and a high water content, meaning the new snow was heavy, and developed quickly into dangerous slabs.


I'd just be thankful they didn't cancel the trip(s) altogether. Congrats to all on a rare winter summit.
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Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby I Man » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:27 pm

SurfNTurf wrote:It sounds to me like the ranch was worried there might be avalanche danger on the traverse to Red Mountain and simply didn't want to risk being held liable.


Ironically the only avy danger was on the route to Culebra...the ridge to Red was mostly blown dry....there were plenty of avy slopes, but they were not on the route. There is a lot of avy danger out there right now. I climbed in the Sangres the past 2 days and careful travel was a necessity.

They were misleading in the sense that they gave us misinformation, specifically about historical climbs - but after speaking with Sam it was just miscommunication.

I do agree that I am grateful they did not cancel the trip.

Again - there is a learning curve for the new owner's and I think they learned a lot this weekend. It is a shame it was at our expense, but we were allowed to climb a rare winter peak and we all had a great day.
You can touch the void, just don't fall into it.

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Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby Sartorius78 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:09 pm

Thanks again to Anna for orgainizing this trip, had a fun time with everyone on Saturday!

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Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby WarDamnPanic » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:58 pm

Had a blast Saturday meeting some great people from this site. Big thanks to Anna for organizing, the lead hikers for the trench, and the Ranch for the access. Overall a stellar day for a winter hike.

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Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:04 pm

Please accept my apology in advance, but I did not read the entire mass of posts for this trip...

My question: Is Bobby still the owner, or is there now new ownership? Or is it just that Carlos is no longer the local employee, now replaced by Sam?

My opinion: I share the opinion of those expressing the fact that this is PRIVATE LAND and thus, ANY access is subject to the permission and terms of those who own the property. The only "fair" and "unfair" in our free country is this: you have the money, you buy the property, you make the calls. Putting it on more palpable terms: Does anybody have the "right" to camp in your backyard?

Brief history: My understanding is that before Bobby owned it, access was very difficult. There are many others here who could tell the stories. Bottom line, we're very fortunate. Let's keep good relations, shall we?

For the record, my personal experience with the ranch was very favorable, and I feel they have been quite generous with climbers.





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Carlos, March 2010.

Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby pioletski » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:17 pm

Bravo, Johnson and Dancesatmoonrise, for thoughtful responses.

Jim, to answer your questions: Bobby Hill still owns the ranch. Sam Wilson is a longtime friend of the Hill family and as of January 1 this year, has taken the job of operations manager for the ranch. He is very nice, very affable and exudes an air of competence; he is very familiar with the geography of the ranch and has hiked Culebra and Red in the summer, but has never climbed them in winter.

Carlos no longer works at the ranch but Mr Wilson stays in close touch with him and relies on him for information and assistance for coordinating winter hunts and hikes.

It is true that the difficulty of access has fluctuated over the years, and that under the Hill family's ownership the ranch has been pretty open to the hiking/climbing community. This is reflected in a comment Mr Wilson made during our conversation which is that he loves and treasures the ranch and enjoys sharing it with people, from us hiking riff-raff to the $10,000 a day guided hunting crowd.

Bottom line, for me: The ranch owners are gracious and generous enough to have us as their guests. We should all appreciate that; please let's not threaten future access by griping in public.

And... thank you Anna, well done compadres, we had a great day on Sunday!
The greater danger, for most of us, is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low, and we reach it.
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Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby Papillon » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:15 pm

I agree with everything Jim posted above. I'll go so far as to recommend that incendiary posts be tweaked, specifically the one about the ranch stealing money. I understand that emotions run high and people may feel slighted. I give everyone credit for not hitting Red under the circumstances. That would've been a tough call.

There are more peaks on the ranch property than just Culebra and Red, by the way. There are bicentennials and lower ranked 13ers as well. During the past two summers, access to these peaks has been granted. Hopefully, this will continue.

I've always feared that somebody will get themselves into a pickle down there or piss off the ranch and access will go bye bye.
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Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby JEyez » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:19 am

"I Man",

After reading your posts in this thread I am reminded of lyrics from a song off the stellar album Ænima, released by the band Tool in the mid-nineties. Maybe you have heard it? It's called "Hooker with a Penis." In the off chance that you have never gave it a listen, I have linked a video, including the aforementioned lyrics, below.

In short, shut the hell up son...

Last edited by JEyez on Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Culebra Winter Hike

Postby Steve Climber » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:55 pm

Welp. That was fun.

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