A letter with a county sheriff return address is something you don’t like seeing in your mailbox. Makes you wonder. Video traffic enforcement? Some kind of summons? In this case it wasn’t too bad. THE MAN wants us guidebook writers to do a better job of warning people off from deadly Colorado fourteener hikes.
|One of those letters that makes you swallow before opening…
Fourteener in this case is Mount of the Holy Cross. A somewhat mellow hike as fourteeners go, Holy Cross nonetheless has a bit of route finding challenge as the easiest route descends into a valley before the climb begins, and then winds around from a north shoulder to the west side of the peak. In 2005 Michelle Vanek separated from her partner on the climb and despite a massive search was never seen again. It’s unknown if Vanek made careful use of a guidebook such as mine, but I’ll take the sheriff’s suggestion and re-word things a bit in my Holy Cross route description for the new edition due out sometime within the next year or so.
That said, as a person of libertarian inclinations I’m uncomfortable with government entities meddling in private sector publishing. We’ll support it this time as this is pretty far from Orwellian, but what if I start getting letters from any sheriff with a fourteener in their back yard? That could get interesting — good blog fodder at least. Or perhaps I can bill them for the writing time and get some of my tax money back.
Central Colorado wintry storm report: CS-4 is in full swing today, raining here in the foothills and snowing on the high. Is global warming bringing us tons of moisture and changing the Colorado snowpack to a better thicker denser mix similar to that of Utah or the Sierra? Perhaps.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.