Wednesday, February 2, 2011

News Release: New Backcountry Incident Review Conference Scheduled

Contacts:              Ryan Ross

Rachel Scott



GOLDEN, Colo.— The first statewide Backcountry Incident Review Conference, focusing on the lessons learned from trips that posed difficult challenges, is set for Saturday, April 23 at the American Mountaineering Center (AMC) in Golden.
The day-long conference will feature the leaders of trips on which things did not go according to plan discussing what happened and how they responded, so that they can share the lessons learned with anyone who leads trips or spends time in the backcountry.
“This is a rare opportunity to hear directly from trip leaders who struggled with difficult decisions about how they responded when something went wrong,” says Katie Blackett, CEO of the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC), who is sponsoring the conference. “By sharing their experiences, we can promote backcountry safety for everyone who spends time in the backcountry.”
Trips to be discussed will include one of which several participants had to be evacuated by helicopter, another when a trip participant became separated from the group and was found several canyons away, and one when a climber died while on a difficult glacial traverse.
  Chris Barnes of the High Mountain Institute in Leadville will be the keynote speaker.  The Institute, founded by Barnes, leads teenagers on semester-long expeditions in the backcountry. He’ll discuss why risk-taking is important and how to manage it.
There will also be a first-aid refresher, and lunch will be served.
Seating is limited and early registration is encouraged. The fee of $10 covers CMC’s costs in staging the conference and the cost of lunch. For online registration, visit

About the Colorado Mountain Club
The Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to adventure, education and preservation in Colorado. Established in 1912 by mountaineering enthusiasts, CMC now has more than 8,000 members statewide who explore and protect the wild areas of Colorado. CMC offers hundreds of events and classes for all ages and abilities. Throughout its history, the club has been instrumental in landmark achievements such as the designation of Rocky Mountain National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, and the passage of the Wilderness Act. To become a member, visit

Monday, January 31, 2011

Rescue Report: Canyoneering in Zion National Park

Bob Lewis, who contributed this month’s story in the Boulder Group Newsletter-the Compass-about his rescue during a canyoneering adventure. His story is a good reminder that even the safest outdoor adventures can turn risky if the weather changes what was once familiar terrain. If you have a story about a near-epic you would like to share, please contact Compass Editor, Donna Marino at

Pine Creek Adventure
- contributed by Bob Lewis
Every year, several friends and I travel to different locations in and near Colorado to do some technical canyoneering. In September 2006, several of us headed to Zion National Park. One of the canyons we decided to do was Pine Creek. I had done this canyon twice before and it had been a lot of fun. So we decided to do it again. We started out at 9 a.m. on September 29. There were 4 of us -- Jerry Allen, Gary Schmidt, Alan LaGow, and I. In the interest of moving quickly, we split into two teams....Read the rest of the story here and see what else is going on in the Boulder Group in February's edition of the eCompass.