Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Conservation E-news - Holiday Edition

Welcome to the holiday edition of the CMC Conservation E-news, a once monthly interesting mix of news and action items that seeks to connect CMC members and the public with the work we are doing in CMC Conservation. Thank you for your support of our fourfold mission:
Protecting Wild Places, Defending Quiet Recreation, Promoting Stewardship and Access.

Happy holidays from CMC Conservation!

Please remember CMC Conservation programs in your year-end giving.

CMC Conservation is Colorado’s leader for sustainable recreation and conservation.  It is this unique perspective, as a large user-group, that informs our conservation ethic.  We are a respected voice connecting hikers and winter backcountry users with stewardship of our public lands.
With your support we have been able to advocate for additional wilderness in Summit , Eagle and Pitkin counties. With your voices, we have been able to help craft a better Colorado Roadless Rule, protecting over 4 million acres.  With your help, we are working actively on trail projects from Dillon to Grand Junction, bringing the hiker and mountain climber voice to the table.  With your help, we’ve been able to give over 3,000 hours of volunteer service in the last field season. 
We are supported by gifts from individuals like you and some grants.  CMC membership dues do not directly support our Conservation.  Thank you for your support and for caring about protecting what is best about our state and working to steward it for a sustainable future!  Donate to Conservation at


Comment today on the proposed Bang’s Canyon motorized trail near Grand Junction.  This proposed system of motorcycle, ATV and Jeep trails threatens the quiet hiking experiences popular with Western Slope CMC members and the public.  CMC Conservation has been working to protect hikers experiences and these beautiful redrock canyons for a decade now.  Unfortunately, the BLM is once again trying to expand motorized trails into primitive, quiet areas.  Comments are due by this Friday December 21  – check out our ALERT.

CMC Conservation invites winter recreation users to get involved with our program serving the human-powered winter backcountry recreation community – the Backcountry Snowsports Initiative, or BSI.  BSI seeks to defend human-powered winter recreation for skiers, snowshoers, snowboarders, and other users, while protecting the wild lands that support these activities. .  Join this community by signing up for our winter season monthly BSI e-news.

We are pleased to announce that CMC is a founding member of Outdoor Alliance Colorado, a coalition representing voices for human powered recreation and conservation.  Members include CMC, Colorado Mountain Bike Association ( COMBA), and local affiliates of Access Fund and American Whitewater.  We believe that we can influence public policy and stewardship as the authentic voices for hikers, paddlers, climbers, mountain bikers and winter backcountry users.   Recent studies show that outdoor recreation is a huge positive economic driver in the West. We want to be able to help link that conservation of public lands is an economic engine for Colorado.  Recently, OAC representatives, including CMC Conservation Director Scott Braden, met with Sen. Mark Udall’s staff to endorse the senator’s proposal to create a national monument and wilderness for Browns Canyon of the Arkansas River.  Stay tuned for more news of this exciting new partnership!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ready, Set… Bid!

Ever been paragliding before? Want to go? Bid on's live auction item and many others at the Backcountry Bash and take a ride with the birds above Golden! Read how Sarah G., one of the women behind the scenes making the Backcountry Bash possible, had an experience of a lifetime. 

I’ll never look at Lookout Mountain the same way again. 

I’ve lived in Golden for over ten years now. I’ve ridden my road bike up Lookout Mountain dozens – if not hundreds – of times, hiked the Beaver Brook trail, and ran the Chimney Gulch trail up to Windy Saddle, but I’ll never see Lookout Mountain the same way again after flying high above it on a tandem paragliding flight with

Tim Meehan, the paragliding pilot and a certified instructor with the U.S. Hang gliding and Paragliding Association, has donated a tandem paragliding flight like the one I went on last weekend as a live auction item for the Backcountry Bash. He feels it is important to be an ambassador for the sport by giving back to the local community, and wanted me to experience the thrill of paragliding before the event so I could tell others what it was like. Why not, I thought! I’ve often seen the paragliders floating down from Lookout Mountain on warm sunny days.

I can tell you this is definitely one experience worth bidding on. It will be the first item in the live auction – so watch for it there! We’ll also have backcountry hut trips, a weekend of guided skiing near Marble with ski pro Donny Roth, a mountain bike trip for two on the White Rim of Canyonlands National Park, a two-day photography workshop with John Fielder, and much more. Check out all of our great auction items in our Auction Catalog

Let me tell you a little bit more about my paragliding experience. First we had to wait for the winds to be mild (between 3-10 mph) and blowing out of the east. We also wanted some thermals, so that rising air would keep us aloft for more than a few minutes. We drove up Lookout Mountain (also known as Mt. Zion) and parked below the big white “M”. Once up on the hillside, we spread the paraglider out on the slope above us and strapped ourselves into the tandem harness. All it took was a few steps forward down the hill and the paraglider filled with air and lifted us up, like being under a giant kite. In the air we turned left and right, watching cyclists on the road below, and then soared out above the houses and open space. I wasn’t sure what the landing would be like, but it was easy. It was a lot like exiting a slide as a kid - I had my feet straight out in front of me and at the last minute put them down on the ground and ran 3 or 4 steps forward. That was it! 

You can see in the video how we turned to the left and the right by crossing one leg over the other and leaning. The flight was smooth and the landing was easy. I was so happy and relieved to be on the ground. We did it!

Now every time I’m in Golden I look to the skies to see if I can see some paragliders floating down from Lookout Mountain. A huge thank you to Tim Meehan for this experience, and to all of our incredible event sponsors, including Chipotle Mexican Grill, Avery Brewing Company, Izze, Voile, Dynafit, Donny Roth, Aspen Expeditions, Backcountry Access, John Fielder, Planet Bluegrass, Tenth Mountain Division Hut Association, Shrine Mountain Inn, Western Spirit Cycling Adventures, Vagabond Ranch Huts, Glenn Randall Photography, and many more. 

We hope to see you at the Backcountry Bash this Saturday night. Be prepared to bid on incredible experiences like this one and others. You might just get to experience the place you live in a whole new way!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Get Your Bash Tickets - Cheaper!

20th Annual CMC Backcountry Bash - Nov 3

Tickets are selling fast, get yours today!

This year's Backcountry Bash is shaping up to be our best ever.  Check out the video invitation above from our emcee, pro-skier Donny Roth.  Right now we are offering a special, limited discount of $10 off the regular ticket price.  Use the discount code SupportBSI at checkout for the discount! (Code is case sensitive).

Come to support the mission of CMC Conservation and our Backcountry Snowsports Initiative.  Come also for the great food, beer and auction items! Get your ticket at


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Guest Blog Post #4: Dr. Haney on Getting Outdoors

Kaiser Permanente is the title sponsor of the 2012 Centennial Celebration Event Series and Kaiser Permanente physician Dr. Sean Haney will be sharing his thoughts as an official CMC guest blogger this year about the outdoors, medicine, wellness, and whatever else inspires him.

With fall definitely here, we are reminded of the fact that we live in a state with four seasons.  Coming from California, I grew up in a place with two seasons, one wet and one dry season.  Of course, there is some temperature variation but large parts of that state do not have anything like the seasonal variation that Colorado does.  The seasons in this great state offer unique and varied recreational opportunities for us “locals” and anyone who wants to come here.

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you need to do is….. get up, get out and enjoy this great state! Blessed as we are with the geography and climate of this state, we have a plethora of recreational activities available to us.  Let’s consider a short list: hiking, skiing, (including snowboarding, cross country) rafting, biking, climbing, snowshoeing, etc. It goes without saying that these sports are not specific to a single season, e.g. spring skiing.  We have pretty easy access here to a ton of recreational activities.

Recreational activities offer many benefits, both tangible and intangible.  The benefits of recreational activities include: 1) they are really fun, 2) help maintain a healthy weight, 3) maintain and promote balanced mental health, and 4) are a great help to our economy.  In fact, they are a very important part of the economy of this state.  

Recreational activities help generate a lot of economic activity.  The ski industry alone generated over $2.6 billion in economic activity to this state.   That is a lot of jobs and tax revenue that supports a wide variety of essential government functions.  It is not just for skiing, folks also come to our parks to hike and climb 14’ers.    We benefit economically as well as through the aforementioned ways from our many Colorado recreational opportunities.

So, perhaps we need to savior the moments when we are having fun outdoors and remember to support programs and initiatives to keep them vibrant and sustainable. Oh, we should also thank that tourist for dropping some money into our economy and make sure they taste a Colorado craft beer (in moderation, of course).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Donny Roth - Come Join Our Bash!

Donny Roth
I am honored to be the host for the Colorado Mountain Club’s Backcountry Bash happening the evening of November 3rd.  This is the 20th Anniversary of the Bash, and will be a celebration equal to the excitement of the soon-to-come winter.  I am inviting you to spend an evening with a group of people passionate about human-powered skiing.  Come for the gear give-aways, the auctions, the films, the food and beer, but most of all come ready to party with four hundred passionate skiers!

The Bash is a fund-raiser for the club’s Backcountry Snowsports Initiative, which is dedicated to protect winter recreation opportunities for those whom pursue human-powered activities.  In short, they help protect the places we play!  This is our opportunity to give back to our favorite playgrounds.  Your bids and donations directly benefit your winter – don’t be shy!

Your role doesn’t end at the Bash however.  This winter, just as we’ve invited you to come party and play with a group of like-minded skiers, I hope you’ll invite someone new to the party and to the playground.  If we really want to protect our favorite places, we need to bring more people into them in a quiet, respectful manner.  I know this can be in opposition of the tendency to protect our powder stashes.  I am not asking anyone to give away his or her favorite tree line.  I am asking you to share your passion.  Share your energy.  Share the sport.  

You don’t have to wait until the powder’s deep.  Start this November 3rd at the Bash!  Bring your stoke, your cash, and as many friends as possible!  Let’s start the season in grand style.  See you there. Get your tickets at today!


Donny Roth is passionate about sharing the human-powered ski experience, which is he does feverishly throughout the year.  He invites you to check out his website,, and hopes you’ll cross tracks soon.