Today the mountains of Colorado are continuously flooded with people flocking to enjoy the bountiful trails. But imagine what it was like for the mountaineers at the turn of the century. Bulky wool clothing, heavy equipment and blisters all were part of the journey. These mountaineers were true adventurers who created what became the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC).
April 26 marks the anniversary of the founding of the CMC in 1912. As one of Colorado’s oldest organizations, the CMC focuses on conservation, advocacy, youth and adult education, and outdoor recreation adventures. From 25 charter members united in their love of the mountains, the Club rapidly grew to 200 members barely a year later, when the CMC became a nonprofit corporation.
Charter members included Enos Mills, whose efforts were influential in establishing Rocky Mountain National Park; Roger Toll, who held the prestigious positions of superintendent at Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, and Mount Rainier National Parks; and Carl Blaurock, who along with William Ervin was the first to climb all of Colorado’s known 14,000-foot peaks.
Now celebrating its centennial year, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of Colorado’s most beloved treasures. It was through the persistence of founding CMC members that the park’s first boundaries were established and legislation was drafted and presented to Congress resulting in the creation of the park in 1915.
Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful terrain in the nation, and its preservation wouldn’t have been possible without the passion of these outdoor pioneers who broke the ground on well-traveled trails for both Coloradans and its visitors alike.