Colorado Fourteeners Initiative kicks off its 2012 field season protecting summit hiking trails on Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks with an evening program and book signing featuring award-winning author Mark Obmascik at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26 at the Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon, Colo. The event also features a video presentation of CFI’s extensive trail reconstruction work on Mount of the Holy Cross, which began in 2010 and will conclude this fall.
Obmascik is best known by climbers through the book Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled–and Knuckleheaded–Quest for the Rocky Mountain High that chronicled his effort to climb all 54 Fourteeners over a single year. It is packed with humorous stories about the colorful characters he encountered and climbed with along the way. The book won the 2009 National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Literature.
The National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation called Halfway to Heaven, “Fun, humorous, and warm-hearted… a rollicking, non-stop adventure.” His prior book, The Big Year was recently made into a movie starring Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin. Get a sense of Mark’s humor and engaging personality in this 2009 TV interview.
CFI’s work on Mount of the Holy Cross includes delineating and reconstructing the Halfmoon summit route which is notoriously difficult to follow in places. Hikers frequently get off route on the descent, trampling fragile alpine vegetation as they seek to regain the trail. Hiker rescues are common, and the route’s routefinding difficulties have contributed to past fatalities.
In addition to constructing a more sustainable summit route, CFI will close and restore user-created campsites along East Cross Creek, designate campsites in more durable locations, and clear downed trees from the Notch Mountain trail.
CFI’s kickoff event is free. However, attendees are asked to respond in advance by email to email@example.com. The Walking Mountains Science Center is located at 318 Walking Mountains Ln. Directions can be found at: http://walkingmountains.org/page.aspx?pid=400.