Flap About a Baby Climbing
About a week before the climb a Denver radio station called me to check on the progress for the Climb. I told them the oldest climber was 75 year old Jerome 'Bud' Weiser who would climb Mt Harvard. And the youngest would be Lee Remick, 10 weeks old whose parents would carry her up Mt Sherman.
A political uproar happened as many women called Governor Lamm's office and claimed they would be killing the baby, etc, etc. The Governor called me. I told him the Remick's came in wanting to climb simple Mt Sherman, they were experienced climbers and the baby was healthy. But I said I would get other advice. Once again Enjoy Colorado's resources saved the day. For I looked up the names of top Colorado Mountain Climbers who were ALSO Pediatricians. They said that if the baby is healthy, does not stay on top more than an hour or two, there should be no problem if the parents are well prepared.
They were. So I stuck to our guns, and little Lee Remick climbed with her family as the B team on Sherman. The story and picture is below. All went well.
And on several cases of very technical climbs being necessary and I had any doubts about the qualifications of the climbing party - I was able, using Enjoy Colorado's lists to consult with top climbers, such as several from the Ad A Man Club, who certified all of those attempting the hardest 10 peaks.
My Family's Climb of Mount Sherman
While I was so busy getting everybody else hooked up to a mountain, I almost forgot I wanted to climb that day too, with my two sons.
But since I had to be in Colorado Springs by 2:30 PM that same day to preside over a Centennial event I had to pick a 14er that was both close enough to drive to the start point before and drive back over no more than 3 hours, and climb up and down in 3 to 4 hours. So I picked 14,036 foot Mount Sherman, that was just south west of Fairplay, only about 70 miles away.
I thought I would just take 13 year old Edward and his older brother David up, take the picture, as the A Team for Sherman, and get down quickly. I was still quite fit, so that would be no problem, and the boys were fit, though Edward had never climbed a 14er before.
But then everybody else got into the act and a number of local men and one woman wanted to climb, and join my team.
US Senator Gary Hart wanted in, as did several prominent businessmen. One Colorado Mountain Club member, a stockbroker, told me all Club members were prohibited from representing themselves as 'CMC members' if they climbed. He climbed.
Then a local television station wanted to go with us and film up on the climb and on top.
By the time everybody was aboard there were 17 in my team.
With all the other teams we met at the Governor's Mansion in Denver to get our 'packets'. I had designated young Edward at Mt Sherman "A" Team Leader. Here he is with Governor Lamm and I. When the picture was taken we had only 4 members signed up with us. That balooned to 17 by the climbing day.
As it happened the television cameraman who begged us to include him was NOT in shape, and the rest of us, especially strong son David Jr had to trade off carrying his camera gear while he struggled up to the top.
After the Centennial we put together a Book consisting of one typed page for each Climbing Party, describing their climb, and including a photograph of their party on top.
It was printed, and at a gathering again at the Governor's Mansion all the parties came together again and each got a copy of the printed "GREAT COLORADO CENTENNIAL FOURTEENER CLIMB"
Here are the pages from the Centennial Fourteener for both Sherman climbing parties.
These write ups were typical of the 80 written stories with photos we got and printed in the book.
The Great Big Thompson Flood Tragedy.
As bad luck would have it, a great rainstorm covered all of Colorado on the evening before that August 1st day. Near Estes Park the Great Thompson river crashed down killing 144 people, destroying much property and grabbing ALL the state AND national attention.
But the Centennial Climb's Success
In SPITE of that tragedy, and REAL hard rains all 100 Climbing Parties with over 645 individuals, set out, some having to reach the remote peaks and camp out two days before. In spite of rain all night before, and rain during August 1st climb EVERY team but two made their Summit! Both on peaks - El Diente and Snowmass - lightning was so severe near their peaks, there was too much risk in getting struck. But 98 of 100 teams succeeded! Even the ones on Longs Peak in Estes Park where the great flood took place! There was only ONE injury on one mountain when a falling rock lacerated a climber's leg, but a doctor was in the team and he got patched up! So much for the dire warnings by the Colorado Mountain Club.
Then, when the 92 page Book about the climb was printed, all the teams were once again invited to the Governor's Mansion and everybody partied on the large garden lawn, and everyone was given a copy of the book. The Great Colorado Centennial Fourteener Climb was a smashing success - and all the predictions of doom were proven wrong.
Below is some of what I wrote in the preamble to the book, that justified my faith in Coloradoans good sense.