2015 Hiking

Everything was so green… then, within a matter of days, russet and yellow spread all over the landscape. Fall had arrived and the Vail Club 50 hiking season came to an end. Thank you volunteers… we had a great season! I was very fortunate to work with Sue Kuntz and Jeanette Brown these past few years. They were always ready to lend a hand and made sure the information came in when I needed it. They were also a sturdy “sounding board” when issues came up. Sue coordinated the Hares and also helped out when I was out of town. Jeanette took care of the Tortoise group and organized our lovely appreciation “happy hour” in August. Of course, and we’ll never say this enough, thank you to all our leaders … old, new, and too many to name … for taking the time and making the effort to pick a hike, submit a description, do a preview, answer questions, and manage a group. And quite often, a sense of humor comes in handy! We realize you’re also busy biking, playing golf or hitting tennis balls so KUDOS to each volunteer for making the hiking activity such a success as well as something we very much look forward to once the snow disappears.

A great marmot shot! By Rick Spitzer.

Before too long, we will be thinking about the 2016 season (in fact, we’ve already started working on it).
It’ll be exciting to welcome three new group coordinators. Robin Wagner will take on the Tortoises so feel free to contact her if you have any suggestions for putting the oomph back into this group. Sue Mitchell will be in charge of the Marmots, whether mellow and energetic, so give her a hand and pick a date as soon as you can.

What’s more, we will welcome a new group in 2016: “Hiking with Dogs,” “Four Paws,” or “Pooch Hiking” … our coordinator Sue Clark is still looking for a fitting name! You can help make this group successful by (1) checking off “hiking” when you complete your online membership application, and (2) contacting Sue Clark with your suggestions or comments about good trails as well as good etiquette when hiking with dogs. Finally, don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d be interested in coordinating the Hares or even running the whole show. As you’ve heard us say many times … new blood brings new ideas!

Yes, we all know too well that time flies … so you have a few months to think about which trail to pick next summer. We hope you’ll not only rely on the good ol’ classics but also explore new territory or even trails that we have not visited in recent years.

All the best … and until next summer!

— Louise Willimann, 2014-2015 Hiking Chair


Missouri Lakes hiking group


A handful of tough riders made it to the top of Gore Pass outside Taponas.

2015 Cycling

Avid cyclists amongst VC50 members hit the roads and trails this year despite unseasonal temperatures and abundant rainfall.

With 29 events on the calendar, there was something for everyone’s tastes. 21 road bike rides and 8 mountain bike rides were planned with a few cancellations due to leaders’ unforeseen scheduling conflicts, poor trail conditions and occasional low participation.

Sprinkled amongst our staunch Leaders were a number of new faces. We have the following able Leaders to thank for stepping up to take the helm: Gary Blamire, Pat Cornett, Paul Gerhardt, Suzette Newman, Peter Rosenberg, Patsy Rowe, Jeanne Mosier, Larry Stewart, Jim Tharp, Charlie Sherwood, Jeff Koch, Tom Berthiaume, Cherryl Kachenmeister, Janet Hill, Ed Tudanger, Hope Tudanger, Leslie Davies and Robin Burch.

Some of the ride highlights:

Will Darken had a total of six for his ride up to the Wolcott Divide; a compatible group. Rich Freyberg got to test his new knee and Howard Shaffer, Dave Pierce, Bob Ahlgren and Fred Abel were really good company. They had a fine lunch at the Main Street Grill in Riverwalk (Edwards) after the ride. The Eagle County Landfill is about a mile up Rte. 131 from Rte. 6, and sure enough a road-raged dump truck driver tried to run Will off the road on the way back but fortunately he was not successful!

Patsy Rowe’s and Jeanne Mosier’s Ashcroft ride was a huge success, so hopefully it’ll find its way back into next years schedule. The shuttle was expensive however, so that aspect will need to be revised.


The Bighorn ram seen on the Glenwood Canyon ride!

Robin Burch and Leslie Davies led a 22 mile bike ride through Glenwood Canyon followed by a delightful lunch at the Wolcott Yacht Club. They were lucky to have a cool, crisp morning to head out with very little traffic along the path, allowing 17 riders to spread out. Along the way, they spotted a big horn sheep that was right on the bike path! In addition to the sheep, the other thing they were a bit surprised by were the three riders who showed up in the parking lot the morning of the ride without first informing the leaders… Everyone agreed that they would like to see more rides of this type.


Mountain Bike on Vail Mountain. Only four of us this day but a very nice ride!

Paul Gerhardt led 3 fun rides.  A dozen folks rode gently uphill on the bike path from Carbondale to Woody Creek, had a nice lunch at the Woody Creek Tavern, then cruised back to Carbondale.  Four intrepid mountain bikers climbed almost 3000′ up the front side of Vail mountain, sharing the catwalks with trucks loaded down with parts for the new Avanti lift. And for a new ride this year, “Not Quite the Triple Bypass”, a dozen riders started in Edwards and rode up and down 3 hills (Beaver Creek Village, Singletree, Homestead), resting along the way and ending with burgers and beer on the Gerhardt’s deck.

Suzette Newman and 5 riders had a great ride at Green Mountain Lake, good weather despite a rainy forecast, and a satisfying lunch at Whole Foods afterwards.

Gary Blamire lead the season’s closing mountain bike ride up Turkey Creek Road starting in Red Cliff. The group made it to the Holy Cross viewing deck, then practically flew back down to Mango’s for lunch and well-earned margaritas. It was a beautiful way to end the the season.

— Lynn Anderson, 2015 Cycling Chair


Lunch after Glenwood Springs ride.









2015 Tennis

Tennis participation was very robust, at 243 player days!  In other words, with 14 weeks of play, we averaged 17 people each week.  That’s a LOT of people setting their alarms to be on the courts at 8am.

The weather did not cooperate this year resulting in cancellation of the tennis tournament.  The tennis players enjoyed their tournament snacks as they watched the US Open at the Beaver Creek Tennis Clubhouse and the rain continued outside.  Thanks to Eileen and Nick Sordi for all their work on setting up the tournament.

For 2016 we’re going to launch a new organizational system for tennis, to make the coordinator’s job a lot easier. Players will sign up for the weekly tennis games using the club website, in a manner similar to what is now used for social events. Upon arriving at the courts, players will divide into two ability groups, and during play will move up or down a court depending on winning or losing a set, which will further sort out abilities. We are going to experiment with not requiring exact multiples of four ahead of time, which may result in a person occasionally sitting out a set. All the coordinator will need to do is reserve the needed number of courts for that week, and appoint a leader for the week to handle court fees and to get the initial play underway. Click here for all the details.

Thanks to everyone for the great camaraderie and sportsmanship.  See you next year!

— Patricia Chapman, 2015 Tennis Chair

2015 Par 3 Golf

par3What a great golfing season this has been.  The Par 3 golf group grew in leaps and bounds and expanded the weekly contests and tournaments to include all kinds of fun events.  League numbers now total more than forty people, both men and women, and it does not matter if handicaps were in the single digit or double digits, all had an enthusiasm and love for golf that let us all enjoy both the sport and the magnificent views and scenery that The Short Course gave us.

Even the weather cooperated – we had no rain outs and there was only one morning that we played through a particularly soggy day.  We had a grand total of 23 birdies throughout the season – no holes-in-one, but there is always next year!

Our end-of-season luncheon, which was held at the Sonnenalp Café in Singletree had a great turn out with the following big winners:

Most Improved handicap – Bob Finlay

Most Birdies – Angela Penrose

Bravest Player (First male to play with all the women) – Tom Ruemmler

Most Committed (Best Attendance) – Gussie Ross

All in all it was a terrific year – so many new friendships were made, while old friendships were renewed.  We are all looking forward to playing again next year – hope many of you will join us.

— Barbara Wahle, 2015 Golf Chair

2015 Sporting Clays & Target Shooting

Shooting sports shares the same camaraderie and enthusiasm as other VC50 sports. No experience is necessary to join us. Someone will assist newcomers and possibly provide you with a firearm that fits you. Maybe you have a firearm in a closet that you want to take out and review. We offer the perfect venue for helpful mentoring in a safe atmosphere. A weekly Tuesday morning event, we practice shotgun every other week, trading with pistol and rifle each once a month. Participants agree that the 12-stand shotgun course at Sage Adventure Sports has the most beautiful views any of us has ever seen on a course. Pistol and rifle practice occur at the Gypsum Gun Club, just off I-70. We usually have lunch together afterward at the Wolcott Yacht Club or a restaurant in Gypsum. The season continues through the fall.

— Jackie Cohen, 2015 Shooting Chair