New Eagle/Summit hiking guide debuts
Summit County correspondent
Copper Mountain resident Kim Fenske saw the need to write his own hiking guide from his experience as a wilderness ranger.
“I gave out 500 maps to orient people going up the trails,” he said. He also helped dozens of lost hikers.
He’s been working on the guide since 2001 and it came out to the public just this week.
Fenske’s full color text, “Greatest Hikes in Central Colorado: Summit and Eagle Counties: A Hiking Guide” focuses on nearby trails and includes identification of more than 100 wildflowers.
“I don’t live at Copper, I live on the trails,” Fenske said.
Fenske shot all the photography in the book himself, as well as doing all the hikes. He also designed the pages on his home computer and published it himself. Fenske said the only things that aren’t his own in the book are the National Geographic topographical maps.
The ranger said he’s seen it take four hours for rescuers to get to people that are only 30 minutes into a hike in rugged terrain. For this reason, he also covers the survival gear needed for the hikes. He lists what should be carried in a day pack, including a way to communicate, stay warm and hydrated and keep enough calories.
He also tells how much vertical feet will be accumulated through the hikes. He said the guide was written mainly for tourists and beginner hikers, but is also for anyone wanting to gain more information on the forest land.
Fenske’s favorite hikes in the book include the more challenging Willow Lakes Trail and Mayflower Gulch Trail because of the dramatic amphitheater effect of the mountain when arriving at the summit.
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The 20-person San Juan Interagency Hotshot Crew out of Durango is on the mountain to assess the fire risk and protect the Adventure Park. It is unknown when the park will reopen.