Hull Cook worked as a climbing guide at the Boulderfield Shelter Cabin, at 12,750 feet on Longs Peak, during the summers of 1932, 1933, and 1934. These are his stories.
Bathing facilities at Boulderfield were limited. Usually we stood with one foot in each of two wash pans of warm, soapy water, with a third wash pan between the other two to help catch run-off, an arrangement that would have been less efficient in the case of a female bather. A kettle of clean water was placed nearby for rinsing off the soap. Bathing was sometimes interrupted by the unexpected arrival of tourists, who usually barged right in without knocking, thereby creating an entertaining scramble for cover.
After the brief but heavy afternoon rain showers that are frequent in the mountains, we would often reach the cabin drenched, and wish to change into dry clothes, only to find the place crowded with tourists seeking shelter. My wife believes that this is where I lost my modesty, because we boys changed to dry clothes, crowds or not. We would step to a corner of the room, and while facing away from the people, we would peel down to the bare facts and dry off. Women showed surprise, shock, and embarrassment until, seemingly reassured by our confident composure, their discomfort was usually converted to amusement.
When no overnight guests were present, Zumie [Clerin Zumwalt, another guide] often enjoyed starting the day by flinging open the heavy front door, stepping outside, and shouting as loudly as he could, “Hello, world!” And for this brief ritual Zum felt that the appropriate attire was complete nudity. … Continue Reading