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.
Everyone at Boulderfield felt a serious responsibility toward all persons who came up trail, although we were in no way required to do so. For everyone who went beyond the cabin we made a mark on a paper tacked to the door of the phone box. Then, as people straggled back, we would mark them off. If at the end of the day there were uncanceled marks remaining, one of us boys would scout the peak, ascending the North Face, going over the top, and returning by the Keyhole route. We would often find victims in various stages of exhaustion and fright, perhaps unable to move without assistance.
Of course occasionally climbers would descend by way of Wild Basin or Glacier Gorge rather than returning to the cabin, in which case the would-be rescuer would find no one and [would] shrug off his effort as a recreational climb.
Not infrequently someone would arrive breathlessly at our cabin-hotel with news that an injured or exhausted climber needed rescuing. The messenger would request, often demand, that a rescue party be organized at once. A couple of Boulderfield boys would perhaps toss a coin to determine which one should go. This casual inability to appreciate the gravity of the emergency was apt to infuriate the messenger. … Continue Reading