April 22nd Board Meeting

CTM Board Members held a meeting on April 22, 2014. The following members were in attendance:

President: Joel Schopp
Access Coordinator: Jason Mann
Treasurer: Neil Higa
Events Coordinator: Jennifer Wolken

Topics Discussed:

1. Kelly Robb (Secretary) has unfortunately stepped down from her position. Evening Galvin has stepped in to fill the position. The board unanimously voted to make this change. We are very happy to bring her on.

2. The Board voted to create a couple of new appointed positions for members and include these members in our board member meetings. We agreed that because CTM’s membership base continues to grow, we need more help in trying to accomplish our goals. Possible positions would be Membership Management, Outreach, Website Management, etc. Hilary Pelham agreed to fill one or more of the positions/duties. We will reach out to more of our members to see who is interested. If interested, please fill out the form on the “Get Involved” page on our website.

3. Our Email Distribution list has been set up with MailChimp service, which will offer us a better platform for getting information to members. we discussed sending emails once every two months.

4. The Board voted to reimburse members for hardware expenses at North Shore and also to reimburse Neil for inventory stock of sport clips and bolts.

5. A Members Meeting and Social will be held May 15th at Opal Divine’s on South Congress at 7pm. The board agreed to make the Members Meeting a regularly held event (once every two months). Board Member Meetings would be held on the alternating months.

6. An AAC-sponsored “Send and Social” will be held (tentatively) on May 31st. Adam Mitchell has details.

7. A CTM “Education Event” will be held June 1st at Reimer’s. Classes would follow in the afternoon. This would include classes that were rained out at the Limestoner this year.

8. A Trail Day will be held on National Trails Day (June 7th). Tommy Blackwell will lead. APF has events for Austin-area parks, but North Shore needs some work. Location TBD.

9. The Limestoner made approximately $5800 this year, almost double what has been made in past years. We made $1221 of the total funds through silent auction donations. We had 114 participants, though more pre-registered and did not attend (possibly due to weather concerns). We gained 24 new CTM members the day-of and leading up to the event.

10. Safety Classes: The board feels that climbing safety and education is an important topic to address. To that end, we agreed to use CTM funds (raised at the Limestoner) to sponsor safety classes hosted by area guide groups. A proposal and action plan will be drafted and sent to guide groups.

11. Medicine Wall Update. A development company (Bitter Blue) owns the property and does not allow climbing. A formal letter has been drafted requesting access and will be sent to the company. The company is already talking to the City of San Antonio about transferring ownership of the property to the City. If that happens, it would be easy to manage access through the City.

12. New Wall: Still closed. We discussed the idea of starting a letter campaign to city council.

60 Mile Pecos River Paddle Trip

Attention CTM Members! CTM was notified by James Choate about the following opportunity to paddle the Pecos River, and do a little climbing/hiking on the side. While this is not a CTM-sponsored event, we thought that some of our members may be interested: 

Tentative time frame for trip: Last two weeks of May 2014

This is an opportunity to spend five to six days paddling and hiking the lower 60 miles of the Pecos River in West Texas. This river flows out of New Mexico and into the Rio Grande at the Amistad Reservoir. The surrounding area is the north eastern portion of the Chihuahuan desert. A good book for this trip is “The Lower Pecos River” which should be available through your  outfitter or book store [1]. We are looking to build a group of between four and six participants, with a maximum of twelve involved.

The Chihuahuan Desert, one of five North American deserts, is a high desert. It’s the largest and probably least studied [2]. One of the best books specific to the Chihuahuan desert is “Desert Survival Skills” which is a wealth of information about what to expect and how to deal with it [3, 4]. The scope of plants and animals is extremely broad as is the history of human habitation. Man has been living in this desert for at least 10,000 years, leaving a variety of signs like habitation remains, rock art, and cultural artifacts related to astronomy [4, 5, 6].

Being a pool and drop river there are numerous Class I and II opportunities with only a few higher level problems, that can be either lined or portaged. The dam or weir is a mandatory bypass due to it’s high danger level at any water flow. The river runs through lightly populated terrain with few roads, cell service, or public resources. We will be practicing “Leave No Trace” principles throughout the entire expedition [7]. Your IFAK should include blunt trauma, puncture, and snake bite resources. Obviously, you will want to make sure your WFA or WFR skills are up to date as well. The use of “Clean Mountain Cans” for human waste management is strongly suggested [8, 9]. You should consider using a GPS PLB like a SPOT, and possibly even a satellite phone, if within your budget [10]. Because the majority of bordering land is private we must be sensitive to avoiding trespass while exploring off the river proper.

We intend to bring along a small telescope because the seeing should be excellent due to the very dark skies at night. The lower sections of the river are also known for some of the best native American pictographs on the continent. State and federal law prohibits the taking or alteration of archeological and paleontological finds. Besides the hiking and scrambling I’m hoping to find at least a few climbing routes, maybe I’ll get an FA [11]!

Participants will need clothing, for a temperature range of the low 40’s into the 90’s w/ possible rain, a tent, sleeping bag, and limited personal items. You should plan on bringing two 5 gallon containers of water with a backup water filtration system. The water in the Pecos is high in salt, minerals and agricultural run-off and should not be used as a primary source. There are a variety of springs along the river. The low water flow and nature of the rock tend to be very hard on boats, so be sure to plan on at least a couple of repair kits per boat.

Pre-planning meeting:
4-5-14 (Saturday)
10:00 – 11:00 AM

Half Price Books
5555N. Lamar
Austin, TX 78751
512-451-4463

There will be other opportunities to meet, plan, and practice prior to the trip, currently planned for late May 2014. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact James Choate directly.

Contact Information:
James Choate
512-657-1279 8:00 – 22:00 CT
jameschoate@austin.rr.com