Obscure the 14ers

Letter from Myrna Schrader

Environment – July 1995 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Ed & Martha:

I am so glad that you printed those three articles on the plight of the Fourteeners [in the May edition], or more aptly, the pathetic state of the crowds who are addicted to them. For many years, all kinds of people have suggested that I emphasize the Fourteeners on my maps, whereas my aim has been just the opposite: to make them as obscure as possible.

Today in my work (which is mainly with the Sangres and surrounding valleys), I try to place as much emphasis as possible on the least-visited drainages in the range, while also attempting to downplay the heavily used areas.

Part of my aim is to aid the U.S. Forest Service in spreading out the usage in the range, which ultimately serves the goal of helping the range itself. The other aspect of my aim is to show people that many of the lightly used trails are even more scenic and breath-taking than the popular ones.

While it is true that I could sell more maps and photographs by focusing on the more popular areas, I feel that personal gain is far less important than being a good steward of the mountains. I abhor the thought of contributing, even indirectly, to the trash, erosion, and general impact on these already abused areas.

Thank you for blowing the whistle on this very serious problem in Colorado.

Myrna Schrader