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OR - The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide - John Waters

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  • exec@ring.com
    Owner Review The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide: 50 Historic Hiking, Snowshoe, and Ski Trails in Eagle County, the Holy Cross, and Gore Range Wilderness
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 22, 2005
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      Owner Review

      The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide: 50 Historic Hiking, Snowshoe, and Ski Trails in Eagle County, the Holy Cross, and Gore Range Wilderness Areas

      Reviewed By: John R. Waters
      Email: exec@...


      Product Information

      Title: The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide: 50 Historic Hiking, Snowshoe, and Ski Trails in Eagle County, the Holy Cross, and Gore Range Wilderness Areas
      Author: Mary Ellen Gilliland
      Back cover photo courtesy Colorado State Historical Society
      Ten maps are printed from TOPO!, copyright 2001 National Geographic Holdings
      Printing: May 2001, Third edition, revised and expanded (a new edition was issued in 2004)

      Publisher: Alpenrose Press
      PO Box 499
      Silverthorne, CO 80498-0499
      970-468-4273 or 800-579-1179
      www.alpenrosepress.com
      info@...

      Size: 122 pages, spiral bound, soft cover, 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches (1.3 x 15.7 x 23.4 cm)
      Weight: 8.8 oz (249 g)
      ISBN: 1-889385-06-9
      Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 96-84848
      MSRP: $17.95

      Availability: The Vail Hiker is listed as being "Out of Print--Limited Availability" at Amazon.com, but there are (at time of review) used copies ranging from $12.00 to $29.99. I was not able to find stock, new or used at Barnes and Noble or other online retailers.

      The Vail Hiker can be ordered by phone directly from the publisher by phone or by mail. Send your check for $17.95 plus $2.50 postage and handling to the above listed address. Be sure to include your shipping information. An order form can be found at and printed from the publishers' website. Phone orders are filled the same day. Autographed copies are available.

      General Description: The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide: 50 Historic Hiking, Snowshoe, and Ski Trails in Eagle County, the Holy Cross, and Gore Range Wilderness Areas is the definitive trail guide to the Vail Valley area including trails from as far east as Minturn to as far west as Gypsum, Colorado. A long-time resident of Silverthorne, Colorado (across the Pass), author Mary Ellen Gilliland has hiked each trail herself, most of them more than once. Her personal experience shows in the accuracy and detail of the trails descriptions. These are all day hikes; however, some information is given for combining various trails for overnight hikes.

      The Vail Hiker is spiral bound so it will lay flat and can be "folded" in half for ease in using. Its small size makes it possible to be wedged into a stash pocket in even my smallest daypack where the guide is always in a handy position for immediate use.

      There are actually two tables of contents, the first grouping is by geographical location and the second grouping is by difficulty level which is further divided into hiking and snowshoe tour categories.

      Also included in the introductory section of the guide are tips, explanation of terms used and a fold out topographical map of the whole area being discussed.

      Each trail is printed on two facing pages, which makes The Vail Guide very easy to use. At the beginning of each trail description, seven points are highlighted: time, distance, elevation gain, high point, rating, "usually open" and topo. After this header, several paragraphs describing flora and fauna, information about the terrain and area history, and suggestions and directions for the hike follow. Pictures and topo maps are also included for each trail.

      My experiences

      I've been using The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide: 50 Historic Hiking, Snowshoe, and Ski Trails in Eagle County, the Holy Cross, and Gore Range Wilderness for over 3 years now and have covered a great many of the listed trails. The wire-bound spiral book has held up admirably after being stuffed here and there in my backpack for well over 2 dozen hikes. The glossy heavyweight paperback front and back covers are a little worse for the wear, having gotten dropped into snow/dirt and rained-on but are still more than adequately protective. Waterproof covers would be nice, but a zip-lock baggie works while in transit, at least.

      The accuracy of the trails can be summed up with just one phrase - "I never got lost"! The elements of time, distance, elevation gain, etc. I found to be right on target, but I constantly have to re-check the author's explanation of terms for time and distance. For whatever reason, the author chooses to estimate time as round-trip and distance as one-way which I find very confusing. It would be helpful for both measurements to be consistent.

      The individual topographical maps are too small to be of any real use, but do give a general idea of the trail. However with Gilliland's almost lyrical prose and accurate description, I don't find the lack of "real" maps to be a hinderance.

      Summary

      The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide: 50 Historic Hiking, Snowshoe, and Ski Trails in Eagle County, the Holy Cross, and Gore Range Wilderness is an excellent guide, most likely, the only guide needed for day hiking in the Vail Valley.


      Tester Information
      Name: John R. Waters
      Age: 55
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5'9" (1.7 m)
      Weight: 178 lbs (81 kg)
      Email Address: pdg@...
      City, State, Country: White Lake, MI USA
      Date: February 23, 2005

      Backpacking Background

      My backpacking experience is limited to the last couple of years, hiking primarily in Michigan and Colorado. In Michigan, I do day (and night) hikes of 6 miles (10 km) to 8 miles (13 km) with my wife a couple times a week in Pontiac Lake Recreation area with weekend hikes in various other southeast Michigan locales. Our twice-a-year vacations are usually in Eagle County, Colorado where we hike the mountains of Vail Valley in the summer and snowshoe the same trails in the winter. Temperatures range from -5 F (-20 C) to 90 F (32 C) and elevations range from 200' (60 m) to 13400' (4084 m). Terrain covers sandy beaches, hard-pack dirt trails and rock scrambling.

      I tend towards the lightest pack possible - under 12 lbs. (5 k), but of course, that is day hiking. I hope to start overnight hiking this summer and am aiming for a light to ultra -weight pack.





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • chcoa
      Hi John, PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 22, 2005
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        Hi John,

        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do not
        worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our Editors
        are volunteers and your report will be subject to an official edit
        within fourteen days. If you have not had a response from an Edit
        Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this timeframe, please let
        me know directly at jdeben@....

        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
        that you post only ONE Owner Review for edit at a time. Our
        experience is that it is more efficient for both the Editors and
        yourself, if you post your first review, have it edited, approved and
        uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews. This
        way we can work with you on addressing any standard BGT policy edits
        which you can incorporate into your second and subsequent reviews
        before submission.

        If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community!
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        You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group.
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      • edwardripleyduggan
        Hello John, Many thanks for your OR. Your edits follow. I think this is an admirable effort -- you have correct many things that are frequently omitted in
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 3, 2005
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          Hello John,

          Many thanks for your OR. Your edits follow. I think this is an
          admirable effort -- you have correct many things that are frequently
          omitted in early OR efforts -- and I do hope that you will take my
          suggestions in the constructive manner in which they are intended!
          Please make the suggested changes, and place the OR back in the BGT
          queue with REPOST in front of the title. I'll re-read, deal with any
          residual or introduced errors, and I'll then want to see a test web
          version. Thanks very much for your hard work.

          Ted

          BGT OR Editor


          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, <exec@r...> wrote:
          > Owner Review
          >
          > The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide: 50 Historic Hiking, Snowshoe,
          and Ski Trails in Eagle County, the Holy Cross, and Gore Range
          Wilderness Areas
          >
          > Reviewed By: John R. Waters
          > Email: exec@r...

          ### I think it important that the reader know upfront and immediately
          who the reviewer is, and something of their backpacking experience.
          Therefore, I'd like you to scratch the two lines above and insert your
          "tester information" and "backpacking background" sections in their
          stead. This contains the same information (name and e-mail) and so
          redundancy is avoided, also.

          >
          >
          > Product Information
          >
          > Title: The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide: 50 Historic Hiking,
          Snowshoe, and Ski Trails in Eagle County, the Holy Cross, and Gore
          Range Wilderness Areas
          > Author: Mary Ellen Gilliland
          > Back cover photo courtesy Colorado State Historical Society

          ### probably more information than needed

          > Ten maps are printed from TOPO!, copyright 2001 National Geographic
          Holdings

          ### similarly, more information than needed

          > Printing: May 2001, Third edition, revised and expanded (a new
          edition was issued in 2004)
          >
          > Publisher: Alpenrose Press
          > PO Box 499
          > Silverthorne, CO 80498-0499
          > 970-468-4273 or 800-579-1179
          > www.alpenrosepress.com

          ### Please break this out as a separate line i.e.
          Website: www.alpenrosepress.com
          > info@a...

          ## we don't generally provide the e-mail contact information, on the
          principle that phone and website is sufficient
          >
          > Size: 122 pages, spiral bound, soft cover, 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
          (1.3 x 15.7 x 23.4 cm)
          > Weight: 8.8 oz (249 g)
          > ISBN: 1-889385-06-9
          > Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 96-84848
          > MSRP: $17.95

          ### $17.95 US

          >
          > Availability: The Vail Hiker is listed as being "Out of
          Print--Limited Availability" at Amazon.com, but there are (at time of
          review) used copies ranging from $12.00 to $29.99. I was not able to
          find stock, new or used at Barnes and Noble or other online retailers.
          >
          > The Vail Hiker can be ordered by phone directly from the publisher
          by phone or by mail. Send your check for $17.95 plus $2.50 postage
          and handling to the above listed address. Be sure to include your
          shipping information. An order form can be found at and printed from
          the publishers' website. Phone orders are filled the same day.
          Autographed copies are available.

          ### If the above information (regarding phone ordering) is still
          correct, the book can be considered as "In Print." In which vase, I
          would omit the paragraph above that about Amazon, Barnes & Noble &c,
          which is subject to rapid change. Most interested parties, should the
          book truly go OP, will go to those sources in any case.

          >
          > General Description: The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide: 50
          Historic Hiking, Snowshoe, and Ski Trails in Eagle County, the Holy
          Cross, and Gore Range Wilderness Areas is the definitive trail guide
          to the Vail Valley area including trails from as far east as Minturn
          to as far west as Gypsum, Colorado. A long-time resident of
          Silverthorne, Colorado (across the Pass), author Mary Ellen Gilliland
          has hiked each trail herself, most of them more than once. Her
          personal experience shows in the accuracy and detail of the trails
          descriptions. These are all day hikes; however, some information is
          given for combining various trails for overnight hikes.

          ### I want to check that the descriptive section is in your own words,
          and is not the blurb from the book. The reason for this concern is
          that my assumption as a reader is that the statement "Her personal
          experience shows in the accuracy and detail of the trails
          descriptions" is yours, not the publishers, and is based on your
          experience with the book. If this is not the case, please reword in a
          manner that indicates that the information in this paragraph
          originates from the book itself, or if a blend, indicate what comes
          from you and what comes from the book.


          > There are actually two tables of contents, the first grouping is by
          geographical location and the second grouping is by difficulty level

          ### comma after level

          which is further divided into hiking and snowshoe tour categories.
          >
          > Also included in the introductory section of the guide are tips, >
          explanation of terms used

          ### comma after used

          > and a fold out topographical map of the whole area being discussed.
          >
          > Each trail is printed on two facing pages, which makes The Vail
          Guide very easy to use. At the beginning of each trail description,
          seven points are highlighted: time, distance, elevation gain, high
          point, rating, "usually open"

          ### could you explain "usually open" in parenthesis, please? I'm not
          sure to what this category refers.

          and topo. After this header, several paragraphs describing flora and
          fauna, information about the terrain and area history, and suggestions
          and directions for the hike follow. Pictures and topo maps are also
          included for each trail.
          >
          > The individual topographical maps are too small to be of any real
          use, but do give a general idea of the trail. However with
          Gilliland's almost lyrical prose and accurate description, I don't
          find the lack of "real" maps to be a hinderance.

          ### hindrance

          >
          > Summary
          >
          > The Vail Hiker and Ski Touring Guide: 50 Historic Hiking, Snowshoe,
          and Ski Trails in Eagle County, the Holy Cross, and Gore Range
          Wilderness is an excellent guide, most likely, the only guide needed
          for day hiking in the Vail Valley.
          >
          >
          > Tester Information
          > Name: John R. Waters
          > Age: 55
          > Gender: Male
          > Height: 5'9" (1.7 m)
          > Weight: 178 lbs (81 kg)

          ### rightly or wrongly, standard BGT usage is simply lb, for
          uniformity with kg

          > Email Address: pdg@r...
          > City, State, Country: White Lake, MI USA
          > Date: February 23, 2005
          >
          > Backpacking Background
          >
          > My backpacking experience is limited to the last couple of years,
          hiking primarily in Michigan and Colorado. In Michigan, I do day (and
          night) hikes of 6 miles (10 km) to 8 miles (13 km) with my wife a
          couple times a week in Pontiac Lake Recreation area with weekend hikes
          in various other southeast Michigan locales. Our twice-a-year
          vacations are usually in Eagle County, Colorado where we hike the
          mountains of Vail Valley in the summer and snowshoe the same trails in
          the winter. Temperatures range from -5 F (-20 C) to 90 F (32 C) and
          elevations range from 200' (60 m) to 13400' (4084 m). Terrain covers
          sandy beaches, hard-pack dirt trails and rock scrambling.
          >
          > I tend towards the lightest pack possible - under 12 lbs. (5 k), but
          of course, that is day hiking. I hope to start overnight hiking this
          summer and am aiming for a light to ultra -weight pack.

          ### Though we hope to soon be able to provide links to expanded bios
          (though this is not a sure thing), our practice is to keep review bios
          to around 100 words. I think you can do this without too much trouble,
          as you have what I would term "Field Information" -- details of
          climate and terrain -- jumbled in with biography. I want you to keep
          the Vail-related information, but break it out as a separate category
          under the Field Information rubric. As I had mentioned at the outset
          of my edit, please remove the biographical (and Field) info to the
          head of the review.

          That's it for now. Thanks!
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