Mountain Man Rendezvous this weekend

The East River Free Trapper and Uncompahgre Free Trappers are hosting the 35th annual Mountain Man Rendezvous August 1-5. The gathering will be held up Washington Gulch Road north of Crested Butte. The public is welcome Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you want to stay longer, you must be in pre-1840 clothing after 5 p.m.
The camp is a living history of America’s Mountain Man era from 1820 to 1840. Barbara Peters explains that Rendezvous was a time and a place where trappers would sell their furs to traders such as the Hudson Bay Company and re-supply for the next year of trapping in the wilds. Many men adopted the Native American dress and even married into tribes to make peace with the natives, whose lands and hunting grounds they were trapping on. When they would come to Rendezvous they would not only trade and sell the furs but they would also have competitions in skills and tell stories of their time in the wilderness.
This version of the Rendezvous honors that and will include a muzzle-loaded rifle shoot, primitive bow and arrow competitions and tomahawk and knife competitions. All tents, cooking gear, trade goods and entertainment is as close to the time period as possible.
Organizers request:
—Please park your cars and walk into the event, which will be noticeable off of Washington Gulch Road.
—All dogs must be leashed (National Forest Service rules). If they don’t like loud noises please leave them home.
—Ask before taking pictures of participants and camps.
—Bring your curiosity and try your hand at the Hawk and Knife Blocks.
Peters said that this would be the last year on the traditional Washington Gulch site, as the modern campers are making it difficult to maintain the esthetic of the event. She thanks everyone for all the years on this site and in particular to Dave York who started this rendezvous in the Mt. Crested Butte ski area parking lot 35 years ago. She said the East River Free Trappers are currently looking for any local private landowners who also love history and would like to host this event on their land for future years. If you know of such a place, contact Barbara Peters at

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