Agnes Vaille was a member of the Colorado Mountain Club. Like its relative in
the Northeast (the Appalachian Mountain Club), CMC had established the 14,000
footers club. At this time, she had climbed all 54 of the 14ers (see
this link for the present day list). In January of 1925 she and companions
from the CMC decided to do a winter climb of Longs Peak. What follows is the
story of that climb from the
Rocky Mountain Park history:
"Early on the afternoon of Monday, January 12, 1925, Chief Ranger Thomas J.
Allen, Jr., phoned Moomaw at his residence to hurry to the Longs Peak Inn, for
trouble had been reported on Longs Peak; Moomaw, Allen, and another ranger
were going to have to investigate it. At the Inn, the rangers were told the
basic facts of a tragedy. On the previous Saturday, January 10, Agnes W.
Vaille, Elinor Eppich and Walter Kiener, all Colorado Mountain Club members,
had started up the Longs Peak trail toward Timberline Cabin, with the
intention of climbing the east side of the Peak. 
Subsequently the weather became threatening, so by early Sunday morning the
three considered giving up their attempt to continue any further. Then by 9:30
a.m. weather conditions had improved and Miss Vaille and Kiener decided to
proceed, but Miss Eppich returned to Longs Peak Inn. It might be noted that no
one had yet succeed in ascending the east side during winter time.
The two climbers made good progress, but when darkness came that Sunday,
Miss Vaille and Kiener were still a considerable distance from the top. They
agreed, however, that it would be more hazardous for them to retrace their
steps than to complete their climb, so they continued upward. During the night
the temperature dropped to 14 degrees below zero and a strong west wind began
to blow, yet they reached the summit at 4:00 a.m. Monday, January 12.
Because of the intense cold and their own fatigue, they decided to descend
the north side of the Peak, direct to the Boulderfield, a shorter but more
dangerous route. While on the most difficult part of the north side trail,
Agnes Vaille fell and slid about 150 feet down the steep face of the rock. She
was stopped only by the rocks at the lower edge of the snow. Kiener quickly
reached her, but was unable to help her make substantial progress. After an
hour's wait Kiener decided to start down for help. Miss Vaille believed that
if she could get a half an hour's sleep she could resume the trip and meet
Kiener on his return. In the preceding fifty hours they had slept less than an
Meanwhile a party of local residents, men, composed of Jack Christen, Hugh
Brown, Oscar Brown and Herbert Sortland, formed a rescue party and started up
the peak. When this party did not return on Monday the rangers were called
into the search. Upon reaching Timberline Cabin, the three rangers found
Kiener, Hugh Brown and Christen huddled about the stove; Oscar Brown and
Sortland had earlier been forced to turn back. The rangers were told that
about 4:00 or 4:30 p.m., Brown, Cristen and nearly exhausted Kiener had
reached Miss Vaille. They found her body lying face down on a rock, a few feet
from where Kiener had left her. She probably had been dead for several hours.
Unable to bring her down the mountain, the men returned to Timberline Cabin
about 7:30 p.m. where Moomaw and the rangers found them. 
After spending a sleepless night at the Cabin, the entire party went back to
the Longs Peak Inn to wait for favorable weather before retrieving Miss
Vaille's body. While at the Inn, they learned that Herbert Sortland had not
Later on it the body of Herbert Sortland was found. It wsa thought that Agnes
had frozen to death after her fall. After this tragic event, the park extended
the phone line to the cabin at the base and the cabin was renamed the "Agnes
Vaille" Cabin. A
near Mt. Princeton ( in a different range of mountains than the Front Range)
was named after her.
Agnes was a member of a prominent Denver family. She served the American Red
Cross in France during WWI. Upon her return, she became Secretary of the
Denver Chamber of Commerce.