AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Julie A. Inwood, 1939-1985



Julie, like many of us who came from Colorado, was virtually brought up in the mountains. And certainly, in her case, enthusiasm for the mountains was in every way matched by mountaineering competence.

Having only recently joined the AAC when she died June 14, Julie had been a member of the Colorado Mountain Club for over a decade and had planned on reclimbing all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks while still in her forties. On June 7 Julie, who was in Huaraz, Peru preparing for a climb of Huascarán, slipped in a hotel room shower striking her head. The fall led to her death seven days later.

She had planned to return to Europe later during the summer to make a traverse of the Eiger and to climb the Matterhorn for the third time. In 1984 when Julie and I climbed together in Europe she showed an almost inexhaustable energy level whether it was on the Kleine Zinne in the Dolomites or on the Grossglockner in Austria.

There was only once, though in its retelling it may be more apocryphal than not, that Julie momentarily lost interest in mountaineering. In the seventies after returning from a particularly difficult three-day climb of the Diamond on Long’s Peak where the bivis were made unspeakably miserable by freezing rain and snow, where stoves would not light and clothing could not protect, Julie simply had enough of climbing and gave her rack and ropes to her son. Needless to say, by the next summer she ended up having to replace all of the hardware.

Not only was Julie a high-caliber climber but she was an avid skier and a master scuba diver, having organized and led several dives in the Caribbean. As a cyclist, Julie participated in a study of the effect of cycling on the heart with the Colorado Heart Cycle group. In two recent summers the group rode 1,000 miles in ten days over many of Colorado’s passes.

But perhaps Julie’s enthusiasms will best be remembered in her work as a master teacher in the Boulder schools for the emotionally disturbed and the mentally and physically handicapped. After earning three graduate degrees in special education and spending eleven years as a teacher and administrator in the Illinois schools, Julie returned to Boulder in 1977 and was currently teaching at the Aurora Seven Elementary School. The children at her school no doubt felt Julie’s tremendous spirit when she was there as much as they miss it now that she is gone. Her family and friends share deeply in that loss.

Alan Lamb