Elwyn Albert Arps, 1901-1990

Climb Year: N/A. Publication Year: 1991.



Elwyn Albert Arps, member of the American Alpine Club since 1940, was bom in Ouray, Colorado on June 4, 1901. In his boyhood, the family moved to Denver, where he grew up. He was an enthusiastic lover of the out-of-doors and joined the Colorado Mountain Club about 1920. From the very start he took an active part in its programs, serving not only as a participant but also in roles where his ability and leadership qualities were soon recognized. He led many hikes and served on several Annual Outing Committees. As a leader, he was very conscientious and always considerate of his party and saw to it that most or all reached the objectives of the trip.

In 1941 he married Louisa Ward, an author of note particularly of historic, scenic and outdoor works. The Geographic Board this year named a Colorado peak after her. It is now Mount Arps. She died suddenly of a heart attack in 1987.

Elwyn’s climbing career included ascents of all the 54 peaks above 14,000 feet in Colorado, Mount Rainier, the Grand Teton and most of the Californian 14,000ers. He was also an excellent skier and enjoyed winter sports.

His interest in scenic photography led to noteworthy black-and-white pictures and 35mm slides. He was a founder and active participant in the William H. Jackson Color Camera Club. He also belonged to the Denver Posse of the Westerners, a club principally interested in the history of our Western States.

After his wife’s death, he continued to live in their home until deteriorating health forced him to enter a nursing home, where after a year he died on June 9, 1990, five days after his 89th birthday. He and his wife are sorely missed by their friends.

Carl Blaurock