The 100 Club
They hike like Paris Hilton shops.
The 100 Club is a group of valley locals who get together several times a week socially for biking, hiking, skiing, four-wheeling and eating out.
Tom and Olly Sherman started the club in 1990 as a way for people to connect and stay active socially and physically.
To be in the club, an individual must be 50 or older, and if married, a couple’s combined ages must equal at least 100. “The legacy they left is the congeniality,” Rick Mandell said. “It’s like having 150 friends that you can do things with.”
The club has approximately 400 members who live from Aspen to Battlement Mesa. Together, they have gone on more than 350 different hikes in Colorado and Utah.
Every November, they honor individuals who hit hiking milestones. This year, 79-year-old Hal Sundin, who earned his 4,000-mile pin, was among the honored guests.
“Hal is the hike master,” Jitter Nolen said. Sundin, who has hiked all 54 fourteeners, produces a hiking schedule for the season, creates maps of each hike, and leads the group.
In addition to strong legs, he has thick skin. And he needs it.
Sundin is perhaps best known for his column, “As I See It,” that has run in the Post Independent since 1996.
One Sundin letter can start a volley of opinionated exchanges from readers that can make the letters to the editor section feel like a Wimbledon match.
But if you ask Sundin about it, he just grins like a schoolboy.
His motivation for his column, which runs every other week, is simple: “It’s a wake-up call,” he said. He writes to prompt others to take action and get involved in local and national government.
“He’s a very transparent, valiant guy,” Rick Mandell said.
When Sundin is not hiking or writing, he takes care of his wife, who had a stroke 25 years ago.
Sundin has a Ph.D. in water and sewer engineering and two masters’ degrees in mechanical and structural engineering. “He’s got a photographic memory,” Mandell said. “And he teaches you how to hike.”
According to Mandell, the club is full of hundreds of energetic and fascinating people. “Just being at the top of a fourteener with these people is an experience,” Mandell said.
He also admitted that some of them beat him to the top.
This might include 86-year-old Brig. Gen. George Wear who still insists on hiking clothes that are washed and ironed West Point style.
Wear, a West Point graduate who served in combat infantry in Korea, World War II and two tours of duty in Vietnam, is still a 100 Club favorite. Last season he logged 292 hiking miles. “He’s a patriot,” Mandell said.
Although Sundin is the first member to hike 4,000 miles, like Wear and the others, he shows no signs of slowing down.
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Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or email@example.com