Agnes Vaille Shelter

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Agnes Vaille Shelter
Agnes Vaille Shelter.jpg
Agnes Vaille Shelter is located in Colorado
Agnes Vaille Shelter
Agnes Vaille Shelter is located in the US
Agnes Vaille Shelter
Nearest city Estes Park, Colorado
Coordinates 40°15′38″N 105°37′13″W / 40.26056°N 105.62028°W / 40.26056; -105.62028Coordinates: 40°15′38″N 105°37′13″W / 40.26056°N 105.62028°W / 40.26056; -105.62028
Area less than one acre
Built 1927
Architectural style Other, NPS Rustic
MPS Rocky Mountain National Park MRA
NRHP Reference # 92001669[1]
Added to NRHP December 24, 1992

The Agnes Vaille Shelter is a beehive-shaped stone shelter near the summit of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. The shelter was built in 1927 by the National Park Service after a number of climbers died ascending Longs Peak. The shelter was named for Agnes Vaille, who made the first winter ascent of the east face of Longs Peak by a woman. On January 12, 1925, Vaille fell 100 ft (30 m) while descending the North Face. Vaille survived the fall with minor injuries, but was unable to walk. Her climbing partner, professional mountaineering guide Walter Kiener, went for help; but when rescuers arrived, Vaille had died of fatigue and hypothermia. One of the rescuers, Herbert Sortland, froze to death after breaking his hip while trying to rescue her.[2] The shelter was designed in the spirit of the National Park Service rustic style to blend with the local landscape, located above 13,400 feet (4,100 m) elevation on the edge of an area known as The Boulder Field. The stone for the shelter came from this area.[3]

The shelter consists of a single circular room with a conical ceiling formed by the walls and roof of the shelter, entered by a single door opening whose door has been removed. As a result, the interior may be partially filled with snow for much of summer. There are two glazed windows and one filled-in opening, and the floor is paved with stone.[3]

Recent scholarship asserts that the present shelter was built by Vaille's family in 1935 to replace the 1927 Park Service shelter.[4]

The Agnes Vaille Shelter was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 24, 1992.[1]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Nesbit, Paul. Longs Peak. 1990
  3. ^ a b Mehls, Steven F. (August 4, 1991). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Agnes Vaille Shelter" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Perry, Phyllis J, (2008). It Happened in Rocky Mountain National Park. Morris Book Publishing, LLC. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-7627-4238-7.