Online at www.redwoodllamas.com
After having twin boys in 1982 and being an avid backpacker, I decided to purchase two male llamas to carry the gear. Training and packing with these llamas got me interested in purchasing breeding llamas. At that time there was a six-month waiting period and the llamas came in pairs (one female and one male), so in 1984 I had my pack string of nine males and breeding herd of seven females. Since that time, we have been breeding for athletic pack llamas and, along with head guide Mark Pommier, have trained and used most of the male offspring to add to our string. We now have twenty-five trained llamas and ten packers-intraining. The female breeding herd is now at twenty-four and we are now training and selling our excess females as packers. Along the way, diverse North American bloodlines have been added to the herd.
I started the packing business by taking friends on weeklong trips and then friends of these friends joined us, so I decided to apply for and got permits that cover 100 square miles of the San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests (including the Weminuche, Uncompahgre, Mount Sneffels, and Lizard Head Wildernesses). Redwood Llamas is based out of Silverton, Colorado and offers fully guided trips, drop camps, daily and season leases, along with one- to three- day Pack Clinics catering to backpackers, photographers, fishermen, and bow hunters. Written up in the New York Times, Southwest Fly Fishing and Backpacker magazines, Redwood Llamas was also the outfitter for the BBC Documentry on the Weminuche Wilderness. We also volunteered to haul gear into build the Colorado Trail section from Silverton to Durango.
The best thing about this business is the friendships that have developed along the way!