Mt. Sopris Llamas Unltd. is known throughout the lama community for its superior line of pack equipment and care products. As evidence of the soundness of our designs, owners of non-camelids have also come to depend on our halters, leads and equipment, and we have expanded our product line to serve their needs. In recognition of our broadening customer base, we have re-named our company Sopris Unlimited, Inc. and have emphasized the adaptability of our products across our four largest customer groups: owners of llamas, alpacas, goats and sheep. Our halters and leads also work well on other ruminants, including miniature donkeys and horses, Zebu and deer. A good design is universal, and Sopris products have unlimited applications.
Charlie Hackbarth and Bill Redwood of Redwood Llamas in Silverton, Colorado, offer a variety of training and pack clinics. Contact either of them to make a reservation.
We have updated a few pages here on our site, including information about wholesale prices for our halters and leads. Please be aware that when ordering 12 or more SoprisX halters or 10 or more eligible leads, you must email or call in the order to get the wholesale price--if you purchase them through our website, the discount will not be applied.
Also, we now have instructions for our Sopris Classic Saddle, Sopris Pack Tack, and Sopris Panniers online and in printer-friendly PDF formats and we have expanded our collection of free educational articles to include one from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and one from the International Lama Registry. Finally, we have compiled a list of organizations, associations and publications as a resource for people looking for more information about raising llamas.
Our History: During the winter months of 1982, Charlie Hackbarth and his Uncle Tant, a skilled harness maker and compulsive inventor, designed a pack saddle for Charlie’s first pack llama (see photos below). Over the next few years, Charlie continued to solve his pack equipment problems with his own designs and inventions.
In 1985, he launched a line of llama pack equipment called Mt. Sopris Llamas, named after the mountain that dominates the view at our original location in Carbondale, Colorado.
In 1998, when the town of Carbondale outgrew us, we moved to the small town of La Veta in the south central mountains of Colorado, where the twin Spanish Peaks that tower over our new offices often remind us of Mount Sopris.
Our Expertise: Charlie Hackbarth has spent the last twenty-seven years packing with llamas and building Mt. Sopris Llamas (now Sopris Unlimited) into a globally-known brand. A firm believer in the health benefits of hiking and the value of the pack animal in bringing people and their families back to nature, Charlie has also consistently contributed to the larger lama community through education and awareness efforts. After teaching llama management, training, and packing classes at the Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, for several years, Charlie took his act on the road and has spent the past fifteen years conducting training and packing clinics for llama organizations and private groups across the country. He founded the RMLA Pack Festival, a four-day family event where packers sharpen their skills and swap stories on the first trip of the season, and has served as a past president of Rocky Mountain Llama Association and on the pack committees of both the International Llama Association and RMLA. Charlie also served as advisor to Llamas Magazine and authored the column “Tales of the Trail” for that publication. In 2006, his daughter Alexa put these stories together in a book entitled Tales of the Trail, which is currently available on our site. In recognition of the contributions he has made to the field of packing, Charlie was awarded the International Llama Association’s Pushmi-Pullyu Award in 1988 and the Llama Association of North America’s Humdinger Award in 2008.
Uncle Tant’s lessons about function and quality, about products that work well and endure, have stayed with Charlie over the last twenty-six years. They are evident in the design of every item in our line, from the Sopris Pack Saddle to the Sopris Quick Strap, and are backed by our guarantee and outstanding service. Our fantastic customers, many of whom have been with us for decades, are a testament to our commitment to these principles of good design and good business.
Charlie and Uncle Tant spent the winter of 1982 designing the Sopris Classic Saddle.
Charlie and Uncle Tant proudly show off the first Sopris llama saddle.
Charlie and Uncle Tant try out their prototype on
Charlie's first llama, Llary. Read more about Llary here.