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United States, Mountaineering at Harvard

Mountaineering at Harvard. The Harvard Mountaineering Club is unique among college mountaineering clubs in this country

in that it is the only one of long existence and achievement. The greatest accomplishments in the past have usually been achieved by the more experienced graduate members, but most of the Club’s activities are carried on by undergraduates. The Club’s greatest task is the training of its younger members in the techniques, skills and precautionary measures proper to the rock and ice climber. This training is necessarily carried out on the mountains and cliffs of New England, which, although limited in magnitude, offer considerable variety for practice. During the academic year the Club tries to take advantage of all that New England has to offer. In early fall the easier climbs in local quarries and on small cliffs near Boston are emphasized for the benefit of prospective new members, but before the first snows the new members have advanced to the longer and more interesting climbs of New Hampshire—Joe English, Cannon, Cathedral and Washington, to mention only a few. In the winter the Club’s cabin on Mt. Washington serves as a base for snow and ice climbing. With spring comes more rock climbing.

Every summer sees several expeditions or groups of more advanced climbers taking off for the “big” mountains where accumulated skills can really be put to the test and new experience can be added. In the summer of 1947 the Club ran an expedition into the Coast Range of British Columbia and made 23 first ascents. One of the undergraduates accompanied Senior Members Henry S. Hall, Jr., and Noel E. Odell into the Lloyd George Mountains. Others joined the A.C.C. in the Selkirks. Still others climbed in the Tetons, Cascades, Sierra Nevada and Alps, and in Mexico.

W. Lawrence Miner, Jr.