American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Iowa Mountaineers

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1949

Iowa Mountaineers. The Iowa Mountaineers of the State University of Iowa enjoyed in 1948 their most successful year. Founded in 1940, the club now has a membership of 750 and ranks as possibly the largest college mountaineering club in the country. It is reason for thankfulness that, despite the inevitable academic turnover, which annually reduces the number of experienced members, the club has been able to maintain its nine-year safety record unblemished.

Besides releasing its 1948 journal and obtaining a spacious club house in the center of the campus, the club during the year scheduled numerous week-end outings for practice climbing and sponsored three major trips.

During the 14-day Christmas-New Year vacation period (1947-48), eight members drove over 5000 miles to climb Orizaba and Popocatepetl, and attempt Ixtaccihuatl. The first was ascended in a blinding snowstorm, with the rocks glazed. Popocatepetl was ascended 48 hours later, in clear weather but with a very strong, bitterly cold wind blowing. News of a devastating blizzard in the Middle West required cancellation of the third climb.

The Annual Summer Outing in the Wind River Range attracted 48 members. A base camp at the foot of Gannett Glacier was occupied from August 10th through 20th. Joe Stettner served as chief guide; other guides were John Speck, Ken Jones, Erich Farber and John Ebert. There was a record number of ascents: Gannett (38 in two groups via the Gooseneck route); Koven (17 in two groups, traversing the peak simultaneously, N.E.-S.W. and S.W.-N.E.) ; Rampart-Koven traverse, N.E.-S.W. (four members) ; Ram-part-Bastian traverse, S.-W. (12 members); Sunbeam-unnamed peak-E. Sentinel traverse (eight members); W. Sentinel (13 in two groups, traversing from E. to S.); Warren-Doublet-Dinwoody traverse (seven members); Dinwoody Peak (15 in two groups via N. ridge); Chimney Rock (seven members); Woodrow Wilson (eight members). Seven crossed the divide by the N. col of Dinwoody Peak to drop down into the Titcomb Lakes basin and climb Sacagewea and Fremont from the steep snow slope to the head of Bull Lake Glacier, and 25 in two groups hiked to Klondike Lake.

Devils Tower, Wyoming, attracted 16 club climbers. The party reached the summit, thereby completing the seventh ascent and equalling the number of climbers on all six previous ascents. Joe Stettner led the first rope on August 22nd. To enjoy the adventure of a night on top, the group hauled up sleeping bags, food and water. The tower was vacated in three hours on the following morning.

S. J. Ebert

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