Mountaineers. The Mountaineers enjoyed a successful year in 1949. Membership is now almost 2000, with the main group in Seattle and smaller branches in Tacoma and Everett. Activities range from musicales, old-time dances and a yearly outdoor play to courses in climbing and ski-mountaineering. Scheduled climbs vary in difficulty from occasional walks up easy slopes by the Trail Trips Group to ascents of Mt. Rainier.
Three outings were scheduled last summer. During the last two weeks of July, the Campcrafters’ Outing drew 70 persons to Glacier Park, Montana. This group, composed mainly of families who like to go into the hills together, camps in locations from which the climbers may scale peaks while the others walk, fish, swim in mountain streams and lakes, or just bask in the sun. Despite inclement weather, the following peaks were climbed from base camps at Kintla Lake and East Glacier: Altyn, Boulder, Chief, Divide, Henkil, Oberlin, Swift Current, Reynolds, Wilbur. During the first week of August, the Climbers’ Outing at Chickamin Glacier, on Sulphur Creek, was attended by a small group of inveterate climbers who like to lead the strenuous life and enjoy difficult climbing. During the second and third weeks of August, the 71 participants in the regular Summer Outing made a pack-train trip, with 34 animals, to the Buck Creek Pass-Glacier Peak area of Washington—one of the most rugged and least accessible areas in the Cascades. Peaks climbed were Liberty Cap, Helmet Butte, Flowered Dome, Plummer, S. peak of Sitting Bull, Chiwawa, North Star, Glacier Peak.
One of the most popular and helpful activities offered by the Mountaineers is the annual climbing course, which endeavors to teach people to climb safely. In 1949 attendance so increased that it was necessary to schedule duplicate lectures and field trips. For week-end “experience climbs,” several peaks of the same difficulty were designated, to give students a choice and to keep down the number on any one trip. There were 220 registrations for the beginning course and 130 for the intermediate. Lectures for the elementary course began on March 8th. Each course had seven sessions and four field trips. “Experience climbs” were scheduled on 14 week ends during the summer and fall. It is now required that a student serve as rope leader on four varied climbs (rock and glacier) and help instruct in three basic practices in the beginning course. Usually a student attends the intermediate course for several years before graduation. No one may graduate from both courses in one year.
Another very popular activity is skiing. The club owns three ski lodges and leases a fourth. Club races were held at Meany Ski Hut, and some of the better skiers entered interclub competitions. A ski- mountaineering course was given from January 4th through March 1st, and field trips were scheduled for a number of week ends— including an overnight igloo-building trip to Stevens Pass, and roped skiing on Nisqually Glacier. Ski ascents were made of several peaks, including Mt. St. Helens. Those who wished to take part in ski trips were tested and classified according to their ability. The trips were also rated, so that each person could tell whether he was eligible
B. B. Bickford