American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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A.A.C., Sierra Nevada Section

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1951

A.A.C., Sierra Nevada Section. Since its organization in March 1947, the Sierra Nevada Section of the A.A.C. has held occasional meetings in the San Francisco Bay region. Recently, the increase of activity has created a need for regular quarterly meetings. Attendance at these meetings has averaged about 20 members—which shows excellent interest as eleven of our 46 members reside in southern California. The present officers are Einar Nilsson, chairman; Glen Dawson, vice-chairman; Oscar A. Cook, secretary-treasurer; David R. Brower; and Richard C. Houston.

In addition to concern for general club affairs this Section’s members are strongly in favor of (1) the reactivation of the A.A.C. committee on military mountain and arctic training and equipment; (2) guarding against any further granting to the National Park Service and other Federal agencies of authority to prohibit climbing; (3) some program to disseminate information on safe climbing technique that would reach prospective young climbers having no regular club affiliation; (4) Will Siri’s research program on the forces involved in belaying and their physiological effects on the human body; (5) Oscar A. Cook’s proposal for some sort of late summer outing or meeting which would serve to bring together A.A.C. members from all parts of the country. It was felt that a week’s stay in some good mountain area of the western United States or Canada would be suitable. Furthermore, the Sierra Nevada Section is willing to serve as host at the first such meeting, with the hope that other sections would follow its lead and offer to take charge in other years.

California climbers celebrated their state’s centennial by accomplishing major ascents in their own state and British Columbia. Mt. Waddington was climbed by two new routes by an expedition organized by five members of our Section: Cook, Houston, Allen Steck, Philip C. Bettler and James Wilson, who invited their Sierra Club contemporaries, William Long, William Dunmire and Raymond de Saussure, to join them. Members of this expedition also participated in the following first ascents: the Rock Tower of Mount Waddington, Point “W,” Point “A,” “The Don,” Mount Munday (these four all by the N. face of the Munday massif), “Campbell Peak,” “Lichen Pinnacle,” “Snow Dome,” “Mount Roger,” “Mount Ferris,” “Mount Irresistible,” Mount Grenelle, Mount Fascination, “Sierra Peak,” Mount Merlon, Mount Marcus Smith, Whymper Dome, “Mount Jeffery,” East Claw Peak, Mount Stiletto, Serra II, Serra III, “Photo Point.”

John Salathe and Allen Steck made the first ascent of Yosemite’s Sentinel Rock by its sheer N. face. This, undoubtedly, must be considered as one of the outstanding rock climbs in the history of the sport. By Yosemite standards, it is comparable only with the Salathe-Nelson route on the Lost Arrow. Bettler, Wilson and Steck, together with Long and Siri, made the first ascent of Castle Rock Spire in Sequoia National Park. These two climbs culminated several years of attempts by these and other strong parties. On another recent Yosemite climb, Cook led Dunmire and Robert Swift on the first ascent of the Spires’ Buttress N.E. Chimney. Clyde Minaret was climbed for the first time in the winter by Wilson, Steck and Long.

Oscar A. Cook

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