American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Spokane Mountaineers

  • Club Activities
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  • Publication Year: 1957

Spokane Mountaineers. A seasoned organization founded in Spokane in 1915 makes its AAJ debut in this report. It was easily predictable that a climbing club should have an early start in such surroundings as those accessible from Spokane. Here within range for week-end trips are the Idaho Selkirks, the Montana Cabinet and Mission ranges, and the Washington Cascades. Longer outings often reach the Tetons, the Oregon Wallowas, and the Canadian mountains. Our natural winter headquarters is 6000-foot Mount Spokane. A cabin with ski-tow facilities is in use there now, and a J-bar lift is planned.

Our "peak baggers” had a very successful 1956 season. Instruction preceded climbs on Rock Peak, in the Cabinets; Mount St. Helens, Mount Index; Mount Shuksan; and Chimney Rock, in the Idaho Panhandle.

The summer outing was the season’s highlight. From base camp in Cascade Pass a small group enjoyed unusual climbs. The best climb traversed the flank of 7000-foot ’Pelton Peak” to its narrow east saddle. This viewpoint makes a photographer gasp. Far below are the Prussian- blue waters of Trapper Lake, dotted with ice floes and seemingly accessible only by plane. The frowning scarp opposite, features 7300-foot Glory Mountain, the last unclimbed peak shown on published maps of the Washington Cascades. And close by is Trapper Peak, which was first climbed in 1949 by Harvard’s George Bell, Andy Griscom, Harry King, and Graham Matthews. Its impressive 3000-foot north face almost duplicates the great face of the Grand Teton.

Glory Peak was of particular interest in 1956, for its west ridge finally yielded to Bill Fix and Dick Whitmore on August 3. The climbing never exceeded fourth class, but the height climbed was nearly equal to the full elevation of Glory above sea level. The victors had little energy left to build a cairn, but the thought that they had closed a minor frontier in Northwest mountaineering was indeed stimulating.

William C. Fix

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