Mazamas. The Mazamas, Portland, Oregon, mountaineering club since 1894, carry out a climbing school each spring as a public service as well as for in-service training. Surrounded by snow-and glacier-peaks as well as many rock-climbing areas that beckon the untrained vacationist, the climbing committee hopes in this way to provide safe and enjoyable recreation for many casual climbers as well as the “committed” Alpinists of the Club.
With the increased popularity of climbing, the nationwide publicity of climbing as the Himalayan peaks make the headlines, and the longer leisure hours, the Mazama climbing school has expanded and intensified its offerings. Last spring, 528 aspiring climbers registered to learn how. By the end of the 10-week basic and intermediate course, 11,655 man-hours of instruction had been given. The basic course included lectures on equipment, compass and map, wilderness travel, snow climbing, glacier travel, rock climbing, alpine eating and sleeping, climbing first aid, and dangers. The intermediate lectures covered advanced rock climbing, mountain rescue, leadership, safe mountaineering. Written exams concluded each series. Field trips offered in the basic course were on map and compass, orienteering, snow practice, rock practice, a bivouac practice, and a simulated snow climb. Advanced rock, snow, ice, and rescue practice in new areas were attended by the intermediate students. These students also were encouraged to help instruct at basic school and to lead a rope on an actual climb during the summer.
Not only do new climbers feel much safer and at ease after the course, but also the “old timers” who attend find that modern techniques have evolved from the research of various other mountaineering groups and that teaching is one of the best ways of learning.
William H. Oberteuffer