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Dartmouth Mountaineering Club

Dartmouth Mountaineering Club. The Dartmouth Mountaineering Club, we feel, is one of the most active and effective undergraduate climbing groups in the country despite the fact that we remain more a closely knit fellowship of active climbers with common interests and desires than an ordered, regulated organization. Our activities are of two general types: first, the climbing done individually and together outside the school year in the great mountains and climbing areas of the world, and, secondly, the more restrained and restricted activities to which we are limited during the school year.

The past year saw considerable activity in both kinds of climbing. In June DMC Alumni Barry Corbet, Pete Sinclair, and Jake Breitenbach, with Bill Buckingham, made the first ascent of the South Face of Mount McKinley. Also during the summer Sam Silverstein led two expeditions into the Battle Range, completing several first ascents around the Nemo group; Bill Briggs led a ski traverse into the Purcells; Dave Dingman accompanied Leigh Ortenburger to the Peruvian Andes; Pete Farquhar joined a research group on the top of Mount Rainier. In the Tetons in August Bill Buckingham, Sterling Neale, Frank Magary, and Rick Medrich climbed a route out of Valhalla Canyon roughly approximating the west ridge which they named Serendipity Arête. Barry Corbet, Sterling Neale, and Rick Medrick made the first ascent of Buck Mountain’s north-central ridge. In the fall a group that included Pete Sinclair, Sterling Neale, and Carlos Plummer climbed Orizaba and Ixtaccihuatl in Mexico.

During the school year in the fall and in the spring there are rock climbing trips nearly every week-end to one of the many cliffs scattered throughout northern New England. Training areas such as the Shawangunks, the Laurentians, Whitehorse and Cathedral Ledges, Owls Head, Rattlesnake Mountain, and Smuggler’s Notch provide excellent opportunity for instruction and conditioning. Certain climbs in the ’Gunks, Mount King in the Laurentians, and Po-ko-moonshine near Lake George provide climbing to test the best ability. In the winter Mount Washington provides true high mountain conditions with low temperatures, high winds, and blizzard conditions.

A 10-week rock climbing course is offered twice yearly by the club as a part of the college physical education program. With about 20 students per course, the program gives supervised, efficient training in all phases of rock climbing. A number of those who complete this course go on to qualify for DMC membership. From time to time the program has been extended to include local residents, with the result that several women have qualified as rock climbing leaders and DMC members.

Other club activities include meeting with noted mountaineering figures, sponsoring public lectures on mountaineering, and participating in emergency rescue programs with regular training and practice under instructors of the Army’s Mountain and Winter Warfare Unit. Finally, one of the principal club concerns during the school year is the publication of the annual journal, which is well known to climbers throughout the country. The 1960 issue will run well over 100 pages with more than a dozen principal articles.

Frederick Medrick, President