American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

The Mountaineers

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1961

The Mountaineers. During 1960 club membership grew to about 4100 people, with an accompanying sizable increase in mountaineering activities. In Seattle 427 persons registered for the Basic and Intermediate Climbing Courses, with the Everett and Tacoma sections raising the total number of registrants to well above 500. In addition to the course’s lectures and practice and experience climbs, the climbing committee sponsored more difficult climbs for small, qualified parties; seminars, including one on ice climbing; a series of one-day climbs; and a two-week outing in the Coast Range of British Columbia. After flying in and using air-dropped supplies, the group split into two parties. One party climbed Mount Jeffrey, Mount Tellot, Mount Williams, First and Second Claw Peaks, and Tellot Spire. The second party succeeded in ascending Mount Waddington, the principal peak in the area, as well as Tellot Spire, Upper Claw Peak, and Mount S.

The Viewfinder group conducted nine snowshoe trips and 26 climbs on non-technical routes not requiring ropes. They also presented a hiking course, including ice-axe practice, for 46 newer club members. Twenty-nine hikes were scheduled by the Trailtrips group, and the Campcrafters held week-end family outings and their annual Gypsy Tour around the Olympics. Some 60 people spent the two-week summer outing crossing the Olympics from east to west. The ski touring program suffered somewhat from a light snow cover, but several ascents of peaks were made.

In April 5000 copies of the new book, Mountaineering, The Freedom of the Hills, came off the press. This climbing text culminates a vast cooperative effort among club climbers who devoted the benefits of their mountain experience and volunteer labor in publishing and selling this book.

The Safety Committee issued forms on which climbers are encouraged to report hazards, accidents, or near-accidents encountered on climbs. The close calls all too often do not receive the attention they deserve because human injury or death is not involved; yet only luck separates these incidents from tragic accidents in most cases.

A glissading accident on Guye Peak resulted in serious injury to a member when he lost control and slid over a cliff. On a private climb a Mountaineer on Mount Thompson was killed by a large rock dislodged by a companion. Three Mountaineers were involved in an accident on Mount McKinley, and dozens of club members active in mountain rescue operations were flown to Alaska to aid in their rescue.

Ward Irwin

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