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Mazamas

Mazamas. Unusually good weather gave The Mazamas of Portland, Oregon, the opportunity to start 140 climbs during the 1965 season, with 1902 individual ascents resulting. New summits to the club were Mounts Garfield and Washington, Wilmon Peak, Kloochman Rock, Leaning Spire, Spire Peak, The Fin, The Horn, and Slippery Slab Tower, all in Washington. The various outings also brought success on many peaks new to the club. A base camp was held at the upper end of Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth Range of Idaho. This outstanding area has a great number of routes on granite, most of them seldom climbed. The high spots of the outing were ascents of Mount Heyburn and Chockstone Peak by a new route. In late summer another outing by backpack probed the Picket Range in northern Washington, climbing Luna and Whatcom Peaks. This outing, led by John Neal, entailed walking 15 miles to Whatcom Pass. Then several more miles of steep heather slopes and glacier climbing placed the party on Challenger Arm. A climb of Mount Challenger failed because of difficult crevasse problems and bad weather.

The club’s basic climbing school enrolled 324 people; 247 wrote a final exam, and 99 graduated. One of the requirements for graduation was a climb of Mount Hood. Thirteen graduates emerged from the intermediate climbing school. The evolution of good leaders and the development of competent climbers depends greatly on the concept of schooling for them. Without doubt climbing school has reduced the number of uncomfortable or dangerous situations which normally develop in a club’s climbing program. Climbers and hikers who exhibit an atrocious lack of technique and are poorly equipped are usually unaffiliated with any climbing club. Here is prima facie evidence that clubs can teach technique and use discipline laid down by good leaders. Even the untrained, unaffiliated individuals are aided when they come in contact with club groups. Their interest is piqued, and some of them eventually join a club.

A small but enthusiastic effort has begun within the club in winter mountaineering. Requirements in ability and the type of equipment are much more strict owing to the more severe conditions of winter climbing. It will never reach the popularity of summer climbing. Much of the time it is not a "pleasant” undertaking, and many summertime climbers are addicted to skiing in winter.

Jack Grauer