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Spokane Mountaineers

Spokane Mountaineers. A pilot cross-country ski race and several ski tours were 1966 winter highlights. Thirty people finished the formal climbing course with a graduation climb of Mount Hood in May. On 14 Wednesday evenings members practiced rock-climbing techniques at Rocks of Sharon. Aiming toward the formation of a mountain rescue group, the club sponsored a first-aid course in the fall. Here are the climbing landmarks of the year—all first for Spokane Mountaineers: Maroon Bells and Mount of the Holy Cross in Colorado; Mount Borah (12,665 feet), Idaho’s highest peak; and in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Stanley over Vermillion Pass via a new route on the northeast face and north ridge, and Emeralda Peak (9150 feet) by two approaches over Kokanee Glacier. Access to this area is now much easier because of its use for training by the Canadian Olympic Ski Team. Another club attempt to climb Mount Sir Donald fell short this year, keeping the club score at two successful climbs out of six different attempts. Donanza Peak (9511 feet), in the Lake Chelan region of Washington and the highest non-volcanic peak in the Cascades, finally yielded to a Spokane party of club members. The first ascent of Mount Thor (9673 feet) in the Gold Range, B.C., was made by a joint climb with the West Kootenay Branch of the Alpine Club of Canada. We regret to report three accidents on club outings which fortunately had no serious outcome thanks to experience and the rope: At Chimney Rock a belayed novice was rappelling when the sling rope broke 70 feet above base. In another instance an experienced climber lost control during a glissade and sustained minor injuries after hitting rocks. Finally, a 20-foot fall into a dry crevasse on Bonanza’s Mary Green Glacier had a happy outcome. The victim was saved by rope friction from a further slide of 60 feet into an area difficult for rescue and suffered only one small cut.

William C. Fix