American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing


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  • Publication Year: 1972

Mountaineers. The year 1971 marked the 37th Annual Climbing Program of the Seattle Mountaineers. As in recent years, three formal courses of instruction were offered to the membership. The courses extended from February through September beginning with lectures and written examinations, continuing with field trips, and concluding with climbs. Aside from these formal courses, roped climbs and outings were offered to qualified members. The Alpine Travel Course introduces the trail hiker to the ridges, alpine meadows, and valleys off the beaten track away from public campgrounds. No roped climbing is undertaken, but the fundamentals of ice-axe self-arrest are taught. Wilderness navigation and camping are emphasized on an overnight practice. Of 214 students, 103 completed graduation requirements. The Basic Climbing Course teaches the fundamentals of climbing and mountaineering safety. The field trips submit the students to practices of progressive difficulty. Belaying and climbing techniques in artificial situations are followed by rock and snow climbing and glacier travel and crevasse-rescue practice. The students then complete their training on experience climbs of rocks and glacier summits. Of 384 students, 183 completed graduation requirements.

The Intermediate Climbing Course teaches advanced mountaineering techniques, safety and leadership preparing students who have a firm background in mountaineering fundamentals to organize and lead climbs and expeditions. Students must fulfill requirements within five years. The students and graduates from this course make the Climbing Program the great success that it is. They are the instructors and leaders for the Alpine Travel and Basic courses. Ptarmigan Ridge (Mount Rainier), Coleman Glacier Headwall (Mount Baker), and Outer Space Route (Snow Creek Wall) are outstanding examples of Intermediate Course climbs. This year 73 new students were admitted to the course; 11 students were graduated. In the interest of safety, additional emphasis has been placed on first-aid training. An American Red Cross Standard First Aid Card was required of Basic students. The time allowed for Intermediates to acquire an Advanced Card was shortened from time of graduation to two years. To satisfy the increased student demand, arrangements were made for American Red Cross sponsorship of mountaineering oriented first-aid courses, including the training of special instructors. There were four outings of note. A party of seven under the leadership of Harmon Jones spent 16 days on expedition to Mount Waddington, B.C. in June and July. The summit was not reached owing to severe weather, but lesser peaks in the Tiedemann Tellot Glacier areas were climbed. A number of peaks were climbed in Yoho National Park, B.C. during the summer outing at Linda Lake in July and August with John Jorgenson acting as climbing chairman. A party of 24 under Robert Wood spent 12 days on a traverse of Mount Olympus and the Bailey Range in August. A party of 18 under Frank King spent nine days on Ptarmigan Traverse south from Cascade Pass in August. The roped climbs were attended by more than 150 climbers on 21 summits.

HERMAN GROSS, Chairman, Climbing Committee

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