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Cleveland Mountaineers

Cleveland Mountaineers. Since its inception almost ten years ago, Ohio’s major mountaineering organization has begun to accumulate a substantial background in mountaineering experience.

Because of Cleveland’s geographical location, not many people who enjoy the wonder of the alpine world can be found at any one time. Holding a nucleus of interest has always proved marginal. The very reasons which support a desire to climb and explore the mountains are the very reasons which drive experienced climbers, as prospective members, from any affiliation with a large membership organization. However, a roster made up of many nationalities from Australia, Germany, Greece, India, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland and Wales at one time or another have made up part of the Cleveland Mountaineers.

In the area of first ascents we can be justly proud. Our green and white colors were hoisted onto the summit of Rathong, a 21,911-foot peak in the Kanchenjunga Massif, 1964. During that same year, Peak 243 in the Wind River Range was climbed by a party of five and named Quintet, honoring its five summits. The summer of 1966 saw one of our members put up a new route on Red Sentinel in the Tetons. In 1967 CM president John Edwards, currently on the faculty at Washington State University, was a member of the team which made the first winter ascent of Mount McKinley. The book Minus 148° by Art Davidson gives an account of the expedition.

Our flag was carried to the top of Mount Everest by Sonam Wangyal, May 22, 1965. D. V. Telang, then a member of the CM, was the physician for the 1965 Indian Everest Expedition.

Climbers from the Cleveland Mountaineers have reached major summits in the Swiss, Italian, French and New Zealand Alps, most of the peaks in the Teton Range, summits of the Pacific Northwest, Canada and Alaska.

Twice a year, usually in the spring and fall we hold a clinic to teach and develop safe climbing technique and rescue skills. We practice on local cliffs and travel to Seneca Rocks, West Virginia; the Shawangunks; and New England for lead climbing. In winter, frozen waterfalls provide ice for winter climbing conditions. When the rivers are right for running we have been known to rubber raft, canoe and kayak any within a four state area. Aside from more ambitious trips to various mountain regions, our annual winter five-day excursion to the Adirondack Mountains of New York has always enjoyed a keen following. Some technical ice work has been done on the Colden Slides, but for the most part, time is spent in snowshoeing and peak exploration under severe winter conditions. We hold an annual dinner and election of officers in October and sponsor throughout the year lectures on mountaineering as a craft and a way of life.

This brings us to the present. July and August 1972 found a number of us on the Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming. Because of varied vacation schedules for many, we arranged for a common pack train to carry most of the gear in and out at a common time. Our Base Camp was set up around Wykee Lake. Because of the great diversity in our needs and goals we explored and climbed in small groups the areas around Wykee Peak, Mount Roberts, Mount Lander, Kagevah and Lakes Solitude, Sonnicant and Heebeecheeche. During the 23 days we spent along the continental divide, ascents were made of most of the peaks within a one to two day’s march. Those who experienced the delight of such a beautiful and unspoiled part of the United States can truthfully say they were left with memories of rich blue skies, an extravagant display of alpine flowers and the drama of the mountain world, not soon to be forgotten.

Joanne Givens Joiner, Chairman, Public Relations