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The Mountaineers

The Mountaineers. The Mountaineers Climbing Committee sponsored a number of programs to serve all levels of climbing competence in the club. The best known of these is the Basic Climbing Course which enrolled 227 students and graduated 129. Graduates attended seven field trips and five lectures, completed three summit climbs and completed a mountaineering-oriented first-aid course or equivalent. An outstanding feature of the 1977 course was the reinstitution of a hard-snow ice-ax field trip, conducted in August at Mount Rainier National Park in the Castle-Pinnacle Basin. The snow was so hard that even veteran instructors had difficulty in performing individual arrests on moderate slopes. Nearly perfect form was necessary, and the shape of the ice-ax pick was a consideration.

The Intermediate Climbing Course requires a minimum of two years to complete. Graduates have attended six lectures and five field trips, instructed at basic course field trips, performed as rope leaders on five intermediate and five basic climbs, are current in first aid, and have demonstrated climb leadership. The Rescue Methods Field Trip at Mount Erie was highlighted by an actual rescue of a hang glider and pilot from a 105-foot Douglas Fir tree. The 31 course graduates comprised the largest graduating class ever, pushing the total to 327. The Club Climbs program for course graduates provided climbs ranging from easy basic-type to fairly hard intermediate climbs. The emphasis is on safe, fun climbing without the tutorial aspects of the Climbing Courses. For the second year, a refresher course was established for Climbing Course graduates of previous decades who felt the need to update their skills. Two lectures, three field trips and an overnight rock/snow climb earned graduation for 14 persons.

The seminar program sponsored by the Climbing Committee expanded the number of seminars and made some of them applicable to all members interested in the outdoors. These seminars included equipment maintenance and repair, conditioning and prevention of injuries, weather, navigation, and leadership. An assertiveness seminar for women was highly popular. The 227 climbs scheduled by the Climbing Committee include 58 Club climbs, 110 basic climbs, and 59 intermediate climbs. Success ratios are not available but were high, due to the excellent weather from June through September. Seven climbing outings were sponsored in Washington, Canada, Switzerland and Nepal.

Richard Beckenbaugh, Climbing Committee Chairman