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The Mazamas

The Mazamas. The Climbing Committee took a very positive stand on educating and upgrading its climbing leaders and members this year. The Basic Climbing School enrolled 270 people and graduated 163 in a course consisting of four lectures, three field practices, and a graduation climb of Mount Hood or Mount St. Helens. Group leaders carried through with groups of 15 students and three-to-five sub-leaders, starting with an indoor knots-and-belay practice, and continuing with a snow practice above Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood and a rock practice on the basaltic cliffs of Horsethief Butte up river from The Dalles.

The Intermediate School enrolled 42 students and the Advanced School 21. Instruction included six lectures, an accident management session, and a mountain first-aid weekend at Mazama Lodge at Mount Hood. Advanced students had sessions at Smith Rocks on the Crooked River, Beacon Rock, French’s Dome, Leavenworth in Washington, three Weekends on snow and ice, and two full weeks on that wonderful granite in Yosemite National Park.

Ninety leaders scheduled 259 climbs for the year, many of them midweek. Accent was placed on climbing lesser known peaks of the Northwest rather than on the 16 major peaks to which Mazamas give so much attention. Of the 259 climbs schedules, 175 survived the capricious Northwest weather to put more than 2000 successful ascents on the club records.

The club lost one climber, young John Savage, in an accident not involving a club climb. At the suggestion of his parents, a memorial fund has been established, to be administered by the Climbing Committee.

The Mazamas’ banquet at Portland State University’s Smith Hall featured Arlene Blum with a slide show and lecture of her all-women’s expedition which climbed Annapurna I in 1978. Arlene’s appearance was most appropriate. As one of America’s foremost women mountaineers, her presence was heightened by the fact that in October Lois Gibbons succeeeded Paul Herner as Mazamas president. Lois is the second woman to hold the post.

Jack Grauer