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A.A.C., Sierra Nevada Section

A.A.C., Sierra Nevada Section. The new decade began with a winter membership program at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, February 21. The purpose of the program was to invite the general public, to communicate Club interests and accomplishments, to interest potential new members in the Club, and to highlight the Section’s member climbing activities. A paying audience of 150 showed up to see A1 Steck, George Lowe, Brock Wagstaff, Sue Giller, and Bob Schneider provide a variety of slide programs featuring classic climbs in North America. Chris Jones was program moderator. We used the opportunity to invite members of the Yosemite Search and Rescue Group, the Regional Park Service Director, and the Regional Forester to join us and to discuss with members the sorts of climbing area interests we have. These discussions focused on the Yosemite masterplan, the Pinnacles master- plan, developments in Alaska, and the exceptional performance of the SAR group in Yosemite over the past year. We also discussed sanitation problems at Lover’s Leap (near Lake Tahoe), wilderness permits on the east side of the Sierra, and winter access difficulties to forest areas (such as parking restrictions). Both the program and discussions with officials were enjoyable and productive.

In March the Section enjoyed another annual ski weekend in Yosemite. Approximately 50 members and guests showed up for a cook-out and the cross-country ski activities. George Lowe and Bill Zaumen helped organize the event. In June the spring Section meeting was held at the home of R. D. and Sue Caughron. One hundred members and guests showed up for dinner and a report on Makalu II, an expedition led by Gene White and Armando Menocal. Mike Warburton, one of the Section’s most active climbers, had a cerebral edema at 21,000 feet, forcing the expedition into a rescue mode. Mike’s complications were nearly fatal, and his recovery has been only partial.

In July, George Lowe, Tom Higgins, Rick Sylvester, and Jerry Coe did an organized summer climb in the Shuteye Peak area south of Yosemite and the Balls. It was reported as a “quality, not a quantity event,” and good fun for those participating.

In September three Polish climbers arrived in California on an international climbing exchange begun with the assistance of Ad Carter. The Section organized a benefit dinner to welcome them (thanks to Dan Reid), some climbers to host them in Yosemite (A1 Steck, Tom Hargis, R. D. Caughron), a visit to Fresno (thanks to Dave Cehrs and Peter McGann), and a joint program in San Francisco with the Polish Arts and Culture Foundation. The climbing was very successful with ascents made of Sentinel, Half Dome, E1 Cap, and others. In addition our guests were introduced to Section members at the fall meeting in October.

The fall meeting held at Marge Farquhar’s home in Berkeley was perhaps the highlight of the year’s activities. One hundred and ten members and guests showed up. Price Zimmermann, A.A.C. President, greeted members; R. D. Caughron made a few farewell remarks as outgoing Chairman; Gene White was elected Chairman for the next two years, with Brock Wagstaff as Vice Chairman. The members then took over for the program. Reports ranged from climbing during an earthquake on E1 Cap to ski-mountaineering in China. Lewis Clark, our oldest Section member, showed slides of a recent trip to Mount Olympus. There was kayaking in Glacier Bay, women’s climbing in India, skiing in the Karakoram, and humorous tales about Italy, Canada, and the like. In short, a great time was shared by an obviously eager and active Section population. In addition to this newsmaking, four of our members (Ed Bernbaum, Galen Rowell, A1 Steck, and Arlene Blum) had book- making accomplishments to report.

Looking to the future the Section will be addressing a number of choices concerning its finances, representation on the Club’s Board of Directors, exchange participation, and Section meeting logistics, services, and activities. Thanks to Brock and Mary Wagstaff, the Section now has a newsletter which is being used to keep members informed on these matters.

Looking over the recent past I would like to thank Lou Reichardt for representing the Section as a Club Director for the last three years, and to the hardcore helpers who have made our programs, services, andactivities first rate: Armando Menocal, Greg Donaldson, Chris Jones, Tom Higgins, Brock Wagstaff, Bruce McCubbrey, Gene and Betsy White, George Lowe, Bill Zaumen, Raffi Bedayn, and Marge Farquhar; and especially to one of our new members, Sue Henke, who happens to be my wife and who has put up with a lot of A.A.C. commotion over the past two years.

R. D. Caughron, Chairman