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The Mountaineers

The Mountaineers. The Climbing Committee experienced a lively and active season with reviews of climbing methods, policies, etc. The Committee was composed almost entirely of veteran climbers whose experience contributed significantly to the climbing program. Efforts towards improving the Basic Climbing Course included: the construction of a new belay practice tower at Camp Long; the installation of new beams in the skylight area of the Clubroom to provide prusik practice; revision of the seat harness tie-off to use the double fisherman (grapevine) knot; the adoption of the anchor wrap belay method based on a study begun in April 1981; replacement of the final exam with “Clint Kelley” quizzes at most lectures; addition of a new lecture in August on leading on rock; and the addition of an optional field trip, “Rock 3,” for the introduction to leading on rock with about 35 basic students participating. About 125 graduated from the Basic Course this year.

The Intermediate Climbing Course started with 70 students. The lectures included quizzes to stimulate thought, and lecture evaluation forms to provide rapid feedback on each lecture. Relevant films supplemented the lectures. A new lecture on snow climbing was added with focus on “criteria of when to be roped up” and “self-belay rationale and instruction.” Some 18 climbers graduated from the Intermediate Course, which usually takes three to five years to complete.

In addition to its basic and intermediate experience climbs, The Mountaineers also schedule club climbs, which have been expanded to include more alpine-level climbs. These have been relatively successful, with no serious accidents occurring on these scheduled climbs.

The foregoing relates to the climbing programs of the club in Seattle. Branches of The Mountaineers in Everett, Tacoma, and Olympia also run separate courses.

Mike Pilat, Chairman, Climbing Committee