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Explorers Club of Pittsburgh

Explorers Club of Pittsburgh. Our club does not have sections devoted to special activities such as mountaineering, rock climbing, or caving. The typical member is a generalist who participates in several Earth Sports depending on Pittsburgh’s flip-flop weather. During the year seminars were held in caving, climbing, and rescue work. A memorial plaque was installed at Seneca Rocks, West Virginia, dedicated to Sneza Kelly, a climber who died there in 1982.

Hard-core boaters led by Tommy Ordons and Paul Chada kayaked the upper Youghiogheny and Gauley Rivers on a regular basis. The gruelling six-mile underground traverse in the Friars Hole Cave system was made. Most memorable was the 1000-yard stretch of thigh-deep mud affectionately called “Dung-Ho Way.”

A successful ski-mountaineering ascent was made of Mount McKinley via the West Buttress. This included a ski descent from the top of the headwall by Stu “Conan” Kuperstock, who was gravity-boosted by a 102-pound pack. Finally, Cal Swoager made the first ascent of The Bell, one of the great lines at Seneca Rocks. Rated at 5.11 +, this unprotected climb has turned back waves of climbers over the last six years.

John Iacovino