A.A.C., Alaska Section. 1986 proved to be an excellent year for the Alaska Section. Successes included the annual Ice Climbing Festival in Valdez, the first winter ascent of Mount Logan, numerous first ascents of local waterfalls, ski traverses, and the successful completion of the first half of the Soviet-American Climbing Exchange.
Hosted in February by Andy Embick, the annual Ice Climbing Festival in Valdez was visited by climbers from around the state and Japan. We are happy to report that Masaki Matsumoto, leader of the Japanese climbing team that visited Alaska in 1985, is now an A.A.C. member of our Section.
Later in March, Section members George Rooney, Willi Hersman, and Vern Tejas along with John Bauman, Steve Koslow and Todd Frankiewicz made the first winter ascent of Mount Logan via the Trench Route. With the spring sunshine the Soviets arrived, polished off Denali in a week, and spent the remainder of their visit traveling across Alaska. Highlights included halibut fishing and kayaking in Kachemak Bay and visits to Barrow and Fairbanks. Much of the credit for the success of the Soviet visit lies in the individual efforts of Section members, family, friends, and the unselfish generosity of local businesses. Special thanks to Lowell Thomas, Markair, Neil Bergt, John Markel, Sam Barber, Judy Lehman, Chuck and Vera McClain, Dana Anderson, Carolyn Borjon, and the communities of Talkeetna and Homer.
The Alaska Section annual meeting was held in October at the Stuckagain Heights restaurant. The setting which overlooks Anchorage and Cook Inlet was breathtaking. Before the banquet the business meeting was conducted, during which Charlie Sassara was elected Chairman and Mike Howerton Newsletter editor. The topics of discussion included the annual Denali climbing report by Ranger Bob Seibert, new routes of local interest, the pharmacology of Decadron, the current Soviet-American Exchange, and recent climbs in the Soviet Union by Gary Bocarde, Susan Havens, and Pete Panarese.
Charlie Sassara, Chairman