AAC, Southern California Section
The major event of 1992 was a meeting at Mammoth Lakes on April 25 featuring a slide show by Don Lauria on his second ascent of the North American Wall on El Capitan in 1968 with Dennis Hennek. More than 80 members and guests, including Eastern Sierra residents and a contingent of members from the Los Angeles area, attended. Lauria’s presentation was preceded by a talk and slides by Marty Lewis of Mammoth Lakes on sport climbing in the nearby Owens River Gorge. Lewis is the author of the gorge guidebook. Jim Thomsen of Mammoth Lakes and Allan Pietrasanta of Bishop ably handled logistics for the meeting. The following week, Ted Vaill arranged for section members to be special guests at a preview showing of the movie K2.
Member notes: Peter Green of Palmdale and his brother Robert climbed to Camp IV at 26,500 feet on K2 before being forced to retreat in the face of incoming weather. They were part of an 18-member international expedition climbing on a Russian permit. Six made the summit.
Doug Mantle was among the 32 who summited Mount Everest on May 12 as a member of an Adventure Consultants (New Zealand) expedition that also included Ned Gillette. Mantle later went to Antarctica while closing in on his pursuit of the Seven Summits.
R.J. Secor helped celebrate publication of his High Sierra guidebook by joining a commercial expedition to Broad Peak. The group was thwarted by deep, unstable snow after establishing Camp III at 24,000 feet and subsequently having the camp obliterated, presumably by avalanche. R.J. reported, however, that the only expedition injury was his being struck by a polo ball while watching a match in Skardu. The team returned via the little-used Ghondophoro La, as did Robert and Peter Green on their return from K2. In the fall, Secor went to the Khumbu region of Nepal with a Southern California group to climb Mera Peak and Imja Tse (Island Peak).
Kurt Wedberg traveled to Alaska as a member of Rainier Mountain Guides and was on Mount Foraker when the severe weather struck Mount McKinley, resulting in the deaths of a number of climbers. Wedberg and his group were forced to hole up for some time on Foraker and failed to reach the summit, but were not in danger. Wedberg returned later to help lead an expedition to McKinley’s summit. On September 26, Wedberg, who is 26 years old, made his 31st ascent of Mount Rainier. His father, John Wedberg, is section treasurer.
Gordon Wiltsie, Allan Petrasanta and Jay Jensen skied the Haute Route of the Alps during the spring. Wiltsie’s account of the trip, and photos, appeared in the December issue of Ski Magazine. Gordon’s article on a unique ski trip to Spitsbergen also was published during the year. Paul Pfau of Shadow Hills spent the year working on organization of his American Sagarmatha Expedition, a 30th anniversary climb of Mount Everest.