AAC, New England Section. The year began with our second Annual Dinner. Almost 90 New Englanders gathered once again to dress up, dine, socialize and travel back in time to vast and faraway mountains. Craigen Bowen assembled a graceful display of the stunning 19th century mountain photographs of Vittorio Sella, and Dick Tucker fielded a video of two of Kenneth Henderson’s now-famous climbing films of the 1930s: Pinnacle Gully in winter and the Whitney-Gilman ridge on Cannon Cliff.
Section chair Barry Rugo opened the dinner program and then introduced Jed Williamson, who issued a call to support the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colarado. Festivities included the introduction of new members, drawings for Steve Weitzler’s great door prizes, and the usual recognition of AAC notables in attendance: Bob and Gail Bates, Kenneth Henderson, Dr. Henry Kendall, Sam Streibert, Rick Wilcox and John Reppy among them.
After dinner, our eloquent guide, Mark Richey, transported us to India, where he led us “Fast and Light” on a second ascent of the East Pillar of Shivling with his partner, John Bouchard. Before evening’s end, we had auctioned off an “historic jacket” (donated by Ann Carter, once owned by Henry Hall and worn by Ad), a sweeping Brad Washburn aerial of Huntington Ravine and a famed Sella print. The dinner proceeds have gone into the preservation of the motion pictures taken in the 1930s by Kenneth Henderson.
In April, we explored Nevada’s Red Rocks with A1 Stebbins, Fran Bennett, Dick Tucker and Pat Smith under the spectacular clear air display of Hale-Bopp during the early evening camping hours. Among the longer routes done: Tunnel Vision, Frogland, Olive Oil and Dark Shadows. The summer saw various members in Switzerland, the Tetons, British Columbia, the Karakoram and “just out west” like A1 Stebbins, who visited his favorites: City of Rocks, Smith Rocks and Eldorado Canyon.
Paul Dale and Jim Van Buren shuttled back and forth between France and Switzerland to visit the Verdon Gorge at Orpierre, to climb the Dufourspitz of Monte Rosa via the West Ridge above Zermatt and to enjoy the Morgins route on the Saleve.
Dave Oka and Yuki Fujita concentrated efforts in Chamonix, where, when the conditions higher up frowned upon them, they enjoyed rock routes near d’Envers des Aguilles. They initiated the Chere Couloir and traversed from the Midi high station to the Aiguille Plan. A week or so later, Bill Atkinson arrived to do what could be safely climbed alone: the Petite Aiguille Verte and the Aiguille du Tour from Chamonix and the Breithorn from Zermatt. In Chamonix Bill encountered our own Alain Comeau, who was there for two weeks to guide his carefully attended clients on such routes as the Arete des Cosmiques and II Gran Paradiso. Dick Tucker and Pat Smith chose Switzerland, climbing on the Tour d’Ai in Leysin and reaching the tops of the Freundenhorn and the Blumisalp and summits in Les Diablerets in the Bernese Oberland. Then, in the Oberengadine, they joined Bill Atkinson to climb the Piz Palu Ostgipfel—with a mini-crevasse rescue on the descent.
In the Bugaboos, Mark Bowen and Beverly Boynton, after climbing the other spires, completed the Beckey-Chouinard route on South Howser Tower, chopping the rappel anchors out of the ice on their descent. Mark also traveled to Bolivia, where, for Natural History, he spent several days atop 21,500-foot Nevado Sajama interviewing Lonnie Thompson, the leader of an Ohio State University paleoclimatological expedition that was taking summit ice cores from Bolivia’s highest peak.
Eric Engberg and Nancy Savickas engaged themselves in Canada. Eric did the Cardiac Arete on the Grand Sentinel and the East Ridge of Mount Temple. Nancy climbed mounts Edith Cavell and Athabasca, following up with a fall foray to Yosemite Valley for Snake Dike on Half Dome.
Barry Rugo, Tom Nonis, Mark Richey and John Bouchard returned to the Karakoram, where they made significant progress in attempts on Baintha Brakk and Latok I, but were deterred by unseasonably bad weather and unexpected objective danger.
Bill Atkinson, Chairman