Arizona Mountaineering Club. The 300+ members of the Arizona Mountaineering Club enjoyed another successful year of climbing-based activities. The AMC meets monthly and, in 1997, featured such nationally known speakers as Kitty Calhoun, Paul Piana and Jeff Achey. Our series of climbing classes (basic, advanced and lead), offered twice during the year, were filled to capacity. Under the capable leadership of Wayne Schroeter, these classes emphasize safety and a strong commitment to the climbing ethic.
Club involvement continues on multiple access-related issues. We worked with the city of Scottsdale on park planning and trail layout for Pinnacle Peak Park, scheduled to re-open in 1998. This popular climbing area has been closed for nearly two years while the surrounding area undergoes development. From early in the planning process (and much to the chagrin of development interests), the city recognized that climbing is a viable activity in the park. The McDowell Mountains, bordering Scottsdale to the east, also face intense developmental pressure. The prime climbing area is ably represented on the McDowell-Sonoran Land Commission by AMC member Bill Berkley. Additionally, the AMC provides financial assistance to the Phoenix Bouldering Contest and strong fiscal support to the Access Fund.
Member activities of note included Michael Baker and Sally Borg’s ongoing involvement as leaders of the Arizona Trail Association, a group working to build a continuous trail system across Arizona from north to south. Greg Opland published his long-awaited and sorely needed guidebook on central Arizona granite, Phoenix Rock II, and is scheduled to release a climbing guide to the Superstition Mountains in 1998. Blind climber Eric Weihenmayer, who has climbed Denali and Kilimanjaro, completed an Aconcagua expedition. In November, he was featured as the lead climber for Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, in the ABC television special “Adventures with the Duchess.” He also helped with our club’s “blind leading the blindfolded” outing, where members climbed blindfolded to simulate the conditions he climbs under. Even with Eric’s guidance and support, this was very difficult (try it sometime). Although Eric led some of the climbs, the rest of us climbed on top ropes and politely declined his encouragement to try leading blindfolded.
Tom Connor, President