American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Dartmouth Mountaineering Club

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1999

Dartmouth Mountaineering Club. Dartmouth climbers pulled down harder than ever before in New England, out west and beyond this year. During off-terms in the winter, Matt Holmes climbed with the Los Alamos Climbing Club at White Rock, Penitente, Shelf Road, and Jack’s Canyon, and Jon Waldman fared well during a month-long escapade at Red Rocks and Hueco. Back in Hanover, despite the warm weather, Thad Law led the Black Dike on Cannon Cliff. Brian Staveley and Ben Fuller tied for first place at Middlebury’s climbing competition, but a month later Middlebury’s Matt Wilder prevailed at Dartmouth’s fourth annual intercollegiate climbing competition. The DMC also made a fabulous showing at Hampshire College’s comp, with Ben Fuller winning the men’s division and Ann DeBord winning the women’s division. Our annual spring break pilgrimage out west, this year to Hueco, was again a wonderful success due to steep rock, cheap bread and warm sun. While some of us worked the beta on classics including Moonshine Roof and Sex After Death, Gus Moore and Thad Law made a nude ascent of Indecent Exposure, providing an unparalleled view for everyone below at the Mushroom Boulder.

As the weather warmed up and club members returned to local crags, Bobby Hardage began a meticulous and productive search for undiscovered boulders in the area after returning from a nine-month road trip. Ben Fuller spent almost every weekend bouldering at the Gunks and snagged the fifth ascent of the difficult Illustrious Buddha. DMCers also confirmed their reputation on campus by hosting a fabulous party centered around a giant pool of blue jello.

During the summer, ten of us met up at Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, and found the long steep sandstone a welcome contrast to New Hampshire’s granite slabs. Pat Leslie and Rich Harvell spent two months trekking and adventuring in Greenland, and Luke Cudney, Kevin Tompsett and Jon Waldman made a quick trip out to Wyoming’s Cirque of the Towers and climbed the classic Pingora. Thad Law and Rusty Talbot climbed many of the Cascades’ snowy volcanoes, completing an impressive 50-mile technical traverse with 50-pound packs in 50 hours.

Fall was the most active term for the DMC. We were happy to have many new and experienced freshmen join the club, including Freddie Wilkinson and Bart Paull, who during their first weeks here made a quick ascent of Cannon’s VMC Direct Direct. We visited Cannon, the Gunks, Rumney and Cathedral, and a few students gave up a weekend to partake in an AMGA instructors course. Former DMCer Andy Tuthill talked about some of the amazing climbs he did during his years with the club long ago, and Bobbi Bensman came to town, inspiring us with her slide show. She also taught a clinic in our climbing gym, which is soon to be doubled in size, thanks to the dedication of John Joline and Brad Molyneaux and a donation from Judith Drake in memory of Charles Drake and Josh Hane. As the term came to a close and the snow began to fall, Chris Reidy and Chris Leander began planning an upcoming expedition to Nepal, and Thad, Freddie and Rusty prepared for a winter trip to Katahdin. Eight lucky club members drove out to Vegas immediately after exams, and if all went well, Cheryl Shannon became Dartmouth’s first woman to climb 5.12.

Jon Waldman, club member

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.