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AAC, New England Section

AAC, New England Section. Chris Dame and friends began 1999 by attaining the summit of Chile’s El Novado Juncal (6110m) for the first American ascent. In June, Dave and Debbie Duncanson topped out on Denali via the West Buttress.

A1 Hospers and Yuki Fujita started their year at the Alpine Club of Canada’s Cranmore, BC, facility, where they enjoyed many routes, among them Kitty Hawk and climbs on the Weeping Wall. They returned in the summer to climb Mount Athabasca.

Jim McCarthy, our special guest for our Fourth Annual Dinner, gave a 50-year reminiscence that ranged from the ’Gunk days of Wiessner, Kraus and Vulgarian yore to today’s world of dynos and flashes. Our reception exhibit comprised the “Magical Snowcolors” of AAC Alaskan guide and water colorist John Svenson.

The Harvard Mountaineering Club selected Barry Rugo as guest speaker for their spring dinner. In April, various souls among us went West to climb at Red Rocks, Joshua Tree and Zion.

At our second Northcountry “Basecamp” at Jim Ansara’s in North Conway, NH, we screened three of Ken Henderson’s newly restored films of 1930s ice and rock climbing, as we did again in the fall for a Connecticut “Camp I” group organized by Walt Hampton and Pauline Eng. In the fall, Ken Henderson retired from our midst to his daughter’s realm in Hanover, NH.

Paul Dale trekked to the top of Pokalde (5800m) in the Nepal Himalaya. Bob Wadja returned from France, having visited Verdon Gorge, La Meije (3982m) in the Haute Dauphine, and later the summits of La Tour Ronde and Mont Blanc in Chamonix. Also in the Dauphine, Bill Atkinson and Nancy Savickas took a few days off to do Aiguille Dibona (3100m) from the Soreiller Hut, where we (almost) encountered Isabelle Bey on the same mission.

In 1999, Section membership increased from about 400 to 480, a gain of 20 percent, which we find gratifying but for which we are reluctant to claim any credit.

Bill Atkinson, Chair, and Nancy Savickas, Vice-Chair