American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

The Mazamas

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000

The Mazamas. The Climbing Committee, chaired by Gerald Itkin, scheduled 266 climbs, including 16 in winter. The Basic Climbing Committee, headed by Dave Sauerbrey, enrolled participants into groups of nine with about four instructors for each group. In addition to rock and snow training, the groups were required to make several day hikes into difficult terrain. Basic Climbing School suffered a serious setback, however, when the previous requirement for a mountain climb was canceled. The elimination of a “graduation” climb was forced by the efforts of the U.S. Forest Service to classify mountaineering clubs as guide services.

The Intermediate Climbing Program (ICP) was conducted by Richard Caldwell. This program develops and screens future climb leaders and provides instruction of higher levels of rock and snow climbing. The fatal avalanche in a Basic School climb in May, 1998, prompted a further tightening of safety procedures and a restructuring of the ICP in 1999. Intermediate students were routed through a series of instruction stations, each designated to teach a particular skill in rock and snow climbing sessions. Group coordinators were responsible for each station teacher as they covered the required curriculum.

The Advanced Rock Program enrolled 23 students under the lead of Don Erickson. The sessions were held at local rock gyms and local crags. A study group reviewed the course and made changes to improve safety and teaching techniques. Outdoor sessions were held at Horsethief Butte and Smith Rock. Field trips went to Yosemite, City of Rocks National Reserve in Idaho and Squamish in British Columbia.

The Advanced Snow and Ice Program had evolved into a program of vertical ice climbing. However, John Youngman led a study group in 1999 to redirect the training toward steep snow and crevasse terrain, the type of climbing that Club members actually do.

The Leadership Training Program further tightened requirements. Ten experienced leaders must evaluate the knowledge and leadership skill of each candidate. By October 1, the end of the 1998–1999 fiscal year, there were 16 leadership development candidates and five new provisional leaders. Now in its third year, a new Leadership Continuing Education Committee, chaired by David Wedge, was requiring further training, such as avalanche awareness and rescue, for established leaders.

Recipients of Mazama Climbing Awards were: Guardian Peaks (Hood, St. Helens, Adams): Anita Bieker, Richard Busing, Keith Childers, Christy Crandall, Steve Hallock, Skip Smith, Lee Wilson, Joan Zuber. Oregon Cascades (Jefferson, Three-Fingered Jack, Washington, Three Sisters): Elly Branch, Joan Zuber. Sixteen Major Peaks (all of the above plus Olympus, Baker, Shuksan, Glacier, Stuart, Shasta): Eric Hoem, Dean Odenthal. Fifteen-Point Leadership: Terry Cone.

The Outing Committee, chaired by Joe Boyce, sponsored several outings: backpacks in Guatemala and in Oregon’s Wallowas and Steens Mountain and hiking trips to Maui, the Tetons, Peru, Ecuador, the Dolomites and Tuscany. The Trail Trips Committee, chaired by Richard Getgen, sponsored hikes with a total of 4,190 participant days. Street Rambles in Portland parks and streets continued as popular events on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The Trail Tenders subcommittee continued a program of weekend trail improvement by volunteers wielding picks, shovels, axes and pruning shears to maintain trails at Mount Hood and the Columbia Gorge.

The Expedition Committee granted funds to three projects: climbing in Ecuador by John Youngman and Lloyd Atheam; exploration of the Cordon del Plata region of Argentina by Bill Brownlee and Tammee Stump; and an expedition to Mount Walsh in Canada’s Yukon Territory by Jim Anderson and Mark Simmons. On the Executive Council, President Christine Mackert was reelected. Joe Whittington was elected treasurer on October 1, and Susan Pyle Erickson, Josh Lockerby and Doug Wilson were elected council members.

Major William D. Hackett, U.S. Army Retired, died August 9, 1999, at age 81. Bill joined The Mazamas in 1933. An obituary can be found on page 436.

Jack Grauer, Historian

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