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Arizona Mountaineering Club

Arizona Mountaineering Club. The Arizona Mountaineering Club (AMC) increased its membership in 1999 to more than 500 and added new programs for its members. The Club meets the fourth Monday of each month in Phoenix. Speakers at these meetings included nationally known climbers as well as Club members who added their own exciting adventures to the programs.

AMC involvement in access-related issues has kept members busy. We continue to help with trail building at Pinnacle Peak. Trails for both recreational use and climbing are being developed with the guidance of the City of Scottsdale Parks and Recreation Department. Parking and restroom facilities are in the planning stage. This climbing area, very popular in past years, has been closed since about 1995 because of development. With the peak about to become an official park and ownership of the land soon to be in the hands of Scottsdale, we look forward to climbing (perhaps) sometime late in 2001. The McDowell Mountains and the Little Granite Mountain area, bordering Scottsdale to the north and east, are also under intense threat from development. Thanks to voter approval, the City of Scottsdale is working on the purchase of right-of-access to these areas through taxes. We continue to be an active partner in The Access Fund through strong fiscal support and membership drives. Wayne Schroeter, access chairman, monitors and leads the activism on access-related issues.

Strong membership interest has led to the formation of a committee to explore offering alpine and mountaineering outings, the risks involved, and the criteria for approving leaders for such outings. Snow skills seminars were conducted on Humphreys Peak, where students learned ice axe arrest, crampon use, simulated glacier travel and simulated crevasse rescue systems. We also arranged for a professional company to provide ice climbing weekend seminars in Durango, Colorado.

The AMC’s basic, anchors and lead rock climbing classes continue to be a great success. Each is held twice a year, and all are always sold out. A number of annual outings, such as Thanksgiving at Joshua Tree National Monument and spring in Lower Devils Canyon, bring large turnouts. The “Over The Rim” at the south rim of the Grand Canyon, when we rappel over the rim and clean up trash for the NPS, results in a fun weekend of cleanup, barbeque and climbing for members. Twice a year we do highway cleanup on U.S. 60 east of Superior for our Adopt-A-Mile conservation project.

After cleanup, the rest of the day is spent climbing in the Magma Mine area. There is at least one outing every weekend, more than enough to keep members climbing happily all over Arizona.

As an outgrowth of new activities, increased membership and more students in our rock climbing classes, the AMC board and the outing leaders are addressing risk-management issues, including the need for insurance and ongoing leader training. President Sue Goins attended the NOLS Wilderness Risk Management Conference in Sierra Vista, where much useful information on these matters was obtained for review and discussion within the AMC and with other organizations facing these same issues.

Sue Goins, President