American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

A.A.C., Cascade Section

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2002

AAC, Cascade Section. The Cascade Section held three events in 2001. The first was the Goran Kropp slideshow on July 13. Organized by Helly Hansen and sponsored by the AAC, this was the amazing story of Goran’s bicycle journey from Sweden to Kathmandu and his unassisted solo ascent, without bottled oxygen, of Mt. Everest in 1996. Jim Frush, AAC president, introduced Goran and explained the work the Club does to benefit all climbers.

On November 1 the Section held a benefit for the Central Asia Institute. Jon Krakauer was the keynote speaker along with Greg Mortenson from the CAI. The AAC was one of the sponsors for the event, and the Club’s national headquarters donated $1,500. Our Section also donated profits from T-shirt sales to the CAI.

Finally, on November 17, the Section held a reception and slideshow, attracting about 150 members and guests. The free pizza and beer were consumed with gusto! Jim Frush introduced the speaker, Section member Mike Gauthier, Lead Climbing Ranger at Mount Rainier National Park, and told us about of some of the issues the Club has been involved with that are also on Mike’s agenda. These include the Denali Park and Rainier Park Management Plans. Mike gave a visually stunning slideshow on Mt. Rainier, which he has climbed 150 times, while discussing current issues about climbing fees, guiding concessions, and rescue services in the Park. He also told the story of his lightweight ascent with fellow Rainier climbing ranger, David Gottlieb, of Alaska’s Mt. Foraker via the southeast ridge, taking eight days rather than the planned five.

The Section closely follows the emerging management plans for Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks. The Olympic Plan is in the first phase of development. The AAC has filed preliminary thoughts about key issues and will monitor and comment on the plan as it develops. Regarding the Rainier Plan, comments and pressure from the AAC and The Mountaineers were effective in removing a proposal to prohibit climbers and backpackers from parking at trailheads and major parking lots. A shuttle system will be developed for the peak season when lots are full. The final plan includes a zoning system designed to protect solitude in more remote areas and to accommodate greater use in current high use areas such as the Muir Snowfield/Disappointment Cleaver route.

On the climbing scene, Bart Paull reported making a 10-hour link-up of the Wine Spires in the Northern Cascades with Kevin Newall. This included ascents of the east face of Chablis Spire (5.6), the south face of Pernod Spire (5.9+), the east face of Chianti Spire (a.k.a. Rebel Yell--5.10), and the north face of Burgundy Spire (5.8). In the fall of 2001 Bart, Rufus Lusk, and Fredrick Wilkinson made the first free ascent of Stryder Wall on Cannon Cliff in New Hampshire, with several new variations. They found wonderful slab climbing and an excellent in-your-face arch pitch with a wild traverse at its end. A few bolts were placed for protection, all by hand and on lead. At 5.11, the climbing is technical and intricate. They named the free version Castles Burning.

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Peter Ackroyd, Chair

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