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The Mountaineers

The Mountaineers. The core climbing programs of The Mountaineers proceed with the same popularity as ever. These programs place high value in having a “stewardship” requirement and promoting a leave-no-trace ethic. Participants have many opportunities to work on projects with numerous federal and state agencies in habitat restoration and trail clearing activities. In addition, Mountaineers climbing programs work closely with other organizations to promote and defend the interests of the climbing community. Some of those endeavors include fixed anchor issues and federally negotiated rulemaking. For these efforts the Access Fund recently recognized The Mountaineers with the “Sharp End Award.”

We continue to diversify the overall program in order to address climbing specialties that have emerged. Since the Water Ice program has been very successful, other courses on this model are in the planning stages. The “Climbing Denali” course returned, and a new “Aid/Big Wall” course was offered this year. Web-based electronic sign-up for climb leaders has been of great benefit to members, allowing short-notice climbs to be scheduled and filled successfully. A larger percentage of climbs are scheduled by this means, and the total number of climbs has grown.

The Mountaineers Books was honored to receive a number of awards for books produced in the past year. Two titles won National Outdoor Book Awards for 2001. Where the Pavement Ends: One Woman’s Bicycle Trip Through Mongolia, China and Vietnam, by Erika Warmbrunn (Winner, Literature category) and Fifty Favorite Climbs: The Ultimate North American Tick List, edited by Mark Kroese (Winner, Outdoor Adventure Guidebook category). One of the outdoor world’s largest and most prestigious book award programs, the National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA) is sponsored by the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education and by Idaho State University to recognize and encourage outstanding writing and publishing about the outdoors.

Three out of five awards presented at the Banff Mountain Book Festival were awarded to Mountaineers Books titles. Over 122 entries from 11 countries were represented in the competition. The awards included: Fifty Favorite Climbs: The Ultimate North American Tick List, by Mark Kroese (Mountain Exposition Award); The High Himalaya, by Art Wolfe—photography—and Peter Potterfield—text—(Mountain Image Award); and Kiss or Kill: Confessions of A Serial Climber, by Mark Twight (Mountain Literature Award).

This past year also marked the publication of two new women’s adventure narrative titles appearing in the Barbara Savage “Miles from Nowhere” award series: Where the Pavement Ends, by Erika Warmbrunn (a NOBA winner) and Spirited Waters: Soloing South Through the Inside Passage, by Jennifer Hahn. The Mountaineers Books also published the first two titles in their anthology series, Glorious Failures and Courage and Misfortune, which included stories from the world’s most experienced and respected climbers, representing some of the finest climbing literature.

The Mountaineers bestows honorary membership on a few individuals who have made significant lifetime contributions to mountaineering. In that capacity the club recently elected Dr. Tom Hornbein an Honorary Member. He is most famous for his first ascent of the west ridge of Mt. Everest with Willi Unsoeld in 1963. The feat was documented in his classic account, The West Ridge of Everest. An interest in climbing led Tom to mountain rescue work, which in turn led to medicine. A lifelong professional interest in the physiology of breathing and high altitude adaptation ensued.

Donna Price, Trustee