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A.A.C., Alaska Section

AAC, Alaska Section. The Alaska Section’s members were active not only in Alaska, but around the world in the past year. Members traveled to Antarctica, the Himalaya, South America, the Continental United States, and Europe. Within Alaska, members put up many new routes and first ascents across the state, some of which appear elsewhere in this Journal.

The Section hosted a monthly slide show series in the fall of 2001 and spring of 2002 at Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking in Anchorage. Programs included Bob Jacobs discussing his trips to Everest, Kamchatka, and in the Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains. Dave Hart covered his ascent of Broad Peak just weeks before the tragic events of 9/11/01. Dave Lucey covered ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies. Gary Bocarde gave us a look back at rock climbing in Yosemite in the “early” days (first ascent of The Shield route on El Capitan, in 1972) and the Moose Antler route (another first ascent) on the southwest face of the Moose’s Tooth.

After taking a break for the summer, the slide shows started again in November with a great show by Brian Okonek. Brian covered the Alaska Range near Denali and gave us a look at the first traverse of the immense Bagley icefield back in the early 1980s. In December, Siri and Charlie Sassara took us to the Dolomites and Sardinia for some warm-weather rock climbing. The slide shows will continue in 2003 on the second Tuesday each month. Featured presenters will include a video documentary of the 1963 American Everest Expedition, Dave Hart covering the big peaks on the Alaska-Canada border, Keri Meagher showing a recent Kamchatcka ski mountaineerint trip, and Roman Dial presenting his many first ascents and new routes in the Alaska Range, Chitistone Canyon, and other parts of Alaska.

On December 11, members Steve Davis, Charlie Sassara, and Danny Kost accepted the Alaska Excellence Award from the Alaska Region of the National Park Service on behalf of the Club. The AAC was honored for its support of the Clean Mountain Can project on Denali, along with the Denali Park Rangers and the Access Fund. NPS Alaska Regional Director Rob Arnsberger presented the award at a ceremony in Anchorage. The Alaska Excellence Award is given annually to “recognize the people and programs that are the best examples of leadership, stewardship, and innovation in the fields of natural and cultural resources, conservation, and education.” There were 15 nominees for this award in 2002, and we are honored to have been selected.

Danny Kost, Chair