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The Mazamas

The Mazamas. For The Mazamas of Portland, Oregon, safety is the dominant theme in the club’s numerous mountaineering endeavors. Under the highest standards of safety, the Climbing Committee conducts mountaineering education programs, schedules and supervises a wide variety of climbs, and selects and trains climb leaders. The 2002 summer schedule included 316 ascents on 79 different peaks, with the usual bad weather causing cancellation of some. The four most popular peaks were Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Unicorn Peak (Tatoosh Range), a reflection of a mix of snow and rock climbing within easy driving distance of Portland. However, more peaks than usual with challenging routes in lesser known areas were well represented. Six leaders scheduled 18 winter climbs, but severe weather caused the cancellation of many.

The Basic Climbing Education Program enlisted 286 students in a program that includes indoor lectures, knots and belay practice, and trips to rock and snow climbing areas with groups of nine students. This program draws a majority of non-club members, who then begin Mazama membership with a sound education in safe climbing and mountain etiquette and who are well bonded with a cadre of leaders.

The Intermediate Climbing Program enlisted 45 students. It instructs seasoned beginners in higher levels of rock and snow climbing and develops and screens future climb leaders. A successful spring weekend on Mt. Hood’s White River Glacier brought better conditions than January-February sessions in previous years.

The Advanced Rock Program and Advanced Snow and Ice Program enrolled smaller numbers. The Rock Review Program involved a dozen students on the basaltic walls of Rocky Butte in Portland, bolstering knowledge of knots, belaying, rappelling, and fixed-line travel. John Godino, Mazama administrative assistant, organized this program as well as a summer program, also at Rocky Butte, which took students on routes up to the 5.7 level.

The Leadership Training Program brought in six new leaders. Concerned that the leadership pool is aging, with many people having led for over 20 years, the committee concentrated on adding new leaders. All club leaders have been required to earn a Level 1 Avalanche certification by 2002.

Recipients of Mazama Climbing Awards: 15 members received the Guardian Peaks Award (Hood, St. Helens, Adams), 5 the Oregon Cascades Award (Jefferson, Three-Fingered Jack, Washington, Three Sisters); and 7 the Sixteen Major Peaks Award, for completing all- the-above peaks plus Olympus, Baker, Shuksan, Glacier, Stuart, and Shasta. David Sauerbrey received the 15-point Leadership Award, and Dean Lee the Terry Becker Award for leading the 16 major peaks.

The Outing Committee, chaired by Tracy Waechter, fielded a dozen trips in the Pacific Northwest and also abroad in Scotland and Turkey.

The Expedition Committee, chaired by Peter Aposokalis, granted funds to five expeditions: Robert Lee, Monte Smith, John Vissell, and Dave Jun for Denali’s West Buttress; Robert E. Lee for a solo climb of Aconcagua; Chris LeDoux and Martin Hanson for Mt. Logan’s King Trench; Josh Wharton and Brian McMahon for The Flame spire in the Karakoram; and Pete Dronkers, Blue Eisele, and Jonas Cabiles for climbing and snowboarding on Ellesmere Island. In March the committee sponsored a slide show for 600 guests by Pete Athans, who had then climbed Mt. Everest six times. In August the committee partnered with Climb Max and Portland Mountain Rescue to sponsor Mark Twight’s show on extreme mountaineering.

The Banquet Committee held its annual gala event at Portland’s Jantzen Beach Double Tree Hotel, proclaiming “109 Years and Still Climbing!” After the usual award presentations with ex-president Christine Mackert as master of ceremonies, Jim Wickwire showed his slides of Reflections on a Lifetime of Climbing.

On the Executive Council David Sauerbrey succeeded Doug Wilson as President of the Mazamas. Gerry Itken was elected vice president, Brian Holcomb membership secretary, John Youngman recording secretary, and Wendy Carlton treasurer.

Jack Grauer, Historian