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The Arizona Mountaineering Club

The Arizona Mountaineering Club. The AzMC’s membership totaled 483 at year-end 2002. Given the increased popularity of rock climbing and climbing gyms, the AzMC is competing with an increasing number of climbing venues and providers. Rock climbing in Arizona has grown in popularity such that even some new master-planned communities in the Phoenix area offer rock walls as part of their amenity packages.

A core instructional program has been a mainstay ofAzMC focus. This year the club graduated 81 students through its Beginning Rock Climbing School, 63 students through its Anchors and Advanced Ropework School, and 36 students through its Lead School. Students who have previously finished the Schools are invited to come back and participate as assistants. Between students and assistants the three schools generated over 1,000 user days of activity.

Snow, ice, and other alpine skills are taught in AzMC-sponsored schools. In 2002 about 70 students and assistants participated in learning and/or practicing mountaineering classes, including Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue, Alpine Rock, and Beginning and Advanced Ice Climbing, and an out-of-state Alpine Outing. Colorado in particular was a popular destination for AzMC ice climbers with about a dozen trips being made to the Durango, Silverton, and Ouray environs. In addition, about 20 students took a land navigation class. In total this amounted to 205 user days.

Public service projects included teaching rock climbing to at-risk kids through the Latino Police Officers Association. The twice-annual Queen Creek clean-up attracted some 70 participants and the annual Grand Canyon Clean-up drew 35 people, for 150 user days.

Much of the state was closed during the summer months owing to severe fire restrictions. The AzMC had 25 official outing leaders at the start of the year, but with the enforcement of club policy stating minimum activity levels, the number of official leaders dropped to 20 by year's end. Even so, the club offered about 20 outings with nearly 200 user days of participation.

Although there were several official club trips to nearby states, there were no outings far afield. Several parties made the inevitable trip to bag Pacific Northwest volcanoes. There were at least four groups of AzMC’ers climbing in Europe with ascents of Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc and attempts on the Matterhorn to their credit.

Erik Filsinger, President