American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

A.A.C., Oregon Section

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2004

AAC, Oregon Section. Our winter Section expedition was made to Smith Rock to construct an emergency rescue litter shelter. Jeff Alzner, Richard Bence, Bob McGown, Bob Spike, and others participated. The Section has plans for other litter shelters at Smith Rock. The first shelter has an Oregon Section AAC plaque dedicating the shelter to Mike Bearzi, who died climbing in Tibet. Mike’s family has assisted the Section.

This year our spring fundraiser was a slide show by Steve Boyer. He is a veteran of six Himalayan expeditions including a successful ascent of the south face of Annapurna. Steve is an accomplished speed climber, having set records on Mt. Hood. Steve is an MD who also holds a masters degree in glaciation. His program covered the highlights of his Himalayan career and he also discussed the major accident on Mt. Hood of May 30, 2002. Recently, Steve continued his glacier research with investigations of the glaciers on Mt. Hood with GPS positioning of the 12 glaciers on the mountain. He compared these present glacier positions with old Mazama photographs supplied by Mazama historian Jeff Thomas.

The Section supported the Himalayan Bulletin, Barbra Bower editor, and the Cooper Spur Coalition, a watchdog group on the development on Mt. Hood’s Cooper Spur.

Our winter program was a presentation on the traverse of the Southern Picketts by Wayne Wallace. Wayne gave an interesting program on his Cascade climbs of 20+ years, culminating in the traverse of the southern Pickett range with Colin Haley and Mark Bunker. Wayne is a dedicated alpinist who was recently awarded the Section’s Fred Becky award for his achievements in Cascade alpinism.

Longtime member, Vera Defoe, was recognized at the Mazama annual banquet for leading Mazama climbs for 37 continuous years through the age of 75. Earlier, the Explorer Scout troop sponsored by the Mazamas climbed a first ascent in British Columbia’s Coast Range, naming it Mount Defoe. Vera led several climbs for the Scouts in the Pacific Northwest. She continues to be active in conservation and access issues.

The efforts of Neale Creamer and the Friends of Silcox Hut were noteworthy. This fall the friends along with Timberline Lodge installed a new snow tunnel on Silcox Hut for winter access to the 1933 WPA structure at 7,000 feet on Mt. Hood. This is an excellent base camp for an emergency south side rescue location. Section member Jeff Sheets, of the Friends of Silcox Hut, is also on the safety committee for Accidents in North American Mountaineering. Jeff and Bob Speik from Bend, Oregon, promptly reported several notable accidents.

June Hackett (Bill Hackett’s widow) and Ric Conrad published Bill’s climbing biography including exploits with the 10th Mountain Division and the 1958 K2 expedition. Bill was a longtime Section member and dedicated climber. The book is well laid out as a historical piece with comments by Charlie Shimanski, Dee Molenaar, and Bradford Washburn. The book covers Bill’s expedition notes and will be an excellent reference document.

In August, Bob McGown and Steve Holman, President of the Oregon Science Teacher’s Association, acted as climbing team support for the four-day experiment for NIAC (NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts) at the Skylight Cave system in Sisters, Oregon. Steve, an alpinist, was so enthused by the success of the CEMSS II biosphere that he plans to help his advanced biology students build several biospheres in the coming year.

The Section’s climbing librarian Bob Lockerby created a 47-page index to the American Alpine Journal from 1997 to date.

Bob McGown, Chairman

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.