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A.A.C., Sierra Nevada Section

AAC, Sierra Nevada Section. The year started with a sometimes-annual Markleeville ski trip. A few hardy souls were out to enjoy the “pow” and soak tired, weary limbs in, where else, but Grover Hot Springs. More people should attend this trip.

We held our spring meeting at John Hart’s home in Marin County. Catered food, wine, and beer warmed up a crowd of about 40 people. Greg Couch gave an outrageous slideshow about the first winter ascent of Cerro Torre, in 1999, with three Swiss partners with whom he could barely converse. Our stomachs got pumped from laughing at Greg’s epic battles with bad weather, cabin fever, and … SUPERMICE! Thanks to Greg for sharing this amazing adventure with us and to John for opening his home to us.

In September Royal Robbins hosted his now annual Pinecrest gala with climbing at the Gianelli Edges. Thanks to Royal and Liz for their help in making this our most popular outing. Some 40-50 people attended over the course of the weekend.

Our fall meeting was held at Greg Murphy’s house in the hills of Montclair. Some new energetic faces were on hand to liven things up. Climbing tales were told, some true and some embellished by Greg’s home brew. Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden were on hand to present their “First Couple of Rock,” a video of the couple’s exploits and misadventures together. In the film the two talk candidly about dating on El Capitan, their epic in Kyrgyzstan, and the pressure of being professional climbers. It was riveting, touching, and funny. Our thanks to them and to Greg and Annie for their hospitality.

In December we held our annual meeting at Berkeley Iron Works. Shawn Chartrand, our Section’s events coordinator, arranged for some awesome food that everybody thoroughly enjoyed. We actually had too much; where were the rest of you? Mark Wilford was flown in from Colorado to be our keynote speaker. He delivered in a huge way, as he described the epic tale of the first ascent of Yamandaka in the Indian Karakoram. When he described rappelling off an anchor of slings held in place by rocks stacked on top, the crowd seemed to shiver collectively. Our hats off to Mark and his partner, AAC President Mark Richey, for this daring ascent made in uncompromising style.

This meeting also marked the end of my tenure as Section Chair. The torch was passed to Ellen Latham of Grass Valley. I had served for three years and had a great time. Thanks to all who helped make it so great and such fun. Let’s get out and climb!

Steve Schneider, Chair