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Cascade Section

Cascade Section. On February 3 Section members were invited to see a slideshow, The Chola Shan Expedition and Mountaineering in China, at the Mountaineers Clubhouse. Two AAC Cascade members, Tina Nef and Bruce Frank were a part of this six-person expedition, and Tina became the first American woman to climb the peak, a rarely climbed mountain in the remote Shaluli Mountain Range of Western China. A two-day van ride along the ancient “tea-horse” road took the team from the metropolitan city of Chengdu to a Tibetan town, Manigange. The team joined forces with a team of Chinese and Tibetan climbers for the final push to the 20,360-foot summit.

On November 30 Andy Selters presented a multi-media show on the history mountaineering in North America. The show stems from his 2004 book, Ways to the Sky, which won top honors at the Banff Mountain Book Festival and the National Outdoor Book Awards. With images of historical climbs from every decade and from peaks from all over the continent, Selters’ hour-long presentation charted the progression of mountaineering and its basis in our culture. His previous books include The Mt. Shasta Book and Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue. The event, which was well attended by Northwest climbing luminaries, was sponsored jointly by the AAC, the Climbing Club of the University of Washington and Pro Mountain Sports.

On December 16 a special event was held to start a drive for support of a relief effort for victims of the Pakistan earthquake. AAC member Steve Swenson and Arc’teryx representative Marshall Balick initiated the process and REI provided the space and planning support. We heard some entertaining and sometimes harrowing stories from Jim Wickwire, Dee Molenaar, Jim Whittaker, and Steve Swenson about their experiences climbing in Pakistan. The one unifying theme was just how wonderful the local people were that they met on their travels and how much they helped these climbers in times of need. Mark Fisher, who had just returned from doing relief work in Pakistan, showed us some of the conditions that people are living in, including sleeping under tarps in the extremely cold, snowy weather. Many items were donated for an auction and over $11,000 was raised at the event. During the following two weeks there was an incredible outpouring of support and in addition to being able to ship 460 boxes of gear (tents, sleeping bags, blankets and jackets), over $45,000 was donated to the AAC Pakistan relief fund.

Peter Ackroyd, Chair