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Alaska Section

Alaska Section. The slide shows in Anchorage have been a great way to bring our members and others together on a regular basis to network and find out what concerns the public has on climbing related issues. Eight of these popular shows were presented in 2006. In January Sam Johnson described a new route he had completed on Trango 2 in Pakistan. In February Alaska Range veteran Mark Westman talked on “Once Were Warriors,” a new route on Mount Grosvenor, and Alaska Range pilot Paul Roderick showed aerial photos from his amazing collection. In March the Section hosted the preview of Joe Puryear’s guidebook to the Alaska Range, and Joe highlighted his new route, the Black Crystal Arete, on Kichatna Spire. April featured Ralph Baldwin’s climb of Mt. Stanley in the Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda and other Rwandan adventures. After the summer break, the slide shows resumed in September with Matt Szundy from the local guiding company, The Ascending Path, discussing Ama Dablam and his time working in Antarctica. In October local legend and AAC secretary, Charlie Sassara, described his recent trip to Patagonia. In November USGS geologist Peter Haeussler reviewed his climbs in the Ruth Gorge and discussed the fracture faults of the Alaska Range and why Denali got to be the Mountain it is today. At the final slide show in December, Dave Hart spoke about his ascents of the 20 highest summits in Canada and Alaska.

The Alaska Section was active in 2006 with public service projects. With funding from the AAC and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s Community Development Department we were able to build the Webfoot Latrine, located at the best alpine rock climbing area with road access in south-central Alaska. Also, funds raised from a benefit showing of Steve House’s climb of the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat enabled the Section to purchase the Snowbird Hut. Formerly owned privately, this hut in the Talkeetna Mountains offers fantastic spring skiing along with great multi-pitch rock climbs in a great alpine setting about a three-hour walk from the road. It will be open to the public on a first-come, no-reservation basis, pack it in, take it out, including human waste. The Alaska Section would like to thank the BP Energy Center and its staff for opening its doors for our use, with thanks also to the speakers who presented their fine programs.

Harry Hunt, Chair