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A.A.C., Sierra Nevada Section

Sierra Nevada Section. The Sierra Nevada Section enjoyed an active 2008 with our members climbing, reaching out to the climbing community, and working to protect the places we climb. We hosted our traditional “Climb-munity” gatherings for both our members and other climbers: January: Ice climbing based from Lost Trail Lodge in Coldstream Canyon near Truckee. July: Cragging at Donner Summit with camping and a barbeque on SNS member Bela Vadasz’s property. August: Climbing in Tuolumne Meadows with group camping and a party. September: The always popular Pinecrest Climb-In hosted by Royal and Liz Robbins and Tom Frost. December: Annual Holiday Dinner in Berkeley with a terrific presentation of Alaskan and Patagonian alpinism by Mark Westman.

On the conservation front, the Section focused its efforts in Yosemite Valley. Led by AAC Yosemite Committee Chair Linda McMillan, we volunteered to help with an important research project to inventory lichen on the Valley’s walls. At the end of September, Section members once again turned out to help with the Yosemite Facelift. We partnered with the Yosemite Climbing Association and the Access Fund to provide T-shirts for all volunteers who helped clean up the Valley and surrounding areas.

The Section also engaged in a number of activities to reach out to the climbing community beyond our membership. In July we raised the AAC flag at a “U-Climb” learn-to-climb event on Donner Summit sponsored by AAC industry partners Mountain Gear and Marmot, with instruction provided by Truckee’s Alpine Skills International, owned by Section members Bela and Mimi Vadasz. It was a great opportunity to make the AAC an integral part of these new climbers’ introduction to the sport. In addition, throughout the season, under Linda McMillan’s leadership, Section members presented free Saturday evening slideshows in Yosemite as part of the climbers’ interpretive program. We also supported weekly free Sunday morning coffee in Camp 4 with climbing ranger Jesse McGahey.

The vitality of the Sierra Nevada Section comes from the energy and involvement of its members. Thanks to all who made our year active and fun. In addition to volunteering, our members went climbing, of course in the Sierra Nevada, but also in the greater ranges around the world from Patagonia to Alaska to the Himalaya. Of particular note, Section member Dave Turner received the AAC’s Robert Hicks Bates Award for his Grade VII solo first ascent on Cerro Escudo in Chilean Patagonia. At the end of 2008 and after three years of service, Section Chair Dave Riggs handed leadership over to long-time Section volunteer Tom Burch.

Dave Riggs, Chair