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A.A.C., New England Section

New England Section. Sixty members and guests attended the 12th annual gala dinner on March 22 to share conviviality in the atmosphere of our elegant venue at the Henderson House (the Northeastern University Conference Center) in Weston. On exhibit was a huge (seven feet long!) digital photograph of Annapurna II and IV by Peter Grote. He made a valiant attempt to capture our group in one sweep of his 360° camera, but, alas, did not have enough light for a good result. Among the attendees were Mark and Teresa Richey (former AAC President), Bruce Franks, John Kascenska, Sam Stribert, John Reppy, and Ted Church. We welcomed new members Ann Hampton, Mats Roing, and Bob Weggel. The dinner speaker was Mark Bowen, author of Thin Ice, who presented “Climate Change from the Mountains to the Sea,” an overview of the world’s disappearing glaciers and the impact of their loss on our civilization. Our dinner patrons received autographed copies of Charlie Houston’s Brotherhood of the Rope. Their acquisition was arranged by John Burroughs, who accompanied me to Vermont for a memorable visit with Charlie for the signings. As always, Karen McLaughlin inspired the dinner menu.

June Basecamp, by now a tradition, was held at Nancy Savickas’s alpine refuge in Albany, New Hampshire. Twenty-eight stalwarts turned out to quaff, lie, stoke the grill, and later to air more outrageous falsehoods around the campfire. On August 9 we gathered for a day of steep crack and face climbing at Ragged Mountain’s Main Cliff near New Britain, Connecticut, revisiting classic routes put up by such legendary figures as Weissner, Streibert, McCarthy, Barber, and Reppy. Later more than 20 climbers and guests convened at Chad Hussey’s “Cajun River Bend” in Farmington for a barbeque and spicy jambalaya.

Once again the Fall Gathering at Nancy Savickas’s alpine refuge was the year’s conclusion of another successful year for the New England Section. In December we lost our own Ted Church, long-time AAC member who died in Vermont at age 83. We remember him from our days at the Gunks in the late 1950’s and later came to know him well at our annual Section dinners and at the cookouts at Nancy’s.

Bill Atkinson, Chair