A.A.C., Sierra Nevada Section

Publication Year: 2012.

Sierra Nevada Section. This was another active year for the Sierra Nevada Section, which continued to welcome many new members. Adhering to the adage of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” the Section again hosted the full slate of its annual “Climb-munity” gatherings, which continue to be well attended. In 2011 these events included an ice-climbing weekend in Cold Stream Canyon near Truckee in January; rock-climbing weekends at Pinnacles National Monument, Donner Summit, Tuolumne Meadows, and Pinecrest (with Royal and Liz Robbins and Tom Frost) from May to September; and a bouldering/sport-climbing weekend in Bishop in November. These rock-climbing weekends afforded our members not only great climbing, but also fun times with the now traditional group-camping, barbeques, parties, and raffles.

Throughout the year, the Section reached out to the climbing community and promoted the AAC. The Section continued to sponsor the year-round free climbers’ coffee every Sunday morning in Yosemite with the climbing rangers where members interact with other climbers and spread the good word about the AAC. Section member and AAC Yosemite Committee Chair Linda McMillan again lead the free Saturday evening slideshow series in Yosemite as part of the climber’s interpretive program, which generates further goodwill and exposure for the Club.

As for conservation activities, in September we participated in the Yosemite Facelift clean-up week, organized by the Yosemite Climbers Association. Rather than split time between community outreach and conservation at Facelift as done in past years, we focused exclusively on conservation and undertook an arduous asphalt removal project planned by the Park Service. Then in November, under the leadership of Fred Glover and in conjunction with Friends of the Inyo and the Access Fund, the Section once again organized the Fall High Ball in Bishop. This weekend event included a volunteer day of trail restoration/clean-up in the Buttermilks, a party at Mill Creek Station, and a day of bouldering/sport climbing.

Bill and Barbara Straka and Ellen Lapham participated in the AAC’s 2011 Cordillera Blanca Environmental Expedition in July and contributed to its valuable research.

The year ended with our annual Holiday Dinner in Berkeley, highlighted by AAC Board Member, Officer, Honorary Member, and Award Winner George Lowe, who presented an outstanding slideshow of his spectacular and successful alpine climbing career, including first ascents in the United States, Canada, Alaska, the Karakoram, and the Himalaya, which he modestly referred to as “Reflections On My Continuing Amateur Climbing Career.” Given that George previously lived in the Bay Area and was a one of our members for several years, it was a homecoming of sorts for him. His friends and admirers came out in droves, and the banquet hall was filled to capacity. Many thanks to George Lowe for this special and successful evening It has been my pleasure to serve as Section Chair the last three years. In January 2012, Lewis Richards of Sacramento takes over that position. No doubt the Section will be in good hands going forward under Lewis’s outstanding leadership.

Tom Burch, Chair