American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Stanford Alpine Club

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1961

Stanford Alpine Club. The Stanford Alpine Club continues to sponsor a program of weekly practice climbs to local outcroppings supplemented by week-end expeditions to Yosemite valley and other areas for more serious climbing. The program is designed primarily to train beginners in safe and proper techniques, but also offers the experienced climber a chance to participate in enjoyable climbing as well as to test his ability on more strenuous climbs.

Beginners must show a certain degree of skill in rope techniques, a knowledge of safe practices, and reasonable judgment to be qualified to climb on week-end expeditions. Qualified members who have gained the requisite amount of experience and shown ability and sound judgment on club trips may be advanced to the rank of rope leader or trip leader at the discretion of the present leaders.

Club expeditions have been limited to rock climbing this year. Trips have been made to Tuolumne Meadows, Pinnacles National Monument, and several to Yosemite valley. Unfortunately the only planned ice and snow climb, a mass assault on Mount Shasta over Thanksgiving which was successfully completed in 1959, had to be cancelled this year when an early snowfall made the area inaccessible in the time allotted.

Though the club has sponsored no major expeditions of its own, members have been active independently. Henry Kendall used his previous experience in the Andes to help organize the 1960 North American Andean Expedition on which he was accompanied by Carl Heller, Ernst Bauer, John Lamont, and Dave Brown. Early in the fall Stanford climbers Leigh and Irene Ortenburger and Henry Kendall teamed with Royal Robbins to make a fine ascent of the Lost Arrow in Yosemite valley. The descent from the pinnacle was accomplished by a spectacular 150-foot Tyrolean traverse to the valley rim over 1500 feet of exposure, saving many hours of tiresome rope work. This was only the second time that this method of descent had been used, the first such descent also having been completed by Stanford climbers.

Early in 1961 Leigh and Irene Ortenburger went to the Himalayas to join Sir Edmund Hillary in his search for the Yeti and to attempt to climb Makalu without oxygen.

PETER MELZ, President

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