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Malcolm S. Bates - Cascade Voices
This book contains little factual information not found in other sources. (In fact there are several errors pertaining to dates, which is to be expected in interviews.) But the book is a fine addition to the oral history of Northwest mountaineering. I've noted tidbits related to ski mountaineering.
Chapter 1 - Emily HarrisEmily Harris met her husband Ernest on a Mountaineers outing. Ernest Harris was chairman of the club's first ski committee in 1927-28 (see mtneer-a-1929-p33). In this interview, she talks about winter outings to Paradise and Snoqualmie Lodge. She also discusses early clothing and equipment.
Chapter 3 - Norval GriggNorval Grigg began skiing in 1926. In those days the Outdoor Store was the place where Seattle mountaineers got their equipment. Grigg mentions donating the trophy for the Snoqualmie-to-Stampede Pass ski patrol race. Grigg was a food connoisseur and he talks about camping food in the 1920s. He mentions that Hans Grage was killed by snow sliding off the Mountaineers ski hut at Stevens Pass. Grigg was a caretaker of the Snoqualmie Lodge in the early 1930s. He describes bringing a phonograph to the top of Silver Peak to enjoy "a good Schottische and a Scandinavian waltz up in the mountains."
Chapter 4 - Gertrude Shorrock, Kenneth and Priscilla Chapman, Jim Martin, Dot and Forest FarrGertrude Shorrock recalls practical jokes played on her late husband Paul by his friends. One time Bill Maxwell and Norval Grigg packed sandwiches for the drive up to Snoqualmie Lodge. "Paul worked and worked on his sandwich and finally said, 'This is awfully tough beef.' They had put innertubing in Paul's."
Jim Martin describes winter outings to Paradise in the early 1920s. Forest Farr recalls ice skating on Lodge Lake after club meetings in Seattle. Gertrude Shorrock remembers transportation in the early days. On one trip to Barlow Pass, the train derailed. On the return trip, Paul Shorrock pointed out to the driver that one of the wheels was wobbling: "'Pardon me sir, but I think this wheel is coming off.' He replied, 'It has to be put on that way. That's how the tracks are.'"
Chapter 5 - Lloyd and Mary AndersonThe Andersons discuss the beginnings of Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) in the 1930s.
Chapter 6 - Wolf BauerWolf Bauer recalls his early skiing and the first Silver Skis race in 1934. He describes climbing on Ptarmigan Ridge with Hans Grage and Jack Hossack. He says that Fred Beckey asked him to go climbing many times, including the Mt Waddington expedition, but he was too busy with his work to go. He also discusses the beginnings of the Mountain Rescue Council.
Chapter 9 - Harland EastwoodHarland Eastwood got involved in mountain rescue during the Delmar Fadden search in the winter of 1936. He was an early member of the ski patrol at Snoqualmie Pass. He was stationed just under McClure Rock in the 1940 Silver Skis race when Sigurd Hall crashed in front of him and was killed. In the late 1930s, up to the beginning of WWII, he manufactured climbing equipment, including ice axes and alpenstocks, as the Harland Eastwood Company. He accomplished his mountaineering with only one arm, the other having been lost in a hunting accident when he was a teenager.
Chapter 10 - Ray CloughRay Clough recalls the origins of the Ptarmigan Climbing Club and the first Ptarmigan Traverse, which he completed with Bill Cox, Tom Myers and Calder Bressler in 1938.
Chapter 11 - Will Thompson and Matie DaiberAs a founding member of the Ptarmigan Climbing Club, Will Thompson recalls their origins as a Rover Clan in the Boy Scouts. He discusses the 10th Mountain Division, about which he is a contrarian. He felt that the Army never understood mountains and mountain fighting, and that the capability of the 10th Mountain Division as ski soldiers was oversold. Matie Daiber discusses her late husband Ome's equipment inventions and his involvement in mountain rescue.
Chapter 14 - Harvey Manning1952 was a shocking year for climbing accidents, when three of Harvey Manning's group were killed in a few months, including Art Jesset, who fell into a crevasse on Mt St Helens. Manning describes himself as a cheapskate and explains his preference for army surplus gear. He discusses his reactions to the growing number of people in the mountains since the 1960s.
Chapter 16 - Ira SpringIra Spring describes the third Ptarmigan Traverse in the late 1950s, which extended the route to Image Lake and was completed in poor weather.
Chapter 18 - Gene PraterAt the time of this interview, Gene Prater was still making custom snowshoes. His innovations in the late 1950s led eventually to the Sherpa Snoeshoe, which was the creation of his brother Bill.
Chapter 22 - Joe and Carla FireyThe Fireys discuss the first traverse (on foot) from Snowfield Peak to Eldorado Peak and Joe explains his preference for the aesthetics of the North Cascades: "You want to be on peaks that are in amongst the rest. You get on top of these big volcanos, and you're above everything. Gosh, you get up on Baker and look over at Shuksan, which is only 1,500 feet lower, and it looks like a piddling little bump, not scenic at all."
Chapter 23 - Alex BertulisAlex Bertulis comments on his 1963 traverse on foot with Half Zantop of the northern and southern Picket Range.
Chapter 28 - Piro KramarPiro Kramer describes her experiences with Joan Firey, from a climbing perspective rather than skiing. She describes Joan's drive to see whether she could lead climbs on her own after reaching age fifty.
Chapter 36 - Lowell SkoogThis interview discusses ski mountaineering on the Ptarmigan Traverse in 1982, the Picket Range in 1985, and the one-day crossing of the Ptarmigan Traverse in 1988. The interview also discusses the value of wilderness mountaineering in the Cascades. [For the record, the last sentence on page 181 should say: "At this wilderness conference I didn't see any of the other climbers there, the local hotshots."]
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