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Mountaineer Annual, 1950-59
* Lowell Skoog has a copy of each article marked with an asterisk.
Mountaineer Annual, 1950
p. 39, Manning, Harvey and Victor Josendal, "Climbing Notes" *Describes the 1950 Climbers' Outing to the Northern Pickets, the sixth climbing party to visit the area. Approach was made via Hannegan Pass and the recently rebuilt trail to Whatcom Pass. Summits included Whatcom Peak, Luna and Challenger. The notes describe a reconnaisance trip in September to the area south of Chilliwack Lake by Fred Beckey and others, approaching the lake by airplane. In August, 1949 Peter Misch and Kermit Bengtson made the fourth ascent of Challenger and reached the summit of Redoubt via the high route from Whatcom Pass. The Cascade River road has been extended to within 3 miles of Cascade Pass, making summits in this area accessible in a weekend. Finally, the notes end with "Climber's Nightmare," a lampoon (probably written by Manning) of recent climbing trends in the Cashmere Crags. (The first ascent of the Flagpole is described in these notes.)
p. 47, Fuller, John F. et al, "The Spacious Spaces," plus competition and lodge reports *Describes the split-up of Mountaineers skiing activities into a Competitive Ski Committee, which oversees racing and lessons, and a Recreational Ski Committee, which conducts ski tours and the ski mountaineering course. The author notes that most ski touring in the past few years has been by the older generation of skiers, but he is encouraged that new faces are appearing. The article describes tours during the season (all routine) and reiterates what the ski mountaineering course is about. The article represents another phase in the back-and-forth pull over where the club's heart lies in skiing.
p. 46, Turner, J. Dale, photoPhoto of skiers on rolling terrain, probably near Baker ski area, accompanying the John Fuller article.
Mountaineer Annual, 1951
p. 13, Patterson, Jacqui L., "Developments in Search and Rescue Equipment by the Mountain Rescue and Safety Council" *Describes the folding "Stokeski" stretcher, designed by Wolf Bauer and Jack Hossack, with a special ski runner constructed by ski-builder Wally Burr, also a Mountaineer. The Stokeski is collapsible and may be placed on two packs for carrying. It accomodates a wheel or ski and is adjustable so the victim can be semi-sitting or flat. The ski design makes the Stokeski suitable for traversing steep sidehills. The article includes photos of the young Whittaker brothers (unidentified) packing and handling the Stokeski.
p. 48, Turner, J. Dale, "Shuksan Arm" *Photo of skiers ascending a shadowed slope on skis, accompanying the John Hansen article.
p. 49 Hansen, John M., "Ski Recreation" *Reiterates the role of the Ski Recreation Committee, which is the skier's equivalent of the Climbing Committee. The committee now sponsors a ski touring course (begun the past year by Wolf Bauer), ski mountaineering course, and ski instruction at the Stevens, Snoqualmie and Meany ski huts. The ski mountaineering course covers the material of the ski touring course in more depth, and includes sessions on party management, camping and glacier skiing. Field trips, including an overnight bivouac on snow, crevasse rescue, roped skiing and several day tours, are required. The past year's trips included ski ascents of Mt Baker and St Helens, and glacier trips to Camp Hazard and Steamboat Prow on Mt Rainier.
p. 53, The annual reports for the Meany Ski Hut, Snoqualmie and Stevens lodges are included, but there is no longer anything of interest for this project.
p. 66, Miller, Tom, "Out of the Valleys" *In Climbing Notes, describes a high country approach to the Park Creek Pass area that avoids the "twenty miles of uninteresting valley slog" required to approach from N or S. The route goes from the Cascade River road across the Boston Glacier, then drops into Thunder Creek, either dropping straight down to the trail or traversing higher toward the pass. The author and three others returned from climbs of Logan and Goode using this route in less than thirteen hours.
Mountaineer Annual, 1952
p. 23, Trott, Otto T., M.D., "Accidents by Lightning in the Mountains"Author's bio:A general practitioner, Otto T. Trott, M.D., is currently medical supervisor of the Mountain Rescue and Safety Council and among many professional organizations is a member of the local board on trauma and fractures of the American College of Surgeons. Prior to World War II matriculated in medicine at Universities of Freiburg, Munich, Germany, and Innsbruck, Austria. Had brief military training with German Alpine Troops (1936) before arrival U.S.A. (1937) and continued medical career in Syracuse, N.Y., and Seattle. During World War II was interned (1942-43), worked as physician for Army Hospitals then voluntarily enlisted (1945) and received citizenship; upon discharge returned to local medical career (1946-47). He has had a notable climbing career throughout Dolomites and other parts of the Tyrolian Alps, the Oetztaler, St. Gotthard, and Kaiser groups; altogether over 100 ascents in difficulties from "difficult" to "extremely difficult--lower limit" (European Classification). In the U.S.A. Longs Peak, East face; Grand Teton, etc., etc.
p. 27, Bauer, Wolf G., "Can You Handle An Emergency?"Author's bio:Wolf Bauer helped pioneer recreational and competitive skiing in the twenties, mountaineering in the thirties, ski touring and foldboating in the forties; search and rescue techniques in the fifties, through his dynamic activation of Mountain Rescue and Safety Council five years ago. Elected Chairman at organizational conference he has since helped develop a close-knit search and rescue organization unique on the North American continent.
p. 83, Beckey, Fred, "Inspiration Glacier Area" *In Climbing Notes, this brief article describes a traverse across the Inspiration Glacier by Elwyn Elerding, Jeanne Elerding and Les Carlson in early August, 1951. The party climbed (and named) Primus and Tricouni Peaks. The account seems to describe an out-and-back traverse.
Mountaineer Annual, 1953
p. 25, Beckey, Fred, "The Environs of Silver Star" *Describes three trips by the author and partners to the Silver Star area. On the first trip, the party climbed all the principal summits on Vasiliki Ridge and made the first climb of Silver Star Glacier, bagging the unclimbed west peak. This was not a ski trip, as the author writes, "We were pleased with the abnormally low snow cover." On later trips that summer all the "wine spires" except Burgundy were climbed. The article includes a diagram of the area, with all the now-accepted nomenclature applied.
p. 38, Karlsson, Erick, "South of Cascade Pass" *Account of the second Ptarmigan traverse, from north to south, by Tom Miller, Bob Grant, Mike Hane, Dale Cole and the author, calling themselves the "What is South of Cascade Pass Anyway?" Expedition. (Photos by Erick Karlsson of the Sentinel Peak and Dome Peak areas.) The traverse was made over about 12 days, starting on Labor Day weekend, 1953. Two of the party exited from Dome Peak via Sulphur Creek, and the other three exited east via Icy and Agnes Creeks. The article gives a good impression of the state of knowledge at that time of the traverse and of the exploits of the original Ptarmigans. According to the author, the Cascade River road was extended to Gilbert, three miles from Cascade Pass, in 1948.
Mountaineer Annual, 1954
p. 16, Hazard, Joseph T., "Let's Use the Cascade Crest Trail" *Describes the origins of the Crest Trail. The author proposed the trail in 1926, inspired by the Apalachian Trail. Happy Fisher of the Mt Baker Club and the author engaged other clubs in the cause and won the support of Fred Cleator, recreation planner in the U.S. Forest Service. Surveying was done in 1935 and trail construction began. As of 1952, "The Forest Service is constructing rustic log and rock shelters at key points along the trail." The article describes the Washington portion of the trail in seven units. Of particular interest is this prediction for the section from Snoqualmie Pass to Chinook Pass:"Some day this some sixty miles of convenient divide and pass country will be an open road for 'ski mountaineering'-when trail markers are elevated high enough to clear winter snows, and when there are plenty of shelters for the worn and weary."
p. 38, Daiber, Ome, "Mountain Rescue Council Undertakes Far Reaching Safety Program" *Describes the origins of the Mountain Rescue Council, organized in 1948 (Wolf Bauer, founder) and incorporated in 1953. The article describes the two key initiatives of the council: a cooperative mountain search and rescue system and a safety education program. Details of each initiative are provided. The article includes a photo by Bob and Ira Spring which the caption says is of four MRC men bringing Bill Degenhardt out on a Stokeski after he was caught in an avalanche on Mt Snoqualmie. Another photo illustrates crevasse rescue practice on Nisqually Glacier.
p. 70, "Mountaineering Accidents" *Describes three accidents involving Mountaineers members in 1954, resulting in two deaths and three serious injuries. Of particular interest is the Mt Snoqualmie avalanche on April 18 involving William Degenhardt, president of the Mountaineers in 1953. Degenhardt and two women Mountaineers were climbing the mountain on skis. Degenhardt was caught and carried 150 feet over some rocks, suffering a fractured pelvis. An MRC party evacuated him to the highway 16 hours after his accident. It seems likely that these and other high profile accidents (in 1952) were a strong motivator for the Mountain Rescue Council in its early days.
p. 74, Klos, John, "A Season of Ski Touring" *Describes a number of familiar tours, plus a trip to Dirty Face Mountain on March 28, "one which had not been scheduled previously." "A circuit tour of Chinook Pass on May 9 introduced us to several new areas which are not usually skied." The article concludes by saying that "it might be advisable to resume the ski mountaineering classes formerly held so that others may learn to enjoy skiing in primeval areas away from the crowded tow slopes." This suggests that the course described in previous annuals was planned but not actually held.
p. 115, Spring, Bob and Ira, A&T Ski Co. ad *Fine photo of skier doing a gelandesprung with Mt Baker beyond.
Mountaineer Annual, 1955
p. 41, Degenhardt, Stella, "Sid Gross on a Mountaineer ski tour to Chinook Pass" *Photo of skier next to snow flocked trees.
p. 58, Nicholson, Dave, "Mount Buckindy" *In Climbing Notes, describes the first ascent of "Mt Buckindy" by Win Trueblood, Don Grimlund and the author on Aug 28, 1955. (Cascade Alpine Guide, Vol 2 says this was actually Mt Misch.) The article describes the high country approach from Green Mountain, used on later traverses of the area.
p. 99, Spring, Bob and Ira, A&T Ski Co. ad *Photo of skier carving a steep turn with Mt Baker beyond.
Mountaineer Annual, 1956Special Fiftieth Anniversary Annual of The Mountaineers.
p. 6, Hazard, Joseph, "The First Twenty-Five Years" *A fine account of the club's earliest years, starting as an offshoot of the Mazamas, which in turn was an offshoot of the Sierra Club. Highlights are described for each year (especially the large annual outings). Club skiing begins in 1912, when A.H. Denman of the Tacoma unit led 50 members to Longmire on Dec 28. Hazard writes that, "The one pair of skis, brought in by Miss Olive Rand, was the first appearance of the ski in organized recreation in the Pacific Northwest, and those first skis caused Prof. Milnor Roberts of Washington to write and produce a derisive skit entitled, 'Erratic Movements Observed in the Constellation of Skis.'" The author writes that the last annual outing to Rainier was held at New Years in 1930, by which time "the whole Northwest was winter outing conscious, and the resorts and playfields were many."
The article describes the building of the Snoqualmie Lodge in 1914. In 1915, Thor Bisgaard offered instruction at the annual Mt Rainier winter outing and with his "star pupil," Norm Engle, helped popularize skiing. In 1917 Wally Burr, "another expert ski leader and teacher, with his many friends, joined the growing horde of what was first derisively tagged, 'Ski Persons'." The author mentions four members who especially contributed to the development of skiing after World War I: Harold L. Wold, who had taught war skiing to mountain troops in Europe, Rudy Amsler, an expert who taught that real skiing was under "ski-control", Edmond Meany, who donated the land on which the Meany Ski Hut was built in 1928, and Robert Hayes, chairman of the ski committee in 1929, which truly organized Mountaineer skiing activities. (This article is based largely on pnq-1953-jan-p7.)
p. 14, Winder, Arthur R., "The Second Twenty-Five Years" *This article provides a good summary of skiing activities in the 1930s and 40s, material already covered in earlier annuals. It mentions that as of 1956, "the forlorn remains of the fireplace still stand" at the site of the old Snoqualmie Lodge, burned in 1944. The author mentions that in 1952 [actually 1954] the club successfully spearheaded efforts to head off a proposed tramway on Mt Rainier.
p. 55, Ball, Fred, "The Story of Meany Ski Hut" *The article presents basic historical facts about the hut along with many personal observations. The article discusses the siting of the hut in 1927-28, donation of the land by Dr. Edmund Meany, and construction and dedication in autumn 1928. It vaguely describes the beginning of ski races in 1929 and 1930, including this tidbit about the Patrol Race course:"Trips from the Lodge to Meany or vice versa became almost commonplace, a party of public spirited members having marked the route by orange-colored tin shingles high on trees and placed so that one was always in sight ahead."
The author describes the clearing of Hell's Half-Acre as a practice slope in 1931 and the construction of a rope tow in 1938-39. The downhill races started near the top of Meany Hill, each racer choosing his own course to the finish at the bottom of the cleared lane. The author notes the "mysterious schism" that developed between the more socially oriented "Lodge hounds" and the "Meanyites" who were more focused on skiing. The hut was expanded in 1939 and amenities were added. Most recently, highway improvements and train schedule changes threaten to end the tradition of train access to the hut. The article is accompanied by an exterior photo of the hut by Don Olson.
p. 58, Byington, Larry, "Old Snoqualmie Lodge" *Memories of the old lodge, with these tidbits:"A steep 1-1/4 mile climb from old Denny Creek Ranger Station during the summer months or a 1-2/3 mile struggle over snow covered trails from Rockdale Railway Station during the winter time was required to reach our 'mountain home.'""Until Rudy Amsler started the group on the path to learning the fine art of telemarks and christianas, we 'herring-boned' up and 'ran it straight.'"Regarding the Patrol Race:"There are perhaps a few who remember that the original scouting party was temporarily lost on the difficult route and spent the night 'holed-up' in the snow."A photo by the author shows Rudy Amsler, Jim Martin, Norval Grigg and others lounging in front of the lodge in summertime.
p. 60, Shorrock, Paul, "Patrol Races Highlight the '30s" *Impressions of the races held between 1930 and 1941, which the author entered a number of times. A good account of how the races were run, including the course route, required and optional equipment, start and finish rules, and attitudes and tactics of the racers. The author writes, "Races have been run in rain, through deep, fresh snow and on death-defying crusty conditions. Once a race was scheduled, it was run!" He recalled that one year "I raced the whole 18 miles with a brick in my pack which some of my prankster 'friends' had slipped in after the pack was weighed by the officials." He concludes, "Those were rugged days!"
p. 60, Wilson, Art, photo *Photo of 1933 winning patrol team of H.V. Strandberg, Art Wilson and Don Blair, accompanying the Paul Shorrock article.
p. 137, Gallagher, Jack, "Skiing" *In Club Activities. Of interest is a trip in January to Corral Pass, proposed site of a "Corral Pass Ski Bowl" resort. The article includes a photo by the author of the basin.
Mountaineer Annual, 1958This annual features the Glacier Peak area, due to the club's proposals to create a Wilderness Area there.
p. 7, McConnell, Grant, "Wilderness World" *An eloquent description of the Glacier Peak area and a call to discover and protect it. The author lived for three years in Stehekin and was the first to propose a single-issue organization to preserve the area, which eventually became the North Cascades Conservation Council (nccc-1998-spr-p14). He describes approaching the area in several ways in order to understand it. Describing the first view from a small plane, he writes:"It is an awesome sight. As far as can be seen there is no end to the succession of ice-hung peaks. Those close by are more menacing, but they are so only because they are close; those far off are as sharp, as icy and as forbidding... This is the sea of peaks which so many travelers spontaneously have discovered on first looking out upon it from a height, a sea lashed by some cosmic storm, a sea heaving its surface into a multitude of curling, twisted, white-crested points."He describes the contrasts of climatic and life zones observed from a spot above the Agnes valley. He describes areas of the region that are in jeopardy. Finally he concludes:"In truth, it will not be given to many to be the first to climb some mountain or to enter some hidden valley. And yet, the quality of discovery can remain. Just as so much in American life and history finds meaning in the frontier, so exploration has been a leitmotiv of our being. Sometimes it seems that the goal of exploration has been entirely economic. Yet, that exploration has also been a search, a quest for other values. And ironically these other values have often crumbled at our touch. They disintegrate and vanish as we exploit and reshape what we have found. The areas which we have left unchanged are few and growing smaller, but they do contain the best the nation has ever had. Of these the inner Cascade world still holds the prospect of new perspectives and discovery, discovery not alone of rock and ice, but on occasion, perhaps, an oblique and fleeting vision of some forgotten facet of the human essence."
p. 40, Meier, Mark F., "Research on South Cascade Glacier"Describes the research program started in 1957 by the USGS to study this glacier. Describes the area of the glacier and the work accomplished so far. Includes a sketch map showing the area between Dome Peak and Flat Ck, including the location of the USGS gaging station.
p. 48, Manning, Harvey, "Ptarmigans and Their Ptrips" *The definitive history of the Ptarmigan Climbing Club. The article is important both as background on the exploration of important Cascade regions and for glimpses of the skiing activity of the Ptarmigans themselves. It traces the origin of the club to 1934, when it began as the George Vancouver Rover Clan under the guidance of Wolf Bauer and Ome Daiber. It describes the group's split from the Boy Scouts and their regrouping as Ptarmigans.
The article describes the September 1937 outing by Will Thompson and Bill Cox into the Chilliwack region near the Canadian border. They made the 2nd ascent of Redoubt and attempted Glacier (now Spickard). Approaching via Luna Creek, they made 1st ascents of Fury and Luna, then made their exit via the Challenger Glacier, Perfect Pass and Easy ridge.
The article explains the circumstances of the first Ptarmigan Traverse in 1938. Not only were Bill Cox, Ray Clough, Tom Myers and Calder Bressler unemployed, but the summer was exceptionally dry (no measurable precipitation for sixty days from July into September). Over thirteen days they traversed from Dome Peak to Mt Buckner, climbing twelve peaks, six of them first ascents, and three by new routes. They traversed an area of the Cascade crest that had intrigued Northwest climbers for years.
The article briefly describes the 2nd ascent of "Mt Terror" (actually Mt Degenhardt) and the 1st ascent of Bear Mtn in 1939. It also describes a 1940 trip into the northern Pickets that included an attempt on the west peak of Mt Fury.
On skis the Ptarmigans climbed Mt Baker in January from Kulshan Cabin and in March from Camp Kaiser. During a winter trip to Hannegan Pass, Ray Clough and Calder Bressler made a ski ascent of Ruth Mountain. In early spring 1941 Chuck Kirschner, Ray Clough, Will Thompson and Calder Bressler skied from Baker Lake to Anderson Peak Lookout. In 1942 Dick Slater, Calder Bressler, Chuck Kirschner and Ray Clough made a five-day ski trip to the Goat Rocks, climbing Old Snowy.
p. 66, Goldsworthy, Patrick D., "Proposed Glacier Peak Wilderness Area" *Describes the boundaries of wilderness proposals by the Mountaineers and the North Cascades Conservation Council. Includes this well known quote from the National Park Service Committee in 1939:"From a national standpoint, the area is unquestionably of national park caliber, is more valuable used as such than for any other use now ascertainable, and should receive park status under the National Park Service as the agency set up for providing highest conservational use and protection... Such a Cascade park will outrank in its scenic, recreational, and wildlife values, any existing national park and any other possibility for such a park within the United States. Establishment of this area as one superb park is an inspiring project to fire the imagination, worthy of the Nation's effort."
p. 68, Wilson, Marjorie, "Bibliography [of the Glacier Peak Area]" *Excellent list of references for the Glacier Pk area. Worth a second look. Of great interest is "Skiing Cascade Wilderness", a 16mm movie with sound filmed by Charles Hessey at Lyman Lake in the Lake Chelan region (approx. 35 min). No mention of where to find it.
p. 76, Spring, Bob and Ira, "Le Conte Glacier and Sentinel Peak" *Fine aerial photo in summer of Le Conte Glacier area, Dome Peak in the background. Accompanies the Marjorie Wilson bibliography.
p. 85, Zalesky, Phlip H., "Accessible Points and Features of the Glacier Peak-North Cascades Region" *Summary of approaches to the region in 1958.
p. 99, Mohling, Franz, "The Northern Pickets Revisited" *In climbing notes, a description of a 1956 climbing trip in the Pickets by Tim Kelly, Dale Kunz, Tom Miller and the author. Describes approaching via Whatcom Pass by traversing the east side of Whatcom Peak. Includes this quote: "We have noticed that weather is an extremely important consideration in the Northern Pickets. Travel is especially difficult in a storm and the beautiful Challenger Arm campsite would not offer much shelter on a snowy, windy day. In 1955 the Northern Pickets greeted our party with ten days of snow, wind, and rain; we were pinned under tarps on an exposed hillside for five days while waiting for a break in the weather. Our 1956 trip had eight days of perfect weather."
Mountaineer Annual, 1959This annual concentrates on the Olympic Mountains.
p. 6, Hitchman, Robert, "Name Calling" *A history of the Olympic Penninsula tracing the origin of many place names.
p. 51, Hawkins, Jim, "Mount Olympus IGY Research" *Describes research conducted between 1 August 1957 and 31 July 1958 in participation with the International Geophysical Year. The article describes Olympus as the third most glaciated peak in the U.S. outside Alaska. Ed LaChapelle was field project leader. Using supplies dropped by U.S. Air Force C-124 Globemasters, the team built a study cabin on the Snow Dome. Pilot William Fairchild of Port Angeles used a ski-equipped plane to rotate in personnel on a monthly basis during the winter. Noel Gardner was flown in to provide specialized knowledge of avalanche control and rescue."During the winter months the heavy snowfall required the use of skis as several trips were made each month to the cirque to survey movement stakes in the accumulation area. Ice axes and crampons were a necessity for the climb to the rime-coated peaks which were used as base line stations."The reseach project studied the mass balance on the Blue Glacier. During the study year, the glacier system experienced a net loss of mass.
p. 63, Manning, Harvey, "Olympus in Winter" *An account of attempts to climb Mt Olympus in winter between 1947-51, occasionally utilizing skis. It is never clear from the article whether the mountain had been climbed in winter before this. (The author says that mild winters in the late 1930s and early 40s would have made it feasible.) He mentions that the idea of climbing Olympus in winter grew "in the minds of a group of friends who before and during World War II had been in the habit of taking long winter tours, and once spent a week skiing in brilliant sunshine on the High Divide, constantly admiring the Alaskan look of Olympus across the Hoh."
The author describes several attempts, including one that sounds like the 1948 account (mtneer-a-1948-p54b). He says the turning point in the project came after 1949, when Pete Schoening realized that attempting the ascent on a fixed timetable was doomed."The Schoening Plan was as revolutionary as the blitzkrieg. It was based on the illusionless proposition that in an entire winter Olympus might have no more than a dozen days of good weather, parceled out a day here, three days there. Recognizing the folly of leaving on a fixed date Pete postulated a small party with every member ready to leave Seattle on eight hours notice. This ready reserve would swear oath to remain mobilized all winter if necessary awaiting a favorable forecast."The article describes an attempt in 1950-51 by Schoening, Chuck Allyn and the author that reached Glacier Meadows, then floundered when the weather turned bad. Schoening led another attempt that reached the foot of the summit rocks, only to find them so coated in rime as to be unclimbable given the group's limited equipment. The author surmises that "the IGY people doubtless tromped all over the summit whenever the mood seized them," but whether an unsupported mountaineering group could complete the climb in a hard winter remained unproven.
p. 71, Dyer, Pauline, "The Olympics, A Bibliography" *Very extensive reference list, with a strong emphasis on conservation issues. Includes many mountaineering and general references.
p. 86, Spring, Bob and Ira, photo *Climber below summit rocks of Mt Olympus in winter, accompanying the Pauline Dyer bibliography.
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