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Mountaineer Annual, 1970-79
* Lowell Skoog has a copy of each article marked with an asterisk.
Mountaineer Annual, 1972
p. 19, Duff, K. M., "Alpine Lakes Traverse" *Account of two north-south traverses of the Alpine Lakes region on foot during the summers of 1968 and 1970 by Boy Scout groups led by the author and others. The author writes that these were believed to be the first such traverses to have been done. In the north the route started at the Foss River road. It passed Chetwood Lake, Iron Top Lake, Otter Lake, Williams Lake, Chief Creek, Spectacle Lake, Park Lakes, Alta Mountain and Rampart Ridge. It's not clear that this route has much relevance to later skiing in the area.
p. 38, King, Frank, "Ptarmigan Traverse" *Account of a nine-day crossing on foot of the now-standard route from Cascade Pass to Downey Creek. The trip is notable as evidence of the author's appetite for summer high routes, and for the following ominous note about human impact: "So many people are hiking this route there appears to be a need for toilets, designated fire pits, education on stream pollution, establishment of a single trail and posting of camp areas."
p. 42, Firey, Carla, "Colonial to Inspiration Glacier" *The first of three articles describing high routes done on foot around the headwaters of Thunder Creek in the North Cascades National Park. These accounts are important background for later ski traverses in the area.
In August 1969, Joe and Joan Firey, Dave Knudson, Frank deSaussure and the author traveled from Colonial Creek to Eldorado Peak via Neve Glacier, Isolation Peak and the McAllister Creek valley. They followed an unpleasant route out of "McAllister Hole" up steep moraines and gullies to the east margin of McAllister Glacier. From there they crossed to the Inspiration Glacier, making some non-technical first ascents in the Austera Towers.
The article is accompanied by a sketch map of all three routes, plus a fine photograph of the western portion of McAllister Glacier with its impressive icefall by Joe Firey. There is also a photo of Tillie's (Austera) Towers from the Klawatti Klaws, also by Joe Firey.
p. 47, Heathershaw, Kent, "Cascade Pass to Rainy Pass" *In August 1970, Monty Lennox, Bob Yekel, Paul Hartl, Karl Duff and the author completed this high route on foot in about nine days. Starting at the Cascade River, the party climbed Sahale, Buckner, Booker, descended into Park Creek, climbed Storm King, Logan, descended Douglas Glacier, traversed "Spectacular Ridge" to Grizzly Creek, ascended Woody Creek and climbed Black Peak, then continued to the North Cascades highway at Rainy Pass. Unable to get permission to drive the new road, they hiked over Copper Pass to Gilbert where they were met by families and friends.
p. 50, Firey, Joe, "Ragged Ridge Traverse" *In June 1971 (a record snow year), which the author describes as having winter-like weather, Jerry Swanson, Joan, Alan and Joe Firey completed on foot a nine day trip that included this new high route. They started from Colonial Campground, hiked the Thunder and Fisher Creek trails, then climbed to Ragged Ridge via a miner's trail on the south side of Red Mountain. They traversed the north side of the ridge, following the interconnected glaciers between Cosho and Mesahchie Peaks. The author writes that their hopes of making ascents from the Katsuk Glacier were dashed by heavy snow covering the rock and frequent powder snow avalanches. "In fact, skis would have saved us some arduous snow wading."
The crossed Panther (Mesahchie) col and descended to Fisher Creek, then climbed to Silent Lakes. From there they climbed Fisher Peak and made the first ascent of Repulse Peak, named by Alan Firey, not yet fifteen years old. Overall poor weather and conditions caused them to abandon their original plan of following the Logan High Route to Mt Logan. Instead, they hiked back down Fisher and Thunder Creeks back to their starting point.
Mountaineer Annual, 1973
p. 17, Firey, Joe, "Ski Touring in Garibaldi Park" *An excellent primer on skiing in this section of the southern B.C. Coast Range by one of the most active Cascade ski mountaineers of the 1960s and 70s. The article is not about skiing in Washington, but this fact is itself relevant, because it reflects the author's understanding of the problems of Cascade skiing and his knowledge of opportunities available elsewhere. It helps explain the relatively quiet period, in terms of exploring new Cascade areas on skis, of the 1960s and 70s.
The author notes that, on the average, the snow conditions and weather are somewhat better in the Garibaldi area than in the Cascades due, perhaps, to being a bit further north, a bit more inland, and somewhat higher in elevation. He notes that the heavy glaciation and soft volcanic rock in the Garibaldi area have resulted in fewer cliff bands, avalanche slopes and jumbled icefalls than in the North Cascades. He notes the presence of several huts in the region created by the B.C. Mountaineering Club and Varsity Outdoor Club. He also notes the availability of helicopter access to ski basecamps. It is interesting to read about skiing in the Spearhead Range before the access was simplified by construction of the Blackcomb ski lifts.
The author writes that he has always used alpine touring equipment and has found it effective for the rather steep skiing in the northern section of the park, around Wedge Pass and Fitzsimmons and Diavolo Creeks. But he notes that Nordic touring equipment might be preferable in the gentler terrain to the south, around Garibaldi Lake and Garibaldi Neve.
The article is accompanied by two fine photographs, one by Dave Knudson of a camp on the Garibaldi Neve beneath Mt Garibaldi and Atwell Peak, the other by the author of Tremor Mountain and Glacier in the Spearhead Range. The article also includes a sketch map of the western portion of the park, showing the skiing regions described.
p. 68, King, Frank, "Mt Logan Traverse" *An editor's note in the Mountaineer Outings section says that in 1972, for the second year, record snowfalls in the Northwest necessitated change or cancellation of many planned outings. This article describes the second traverse on foot between Rainy and Cascade passes, this time going from east to west. The author led a group of twelve climbers on this nine-day outing in July.
The North Cascades highway was still unopened and gated, but the party got a ride in a Forest Service truck to the trailhead near Rainy Pass. The group climbed Black and Corteo Peaks, then tried to cross the saddle on the east ridge of Black (which they dubbed "Dead End Pass"). This proved more technical than they wanted to deal with, so they circled around to the west side of Black via Woody and Grizzly Creeks. They climbed and named Indecision Peak and traversed Spectacular Ridge (a name attributed to the 1970 traverse party) to Fisher Pass. They traversed Mt Logan via the Douglas and Fremont Glaciers, reached Park Creek Pass, and crossed Booker-Buckner col to Horseshoe Basin, climbing Booker. The route concluded via Sahale Arm to the Cascade River road.
Mountaineer Annual, 1974
p. 27, Bertulis, Alex, "Chilliwack Challenge" *An account of trips by the author into the Chilliwack group near the U.S.-Canada border. He writes that "the Chilliwacks are still considered the most inaccessible of all the mountain groups in the Cascade Range." The article describes attempts by the author to find shorter and easier approaches. He describes kayaking across Chilliwack Lake in 1967 with Fred Beckey to complete a trail up Bear Creek. (They were vying for the first ascent of Bear Mountain's direct north face.) A few days later, he returned with another partner via Ross Lake and Silver Creek, climbing the north side of Mt Spickard. They returned to Ross Lake via the ridge north of Silver Creek.
Two years later, with yet another partner he approached via Little Beaver Creek and Perry Creek. After an attempt on the NW buttress of Twin Spires, they exited via Pass Creek, a miserable escape route. In 1973, his party approached Bear Mtn via the new road along the east side of Chilliwack Lake and pioneered the Ruta Lake high route (they named the lake). They returned to Chilliwack Lake via the high divide NW of Mt Redoubt, another grueling ordeal. Finally, a few weeks later, he returned to attempt one of the NE ribs on Bear, this time following the route from Ruta Lake into the north cirque of the peak. He describes returning to the car in just 4-1/2 hours from the saddle above Ruta Lake, noting that "for better or worse, the Chilliwacks have become a lot closer."
The article is useful for bracketing the likely first skiing on Mt Spickard (after 1973). It also chronicles one of the more dogged sub-alpine quests on Cascade record.
p. 41, Chantler, Dave, "Cross-Country Skiing in the Cascades" *The article describes cross-country skiing with light touring equipment. It notes that the sport has grown rapidly in the past ten years. The author acknowledges that many areas in the Cascades are too steep and rugged for cross-country skis, but points out that many other areas are suitable. The bulk of the article describes recommended touring areas. These are mostly in gentle terrain on or near roads.
(Also: I have notes on Dave Chantler's life compiled by his friend Ben Jones in 2022. These notes have been filed with this Mountaineer Annual piece in my paper files under "Chantler, Dave".)
p. 42, Gunnar, Keith, "Cross-country skiing-Gold Creek Valley"Skier on gentle terrain with trees and shadows.
p. 51, Dyer, Polly, "Wilderness for Olympic and Mt Rainier National Parks" *Describes studies pursuant to the 1964 Wilderness Act regarding Wilderness designation for areas in National Parks that were in existence when the act became law. The Mountaineers have proposed to eradicate the road to Mowich Lake on Mt Rainier and to close the West Side at Tahoma Creek. The author writes that the largest omissions in the Park Service recommendations for both Mt Rainier and Olympic are set aside for future studies for potential experiments with tramways. These include 27 thousand acres around Mt Angeles in the Olympics and a five-mile corridor from the White River to Sunrise on Mt Rainier. Another controversial idea is "20-acre holes" in the Wilderness to accommodate hostels in heavily used areas like the Paradise-to-Muir corridor. The Mountaineers propose adding adjacent lands to the parks and managing them as Wilderness. These include the Tatoosh Range, Cougar Lakes, and Clearwater areas south and east of Rainier and the lower slopes of the mountain to the west.
p. 79, King, Frank, "Inspiration Glacier Traverse" *Account of a nine-day traverse by 13 climbers on foot from Sibley Creek to Eldorado Peak, then north along Backbone Ridge to the Snowfield Peak area, exiting via Pyramid Creek. Thirteen peaks were climbed including the Triad, Eldorado, Dorado Needle, Austera Peak, Flower Tower, the Coccyx, Isolation Peak (they called it "In-Between Peak"), Snowfield, Colonial, Pinnacle, Pyramid, and some small peaks on the Horseman ridge. The article is accompanied by a fine photo of the McAllister Glacier area from the NE in spring conditions, by Bob and Ira Spring. This was the second traverse between Eldorado and Snowfield, and found a better route (used later by skiers), staying out of the McAllister Creek hole.
Mountaineer Annual, 1975
p. 17, Bertulis, Alex, "First Traverse of the Picket Range" *An account, twelve years after, of the first complete traverse of the Picket Range, on foot over ten days, from south to north by Half Zantop and the author, traveling very light, in late August 1963. Although the description is unclear, it seems that they approached the southern Pickets from Stetattle Ridge, then contoured upper Terror Basin to Mt Degenhardt. They climbed to the summit of Mt Terror, then (inexplicably) rappeled its north face (rather than descending the glacier system next to it). The descent was harrowing, and they had to cut their rope several times near the bottom to make rappel anchors. From McMillan Cirque they climbed Mt Fury, then descended its NE flank into Luna Cirque. They climbed to Challenger Arm, summited Mt Challenger in fog with a pair of climbers they met there, then continued out via Perfect Pass, Easy Ridge and the Whatcom Trail.
p. 64, McKinnon, Jon, "Klawatti, Inspiration Glacier Traverse" *A seven day traverse on foot in August 1973 by Erik Andersen, John Figge, Ted Hardman and the author, starting in the brush of McAllister Creek and climbing out near Primus Peak, then traversing south across the Klawatti Glaciers to Eldorado, and descending (in the brush again) down Roush Creek to the Cascade River. Not a route that is likely to become popular, at least at its ends.
Mountaineer Annual, 1976
p. 20, Schmitt, Marianne, "Ome Daiber: An Interview" *The article mentions Daiber getting involved in the Boy Scouts and starting to make packs and bags due to lack of money to buy hiking gear. He got involved in outfitting during the 1930s, and continued to improvise gear, including a penguin-type sleeping bag, Sno-Seal, and many other innovations. This extended during the war years to R&D work on survival equipment for mountain troops. The article says little about Daiber's involvement in creating the Mountain Rescue Council. It mentions his interest in skiing, but provides few details. The article provides little to evaluate Daiber's place in the development of Northwest skiing.
Mountaineer Annual, 1977In 1977, both an Annual and a Membership handbook were published in a single volume (with a photo of Mowich Glacier on the cover). This is confusing, because the page numbering restarts in the Membership section. The following articles are in the Membership handbook (the latter half of the book).
p. 25, King, Frank, "Memories of a Northern Picket Traverse" *Account of a nine day traverse on foot by a party of fifteen. They started up the Little Beaver valley, climbed the Eiley-Wiley high route, summited Challenger, Fury and Luna, then followed the Luna high route to the Big Beaver valley and hiked out to Ross Lake. The article contains some good descriptions of the scenery and rigors of the trip. It is mostly interesting as documentation of the sustained early interest in North Cascade high routes by the author and his friends.
p. 47, Dyer, Polly, "Alpine Lakes Report: Congress Acts" *The Alpine Lakes Wilderness was signed into law on July 12, 1976. This article briefly traces the history of proposals for a park or wilderness in the area. It describes the legislation itself, establishing areas of "wilderness," "intended wilderness" (requiring land exchanges), and a "management unit." It acknowledges the contributions of Mountaineers members, public officials and others. It mentions a special study to be carried out for the Enchantment Area, possibly to establish special management provisions for the area.
Mountaineer Annual, 1978In 1978, two volumes were published, an Annual (with a color photo of Prusik Peak on the cover) containing feature articles and climbing notes, and a Membership handbook (with a plain brown cover) containing reports of Mountaineer outings and Committee reports. References from the 1978 Annual include:
p. 59, Lee, David H., "Memories of Old Snoqualmie Lodge" *The author began going to the lodge as a boy of seven or eight with his sister and parents. His father Fairman B. Lee was an early lodge chairman. The article contains a number of interesting tidbits. He describes it as primarily a mountain climbers' lodge, while the newer one is primarily a ski lodge. The trail near Lodge Lake that has become the Crest Trail was known as the Meeker trail in those days. He mentions the old wind-up Victrola, a swing used by children in summer, and ice skating on the lake when it froze before the snow fell. He describes the drive to the lodge from Seattle (before there was a floating bridge on Lake Washington), a four-hour trip in those days (and longer in winter). The article includes photos by O. Philip Dickert of women by the lodge fireplace, the exterior in winter, a group (including Rudy Amsler and Norval Grigg) lounging outside in summer, and a view through the windows to the forest outside.
p. 74, Bertulis, Alex, "1977 Summary of Soviet Climbing in the Cascades" *Account of a climbers exchange during which a group of Soviet climbers stormed up classic and new routes in the Cascades with the author and others, following a trip to Alaska. The story has no relevance to ski mountaineering, but it includes one of my favorite Cascade quotes, when the party, exiting the southern Pickets along Sourdough ridge, found themselves at the mercy of high winds and horizontal rain."In diminishing daylight, [Valia] Ivanov, looking wet and miserable exclaimed in his limited English:
'McKinley: no problem. North Cascades: problem!'"
p. 77, Bardsley, Marc, "Book Review: Cascade Alpine Guide: Stevens Pass to Rainy Pass" *A favorable review of the guidebook that covers the finest ski mountaineering terrain in the North Cascades. (Of course the guidebook doesn't refer to ski mountaineering very much.) Most interesting is the following observation: "Consistent with Mountaineer policy, high routes have been de-emphasized to minimize impact on fragile areas."
p. 85, Morgan, Harry, "Book Review: Cross-Country Downhill and Other Nordic Mountain Skiing Techniques" *The reviewer recognizes the telemark resurgence as an important development, likely to attract more skiers to mountain touring. The review begins: "As fast as a Nordic ski-racer, almost as powerful as a downhill Alpine skier, and able to ski long river valleys, steep chutes, large glaciers and powder-covered mountain slopes--it's a new breed of wilderness skier!" It continues: "Aided by the development of improved light-weight equipment, the rediscovery of old skiing techniques, and a desire by many skiers to escape the overcrowded ski areas while still retaining the exhilaration of downhill runs, this type of skiing will appeal to many who love skiing and the wilderness."
References from the 1978 Membership handbook include:
p. 18, Arundell, Bill, "An Alpine Lakes High Route Traverse" *Another traverse on foot led by Frank King, this time a south to north traverse by a party of eight through the Alpine Lakes, starting at Cooper Lake and ending via the Necklace Valley at the Foss River. The party climbed Lemah, Chimney Rock, Overcoat, Summit Chief and Bears Breast.
p. 23, Arundell, Bill, "Ten Peak Climbers' Outing" *An east-to-west traverse on foot by eight climbers, led by Frank King, starting at Trinity, following the Massie Lake high route to Fortress Mtn (summit), and continuing to High Pass. They climbed Napeequa Peak, then descended to the Napeequa Valley. They picked up the Honeycomb high route, climbed Ten Peak and traversed to the Whitechuck Glacier. Rain cut the trip short and they made for the Crest Trail near Red Pass and hiked out the Whitechuck River valley.
Mountaineer Annual, 1979
p. 80, Kellogg, Idona L., "Meany Ski Hut Celebrates Fifty Years" *A fine summary of Meany history, also describing the 50th birthday bash in September 1978. Miscellaneous facts:
Dr. Edmond Meany bought the land (54 acres) for $125 and donated it to the club. The land was site of a construction camp known as Tunnel City during construction of the Stampede Pass tunnel from 1886-88. By 1928, all that remained of the 200 person campsite was a station house labeled "Martin" and a few cottages.
The article names Dawn Steere, then of Orange California, as a former Meany woman patrol racer in the 1930s. It says that during the birthday party Bob Bentler, Doug Damm and Roger Thayer showed films of Meany action. The article includes a photo of Walter B. Little, probably taken around the time the article was written. It includes a Meany chronology written by Walt Little.
p. 149, Arundell, Bill, "Traverse from Ross Lake to Chilliwack Lake" *Yet another summer traverse (on foot) led by Frank King, this time with ten other climbers. They took the Ross Lake boat taxi to Silver Creek and thrashed up to Silver Lake. They climbed Spickard, a new peak NE of it, and a peak on Custer Ridge. They traversed to Depot Basin and the Redoubt Glacier, climbing Redoubt, attempting SE Twin Spire, and climbing Bear Mtn from the Bear Lake high route, which they named. They exited via the Ruta Lake high route to the Chilliwack River valley.
p. 188, Fries, Mary, "In Memoriam: Leo Gallagher" *A member of the Mountaineers Tacoma Branch from 1919 to 1978, Gallagher was an early conservationist and tireless trip leader. He helped establish Crystal Mountain ski area to take development pressure off Mount Rainier.
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