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Mountaineer Bulletin, 1950-59

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1951

February, 1951, p. 5, "Ski Mountaineering Course Graduates"

There were twelve graduates from the 1949-50 course. This is the first announcement of graduates in the Bulletin since 1944.

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1952

August, 1952, p. 5, "What Are The 7 Essentials?"

Recent accidents have prompted renewed emphasis on safety. The "seven essentials" in 1952 included map, compass, flashlight, mittens, sun glasses, first aid kit, and a "junk bag" containing items like fire starter, pencil, wire, tape, safety pins and so on. On p. 3 is a Climbers Safety Notice recommending an "eighth essential," a 50-foot length of 1/4 inch rope with a carabiner. According to the notice, such equipment would have prevented a fatality in the recent Mount St. Helens tragedy.

September, 1952, p. 4, "To All Mountaineers"

"Three times in three months Death has removed a member from our roster, and each time it has been under circumstances which were seemingly 'safe.' A hidden crevasse in an easy snow covered glacier, a fog shrouded cliff on a gentle forest slope and a sudden electrical storm on a high summit have without an instant's warning snatched the lives of three young Mountaineers." The article stresses the importance of the Mountaineers Climbing Code and lists the nine points of the code. "Nearly every accident on record is connected with a violation of some point in this code." Succeeding bulletins discuss each point of the Climbing Code in detail.

December, 1952, p. 2, "The Climbing Code"

"1) A climbing party of three is the minimum, unless adequate support is available who have knowledge that the climb is in progress."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1953

January, 1953, p. 3, "The Climbing Code"

"2) Carry at all times the clothing, food, and equipment necessary," and
"7) Leave the trip schedule with a responsible person."

February, 1953, p. 6, "The Climbing Code"

"3) Rope up on all exposed places and for all glacier travel," and
"4) Keep the party together, and obey the leader or majority rule."

March, 1953, p. 6, "The Climbing Code"

"5) Never climb beyond one's ability and knowledge."

April, 1953, p. 4, "Avalanche Accident Report"

On February 7, 1953, three high school students began a ski tour from Snoqualmie Pass to Snow Lake in warm, wet weather. During the climb above Source Lake, two of the three skiers were caught in an avalanche. The third skier went out for help and rescuers worked through the night to find the two trapped skiers. Larry Schinke was dug out alive after an 8-1/2 hour burial. Keith Jacobsen was found dead.

June, 1953, p. 5, "The Climbing Code"

"6) Judgment will not be swayed by desire when choosing the route or turning back."

July, 1953, p. 4, "The Climbing Code"

"8) Follow the precepts of sound mountaineering as set forth in the Mountaineer's Handbook and the Manual of Ski Mountaineering," and
"9) Deport ourselves at all times in a manner that will not reflect unfavorably upon our club or upon mountaineering."

August, 1953, p. 3, "The Climbing Code"

"Ten years ago the club's experienced climbers, personally shocked by the recent death of a fellow Mountaineer, formulated these axioms of safe mountaineering. We were lucky for a long time, violations of the Code became common, and then in nine months four members of our club died, each well-loved, each considered above the average in judgment, each in obvious violation of one or more points of the Climbing Code. That we may continue to enjoy the hills without the interruption of tragedy, and all its consequences, the Code is here restated..."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1954

March, 1954, p. 6, "Mt Rainier and Ski Developments"

"The Mt Rainier National Park is now under threat by those who would put a large commercial development at Paradise. This development includes a lift with its beginning at Paradise and its terminus anywhere from Panorama Point to Camp Muir, depending upon the enthusiasm of the proponent." Art Winder is Conservation and Public Affairs Chairman, and presumedly wrote this article. The author discusses the aesthetic and operational problems with the proposal and the frequent bad weather above Paradise. At their January 21st meeting, the Mountaineers Board passed a resolution to seek a suitable area for ski development outside the Park. At present, the most interesting potential site is Corral Pass, above the Silver Springs Lodge on the Chinook Pass highway.

Another article (p. 7) describes a campaign by the Automobile Club of Washington to take Mt Rainier away from the "sole use of a few naturalist societies, bird watchers, and mountain climbers" and return it to "the people." The article notes that Roger Freeman is chairman of Governor Langlie's Rainier National Park Development Study Committee.

May, 1954, p. 2, "Avalanche Warning!"

Four skiers were buried in an avalanche at Stevens Pass on March 27, 1954. The avalanche, just east of the main ski run, occurred in 15 inches of fresh snow over a hard crust. Three skiers were completedly buried but were rescued within 15 minutes.

On April 18, 1954, Bill Degenhardt, Mountaineers president, and two women Mountaineers were climbing Snoqualmie Mountain on skis. Degenhardt was in the lead on a steep slope east of the summit when an avalanche occurred. He suffered a fractured pelvis and was evacuated by a Mountain Rescue Council party 16 hours later.

June, 1954, p. 9, "Crampons"

The article notes that ten-point Eckenstein crampons are the standard and Army types are not acceptable. "Twelve point crampons, also available, are considered to be freaks and are a constant hazard to the wearer." The article recommends cutting the front points off twelve point crampons with a hacksaw.

July, 1954, p. 5, "Your Neighborhood and Mt Rainier National Park"

"It is strange that so many people who appreciate and defend zoning laws in their own neighborhoods cannot understand the application of the same principles on a much larger scale." The article asserts that restricting commercial development on Mt Rainier is analogous to inforcing local zoning laws. "Our club advocates holding the line in applying common zoning principles to Rainier. We are thinking on a national scale and for future generations; and, we feel civic responsibilities which extend beyond the profit of our immediate neighborhood. Therefore, we oppose any park exploitation. That means we oppose the tramway."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1955

December, 1955, p. 8, "Proposed Glacier Peak Wilderness Area"

This article provides background on the Glacier Peak Limited Area and the Wilderness Area proposed by Bob Marshall and F.A. Silcox in 1939, including a map. The article does not contain a specific proposal of its own, but provides guidelines toward developing such a proposal.

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1956

April, 1956, p. 4, "Safety Committee Report On Avalanche Accident"

On February 19, 1956, Everett Lasher and Gene Prater began a winter ascent on snowshoes of the 4500 foot ridge north of Camp Mason on the Snoqualmie Pass Highway (Kendall Ridge?). They encountered whumping snow on the leeward slope during their ascent and moved to the windward slope. On the descent, they chose a route down the leeward slope, and Lasher triggered an avalanche that almost completely buried him. Prater dug out Lasher, who was unconscious, but fortunately revived. Despite lost and battered equipment they were able to return to the highway without assistance.

Note: Scheduled ski tours in the Bulletin have tapered off during the 1950s and are at an absolute low in 1956. Jack Gallagher, Jack Hossack and Dave Nicholson are among the few trip leaders. Destinations are routine, such as Mt St Helens, Camp Muir, and other tours around Mt Rainier.

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1957

May, 1957, p. 3, "Developments--Glacier Peak Area"

On March 23, 1957, twenty-six people from Washington, Oregon and California met in Portland and formed the North Cascades Conservation Council. The immediate concern of the Council is the formation of the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area. Officers include Phil Zalesky (president), Pat Goldsworthy (first vice-president), Una Davies (second vice-president), Polly Dyer (corresponding secretary), Neva Karrick (recording secretary), and Yvonne Prater (treasurer).

November, 1957, p. 1, Warth, John F., "Alpine Lakes Limited Area--The Salmon La Sac Country"

"By some miracle an ample area--large enough to qualify as a Forest Service wilderness--has remained untouched, in spite of its being sandwiched between leading cross-state highways... A conservation battle is brewing in the popular country between Snoqualmie and Stevens Passes. When it breaks out, it promises to be as heated as the current Glacier Peak Wilderness controversy to the north." The author discusses reasons for alarm.

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1958

April, 1958, p. 4, "Ski Tours"

April 25, Ski Touring Seminar: "Dwight Watson will show his fine 8- and 16-mm films featuring traverses of Mt Baker and Glacier Peak, tours in the Buck Pass and Mount Hinman areas and the high country around Eldorado, a ski climb of Mt St Helens, etc. Some sequences will also feature the skiing of the late Sigurd Hall of Northwest ski fame. One sequence will show a skier and his 'flying machine.'" (In the Mountaineers ski mountaineering committee collection at U.W., a note indicates that Watson showed films at an "Intro to ski touring" meeting on Nov 5, 1958. 75 people attended. Watson's films still exist; see dw-movies.)

Organized ski touring activity has been low and routine for several years at this point.

May, 1958, p. 3, "A President's Message"

Mountaineers president Paul W. Wiseman issues a call to arms: "It is clear that if during the present generation The Mountaineers do not make a stronger effort to preserve the best of America's mountain scenery, the opportunity may be gone forever... When people become aroused they can win, and some areas have to be saved many times. A wilderness can be lost only once."

June, 1958, p. 3, "Bill Degenhardt Honored"

"An 8,200-foot peak in the remote Picket Range of Whatcom County has been named Mount Degenhardt as a living memorial to William A. Degenhardt." Degenhardt made pioneering climbs in the North Cascades, helped organize the Mountaineers climbing course, was a past president of the Mountaineers, and was active in the Mountain Rescue Council. He died in November 1956.

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1959

March, 1959, p. 7, "Forest Service Plans to Cut the Heart Out of the Glacier Peak Area"

The Forest Service proposes to cut the current Limited Area in two with a broad corridor up the Suiattle River valley to Suiattle Pass, which would be open to logging and other development. Similar corridors would be cut up the valleys of the Chiwawa, Whitechuck and White Rivers, and Agnes and Railroad Creeks. The two halves would be connected by a narrow strip which would consist mostly of Chiwawa Mountain.

April, 1959, p. 7, "Ski Tours"

The bulletin shows a resurgence in ski touring interest. Both ski tours and ski climbs are scheduled, the latter being longer and harder. Dave Nicholson is organizing ski climbs. Stella Degenhardt is the Ski Tour chairperson.

May, 1959, p. 1, "Image Lake Excluded from Glacier Peak Proposal"

"It is now known that Image Lake would NOT be within the boundaries of the Wilderness Area proposed by the Forest Service... Its exclusion would be the crowning blow of the tragedy which will occur if the Forest Service continues in its exclusion of every important approach valley to Glacier Peak."

October, 1959, p. 4, "Glacier Peak Wilderness Hearings October 13, 16"

The Forest Service scheduled hearings in Wenatchee and Bellingham, centers of commercial opposition to wilderness proposals by the Mountaineers, and declined to schedule hearings in Seattle, even though most of the people concerned with the Glacier Peak area live in the Seattle-Tacoma area. The article includes a map of the Forest Service wilderness proposal, as well as the larger area recommended by the Mountaineers. The Forest Service proposal removed key access valleys from the wilderness, then balanced the acreage by adding tongues of high country, largely without commercial or recreational forests. "As a result, the map of the area the Forest Service proposes for the Wilderness Area ressembles a misshapen starfish."

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