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Mountaineer Bulletin, 1980-99

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1989

May, 1989, p. 5, Molenaar, Dee, "The end of an era--Ome has gone Beyond"

Ome Daiber was born George Craig Daiber in Seattle on November 1, 1907. He died on April 2, 1989, after a long battle with a diabetic condition. His nickname, which he later made his legal name, began as "Owe Me," a twist-of-phrase on his having to borrow a quarter from a friend for lunch one day. The article describes Ome's start in the Boy Scouts, his outdoor equipment businesses and inventions, his 1935 first ascent of Liberty Ridge on Mt Rainier, and his early involvement in search and rescue. In 1948, Ome teamed with Wolf Bauer and Dr. Otto Trott to organize Seattle's Mountain Rescue Council, the first unit of its kind in the country. Longtime friend Arnie Campbell writes, "If I had to describe Ome, I would say that he was the most generous and inventive screwball I ever knew."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1990

November, 1990, p. 10, Skoog, Lowell, "White Wilderness in Washington?"

At a recent conference in Utah, Reinhold Messner presented his concept of "White Wilderness." According to Summit magazine, "the point of White Wilderness is to leave a few blank spots on the map--places without any permanent traces of mankind, not even guidebooks, maps or rules, nothing that prevents an adventurous visitor from being left utterly alone with the natural environment and himself." As Messner points out, "just knowing such places are out there, even if never visited, is vital to the human soul." In his Cascade Alpine Guide, Fred Beckey wrote of the Picket Range in the North Cascades: "Despite all we know, despite pictures, and maps, the range is bound to remain full of dazzling surprises. In a sense it is today's version of the remaining exploration left on Earth." The second edition of Beckey's guide is being prepared. Skoog suggests: "In light of the growing appreciation of White Wilderness, and in acknowledgment of the fact that the Pickets still retain some of their original mystery, I'd like to propose a radical idea for the new guidebook: Leave the Pickets out."

The January 1991 bulletin (pp. 10-11) contained a spirited response from readers. Joe Firey, DeForest H. Eveland, and David Newberger write in support of Skoog's proposal. Ira Spring applauds the idea, but feels that it would be virtually impossible to turn back the clock and recreate the White Wilderness he knew when he started hiking and climbing in 1929. Allan Frees sympathizes, but prefers to leave the choice to climbers, perhaps by publishing the information in a separate, higher-priced guide. LaVerne Woods and Stephen Fry oppose the idea because it advocates censorship. Fry feels that a better way to protect the mountains would be to close major access roads. Phil Leatherman argues that rules are necessary to protect the wilderness and that the best strategy would be to keep the approaches rough and unmarked. While acknowledging that the idea is hardly practicable, John Warth questions the value of guidebooks: "Are such aids produced solely to help the 'explorer' to have an enjoyable trip? Could they not be, partially at least, a means of giving the producer an enjoyable ego trip?"

In the March 1991 bulletin (p. 13), Skoog responds to the letters, commenting on whether White Wilderness is practical and whether it implies no rules. The White Wilderness idea is an expression of the wilderness ethic of the 1960s, which has faded in recent years. "This ethic prizes wilderness not just for physical recreation, but for sprirtual rejuvenation. On this basis, the goal of bagging a peak is less important than the experience gained in trying. Every effort is made to ensure that one person's impact is not felt by the next person. [...] I propose White Wilderness--the idea of preserving not just the physical but also the mystical values of the land--as a way to fire young imaginations and bring that ethic to life."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1992

October, 1992, p. 21, Degenhardt, Stella, "The Mountaineers Discover Skiing"

This is a good summary of the role of The Mountaineers in developing Northwest skiing, with an emphasis on the years before World War II. Since all the sources for this article have been gathered into this project, I haven't made additional notes here.

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1993

September, 1993, p. 14, Degenhardt, Stella, "How the Mountaineers Got to the Mountains"

The author describes some of the circuitous routes and unusual conveyances used by The Mountaineers on early trips, including streetcars, trains, steamboats, dugout canoes, pack trains, and hand-built trails. The article discusses Local Walks, annual Summer Outings, and access to Mt Rainier. It explains the importance of railroads in siting Snoqualmie Lodge and Meany Ski Hut. There are photos of early automobiles crossing Snoqualmie Pass, also found in prater-1981.

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