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Off Belay Magazine, 1980-81

Off-Belay, 1980

Jun 1980, p. 19: Smutek, Ray, "BOOM!" (Mt St Helens)

This article includes a good summary of the timeline leading up to the May 18, 1980, eruption with photographs of the peak at various stages from the U.S. Geological Survey. Regarding Harry Truman, owner of Spirit Lake Lodge who refused to leave and was killed in the blast, the author writes, "Northwest climbers remember Harry as an ornery old fart with an abundance of cats and and obvious dislike of...climbers. [...] 'This mountain is my life,' insisted Harry. 'If it goes, I'll go with it.' Harry stayed on, homage granted to his 84 years, 50 of them spent on Mt St Helens."

Aug 1980, p. 37: Caughron, R.D. and Sue, "Joan Wilshire Firey"

This tribute to Joan Firey includes photos of her in the North Cascades and elsewhere and focuses on her role as a climber and organizer, and as a member of the 1978 women's Annapurna expedition. She died on February 16, 1980, of a terminal illness.

Dec 1980, cover: Knudson, Dave, photo, "Skiing in Van Trump Park"

A skier tours across an open slope with the summit of Mt Rainier above.

Dec 1980, p. 4: Horwitz, Ken, "Nordic Style Skis"

The author discusses ski width, tip flexibility, camber, length, torsional strength, construction and wax versus no-wax. Skis in 1980 are wider, softer and include characteristics aimed at telemark mountain skiers using torsionally rigid boots and free-heel technique. The article provides technical specifications for 37 current skis.

Dec 1980, p. 31: Moore, Mark, "Avalanche Hazard Forecasts"

The author discusses the growing number of public avalanche forecast recordings provided by the U.S. Forest Service. Telephone numbers are provided for most of the western states. A companion article by Rich Marriot warns of increased avalanche hazard on Mt St Helens following the May eruption.

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