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Summit Magazine, 1960-69

Summit Magazine, 1961

Jan 1961, p. 2: "How to Make a Pair of Short Skis for Touring" (Gear clippings)

Short skis, called "sawdenhofs" by their fans, can be made by cutting an old pair of hickories in half. At the time this article was written, short skis were a fad on the ski slopes "with all sorts of marvelous accomplishments attributed to them." They have been found useful for spring ski touring and glacier skiing in summer. Army surplus bindings work well with ordinary climbing boots. The skis can be fitted with skins for touring.

Apr 1961, p. 16: Borghoff, Michael W., "The Nooksack Tower"

The author had not yet climbed with Fred Beckey when he wrote this story, but knew him by reputation:
It was Fred Beckey, the Great Pacific Pterodactyl, who first conquered the Nooksack Tower. Pterodactyl? Well, the Cascades are creating their own mythology, and Fred's name appears in summit registers with such monotonous frequency--usually at the head of the list--that the Northwest neophyte is forced to conclude that Beckey flaps in on leathery wings, avoiding the murderous bushwhacking that is the curse of lesser creatures.
Regarding the brush itself, the author writes:
I crashed toward Dave [Hiser]'s forest-dimmed form and broke out into a sunlit patch populated by man-high plants with broad green and yellow leaves. Pretty, I thought.

"Hey, Dave," I shouted, "where's all this devil's club you've been jabbering about?"

Dave turned to me gauntly and pointed a bony finger: "Behold, Borghoff," he cackled triumphantly.

I peered again at the innocuous plant in front of me. Along the trunk and narrow branches were thousands of tiny, needly barbs, thickly clustered; they looked--well, they looked just like the spikes of a medieval club. A devil's club. It bowed to me in mocking salutation. A botanical Mephisto. [...]

Slide alder is a perfectly respectable deciduous tree, only instead of growing upward like it should, it has assumed the curse of the serpent and slithers along the ground; it grows outward horizontally from the slope, making each upward step a monumental effort against criss-crossed twining branches. Add devil's club to it, and you have an immense problem.

You fight; you grab, stumble, slip, slither backward, and land like an upended beetle on your pack. The brush pushes you down. Mud oozes up. Your ice ax is caught. You are on top a mess of devil's club. It starts to rain. Your feet hurt. You are bushwacking in the Cascades.

Aug 1961, p. 14: "First Ski Descent of Mt Rainier" (Rainier clippings)

This short article has a picture of Roger Paris, Joe Marillac, Bill Briggs, Jim and Lou Whittaker, and Gordie Butterfield at the summit of Mt Rainier, prior to their June 18 ski descent, which is called a first. The picture was taken by John Ahern and Roger Brown of Summit Films. The group climbed to Camp Muir on Saturday and began their climb to the summit at 2:30 am Sunday, reaching the top at 10 am. They skied from the summit back to Camp Muir roped together, then continued the rest of the way to Paradise unroped. In the photo, most of the skiers have their ski poles stowed away on their packs. It appears that they are preparing to ski with ice axes only.

A correction printed in the September 1961 issue (p.25) notes that Mt Rainier was descended completely on skis by two parties before the June 18, 1961, descent reported in the August issue. The previous descents were the 1948 Bengtson-Roberts-Welsh-Schmidtke party and the 1955 McCall-Schuster party.

Summit Magazine, 1962

Jan 1962, p. 21: Letter from Andy Hennig

Apparently in response to the August 1961 article about skiing Mt Rainier, Andy Hennig writes that he climbed Mt Rainier on skis with Sigurd Hall in May, 1939. Hall "climbed all the way up the glacier with his skis on his feet without taking them off once." Therefore, writes Hennig, the 1948 ascent and descent reported in the September issue was not the first.

May 1962, p. 6: Molenaar, Dee, "Camp Schurman: Rainier's New Climbing Hut"

As head of the guide service on Mt Rainier from 1939-42, Clark Schurman long advocated construction of a second shelter hut and rescue cache on the mountain (the first being at Camp Muir). From 1942-50, Schurman served as director of Camp Long in Seattle, where he designed a concrete "glacier" complete with "crevasses" and Monitor Rock, later renamed Schurman Rock. Clark Schurman was a long-time Boy Scout leader.

Following Schurman's death in 1955 at age 72, friends and former Boy Scouts obtained support of Mt Rainier National Park officials and several mountaineering groups to build a shelter hut in his memory at Steamboat Prow. The project took four years. During the summer of 1958, the "Big Carry" transported several tons of curved steel plates, angle iron, two-by-fours, shiplap, bolts, and cans of cement and sand to the prow. Much of the work was done by manual labor, with the final stage employing a gas-powered rope tow developed and operated by Larry Penberthy of Seattle. In 1959, materials were lowered from the top of the prow to the cabin site on a wire tramway and the hut platform was leveled. In 1960, the foundation was poured and the horseshoe-shaped hut was erected. In 1961, the windows were installed, the hut was sealed, and rock was piled up along each side of the cabin. Plans for 1962 call for rock to be cemented over the top of the entire cabin.

Jun 1962, p. 16: Scott, John D., "Good Mountaineering Judgment"

This article contains facts about the July 22, 1939, avalanche on Mt Baker that killed six members of a Bellingham college climbing party. Weather Bureau reports showed more or less continuous storms over Mt Baker during the first half of July, depositing much new snow. Several days before the climb the weather turned "blazing hot" and continued through the day of the climb. The party got a late start from the Kulshan Cabin vicinity and reached the site of the avalanche during the hottest part of the day.

Summit Magazine, 1963

Jan 1963, p. 16: Long, William A., "Glaciers Growing in North Cascades"

This article has photos and observations of the Redoubt, Challenger, Price, East Nooksack, Boulder and Boston Glaciers in the North Cascades. The majority of these glaciers grew between 1946 and 1958 during years characterized by heavy winter snows. The Boulder Glacier on Mt Baker advanced over 1,000 feet (slope distance) between September 1954 and September 1960. Since the hot summer of 1958, the current advance has slowed. Later issues of Summit include other articles by the author:

Mar 1963, p. 28: Molenaar, Dee, "Skis on Rainier"

Apparently in response to Andy Hennig's January 1962 letter, Dee Molenaar writes that Sigurd Hall's 1939 Mountaineer article clearly states that Hall's ski descent with Hennig of Mt Rainier began at 12,000 feet following Hall's successful complete ascent on skis. "Therefore the first complete ski descent then must be credited to the 1948 party consisting of Kermit Bengtson, Dave Roberts, Charles Welsh and Clifford Schmidtke."

Jun 1963, p. 32: Letter from Andy Hennig

Responding to Dee Molenaar's short article in the March issue, Andy Hennig writes, "The question of the first ski ascent and descent [of Mt Rainier] is becoming quite technical." According to this letter, Hennig skied from the summit down to two yawning crevasses, where he took off his skis to pass them. This differs from the account in Sigurd Hall's 1939 Mountaineer article, which describes the two climbers descending from the summit to 12,000 feet entirely on crampons. Hennig continues: "Safety, to me, always comes first. And, in my opinion, any climber who takes chances in order to say: 'I can do it better than you,' is violating the high ideals and the ethics of mountaineering. Motives like this turn mountaineering into a competitive sport to which we older climbers violently object." Regarding the 1948 ski descent party, Hennig writes: "If they demand the right to claim the First complete ski descent from Mt Rainier, by all means do so. But they must remember that the next party might make a ski ascent and descent without a rope. And they can claim a First. And then comes a mountaineer who makes a ski ascent and descent alone. He, too, can claim a First. And what's next?"

Nov 1963, p. 2: "Metz, Hans, "To McKinley on Skis"

In May 1962, five ski instructors--Helmut Tachaffert, Willi Schmidt, Sepp Weber, Manfred Schober and the author--climbed Mt McKinley, approaching the mountain on foot and by ski from Talkeetna. The used six-foot Head skis, army Korean boots and army bindings. The party used skis where practical on the upper mountain, and Tachaffert and Schmidt used them to climb the final slopes to the summit and to ski most of the way back down the peak.

In the March 1964 issue (p.31) Erling Strom wrote a letter describing the 1932 Lindley-Liek Expedition and challenging the idea that the 1962 ascent was the first to climb the mountain on skis. An editor's note quotes a letter from Bradford Washburn to Hans Metz: "I am certain the two members of your party who skied to the top were the first two people to ever reach the summit on skis. The 1932 expedition used skis intermittently up to around 16,000 feet, but walked from there to the summit."

Summit Magazine, 1965

Mar 1965, p. 18: Springgate, Richard, "Winter Ascent of Mt Olympus"

On New Year's Day [presumedly 1965], John Norgord, Jan Still, John Wells and the author, members of the University of Washington Climbing Club, made what they believed to be the first winter ascent of Mt Olympus. They approached on foot via the Hoh River, climbing to the summit from the IGY hut on the Snow Dome during their fifth day out.

Summit Magazine, 1966

Jan 1966, p. 16: MacDonald, A.C., "Ski Touring in British Columbia"

This article describes the first ski traverse of the Spearhead Range from Blackcomb Peak to Whistler Mountain by B. Port, K. Ricker, C. Gardner and the author in May (year not specified). The trip took about a week and was reported in the Varsity Outdoor Club Journal. Since September 1965, the effort of getting to timberline has been reduced by completion of a gondola up Whistler Mountain from Alta Lake. The first traverse was made before the gondola was completed and started at the other end of the route.

Mar 1966, p. 2: Prater, Gene, "On Snowshoes"

The author compares various snowshoe models and explains his preference for newer ones that are shorter and lighter with a turned-up toe that is no more than one-third of the overall snowshoe length. Neoprene coated nylon webbing is used on the Westover Beavertail, which the author feels is the first commercially made snowshoe of good design for mountain use. In normal Cascade Mountain snow conditions "only an expert skier will make better time than the snowshoer," he writes.

Dec 1966, p. 10: Brady, Michael, "Ski Touring With Nordic Equipment"

The information in this article is from the author's book, Nordic Touring and Cross Country Skiing. The author describes the safety and ease of Nordic touring compared to Alpine skiing and the light weight and low cost of the gear. He discusses touring techniques such as diagonal stride and kick-and-glide, but interestingly, does not mention telemarks for downhill turning, recommending stem turns and christies instead. While manufacturers have been experimenting with epoxy and fiberglass skis in recent years, no synthetic material has been found that will hold touring waxes as well as wood. "Lignostone" and aluminum edges, as well as the "Marius-edge," are described. Three-pin, "rat trap" bindings are not shown; instead, lightweight cable bindings with a simple toe iron are illustrated.

Summit Magazine, 1969

May 1969, p. 22: Foss, Hal, "Orbit of Mount Rainier"

The author scouted the high-level orbit of Mt Rainier in five segments during the summer and fall of 1964. In July 1967, with Lynn Buchanan, Lee Henkle and Jim Carlson, he completed a continuous orbit for the first time. This article details the author's June 1968 orbit with Lee Henkle, Dee Molenaar, Lee Nelson, Bill Orr and Jim Erskine. The party started at the White River campground and camped at Glacier Basin, Ptarmigan Ridge, Puyallup Cleaver and Wapowety Cleaver, completing the trip at Fryingpan Creek. The article includes sketches and a relief map by Molenaar. All these orbits were completed on foot.

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