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Summit Magazine, 1980-89

Summit Magazine, 1980

Feb 1980, p. 4: Pratt, Bruce, "A Ski Traverse"

This article describes a three-day, late-December (1979?) ski traverse by the author and a friend in the Chiwaukum Mountains. They set out from Tumwater Canyon on the Hatchery Creek road, climbed to the Fall Creek divide, and traversed to Lake Augusta. They continued south to Icicle Ridge and followed it southeast to Leavenworth. They completed the trip on lightweight cross-country skis.

Apr 1980, p. 2: Reagan, Pete, "The Dragon's Mouth: An Account of the First Summit Ascent of Mt St Helens After the Eruption"

On March 21, 1980, Mt St Helens awoke from dormancy with a minor earthquake. Within days, the number of earthquakes increased dramatically, the mountain began to spew ash and smoke, portions of the summit caved in, and the U.S. Forest Service closed the mountain above timberline. On April 3, Fred Miller made a solo ascent to the northwest crater rim, slightly lower than the summit, which was reported in local newspapers. In the following days, roadblocks were moved back from the peak and National Guardsmen joined local officials in manning them. On April 10, the author and friends Ancil and Bill climbed from Butte Camp to the summit, the highest point on the southwest crater rim. This article includes photos and a vivid description of the author's climb. On May 18, at 8:39 a.m., a gigantic eruption blasted away 1,300 feet of the summit. Clouds of ash soared over 60,000 feet into the stratosphere and blanketed eastern Washington and other western states. The June-July 1980 issue (p.2, "The Return of the Hag") has photos of Mt St Helens taken during and after the eruption with comments by Pete Reagan on native legends and the eruption itself.

Jun 1980, p. 35: Rowell, Galen, "Himalaya Traversed on Cross-Country Skis"

Beginning in late March, 1980, Dan Asay, Ned Gillette, Kim Schmitz and Galen Rowell completed a 285-mile traverse of the Karakoram Himalaya of Pakistan using nordic skis. The party spent forty-two days carrying loads up to 120 pounds across four of the longest glaciers outside the sub-polar latitudes. One food cache was placed midway in the village of Askole, the only inhabited place on the journey. Each of the team members agreed that the trip was physically the hardest of his life, demanding more effort with less support and rest than an ascent of a great peak.

Summit Magazine, 1981

Jul 1981, p. 10: Reagan, Pete, "Mt St Helens Revisited"

On Mother's Day, 1981, the author climbed Mt St Helens from Butte Camp with a friend who turned back a few hundred feet below the rim. The mountain was still officially closed but had already been climbed by outlaw parties. In July 1980, the author's friend Ancil photographed a friend standing on the crater rim during an overflight. The article includes photos by the author. A photo of two skiers below Butte Camp before the May 18 eruption gives the date as April 12, 1980 (not April 10, as stated in the April 1980 issue).

Nov 1981, p. 6: Smutek, Ray, "Experience and the Perception of Avalanche Hazard"

In this article, the author discusses reasons why experienced mountaineers are often caught in avalanches. He argues that, contrary to the common explanation that they had assumed a level risk and lost the gamble, they in fact did not recognize or acknowledge the hazard. "The risks taken, were taken unsuspectingly," he writes. The author proposes the idea of "negative event feedback" to help explain this. "Through negative, non-avalanche events, erroneous information is acquired which blocks the accurate perception of hazard." He discusses, as examples of negative event feedback, crossing avalanche slopes without incident, following more experienced leaders without an explanation of their decision-making process, reliance on guidebook route descriptions, skiing in areas with avalanche control, and summer-time experience with a winter route. He concludes, "In our zeal to teach avalanche 'safety,' have we perhaps forgotten that 'hazard' is the real concern?" In later issues, Smutek discusses avalanche rescue becons:

Summit Magazine, 1982

Jul 1982, p. 2: Reagan, Pete, "A Spring Ascent of Mount St Helens"

In the spring of 1982, the author and friend Mike Colasurdo climbed Mt St Helens from the southeast. Unable to obtain permission for the climb, the author wrote, "The trip would have to be illegal again." The pair started at Pine Creek and hiked toward the head of Ape Canyon and across the Plains of Abraham to Windy Pass. They waited there until twilight then climbed to the top of the Dog's Head where they tried to get some sleep. At dawn they continued to the summit, then descended directly back to Pine Creek. The author writes, "As our trip unfolded, I became increasingly impressed with the reasonableness of the current [Red Zone] boundaries, especially in light of the recent pumice eruption."

Summit Magazine, 1983

Nov 1983, p. 34: "New Products" (Gear clippings)

"BootSkis" are made of sturdy polyethylene with stainless steel wire bindings that can be snapped on any boot with a protruding sole. The skis are only a few inches longer than a boot; one size fits all. In the Nov-Dec 1980 issue, plastic three-buckle, lugged-sole ski mountaineering boots from Fabiano are offered.

Summit Magazine, 1984

Jan 1984, p. 24: Toft, Murray, "Skinny Skis in High Places"

In late February, 1983, Judy Biggar, Wendy Whitaker and the author made a winter ski crossing of continental Europe's largest ice cap, the Jostendalsbreen in Norway. Following this trip they traveled south to ski the famous Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, first crossed on skis in January 1903 by Alfred Simond and three others. The author contrasts these trips and comments on the advantages of light nordic ski gear.

Mar 1984, p. 2: Prater, Gene, "Present 'State of the Art' in Snowshoes"

Bill Prater, the author's older brother, took the improvements that individuals had made to standard snowshoes by the early 1970s and "added his own touch of genius" to create the Sherpa snowshoe, introduced around 1974. The Sherpa snowshoe set a benchmark for performance in rugged terrain. In 1977, Jeff Liautaud bought Sherpa from Bill Prater, retaining him as a consultant, and set up business in Chicago. In this article the author discusses snowshoes from several manufacturers (including his own custom-built snowshoes), noting features that have improved upon the benchmark Sherpa design.

Summit Magazine, 1985

May 1985, p. 1: "Colorado Grand Ski Tour" (Misc clippings)

On May 3, 1985, Steve Barnett, Charlotte McDuff and Paul Ramer completed the first ski traverse of the Colorado Grand Tour, a high-level route stretching 88 miles from St Marys Glacier to Vail resort. No overnight camping or bivouacs were required. In the Jan-Feb 1986 issue (p.34) an article explains that Paul Ramer and others dreamed up the idea of this tour in 1981 to provide a backcountry skiing experience similar to the famous Haute Route from Chamonix to Sass-Fee in the Alps. The Colorado Grand Tour is one leg in a proposed American Haute Route, which will lead 170 miles from Eudora to Crested Butte with overnight stays in a hut, ski resort or town every night along the entire tour.

Summit Magazine, 1986

May 1986, p. 8: Boyer, Tim and Ginger Oppenheimer, "Wilderness and the Mount Baker Area"

Congressional legislation passed in the spring of 1984 established a 118,000-acre wilderness area surrounding Mt Baker but excluding a wedge on the south side of the mountain that extends nearly to the summit. This area was excluded from the wilderness due to lobbying by snowmobile users. On the north side of the mountain, overnight use of Kulshan Cabin was suspended in the summer of 1984. The cabin is to be removed to reduce damage to the area caused by overuse.

Summit Magazine, 1987

Jul 1987, p. 29: "Mt St Helens Climbing Information" (South Cascades clippings)

The Nov-Dec 1986 issue (p.1) reported that within a few weeks the Forest Service would have a new system in place that would once again allow climbing on Mt St Helens. In the Mar-Apr 1987 issue (p.28) is a notice that two Seattle men arrested for skiing above the 4,800-foot elevation restricted zone had their conviction overturned on appeal because "there is no standard for common sense determination of when the emergency was over." In the Jul-Aug 1987 issue (p.29) is a notice that the mountain is open for climbing and a summary of regulations. A note on page 34 reports that on May 9-10 about 1,600 people climbed the mountain. The Forest Service has already issued 20,000 permits this year, more than the number of people who scale Japan's Mt Fuji each year, making St Helens the most climbed mountain in the world.

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