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July 2019 Newsletter

Robert Frost: "Nature is always hinting at us. It hints over and over again. And suddenly we take the hint.”

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Junuary is in full swing, but the gloom should be lifting soon. Plan big now to be ready to rock when the sun comes back! Plus, there’s a whole new graduate class from the BMC who are psyched to get out into the mountains.


July Meeting

Date/Time: Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.


Location: Bowman Bay, Deception Pass State Park

Program: It’s time for our annual summer potluck! Please bring a dish to share and a beverage. Note: A Discover Pass is required, so if you don’t have one, buy one or carpool!

Prusik Peak, home to some amazing classics from 5.7 to 5.11, from Lake Viviane. It looks to be in prime condition for anyone with a permit or looking for a long, rewarding day in the alpine. Photo: Brendan Gabriel

Old Business

The Fun Rock Work Party and Auction raised over $6,000 to support the ongoing work at Fun Rocks in Mazama. To those from SAC who attended or donated, thanks!

The BMC is over! Thanks to Lisa and Brandon, it was another amazing class! There are too many volunteers to thank individually, but suffice to say, the class isn’t possible without help from everyone in the club. As the saying goes, it takes a SAC to raise a BMC grad. As you make plans for the rest of the summer, don’t forget these newly minted SACsters. And to the former students of BMC 2019, congratulations! Don’t be shy about seeking partners and advice. Most people are willing to go on awesome trips they didn’t have to plan!

BMC 2019 on top of Vesper Peak. Photo: Fred DeVries.

Upcoming Events

Park Butte Lookout Work Party

August 17-18: The main goals are to replace the south side shutters and paint the exterior. If anyone wants to haul loads in beforehand, that’d be much appreciated!

New Business

We’re in need of approximately 20 8’ 1x6 tongue and groove, as well as miscellaneous fasteners and hinges for shutters. If you have any construction/materials hookups or know where to source that stuff cheap, please get in touch with Travis & Eniko Gomez

Miyabi searching for snow and crevasses in preparation for the BMC class outing. Photo: Phil Wilson

Skagit Alpine Club Meeting Notes: June 5, 2019

T-Shirts are in! Contact Holly at to pick yours up.

Options for adding trip reports to the website were discussed.

Thanks to Curt Veldhuisen and Andy Heiser for presenting “Multi-pitch Rock 101: The Art, Science and Geography.” We enjoyed learning about some great moderate options near and far!

Trip Report from Cac:

Destination: Whitehorse Mountain

Elevation” 6,841

Rapping off Whitehorse. Photo: Cac Kamak.

Route: NW Shoulder, High Pass, 14 miles, 8000 ft elevation gain

Date: May 27, 2019 (Memorial Day)

Climbing Party: Rob, Kate, Jon, JFro, Andrea, Claire, Cac

Weather: Mostly sunny with highs in the 70s. Rain/showers the previous few days.

The trailhead is at the end of 387 Ave NE off of HWY 530 heading to Darrington. We departed at 5am from trailhead with two ropes and glacier gear (harness, helmet, prussiks, ice axe, pulleys, crampons, pickets). There is a mile of abandoned road to the Neiderprum trail. The trail climbs a steep ridge to the Whitehorse Ridge from 800 ft to 4800 ft. The snowline was around 3500 ft. Once on the ridge we followed it for awhile and gradually started dropping elevation (800-1000 ft) on the south side of the ridge to catch the bottom of High Pass. The terrain is unmarked, so we ended up descending some steep gullies.

Snow was soft in the gully leading up to High Pass with some sugary snow on hard ice at the top. We had lunch at High Pass and roped up into two team. Snow was soft on the So-Bahli-Alhi Glacier so we didn’t use crampons. The snow compacted well, so we went straight up the snow finger to moat at the summit block. A portion of the moat had collapsed on to itself, so it wedged to form a snow bridge. The rock above that was featured but wet. We used a picket in the snow, and the .5 cam on rock to free climb it. We were on top at 2:30 pm. After the usual summit poses and selfies, a double rope rappel got us of the summit block, past the moat, and on to low angle snow. We roped up and hiked back to High Pass around 4:30 pm. Descended High Pass and kept a downward traverse along the south side of the ridge. Climbed back up to Lone Tree Pass around 7pm. Back to the car around 9pm. A 16 hour day.

Parting Shots

Don safely anchored to his yard while preparing for the crevasse rescue class. Photo: Phil Wilson.

Climbing in style. Photo: Andrew Lawrence.

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