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June 2021 Newsletter

“Spring is Nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’” – Robin Williams

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: From all of the trip reports and pictures, everyone is getting after it and enjoying the great spring conditions! I hope everyone is continuing to enjoy the great weather this holiday weekend!


Alex leading the Wavy Crack Pitch on the Southwest Rib of South Early Winter Spire. (Photo: Anna Chotzen)

May Meeting:

Date/Time: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

Program: Guy Mansfield, Ph.D., from Everett Mountain Rescue and

Washington State SAR Planning Unit, will present on (1) Risk Assessment, (2) Preparation and Prevention, and (3) Situational Awareness for hikers, from the point of view of our mission experiences in Search and Rescue.

Where: And…. You guessed it!!! Zoom again!!! Here’s the link:

Meeting ID: 885 8081 1356

Passcode: 763773

One tap mobile

+12532158782,88580811356#*763773# US (Tacoma)

+13462487799,88580811356#*763773# US (Houston)

Skagit Alpine Club Meeting Notes: May 5, 2021

We enjoyed a great presentation about a one day summit and circumnavigation of Mt. Shuksan. It looked like a truly amazing day high in the Cascades on a beautiful winter day.

­­Dusty filled us in a what sounds like a truly epic adventure race he’ll be racing. It gave me a perspective and an ego deflation when I thought about my “hard” days in the mountains.

Jarek set to descend the Roman Wall, which was windswept and icy. (Photo Courtesy: Jarek Kotlarczyk)

The Basic Mountaineering Course:

Fully in it: Classes are in full swing! Hard to believe all of Juliet’s and the club’s hard work is paying off as students and instructors are enjoying the new format.

Old Business:

Support for Alex: As most of you are aware by now, one of our most dedicated members and instructors, Alex Korteum, suffered a stroke in January. His recovery and rehabilitation have been going well, and he’s enjoying being home after his stay in the hospital. If you’re so inclined, here is a link to a GoFundMe campaign that’s been set up to help him and his family as he recovers.

Dues are due! It’s a new year. If you haven’t paid your dues, please do so using this link:

SAC 60th Anniversary! So what if SAC turns 61 this year? Last year doesn’t… Help us celebrate 60 years of SAC by climbing mountains! The club is attempting to summit all the Skagit 60 peaks in 2020 to commemorate the 60th anniversary. The website used to track our progress is

Trip Reports:

South Early Winter Spire – Southwest Rib – May 22nd, 2021

Alex Jahn and Anna Chotzen took advantage of the spring conditions and approached from the hairpin turn at Washington Pass. We left the car at 7:45am, strapped our skis to our backpacks and bootpacked up the gully. There is still plenty of snow and there were a lot of skiers out. In fact, we were the oddballs with a climbing objective for the day. From the col, we made a short side-hill descent north to the base of the SW Rib.

The route itself was mostly dry but many of the belay ledges still had snow on them and we had to make a few funky moves to keep our shoes dry. From the summit, it was easy to avoid snow on the downclimb (South Arete route) and we piggy backed off a group of Seattle Mountaineers for the final rappels. We had to hike back around to our skis through the snow in our rock shoes, but it was worth not having to carry our ski boots up the route J The ski out was the final bonus to a beautiful spring day in the mountains!

Mt Baker May 8, 20221 - IAD Post baby ski trip

On May 8th, we celebrated Annabelle’s Birthday by getting her jacked up on her first carrot-cake cupcake. Turns out babies like cake. My parents were visiting from Wisconsin and agreed to watch her for the night so Brandon and I could have our first baby free adventure together since she was born. Since we both have only skied a handful of times… we thought Mount Baker would be an appropriate objective.

We headed out to Baker Lake road super stoked –and with a van stocked with some beers, a tub of ice cream and a bunch of other technical crap we thought we might need. We were surprised to run into snow right away and parked at 2,800 feet. We knew it was going to be a long haul.

When the alarm went off at 2 am we second guessed our decision not to go to a spa, or out to eat, or stay at a fancy hotel, or really do anything else. None the less, we got up and were moving by 2:45 am and started slogging on the logging road. We saw no one all day long on the Squak route. It reminded us of being in the Mountains “back in the day”. Where was the Congo line of climbers looking to settle something on the summit of Mount Baker? Did we somehow missed an apocalyptic event? Did Seattle disappear?

Around Noon we finished booting up the Roman Wall and inhaled a snicker bar in record time. Brandon turned to me and said, “What is it about being up here…” and then paused as if finalizing something philosophical, Romanic, or profound. But instead he said, “what is it about being up here that makes me feel like shit every time”.If you know Brandon, I guess that is romantic. Shortly after, we reached the summit along with a handful of other skiers who had come up the Colman Deming route. We skied perfect conditions from the summit back to the logging road and to the van. We harvested some amazing spring turns and had an epic baby free day!

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