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May 2019 Newsletter

John Muir: "Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.”

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The BMC has started and spring has sprung! The days are long, the weather has been great and the psych for the climbing season is high, at least in my mind. Hope everyone is enjoying spring as much as I am, and keep those awesome pictures flowing!


May Meeting

Date/Time: Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

Location: The Burlington Public Library, located at 820 East Washington Avenue, one block south of Fairhaven at the corner of Washington Avenue and Holly Street.

Program: Recent WWU graduate and alpinist Rachael Mallon will present about her research on snow algae and the development of the Living Snow Project. For a preview, check out the website:

: BMC 2019 students unsuccessfully try to avoid the rain on the first outing. Photo by Juliet Holzknecht

Old Business

The club is getting new shirts! If we order at least 20, they will only cost $21.00 for sizes small to extra large. The material is standard pre-shrunk jersey T-shirt fit (no women's cut). The SAC logo will also be featured in black and white on the left sleeve. Concerned about sizing? We are going to try to have a sample order of each size at the April meeting for you to try it on before committing to a size. If you have any further questions, you can reach Holly at

Eniko enjoying the sun and avoiding the Washington winter on pitch 2 of Lottaballs (yes, that’s the real name) in Red Rock Canyon, NV (5.8, Grade II). Photo: Travis Gomez.

Upcoming Events

Annual SAC Leavenworth Campout

Friday, May 10 – Sunday, May 12, 2019!

Join us at the Bridge Creek Group Site near Leavenworth with your kids and dogs! Vault toilets, fire rings, potable water. All the comforts! Bring food for a Potluck Saturday Night. So much to do there: climb, hike, bike, etc.

Driving Directions: From the west, take Highway 2 east through Monroe and over Stevens' Pass. Take a right on Icicle River Road and continue approximately 10 miles to the campground, on the left. From the east, take Highway 2 west through Leavenworth. Turn right on Icicle River Road and follow the road approximately 10 miles to the campground, on the left.

Park Butte Lookout Work Party

August 17-18 (Weather alternative August 24-25)

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!

Conservation Committee

The WDFW will continue to translocate mountain goats from the Olympic Peninsula to the Cascade mountains this summer and is looking for volunteers. Yes, this means you can be involved in an actual goat rope and driving mountains goats across the state! If interested, you can e-mail

SAC members learn skills in the Wilderness First Aid course. Photo: Jim Reynolds

Skagit Alpine Club Meeting Notes: April 3, 2019

The Gear swap was a huge success with people unloading their unwanted crap onto unsuspecting SAC members!

Dr. Rachel Kodner of the Living Snow Project (Come to May’s Meeting!) gave a quick overview of her research and passed out snow sampling kits to would-be citizen scientists in SAC.

The BMC has begun and there are 10 physched students this year. We even managed to do the Mt Erie outing without climbing or rappelling in the rain.

The monthly presentation, organized by Wade Bessett, gave an amazing overview of six different southwest outdoor getaways, perfect for beating the short days and cold drizzle of the PNW in winter. The presentation covered everything from canyoneering in Utah to mountain biking Arizona and classic multi-pitch climbing in Vegas

Sam enjoying the sun while practicing and teaching trad skills with other SAC members during the BMC Mt. Erie outing. Photo: Jim Reynolds

An Ode to SAC Newbies by Juliet Holzknecht

My urge to climb a mountain was an unstoppable force

So one year ago I signed up for a Basic Mountaineering course,

As a runner, hiker, and boulderer, I thought I was in good shape,

But then about one mile in, I was sure I should escape.

At some point along the trail, all these questions came in my head.

Are you really cut out for this? Cause you're feeling kinda dead

There are lots of faster hikers. Aren't you just slowing them down?

Try harder to keep up, or they won't keep you around.

But I made it up the hill and I even met a friend

The instructors said "just keep going" so I pushed it till the end

I went home after the first outing exhausted, but invested

I knew it would get harder, but I had yet to be bested

I committed to hiking once a week on top of all the weekends,

I packed some extra weight and hiked with new Alpine Club friends,

And each week I felt a bit better, and my legs a little stronger

And while each outing was hard, I could go a little longer

I learned a slow and steady pace was better than burning out

And to prepare early and start cold so there was less standing about

I kept climbing and hiking as often as my schedule would allow,

And then one day I summited Mt. Baker. Holy cow!

We watched sunrise at the top, & while it was windy and very chilly

I realized my legs felt good and that my day one thoughts were silly

Seasoned members the SAC BMC on June 4, 1978, on top of South Early Winter Spire. Photo courtesy of Mark Nelson

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