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October 2019 Newsletter

Dr. Seuss: "Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so … get on your way!”

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Fall has arrived. The leaves are changing, the larches are glowing, and the snow level is dropping to 4,000 ft! As you swap out rock boots for ski boots, I hope your memories of summer will stoke your hunger for powder.


October Meeting

Date/Time: Wednesday, Oct 2, 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: Rick Rogers, a longtime SAC member, former BMC lead instructor, and all around man of adventure, presents his new book, Walking Back Home: Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, Part I. The book chronicles the first half of a middle aged man's adventures as he walks 2,400 miles back home along the Pacific Crest Trail. He starts out looking forward to seeing new country and wildlife, but it's the people he meets on the trail and their stories that surprise him the most. The book is liberally sprinkled with practical details for meeting the technical challenges of long-distance hiking for the serious backpacker. Armchair adventurers will also love meeting the people along the trail as well.

Feeling the burn while hiking back up towards the PCT after a long and successful trip up Glacier Peak. Photo: Cac Kamak

Old Business

The annual Mt Baker Ski Weekend will be Feb. 28 – Mar. 1. Based on limited participation in the BMC this year, we broke even on the class, leaving us only with enough reserves to start the 2020 BMC. As a result, rooms will cost $180 each for the entire weekend. There are 16 rooms available with a couple extra beds, so start making plans soon! As always, SAC will be paying for the Pizza Soiree at Chair 9 on Feb. 28.

SAC turns 60 years old in 2020! How should we celebrate? How about by climbing the Skagit 60! The goal is, as a club, to tick a list of 60 peaks, all within Skagit county between July of 2020 and 2021. The crux, for now, is forming the list. If you’re interested in helping, contact the VP, Phil at

Riverstone Climbing Gym is celebrating turning 3 and is celebrating with a slideshow, showing Riverstone’s members out on their real rock adventures, and a Black Light Dyno Competition and Costume Party. The slide show is Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., free and BYOB. The Dyno Competition will be Oct. 26. Entry is $15 and free for spectators. To have your own photos put in the slideshow, please email them to Brandon at

Conservation Committee

Canadian company proposes exploratory mining in Skagit headwaters

Imperial Metals has applied for a permit to explore for gold and copper in the headwaters of the Skagit River. The Skagit supplies water for drinking, irrigation, fish and recreation in Skagit and Whatcom counties. Additionally, all five species of salmon native to the PNW spawn in the Skagit River, including the majority of the Puget Sound’s chinook population.

Leslie, crushing Squamish 5.10 while climbing for two. Photo: John Parks

Imperial Metals was responsible for a 2014 mishap at Mount Polley, about 250 miles north of the Skagit headwaters, that released 24 million cubic meters of mining waste into nearby waterways. The B.C. Auditor General Carol Bellringer led a two-year investigation into the failure that pointed out several failures in compliance and also found that province’s enforcement of mining regulation did not adequately protect the province from significant environmental risk. The approval of the Imperial Mines permit would go against the High Ross Treaty between the United States and Canada, that established the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission (SECC), a bi-lateral body intended to conserve and protect wilderness and wildlife habitat, enhance recreation opportunities and acquire mineral or timber rights consistent with those values. 

If you would like to send a comment to the BC Premier, John Horgan, please see the link below. You can also contact your federal, state and local elected officials to encourage them to oppose the mine. 

Public Lands Leadership Crisis 

The US Department of Interior (DOI) oversees 75% of America’s public lands, including the NPS and BLM. According to the Access Fund 60% of leadership positions at the DOI are filled by “acting” administrators, including the Deputy Secretary of the Interior, NPS Director and BLM Management Director. These positions are generally appointed by the President and confirmed by members of the Senate, providing a check to ensure public lands are managed responsibly. The vacancies sidestep the Senate and also slow down decision making regarding how public lands are managed. Many of the acting administrators are formed advocated for the oil and gas industry and some have openly advocated selling off public lands.

Skagit Alpine Club Meeting Notes: Sep 3, 2019

The meeting was our first annual SAC end of Summer Share-a-Thon. We enjoyed presentations from our very own members: Travis, discussing the work done on the Park Butte Lookout and a trip up the East Ridge of Forbidden; Andrew, sharing his adventure up Mystic Wall in Green Creek Basin (in the Twin Sisters area); Meslissa, talking about her trip on the John Muir Trail, a 211 mile section of the PCT in CA, and ticking Mt Whitney at the end for good measure; Brandon and Lisa, describing their aborted trip to the Bugaboos and instead cruising the Ptarmigan Traverse, as a consolation prize; Tony, talking about a great day trip up Sahale; Juliet and Holly, rapping and beat boxing the best TR I’ve ever heard about their trip up Prime Rib of Goat in Mazama (see below for pictures and the entire poem); and last, but certainly not least, Cac and Claire sharing that they married this summer while also climbing Snow King. It was an incredible night! If you missed it, I’m truly sorry, but if you want more details on any of the trips, I’m sure all of the presenters would be willing to reshare and share beta, for the cost of a pint.

Leslie adding another tick to Plus One’s list with a trip up Rapple Grapple, Liberty Bell 5.8 Grade II. Photo: Todd Bushman.

Trip Report from Holly and Juliet: Prime Rib of Goat, 5.9 Grade III,

(Originally performed as a duet to the tune of My Favorite Things by Julie Andrews, then as a beat box/slam poetry contest)

Juliet topping out pitch 7

Topos and route plans with leaders and check boxes.

Boulder fields leading to some well bolted pitches.

Climbing prime rib to the top of goat wall.

1300 feet O-M-G that's so tall!

30 hours of freedom from mom-ing and work stuff.

Weird weather change with light breezy outcomes.

Only encountering four people on route.

All day in nature's what life's all about!

Did I get sleep?

Dropped the cellphone

No, that was the other group…oh yeah!

Dropped my chapstick.

Brake hands ache so bad!

I simply remember we're  Crushing goat wall;

And that's when I feel so rad!

Posing for action shots that look so epic.

Averaging 45 minutes per pitch.

Sometimes we wished a bolt was just "right there".

I guess when you're short, "well-bolted" isn't quite fair?

Where's this pitch end?

@*$#! my feet hurt.

Why's rope drag so bad?

I"m so glad we ended up stashing the bikes

So now we don't have to rap!

*Did you say Rap?*

Prime rib of goat

It has eleven pitches

Most of them are fun

Holly cruising pitch 9

But some of them are bitches

Pitch number seven

Is what we all agree

was the bitchiest pitch

Of the pitches you see.

With a boulder Crux problem

Just to begin

And some spots where the hands

And feet were really thin


After six, five four

Three two and one

My arms were kinda tired

And I got Elvis leg SON

But Holly led

Like a badass nonstop

And with a little bit of cheering

We both made it to the top 


And after snacky snacks

We didn't feel so bad

With just four left on our checklist

We were feeling pretty rad 

These are a few of my favorite things!


Quickdraw exchange

skip those rappel chains

Ripped my shirt, so sad! 

I simply remember we're Crushing goat wall;

And that's when I feel so rad!


Gaining more confidence stretching our limits.

Still can’t find anything that rhymes with limits….

Fist jam in chimney, how did I not fall?

Perhaps we're good climbers of things after all!

Cooler at summit stored cold margaritas

Sun came out lovely and warm just as it does

Now the next challenge of biking downhill

I hope Juliet doesn’t take a big spill!

Washboard roads down

Hands lost feeling

Almost down Egad!

just 5 more miles

biking into headwinds

And then legs won’t feel so bad....


the view from atop pitch 8

And that's when we FEEEEEEEL SO RAD!!!!!!!!!

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