March 2010 Mountaineers Newsletter

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March, 2010

Volume 104, No. 3

The monthly publication of The Mountaineers: Enriching the community by helping enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest. people explore, conserve, learn about, and

M5 M6
M2 M3 M4 M4 M5 M7

Untangling the bird’s nest at Reiter The Spiderman of volunteers
View from the Top Branches & Limbs Summit Savvy Conservation Currents Destinations In Support

Budget shaving stands to nick hikers unless voices are heard
By Leesa Wright

w w w. m o u n t a i n e e r s . o r g

Retooling Reiter


Public Policy Associate

iker Lobby Day drew 75 hikers—many of them Mountaineers—to Olympia on Feb. 3 in hope of bending the ears of their state legislators. However, lawmakers may have to hear more than footsteps to not only reinstate a $278,000 fund that would keep such popular trailheads as Mt. Si, Gothic Basin, Rattlesnake Ledges and Tiger Mountain open, but come up with long-term solutions to keep such hiking gems from future peril. Hikers from throughout the state attended the lobby day, sponsored by Washington Trails Association, to advocate for rescuing state funds for recreation from the budget chopping block. The hiker advocates and state lawmakers from their respective districts scheduled meetings with each other throughout the day. Two bills evolved from the event, but only one has survived—and it calls for levying yet another hiking fee in order to keep access to the affected Department of Natural Resource (DNR) trailheads open. The shortage of funds resulted from a supplemental budget proposed by Gov. Christine Gregoire. A 2009-2010 budget hole of $2.6 billion prompted the governor’s new document. The hole was created by a drop in state revenues from weak consumer spending, Continued on M4
Washington State Parks Department photo

Karl Forsgaard photo

The Wild Sky Wilderness Area (viewed above from atop the Index Town Wall) and Wallace Falls (left) are two spectacles that will be more readily accessed by hikers when assignation of routes and trails in the much-trampled Reiter Forest are finalized by the Department of Natural Resources. The Mountaineers as well as its partner organizations toured the area in late February to offer input to DNR. See pg. M5 for details.

Go Guide on road to going green
By Brad Stracener
Managing Editor

Extraordinary service: pg. M6

Discover The Mountaineers

If you are thinking of joining or have joined and aren’t sure where to start - why not attend an information meeting? Check the Go Guide branch sections for times and locations. Are you ready to jump right in? Visit Need to call? 206-521-6000.

The Go Guide, a supplement to The Mountaineer over the past nine years, is going green. In deference to our strategic plan and our mission statement, we have set a course to eliminate the monthly printed version of the Go Guide

by late summer. It is to be supplanted by a robust web database that provides members with all the informational resources that the Go Guide hosts, but without expending 2,150 pounds of paper per month. By Going Green with the Go Guide we are not only adhering Continued on M3

Library reestablishes regular hours—check it out!
After a brief period of access by appointment only, The Mountaineers Library has reinstituted regular hours: Tuesday through Thursday of each week from 6 to 8 p.m. The Library Committee and dedicated library volunteers are making the library available for access to its world-class collection of books, videos, periodicals and maps. For more information see “Off the Shelf” on M7 or go to the library website, accessed through the “Library” link, top center of The Mountaineers home page.

The Mountaineers 7700 Sand Point Way N.E. Seattle, WA 98115

Climbing from ground level—You have plenty of time to push and shove your way into the short line for the April 1 Intro to Bouldering Course offered by the Seattle Branch. But stand ready to enroll for this sure-tobe-popular session that is limited to the first 10 who register. See pg. 9 of the Go Guide for more details.


Weather. See pg. 9 of the Go Guide for details about this event, targeted specifically to Mountaineers. Another pithy freebie—Hear from Mountaineer Paul Griffith on how he tackles climbs of Rainier with a 25-pound pack, including rope and other team gear. Whether day hiker or backpacker, this seminar shave some pounds off. See pg. 9 of the Go Guide. For ways to make your food cargo lighter via do-it-yourself dehydration, see pg. 14 in the Tacoma Branch section of the Go Guide.

Wolf Bauer’s big bash
Watch for the April issue of The Mountaineer

Talk about the weather and learn— All you have to do is show up to hear a free presentation by a regional professional weather forecaster, Michael Fagin, founder of Washington Online

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The Mountaineer
Mission and purposes
To enrich the community by helping people explore, conserve, learn about, and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest.
“To explore and study the mountains, forests and other water courses of the Northwest and beyond; “To preserve by example, teaching and encouragement of protective legislation our special places; “Add value to our member’s and our community by providing youth and adult outdoor education opportunities.”

The Mountaineers is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1906 and dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and protection of natural areas. Board of Trustees Officers President Tab Wilkins, 10-12 President Elect Mona West, 10-12 VP Properties Dave Claar, 10-12 VP Publishing Don Heck, 10-12 Treasurer Gavin Woody, 10-12 Secretary Lorna Corrigan, 10-12 Trustees at large Kirk Alm, 07-10 Rich Draves, 08-11 Dale Flynn, 07-10 Ed Henderson, 08-11 Lynn Hyde, 08-11 John Ohlson, 09-12 Mark Scheffer, 09-12 Dave Shema, 07-10 Mona West, 09-12

Also see us on the web at

Managing Editor Brad Stracener

Contributors, proofreaders: Chris Austin, Christine Compton, Brian Futch, Jim Harvey, Suzan Reiley, Dorothy Stack Photographers & Illustrators: Karl Forsgaard, Dave Shema, Leesa Wright, Gene Yore THE MOUNTAINEER is published monthly by: The Mountaineers, 7700 Sand Point Way N.E. Seattle, WA 98115 206-521-6000; 206-523-6763 fax

Branch Trustees Bellingham, Steven Glenn Everett, Rob Simonsen Foothills, Gerry Haugen Kitsap, Jimmy James Olympia, John Flanagan Seattle, Mike Maude Tacoma, Tom Shimko Executive Director Martinique Grigg

Volume 104, No. 3 The Mountaineer (ISSN 0027-2620) is published monthly by The Mountaineers, 7700 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98115. Members receive a subscription as part of their annual dues. Approximately $12.42 of each member’s annual membership dues is spent to print and mail this publication. Non-member subscriptions to The Mountaineer are $32. Periodicals postage paid at Seattle WA. Postmaster: send address changes to The Mountaineer, 7700 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98115. Opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of The Mountaineers.

Who ya gonna call? Your mentor, of course

Are you a new member wondering about the how-to, where-to and what-to-do with your club? There are a number of resources available to you, not the least our websites. Now there is also a real, live person. If you want to know about expected

conditioning for a hike, what not to wear, how to sign up for events or whatever call contact her at [email protected] with your questions or comments.

or e-mail the “mentor of the month.” Mona West is this month’s mentor. Feel free to

Read The Mountaineer/Go Guide online, too!

Did you know you can find The Mountaineer and the Go Guide online? Visit and go to “monthly mangazine” in the top menu bar. Errata: In the February article on Service Award recipient Bill Deters, The Mountaineer erroneously reported that there were no paid Mountaineers staff members in 1980. Actually, the organization employed a mix of parttime and full-time personnel, including a business manager, a director of books, a professional accountant and other general office staff.

View from the Top


few weeks ago, I found myself driving up to Mt. Baker at 4 a.m. to make it in time for my Avalanche 1 field trip at 8:30 a.m. It was pouring rain, I couldn’t find the trailhead, and I forgot my compass and extra batteries. I was off to a slow start, but within a few hours I found myself excitedly probing the snow, eagerly digging snow pits and jockeying with my fellow classmates to find the buried beacon the most quickly. My trepidation turned to exhilaration and I remembered how fun it is to be a beginner, to learn a new skill, to meet new people and to master new challenges. My experience in that class is not so different from my first few months as executive director of The Mountaineers. I have been busy learning the ins and outs of our organization, studying our financials, meeting our volunteers and staff, talking to our members, taking our outdoor classes, getting smart on our conservation issues and visiting our lodges.

Looking ahead: lots to do, let's get started
During this time, I have been amazed at the openness and willingness of others to welcome, teach and offer me advice. Whether trying out the rope tow at Meany, attending my first climbing course SIG group, or meeting with leaders at REI, I have been welcomed with enthusiasm and warmth. And I have experienced the dedication and commitment of our volunteers. I have watched dedicated individuals spend long hours at The Mountaineers Program Center preparing courses and baking delicious cookies at Baker Lodge. I’ve seen volunteers expand the operations of our library and band together to jumpstart our youth and family programs. The biggest education I have received over the last few months has been how important our volunteers are to accomplishing our conservation, education and recreation mission. In my conversations I have learned what many of you love about The Mountaineers, and the potential that you see for us. As our outgoing president, Eric, stated in his last “View from the Top,” we must “evolve and thrive to be the organization we know we can and should be.” Many of you see opportunities to establish financial stability, increase membership, grow leadership, youth, and family programs, support volunteers, upgrade our program centers and lodges, and expand our conservation agenda. It is my hope that working with you we can tackle each of these challenges one by one and slowly turn ourselves into the organization that we know we can and should be. In my position as a newcomer, I have a lot to learn, but I also have the ability to bring a fresh set of

eyes and new perspective to an organization steeped in history and tradition. There is a reason windshields are bigger than rearview mirrors. It’s time to look forward. Remember the thrill of being a beginner. Remain open to change, and tackle new challenges. We have a bright future, but we have a lot of work to do to realize our potential, so join me and let’s get started. Martinique Grigg, Mountaineers Executive Director

Buy a book, help The Mountaineers!

Shop at any Barnes & Noble store April 3-8, and 20% of your purchase will go to The Mountaineers!
Mountaineers author Craig Romano (Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula) is speaking at the Silverdale Barnes & Noble on Saturday, April 3 at 3 pm. In partnership with The Mountaineers, the bookstore chain is donating 20% of its proceeds for every customer who presents this ad with their purchase. This special promotion takes place April 3-8, and is valid at any Barnes & Noble store throughout the United States! Feel free to pass this on to your friends and family, as every sale helps The Mountaineers. For more information, visit or email [email protected].

The Mountaineers

Bookfair ID: 10100030


The Mountaineer New mission-related periodical to debut in fall
Continued from M1 to an integral part of our mission— “enrich the community by helping . . . to conserve”— but also to our strategic plan that calls on us to “develop magazine, web and publishing channels that bond the community to The Mountaineers and its mission.” While bonding ourselves to a community that extols conservation, we will also be reducing a monthly print expenditure in adherence to our strategic plan to “promote web-based trip reports” and “build a sustainable operating environment of sound governance and finances.” Though we are modifying our print media to comply more fully with our mission and strategies, we are not ignoring the imperative of maintaining a Mountaineers countenance that is crucial to identifying our values and conveying them to the broader community. Therefore, beginning in early fall, we will present a fresh look and feel to our membership publication that embodies the values and aspirations of The Mountaineers. It will include mission-related content on access, conservation, recreation, education and perspective. It will include authors from our vast resources such as Mountaineers Books, Conservation Division, partner organizations, outdoor experts from around the country and even you, the volunteer leaders who collectively keep us on course with our mission. The first phase of going green began with strategic discussions among some of our leaders, officers and volunteers, as well as others who possess acuity in regard to media and messaging. The second phase has begun with communication about the plan and its timetable to our branch representatives, division leaders, officers and you, our members. It will continue with presentations to principals on committees and boards with our various branches to open a dialog and gain crucial input as we execute on the details of going green. I personally am looking forward to facilitating this mission-oriented pursuit that I believe is long overdue. We now have the forwardlooking energy of leaders—both in the volunteer and administrative realms—and a new strategic plan that will help give us definition on our path to bond with not only The Mountaineers community, but also the community around us.

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30% off everything in the store!
4 - 8 PM
Mountain Hardwear and The Mountaineers are coming together for a night of great deals. Members who visit the Downtown Seattle store between 4 and 8 pm on Thursday, April 22, get 30% off all merchandise! To get this amazing deal, you must be able to prove membership bring your membership card or a copy of the Mountaineers magazine with your name and adress on it.

250 PINE STREET S E aT T l E , w a 9 8 1 0 1

Partner with us in the fight against pediatric AIDS while having fun! American Foundation for Children with AIDS provides life saving medicine, supplies and food to children who have been infected with HIV/AIDS in Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo. Climb Up So Kids Can Grow Up consists of events which raise awareness and funds to support this mission. CLIMB UP KILIMANJARO—September 11–22, 2010 Join us on this incredible adventure which benefits children affected by the AIDS pandemic. Team up with a group of climbers as they travel to Tanzania where they will climb up Mount Kilimanjaro while getting to see a bit of the African continent.

Visit our website for more information on this event and others:


& limbs

Climbs to aid HIV children

The American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA) is sponsoring a series of climbing events to raise money for children afflicted with HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. The children, who have no access to medical aid for the disease, are provided the critical medications, supplies and treatment through AFCA that keeps them alive and well. Under the umbrella of “Climb Up So Kids Can Grow Up” (see the ad below), people of all ages are encouraged to get outdoors and do something they enjoy (hike, climb, ride, run, walk) while raising funds and awareness for the AFCA program. Following are the events planned this year: Climb Up the 50: June 26-July 5—Participants across the United States climb, hike, ride, or run up the highest peak in their state any time during this 10-day event. Climb Up Kilimanjaro: Sept. 11-22—A team of 12 will travel to Tanzania and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Climb Up the World: Sept. 1819—Climb, hike, ride, and/or run wherever you are, inside or out, to fulfill pledges of support for your activity. Climb Up Charlotte: Nov. 7—An event hosted by Inner Peaks Climbing Center shares climbing clinics, yoga, massages, chiropractic assessments, climbing competitions, raffles, food, and more. For more information about the effort and how to participate in the non-profit organization’s fundraising events, visit or contact AFCA at [email protected], 717-489-0206.

Mazamas gear sale set

The Mazamas invite their kin to the north, The Mountaineers, to their annual used-gear sale on Sat., March 27. Gear for climbing, backpacking, hiking, backcountry skiing and winter travel in general will be on sale at low prices. The Mazamas are also collecting clothing and gear for the needy. Visit the Mazamas website for general information: For more details, call the Mazamas at 503-227-2345.


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Can you identify the summit in
the foreground here? Send your answer (by March 10) by post or e-mail: brads@; Summit Savvy, The Mountaineer, 7700 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98115. If you guess correctly, you’ll receive $10 of Mountaineers Money, good for Mountaineers Bookstore merchandise, and we’ll publish your name in next month’s column. (In case of a tie, one winner will be chosen at random.) Club employees or persons shown in the photograph are not eligible. Each month we’ll publish a new mystery summit and identification of the previous one.

The Mountaineer
■ Send your photographs for possible publication as a mystery summit (include identification for our benefit). See e-mail and mailing address at right. If we use your photo, you will receive $10 in Mountaineers Money. ■ At the end of each year, all correct respondents’ names are placed in a hat and the winner of that drawing will receive $50 of Mountaineers Money good for purchases at The Mountaineers Bookstore. ■ No one correctly guessed last month’s mystery summit, Bean Peak, as photographed by Greg Marsh.

Summit Savvy

conservation CURRENTS
Urge your lawmakers to keep access open to nearby trails
Continued from M1 coupled with a simultaneous surge in state costs due to economic factors that have increased demand for unemployment benefits, health care and public education. to little more than .01 percent of the $2.6 billion budget hole illustrates how desperate lawmakers are to fill the gap. In an address to the hiker advocates on Lobby Day, Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark outlined two bills—House Bill 2840 and Senate Bill 6237—that addressed deficits in recreation funding on DNR lands and waters. The bills are informed by recommendations from the Sustainable Recreation Work Group (SRWG) which was convened by the Legislature to “make recommendations for improving recreation on state trust lands, aquatic lands, and other state-owned lands managed by the (DNR).” Among the SRWG recommendations were that DNR be given authority to charge user fees at high-use sites and to join other state agencies in considering a statewide recreation pass. Mountaineers members Peter Hendrickson (l), and George Chambers (r) flank Public Policy Associate Leesa Wright at Hiker Lobby Day in Olympia. SB 6237 failed to make it out of committee. HB 2840 was revised by the House General Government Appropriations Committee to exclude the SRWG recommendation for a multi-agency (i.e., Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington State Parks) user-fee system. Instead the bill now authorizes a one-time $5 parking pass, a $10 dollar per night camping fee and a $20 annual pass that would cover both camping and parking. Additionally, the bill would direct the DNR to award volunteers an annual pass only after completing 50 hours of volunteer hours for the DNR. The $278,000 reduction would affect more than 20 trails, interpretive centers and campsites maintained by the DNR. The trails are used by millions of Washington hikers. Mt. Si alone receives 350,000 visitors per year. Also, the 50 hours of work required before volunteers are awarded an annual pass is out of step with other agencies, such as the National Forest Service which awards annual passes to volunteers after 16 hours of work. If you are concerned about losing access to these nearby trails and the onerous 50-hour requirement for annual pass awards to volunteers, please contact your legislators by calling the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Urge them to save DNR’s recreation funding from the chopping block.

The supplemental budget, presented by Gov. Gregoire in December, must be based on current state revenues, according to law. It will require reductions in state spending on health, education and recreation, among other state-funded entities. In light of the near loss of 46 of our state parks in an attempt to balance the budget last year, it is clear that The Mountaineers and other outdoor recreation and conservation organizations need to work together with public land managers to come up with creative, long-term solutions to secure funding dedicated to recreation. The fact that the proposed $278,000 cut to the DNR’s recreation funding amounts

Deigned for Dyer

WWC conference set for April 8-11 in Berkeley
The Annual Western Wilderness Conference will be held April 8-11 at the University of California at Berkeley.

strengthen their own environmental campaigns. In the last 4 years, wilderness advocates have succeeded in establishing over 2 million acres of protected wilderness. Visit the conference website, www., for information on speakers, programs, and outings related to the conference, as well as for registering to attend. For more information, contact Vicky Hoover, 415-977-5527, vicky. [email protected].

Sponsored by the California Wilderness Coalition, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and numerous other organizations from all 13 western states, including The Mountaineers, the conference will focus on a theme of “The Role of Wild Lands in an Era of Climate Change.” The WWC has recently placed emphasis on engaging young people

in the effort to keep wild places free from development. Attendees at the conference will meet new allies and discover strategic tips to

February 13 was declared Polly Dyer Day by King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. Dyer, a tireless Mountaineers volunteer and advocate for the preservation of wilderness, celebrated her 90th birthday among friends and associates at The Mountaineers Program Center in Seattle last month. A Mountaineer for 60 of her years, she was instrumental in persuading lawmakers to set aside the North Cascades National Park and the Olympic National Park Coast. She is both an honorary member of The Mountaineers and a Service Award recipient.


The Mountaineer
An access hub for many hikers, yet a readily available playground for off-road vehicles (ORVs), the Reiter Forest has begun to shuck at least a portion of its identity crisis. Bordering the Wild Sky Wilderness, Wallace Falls and Forks of the Sky State Parks, Reiter Forest is a 10,000-acre block of forest land that over the decades has proved popular to all-wheel-drive enthusiasts, motorcyclists, campers, hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers and hunters. The conflicting activities and the overuse of the forest have created dilemmas for the users and state agencies, especially the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which manages the Reiter acreage. In November, the State’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) temporarily closed the 10,000-acre Reiter Forest to all motorized use. When it reopens in mid-2010, DNR is planning to limit ORV use to 1,100 acres, while creating a new non-motorized area of similar acreage. DNR has already conducted two field tours, which included some Mountaineers members, in order to gain input on creating the designated trails so that Reiter can be reopened. DNR maintains that volunteers will play a major role in the reopening the forest.

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In addition, DNR is hiring consultants to assist with the design of the trail systems for both motorized and non-motorized areas. The assignation of trails provides an opportunity for volunteers with The Mountaineers and those with our partner organizations to help land managers define hiking trails over routes that were once old logging roads or railroad grade. Indeed, of the 15 miles of non-motorized trail being advocated by hikers, the portion that comprises the eastern approach to Wallace Falls would traverse an old logging railroad grade. Proposed trail developments fall within the trail study provisions of the Wild Sky Wilderness Act. The trail development is hoped to mirror the strategy used to create the Issaquah Alps trail system a generation ago—those that take hikers up Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains. Those wishing to attend a field tour at Reiter to help benefit hikers and future generations of hikers should visit the DNR website ( and type “recreation planning Reiter Foothills” in the search field, or send an e-mail to [email protected]. Let DNR know your contact information and when you would like to go.

A bird’s nest of use about to become untangled at Reiter


Loneliest beach on the peninsula?

Places to explore in the Pacific Northwest

If our mild winter thus far has you wondering why spring doesn't just hurry up and get here—damn the snow pack—and you are blue about purchasing those new pair of skis last November that saw only two trips to the hills and twice that many nicks from exposed rock, then give spring a little push. Head to the coast. One of the most pleasant, though distant, coastal haunts is actually a fine trot in winter as well as spring, summer or fall: Leadbetter Point on Long Beach Peninsula. The most pleasant aspect of Leadbetter is its amenability to the entire hiking family, from toddlers to grandparents. Labeled “the loneliest stretch of beach south of the Olympic Peninsula” by Craig Romano in “Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula,” Leadbetter offers a quiet maritime forest
Brad Stracener photo

Leadbetter offers plenty of places to jump off trail and check out the bay or ocean. and “bird saturated Willapa Bay,” as Romano puts it. A bear, deer, cougar otter or flock of snowy plovers is sometimes a bonus along the route. More than six miles of trail meander through 1,200-acre Leadbetter Point State Park, which offers access to both the Pacific Ocean to the west and Willapa Bay to the east. This time of year is a bit less hectic en route to Leadbetter because the tourist trodden Long Beach isn't quite warm enough to usher the hordes. In fact, the early season leaves a couple great eateries and historic settlements, such as Oysterville, open to post- or pre-hike indulgences. The destination is also only a 20-minute drive to nearby jaunts to jetties and lighthouses at Cape Disappointment State Park south of Ilwaco.
Getting there: From I-5 south take the “Ocean Beaches” exit onto Highway 101 and continue until reaching the exit to Highway 8. Proceed on Highway 8 until reaching the Montesano exit that leads to Highway 7 and connects to Highway 101 south through Raymond and South Bend. Continue on 101 to Seaview and turn north onto Hwy. 103 all the way to the tip of Long Beach Peninsula. The full story: See “Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula,” by Craig Romano and published by Mountaineers Books. Go to pages 50-54.

g Sprin


June May 30, 31 5, 6 12, 2:00 13 19, 2 0 pm


, July 31 gust 1 Au 7, 8 14, 15 21, 22 m 2:00 p

Sum m

er 20


Music and new Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Conceived by John-Michael Tebelak

Escape to the Kitsap Forest Theater, located a short drive from the Bremerton ferry. Enjoy a great day trip with friends and family! Picnic under the firs before you stroll down the forested trail to our unique and magical theater! Call today for tickets: 800-573-8484.

Tickets available at www. M

Shows presented by The Mountaineers Players

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“(Wick) operates under the following rules: 1) big hammers are more fun than little hammers; 2) the amount of noise directly equates to the amount of fun; and, 3) if it doesn’t fit, get a bigger hammer.”
of crushed rock from the Camp Long parking lot down to the belay tower runways—all by students carrying the pea gravel in shopping bags.” Regarding the salvage of materials from the old navy station motor-pool building that is now the organization’s new program center, Shema added, “Who coordinated all of this and ensured that tools were available? John.” Often showing up two hours before a work party was to begin each morning, Wick would stage the tools and work area so that the other volunteers could expedite their contributions. He would then arrange the work teams and explain each of their tasks before rolling his sleeves up alongside them.

The Mountaineer
Shema, adding, “John has been busy.”

John Wick: ubiquitous as Spiderman in the volunteer world


ick’s penchant to chip in is not by any means restricted to his immediate environment. He and his wife, Debbie, whom he met through The Mountaineers climbing program, have traveled to the oxygen-thin villages in high Nepal to deliver medicine and supplies to villagers. Again, Wick’s organizational skills were employed. He put Sherpa teams together, shepherded the delivery of equipment and medicine from the West up into the high Himalayas and even learned what is at the sharp end of a zokio. But all of that is another story to glean from John at a later time. Perhaps what inspires those around Wick is what inspires him. “I don’t have the skills to explain the sense of community that our club has,” he noted. “That sense of camaraderie I have found in climbing, scrambling, kayaking or bicycling. I know that it’s real and it is a main part of me now.” He maintains that the organization’s major challenge is to find ways to let “non-members and outsiders know about this potential” to enrich their lives with an inspiring corps of outdoor enthusiasts. Brad Stracener is managing editor of The Mountaineer.

John Wick joined a hearty rank of volunteers who not only contributed greatly to the remodel of The Mountaineers Program Center at Magnuson Park, but also at its ensuing special events, such as “high-exposure” prep work (immediately above) for the new building’s grand opening.
Editor’s note: This is the final installment of a series on the most recent recipients of The Mountaineers Service Award, recognizing members for their outstanding service to the club.
Dave Shema, Gene Yore & Brad Stracener photos

hen the Naturalists began the job of reclaiming the south slope of the program center grounds from encroaching blackberry bushes, Wick put his craftsman skills to work. The volunteers needed hammers to pound stakes through cardboard and burlap on which mulch was applied for soil recovery. So Wick built 10 wooden mallets customized for the job. “Over the summer you could find John pitching tons of woodchips from piles on the upper parking lot onto the slope below,” noted

Mountaineers’ new program center at Magnuson Park. In volunteer terms, the word “ubiquitous” could easily be complemented by a picture of Wick—scaling the side of the new program center to put a sign up, wielding a beam that was salvaged from the original structure of the remodeled building, devising and installing makeshift belay stations, helping corral goats to eat invasive plants around the new Mountaineers building, constructing a room to house Players’ stage costumes and gear, attending board meetings as a trustee, or attending committee meetings and even a work-party barbecue or two at the climbing plaza on the south wall. One of his fellow volunteers says Wick “leads by doing.” A volunteer who ardently worked alongside Wick during the remodel of the building, John Ohlson, conveyed, “(Wick) operates under the following rules: 1) big hammers are more fun than little hammers; 2) the amount of noise directly equates to the amount of fun; and, 3) if it doesn’t fit, get a bigger hammer.”


By Brad Stracener

he Mountaineers can be grateful for big boots, especially when filled by volunteers with John Wick’s dedication. It was the early 1970s, when Wick was just a teen, that the sight of “these big leather things” on the feet of his Scout troop advisor piqued his curiosity. “When I asked him about his boots, he said they were climbing boots that he used to climb Mt. Rainier.” Upon further query, Wick found out that the advisor learned how to climb with The Mountaineers. “I figured if the group let him in and got him up Rainier, then I had a pretty good shot,” recalled Wick, who at that point had already spent a lot of time camping, fishing and hunting with his family. “I wanted to learn how to climb,” he noted, “but I didn’t know anyone that climbed.” So, he said, “I figured out a way to get into The Mountaineers” although he was below the required age to join. He immediately enrolled in the climbing course that led to leading climbs that led to sea kayaking that led to leading kayak trips that led to a host of other volunteer endeavors, including the remodel of The

presented by

sponsored by

Hang on to your seats for some of the wildest high-adrenaline mountain sport films!


Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 7 pm


s much as he is a volunteer, Wick is a motivator, attests Dave Shema, another dedicated volunteer who has worked alongside Wick. “He organized the ‘bucket brigade’ which moved tons

The Mountaineers Program Center, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle Tickets: $15 general, $10 Mountaineers. Tickets are available through The Mountaineers office, or by calling 206-521-6001. Please purchase in advance - this show will sell out! Eat at the show! Dante’s Inferno Dogs will be on site for Radical Reels.


Friday, March 12, 2010 at 7:30 pm

The Capitol Theater, 206 E. 5th Ave., Downtown Olympia Tickets: $12 general, $2 off for Mountaineers members. Available through the Alpine Experience, Olympic Outfitters, or at the door.


The Mountaineer
Richard M. Pirret Russell T. Pogemiller Jeff Posakony Pamela M. Pritzl Ray L. Puddicombe V. S. Raines Merv M. Rasmussen Mike Rees Betty V. Renkor David Robertson Paul A. Robisch Craig R. Romano Harry B. Romberg Grace D. Roop Robert A. Rosen Elizabeth E. Rosenthal James Samuel Todd Scheuer Cynthia Schraer Jerry P. Scott Bridget Sevigny Steven O. Short Michael W. Shurgot Nedra G. Slauson Jay W. Snodderly Randolph L. Sperry Jon G. Stutz Geneva Sullivan Joan K. Thomas Bill Thorness Marilyn Tilbury John Titland Norman F. Tjaden Paul Vonckx Roger Carl VonDoenhoff Janet M. Wall Bruce Walyor Marilyn B. Ward

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Washington Mutual Employees Giving Program Griffith Way Karl H. Weyler Harold B. Williams John K. Wimpress Norman L. Winn Anne D. Woolf Patricia F. Zeisler Donna Zimmerschied Charles L. Zwick Memorial contributions were received for: Robert [Bob] Neupert Willliam Newman Ken Prestrud George Swan

In support
The Mountaineers Foundation desires to acknowledge and thank all its donors. Unless individuals request their names not be published, all donors will be acknowledged in The Mountaineer on a quarterly basis (usually March, June, September, December). If you have donated during the period of November 2009 through January 2010 and your name is not on this list, please notify Paul Robisch, Mountaineers Foundation, 206-363-1989, [email protected], and your name will be added to the next published list of acknowledgments. Donations received after Jan. 31 will be acknowledged in the June 2010 issue of The Mountaineer. Wolfram A. Abicht Christine Acarregui Eloise Adams Thomas E. Allen Suzanne P. Anderson Conny I. Anderton Edward M. Andrews Anonymous Marjory A. Barbee Nicholas P. Barnes Richard C. Berner Stella H. Bevens Michael S. Bialos Anne S. Biglow Lorraine R. Blackler Beth Blattenberger David O. Bobroff Boeing Gift Matching Program Sandra Bowman Kathleen A. Brammer Gwynne F. Briggs Gregory E. Brown Richard W. Buck Robert J. Burns Wanda L. Butler Beth A. Carlyle Judy Case James L. Chapman Peter A. Clitherow Janet H. Curran Mike Dean William Dershowitz John Dickson Heidi Diem Jim Dobrick Edward D. Dorr James D. Dubuar George B. Duncan Sylvia Duryee John E. Edison John D. Edwards William Lee Eichenberger Sharon A. Ellard Neil R. Ericsson Delmar M. Fadden Judith A. Finn Dale Flynn Gail E. Foster Ueland Foundation Jonathan Fox Doug R. Frick Mary A. Fries Darrell E. Gee Jiayi Geng Diane Glenn Robert P. Goldsmith Donald J. Goodman Thomas M. Green, III John Griffith Robert H. Gross Juliane Gust Bruce A. Hamilton Katlin M. Hanson Clifford N. Harby Marcia L. Harper David V. Harrington David Hartley William E. Hauser James W. Hawkins, Jr George S. Heffner Peter J. Hemmen Russell Hensley, Jr Gardner W. Hicks Douglas A. Hirsch Samara K. Hoag Dianne M. Hoff Gwen M. Howard Charles Hyde Harvey H. Johnson Janet Kavadas Robert W. King Michael T. Kovacs Jean E. Kyle Duane F. LaViolette Ralph T. Leber Greg E. Lewis Alan Lincoln Eric Linxweiler Hillary P. Lipe Donna M. Lipsky Patricia M. Loveland Heather Mack Mark Malnes Ken Mapp Daniel L. Mazur Richard G. Merritt David L. Messerschmidt Robert L. Michelson Mark J. Millea Norman D. Miller Kira M. Misura John L. Moen Dennis T. Mooney Royce L. Natoli Howard E. Nebeck Nancy A. Neyenhouse Tom Nims Rose A. O'Donnell Donald L. Olson Robert E. Ordal Gordon H. Orians Bernd A. Paatsch Mary C. Panza Harold A. Pelton

Off the shelf

The latest from your Mountaineers Library

By Dennis Sampson, Chair of the Library Committee

Volunteer corps being organized to staff library

In the February edition of “Off the Shelf,” the Library Committee (LC) discussed the challenges of maintaining an acceptable level of library services to both club members and the outdoor-oriented public without having available the skills of a professional staff librarian. During discussions between the LC and the club’s controller it was recognized that the original concept of having the club’s member services staff provide library service on an as-requested basis was not very practical because it would be extremely disruptive to the staff in performing its regularly-assigned duties. The LC has thus organized a group of trained volunteers to open the library a minimum of three evenings a week—Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday—for the core hours of 6 to 8 p.m. and adding an hour on either or both ends as volunteers are available. The volunteers operating the library have full access to the circulating collection located on the open shelves and to the guidebooks and map collections located in locked cabinets. In addition to the evening hours, two retired LC members have agreed to provide afternoon hours by appointment for those wanting to do research. The details as to the best way for individuals to be able to make appointments are still being worked out. It is an unfortunate fact of reality that all public-access libraries, no matter how many precautions are taken, are subject to the occasional disappearance/theft of library materials. It is also a fact that without the presence of a professional staff librarian to continuously monitor the collections, the probability of disappearance/ theft increases. Therefore, the LC is in the process of determining the best way to allow limited access to the parts of the library’s holdings that are non-replaceable—e.g., a portion of the Special Collection, parts of the club’s historical records, and the earlier editions of the bound journals dating as far back as the mid-19th century—without jeopardizing their security. In order to maintain adequate service, more dedicated and committed volunteers are needed to staff the library, to attend new-member nights (first Wednesday of each month) and to help publicize the library to both members and the public. The LC will provide the necessary training to certify you as an “illustrious” Mountaineers Library volunteer. To volunteer your services contact Dennis Sampson, LC chair, [email protected], or the volunteer coordinator, [email protected]. The LC is preparing a grant request to The Mountaineers Foundation’s designated Friends of The Mountaineers Library Fund (FOML) to fund the bare-bones costs of operating the library using volunteers for the rest of 2010. Tax-deductible donations to the designated FOML can be mailed directly to The Mountaineers Foundation, P.O. Box 25590, Seattle, WA 98165 (be sure to indicate FOML on the check) or can be made online at All donations are welcome, no matter the amount.

Mountains Don’t Care, But We Do
A fundraiser for Seattle Mountain Rescue

Friday, March 19

Join us for the documentary “Mountains Don’t Care, But We Do,” a history of moutain rescue in the Pacific Northwest. This gripping story follows efforts to organize local rescue groups, which eventually led to the formation of the Mountain Rescue Association. Dee Molenaar, author of the book the film is based on, will be in attendance to share stories and experiences. This is a free event, but donations will gladly be accepted. Beer and wine will be available at the event.

Come Sailing!

7 pm Mountaineers Program Center 7700 Sand Point Way NE Seattle

Free event!

Donations gratefully accepted at the door.

There is Course offered Wednesday Register now for the Basic Crewing Course Crewing no better way to experience sailing, and 7learn everything youstill the its in Seattle and the course 2-30. See atto evenings at p.m., April fee is need know low price. Wednesdays for p.m., sameto qualify as a crew memberat 7MounSeattle Sailing section for more informataineers sail outings! See the Seattle Sailing March 31-April 28. See the Seattle Branch tion on enrollment. section section for details. sailing for more information.

April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2


March 010
Kruckeberg’s 90th to be a garden party
Arthur Kruckeberg, Mountaineers Books author and co-founder of the Washington Native Plant Society, is turning 90, and his friends are holding a “garden party” in his honor. The celebration for the professor emeritus of botany at the UniverThe Kruckeberg Botanic Garden features wonderful native plants and trees as well as unusual varieties from around the world. The garden exhibits the legacy of our own Northwest native plants to inspire and educate both young and old. Tickets may be purchased at www.

The Mountaineer

sity of Washington will be held on Thu., April 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Shoreline City Hall. Proceeds from admission fees will go toward the Garden Party Fund to benefit the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden in Shoreline. Author of “Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest,” Kruckeberg is also co-author of The Mountaineers-published “Best Wildflower Hikes: Washington.”

Upcoming Trips! Everest Base Camp May 3rd & Oct 18th - $3500

with The Mountaineers

only steps from hiking trails and chairlifts

Mt. Baker Lodge

To schedule a free site visit, please call Michael Lockman 206-459-7022 or visit us online at

enchanting old-growth preserve, forest theater, salmon safaris

Kitsap Cabin

winter sport lessons, learn, explore

Meany Lodge

Snoqualmie Campus
Our beautiful Northwest gardens provide food, shade, privacy and enjoyment for you and your family.
Our services include design and installation of:
Drought tolerant and native plantings Rockeries and stone patios Edible landscapes & Backyard wildlife habitat

camp, picnic, snowshoe only an hour from seattle

Stevens Lodge
ski in, ski out, relax



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