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SEF

The Mountaineers

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I'd like to present an olive branch to those on this board. I've been reading posts and see many critical comments. Constructive dialog promotes better relationships. Perhaps I can confirm truths and dispel myths. I'll start with an invitation.

We invite members of this board to our Alpinists meetings. The next one will be April 11, at the Mountaineers building, and will feature Canadian guidebook author Kevin McLane, and is free. We envision the Alpinists to provide a forum for experienced climbers to meet others, and to share their stories. Many members on this board are very experienced climbers with valuable contributions.

Some here have commented on our use of Spire Rock or Camp Long. Both these facilities can be reserved, and a fee is charged for group use. If you are concerned about a large group being at those facilities when you want to visit, checking with the facility is best, as any number of organizations besides the Mountaineers could have reserved it: Boy Scouts, church groups, youth groups, schools, and more. (If the participants arrived in yellow school buses, they were not on a Mountaineer Climbing Course).

We have a long, cooperative history with Camp Long that includes help to maintain those park facilities we use with many hundreds of man-hours of donated work. Earlier this year, Camp Long was closed on weekends and our program paid to have it staffed and open for both our field trips and the general public. Camp Long is a public facility open to all and we do strive to give back to it.

Blaming the crowds on the Mountaineers or any other group is symptomatic of the frustration that the crags are getting increasingly crowded. The trouble is, even if the Mountaineers went away, the crowding would still occur. Face it; the sport is growing much faster than the Mountaineers. Ever been to Vertical World on a winter weekday evening? Sunshine wall on March weekends? Then you've seen the crowds. Our sport has a vacuum between the number of people who desire to climb and avenues available for them to learn how. As predictable as the laws of physics, something will fill that vacuum.

How can we cooperate? What can members of this message board usefully do to ease the congestion on local facilities? A few immediate steps can be taken. Seattle public officials need to hear that you want Schurman Rock fixed or replaced. A public park is proposed under I-5 at Eastlake in Seattle. A climbing facility is an option for part of this space. Such a structure could be covered and dry year around. I am told that dog owners and trail bike riders have lobbied for space for their interests, but the climbing community has been comparatively quiet. I’d urge you to speak up about your interests beyond this board in places where you can make a difference.

We share your concern about large party sizes on climbs. Our normal party size limit on our Basic Rock Climbs is 6, not the 10-12 mentioned on this board. Glacier climbs can have up to 12, but will be less in certain circumstances. Our typical party on an Intermediate Rock climb is 4. Note that on the Tooth and a few other popular climbs, on any summer weekend, you will likely find a crowd even if no Mountaineer party shows up. A common reaction I have witnessed is to label most any large climbing party as Mountaineers. We get the "credit", whether deserved or not.

We limit the size of our courses, often to the consternation of some who do not get in. At the close of registration we usually have to turn away several dozens of applicants. 10 to 20 years ago we did not turn away so many folks and the courses were even larger. We also do our best to offer each Basic Student an experienced mentor to meet and work with them through the course. The mentor may also take them on climbs. Through such mentoring we try to give the course a personal feel.

I personally know a large number of our climb leaders. In my experience, they are polite and respectful of other climbing parties -- and ready to come to their aid if needed. If you have an experience that is otherwise, please let me know, personally, with dates, locations and names, and I will look into it. We will welcome constructive feedback on current encounters, as they happen, not from the distant past, to make sure that the experience remains a positive one for all. We will learn from your constructive feedback.

For those interested in our events, course schedules or climbs that have been scheduled, please check our climbing website at

http://www.mountaineers.org/climbing/

Thank you for reading this.

Best regards,

Steve FirebaughSeattle Climbing Committee ChairThe Mountaineers

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welcome steve......

you have entered a realm where a5 seems mellow and long runouts(ons) are common place...this is a feeding ground for the cubicly enchained.....

we are a mottly crew....

well except for me i am the nicest person ever!!!!

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Anyone who complains about mountaineers cluttering up their crag are climbing in the wrong place. I wouldn't climb anywhere the mtneers would and they wouldn't climb anywhere I would.

In my experience organized climbing groups like the mtneers do more bullshitting about climbing than actually climbing. They sit around talking about their bylaws and meeting minutes and shit instead of doing anything productive.

But if they don't bother me, I don't bother them. So I don't really care what they do. tongue.gif" border="0

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From the "Aid and Big Wall" course description on the http://www.mountaineers.org/climbing/ link:

"Lectures, held at the clubhouse, will generally involve topics from assigned readings, presentations of supplemental information, explanation and discussion of the upcoming field trip, short quizzes on the reading material and the opportunity to discuss student concerns and questions."

Wow, dejavu!. Sounds like something I experienced in high school biology...(except for the clubhouse part). A quiz on how to climb big walls. Now I've heard everything:"In 1957, Bill "Dolt" Feuhrer built a piece of big wall gear during the first ascent of the Nose on El Capitan that was to revolutionize the sport. Describe the construction and function of this wheeled equipment and it's application to big wall routes in the Cascades."

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quote:

Originally posted by ScottP:
Wow, dejavu!. Sounds like something I experienced in high school biology...

Scott,

I don't know about your high school biology class, but Miles Smart and other big wall climbers did not come to mine and share slides and advice and stories about aid climbing. Maybe you know something the students in our course don't, but they are glad to be there, and having a great time.

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SEF

I think what Scott is getting at is that the class spends too much time talking and not enough time doing; even on field trips. The only real way to learn is to do.

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I have nothing against Mtrs. Although I have had encounters that were less than pleasing I dont dwell on them or remember dates and times for any type of criticism. Nor do I care to waste the time to put in the info at the moment. A few of my comrades have had bad experiences as well..

Some of my partners have gained experience there and I think that is smart for them.

Tune into the boards this season for sure someone will elaborate on some sort of experience though.

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This is RURP:The Mountaineers guy said this:"We limit the size of our courses, often to the consternation of some who do not get in. At the close of registration we usually have to turn away several dozens of applicants.Ya. Maybe only 150 this year instead of 200. I have heard "instructors" (a.k.a. last year's Basic class graduates) brag about how many new students there are. And there is a big group with each of their chapters of which there are several.

"We also do our best to offer each Basic Student an experienced mentor to meet and work with them through the course. The mentor may also take them on climbs. Through such mentoring we try to give the course a personal feel.I have seen some of these "mentors". It is more like the near-sighted leading the blind.

By the way...I have seen Mountaineers come out of big yellow school buses. It was in Leavenworth several years ago in Icicle Canyon and/or the Pinnicles at Peshastin. I believe they were from Seattle as we asked one of them because we could not believe it. And I have also seen a dozen Mountaineers on The Tooth at one time. It was a genuine alpine circus with lots of yelling, confusion, slow leading, slow following, blocking of the route and it took them all day and caused problems for smaller groups in the vicinity.

RURP has spoken.

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Steve - it ain't you (the higher level Mtneers) that's the problem. Despite the fact there are numerous climbers in your group who share the same love for the mountains and honor the unwritten code out there, it's the masses of underlings with their students in tow that have given the organization their reputation. This reputation is born from encounters with trip leaders who have "I own this rock now" attitudes to, like RURP says, groups showing up in busses.

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I don't think that the all of the mountaineers suck, just the ones that I too have encountered with the "i own this (rock, crevasse, mountain)" attitude. There's not many basic course instructors that I would want to lead me up anything. One year in the mounties basic course could not have taught them enough to be "Alpine Instructors". I have way more respect for the RMI guys.

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quote:

Originally posted by rayborbon:
I will have to agree that Steve is kind of sticking himself out there. However it's as cool as Dan Larson is
grin.gif" border="0

Who else is so bold. Dan Larson Scot'teryx and SEF all homies
tongue.gif" border="0
?

Ray ........I Love You Man

[ 03-30-2002: Message edited by: Dan Larson ]

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Like Bro. Hikerwa says:I don't think that the all of the mountaineers suck, just the ones that I too have encountered..."Exactly!"There's not many basic course instructors that I would want to lead me up anything." Ditto, ditto, ditto, usw."One year in the mounties basic course could not have taught them enough to be "Alpine Instructors".It took me years of hard work and apprenticeship before I had the audacity to call myself "an instructor". "I have way more respect for the RMI guys."Maybe for a small handful of the older ones who stand apart from the standard arrogant monotone clones the RMI corporate culture seems to prefer and train. A nurse asks an old man in a rest home "what did you do with your life?"Old man: "I climbed Mt. Rainier 589 times!"Nurse: "Oh, how so very interesting. It's time for your enema and sponge bath."- Dwayner [big Drink] Hey nurse! You forgot the fiber shake and toast!

[ 03-29-2002: Message edited by: Dwayner ]

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Ray, your getting too mellow . Why just a couple months ago you would have really laid it on me.Further more... PLEASE don't put me and Scotty in the same post he REALLY CHAPS MY HIDE.Brown nosin' whiney #!!**# makes me wanna relapse [big Drink]

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I have this feeling cc.com will no longer be a recommended website for mtnrs beginner students, I can see Steve crossing us off with a big black marker page by page.

Oh, almost forgot, Dan you suck!

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The mountaineers publish some good books, that otherwise might not have been published. For example, guidebooks. I think that some of the membership fee goes to that.(or at least it should). mad.gif" border="0confused.gif" border="0

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i think we need to keep all the bullshit outta here.....ya do it again it might disappear....

go to spray he is trying to be nice and i am going to stop being nice...if you guys are not nice.....

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