Mountaineers' News

 July 2003 Volume 8, Issue 7

In This Issue

The President's Approach
Board Changes
July Board Report
Calendar of Events


The Cascades Mountaineers seek to provide opportunities for comradeship, mountaineering safety education, mountain travel and shared climbing adventures in the Cascades and beyond.

Officers 2003

President, Tom Merrow
Vice President, Matt Gadow
Secretary, Kara Mickaelson
Treasure, Ann Williams

Directors 2003

Liz Coleman
Matt Gadow
Tom Herron
Allen Light
Tom Merrow
Kara Mickaelson
Sheila Pyott
Rick Treleaven
Ann Williams

The President's Approach

The Scott Backes presentation on June 10th was terrific. Scott brought some great slides and his talk was one of the most thoughtful that I've heard--his messages about mentors and partners were inspiring and the story of his 60-hour alpine ascent of the Czech Direct route on McKinley was awesome.

This show also was a fun mountaineering community event. We had good attendance by club members and guests. We also had great participation by sponsors with interesting booths and lots of door prizes. Bend is lucky to have such great stores in the local area--without their generous support this show would not have happened.

This was the first paid speaker presentation the club has hosted. I believe it was successful in that everyone I've heard from was happy with Scott’s presentation and, thankfully, the club managed to break even financially. We certainly learned a great deal about the logistics and costs involved in putting on this kind of event!

Brent McGregor and John Krog did a fantastic job and deserve thanks from all of us for planning and coordinating the show. I also want to thank the many volunteers who helped with the booths, ticket sales, raffle, etc. on the evening of the show.

I expect that the club will have other paid speaker events in the future--probably when we've had a chance to forget just how much effort this one took. I welcome any feedback on Scott's show and look forward to building on its success in the future.

Meanwhile, the summer climbing season is at hand and both club and personal outings are being scheduled. Hopefully we'll all find the enjoyment in the mountains that Scott talked about so well--with each of us dialing in the level of adventure that we are happy with.

See you outside!

Tom Merrow

Quote of The Month

"My climbing has always been about transcendence, love, and understanding the universe and myself. If someone climbs strictly for the ego satisfaction of collecting summits then they are involved in a completely different activity."   -- Scott Backes

 Visit us on-line at for club news and meeting announcements.

Board Changes

Two of our board members, Jill Kellogg and Rick Bestwick, recently moved to Corvallis. While they hope to visit the Central Oregon area frequently, they decided to resign from the Cascades Mountaineers board. They will be missed tremendously. Jill served as President in 2002 and as Secretary this year as well as being our newsletter editor. Rick co-chaired the Outings committee and worked behind the scenes on many board projects. We thank them for all their wonderful contributions to the club.

The board, as specified in the by-laws, appointed two new board members. Kara Mickaelson and Rick Treleaven will fill the remaining six months of the vacated positions. Kara agreed to serve as the Secretary. Rick will join the Outings committee and help Allen Light with our ambitious outings program for 2003. We also have identified a club member to take on the newsletter editor position starting next month.

July Board Report

The board met on June 30th and ratified the board membership changes noted above. Attendees included Tom Merrow, Liz Coleman, Sheila Pyott, Allen Light, Matt Gadow, Kara Mickaelson, Rick Treleaven plus guests Brent McGregor and John Krog.

We discussed the Scott Backes show in some detail. Preliminary analysis indicates financial results were approximately break-even but we didn't have the Treasurer's data so we weren't able to determine exact results. We had five new members sign up at the show, sold five T-shirts, and had attendance of about 130 people. Feedback from speaker, audience members, and sponsors was 99% positive. Thank you notes will be sent to the speaker and sponsors. We talked about ways to improve the process should we do a similar show and identified potential benefits from a longer lead time to arrange the venue and advertising, avoiding early June (a busy time for events around Bend), getting an ongoing event insurance policy, having more volunteers help with planning, and touching base with sponsors just prior to the event. Brent and John were recognized by the board for the enormous effort they put in producing this wonderful show.

The board also talked about how much sponsors contribute to this club with their participation at our programs and their support for our club discount program. We will offer them a chance to submit appropriate material (e.g., equipment reviews, class announcements, special offers) for the newsletter.

Have you changed your address, phone or email? Please let us know so we can keep our records current and get you the lastest club info on time. You can email us at or write to Membership Committee, Cascades Mountaineers, 16 NW Kansas, Bend OR 97701.

Calendar of Events

Next meeting and program:

Wednesday, July 9, 2003 at 7pm, Central Oregon Environmental Center

"Ordinary Climb on an Extra Ordinary Route"
"Top 10 Things on Big Walling You Need to Know"

Calvin Landrus began climbing by taking the Climbing School through the Spokane Mountaineers in 1978. Although he has climbed a few mountains and done some ice climbing, he has focused on rock climbing. He has climbed at most of the major climbing areas on the West Coast. His favorite area is Yosemite Valley. Here he has climbed most of the classic, moderate routes. His Yosemite big wall adventures began with the South Face of Washington’s Column and include ascents of the Regular Route on Half Dome, the North Buttress and Direct North Buttress on Middle Cathedral and the West Face on El Captain. In the fall of 2002, he accomplished a long time goal of climbing El Cap via The Nose Route. Calvin will be sharing his slides from the Nose Route ascent called an “Ordinary Climb on an Extra Ordinary Route.” Also, he will describe big wall climbing in general in his “Top 10 Things on Big Walling You Need to Know.”

Petzl Presentation Petzl representative Chip Miller will explain how Petzl tests their products for safety and how to use some of Petzl's line of climbing gear. This will be a ten to fifteen minute talk prior to Calvin's show.

Upcoming Outings:

July 12, 2003 Mount Thielsen Summit Attempt

Contact: Liz Coleman, 419-4197 or

Outing Description: From Jeff Smoot’s “Climbing the Cascades Volcanoes”, “Mount Thielsen is known as ‘The Lightning Rod of the Cascades’ because its summit horn stands so high and is struck by lightning seemingly more often than the summit of any other Cascade peak…. The fulgurites (lightning-caused deposits) found on the summit are of interest to rock collectors and geologists.” From the summit we will be able to see the Sisters to the north and Crater Lake to the south. The first 3 miles of the climb are on a forest-covered slope till we intersect the Pacific Crest Trail and climb the last half mile or so on a fairly exposed ridge to “Chicken Ledge”, the beginning of the class 3 or 4 pitch to the summit. We will set up a fixed line and use prussics on this last pitch.

July 13, 2003 Smith Rock Climb: Super Slab

Contact: Liz Coleman, 419-4197 or

Outing Description: From Alan Watt’s, “Climber’s Guide to Smith Rock”: “Many feel this charming climb is the best route of the grade at Smith. Super Slab blends excellent rock, good protection and aesthetic moves into a memorable line.” There are 3 pitches, with the second basically a traverse from the first to the third. We will have two- or three-person rope teams, depending on the number of participants.

July 24, 2003 Crack Climbing at Smith Rock State Park

Contact: Calvin Landrus, 385-6735 or

Outing Description: The basalt columns of "The Gorge" offer a wonderful place to learn the basics of and/or improve your crack climbing. We will be working the cracks on the shady side of canyon. Come out and get on the safety of a top rope and crank on a crack! Because of the long days, we will have several hours to enjoy the rock.

August 2, 2003 Mt. Washington Summit Attempt

Contact: Tom Herron or Liz Coleman, 419-4197 or

Outing Description: The approach to the Mt. Washington pinnacle will take us south on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT). From the Road 500 junction we’ll follow the broad and nearly level PCT for about three miles to near a climbers' trail that goes uphill to the east. The climbers' trail is usually marked by a cairn and is just after a large rock on the left side of the trail. If you reach Coldwater Spring, the only potential water source on this section of the PCT, you have missed the climbers' trail and hiked about 10 minutes too far. It is approximately another two miles to the summit pinnacle. We’ll be climbing the North Ridge on the summit pinnacle, which is rated 5.1.

The climb description: As you approach the summit pinnacle, stay on top of the ridge as long as possible. Skirt several towers to the west until you reach the north wall of the summit pinnacle. Move up a short loose gully to a notch just below the northeast side of the mountain. Pitch 1: Move right (west) 30 feet and scramble up to a fractured ramp. (Some consider there to be two ramps ... take the second.) Climb the ramp up and left 35 feet to the base of a rotten chimney. (Start of chimney seems slightly overhung.) Climb the chimney and move left, then up, to a ledge with a large block. The block usually contains one or more rappel slings for the descent. Pitches 2 & 3: About 250 feet of scrambling leads to a second chimney. From the top of the chimney, scramble 100 feet to the summit. Rock shoes are not absolutely necessary for this route as the climbing is moderate.

The Descent: The only recommended route off the summit pinnacle is down the North Ridge. Descend northeast toward Black Butte, a prominent, rounded cinder cone in Central Oregon. After about 100 feet, cut west to a short 10-foot chimney. Continue down easy rock and scree about 250 feet to a large boulder with rappel slings. If you don’t mind down climbing easy rock, use one rope to rappel. Take two ropes to reach all the way to the notch in the north ridge. Glissade or run scree (depending on the conditions) down the west side, and follow the climber’s trail to the PCT and back to our cars.

September 13 and 14, 2003 Monkey Face / Smith Rock Technical Climbing Outing

Contact: Matt Gadow, 382-6780 or

Outing Description: Over the past few years, many Cascades Mountaineers shared adventures climbing the technical climbs of Smith Rock State Park. This year’s outing will be another chance to polish your technical climbing skills on traditional, bolted and top-roped climbs. Saturday, Outing leaders will put up ropes on traditional routes from 5.6 to 5.9 near the Monkey Face, depending on the interests of the group. On Sunday, a leaders party will climb the West Face Variation, and Pioneer Aid pitch. This will allow the group to set up a traverse from the diving board to the Monkey’s neck-cave, allowing other participants to traverse into the neck cave, and climb the exposed, but bolted “Panic Point (5.7) or Monkey off My Back (5.8)” pitches onto the summit of the Monkey. A series of rappels will be set up to return participants back to the base of Monkey. Climbers should have some technical climbing experience, a harness, locking carabiner(s), and a belay device. Additional ropes and gear would be useful, and can be coordinated with the climb leader.

 Check out for additional outing information.

In The Community

The new Mountain Supply store in Sisters (192 Main Street) opened June 14th. It is celebrating its grand opening over the 4th of July weekend. Mountain Supply in Bend has been a valued supporter of Cascades Mountaineers for many years; check out the new store.

Program Sponsors

Thanks once again to the sponsors who contributed to make the Scott Backes show possible.

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors