Training Part I: Cross Training for Alpine Climbing

Descending Luna Peak.
Photo: Eugene Lewins
by Eugene Lewins

Planning a great season of climbs next year? Why cross-train? After all, cross-training is not intuitively better for maximizing sport performance. The best way to get ready to win the Tour de France, for example, may not be running or lifting weights but ... to ride your bike more!

But climbs are not really one activity, like rowing or bike-riding, with a very specific set of muscles and movement skills. To be an all around alpine climber, you have to be something of an all around athlete. Take this northwest classic for example—Luna Peak. On the edge of the Northern Picketts, the 8,000-foot summit gives views into arguably the most remote country in the lower 48. But accessing that takes more than humping a pack along the ten miles of Big Beaver Trail. From the end of the trail, crossing the fast-flowing river on a partially-submerged log requires balance skills. Heading up the bushwhack Access Creek, climbing over downed old-growth trunks and pushing through bands of slide alder, takes upper body strength. And if, like us, you end up running from a stinging bee swarm, your sprint power will be put to the test.

All of which is before the actual alpine climb itself—with it’s own challenges of cardio pumping gullies, steep heather slopes demanding ankle-flexing traverses, and mind-body steadiness on the rock scramble finish.
Okay, so widening my movement skills and power resources would be good. So where to start?
One place is to take an honest evaluation of what you like and do well at now. Do you go down to the gym and push weights? Do you put on a day pack and hike up the fire lanes in Forest Park? Do you swim to take a break from wearing rain gear?

A simplistic approach might divide training into cardio, core-work, arm/leg strength, flexibility or balance. Note what you are focusing on now, and choose an activity that is complementary, not just different. For example, if you are really into bouldering now, a strength intensive activity, perhaps pumping iron isn’t going to be that much of a cross-train. Instead choose something that is more about cardio, such as hill walking. Or, if you are into hill walking now, maybe this winter is the time to dare trying a Pilates mat class to boost core strength. And if you feel balanced between cardio and strength, have you been too busy up to now to accept your friend’s invitation to their favorite mind-body balancing flow Tai Chi class at the Rec Center?
A word of caution. Don’t assume that you can simply add another activity to your existing schedule, especially if it is filling what was previously a rest day. As you start something new, listen to messages from your body if you are sore or fatigued. Overloading, particularly while you are learning new
alignment, could cause injury. This is why the off-season—yes, that is NOW, when you won’t have to ramp down your conditioning right before a climb—is a great time to start cross-training.

This is the first in a series of posts. Upcoming post: Goal Setting, Reducing Injuries, Specific cross-training exercises for climbers.


Video of the Month - December

Steve Heikkila, Mazama Climb Leader, 2012-2013 ICS coordinator, and occasional comedian, talks about his popular website, jive-assanchors.com. See why this website has gained quite a following here:


Portland Alpine Fest - 2013

Conrad Anker presenting
at the Portland Alpine Fest.
(Photo: Andrew Holman)
 The Portland Alpine Festival provided the Mazamas and the community with a one week celebration of mountains and mountain culture. What does that mean exactly? 

Over a six day period there were multiple events to showcase the mountains, climbers, climbing culture, as well as to teach climbing techniques. There were movies, clinics, slideshows, and more ... something for every mountain enthusiast in our midst.

The week kicked off with the Veterans Day event on Monday night with a showing of the movie High Ground, a 2012 documentary film. Attendee Derek Schroeder had this to say about the movie: “What’s moving about the film though is not just the journey to climb an imposing and beautiful peak in the Himalayas, it’s about the transformation the soldiers go through together and their bravery involved in healing each other’s scars. Like the military lifestyle, mountaineering creates a bond of trust stronger than most. They both have a unique capability to test a soldier’s true worth. While war tends to break men, mountains heal. Veterans to tell their stories in their own words, and face their emotional and mental scars of war.”

Tuesday night had a bit of a lighter atmosphere with the new Mazama Families group coming together­ for a fun evening at the MMC. There was climbing, games, food, to be had and enjoyed by the group.
Wednesday night offered up a stunning presentation of first ascents in Alaska by Mazama member John Frieh and Daniel Harro. Talk about celebrating mountains­—one couldn’t help but get excited about climbing after watching their slideshow and hearing about their experiences.

Margo Talbot instructing a clinic
at the Mazama Mountaineering Center.
Once we headed in to Thursday it was non-stop excitement. On Thursday morning there were climbing  clinics running at the MMC while concurrently an outfitter guide workshop was held at the Left Bank Annex. Margo Talbot and Will Gadd were teaching folks how to swing tools while Adam Baylor and Lee Davis, along with the US Forest Service, were heading up the workshop to help those in the outdoor industry streamline the permitting process.

The Khumbu Climbing Center Dinner on Thursday night proved to be a successful fundraising dinner with more than $6,000 raised for the Center that provides world class climbing instruction for Nepali climbers and high altitude porters. The evening provided an exquisite meal to attendees, along with a program that included Conrad Anker, Jenny Anker-Lowe, Isabel Suppé, and  Will Gadd.

Friday morning got underway with more clinics while preparation began in earnest for Friday evening. Friday night was the penultimate event of the festival. Held at the Left Bank Annex, Mazamas and community members alike were treated to a high quality program by Margo Talbot and Conrad Anker, a silent auction filled with an incredible amount of gear, books, magazines, and gift certificates from local business, along with a vendor fair, and the presentation of the Mazama service awards. It was a full house and a good time was had by all.

Todd Eddie
(Photo: Andrew Holman)
The Portland Alpine Fest came to a close on Saturday when the Portland Rock Gym hosted the 5th annual Portland Ice Fest. Many Mazama members were in attendance, and four of our members took podium positions in the competition!

1st Place—Phil King
2nd Place—Todd Eddie
Amory Cervarich
(Photo: Andrew Holman)
3rd Place—Tim Stabio

1st Place—Amory Cervarich
2nd Place—Katie Mills
3rd Place—Heather Campbell

Mark your calendars for next year - Nov. 3 - 9, 2014. It'll be bigger and better than ever.


Craggin' Classic at Smith Rock

by Adam Baylor, photos by Alicia Imbody

The annual Craggin’ Classic at Smith Rock State Park took place on October 12th and 13th with support from the Mazamas and its dedicated volunteers.

The event is hosted by the American Alpine Club and consists of climbing clinics, a 10-hour Crush Fest competition, Burma Road Viking Run, Mazama-sponsored breakfast, dinner at Terrebonne Depot, an outdoor showing of the Reel Rock 8 film, vendor village and a stewardship project.

The Mazama-sponsored breakfast on Sunday was made possible by two dedicated volunteers in particular, Alicia Imbody and Claire Zandoli. The two Mazama volunteers cooked breakfast for more than 50 hungry climbers as well as trail workers for the event’s stewardship project. The breakfast is included of the Craggin’ Classic ticket price.

In addition to sponsoring breakfast, the Mazamas donated $500 to Smith Rock State Park for materials
needed to complete repairs along the Homestead Trail. More than 20 trail workers supported the stewardship project under the leadership of Trail Keepers of Oregon’s trail crew leader, Curtis Smith.
Mazama member, Chris Valencia, participated in the stewardship project and discussed helping to organize another day of trail work next spring. So if you missed out on the AAC’s Craggin’ Classic’s 2013 and its stewardship event, stay tuned for future opportunities to give some love back to Smith Rock.



An alpine adventure on a Mediterranean island? 

Ever since seeing the GR20 listed as one of the "classic walks of the world", long-term Mazamas climb leader Donna Vandall was intrigued by the idea, and this high-elevation trail along the spine of Corsica never left the back of her mind. Then it showed up on the list of Mazamas Outings for 2014. Knowing that she could share this scenic and challenging journey with like-minded adventurers, Donna immediately signed up with her partner. 

Returning from a trip this year to Chamonix and Provence, trip leader Eugene Lewins can't wait to get back out there in 2014 with Donna and other Mazamas to continue bringing together outdoor adventure and cultural immersion.

If you are interested in the handful of slots still open, check out the detailed itinerary here, and then head to the Mazamas outing web site here to apply.


We're looking for enthusiastic volunteers to deliver the monthly print Bulletin to a list of local shops.  The time commitment would be for one half a day, once a month, between the first and fourth of each month.  Help us get our Bulletin into the hands of prospective Mazamas members!  If you're interested, email mazama.bulletin@mazamas.org.


The deadline for Mazamas' most advanced alpine training course has been extended to September 13.

For a full description of the course and registration materials, please follow this link.


Do you want to improve the quality of the pictures you take while on a Mazama trip? Interested in taking off the training wheels and opening up the semi-automatic and manual modes on your camera? This skill builder will give you the tools to use your camera more often and more efficiently, with a mountain-centered focus. Topics will include: camera gear management, lens selection/philosophy, low-light photography, strategies for optimal settings, composition techniques, random tips and tricks, raw workflow, and post processing using Adobe Lightroom.

Lecture: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Mazama Mountaineering Center
Field Session: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 on Mt. Hood (with an optional, informal night photography meetup at 9 p.m.)
Taught by: Andrew Holman
Cost: $41 members, $52 non members

For details and to register, please follow this link.


Mazamas Membership Services will be processing dues starting in mid September and we are looking for extra office volunteers to help between then and the end of October. A long-term commitment is not necessary: if you could work one or more 3-4 hour shifts, call Jamie at the Mazamas office or email her at Jamie@mazamas.org.  Thanks!


Publications Committee Asks You to Think Ahead for Next Year’s Annual! 

We're already in the planning stage for the 2013 Annual. We would love to hear about your adventures this winter, spring, summer and fall, especially any climbing-related stories you would like to share with fellow Mazamas.

We will help you edit any submissions you make. Please submit materials to mazama.annual@mazamas.org.

We'’d also like to encourage you to submit high-resolution photos of climbing, hiking or backpacking, even if they are not attached to an article. We would like to print a number of stand-alone photos from members in upcoming Annuals and we especially need vertically-oriented (portrait mode) pictures. Photos must be 300 dpi. Please give your photographs a descriptive file name and submit with a photo caption and credit. You can submit your photos to the email address above.


  • All reports are due Oct. 15: committee, outings (except fall), administrative 
  • Feature articles are due Nov. 15 
  • Photos are due Nov. 15 
  • Climbs and hikes (spreadsheets) are due by Dec. 15 

Many thanks!­
—Mazama Publications Committee.


Road to Cloud Cap
A section of Lolo Pass Road (RD18) will be closed until 9/2 for repair damage done from the 2011 flood. You can take a detour on RD 1828 (Muddy Fork Road). 

Cloud Cap Road is now closed due to standing-dead hazards from the Gnarl Ridge fire. For details about this closure, you can follow this link.


Another video from Andrew Holman.  Andrew says:
My second video using the outstanding RAW video functionality enabled by Magic Lantern. This one contains some assorted footage from a Memorial Day climbing trip to City of Rocks National Reserve in Southern Idaho.
Music: Bag Raiders - Shooting Stars 
Locations: Elephant Rock, Morning Glory Spire, Flaming Rock

WANTED: Your adventure video for "Mazamas Video of the Month!" 

Every month, the Mazama Blog features a "Mazamas Video of the Month," And we want to showcase YOUR video! The intent is for Mazamas members to share their mountain experiences with friends and fellow Mazamas. We want to view your trips, trips that remind us of trips we have done or dream of doing, and we certainly don't need a reckless Red Bull adrenaline-fueled video. The aim is to celebrate the Mazamas lifestyle. Please submit your videos to: mazamasonline@gmail.com

COUNCIL ELECTIONS - Monday, October 7, 2013

The Mazama Annual Election will be held this year on Monday Oct. 7, 2013.

The Mazama Executive Council is a nine member “Board of Directors” for the organization. Three members are elected to three year terms annually on the first Monday in October.

The six Executive Council nominees for the term beginning October 2013 are:

  • Larry Beck 
  • Heather Campbell 
  • Kate Evans 
  • Walter Keutel 
  • Amy Mendenhall 
  • John Rettig 

All members will receive a printed ballot and Voter Guide in the mail the first week of September, 2013. You can also view the Mazamas Voter Guide online as a pdf file.

The Mazama Executive Council has, among other duties, three obligations to fulfill: 1) To efficiently govern and manage the organization’s activities to responsibly meet our mission. 2) To maintain the highest standards of fiscal integrity and accountability. 3) To ensure stewardship of funds which are granted to outside organizations and individuals.



The video of the month for July is from Mazamas ICS 2011 coordinator Darrell Weston -- it's how to escape the belay!  Look for more ICS instructional videos in coming months . . .

Every month, the Mazamas features a "Mazamas Video of the Month".
And we want to showcase YOUR video!
The intent is for Mazamas members to share their mountain experiences with friends and fellow Mazamas. We want to view your trips, trips that remind us of trips we have done or dream of doing, and we certainly don't need a reckless Red Bull adrenaline-fueled video.

Please submit your videos to: mazamasonline@gmail.com



This class covers intermediate level alpine snow climbing skills (the level of skill taught in the Mazamas ICS program), including proper crampon and ice axe technique for high angle snow conditions, roped team travel and negotiating glacial terrain, protection techniques, including running belays, fixed line travel, belayed pitch climbing, and snow anchor building. Two evening lectures are followed by two days in the field on either the Eliot Glacier, the White River Glacier, or the Ried Glacier on Mt. Hood. 

For details and to register for the course, please follow this link.



Do you know any boulderers who would like to learn about sport climbing?

Let them know about Sport Climbing Essentials - a new Mazamas Mini-Course designed especially for people who boulder at V2 or better.

Topics covered: 

  • What gear to buy 
  • Safety techniques 
  • Knots 
  • Proper communication 
  • Toprope belaying and climbing 
  • Following a sport route 
  • Cleaning and converting sport anchors to rappels 
  • Safe rappelling 
  • Techniques for lead climbing 
  • Lead belay practice 
  • Lead climbing practice 
  • Lead belay/climb and falling clinic at Source Climbing Center 


Classes run Monday, Wednesday, Friday, July 22 - August 2; 6:30 - 9 p.m.
Course ends with a field session - sport climb at French’s Dome Sunday, August 4

Mazama Mountaineering Center 527 SE 43rd Ave, Portland OR 97215 503-227-2345
email: adventure@mazamas.org


$125 Mazama members $150 nonmembers

To register, follow this link.



Do you have any opinions about the handling of travel between Mt. Hood and the Portland metro area? We thought you did!

The Mt Hood Multimodal Transportation Plan (MHMTP) partners have created an online survey. The purpose of this survey is to gather information about concerns and preferences related to transportation safety and transportation alternatives for those traveling to or across Mt. Hood. The result of the MHMTP will be a list of prioritized, affordable projects to be implemented along the Mt. Hood corridor.

Take the three-page online survey.

Read more from ODOT.



It's the exciting, excellent, extraordinary extension of the Mazamas Basic Climbing Education Program (BCEP).  Like BCEP, e-BCEP is designed to prepare those with little to no outdoor rock or snow experience for mountaineering.

The course covers the needed skills for Mazamas “A” or “B” level climb:
  • Roped outdoor rock climbing (as a second) including: basic climbing knots, belaying skills, team communication, climbing and rappel techniques. 
  • Snow techniques including snow travel, glissading, ice axe arrest, roped glacier travel and expectations for an alpine climb.
  • Gear selection
  • How to pack efficiently
  • Nutrition 
  • Map & compass navigation
  • Weather assessment 
Field sessions are held in both alpine and rock terrain. Sessions may include overnight camping and "alpine" starts (that is, very early). The class will be conducted on exposed terrain and/or climbing routes as conditions and skills warrant.

The tentative schedule for this nine-week course begins June 19.

The tuition fee covers the course fee and graduation certificate, as well as one Mazamas climb application:
$335 for Mazamas Members
$395 for Non-Mazamas Members

You can register for e-BCEP and find lots more details --including a complete course schedule-- by following this link.

WANTED: Your Adventure Video for Mazamas Video of the Month!

Every month, the Mazamas features a "Mazamas Video of the Month".
And we want to showcase YOUR video!
The intent is for Mazamas members to share their mountain experiences with friends and fellow Mazamas. We want to view your trips, trips that remind us of trips we have done or dream of doing, and we certainly don't need a reckless Red Bull adrenaline-fueled video.

The aim is to celebrate the Mazamas lifestyle. Please submit your videos to: mazamasonline@gmail.com



A Kickstarter Project
In June of this year, nine mountaineers will attempt to become the first all-African-American expedition to climb Denali (a.k.a. Mount McKinley) in Alaska.

As NOLS' Bruce Palmer has said, "This expedition is more than simply making history. It is an effort to build an outdoor legacy for people of color, particularly African-Americans."
Our purpose in creating this documentary film is to tell the amazing story of Expedition Denali, but in order to do that we need your help.

By 2019, some estimates predict that minority children will become the majority in the U.S. These kids will become the leaders of this country and the world, and a staggering majority of them don't feel the outdoors is a place for them.

For more information and to back the project, follow this link to the Kickstarter page.



IT'S NEW! IT'S EXCITING! IT'S MOUNTAINEER TOSSING! And BCEP Team (22) Badger Hunters invented it! Just one of the shenanigans you might get up to in Mazamas' Basic Climbing Education Program.

Submitted by Doug Brumfield Assistant Leader, Team 22


The Kinder Path
Photo: Katy Walters
By Eugene Lewins and Jamie Anderson

Does it really matter if you go for a hike today?

On the 24th of April, 1932, a group of English working men went for a hike and changed the history of public access in Britain. As the Selma Bus Boycott is celebrated in the American civil rights narrative, so the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass is looked back on in Britain. Risking their own safety, they went up against forces barring access to what had for many centuries been public land.



This is not an alpine butterfly!
Memorizing and carefully practicing your climbing knots is so 2012.  Why bother with all that extra effort when generations of knot tying expertise from around the world can be stored on your smartphone, waiting to unfold in full-color 3-D animations?  Of course, we're joking!  You still need to practice and memorize your knots, but now you can learn new knots anywhere with these handy apps for iPhone and Andriod.    


You may think of Bozeman, Montana as a mecca for winter sports enthusiasts, and rightly so. But if Kris Zigich and Evan Mathews have their way, the prime rock climbing of south central Montana is about to become a not-so-well-kept secret. Under the masthead of Cruxin' Productions, Zigich and Mathews have issued a feature-length film highlighting the superb variety of climbing (and climbers) to be found in Gallatin Canyon, Natural Bridge, Chestnut Mountain, Allenspur, and Bear Canyon -- all a short drive from the thriving mini-opolis of Bozeman.  This summer, instead of queuing up for the shady lines at Leavenworth and Smith, it might be time to head for the Big Sky Country.





Hey hikers, for those of you on the east side, join Mazamas hike leader Meg Linza on her Wednesday evening Mt. Tabor walks, leaving from the Mazamas Mountaineering Center promptly at 6pm. Bring layers, good walking shoes, water, friends and good cheer! No sign up necessary, cost is $2 for the under 55-ers, $1 for those 55 and better.

What: Mount Tabor Wednesday Rambles
When: Each Wednesday starting 6pm
Where: Mazamas Mountaineering Center, 527 SE 43rd Ave, Portland OR 97215



Mazamas Climb Card
That's right!  April 15 is the earliest day you can apply for a Mazamas climb.

Good news for 2013!  Starting this year, you can order your climb cards online.  Just follow this link.

Climb cards postmarked before April 15 won't be considered.  The earlier you send out your applications (after the 15th, that is) the better your chances of getting on a climb, so now's the time to get your hands on some blank climb cards.

In case you're new to the Mazamas climb application process, or just need a refresher, here's a small collection of links to help you out.

Getting Started With Mazamas Climbing - Complete Info for Newbies!



2012 Spring Thing Trail Work
Are you a Smith Rock user?  Maybe this year it's time for you to give something back to this local rock climbing jewel by participating in the 2013 Spring Thing, a one-day chance for all friends of Smith Rock to join with park rangers for improvement projects all around the park.

Last year's Spring Thing volunteers completed the retaining walls at the base of Cinnamon Slab, built new steps to the Dihedrals, constructed 100 new steps on Misery Ridge and did cruicial trail work at Monkey Face, Spiderman’s Buttress, Front Side, Phoenix Buttress and Aggro Gully.  Pretty impressive, right?

The 2013 Spring Thing will be held on May 11th. Register at 8am and end your day at 5pm with a dinner, auction, and raffle. "Parking passes, breakfast snacks, water, sunscreen, work gloves, tools and supplies and dinner are provided for all volunteers."

If you can't come on the 11th to do the hard labor, you can still help out by donating cash, materials, tools, or items for the auction.

For details please follow this link.


The mighty Hörst men
In February, Smith Rock's iconic Scarface (5.14a) was climbed by a 13-year-old.  First put up in 1988 by Scott Franklin, and the first 5.14 ever established by an American, Scarface is the third 5.14 climbed by Drew Ruana.  You can watch a video of Drew sending Scarface here.

In March, 10-year-old Jonathan Hörst climbed a 5.14a in Red River Gorge, KY.  Jonathan, son of the famed trainer Eric Hörst, climbed God's Own Stone.  Jonathan is not the first 10-year-old to climb God's Own Stone, but he may be the first 10-year-old boy.  Last year, Brooke Raboutou also climbed this route, as did Jonathan's older brother Cameron Hörst, who climbed it at the ripe old age of 11.

Earlier this month Kai Lightner, age 13, climbed a series of 5.14 routes in the Red.  Follow this link to see a video of Kai sending Southern Smoke.



The Mazamas Blog celebrates the extraordinary climbing and hiking videos being made these days by club members. If you or a Mazama you know have a video you'd like to share, submit a link to the video, along with a short description, to mazamasonline@gmail.com. Each month, we will feature one video as Video of the Month.

This month's winner is Andrew Holman's outstanding piece entitled "Climb and Shoot."


On October 29 of last year, we reported on a new Forest Service plan to log a two thousand acre section of the ZigZag National Forest.  The "Horseshoe Sale" was directly adjacent to a number of highly valued trails and important recreation sites, including the Frenches Dome climbing area.

Forest Service watchdog group BARK recently announced that the Horseshoe Sale has been withdrawn.  According to Alex Brown, BARK's executive director, the sale "was withdrawn faster than any sale in Mt. Hood's history -- a testament to the disconnect between the Forest Service's timber program and the public's expectations for our forests."

You can view the original article by following this link.



According to a recent press release from the Washington State Department of Transportation, the North Cascades Highway is expected to be open around the first of May. The clearing project will begin on March 25 -- about the same time it began last year -- but unusually low snowpack in the area means the project will be completed more quickly. In 2012 the road was opened May 10.

 From the press release:
Snow depths at the summit of Washington Pass measured about 5 feet compared to 7.5 feet last year, while snow was 5.5 feet deep at Rainy Pass compared to 8 feet last year. Snow piles in the Liberty Bell avalanche zone ranged from 25 to almost 40 feet compared to 35 to nearly 60 feet in 2012.
You can learn more details about this year's snow study, as well as a few statistics from previous winters, by visiting the press release at this link.



[From: June 2012 Mazama Bulletin]

By Ray Sheldon

It seems that nothing is new in the Mazamas. We usually find out that an idea is already a part our history. So I’ll open this story on “Classic Climbs” by saying, the first I heard of an age-oriented climb designation was when Hal Nichols led an “Old Timers” climb of Middle Sister on July 6, 1996. His over-55 leadership continued and in 1997 he led a group up Broken Top. Stan Enevoldsen was the assistant on both of those climbs.



White River Glacier
In 2012, supported by funding from a Mazamas research grant, PSU geologist Hassan Basagic visited numerous mountains in the Pacific Northwest in order to duplicate glacier photographs originally recorded early in the 20th century. He is now compiling those images for his Glacier Repeat Photography Database, a website which "seeks to summarize the existing glacier repeat photographic record throughout the American West."

Mr. Basagic's first set of images are taken from the glaciers of Mount Hood.

Walking in the footsteps of renowned American geophysicist H.F. Reid and W.A. Langille, Basagic repositioned his camera precisely in the "photographic stations" used by these scientists over 110 years ago. The result is a juxtaposition of images representing a century of glacier retreat with unique clarity and precision.

"Read more" below for a collection of Mr. Basagic's images and commentary.  Click images to enlarge.  All photos courtesy Hassan Basagic.



The Mazamas Library is currently making space in its archives for expanding its outstanding collection of mountaineering, hiking, climbing and adventure books.  We are clearing out some unneeded volumes, many of which contain outstanding photography and historical value.  If you are interested in collecting books of this type, please follow this link to the Ebay sale page. 



The video quality is terrible but the climbing is superb as Maxim Tomilov wins the men's final at Rabenstien, Italy.  Click "mute" and enjoy!

Maxim Tomilov's Climb at the ICWC in Rabenstein, Italy from Aaron Montgomery on Vimeo.



The Bureau of Land Management, with the help of the Outdoor Alliance and Mazamas in Portland, organized a public workshop on February 5, 2013 to collect data about outdoor recreation throughout Western Oregon. Bringing together an overwhelming crowd of more than 200 people, the event gathered much-needed information to aid the BLM's Resource Management Planning (RMP) by actually mapping the role, value, importance and demand for outdoor recreation.

The workshop was the final event in a series of four held throughout Oregon. The data collected will be used to make decisions about management on 2.5 million acres of existing and future recreation areas in Western Oregon as well as the demand for the development of new opportunities for the next twenty years. The OA and Mazamas were honored to be part of a federal government initiative to let the voices of the recreation community be heard. The BLM's RMP workshops were innovative in reaching out to recreationalists before the writing of plans and should be applied throughout the U.S.



Mazama Angela Bohlke just volunteered in a project that placed cameras in the forest to search for the American Marten on the Olympic Penninsula. The project, organized by Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, was featured on a recent OPB Earthfix program.

You can watch the segment here.

Learn more about Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, including lots of other cool volunteer opportunities, by visiting this link.



Mt. Shasta
This winter, Seattle-based photography and climbing hero Steph Abegg has been collaborating with John Scurlock, the Northwest's icon of aerial mountain photography.

Together, the two have made some very impressive alpine photography flights this month.  You can continue reading this post to see a small selection of Steph's images, or you can visit Steph's blog (links below) to find some truly extraordinary collections that include both images and video.  All photos courtesy Steph Abegg.

January 19 tour of the Cascade Volcanoes! Current conditions on Rainier, Adams, Hood, Jefferson, Three Sisters, Crater Lake, Shasta, Lassen, St. Helens, and more...

January 3: The North Cascades, featuring Jack, Ballard, Azurite, Golden Horn, Tower, Logan, Goode, Buckner, Booker, Hurry-up, Johannesburg, Snowqueen, Chaval, Higgins, Whitehorse, Three Fingers, Sloan, Pugh, White Chuck

New Year's Day: West Rim of the North Cascades, with North Twin, South Twin, Three Fingers, Baring, Chimney Rock, Overcoat


According to a recent Scientific American article bisphenol S ("BPS"), the compound widely used to replace bisphenol A in "BPA-Free" water bottles, appears to present the same health risks as BPA.


Bolt next to a cam-friendly crack, Cerro Torre.
Photo: Rolando Garibotti
The UIAA (trans. International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation), an affiliation most famous for safety-rating climbing equipment, has issued a position paper against excessive bolting and favoring a re-assertion of "the case for adventure climbing." The paper asserts that in many climbing areas worldwide, current bolting practices now violate the ethic first championed by the UIAA in 1998 in its To Bolt or Not To Be paper.  Throughout this contoversy, the UIAA has called for respecting original methods of protection on older lines, and refraining from bolting new lines wherever natural or removable protection could be used instead.



Photo: alpinedave.com
Alpinist Magazine announced Sunday that Mazama member John Frieh has received a 2013 Mugs Stump Award for his second attempt on the unclimbed Middle Peak of Alaska's Saint Elias range.  This year, Frieh's team will include Colin Haley and Daniel Harro.

The Mugs Stump Award is a collaboration between Alpinist, Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., Mountain Gear, Patagonia, Inc. and W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., to support "small teams pursuing climbing objectives that exemplify light, fast and clean alpinism."  You will find a complete list of this year's winners at this link.



The Bureau of Land Management controls two and a half million acres of public land in western Oregon.

Right now, the BLM is preparing to revise its management plans for the area, and they invite you to weigh in with information about what you like to do on public lands, and where you like to do it. As the Outdoor Alliance puts it in a recent press release, "Instead of just commenting on a plan after it's written, this time we get to inform the BLM's thinking before they write the plan."

The BLM is providing a variety of ways for you to make your voice heard in the process.  Continue reading to get the details and a variety of web links to get you started.


The Mazama Blog celebrates the extraordinary climbing and hiking videos being made these days by club members.  If you or a Mazama you know have a video you'd like to share, submit a link to your video here along with a short description.  Each month, we will feature one video as Video of the Month.

To kick things off, check out this excellent photo compilation created by member Steve Hinkle of his recent Forbidden Peak climb.



Photo courtesy Whatcom Museum Photo Archives
The year was 1911 and Bellingham, Washington, was a sleepy little town in the shadow of Mount Baker, on the northern shores of Puget Sound. Logging and fishing were the economic mainstays but, as the leaders of the Mount Baker Club, a local business organization, saw it, the town needed something more.  Thus begins "The Toughest Race You've Ever Heard Of," a recent article in Trail Runner Magazine that tells the unlikely story of the Mount Baker Marathon: "America's first mountain adventure race."

The Mount Baker Marathon took place from 1911 to 1913, and constituted the city of Bellingham's most audacious public relations stunt in its competition for tourist dollars against the just-created Mount Rainier National Park.  It is the subject of a recent documentary, The Mountain Runners that is currently taking the film world by storm.

The Mountain Runners will be showing on January 24 at the Northwest Film Center in downtown Portland.  You can purchase tickets at their website.



Between Friday January 4 and Sunday January 20, Mazamas should expect a heavy accumulation of exclusive deals at Oregon Mountain Community.  You'll need a shovel for all the money you save -- show your proof of membership and get up to 35% off on a long list of discounted items and brands.  Read on for a complete list of discounts and details about the sale.



Sport lead climbing is on the short list for the 2020 Olympics. According to Climbing Magazine, the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) met in Switzerland with the International Olympic Committee Program Commission on December 19 to make its final pitch for inclusion.  Sport lead climbing is in competition with six other sports: baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, squash, wakeboarding, and wushu.  A decision on the matter is expected in September 2013.