by Mathew Brock, Mazamas Library & Historical Collections Manager
Ernie Goble on the approach to Mt. Hood, 1956.
Photo: Walter Goble.
Ernie began climbing in an era when notable achievements were rarely written about or recognized. While it is possible that he may be one of the youngest, or earliest, to complete all the 16 peaks, it is hard to say with certainty. He started climbing in the mid-1950s and took part in one of the first Mazama classes offered by the then newly created climbing committee. Over the years, as the classes developed and evolved, generations of new climbers like Ernie were introduced to the sport and taught the skills needed to become successful mountaineers.
By 1975, interest in engaging Mazama youth reached a new high. As part of the Boy Scouts of America’s Explorer Scouts program, the Mazamas established Explorer Post #901. The nationwide program aimed to get youth outdoors by teaching them skills in mountaineering, as well as water and winter activities. The Explorer Scout committee organized lectures on the philosophy of climbing, suitable outdoor clothing, and proper nutrition. Rope, snow, and rock skill building classes were offered to provide firsthand experience. In their first year, the Post climbed Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, and Mount St Helens.
Sahale Flanagan and Margaret Redman at the 1988
Annual Banquet. Photo: Unknown.
Around the time of the Explorer Post’s low ebb, a young girl named Sahale Flanagan began her climbing career. Sahale climbed Mt. Hood in 1986 at the age of eight, accompanied by her parents Lath and Mary Jane Flanagan. She became a Mazama in 1987 at age nine. She earned the Guardian Peaks award in 1990, the Seven Oregon Peaks award in 1994, and the 16 Peaks in 1998 at the age of 20. She often climbed with her father and served as an assistant leader on three of their ascents together. The climb report for their three-day climb of Mt. Shasta notes that Sahale acted as climb leader on summit day and did a “great job leading the six other climbers to the summit.”
Ernie Goble on the summit to Mt. Stuart, 1960.
Photo: Walter Goble
The year before Sahale achieved her 16 peak goal, another young climber was just getting started. Quentin Carter climbed Old Snowy, his first mountain, when he was just four years old. Quentin’s father, Matthew Carter, got him started hiking early, at age two, and camping overnight by age four. By the time Quentin turned eight, he’d climbed Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mount St. Helens, earning him the Guardian Peaks award in 2003. His three summit attempts on Mt. Jefferson rate as some of his most memorable climbs. Bad weather and an accidental fall involving the climb leader turned back their first two attempts. Quentin finally summited in 2008, his third attempt in three years.
|The Families Mountaineering 101 program at Horsethief|
Butte in 2015.
|Quentin on his first climb in the Goat Rocks.|
|Quentin Carter on the summit of South Sister in 2004.|
|Quentin Carter on the summit of Mt. Shuksan in 2014.|