Renew your Membership for 2021! 

You can update your membership anytime!  Just log in to check your Membership expiration date and renew. You will be asked to sign the waiver.

https://washingtonalpineclub.org/renew-your-membership

You can continue to Support Guye Cabin by paying the Annual Cabin Fee too!

Don’t forget your membership dues and any other monetary donations are tax deductible!

To Our Cherished WAC Community-

We are not a diverse organization, bottom line. And although everyone may be trying to do their best; myself, the board, and our community must listen, educate ourselves, and take action to build a community where everyone feels welcome. We must listen with the intent to learn and to change, not in anticipation of our chance to speak. We need to hear from our members, especially those who are black, of color, queer, or LGBTQ+. Listen and let them share unapologetically, so that we can move forward in support of them. We will make mistakes, but we must try.

I have struggled in writing something from the position of ‘president’ as I was uncertain how to even respond personally and was nervous to be the voice of an organization. I am angry, confused, sad, and at times feel helpless. But my goal in all of this was to put genuine thought into my response as your President, a member, a representative of the board, and a representative of the organization. I am uncomfortable, I feel in over my head, and I don’t have the answers. But what I promise you is that I am going to try my best to address this in the most heartfelt way I can and listen to the responses.

The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are heartbreaking, but what is more heartbreaking are that they come as no surprise to a large part of our society, where discrimination, violence, and injustice are the daily norm. But many look on in disbelief, not wanting to admit this is still a reality. But it is our reality, we live in a country that has a history of systemic and institutionalized racism, abuse, and discrimination that is alive and well today.

We can’t wait any longer; being a small volunteer organization doesn’t give us an excuse to be silent, we need to step up and be on the right side of this.

We have a lot of hard work in front of us. So this is my commitment and the commitment of the WAC Board of Directors to start. Start addressing the shortcomings in our organization; we are guilty of not supporting every voice and a stronger commitment to diversity sooner. We acknowledge that we must do better to build up and to amplify the voices of those that are marginalized. This is our commitment to start educating not only ourselves as a board, but our instructors, students, and membership at large to organize and fight for an inclusive community. We ask each of you to join us.

We don’t have the answers, but we must start and we must start now. It is not an easy conversation and we will make mistakes, but we must continue to improve. We will feel uncomfortable, but we have to be OK with that during this process. We must remain open and receptive to all stories, experiences, and points of view. We need to recognize that white privilege does exist, and that just because you may not personally see something, does not mean it isn’t happening. We have to listen to each other, be willing to get called out and call each other out, but only together in solidarity with our collective efforts will we help change the narrative.

Remember, the WAC was founded to encourage the healthful enjoyment of the great outdoors, to preserve its natural beauty and to promote good fellowship among all lovers of nature. Let’s make sure that we uphold that mission.

Over the past few days there have been some comments on our Facebook page that we as a board do not endorse. It is a painful reminder that there is indeed racism in our community, this specific member has been blocked from further activity on the page and his comment deleted. Other comments have come from long standing members, and we are actively working with them to issue formal apologies. We must accept these apologies as a community. As long as a member is willing to admit fault, listen, and educate themselves we should not write them off. It serves as a reminder that we are all at different stages of our journey towards awareness of racism in ourselves and our community. We can all do better. I sincerely hope that as we go forward we do so with respect and a willingness to listen, not defend.

Sincerely,

Chelsea Sweetin
Washington Alpine Club President

*Please direct any questions, comments, ideas, or information to wacboard@googlegroups.com.

—————-

Resources & Action:

“Change starts at home by educating yourself on the history of racial violence and racist systems in our country. You can get started by choosing which voices to highlight and engage with. Sometimes a small shift in what we consume can make a big difference.” – Mountaineers Equity & Inclusion Committee

We realize that education is one piece of the puzzle. The board is starting our journey, please join us.

Our Immediate Action Items:

Continue board meetings and additional discussions through the summer (we typically take a hiatus).

Work with member, Katy L., who is kicking off a forum to start open club discussions. Please keep an eye out for information on participation.

In addition we have started to compile resources which we will leverage in our education process. This list will evolve and will be made available to the club in the form of a webpage in the coming weeks.

These are just some of the resources we are starting with, please add to the conversation by sending us what you are reading. We also want to note that we don’t necessarily endorse everything these links say, but they are voices that should be heard.

Here are a few ideas how you can take action now via The Access Fund (read their full statement here The Access Fund):

Additional Resources:

Unfortunately I have to reach out regarding the recent COVID-19 virus issues in our area. At the board meeting last night we discussed at length how this affects the club as a whole and our upcoming classes and activities. Our member’s health and safety is of paramount importance to the board so we are taking these decisions seriously and with the guidance of the Public Health – Seattle & King County recommendations that have been issued thus far. We will continue to closely monitor the updates issued by Public Health and communicate to you how they affect the club.

With that being said, we have decided to close the cabin for the next two weeks, effective immediately for all members. Nathan Hale will finish their day use of the cabin on Friday at lunch, and after that no one will be allowed to enter the cabin (day or night) until further notice. I will be coordinating with Mike Mahanay to ensure everything is taken care of that needs to be in order to properly shut down the facilities. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, however we must insist that the cabin remain closed. The board will meet again on March 16th to reassess the situation and any updated recommendations released by King County. At that time we will determine and communicate a course of action. In the meantime we will be monitoring the situation closely and if any necessary information presents itself we will communicate that out to the club immediately.

Unfortunately this also comes at a time when we are getting our basic climbing class off and running and trying to train a new crop of incoming instructors. As of right now we are meeting with the co-chairs to determine a course of action to try and keep the course running while also addressing health concerns and how we respond to the recommendations released by the health department, which are not conducive to the classroom scenario. More info will be distributed to students and instructors via Pat O’brien and the BCC Co-chairs as well as the instructor training weekend leads Mike Daly and Kelly Coons. Please keep an eye on your emails for updates.

If anyone is feeling sick please use common sense and stay home, wash your hands regularly, and keep an eye on the Public Health information.

https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/news/2020/March/4-covid-recommendations.aspx

I know everyone will have a varying comfort level and response to current events, and will have opinions on how we respond when it comes to the club. I ask for your patience as we navigate through this. We are doing our best to make decisions in line with the health department but primarily with the health and wellness of our members in mind. If you have any concerns or questions please feel free to reach out to me directly, I am happy to discuss any decisions further or put you in touch with the correct chair or lead for class or instructor information.

Thank you and stay healthy,

Chelsea Sweetin

WAC President

March 2nd 2021 @ 7:00PM

What if we looked at mental health the same way we look at physical health? Outdoor activities depend on both, and they impact both in varying degrees – whether we acknowledge it or not.

Our second Community Discussion will be led by WAC member and psychologist Trevor Davis. Trevor will be walking us through a short presentation on resiliency aspects of outdoor activities and community, as well as some of the known risk factors for things like stress injuries and mental health issues. Then together, we will explore the spectrum of benefits and risks related to outdoor sports and our mental health.

The presentation and following community discussion will cover questions such as: Why do we push ourselves, and when do we all need to stop pushing? Why do we sometimes disengage with things we typically love, and when is it OK to pull back versus push ourselves forward? We’d love to hear from you, our audience members, during this talk. Please come with your own stories and experiences that you’d like to share.

Guye Cabin is open for exclusive Isolation reservations (like Air b&b) this winter
Just check the Club calendar for open dates now through April. Lots of open weekdays!

Due to the pandemic we will not have unlimited Cabin access like in prior years.

If you have been to Guye Cabin in the winter before you have found a welcoming environment. A nice path to the Cabin, warm fires in the stoves, and the winter chill gone.  Archie, Dennis, myself, Elden, Rob, & Ralph have all spent a good part of their Friday to open Guye Cabin and get it going.

If you plan on going to Guye Cabin this winter-

We will continue exclusive use by reservation only (no day use cabin access, however the property and parking are open) as we have all summer and fall. It will be a much different experience than past winters. A real mountain lodge that you are responsible for.

With your reservation you will be responsible for completing the winter opening and closing process.

You must be prepared to make a path from your car to the Cabin (snowshoes might be needed)
Do the winter open of the Cabin – turn on the electric, turn on the water, get a fire going, shovel the snow off the stairs (front and back) and deck, and then close and clean/disinfect when you leave. This is some work and not to be taken lightly!

Guidance will be provided as needed for those unfamiliar with the winter process.

Winter fees-

With a lot fewer people staying at the Cabin we will have to charge more than the normal member/guest rates to cover the cost of utilities

$100 a night in addition to the normal member/guest fee $20/$25 per person

You can reserve Guye Cabin any day of the week. (a day is typically from noon to noon the next day) During the week, there is no snow plowing so you might have to park on the road.

Folks can use the Cabin property anytime for snow play but there will be no access to the Cabin.

Notes- Winter storms do come through sometimes dropping as much as several feet of snow. You must be prepared to dig your car out. There is also the possibility to lose power.

To see what dates are available for the winter-
Calendarhttps://washingtonalpineclub.org/current/calendar?month=feb&yr=2021
See a date you like that doesn’t have a name next to it? Email Mike M to confirm.
Pay onlinehttps://washingtonalpineclub.org/product/cabin-use-fees

Thank you
Mike Mahanay  Cabin Chair/Director
mikemahanay@gmail.com

Climbing Route Names and Inclusive Language

Virtual Event information

Tue, Jan 12th 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM PST

Climbing route names can rouse laughter, raise eyebrows, and they can inspire you to return to a project again and again. They can also alienate people from the sport, both new and veteran. Here and abroad, climbing route names are a source of controversy – especially over the last year. Some local climbs in Vantage, Index, and other crags in the PNW are up for debate.

This week we’d like to get together as a community to talk about offensive climbing route names. Do words matter? Why? What about the people who named routes? What other type of language does this remind you of? What is our role to make route names (and climbing) more inclusive?

If you have time, we encourage you to read Misogyny on the Rocks (https://rockandice.com/opinion/misogyny-on-the-rocks-the-tinder-p-dilemma/), and How One Climber is Calling Out Racism in the Outdoor Industry (https://crosscut.com/2020/07/how-one-climber-calling-out-racism-outdoor-industry) ahead of our discussion. Both articles shine light on specific examples of how climbing route names have affected and created a divide within their communities.

Leading this discussion are three WAC climbers and volunteers: Amanda Helfer, Katie Sieverman, and Rachel Davidson. Join us and bring your own impressions, stories, observations, and ideas to share with the community.

Next Wednesday we’ll be hosting our first virtual event of 2021.

Wednesday Jan 6th 7pm – 9pm

Matt Schonwald of BC Adventure Guides will be joining us for the evening to talk about his new book “Backcountry Skiing Olympic National Park” & to lead a workshop on the Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES).

In addition to learning about a new zone, this will be a workshop on the ATES system which was developed by Parks Canada to help backcountry users assess the severity of the terrain encountered in a given trip. It’s being used more and more in the US and is a super practical way to turn an avalanche forecast into a safe travel plan for the day. We’ll do a number of exercises to apply ATES principles on the terrain in local zones (likely Snoqualmie Pass).

The curriculum is relevant and practical for winter recreationalists of all experience levels, from those venturing into the backcountry for their first year to those who have done AIARE 2+.

Join us for an evening with Ming Poon, a decorated photographer, videographer and adventurer based out of North Lake Tahoe, California. In 2018 he received Powder Magazine’s prestigious Photo of the Year award, and in 2019, he won the renowned Whistler Blackcomb Deep Winter Photo Challenge. You might recognize his name as a regular contributor to TGR, Powder, Backcountry Magazine and Vermont Life Magazine. He’s also a regular participant on Cody Townsend’s Fifty Project.

Ming often travels long and far in the backcountry to get his shots. His job calls for assessing safety while traveling in remote locations. Join us for a beautiful evening as Ming shares recent work, gives advice on when/how to get the best shots and backcountry safety in his work.

Donations: POW: Protect our Winters (https://protectourwinters.org/donate/)

Join us for an evening with Betsy Robblee and Taldi Harrison two of our talented members who work on emerging federal regulatory and legislative issues that affect the outdoors. During this session they will discuss how their respective organizations advocate for recreationalists, and the background and importance of recreating responsibly during the pandemic. The session will be an hour followed by a Q&A session.

Betsy Robblee (WAC Basic 2017) is the Conservation and Advocacy Director at the Mountaineers. As the Conservation and Advocacy Director, Betsy leads The Mountaineers conservation and advocacy programming, including driving partnerships, executing advocacy campaigns and communications, and supporting fundraising efforts that result in long-term outcomes to protect public lands and the outdoor experience. Betsy joined The Mountaineers with ten years of experience in policy, advocacy, and community engagement experience. She previously served as the Policy and Outreach Manager at the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, where she led advocacy campaigns in support of funding for conservation and recreation projects in Washington state. Earlier in her career, she spent six years in Washington, DC as a legislative aide to Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Rick Larsen. Betsy is also President of the Big Tent Outdoor Recreation Coalition, an organization that raises awareness of the outdoor recreation sector in Washington State.

Taldi Harrison (WAC Basic 2017, Backcountry 2017) is the Government & Community Affairs Manager at REI. Taldi oversees REI Co-op’s federal government affairs and policy related philanthropy. Her work focuses on fostering collaborative partnerships with national non-profits and decision-makers at the federal level to ensure access to and infrastructure for inspiring outdoor recreation opportunities. Taldi serves on the Board of Directors for the Eastrail Partners, The Conservation Alliance, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Technical Advisory Committee and the 1Trillion Tree’s US Stakeholder Council. She has an MS in biology and enjoys hiking, mountain biking, climbing, camping, mountaineering, and skiing.

Join us for an evening with two of our talented members who connect closely with the outdoors for work and pleasure.

Amber Casali (WAC Basic Class 2014) is the author of Hiking Washington’s Fire Lookouts, published by Mountaineers Books in 2018. She will take us on a virtual hike to learn about fire lookout history and what went into researching the 44 lookouts included in the book.

Kevin Fujii (WAC Basic Class 2012), is a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist and photo editor. He is a four-time Olympic Games photographer and covered other high-profile sporting events including the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, Final Four and NCAA Bowl Championship Games. He will speak about the challenges of shooting an outdoor adventure and a few stories from his photo career.

This event will be moderated by Jen Louie. Following Amber and Kevin’s presentations we will host a Q&A session.

Are you getting excited for ski season? We are too! In preparation for the POW, we have an awesome opportunity for you to get your body ready and help prevent those potential injuries. This event will be presented by two experienced physical therapists, Grant Hennington (https://www.salmonbaypt.com/grant-hennington, WAC BCC ’16) and Mandie Majerus (US Ski Team PT, https://www.lakewashingtonpt.com/mandie-majerus). They will show you how to evaluate, prepare and condition your body for the ski season.

In this session, Grant and Mandie will demo exercises and introduce their multi-week exercise program for you to lead up to ski season. They will also share new research for ski preparation and be happy to answer any questions.

When attending this session you will need an open space to follow some of the exercises they will demo.

Register for this event at https://www.stream.club/e/skiprep .

These unprecedented times call for a new way of WAC-ing!

As you may know the Backcountry and Basic Climbing classes for the 2021 year have been canceled and though we are saddened by the loss of opportunity to engage with folks through fresh skills, we have decided to invest our time and energy into our current members. That’s you!

All Co-chairs across all WAC classes are working together for the first time in WAC history to provide club-wide events constructed to engage with all members virtually during COVID. If you are interested in continuing to learn and socialize with us in this new way, outside of the traditional WAC classes, please subscribe to our Events Mailing List to be notified of upcoming events. All WAC members are encouraged to join regardless of past class and volunteer experience.

As a sneak peak, our first two virtual events are launching this month! Check ’em out:

Interview with Wonderland Gear Exchange Co-Founder Ben Mawhinney

Tuesday November 10th at 7pm

Join us  for a “How I Built This” style interview with Ben Mawhinney, the co-founder of Wonderland Gear Exchange and WAC BCC Graduate of 2017. Wonderland Gear Exchange is a consignment shop for outdoor recreation equipment that opened in the fall of 2018 in Seattle. During this interview we will hear about successes and failures, the importance of a circular economy, and so much more! Click HERE for more information and to register for this free event.

Improve Your Ski Performance and Reduce Injuries

Tuesday November 17 @ 7pm

In preparation for the POW, we have an awesome opportunity for you to get your body ready and help prevent those potential injuries. Physical Therapists, Grant Hennington (WAC BCC ’16) and Mandie Majerus (US Ski Team PT) will show you how to evaluate, prepare and condition your body for the ski season. As part of this event, you will receive the opportunity to join their multi-week exercise program for you to lead up to ski season. Click HERE for more information and to register for this free event.

If you have been craving WAC interactions as much as myself, it may be in your best interest to bookmark our events page so you don’t miss out on any upcoming opportunities.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to  wac-all-cochairs@googlegroups.com

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