Looking Back at the Spokane Mountaineers (1993 to 1998)

The 1993 summer outing was held in North Cascades National Park. The big conservation effort this year was organized by the author of this article, Chic Burge, to utilize the Climbing Committee to rig climbers to repel off the Dry Falls Observation Deck to clean up the cliffs below. 51 bags of trash were collected.

Club membership that year was 668.

The big news in climbing this year was the American Everest Expedition on the North Ridge with local climber Dave Gordon as a team member. On this expedition, Gordon and his climbing partner gave up their chance to summit Everest to save two Korean climbers near death within eye shot of the summit.

1995 was a sad year for local trekkers Jane Shelley and Don Hutchings. They were abducted in Kashmir, India, while on a trek. Jane and the other women were released, while the men on the trip were taken hostage and were never heard from again. Spokane Mountaineers held a candle-light vigil at Riverfront Park and kept Hutchings’ name in the news, hoping for any word on the men.

On the conservation front, 1995 was the year that Spokane County suggested the Conservations Futures tax initiative. A call to develop a plan for Mt. Spokane State Park also initiated a Mt. Spokane State Park Citizen Advisory Council to explore the needs and direction the park should go, and the club was intimately involved in the process. The 1995 summer outing was held in Banff National Park, and the club held its first annual picnic at Farragut State Park. Roster numbers this year dipped to 531.

In 1996, club member and Spokesman-Review Outdoors Editor Rich Landers won the National Audubon Society’s most prestigious honor, “The Annual Conservation Award.” The Spokane Mountaineers led by Lynn Smith with other groups started trail work on South Chilco Mt., which led to a better trail from the north and south.

In 1997 Rich Landers and the Spokane Mountaineers revised the “100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest” book, and members of Spokane Mountaineers climbed the steep and difficult North Face of Mt. Athabasca.

The summer outing in 1998 was held at Glacier National Park, where activities ranged from climbing to hiking and kayaking, and club member Teena Hathaway presented a slide show on her trip to Australia, which was sponsored in part by the club’s Adventure/Exploration Committee.

Learn more about the Spokane Mountaineers and become a member at spokanemountaineers.org.

Written by Chic Burge.

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