Hero Climbers

The other morning I went to the American Alpine Club website, as I often do, to search for entries about a particular topic — in this case the Revelation Mountains in Alaska — through the American Alpine Journal. Before I got to that I clicked on the new Guide to Membership page about the booklets that are on their way to members’ mailboxes now. I was surprised and flattered to see myself on page five alongside Jim Davidson, Emily Harrington and several other reputable AAC members — all climbers I admire.

A couple days later, I received notes from a few fellow AAC members that saw me in the other mailing that arrived this week, which is soliciting contributions to the AAC and its Henry S. Hall, Jr. American Alpine Club Library. I appreciated the messages!

I have to admit, I think it is really neat to be part of these publications to promote the AAC. The neatest part isn’t even being labeled a member — there are far, far more accomplished and interesting climbers than me. Rather, it’s a thrill to be among theses other AAC members, like Bayard Russel, Mike Libecki, Abbey Smith, Jason McDonald, Conor Smyth, Chris Serenari, and Chris Kendzierski in addition to Jim and Emily. I probably sound like a groupie.

I write this blog because I am a fan of other climbers. The mountains are made more interesting because of what you accomplish there and the stories you come back to tell. So to be alongside these climbers and associated with the other members of the AAC, well, the honor is all mine!

On another subject, I just started reading Freedom Climbers by Bernadette McDonald for myself, at long last. I’ll also be catching up on Alpinist 38 and I just got the latest issue of Climbing  in the mail. A new mountaineering book collectors group that I recently joined just started meeting this past week too. Lot’s going on and I’m sure there will be more to share about climbing, mountain literature and finding escapes from the mundane parts of Peaklessburg.

If you enjoyed this brief update, please consider following the Suburban Mountaineer on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll cover a lot more about human accomplishment in the mountains later and share other information on the social networking sites. Happy reading and carpe climb ’em!

The New Guidebook Finder and the AAC Library Team

Hi, everybody! Back in July, our friends at the American Alpine Club asked me to preview their Guidebook Finder before it went public. Well I geeked out, tried it out and told them what I thought. Then they came back to me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I could do a guest post on Inclined, their blog. (Click here to check it out.)

The AAC Guidebook Finder is the latest search engine tool for the American Alpine Club Henry S. Hall, Jr. Library. It’s like a card catalog through a map. Go to your destination and click for the guidebooks for that area. It’s brilliant!

However, I feel a little guilty. Really. If my big idea in the guest post is implemented it will mean a lot more work for the library staff.

Let me tell you about the folks that made the Guidebook Finder the fantastic tool it is: First off, it was made possible by funding from Yvon Chouinard’s own Patagonia, which seems to contribute to a lot of things near and dear to me. Next, the whole library team, lead by Beth Heller with Alex Depta, managed the feedback and processed the requests. (Book checkouts have increased substantially since the Guidebook Finder was launched!) I also have to mention the person that brought the technical knowledge to connect the Library’s database with Google Maps. It was tedious work, but it wasn’t too mundane for Hale Melnick, who was an AAC intern at the time. He’s presently fighting another good battle with our other friends at the Access Fund.

So this should go without saying, but the library needs your help. The programs are funded through a variety of means, primarily membership dues and financial contributions. I made a modest contribution to the Library a short while ago, and I hope you will too. Giving says that you value the collections, the time the staff takes to find your books, log them in and out, pack them up, mailing them and being available to help with your research questions. Even if you have a good climbing library at home, nothing beats the holdings and the knowledgeable staff at the AAC Library. Also, the gifts are tax deductible.

Beth, I’ll write you guys another check soon — as an apology.

On a totally different topic, I’m happy to report that my training routine is becoming a habit! I’ve heard that if you keep something going consistently for over 21 days that it’s easier to keep going much longer. If that’s true I should be on my way of working out through the year, including running in a 10K this spring and participate in that wacky Stowe Derby — the cross country ski race — next winter. I’m sure Mount Mansfield will have snow next year… Right?

Well, thanks for dropping by once again. If you enjoyed this post, please consider following the Suburban Mountaineer on Facebook or Twitter. Happy reading and carpe climb ’em!