Alaskan Alpine Club
Alaska Climbing Concepts 2
AAC (Alaskan Alpine Club) AAC (Alaska Alpine Club) AAC (American Alpine Club) and UIAA...
Let me wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes so I can write this one. Consider the raw anger these words cause egotistical organization leaders.
Consider the useful knowledge in this amusing example.
How and from where can mountain climbers learn the solutions to the mountaineering issue problems they discuss?
Knowledge and power are mutually exclusive concepts, and knowledge is infinitely more valuable. The people who parrot the fool's illusion that knowledge is power, are idiots. Power is power. Knowledge is knowledge. Given any problem, would you shoot your way to the solution, buy your way to the solution, vote your way to the solution, or think your way to the solution? Upon what are humans predicated? Which will achieve the sustainable solution?
If you want to get to the summit, would you bulldoze or bomb the summit down to you, or learn the knowledge necessary to overcome every obstacle to get to the summit and leave it where it is? Your answer is useful for other goals. The human mind acquires only knowledge, and you are of your mind.
Power cannot stand against knowledge. Power is completely dependent upon the ignorance of humans. With knowledge, you hold no need to stoop to the use of inherently self-defeating power. If you hold the same knowledge as the dolt who attempts to subjugate you under his power, he can only make a fool of himself with his efforts. With knowledge, you need wield no power to derive the benefits of working with others.
People wielding power must use every tactic to keep their followers ignorant, because power-dolts lack the knowledge to advance themselves and others beyond the stagnating use of institutional power. Power-dolts use guns, money, intimidation, majority rule, police-backed laws, threats of denials of this and that, and such mindless stuff. If you don't flatter and kowtow to the AmerAC leaders, they may deny your right to climb in Antarctica if you are so void of knowledge you believe rather than question the AmerAC claim that you must get their permission to climb in Antarctica, etcetera.
Wise people share their knowledge, either freely or in exchange for like value, to advance the knowledge of others so the wise may benefit from the more widespread use of wisdom. Will you live a better life among intelligent people, or stupid people? What is the difference, if not knowledge? How do you spread knowledge? Remember the latter question.
Power-dolts hide knowledge so they can keep others relatively ignorant and thus both suffer the detriments of more widespread ignorance.
If you require another person to get your permission to do what another human can inherently do without your permission, you have used your valuable time to stagnate yourself at such Neanderthal stupidity, when you could have used that time to advance your knowledge. Would you ask permission from such a stupid person, to thus define yourself?
So who wants mountain climbers to know what, in the mountaineering arena, and who does not, and why?
The Alaskan Alpine Club suggests that mountain climbers learn the knowledge that leaves them as free humans, no longer as ignorant dolts kowtowing under the notoriously abused power of the US National Park Service, the American Alpine Club and their ilk. Within this web site you may recognize some of the knowledge and reasoning-process we offer. You do not have to pay the climbing tax to climb Denali, or get a permit to guide climbers on that hill, or get American Alpine Club permission to climb in Antarctica, etcetera, because those scams are imposed under inferior laws contradicted by superior law. The scams are dependent upon your ignorance. You need only learn the process to place yourself under the protection of the superior law securing your rights above petty bureaucrats, their abusive police and titled organization leaders wielding fiefdoms of summary edict.
Did you think a Supreme Court judge would be so stupid as to allow his teenage son to be arrested for exercising his right of walking on public land without paying a tax for that right, and thus derive an arrest record, and allow his son to be so stupid as to be dependent upon his parent to intimidate the police to solve the problem? Did you think said judge would want to face the contradiction of telling his son that no tax can be charged for the exercise of a right, by logic and Supreme Court ruling, and then have to use intimidation instead of the law, to thus prove that the father was lying to his son and the public? Of course not. The judge merely taught his son what none of the environmentalist mountaineering organization leaders and tax paid Park Service thugs want mountain climbers to know.
As an amusing aside, the Park Service and AmerAC institutional efforts to keep climbers so ignorant they pay unnecessary taxes and fees to the Park Service and AmerAC, inherently create greater ignorance and stupidity among the AmerAC and Park Service personnel. They literally cannot discuss among themselves what you are reading, much to your laughter. Their minds fear knowledge, for an intriguing reason you can learn.
The Alaskan Alpine Club leaders want you to be more intelligent and capable than Alaskan Alpine Club leaders, so you can benefit us. To do that, we must give you the knowledge we know and have time to convey, and the sources to compare it with contradicting knowledge, so you can analyze the contradictions and thus learn yet more useful knowledge. We seek no power or decision over your decisions, because we derive no benefit from any power over you, and we don't have time to live your life for you. You are more capable for your decisions than any human in the world, especially more capable than power-dolts who attempt to force their decisions on you. It is knowledge alone that can benefit you, we and those poor sad power-dolts.
Consider also the UIAA leaders who must keep their members ignorant of such knowledge, to maintain the ego-based illusion of UIAA leadership power over climbers. UIAA leaders attempt to create an international funnel for distribution of mountaineering knowledge, and control the flow. They have always had a difficult time with that task because the member organizations are such an unruly lot, a few mountain climbers among them, but an analysis of UIAA leadership actions reveals their consistent efforts. UIAA serves fellow institutions of power, to maintain their own power, and avoids the distribution of independent knowledge which questions that power, as is the imperative of institutions. It has been more than once in the past that the Alaskan Alpine Club delegate to UIAA was ruled out of order during the annual General Assembly meetings, for daring to introduce knowledge that contradicted the otherwise unquestioned edicts of the AmerAC and UIAA leaders. Those chaps have no sense of humor when you question their power, yet notice that mountain climbers do. The mountains teach observant climbers that they have no power over mountains, nor need any.
Concurrently, the University of Alaska's alpine club leaders, environmentalists who have routinely supported Park Service attacks on climber rights, have kept their University members hilariously ignorant of the local climbing scene. When said members have stumbled onto the climbers, those members have expressed such typical comments about their leaders as: I knew something was wrong. Those University guys aren't climbers.
The demonstration of the University's so called alpine club of environmentalists claiming to represent"climbers", loathing for actual climbers is well displayed on their website, still as of February 2010. It was inherent that the local University of Alaska's environmentalist Alaska (no n) Alpine Club, logically linked at this web site from the day this website was created, would not link the Alaskan Alpine Club. They could not have their members exposed to the knowledge on this website. Organizational power, like government power, requires that organizational leaders keep their followers ignorant, easy to do among unquestioning people. Finally, after one of the periodic series of email exchanges among their members, their leaders were embarrassed into linking the real mountain climber's club in town, this website, in September 2005. But then they soon removed the link, probably after their Northern Environmental Center owner ordered them to do so.
To read the University of Alaska's alpine club website is to read a classic "1984" book example of government revisionist history. To those who know the real history of unique Fairbanks climbers, unique interior Alaska climbing, and the University "bird watcher's" alpine club, the sterilized government line of the University club's website it a comedy. If you believed George Bush's lies about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, Saddam's involvement with the World Trade Tower bombing, the safety of depleted uranium artillery, the harmlessness of Agent Orange dioxin, etceteras with no end damaging government lies, you are ripe for the University's environmentalist website whitewash of Fairbanks area climbing history.
Among many things, the writer of these words, a serious mountain climber, is also a genuine bird watcher, but unlike the University of Alaska's environmentalist alpine club that became an acknowledged bird watcher's club of people who went into the mountains, until local climbers took back the leadership a few years before this writer and other local climbers did the same later, after the environmentalists again seized the leadership, this writer recognizes that bird watcher's clubs credibly represent bird watching, and climber's clubs credibly represent climbers, with contrary claims representing dishonesty fooling only fools. Environmentalists cannot credibly or honestly represent climbers because they are not only different concepts, the environmentalists are the only group in the US that attacks the rights of climbers. Serious climbers are interested in climbing, by definition. The concept and cross section of other interests among climbers are impartial to bird watching, environmentalism, war toy manufacturing, lying politicians and whooptidoo technology. Well, maybe not lying politicians. Most serious climbers learn the stark realities (inescapable truths) of life from the lessons of the mountains, and therefore, unlike the environmentalists frolicking in their flowery fields in the sky, are not fooled by lying politicians, or lying Park Service rangers issuing costly citations to climbers while saying the rangers exist to "help the climbers".
The Alaskan Alpine Club is one of the two US members representing American climbers in UIAA, specifically representing Alaskans and the unique Alaska mountain climbing arena, with direct access to many international opportunities through UIAA and its member organizations, while the University of Alaska club of environmentalists, which claims to represent Alaska mountain climbers, cannot tolerate its members or website visitors knowing that Alaska is represented in UIAA, or that climbers have access to UIAA opportunities through an Alaskan organization. The University of Alaska, awash in government oil money and therefore awash with in corruption, has an extensive reputation of keeping its students laughably ignorant of the real world beyond "the government line."
Likewise, the American Alpine Club would not consider linking the Alaskan Alpine Club, equally fearful of their members encountering mountaineering truths. But we laughed at the conundrum of UIAA, to which the Alaskan Alpine Club pays dues as one of the two US members.
First our good friends at UIAA would not link the Alaskan Alpine Club, no doubt because they are angered by these mountain climbers who dare to express uncomfortable truths. Then after being anguished over that contradiction which we illuminated with some disconcerting questions, they linked the Alaskan Alpine Club, for awhile, perhaps until the AmerAC ordered them to delete the link. The Alaskan Alpine club link was deleted, much to our amusement. Power cannot exist in the face of knowledge. Power must hide knowledge. Who seeks to suggest that you mountain climbers must do as they say, and cannot tolerate any expression to the contrary? Then we again reminded UIAA of our amusement with their deleting our link while maintaining the AmerAC link while AmerAC refused to link UIAA. Perhaps upset that we were afforded that amusement, UIAA again linked the Alaskan Alpine Club in the latter part of November 2001.
Equally amusing within the same example is the old rivalry between the arrogant AmerAC leaders and the egotistical UIAA leaders. The examples are legion. The American Alpine Club leaders, on their high pedestal, have always looked down at the mere rabble of actual American mountain climbers, so noticeably that only a fraction of the US climbers, the more gullible ones and environmentalists, will join the arrogant environmentalist AmerAC. Among many such statements, at the UIAA annual members meeting in Santiago Chile one year, the AmerAC delegate to UIAA (Putnam) openly described American mountain climbers as "an ungrateful bunch" for not more extensively supporting the American Alpine Club, much to the noticeable snickering of other UIAA delegates. In contrast, despite the inflated ego of the European organization leaders, the European national climbing clubs attract huge numbers of members, leaving the AmerAC looking ludicrous as usual.
To defend against the obvious conclusion, with the only reaction they know, the AmerAC leaders have always looked down at UIAA leaders. The many examples of the antics and tactics are hilarious, illuminating the psychological vulnerability of people dependent upon illusions of power, and fearing knowledge. On its web site, the prestigious AmerAC, as of August 2002, did not even link what it considers to be the inconsequential UIAA. AmerAC historically ignored UIAA in discussions and publications, leaving it little known among American climbers. That explains why so few American climbers know UIAA exists, while UIAA is well known among other international climbers. AmerAC chaps cannot tolerate anyone who may appear to be on a higher organizational pedestal. Yet UIAA often kowtows to the AmerAC illusion that AmerAC is the exclusive US member of UIAA, among other such illusions, to prop up AmerAC's image among American climbers because the AmerAC represents power over climbers, identical to the fundamental incentive of UIAA leaders, and all power-based leaders.
Much to our amusement, for a reason illuminated in the below UIAA meeting report, the AmerAC begrudgingly linked UIAA on the AmerAC website in September 2002.
On the first uploading of the Alaskan Alpine Club website, it immediately linked each of those three organizations obviously related to Alaska mountaineering issues, and suggests you check out their sites, much to our amusement. While we enjoy illuminating the contradictions needlessly created by egotistical UIAA leaders, notice their genuine representation of of a few actual mountaineering concepts, albeit among those who ask no questions. In contrast, notice the AmerAC implication that mountain climbers are only environmentalists, while the environmentalists are the only source of the attacks on climber rights, to which actual climbers strongly object. The AmerAC cannot escape its internationally embarrassing low membership because it is controlled by and supports the only political entity, the environmentalists, attacking the rights of climbers. The environmentalist climbers are easily fooled. Serious or thinking climbers are not. Caught in the spiral, the more environmentalists the AmerAC attracts for members, the more climbers it angers. The environmentalists flock to the AmerAC. The politically more organized environmentalists will never surrender the American Alpine Club to the inherently independent-minded mountain climbers. Pity those chaps who cause their minds so much grief attempting to claim they represent opposing concepts.
The Alaskan Alpine Club leaders do not care if climbers find or do not find the Alaskan Alpine Club website, especially among those poor chaps sucked into self-contradicted organizations. Those climbers who do not ask their organization leaders enough questions to figure out what is wrong, are ideal members for those organizations, just as George Bush and Barak Obama are ideal leaders for dumb people who cannot recognize glaring lies. And real climbers are climbing, not wasting their time on a computer. Those climbers who belatedly discover they were kept ignorant and made fools of by their organization leaders, first hold those leaders in contempt, and then by any of several processes, thereafter summit on knowledge that those self-stagnated organization leaders will never attain their entire lives. Alaskan Alpine Club sorts, accustomed to the Alaska Range as the norm, were sufficiently tenacious to discover the knowledge that many climbers yet seek. Knowledge is worth more than all the members, money and power that all the mountaineering organization leaders in the world can scam. Is that not so?
Otzi The Iceman Award...
The ancient and traditional bestowing upon and awarding of awards by prestigious organizations, such as of course the Alaskan Alpine Club, to therefore prestigious persons therein so flattered, is steeped in the hollowed expression of mutual admiration of ourselves for the honor of institutionally deluding us into thinking we are something more than we are.
Clearly the organization awarding the award derives the greatest self-flattery by assuming such greatness as to be competent to judge the therefore lesser greatness of the award recipient among all those judged by the organization. Ya just gotta be damn great to know what greatness is among all the great.
Such awards are commonly named for the names of names who gave the so naming organization a lot of money or some other form of otherwise unrepayable benefit. Awards are additionally named after names of such great public admiration that the naming organization fabricates its greatness by associating with the great name borrowed for said mutual flattery.
It is therein and upon therefore such an ancient and traditional foundation of the prestigious Alaskan Alpine Club that the so referenced Alaskan Alpine Club occasionally awards the internationally acclaimed Otzi The Iceman Award. Hold your applause.
For those of you mere plebeians not well versed in the great traditions of mountaineering, or perhaps merely forgot, or didn't see that issue of the National Geographic, Otzi The Iceman was the great original mountain climber who, no less than five thousand years ago, before gortex jackets and chrome molly crampons, crossed the perilous and precipitous Alps somewhere there around Austria, Italy or one of those ever-changing countries what wasn't even there 5,000 years ago.
That is, he crossed half way. Well, back then the challenge of crossing the perilous Alps without chrome molly crampons, gortex or sufficient firearms to adequately defend oneself was a bit more than it is these days. Apparently there was a bit of a disagreement involved with this epic climb, perhaps with one or more of those armed National Park rangers who are historically notorious for their hatred of mountain climbers. We do know that Otzi The Iceman was an independent minded sort, quite like Alaska mountain climbers, who carried no government permit or registration approval to climb, and no records show that he applied for one. Attacked by said more heavily armed Park rangers, Otzi The Iceman was left at the pass to become the world's first great mountain climber 5,000 years later, while nobody, and I mean nobody remembers the dirt-bag National Park rangers, as usual. So Otzi The Iceman is the greatest most original mountain climber in the annals of mountain climbing. And least we forget, remember that he was the only known original designer of the bronze ice axe he carried, charting the way for modern mountain climbing tool innovation, technology and other accolades, blah, blah, etcetera.
As certain that Otzi The Iceman would approve of the famous Alaskan Alpine Club flattering the Alaskan Alpine Club by borrowing his great name, as we are of the recipients of the Otzi The Iceman Award likewise offering no objection, the Alaskan Alpine Club has on two occasions awarded the famous Otzi The Iceman Award to two famous Alaska mountain climbers. The rather officious ceremonies for awarding the award certificates were duly described in the records hereby. Unable to accommodate a large gathering at the presentation facility, the Alaskan Alpine Club ordained the official toast to Otzi The Iceman And His Ilk. With that scant and inexpensive effort, everybody who ever presents that toast is authorized to say they therefore participated in the official award ceremonies of the awarding of the Otzi The Iceman awards.
The awardees to date are as follows:
John Waterman: John Waterman, the real one, not the book author who became a National Park ranger for the paid job of arresting mountain climbers who did not kowtow to National Park rangers, was awarded the Otzi The Iceman Award for being John Waterman. John was a Fairbanks Alaska mountaineering legend. Among other feats too many and too outrageous for the allotted memory of this website, John Waterman pulled off one of the most epic climbs in American mountaineering history, a 145 day solo traverse of Mt. Hunter in the Alaska Range. The route he did would blow your socks off. The pictures he took would blow those socks into the crevasses into which he somehow did not fall. The techniques he used would astonish even Otzi The Iceman. His climbing partners on other climbs described him as a genius in the mountains. Several psychologists and psychiatrists directly involved with one of the famous John Waterman stories, described him as a genius who just did not know how to normally communicate. One local climber who was arguing with John about certain climbing techniques, upon the sudden conclusion when John said, "Gotta go.", suddenly recognized by John's then departing statement that John was simply playing the other climber for the entertainment of the argument, much to the other climber's enjoyment. And the things he did on Hunter are the reason John Waterman was already famous among actual mountain climbers well before he got to Hunter. The John Waterman stories have no equal in the mountaineering annals. We are not all that sure John Waterman wasn't Otzi The Iceman. John later disappeared on a solo attempt of a new route on Denali, after discussing with a lawyer the ramifications of staging his own disappearance. You might get real suspicious of any climber who is awarded the John Waterman Award, in 5,000 years. (Added in 2009. We received verifiable proof that John was alive about 5 years ago, in San Francisco. JOHN, you are always welcome at the Alaskan Alpine Club HQ. Any identity. No questions asked.)
Chuck Comstock: Chuck Comstock, of Valdez Alaska, yet another of a unique breed, of whom there are countless stories routinely told, of which others were considered for the award, was awarded the Otzi The Iceman Award for his Alaska Mountain and Wilderness Classic Race epic solo short-cut route from Nebesna, up the glacier-clad flank of Mt. Blackburn, to the top of the Staircase Icefall, whereupon he parapented down the icefall to the glacier below, and continued to the race finish point at McCarthy. This was achieved not just once, but twice, count them, on 2 races in 2 years, despite the outrageous lessons learned the first year which would have turned any sane person back at the starting line that first year. The details would blow a parapent into the icefall, which, come to think of it, they did that first year, leaving the next launch point of a nature never before attempted by a surviving parapent pilot. Having reduced the weight of his pack for this multi-day race across trackless Alaska wilderness, by eliminating a sleeping bag and extra insulin, Chuck found himself wrapped in his parapent in a blinding blizzard high on the glacier that plunged through the coulior to create the icefall, overnight, until impatience inspired him to launch into the storm, among other things. Chuck's never-again-attempted short-cut route cut the normal race route distance in half. Both years Chuck finished the race amid a cheering crowd, dead last well after even the slow guys, shortly before the body recovery crew was about to set out. Nobody remembers who won the race those two years. But everyone remembers what Chuck did. Chuck later died from his remarkable lifestyle.
Andrew Embick: Andrew Embick of Valdez Alaska has earned the Otzi The Iceman Award in the year 2003, for that lifetime volume of absurdly dangerous exploits, survived, required to earn said award, the itemized listing of which Andrew would demand to accord full credit for his sometimes accurate perceptions of himself, without omission, and without technical errors. However, to earn the prestigious award he surrendered said accounting to other strong minded independent Alaskan mountain climbers of self-ascribed high stature who perceive that their own perceptions are as flawless as Andrew erroneously perceived his, which were for some reason not always in harmony between Andrew and other climbers of his ilk. It was considered that had Andrew been present at the time and place Otzi attempted his adventure in defiance of the armed establishment, in the midst of the raging storm on a perilous ridge in the Alps, Andrew, being a doctor type of attributes often in harmony with the remarkable adventure successes achieved against all the odds and rational thinking, would have most likely saved the life of Otzi, easily, but therefore inspired yet more rage in the minds of the establishment, and Otzi would have been awarded The Embick Ego Award. The Otzi The Iceman Award Committee carefully considered the great volume of Andrew's qualifying foolishness, some of which you can derive in his books, several of which exploits thrashed the perceived limits on current human endeavor, and other accounts found in his voluminous records about his rock climbing, ice climbing, whitewater kayaking and an array of such noble frivolity. After no definitive conclusion achieving even a vote of two, it was decided to award Andrew the Otzi The Iceman Award for Andrew's duck hunting in the Valdez Arm, innocent enough, where after another successful shot to garner sustenance for another culinary masterpiece at the family dinner table, certainly not unusual in the annals of duck hunting, Andrew then dove into the freezing waters of the Valdez Arm, suitably attired as was his technically polished style for adventure, and swam out to retrieve his duck in Otzi style. Of course one-upping that with the Embick style, at a subsequent Ducks Unlimited Auction, three "retrievers" were up for bid, they being a Labrador, a Golden, and for use on one hunt, a Rhodes retriever. Unlike the admirable but lesser skilled retrievers, the Rhodes offered to faithfully accompany four hunters in Prince William Sound, retrieve ducks in the aforementioned style, clean them, and prepare a gourmet multi-course meal for the hunters. And he did with eloquence. You are not a real duck hunter of the Otzi The Iceman standard if you do not swim after your ducks, in freezing water, and if you do, you are. Andrew recently departed for adventures beyond our current recognition, in definitive style.
Ya'll do not want to make an outrageous effort to be awarded the next Otzi The Iceman Award, on account of if you do, you might succeed.
Local Iceworm Recipe...
Big argument, big. To reveal the official Alaskan Alpine Club iceworm recipe, or keep it the sacred secret it has been since St. Otzi The Iceman chiseled it into the ice with his bronze ice axe as he lay dying on the glacier in the high Alps? That was easy to answer. We got half the club trying one route, and the other half trying the other route, and we're going to see which half achieves anything worth a damn with their process.
The Board is devising the international survey to be conducted in five years to determine how many climbers know about or do not know about the official Alaskan Alpine Club iceworm recipe, or who can come close with a guess, and the level of climbing experience held by each such person. The survey will not be altered between now and then. However, the description of the nature of the climbers representing each side will be presented by the faction in power on the Board at that time.
The web servant was assigned to reveal the official Alaskan Alpine Club iceworm recipe for the respective reveal-the-secret half of the Club.
Get a suitable volume of fresh iceworms. Always get your iceworms on ice. You might get them from the glacier, or an iceworm dealer, or a scientist who mixed the wrong otherwise genetically isolated iceworm populations in the laboratory, thus ruining a five year iceworm study, who therefore had a lot of extra iceworms, and didn't want to ever look at an iceworm again.
Lightly steam the iceworms. You will recognize the correct timing by the esthetics of the iceworms when the steaming starts. Serve them in a thin layer on any of those yuppie crackers, spread from out of the trailing edge of a thin spoon brushed over the cracker to leave the worms with the appearance of a brush stroke. If you are really good you can put a wave in the middle on even a small cracker. Ignore the worms hanging over the edge. They will usually cling to the cracker. Dip the cracker in melted butter freshly whipped with enough oil of jalapeno peppers to give the butter a slight green color and a fragile texture. Lightly dust the whipped butter with powdered ginger and cumin. Take the time to prepare each cracker carefully because you won't have enough iceworms to dollop them on with a tablespoon anyway. Complement the iceworm cracker hor-de-ourves with sushi, sweetened octopus tentacle tips, and martinis with glacier ice.
Any glacier for the ice will do, but you can't cheat on the glacier ice or no one will believe the ice worms. Talk about the origin and quality of the glacier ice in the martini, with great depth and sincerity, while you eat the first iceworm cracker. The other folks at the party will think you eat ice worms all the time, and attempt to duplicate the same attitude. Then you can tell the folks at the party that you had never eaten ice worms before.
That's the secret. The recipe includes all the ingredients. You can't ever try them and say you have never eaten them before. That is what has guarded the secret. This works out well because climbers can't remember that many ingredients, and the cost of iceworms is too high anyway.
Why real climbers do not join mountain climbing clubs...
This one is too good. It is just a more magnificent example of countless such organizational thrashings-about. If the UIAA officers had a sense of humor, like real climbers do, they would laugh. They won't laugh.
Like all organizations, UIAA is constantly reinventing its process, because like all organizations, that is all it really does. Humans do not need organizations to do what humans can do anyway, or no one in the organizations could do it anyway. And getting money is the organization's primary goal, of course, so it can do all those things it says it wants to do, for you climbers of course. Of course you UIAA member club climbers, such as we prestigious Alaskan Alpine Club members, pay for the international travel and other expenses of a few central officers attending banquets and having a grand old time. That is what they do for you climbers. Of course the club delegates have to pay all their own expenses including the extra charges to cover the expenses of those arranging for the expenses.
UIAA exists to figure out how to claim to represent the world's climbers, and get the most money. Real climbers are notoriously poor, and many small nations are likewise. But UIAA does not want to exclude any country just because they are too poor, or the world's climbers would ridicule UIAA as much as American climbers ridicule the American Alpine Club. The AmerAC is the glaring example UIAA folks have learned they never want to become.
So the UIAA dues structure is commonly being reinvented to give the leaders something to do at the annual meetings. The new Year 2002 UIAA membership fee structure would offer even the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a lesson in complexification and gooberization.
The member organization annual dues are now figured on the following formula: The Fee equals A plus I x (B x X squared plus C times X plus D), where A equals 1,100 Swiss Francs, the letter I refers to the Increase Factor which equals the number 1, B equals one of six numbers ranging from 0 to negative 0.0000004149310 on a chart relating to six groupings of X, X equals the number of individual members in the member club, C equals one of six numbers ranging from 0 to 3.265163 on said chart, and D equals one of the aforementioned six numbers ranging from negative 863.5 to positive 3861.5.
I kid you not.
The formula is printed on the 2002 UIAA dues notice mailed to each member club.
But that is not all. If a member is a member of a federation that is a member, they pay one third the aforementioned fee calculated by the aforementioned formula for their own number of members.
Do not stop there. If a member is in the same nation with another member, but not a member of the other member, they pay a fee calculated the same as the above but then minus the 1,100, unless that falls below the minimum 1,100 Swiss Francs.
It is a stroke of genius, albeit the most ancient ploy of tax collectors and lawyers. No one will do the math, even if they have a calculator that can handle a negative 14 digit number. They will just let the central office figure their tax, sort of like letting a lawyer verbally tell you what the indecipherable written law, written by lawyers, actually means according to that lawyer, perhaps on a bad hair day.
The supposed goal was to create a dues structure in which every club pays the same amount per member, but at least 1,100 Swiss Francs, or something like that which they could not do by assessing a Swiss Franc per head, but less under the aforementioned exceptions, and give the dues committee something to do.
And then when a few individual club treasurers see that formula, and have a little chit-chat with their delegate to UIAA, or when some of the delegates wake up at one of the UIAA meetings, that fiasco will be thrown into a crevasse and another new dues structure will be reinvented with many committee meetings during a few annual meetings.
That is only one ongoing example of the same process for all the other processes, and precisely why real mountain climbers do not join mountain climbing organizations. Real climbers are climbing mountains.
But you can still be a real climber and join the Alaskan Alpine Club, as explained under the membership requirements on The Club page of this website. Spend your dues money on climbing gear. We do not even give our members membership cards anymore. We brow-beat the money for UIAA dues out of some climbers who have more money than good sense, and we do not even thank them. They get their monies-worth out of the humor of it all. We might even charge them extra this year for the laughter they will get from the above referenced formula.
The 2002 Annual UIAA Meeting in Flagstaff Arizona, 1-6 October... (first, the pre-meeting report...)
This is for those who want to learn a bit about UIAA and the American Alpine Club, which you will not learn from UIAA and the AmerAC.
The prestigious American Alpine Club invitation for the prestigious annual UIAA meeting arrived at the prestigious Alaskan Alpine Club headquarters, 23 June, much to our amusement.
If you wish to recognize yet again why the world's mountain climbers, and everyone else, just shake their heads over the arrogance and stupidity of Americans, consider again our good friends in the American Alpine Club, and its handling of the annual UIAA meeting of 2002. If you are an American Alpine Club member, your leaders define you, by your choice, in your name on record, much to the commonly expressed derision of your ability to think.
You cannot accept the benefits of representation by another person or entity, without accepting the liabilities. Pity the American Alpine Club members who remain ignorant of their representation, while others laugh at them.
The annual UIAA General Assembly is held in a different place in the world each year. It was last in the US in 1979. This year the meeting will be held in the United States, at Flagstaff Arizona. Flagstaff is the home of the epitome of American arrogance and contempt for the world, a chap who appears to also be the functional owner of the AmerAC for international representation. He is an amusing fellow who once loudly told me to get down on my knees in public and beg his forgiveness for my having dared to suggest that the American Alpine Club is not the equivalent of a god, much to my amusement. No monuments are sufficient to represent his ego, or that of his AmerAC colleagues.
The annual UIAA meetings constitute the opportunity for the mountaineering leaders of the host country to impress the mountaineering leaders of many different nations. UIAA is just an ego thing for the leaders, like most mountaineering clubs. To climb mountains, the mountain climbers need only the mountains and their freedom, not any clubs. The host countries for the UIAA meetings compete to create the image of their nation's greater importance, graciousness, wisdom and attributes of mountaineering fellowship. The meetings are fun and enjoyable rituals. I have always been impressed with the graciousness and friendliness of the countries hosting the UIAA meetings. You meet the nicest people in the mountains, and a few of them go to the UIAA meetings, on occasions of convenience. The host countries have gone to great effort and expense to make their guests feel welcome.
So what would you expect of the Americans?
You guessed correctly. Arrogance and contempt for the world. If UIAA leaders ever schedule another annual meeting in the United States, they will again deserve every criticism of their ability to think.
How would you administer a group of mountaineers, many not among the wealthy class by American standards, arriving from diverse countries, for a meeting you are hosting? If travel from the airport to the hotel is not easy and served by existing mass transit systems, the host countries logically arrange for buses, vans or volunteers with cars to meet the arriving delegates at the airport, and take them to their hotels. The delegates, being mountain climbers, are usually not familiar with the airport or city of the meeting. To assist them is logical. It is also normal to arrange for buses to take the delegates to the different places in the city for the different events of the meeting.
The American Alpine Club states in its invitation: "We assume that all those attending this General Assembly will be renting a car at some point - most likely Phoenix - and will have their own transportation available through the meeting."
It is a two and a half hour drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff, and you are on your own for local transportation, regardless. Are those arrogant American climbers the most cheap-skate, inconsiderate hosts in the entire world, or what? Certainly all those rich mountain climbers from Russia, Guatemala, Moldavia, Argentina, Finland, Slovenia, Romania, Mongolia and such countries can afford to rent cars in the US. How many Rubles rents a car in the US? This example is right up there with the other classic American Alpine Club displays, and explains why even the vast majority of American climbers consider the rich American Alpine Club snoots to be lost in their money-lined cloud.
The American Alpine Club mind cannot think outside its American automobile cocoon. It does not recognize the world out there. Those boys are a result of the tinted glass. Mass transit is not an American phrase. Notice that the American Alpine Club boys politically dance to the tune of the rich American environmentalist leaders who support every government restriction and cost on all other climbers and everyone else, in the name of saving the environment, until it comes to any expense for the greedy American environmentalist leaders. Hypocrisy is the shorter expression for manifested dishonesty. The AmerAC boys suggest, without offered option, that you individually burn that Arab petroleum in rented cars on the American freeway, as a right of passage to meet in America, while the UIAA journal decries the melting of glaciers due to global warming, and preaches the need to save the environment. Their minds cannot make the connection, even with their own printed words. Power-damaged minds are the best comedy on the rock.
The guy who seems to make the decisions for AmerAC is associated by inherited wealth with the Lowell Observatory, an astronomy place near Flagstaff, and constantly lauds its greatness to borrow on that image. To hear him over time is to get the impression that the AmerAC is a section of the Lowell Observatory, or otherwise closely connected, which may be the case, calling into question the Lowell Observatory's integrity. A reception for the UIAA delegates will be held at the Lowell Observatory. A reception is designed to make visitors feel welcome. But notice the American Alpine Club style of a welcome...
So you arrive in an unfamiliar town in an unfamiliar country by expensive devices without assistance or inexpensive option, and what are you told in the American Alpine Club's printed invitation for the reception: "Call (the number) the moment you get to town to confirm your presence and body count - or you will NOT be welcome."
The capitalized emphasis on, NOT, is printed by the American Alpine Club. Only in America can a welcome reception be turned into that which the American Alpine Club and the Lowell Observatory have so bluntly defined. If you are not laughing at these arrogant Americans, you are missing the only show they are sufficiently intelligent to produce. They make even the French look humble and gracious. Do not wonder why Alaskans reference Americans by what Americans prove themselves to be.
These are the same AmerAC boys who support the National Park Service arresting, fining and imprisoning any climbers who dare to exercise their right to walk on public land without first calling the Park Service the moment you get in their town, filling out all the paperwork, getting permission and paying a tax to exercise that harmless right of walking on public land. No matter which way you turn, if you are a mountain climber, you are NOT welcome among those Americans and their alpine club, and you must be pretty desperate for friends to associate with them or visit their country.
There is greater humor. The AmerAC boys have arranged for a government panel discussion at the 2002 UIAA meeting, to formulate a national policy on access to mountains, for climbers. That trite old idiot-drill is more repetitious than UIAA repeatedly reformulating its dues structure for lack of any more substantive matters. If you do not know how many times the tax paid government land managers have pandered that public hearing process in the US, to waste the time of gullible people, you must be a foreigner and are about to be used as another cheap budget excuse by the AmerAC boys who routinely assist the Park Service in staging those meaningless idiot-drills. You can more wisely spend your time at a cheap strip joint.
It is 2002. Did you think the United States, the nation with more laws, lawyers, government money and bureaucratic restrictions on its people, than any other country, did not have a national policy on public access to public land? How gullible are UIAA members?
The panel consists of one person representing private land, and six government agents representing public land, including the Director for the Bureau of Oceans for the US State Department. I kid you not. Read that again. These AmerAC boys genuinely believe that human knowledge is predicated on who you know rather than what you know. They will go to a crony in the government Bureau of Oceans to dodge anyone who might know something about mountains for a meeting of mountain climbers. That invitation is being read by mountain climbers around the world, just shaking their head over the American Alpine Club again. Bureau of Oceans.
It gets better. The panel is purported to offer a discussion, for a primary concern of mountain climbers. What is a discussion? Besides the Oceans bureaucrat, four of the government boys are National Park Service drones, and one sort is from the Bureau of Land Management. Not one person on the panel represents mountain climbers, for a discussion about mountain climber access to mountains.
But of course, you say, the mountain climbers are in the audience, and can represent their part of the discussion from there. Imagine my laughter.
The AmerAC invitation states: "Direct questions from the floor will not be permitted; but may be submitted in writing through the moderator."
The hallmark of an unaccountable, dishonest government anywhere in the world at any time in history, and that of its obedient American Alpine Club and UIAA minions, is the censorship of public questions, to protect the inherently mental midget government agents from the public questions that expose government corruption and abusiveness. America, the land of censored questions.
A dishonest government and its cronies, fear, loathe and flee public questions, while the mind which seeks to advance its knowledge welcomes every question any human can devise.
To display America to international mountaineering leaders, as its primary show, the AmerAC selected a bunch of fundamentally dishonest government bureaucrats who are so intellectually lost that they must be protected from open questioning by the climbers.
The Washington DC government has severely criticized most governments in the world for not being accountable to their citizens, as the trite old Washington DC ploy to point the finger away from its own evasion of accountability to the people. Mental midgets work for corrupted governments, and then train themselves to become progressively more stupid by their mind never being challenged with uncensored questions. If you are never asked a challenging question, what will you learn?
Perhaps the AmerAC kids can blame the National Park Service fear of uncensored public questions on me, Doug Buchanan. Among the panelists is my dear and benevolent friend, Ralph Tingey, of the Park Service, another poor sad victim of believing rather than questioning his superiors. Ralph has displayed such loyal dedication to that process of making oneself stupid, that he is now one of the superiors. Years ago in Fairbanks Alaska, where the fearful higher Park Service officials knew I might show up at yet another of the endless government discussions on policy for public access to public land, unsuspecting Ralph was sent to represent the Park Service. I simply asked plain common-sense questions, for which other people in the audience wanted the answers. As a result, Ralph was rendered noticeably near tears, and pleaded that he was just like everyone else, with feelings. He was so totally incapable of facing public questions that exposed the repugnant maliciousness of the armed National Park Service thugs, that he was reduced to using a rhetorical image of emotional wounds caused by those questions, to slither away from answering the them. Like the infamous Gestapo, the US National Park Service thugs cannot face open public questioning. And the American Alpine Club protects them from such questioning.
Ralph and his colleagues, in their official capacity as National Park Service officials and armed enforcement agents, boldly cite, arrest, fine, imprison and thus trammel thousands of park visitors every year, for damaging nothing and no one, but for contradicting park regulations that Park Service personnel have admitted are designed to create budget excuse enforcement actions, and taxation by fraudulent citation (fines). Ralph and his armed thugs are malicious to an extent that Hitler would have admired. But when harmless citizens merely ask the simple, logical questions that expose their tactics to truth, the Park Service Gestapo cowardicely slithers behind any emotional skirt they can fabricate with words, behind their unquestioning environmentalists, and behind American Alpine Club panel moderators specifically selected to protect them from having to discuss the truth exposed by effective questions. The American government kids who fear uncensored questions more than death, and the American Alpine Club boys who protect them from questions, including the AmerAC chap who uses his UIAA Vice President title for his position as the discussion moderator, display the intellectual absence and cowardice of Americans, much to the laughter of international mountain climbers who do not fear the deadly hazards of mountains or the harmless knowledge of questions.
Because it fits this place so well, I mention again that I was arrested by the National Park Service, shackled, chained, jailed for a week, denied bail, denied a trial, declare guilty on record, denied an appeal, and much more, because I politely asked effective questions that reveal the criminal actions of US National Park Service police and their pocket court judges, much to my amusement.
Consider only a couple questions that the UIAA and American Alpine Club boys will censor and not allow mountain climbers to ask the US National Park Service panelists at the UIAA meeting, for the discussion on access to public land...
By the prevailing law, and as found by the US Supreme Court, in the United States the public land belongs to the people, and the people hold a RIGHT to walk on their public land. Concurrently, said highest law of the land and said court have identified that no permission (a permit or required registration) can be required, and no tax (a fee) can be charged for the exercise of a RIGHT. Therefore, under penalty of fraud and malfeasance, by authority in what identified law superior to the referenced common law, have National Park Superintendents required mountain climbers to register with the government, and pay fees, to exercise the right to walk on public land in National Parks?
When the National Park Service has appeared before the public and US Congress, complaining about the expenses for rescues of mountain climbers, and thus the purported need for more regulations, fees and government funding, and after having repeatedly signed for copies of the Alaskan Alpine Club Mountain Rescue Expense Fund, what is the official reason of record that the National Park Service has repeatedly denied and refused to recognize in public and before Congress, that said Fund exists, and who by name and title is therein legally liable for thus willfully deceiving the public and Congress, for intent to defraud the taxpayer?
Laugh. There is a series of such questions that prove a series of ongoing fraud and criminal violations of the law by the US National Park Service Gestapo. You need only be sufficiently intelligent to simply ask questions, a concept feared by the US government and AmerAC boys. The petty US government drones have currently fooled the US people in the identical fashion that Hitler fooled Germans for so long, and Stalin fooled Russians for so long, and the British king fooled the people of India for so long, and every petty tyrant in human history fooled his foolish followers for so long. Their process is simple and ancient. Acquire a title, benefit a select group of people who will vocally support you, consistently lie under claim of authority in the title, and flee uncensored public questions.
Laugh louder. To be successful, the government drones, like the UIAA and American Alpine Club sorts who protect them from uncensored public questions, first fool their own mind more thoroughly. That is how the human mind functions with lies. Their minds genuinely and sincerely recognize no contradiction in what they are doing. You can email these comments to the American Alpine Club and UIAA leaders, and they will still sincerely believe that it is proper for their gullible members and other gullible climbers to pay the $150 tax for the RIGHT to walk on the public land of Denali, and not be allowed to openly question US National Park Service officials, while climbers who are intelligent enough to simply ask questions openly laugh at the lot of them, and pay nothing for the RIGHT to walk on public land mountains in the park.
Of all the persons available in the United States for a panel to discuss such a simple concept as public access to public land, why did the UIAA Vice President and prominent AmerAC sort, as panel moderator, associate his name and UIAA with a panel of persons so intellectually impaired that they cannot handle uncensored questions from mountain climbers, if not by his own intellectual impairment?
Why does the UIAA-sanctioned panel to discuss public land access rights for mountain climbing, not include a mountain climber or anyone knowledgeable of those rights? The answer is that every time the Alaskan Alpine Club and many others offered American Alpine Club and UIAA leaders access to such knowledge in the past, they reacted identically as have the government drones. They fled questions rather than answer them, and thus inherently made their minds progressively more ignorant of the subject, and thus became more dependent upon keeping their followers equally as stupid, identical to the ultimately failed imperative of every governmental and institutional petty tyrant in human history. And why? The answer is that the minds of those government and club leaders were so fooled by their petty titles that they literally could not recognize that any mere citizen or mountain climber without an institutional title could possibly know more than a titled person, as so easily proven by observation or reasoning, even if you emailed them these words. Tomorrow they will take more desperate organizational measures to keep their followers more ignorant of inherently advancing knowledge involving their institution, to protect their childish titles from knowledge, while commonly intelligent people openly laugh at them, until their petty institutions belatedly collapse on schedule. Pity them. You make your mind ignorant by fleeing rather than answering questions. They did.
UIAA and the American Alpine Club will never allow a person who can think and ask effective questions, to be on a UIAA or American Alpine Club panel discussing the concerns of mountain climbers, or invade the titled hierarchy of those clubs. And that is why they offer such good entertainment for thinking mountain climbers. There are humans who are curious and thus ask questions and thus learn useful new knowledge. And there are humans who become victims of acquiring and relying on institutional titles. The former are amused with the latter. The latter are incensed at the existence of the former. They represent the first conceptual division of the human mind's process manifestation.
It does not matter that the victims of government, AmerAC and UIAA leadership titles successfully live out their lives with their illusion of social status, fooling fools, themselves foremost. They, as all their institutional predecessors, represent that half of the human species which must serve the purpose of stagnating their minds and as many fools who are fooled by them, by design of the human mind which if it had no counter balance mechanism within its astonishing capabilities, would have already discovered the answers to achieve a quantum advancement too soon in such a young species. Let them fool fools, themselves foremost, who dutifully never question the censorship of discussion panels or anything else. They may do as they wish with their otherwise priceless mind, as may you.
Attempt to ask the questions that they will not allow to be asked. Ask the questions they will flee. Do not ask the questions for any purpose in deriving the answers from those chaps, since that is futile and you can answer the questions yourself, but for what you will learn about the human mind by the extremes to which their thus anguished minds will go to flee your logical questions rather than simply answer them. How can fear in the human mind be created by simple public issue questions that any honest person can readily answer with comfort? How? What is the mechanism? Is the mind not a contradiction resolution device, thus designed to answer questions? What precisely describable, itemized mechanism in the human mind attempts to create and sustain an inherently untenable contradiction, isolate it from questioning, and what is the result of that mechanism? Precisely why will the government mind which will boldly arrest, imprison or kill another person, under the rhetorical illusion of authority in law, cowardicely flee in fear of a simple question? Why must UIAA and American Alpine Club sorts protect the US National Park Service thugs who arrest mountain climbers, from uncensored public questions? Why?
As a mountain climber, you have an advantage. The mountains will always react to you with flawless logic, and never force or deception. They will never create a contradiction. They are always in balance with the universe. Compare that lesson with the routinely illogical and contradictory reactions of any organization leaders. Then compare it with the reactions of fellow humans who hold no concepts they feel they must defend against flawless logic that will likewise advance their knowledge. If you therefore learn how the original design of the human mind functions, quite like the design of the mountains, you may achieve that quantum advancement in knowledge, never available to the institutionally power-damaged mind. With that knowledge, every prior frustration will be resolved, and you will laugh the laughter sought by all people.
I sure hope the American Alpine Club boys do not skimp on the UIAA banquet food also.
...then the post-meeting report...
But the humor of their antics was superlative.
This was first time UIAA has met in the US since 1979. So from whom do you think the Flagstaff climbers, including a previous AmerAC Board member and current committee member, and local climbing equipment stores, found out that UIAA was meeting in their town? Doug Buchanan, of the Alaskan Alpine Club, when I showed up.
The AmerAC boys, ever fearful that their ruse of anti-climbing environmentalists claiming to represent climbers will be discovered, kept the UIAA meeting a secret in Flagstaff.
UIAA leaders keep making fools of themselves by lamenting that not enough climbers know about UIAA, while those leaders are not sufficiently intelligent to figure out that they have the wrong organization representing UIAA in the wealthiest nation in the world, even when they are shown the proofs year after year after year.
I showed up at the Lowell Observatory Visitors Center at Flagstaff to register for the UIAA meeting, precisely as the printed instructions from the AmerAC stated, among others attempting to do the same thing. The boys at the Lowell Observatory did not know anything about it. After a few phone calls, we were directed to the Elks Club, across town. The functional owner of the AmerAC and the property under the Lowell Observatory, monumentally arrogant sort that he is, lives in an impressive house at the Lowell Observatory, and did not think it was worth his effort to have someone where he told arriving UIAA delegates to register upon arrival.
Usually 50 or more member organizations show up at UIAA meetings. 40 showed up in the United States, and I was surprised at that many after reading the AmerAC invitation.
The first day's, so called symposium on access to public land by climbers, was a superlative statement that the moron US public land managing bureaucrats (Park Service and their ilk) think that international climbing delegates are morons. It was so bad that I sat in embarrassment at any possible association with the Americans. I did not even attempt to ask any questions. The bureaucrats were clueless that they were talking to climbers, or what climbers are. The symposium was a waste of the delegate's time listening to government park managers saying what a good job they were doing making park visitors pay the Park Service more money under threat of arrest. The guy representing the Gunks, a private property manager, offered excellent information, and was the only redeeming value for the event. A count of the people at the symposium revealed that about 80 percent were US government and AmerAC sorts, with a gaggle of UIAA staff and maybe 10 actual delegates from national climbing organizations. The other delegates apparently avoided the so called symposium.
Fortunately, while the UIAA boys were up at Putnam's Lowell Observatory residence that evening, paying dutiful tribute, I discovered that Flagstaff has a First Friday art opening. Good food, good wine, good art, good people, and other fun stuff in town.
For the following keep in mind that the UIAA meetings are scheduled five years in advance, and nations request the honor of hosting the meetings. You have to attend a normal UIAA General Assembly, with all its trappings, to enjoy the amusement of what the AmerAC boys did.
The meeting room for the General Assembly, on the second day, was at the Flagstaff Elks Club, embarrassing by comparison to the facilities offered in other countries. There was only one microphone, that the head table boys had to keep passing back and forth among themselves. The delegates had no microphones, etcetera. The AmerAC wealth is for the AmerAC insiders only, not any service to those damn ungrateful climbers, not even when the AmerAC invites international guests and charges them $75 each per day for the facilities. And then in the early afternoon we were suddenly informed that the Elks had a scheduled meeting in their room. We were all crowded into the adjacent bar and hallway.
There was a bit of conversation about the disruption of the meeting, while we were herded into the bar, if you can imagine that. Five years advance notice, and the Americans could not find a room for the UIAA General Assembly meeting. These international delegates were apparently not expressing enough gratitude for the AmerAC allowing them to meet in America, so the AmerAC functional owner, in his usual course style, shouted, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP. The UIAA delegates are accustomed to displaying the greatest respect for each other, so there was a bit of conversation relating to the AmerAC chap's typically rude outburst, if you can imagine such a thing. So he shouted again, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP. The American Alpine Club boys represent the arrogant American environmentalists to perfection. I was grateful that he did not have us all arrested by his crony Park Service pigs.
The small bar room had no head table and no microphones, or table space for paperwork, in an L shaped room where communication around the corner simply negated part of the communication, especially to those standing in the hallway, with the bar refrigeration units over-decibling communication in their area, that the bar tender refused to turn off, and the bar tender even refused to serve any drinks because we were not Elks, while the functional owner of the AmerAC, wealthy sort, was listed on the brass hallway plaque as a prominent Elk, but did not consider these UIAA delegates even worth his grace to allow them to be served as guests, even when they wanted to pay for their drinks, after they had each paid $75 per day for meeting room facilities. Ugly American 101: How to make an ass of Americans. Inquire at the AmerAC headquarters.
If the meeting had been in an Afghan highland village, it would have been remembered for their adequate effort, but in the wealthiest nation in the world, hosted by the most arrogant environmentalist organization in the world, it will be remembered for the rude, cheap skate Americans, branding the nature of the American Alpine Club members, yet again.
The mayor of Matsumoto Japan, attending the meeting, thoroughly enjoyed presenting his request in the crowded bar, that the delegates vote to meet in Matsumoto in 2007. He presented color brochures displaying the lavish facilities Matsumoto would offer if we agreed to meet there. It highlighted what the AmerAC had done as usual.
If the local Flagstaff climbing stores and climbers had been told about the meeting, they would have rivaled the graciousness and services of any other hosting country, but the AmerAC environmentalists cannot tolerate any involvement by those climbers.
Great amusement was created by the insatiably greedy UIAA leadership presenting its budget proposal for next year. A wise organization leadership lets the membership pay what it wishes, and does the job that the membership thus wishes to pay for. An unwise organization leadership, approximately 100 percent of organization leaderships, incessantly demands that the members pay more money for what the leaders want to do.
The UIAA leadership presented its budget with a 10 percent increase in the basic membership fee that increased the dues to all the small member organizations. This was the day after the waste-of-time UIAA symposium on the mountaineering access issue, that insulted the few delegates in attendance, who told the other delegates, demonstrating that their money was being wasted. The proposal to raise the dues failed, if you can imagine that.
But the vote was close, so the leadership tried an amusing rhetorical ploy, typical of insatiably greedy leaders. They said that the budget had to be adopted, according to the by-laws, or UIAA could not function next year, and that no budget was prepared without the dues increase. Then another vote was conducted. This time it failed decisively. Apparently the UIAA leadership did not fool the UIAA delegates, and in fact irritated them with that cheap ploy.
So how would you think the wealthy American Alpine Club reacted to those ungrateful climbers in the small, non-wealthy climbing clubs not wanting to give more money to the leaders? Putnam asked Mac the UIAA president to recess the meeting for a break, so some politicking (arm twisting) could take place. Putnam alluded to his expertise in that matter, and bluntly told Mac that he was not capable in such matters. Thereupon Mac reminded the mentally absent Putnam of the direction and extent of the second vote, and instructed the treasurer to prepare a budget without the dues increase.
What do these leaders do with that money, besides organizing US Park Service bureaucrats to spew the same old Park Service lies at UIAA meetings? Mac listed the great accomplishments of UIAA since the last General Assembly. You climbers should know that the UIAA leaders spent your dues money traveling around the world meeting with the equivalent of US Park Service bureaucrats of varied government entities, telling each other that they represented the climbers and that they were doing great things traveling around the world to attend meetings to say that they represented mountain climbers, and enjoying lavish banquets.
If you doubt the substance of those words, you should see my notes on the United Nations representative who spoke at the UIAA meeting in Flagstaff. I have studied bureaucrats and other institutional minds rather extensively. They use more words than I, if you can imagine such a feat, to say nothing except flatter themselves for all the good work they do for you by paying themselves to tell you that they do good work for you. But I have never heard any other government sort drone on so long about doing what I so patiently waited to hear of, without him mentioning anything he actually accomplished. The UN chap said the word, Partnership, per sentence, more than any human has ever said that word. He was representing the United Nations at the UIAA meeting in the Year of the Mountains, impressing himself and the UIAA leaders. To believe him would be to believe that every mountain climbing organization in the world was now in partnership with every other organization in the world, by the gracious benevolence of the United Nations. The world's problems were on the brink of being solved, with the partnerships he created in the name of the mountain climbers partnershipping with partnerships. Write the word, partnership, on the chalk board 500 times, and you will have derived the benefit of the United Nations benefiting UIAA.
The always principled and articulate delegate from Pakistan unsettled the poor UN chap for a couple seconds by stating, in his more eloquent words than these, that the Pakistanis were given the same partnership rap in Pakistan, and the Pakistanis had asked precisely what they could do to assist whom to derive some benefit from the partnership rap, and received nothing more than more partnership rap. The UN chap was caught with what he was doing, but after a perceptible hesitation, the slickster UN bureaucrat slide right back into the rhetorical partnership tap dance, and we had to endure several dozen more references to partnershipping. You can sleep well tonight, knowing that the United Nations has partnershipped UIAA with everyone in the world, and everyone in the world with UIAA. The mountains have been saved.
There was an amusing moment when a gaggle of lawyers on the legal issues committee, or some such thing, were telling the delegates in the bar room General Assembly meeting that the mountaineering access problems were increasing and that the mountaineering organizations therefore needed to hire more lawyers, of course, to study the increasing mountaineering access problems. One of the Brits who enjoys politely ridiculing the manifest stupidity of organization leaders who strive to keep their members ignorant, asked the lawyers if perhaps the common law might better protect the rights of the climbers. You could see the pall descend over the faces of the lawyers, who maladroitly said it might not and hastily changed the subject. It was the most significant moment of the entire annual UIAA meeting in Flagstaff Arizona, 2002, Year of the Mountains. And only two of us recognized the substance of what was said, much to our subsequent laughter. Under the endless and ever-changing inferior statute laws, written by lawyers, in undecipherable legalese that supports the world's institution of scum-bag lawyers, you must pay a tax to walk on the public land described as Denali in Alaska, and you must do anything else any petty bureaucrat anywhere tells you at his whim, which of course creates contradictions and problems associated with law that fools people into paying lawyers. But under the common law, which prevails above the inferior statutes, you hold a right to walk on public land in the United States and many other common law nations, and no tax may be lawfully required for the exercise of a right, by definition. The American Alpine Club and UIAA leaders cannot allow you climbers to know that, or you might start asking some questions that reveal how you can place yourself under the protection of the common law and thus regain your rights and not have to pay all those perfidious lawyer cronies of the organization leaders who are using their organizational illusions to keep you ignorant. If you are not laughing at the dolts who support their organization leaders overtly keeping their followers ignorant, you are missing the only show these humans produce.
But the capping event of the 2002 Year of the Mountains UIAA General Assembly meeting in Flagstaff Arizona USA was the voting-in of a new UIAA honorary member, the American Alpine Club's aforementioned prestigious William Putnam of the New England Putnams of fame for their wealth. This is the guy who prior shouted, SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.
If you want to learn how institutional minds function, this is a good learning vehicle. Putnam is the guy who introduced the formal proposal that UIAA ban all climbing in Antarctica except by permission of each climber's national organization, because climbers were overcoming the barriers to freedom, in those words. He has led and endorsed the most extensive attacks on mountaineering freedom and rights in the world. His open expressions of contempt for climbers, and rudeness for UIAA delegates, are a matter of record. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, and his American Alpine Club would not even link UIAA on the AmerAC website until he was nominated for UIAA honorary membership. So why would UIAA honor him with an honorary membership?
Putnam is rich, and enjoys that status, as is much discussed among AmerAC members. After money becomes no object, the arrogant among the rich sometimes like to collect illusions of titled status. Honorary memberships are popular illusions of status. The five delegates who got up and praised Putnam, the guy who had just prior told them to sit down and shut up, revealed where his financial grace was most generously distributed. For the vote to make Putnam an honorary member, the UIAA president stated to the delegates that the vote was required to be unanimous so there would be no dissenting votes and no abstentions. Imagine being voted into an honorary status by voters who were openly ordered by their organization president to not contradict the staged conclusion. The vote was unanimous, but the vote count was hasty and short of the number of voters, if you can imagine such a thing.
I admire the rich, including the ones who have valued their lives as impressively as paper money, which is backed with rhetorical illusions. So if you hear that anyone is an honorary member of UIAA, share the laughter. There was a subsequent rumor that the AmerAC finally linking UIAA on the AmerAC website was part of the deal. Organizational honorary memberships are commonly that cheap. Organization leaders are usually a childish bunch who crave titles to fill the void. The person who grants the title flatters himself more than the person being granted the title, because the granter must be greater than the granted, to be a granter. It is a mutual flattery game of children who have grown tall, and that is the only game organization leaders know.
The concluding banquet is the only real reason to go to a UIAA meeting, grand affair that it is, that is, when it is not hosted by the AmerAC with a boring epicurinary presentation in a crowded little room allowing only a few people. The rich Americans are rude cheap skates.
I got back to Fairbanks after helping with a cattle round-up at the Arivaca Ranch, Arivaca Arizona, and a few other adventures, lamentably missing the annual Beanfest hosted by the Tucson climbers on top of a pillar at the Cochese Stronghold. It was a long flight, arriving late at night. I hit the sack and had only been asleep for a couple hours, and did not want to wake up, when the 6.7 earthquake ripped open the Denali fault just south of Fairbanks, by Mt. Deborah. It shook the house so long that I begrudgingly got up and turned on the light to chase the earthquake away. And that was only the 6.7 one, a week before the real earthquake, 7.9, at the same epicenter. It danced my bottles of wine perilously close to the edge of the shelf, and other things over the edge. It was a good show that lasted a long time. The house was rocking and the trees were shaking and the vehicles were bouncing and all that. Those are the few moments that make you feel good about not being in the Alaska Range at those moments.
Real Mountain Climber Convention
The annual Real Mountain Climber Convention is known to few mountain climbers, because there are few mountain climbers in the world, and fewer are real mountain climbers, and fewer want to spend money on anything besides climbing, and yet fewer would spend money on a social function, especially a convention, especially among mountain climbers.
But you may want to know of its nature.
It is held in Fairbanks Alaska each year, except those years it is canceled. Well, most planned climbs get canceled, and this thing is done by climbers.
It is a standard convention, with speeches, dinner, story telling, drinking, slide shows, sometimes an auction, and other things. No decisions are made. No officers are elected. Points of order are out of order. All grandiose claims are lies. No time is wasted with applause. An unruly crowd is the norm. And the dress standard does not allow wearing crampons.
Nobody gets a t-shirt, because one is not made. We do however make a nylon fabric patch, different each year, printed with the date and all, suitable for sewing over a rip in a jacket or other clothing. Many real climbers repair their shredded stuff, often the gaitors they gouge with their crampons.
To be qualified to attend the convention, a climber must be able to tell his or her real climbing stories among real climbers. Some things cannot be successfully faked, especially when subjected to questions by real climbers.
Each real climber who is foolishly a member of any climbing organizations must formally renounce their membership, by name of the clubs, for the duration of the convention, and formally ridicule all climbing organization leaders, some by name. Real climbers are an independent minded lot not prone to joining clubs or being groupies, and not prone to flattering mere humans, especially humans who fabricate institutional credentials other than route descriptions. And some of those route descriptions are suspect.
Those worthless Alaskan Alpine Club officers and directors could do some good for the climbers if they would just get better jobs and give us some money to go climbing. And if they were climbers, real or otherwise, they would be climbing right now. The egotistical pricks will not even give us a membership card even if we pay our dues, and we do not.
Commercial climbing guides may wish to avoid the convention, and instead attend any commercial mountain climbing guide convention somewhere else. Real mountain climbers are not guides. Real mountain climbers climb in relation to the mountains, not in relation to getting money by dragging non-climbers up mountains. Guides often claim to be real climbers, in their desperate attempts to feed their delicate ego among people other than their dependent clients. But their skewed stories, tainted by their reactions to clients rather than to mountains, are easily recognized by everyone but the guides, much to the amusement of real climbers. Guides are a fine and friendly lot of folks, pursuing an honorable and fun profession, just not real mountain climbers. If their clients heard the stories guides told about clients, among real climbers, the clients would become real climbers and ditch the guides.
Government employees may wish to avoid the convention, and instead attend any government convention somewhere else. Real climbers are not government sorts. Government employees are the malicious mental midget thugs who arrest, fine and harass mountain climbers for daring to harmlessly climb mountains without registering with the central government authority, and for not paying the fees and climbing taxes to the government police to arrest climbers who do not pay them. Real mountain climbers do not arrest or harass fellow climbers for climbing mountains, or support the swine who arrest fellow climbers. The government thugs always point their finger at the other thugs in the government, but never publicly denounce their fellow government swine by name and title to give substance to their hollow rhetorical dodging. The government thugs, such as the National Park Service rangers, who claim to be mountain climbers, are one of the more laughable jokes among real climbers. Their climbing stories and related word-usage are easily identified. The human mind cannot erase or successfully hide the data base creating its expressed perceptions of any concept, especially when faced with certain questions. No real mountain climber will work for the government, especially the agencies claiming to manage the mountains.
Obtaining sponsorship for the expenses of attending the Real Mountain Climber Convention is acceptable, because many real climbers do not have jobs or money. Sponsors are formally announced and thanked during the convention. Unobtrusive advertising is welcome, but not all real climbers can read.
Climbers may obtain the annual convention patch by instead climbing in the Alaska Range during the time the convention is held. Photographic proof of the location and timing of the climb must be sent to the convention committee.
A real climber may send a proxy to the convention, because most climbers are absent from any location outside the mountains anyway, regardless of where they are at the moment. The proxy must have a signed authorization, and be able to offer some of the real climber's stories or photos. Only the real climber will receive the patch.
Proxy conventions may be held anywhere in the world, to minimize the cost of travel, and to spend that money on climbing or more alcoholic beverage. Real climbers at any other location need only gather 20 or more real mountain climbers, and approximate the concept. A report may be sent to the Real Mountain Climber Convention committee, through the Alaskan Alpine Club, and if of suitable interest, will be posted on this website. The Alaskan Alpine Club will also post a notice of any future Real Mountain Climber Conventions that actually get scheduled anywhere.
Counterfeiting of the annual Real Mountain Climber Convention patch is authorized, as is everything else humans can do, because they can, as real mountain climbers demonstrate for those who still foolishly believe the government claims that humans are not authorized to do what humans can do.
The Real Mountain Climber Convention committee is always open for new suggestions relating to the rules, regulations, restrictions, requirements, requisites and run-around for the convention.
All expenses are provided by the climbers attending the convention, and any sponsors they can dupe into donating money.
The convention in Fairbanks is usually held on a weekend in late January or early February, when enough real climbers can be found and lie about maybe attending. The 2003 convention was canceled. The 2004 convention was held in secret. The 2005 convention committee forgot to make the convention patch, but the attendees were given marking pencils and some UV-deteriorated rain fly material. The 2006 convention is anticipated.
Satellite images are now better than the old U-2 photos that climbers use to plan climbs and such terrorist activities.
For lack of time or interest, most people do not know the extent and detail of what satellites are photographing. While you United States residents were foolishly working to pay the counter-productive government over 80% of your income to all the open and hidden taxes layered throughout your every expenditure, rendering the US society the most financially ignorant society in human history, the government was squandering that money on programs to fool you into thinking that you were being protected from the terrorists and all of the other politically popular enemies of each mental midget US President. We are safe from the Christians for awhile, after President Bill Clinton's pocket US Army, FBI and BATF slaughtered the men, women and little children Christians in their Dividian Church in Waco Texas, to put the fear of bullets, bombs and lethal CS gas (outlawed weapon of mass destruction) in the rest of the Christians who therefore worship the DemocanRepublicrats, or else. Bush is now going after the Muslims. The Chinese government leaders have a lot to learn from Washington DC about keeping those religious folks under the government heel.
One of those programs involves images acquired from satellites. Satellite images are highly useful, that is when not in the hands of government drones who only see enemies even if they are looking at trees, because they are paid to see enemies and therefore decree that the trees are enemies.
Satellite images have been increasing in quality, since scientists and technicians are curious sorts always trying to achieve what has not yet been achieved. Here in Alaska, by chance of certain events, including more feds per capita than any other US State, including many who desperately want to have a real friend and are as confused with their jobs as their equally confused superiors train them to be, we see some of the better satellite images.
If you have ventured outside a cave, building or dense forest canopy in the last couple years, you are on a government digital image, or many. Of course this illuminates one of the flaws of the poor sad government chaps. Their computers have more data than the humans can use, but the feds are hiring more people to look at those images, many of the new recruits in the new Homeland Security Gestapo.
Add to that the fact that like other third world nations, a lot of Alaskans walk outside the house to take a whiz, including the mountain climbers stepping outside their tents or snow caves. It has therefore become a common practice to give the finger to the sky while doing so, to express an intelligent reaction to the increasing number of perverted US government drones drooling over pictures of people peeing in the woods all around the world. The photos of people giving the finger to the guy looking at the satellite photos are starting to show up. While some of the government perverts laugh, others also realize what the American people think of them and their idiot illusion that spying on the world does anything other than create enemies.
Imagine when the word gets around the world. Some people give the sky the finger regardless of what they are doing, and other people then learn why.
If you want to send an effective message to the government, do not waste your time with a street demonstration. Think of the most effective words or displays, of adequate size, which need not be very large, that will cause the US government mental midgets the greatest expense or grief by their inherently mindless reaction, then merely present your words or display to the sky.
But do not claim to have climbed a mountain you did not climb, because the official mountaineering organization leaders may check the satellite image record of that route on the days you claim to have climbed it. Do not claim a cloud cover obscured your image, because the infa-red overlay will also disprove your claim.
It is therefore more fun to not claim climbing the mountain that you climbed. The government-connected American Alpine Club and National Park Service mentality drones who go ballistic if they do not have the record of who did what when, with whom and why, and their social security numbers, will trace those hourly satellite images back to your car, and read the license plate number. And they can.
Do not forget to give the satellites the finger, often, unless of course you think you need to be supervised by US government dolts.
Cannot see the forest...
There is an old expression describing superficially thinking people who cannot see the forest for the trees.
Time and the insatiable greed of the government land managing thugs have changed that expression to describe we non-wealthy common people who cannot see the forest for the fees.
I dunno if I have said enough about snow caves. If you do not already know from experience, if you have a choice, you will dig a snow cave instead of set up your tent.
In the winter camping world, especially in Alaska, and more so in the Alaska mountains, unless this global warming thing gets a little out of hand, the difference between a snow cave and a tent is similar to that of a five star hotel and the Kathmandu jail. Unlike the hotel, the snow cave is cheaper than the tent.
Frozen death can be raging down glacier and up glacier at the same time, baring her teeth, screaming obscenities and slashing at anything that moves, but inside your snow cave you will be toasty comfortable without a clue of any distractions.
Some of the more experienced and less intelligent winter Alaskan mountain climbers sometimes take only a snow shovel, to avoid the weight of a tent, since they wisely take the shovel anyway. But a three person Stephenson Warmlite tent is so light and strong that I take it whether I intend to use it or not.
Read the section about snow shovels on the Concepts 1 page of this website. Then read any of the books about how to dig a snow cave. But the books cost money. You can read the next few sentences for free, then go dig some snow caves.
Like everything else you do in life, the first time you do it, you will screw it up. The second time will only be embarrassing. The third time will be adequate. And by then you should be starting something entirely different or you are not an adventurer.
Just dig a hole in the snow, crawl in, and do not complain.
If you want to get a little more sophisticated, each further technique and trick you use will increase the time you spend digging the cave, and the comfort you therefore earn. Depending upon conditions, a fully adequate cave requires a hour or so to dig, and worth it. The fancy caves with the elevated sleeping platform above a lower entrance, to hold the heat in, are nice. Carry a rectangle of extremely light nylon fabric for a door, maybe 3 feet by 4 feet, with a thin cord around the edge, sewn many places, so you can jam wands, ice axes or anything else through the edges, into the snow, to hold the door over the cave entrance to keep out the drifting snow. Smoothly dome the top of the cave so any snow that melts will absorb into the snow rather than drip off points. Cut some shelves into the wall before you move your stuff in, so you can put all the little things there, including a couple candles and any little bag of ah other stuff.
If you are up on a sharp mountain ridge, and just as you finish trimming-out your cave, you encounter the gap between the vertical rock on the ridge, and your floor, without a bottom to the void, start over somewhere else regardless of how miserable it is outside and how exhausted you are. Chances are that part of the cornice will not drop off the ridge that night, but you will not get any sleep while thinking about it, and some of the people who disappear in Alaska were last seen crawling into their snow cave up on a ridge.
The roof of your snow cave will not cave in on you, unless your partner outside the cave takes a short cut back to the cave door after he could not find the outhouse while staggering through the blizzard. Snow is usually plastic in its movement, so your cave roof will slowly sag in over time, if it is poorly domed and thin. If you make your roof too thin and flat in soft new snow, because you were too lazy to dig the floor lower in the hard snow, or could not dig it lower, the roof will slowly sag down during the night. When it reaches your nose, you will be startled awake, and jerk your head up, and only laugh when you later write this same sentence.
If you hit the hard bottom before you are deep enough for an adequate cave, shovel the snow into a pile, pack it down with your feet or shovel, wait a half hour or so for it so set up, or at least a few minutes, then dig into the pile.
If you have a slope, dig into the slope. That is preferable. The least energy is consumed when you can throw the snow out the door, and let it slide down the slope. If you are on flat snow, dig a trench, then dig into the side of the trench at the bottom. Use your bivy bag to pull loads of snow out. Well, of course you have a light nylon bivy bag or over-bag, for snow cave snow removal.
Yes, you will usually get hot and wet while digging a snow cave. Plan for it. Put on waterproof outer garments if you have them. Take off warm under clothes. Take breaks to avoid getting so wet that you cannot dry all your clothes in the cave.
Resist the temptation to drag your stuff in before you are finished digging, or you will just get snow in everything and slow down the finishing touches. Keep your partner digging the outhouse so he is not freezing in the wind and whining about wanting to move into the cave before it is finished. Finish the bottom edges of the wall, which greatly expand your space for the minimal digging, all the shelves which greatly reduce time looking for little stuff lost on the floor, and smoothly doming the ceiling to expand space and prevent those annoying drips, then drag in the stuff.
Dig a fully adequate outhouse with a roof and door. Few things are momentarily worse than spin drift in the shorts. And few things identify the type of climbers you do not want to climb with again, than yellow spots everywhere you step outside the cave door.
When you are cooking, leave the door open to get air exchange. The holes you poke into the ceiling to get air exchange, are often not adequate unless you make them large enough and make sure they stay open. Close the door at night so the cave does not drift full of snow while you sleep. Just do not duct tape the thing air tight. There will usually be enough air exchange through the snow, unless your climbing partner is among the more flatulous of the species.
If you live in the lower 48 where there are many snow cave digging opportunities, especially now that we have scheduled more violent winter storms there, and you have not already done so in the many mountains there, regardless of the inconvenience, misery, and ridicule by your parents or teenage children, pile up a bunch of snow in the back yard, dig out a cave on at least two different occasions, drag in a pad and a sleeping bag, or the hallway rug and your blankets, and sleep in the thing overnight, at least two different times. Do not do that out by the street, where the snow plow might come by in the night. That way when you show up in Alaska, and you find yourself among these climbers who tell their snow cave stories, you can say, Oh yeah, I've done that a few times just to survive the real storms down in Phoekeepsie.
If you intend to come back to the snow cave after the climb, or the trip into the house bathroom, mark the cave door very well, very well, with wands so you can find it in the white-out storm.
Or something like that.
The Fairbanks Ice Wall / Tower information...
This is the boring background information related to the Ice Wall page.
In the early 1980's the Alaskan Alpine Club suggested to our dear and benevolent friends and colleagues at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, that they use some of the North Slope oil tax money, in which the University and State government were and remain awash, to make an international competition quality, outdoor climbing wall that could be used in the summer for rock climbing, and in the winter for ice climbing.
Competition rock climbing on constructed walls with artificial hand holds was becoming an internationally popular sport at that time, and the Club had the contacts. An Alaskan Alpine Club team member won the first meet of the UIAA World Cup Competition Climbing series at Leeds England. The University of Alaska had the available land and materials for such a project, and avidly claimed to be providing for such opportunities. Competition ice climbing was still obscure. Alaska could have easily become one of the leaders in the game, on account of Alaska having the primary resources to make ice, they being water and an ample supply of cold weather.
But the Club offered free assistance to the University, and the project would not have cost enough money, and was too low maintenance, and offered too much economic benefit for Alaska, and therefore the suggestion was ignored by the university / government chaps who only comprehend ideas as excuses to maximize spending tax money on administrators and their cronies, for minimal, no, or counter productive benefit to society, as their results prove.
What?, we did not grovel low enough, did not demand that the government spend the most money for the least public benefit, mire itself in increasing expenses, and demand more money for any bureaucrats who could associate with the project, and did not heap praise upon the university officials, etceteras? These incompetent mountain climbers will never figure out how to be sufficiently dishonest and scam from government corruption. They use their time to climb mountains, if you can imagine such a thing.
Since that time, the University and State government sorts, who have too much money to even talk to people without government jobs, have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on themselves, to incessantly say they are perpetually doing all those things they are obviously not doing, often in regard to developing economic opportunities for Alaskans, and promoting the University. They have just been funneling oil money to themselves and their institutional cronies who mouth the same lies, much to the amusement of common Alaskans and other observers.
What?, you are among those who believe that a tax funded university should not be wasting tax money on frivolous recreation that recreationalists could easily provide for themselves if the public schools taught them to be sufficiently intelligent to provide their own needs and desires in society? Imagine that. The related amusement is that the University of Alaska gives college credit for a tax funded mountain climbing class, complete with an expensive indoor climbing wall to protect Alaska college students from the frightening Alaskan outdoors. Since the mid 1980's, that University of Alaska mountaineering class, taught by career government bureaucrats and other people like its graduates, has not produced even one climber for a local mountain rescue group that constitutes the first responsibility met by actual mountain climbers who go to dangerous places where accidents happen, and where only climbers can reliably reach. More on that amusement is offered on some of the other pages of this website. If you are not laughing at the American system of public education, and its current supporters, a failed system of over-paid political bureaucrats stifling the abilities of teachers and students, you are probably one of its unfortunate victims who were never taught in school how to ask effective questions, and did not subsequently learn on your own.
So while all those Alaskan DemocanRepublicrats are spending tax money lying about advancing the Alaska economy, the French and other Europeans became the leaders of popular ice climbing competitions. Count the number of freezing winter days in France, and the number in Alaska, to recognize how worthless and dull-minded Alaskan politicians and University bureaucrats are, while they slip the oil money to their insider cronies who have zero imagination, no knowledge of Alaska, and even less ability, much to the rightful laughter of the French.
Of course the financially destitute, typical Alaskan mountain climbers, somewhere off either end of the bell curve, unable to financially organize anything beyond finding a partner to run off to the mountains to climb, and often not that much, did just that, and laughed during their routine discussions about building a convenient ice climbing wall on land they could not afford to buy or rent, with timbers, hoses and other materials they could not afford to even haul to the site, with water they could not afford to pump.
If all the related opportunities mutually advanced by such a project were listed, people would laugh more robustly at the government chaps who purport to be spending your tax money to develop those opportunities, especially in the far frozen north. We have highly useful freezing weather, completely free, and the government folks who tax the people out of their otherwise useful money, remain clueless of what to do with available resources. If the environmentalists figure out that it freezes in Alaska, they will support laws against anyone using freezing weather for anything, without first getting permission from the government, and paying a tax for the permit.
Because government teaches its employees to never question their superiors, and because knowledge is learned by asking questions, real questions, difficult questions, and actually answering them instead of dodging them, government dolts spiral into their displayed stupidity. Worse. The dolts who most loyally ask no questions, and do only as they are told, and thus remain the most ignorant and unimaginative, are promoted faster and higher, to in turn stagnate their subordinates under that greater ignorance, tightening the spiral. Because their government is a monopoly that gets its money by force, not open competition, backed by armed tax agents who never question orders, and because the Americans are as laughably fooled into perpetuating the RepublicratDemocan regime, as were the Soviets for the elected Kremlin regime, expect the same form of collapse, much to the howling laughter of international observers, after the Homeland Security Gestapo with their Patriot Act first grind American freedom into dust.
Of course, if the government / university chaps, lounging in their warm, money-lined cocoon, got their tentacles into such a project, it would most likely turn out as counter productive as the University of Alaska's alpine club, climbing class and indoor climbing wall.
Fortunately Alaskans have access to over-the-pole flights to Europe. Alaskans can conveniently fly to France for winter sports competitions, and bring back good French wine. The French earn our money. The French are able to do what Alaskans cannot do because the Alaskans let the government drones take the money of capable Alaskans, to give it to government idiots whose best imagination and competence is to bomb and slaughter whomever will not kowtow to the mental midgets in Washington DC, such as innocent Afghan and Iraqi villagers, to cause the world to hate the arrogant Americans, much to the rightful laughter of the French.
So twenty years after the Club suggested such a project, one of the more dynamic Fairbanks citizens, John Reeves, casually mentioned to one of the climbers that he was making a unique ice sculpture, for fun.
Imagine our reaction. Ice on our doorstep, instead of way down in the Alaska Range.
As to the matter of the climbers benefiting from John's ice wall experiment, consider this information. If you do not know the source of the problem, you will not achieve the solution, and will frustrate yourself attempting to do so. If you do not have time to understand the source of the problem, you will not achieve your goal.
Regardless of your perceptions or reaction, as is verifiable, many great opportunities for Fairbanks climbers have been trashed for the last twenty some years by the University of Alaska environmentalists, holding all the university / government funded advantages, claiming institutional representation of the climbers and using it to politically attack the rights and responsibilities of climbers, thus the opportunities for actual climbers. It is a common event among humans, amusing lot that they are.
The climber resources were therefore inherently split, and thus rendered ineffective, with the money in the hands of the better organized, larger number of environmentalist chaps attacking those opportunities, in the name of climbers, and lying about it. There were, and remain, few climbers in Fairbanks. To split their numbers, or flaw any otherwise available opportunity, will most likely negate the opportunity.
As long as the environmentalists claim to represent the climbers, and support costly government restrictions on climbers, via their usual back room tactics, no volume of rhetoric by anyone will create any effective cooperation. That is the way the human mind works. Would you cooperatively work to benefit a polite thief who keeps robbing you? Would you be so stupid as to suggest that a friend should do that?
It is only an example to note that the National Park Service repeatedly claimed that the University of Alaska's alpine club of environmentalists, which supported the Park Service against the climbers, represented the climbers. The Park Service dolts denigrated the actual climber organizations, much to the amusement of the climbers.
Among other events, the dramatic demarcation occurred when a clearly defined vote between an environmentalist president for the local climbing club, and a climber president for that club occurred at an interesting meeting. A bunch of new members, who were not climbers, but were coincidentally Northern Environmental Center sorts, whose climbing club memberships were facilitated by the environmentalist who was the climbing club secretary, suddenly showed up at the meeting to which only a few climbers usually attended. The climbers were amused. The environmentalist chaps voted into office the environmentalist president, if you can imagine such a coincidence, who promptly thereafter wrote a formal club letter to the National Park Service, supporting the new regulations against the mountain climbers. And then that University of Alaska club did much more. The full story is amusing, and the damages have since increased.
America is a government dominated society, a police state, with over half of the American population receiving their income from the government, and less than half paying for the entire cost. The institutions of government defend their turf from the competition of individuals and private enterprise, if you can imagine such a phenomenon. Therefore, the government University of Alaska and its darling environmentalists work with other government entities to centralize economic and institutional advantages with them, in this particular case, against Fairbanks climbers. This is normal to the human design. The phenomenon is described as the organizational manifestations of human fundamentals, or otherwise, institutional dishonesty, corruption and insatiable greed for power.
So the few real climbers, who are of sufficient integrity to not support the back room political attacks on the rights of their fellow climbers by dishonest representation, hold few institutional resources.
We have always had the often discussed opportunity to build a rock and ice climbing wall, but not sufficient numbers, land or money to manifest it, despite the climbers spending more time and money driving all the way to Dragonfly Creek, the Alaska Range or Valdez. Valdez might not be included because the investment of time and money accesses unmatchable ice climbing. A smart person would be there right now, ah, if it is winter when you are reading this.
So now the actual climbers have a new opportunity in Fairbanks. There are some grand ideas wafting through the ice-addled minds of local climbers. A international competition-quality summer rock and winter ice climbing wall is the least of them.
The ice wall project will be a private enterprise effort on private land. The economics must be accounted for, and if done well, may be assisted by ice climbing benefiting certain other uses of the ice. The winter of 2003 - 2004 demonstrated significant climber interest, and great public interest in a viewable ice wall with climbers on it. The winter 04-05 project resulted in huge national and international website viewing interest.
Consider putting pen to paper with some hard data, not the usual lofty ideas of which we already have an abundance, for such a project, if you wish. Actual wall designs are welcome, with details. We welcome data from anyone. Money ideas, such as daily and season tickets for access to the climbing wall, things to sell to spectators, etceteras, might be worthy of suggesting. The water and freezer are free, but the pumping seems to attract electricity bills. Whatever the cost, it will be cheaper than the gas to get to Dragonfly Creek. The tallest spruce poles in the country, and heavy timbers, might be lined up, if the final design uses them. Let us know if you would be interested in climbing on such a wall, summer or winter. The total number of those interested may be useful. Email the club, without a lot of words, and do not expect an answer. The email guy might be out climbing.
If you want to use the ice as an excuse to create a University of Alaska styled organizational bureaucracy with committees and networking infrastructural partnershipping facilitating institutional associates and cooperative collaboration, seeking credibility for your rhetorical climbing illusions, surrounding the idea, do that on your own, and offer the results. If your results are good enough, let us know where you have built such a wall, and we will show up with ice tools in hand.
More stuff on the Climbing Concepts 3 page, as it grows.
Climbing Concepts 1
Climbing Concepts 3
Mountain Rescue Fund
Wilderness Classic Race
Posters and Calendars
National Park Service
Ice Towers Web Cam
03-04 Ice Tower
04-05 Ice Tower
05-06 Ice Tower
07-08 Ice Tower1
07-08 Ice Tower2
07-08 Ice Tower3
07-08 Ice Tower4
07-08 Ice Tower5
07-08 Ice Tower6
07-08 Ice Tower7
07-08 Ice Tower8
Other Ice Towers