Stanford Alpine Club

John Rawlings

Stanford Alpine Club
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John Rawlings

Distributed for Center for the Study of Language and Information

200 pages | 9-1/4 x 12-1/4 | © 2001
Cloth $49.95 ISBN: 9781575862453 Published June 2001
In 1945, Stanford students Freddy Hubbard and Cynthia Cummings decided to organize an outing group-something that would offer them the same mountaineering experiences they'd enjoyed at home as members of the Junior Colorado Mountain Club. They were not entirely successful. The club, in Hubbard's words, "degenerated into a hiking club." It took three returning World War Two veterans, Al Baxter, Larry Taylor, and Fritz Lippmann, to establish a campus climbing club. This was spring of 1946, and Hubbard and Cummings joined right up, beginning the almost forty-year history of one of America's most prominent college mountaineering groups: the Stanford Alpine Club.

The club's identity was forged in the crucible of Yosemite Valley's steep, smooth granite spires and cliffs. Group members made important contributions to the development of Yosemite rockclimbing technique, and helped carry the lessons learned to the world's major ranges, but the club's focus was on something more important-the personal, social, and recreational growth of its members. Coeducational membership was a key factor separating the SAC from longer-established and better-known eastern college clubs, and a tradition of "manless climbing" began with the group's inaugural year. Men and women alike were encouraged to try things that seemed beyond their limits and capabilities, testing both physical and mental strength. And the dangers involved-the club saw its fair share of tragedy, injury, and death-did even more to bring members together and change their lives.

The Stanford Alpine Club is a large format (9.25 x 12.25 inches) photographic history of the club, following the club through its inception, its first trips to Yosemite, its most daring moments in the Himalayas, and its later days of scaling campus buildings; this fascinating volume presents portfolios of photographs by SAC members Tom Frost, Leigh Ortenburger, and Henry Kendall, an insightful text by John Rawlings, reflections and snapshots from former members, lyrics from the SAC songbook, and other tidbits from this history of this amazing association.
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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