Inter Mountain Alpine Club History for 2008- 2018
Our last history update was written early in 2008 as we entered our 60th year. George Hunt was our president. We started monthly hikes aimed at families with young children. These were easy local hikes with special rewards being given to children who completed 3 hikes. These trips were popular and were continued for several more years. Hikers on a fall trip to McBee grade were startled when a paraglider landed just a few feet in front of them as they were starting out. The long history of giving out I-Mac patches to new members ended in 2008.<br
Steve Wisness was our president in 2009. Our formal celebration of our 60th anniversary was held in February with a celebration dinner being held in place of our regular annual banquet. John Young and Lee Daniel were our speakers. They shared stories and pictures of our club’s early days. Door prizes from REI were given out. On a late January hike up Badger Mt., a helicopter landed while our party was on the top. The pilot had wondered why there was a large group of people up there. He offered anyone interested a ride down. Three people took him up on the offer and were flown down to the parking lot. A local sporting goods store, which had been the only local source of cross country ski rentals closed. I-Mac bought their inventory which is now part of our rental gear.
Steve Wisness was president again in 2010. A number of local public talks were given in a joint effort of I-Mac and local libraries. They featured various club members talking about local hiking opportunities, light weight backing etc. Two very active couples left the Tri-Cities. Olaf and Patsy Rasmussen, who gave many slide shows of their world travels moved to Colorado and Skip and Linda Claeson moved to Leavenworth where they have hosted several club functions since moving.
Our 2011 president was Randy Smith. We lost two members who contributed a great deal to the club. Honorary member Dean Dickinson, who had been ill for a number of years, died at age 82. Brad Benton was killed in a motorcycle accident. Discover passes are now required when hiking etc. on Washington state lands. On one of our hikes, the group had some scary moments when lightning struck very near them. Jane Fox set up an I-Mac Facebook page.
Randy Smith was president again in 2012. A Google Group was set up by Paul Meier for club members to be able to exchange information related to club events. I-Mac started helping out with the Reel Rock film series which is sponsored by the Tri-Cities Court Club and REI. Films shown are Warren Miller outdoor adventure shows. Money raised by the showings have been donated to I-Mac which we, in turn, donate to Friends of Badger Mountain. This cooperative effort continues to the present.
In 2013 Steve Ghan is the president. On one trip a guest developed problems with his boots early on, so he just took them off and hiked barefoot the rest of the trip. It’s not known if he ever hiked with us again.
Steve Ghan was president again in 2014. A great deal of winter snow affected club trips. When members on a 2 day Gold Hill trip returned to their cars, they found 14 inches of snow on their cars. Sherry Antoniak recruited help and instituted a number of training classes which we hadn’t held in several years. The club investigated and purchased a personal locator beacon to be carried on club trips so that an emergency rescue could be summoned if needed.
Randy Smith was president in 2015 and George Meriwether was elected to honorary membership. An unfortunate accident resulted in one member breaking a bone when she stepped to the side of a narrow rocky trail on a steep slope to let a person coming up the trail holding a dog go by. It took a long time to get help in to carry her down, but the others on the trip pitched in to help in every way possible. There is now a new trail on Badger Mt. named for Jim Langdon who has devoted a great deal of time to building/maintaining trails both on Badger/Candy mountains and up in the Cascades.
Our 2016 president was Chuck Wierman and George Hunt was elected to honorary membership. The club eliminates trip fees. A committee is formed to help welcome guests and new members. At the annual banquet Paul Meier, who soon moved to Missouri, was honored for his many contributions to the club. With Paul moving, the Google Group ended so Jaynee Levy started an Ad Hoc Adventure group for anyone wishing to invite others on spur of the moment non-club sponsored trips. One club trip was cut short due to a very high number of downed trees on the trail. On the way out, they counted 213 trees down. Many club members help build a trail on Candy Mountain.
Chuck Wierman was president again in 2017. After 16 years as Yodeler editor, Jim Langdon turns those duties over to Jen Schoonover, but in August, Jen and Dwight move from the Tri-Cities, so the Yodeler production is taken over by a committee of three. The club starts holding a few easy hikes known as TIE (take it easy) hikes. An igloo building trip is held with 2 igloos being built and occupied overnight. It was a very nasty and snowy winter, locally as well as in the mountains, which caused many changes in the winter schedule. One of the club’s earliest members, honorary member John Young, died at age 92. On a happier note, our president, Chuck Wierman, and our social chair, Chris Faught, get married. Paul Krupin starts writing a series of hiking related articles for the Tri-City Herald. His membership in I-Mac is mentioned at the end of each article. Toward the end of the summer a multitude of forest fires hit the northwest which create dense smoke throughout the region and close a number of highways and trails. The Columbia Gorge is especially hard hit and it will likely be number of years before trails there are reopened.
2018 is just starting as of this writing. Nancy Krupin is president. The Schoonovers are returning to the Tri-Cities with Jen taking over the publications duties again. Trail building/maintenance remains a priority of the club. Climbing activities have returned to the club after having fallen by the wayside for awhile. Technology is playing a bigger role in outdoor activities now. Cell phone coverage has expanded, but does not cover all areas where we hike/climb/ski. There are now devices which can summon emergency help or send specific messages from any location which some of our members carry, and some members carry GPS devices. There were a number of interesting animal encounters this past decade. The only cougar sited was dead, but a big horn sheep posed for pictures at length and an albino turkey and a herd of llamas were seen running wild.
At present, (February, 2018), our membership stands at 210. Thanks to all the people who have worked and continue to work to make all this possible.