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Monthly Program:

Climbing in a Granite Paradise: A Stone Monkey's Tales of Big Wall Climbing in Yosemite, presented by Forest Altherr

Tue, 2017-08-22

Yosemite National Park is North America's birthplace of big wall rock climbing, and the park's reputation remains global in its reach. Climbers from every continent congregate in this granite mecca annually to live out their dreams on the soaring faces of grey and gold rock. El Capitan captivates the attention of
the vertically obsessed. Sheer walls rise 3,000 feet from valley to sky within a short walk from the parking area. When observing the rock from a quarter mile away the seemingly minuscule features mask the fine detail that a climber experiences on a vertical odyssey. The ability to engage with the landscape and leave the crowds on the valley floor behind propel a monkey's appetite for upward motion.

Forest will explore the contrast between dichotomous styles of big wall climbing; vertical camping and doing walls in a push (often referred to as, 'Speed climbing'). Drawing from recent experience with the Nose (5.8 C2) and Freerider (5.12d) this discussion will focus on stories from these experiences and the
skills required to have a good time.  Additionally, Forest will delve into the comedic side of life in the valley through anecdotes from his experience with the tribe of climbers who scurry among the boulders at night. Throughout his talk Forest will convince you that many big wall routes are within your grasp as long as you have the willingness to learn and the drive to push through your perceived barriers.

Bio: Forest has been climbing in Yosemite National Park since 2008. Inspired to develop the skills to climb the valley's iconic monoliths, Forest dedicated himself to the craft of honing the intellectual, psychological, and physical skills necessary to climb many of the classic routes on El Capitan. While primarily a rock climber, with a taste for big routes, Forest enjoys all aspects of the sport of climbing.

The experience with this sport is thrilling and unadulterated fun, however Forest finds the greatest value in his connection with the community of climbers he has woven his life among.


Ongoing Events



Monthly Public Meeting and Presentation:

Normally held in the planetarium of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC)
on the fourth Tuesday of each month

Social at 6:45.  Reports of recent and upcoming trips at 7:00pm.   Program at 7:30pm.

Past presentations, and occasionally future, can be viewed here.
Visitors are always welcome!  Free refreshments!

Future Club Speakers:  In addition to frequent presentations by nationally known adventurers, we love to hear from our own members....not that some of you aren't in that group.  A presentation gets you a free club membership and dinner at the restaurant of your choice in Los Alamos.

LAM Member Presentations Wanted! The LAM Board would like to encourage our members to provide more of our monthly presentations.  We understand well that club members are an active lot, with a wealth of activities in their repertoire that can and have been inspiring to new and old members alike.  We have often focused our monthly presentations on the elite of the outdoor adventure world, and perhaps created the undesired effect of squelching the voices of our own members who participate in frequent beautiful and exciting adventures of their own.  Although our own activities are not always "world class", they are representative of what we "weekend" athletes can and do accomplish.  We want many of our programs to inspire the "I can do that" attitude in our members, not merely entertain.  Shock and awe may have their rightful place, but inspiration to participate and shine is our true goal.


Trip Leaders:  Post your trip by logging in and then going here.  If you do not have an account, contact  the webmaster. For overnight trips, please ensure that membership waivers for participants are current and recorded by the club Membership Chairperson prior to your trip. Non-members may participate in day trips. All club sponsored trips require the trip waiver. After the trip, please scan and email a PDF of the waiver to the Trip Coordinator.

Trip Leader Awards: The club will recognize trip leaders as described here.

GMRS / FRS Radio Usage on Club Trips:  The Los Alamos Mountaineers encourage you to carry portable "family" radios as a safety measure on appropriate LAM trips, and urge participants to agree on a contact channel at the beginning of the trip.  As a default, if no channel has been selected, LAM suggests channel 3.14.  These three first digits of "pi" might be easily remembered in this scientific community.

Borrow Equipment: We have a limited amount of mountaineering equipment for loan (e.g., avalanche transceivers). Contact our Equipment Manager listed on this page.



Climbing School Update



The 2017 Climbing School runs from March 30th through May 6th.
Registration must be received by March 20th.

Registration is now open! Go to this page to register.

The climbing school is full!

(See Detailed Schedule for more information.)

The class fills quickly with only 25 seats, so early registration is recommended.

This includes 6 Thursday nights, and 6 Saturdays; some 36-40 hours of instruction. The Los Alamos Mountaineers Climbing School is a great way to learn about technical rock climbing and mountaineering.  The school should offer a good experience to:

  • beginning climbers with no climbing experience,
  • new climbers who want to gain experience,
  • climbers who need outdoor experience and instruction, and
  • anyone wanting a chance to tap into the expertise of some of the area's most experienced climbers.

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