The Washington Alpine Club has an amazing history. It is over 100 years old, and the WAC site has a good summary. Don't miss it. There are incredible photos from the history at the Cabin.
Pete Steel started the Basic Climbing Class. He moved to Seattle from Canada in about 1952. He took the Mountaineers course and felt that the WAC needed a course too. Around '54 he started the class. He was an active climber, but even more of a skier. He was skiing into his 80's. All the old WAC bulletins are archived (I believe at the UW library if anyone feels like a deep dive. )
The Backcountry Class was put together by Louis McCronin. He was an Australian guy who was active in the club. It was his idea but he sat down with Pat O'Brien in Pat's living room and put together the initial plan for it somewhere around the mid 90's. He's since moved back to Australia.
There has been the Wednesday ski class also. Way in the past the cabin had rope tows out back. This was before the lifts at the summit. The WAC had ski classes back then. Lots of old timers say that is where they learned. Then there was the telemark class started by Pete Bustanaby. That's what has morphed to the Wednesday night ski class.
Andy Toyota put together the Intermediate Climbing Course. Stacy Earlywine was doing a lead class and Pat O'Brien was teaching an ice class. It was Andy's idea to meld them into an overall course.
If anyone has additional info about how and when the classes started, and to whom credit is due, we would love to hear from you!
This is a rough stab at all the cochairs for the classes over the years. This is not in order and is primarily the Basic Class cochairs. If anyone can contribute to this list or help add dates, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Dick Von Hagel
Pat O'Brien (36 years running the course, and counting)
Angela Anderson Crampton