How did it start?

The Washington Alpine Club has an amazing history - it is over 100 years old (the WAC site has a good summary). At the WAC cabin there are incredible photos from the club's history.

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 (Seattle Public Library Downtown). 

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  wac-icc-chairs@googlegroups.com . 

Pete Steel

Dick Von Hagel

Pete Bustanaby

Dale Ott

Pat O'Brien (36 years running the course)

Maria Lee

Mary Whitfield

George Snelling

Joan Yuen

Eric Semsak

Jonathon Pryce

Chris Moore

Sim Larkin

Fred Slater

KP Pryde

Kris Arnold

Tim Dardis

Chelsea Sweeten

Jen Louie

Kyle Zinter

Amanda Stoneham

Ira Rushwald

Joanna Hingle

Mike Daly

Kristian Kaupang

Wayne Begasse

Jodie Eilers

Jason Zabriskie

Brandi Garcia

Clement Gurney

Chris Gerber

Dave Wilkinson

Mica Schoenbeck

Andy Toyota

Murry Kahn

Toby Young

Kirsten Hauge

Stacy Earlywine

Jeff Watts

Doug Daniell

Gerhard Schneider

Kay Ishii

Angela Anderson Crampton

Guy Oram

Stuart Lai

Kelly Coons