Obsidian “Activities Sampler” spanned seven decades

December 18, 1998

The holiday spirit was in evidence at the December 18 potluck at the Lodge with a roast turkey (thanks to our Entertainment Chair) topping the usual fine fate. We can look forward to another year of excellent programs under Mary Bentsen’s guidance.

The program was as varied as the dinner, with seven Obsidians sharing the spotlight with stories and slides. Sharon Ritchie told, from personal experience, of the hazards that are associated with being “honored” at the Summer Camp Presidential Tea. A good sense of humor is obviously a necessary requirement for Obsidian Presidents!

Sig Otto presented a cautionary personal saga on how to get lost from your hiking group without being lost! Again, a sense of humor turned it all into a good yarn.

Kevin Clark’s slides of a large number of excursions served well to illustrate the varied and beautiful scenery that Mother Nature offers us.

Bette Hack’s review of By-Ways by Bus activities likewise revealed a virtually unlimited choice of interesting excursions, ranging from as far south as Texas, north as the San Juan Isles and east as Montana.

Phyllis Ford and Bob Dark both took us on a fascinating journey back in time. Bob showed slides of early climbs of the Three Sisters with as many as 84 climbers hanging on to one rope! One false move and the Obsidian club would have been history! In that era the Obsidians were the only game in town. From a financial perspective, Bob noted that our Lodge cost $12,025 to build in 1960, the recently installed new roof $16,650!

Phyllis Ford, herself a veteran Obsidian of 30-plus years, shared fascinating reminiscences obtained from interviews of three stalwart ladies who climbed the Sisters in the 1920s and ’30s (Dorothy Scherer, Vera Heidenreich and 98-year-old Mary Gillespie). Stalwart they were indeed, considering the relatively simple equipment and provisions that they had available (not to be found in REI for sure).

Ewart Baldwin closed the show with a wide variety of slides from past excursions.

Bep Fontana


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