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American Alpine Club's Trad Award goes to Robert Speik in 2006

American Alpine Club's Trad Award goes to Robert Speik in 2006
In September 2006, the first Trad Award was given to Robert Speik by Oregon Section Chair Bob McGown at Smith Rock State Park. The Trad Award recognizes individuals for their contribution to Alpine Mountaineering and Climbing through the mentoring of people who become interested in traditional mountaineering and rock climbing.

Bob Speik has literally mentored hundreds of individuals. He began as a participant then as a Group Leader in the Sierra Club's Basic Mountaineering Training Course in the 1970's and became Chair of the Mountaineering Training Committee of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, overseeing both the Basic and the Advanced Mountaineering Training Courses, through the mid 1980's. These training courses introduced up to 1,000 students each year to the summits with the help of 250 to 300 Volunteer Leaders who were formally qualified in four levels of expertise and responsibility, all teaching basic and advanced mountaineering in five large geographic areas in Southern California. Bob served also on the Angeles Chapter Leadership Training Committee and the Chapter Safety Committee.

While raising a family of three and managing a business career, climbing with friends and students on weekends, Bob summitted over 300 traditional mountaineering peaks located in Southern California, Mexico, the Sierras, the Cascades and Switzerland. In the early 1970s his first alpine peak was Bear Creek Spire in the high Sierras.

Upon retirement from a 30 year business career and moving to Bend Oregon in 1993, Bob proposed and taught, in the Adult Extension Division of Central Oregon Community College, a thirty hour Basic Mountaineering Training Course to several hundred students, adding classes in Alpine Rambling, Light and Fast Backpacking, Snow Climbing, Wilderness Trail Construction and Maintenance, Map, Compass and GPS Together and other classes. He mentored visitors to the Three Sisters Wilderness as a Volunteer Backcountry Wilderness Ranger for three summers in the late 1990s. He co-founded and served as President of Cascades Mountaineers Alpine Climbing Club in Central Oregon. Recently, he has led free field Clinics in Crevasse Rescue, Ice Axe Self Belay and Arrest, Technical Climbing of Steep Snow Slopes, Self Belayed Rappelling, Snow Bivouacs and Camping and Navigation Noodles where students become lost and found. His fee Classes in Staying Found with Map, Compass and GPS have been presented to about 80 students in 2006, with more attending his Classes in Winter Mountaineering and Technical Snow Climbing.

In 2002, Bob Speik started a website called founded on the "premise that 'He who knows naught, knows not that he knows naught', that exploring the hills and summitting peaks have dangers that are hidden to the un-informed and that these inherent risks can be, in part, identified and mitigated by information, training, interesting gear and knowledge gained through the experiences of others."  Bob's website has grown and become a resource world-wide, often exceeding 500,000 "hits" a week with more than 50,000 pages read each week through more than 6,000 hosts in more than 50 countries around the world with as much as 7 gigabytes of data transferred. As can be seen from his website, Bob is still summitting peaks and mentoring people in what he calls Traditional Mountaineering.
--Bob McGown.  Note: Yes, Bob McGown asked me to write this myself. He is a pragmatic individual. I hope it is detailed enough. --Bob Speik

AAC Oregon Section Chair Bob McGown and Bob Speik who is sporting a traditional 1994 Smith Rock Spring Thing T shirt.


Bob McGown describing one of his several first and second ascents on the pictured
Picnic Lunch Wall and on Monkey Face and others at Smith Rock.


Note the Green Card held by the center Smith climber. Bob has handed out over three thousand such cards listing the
Four Basic Responsibilities of the Wilderness Traveler and the Ten Essential Systems.





Read more . . .
Bob McGown
American Alpine Club
Oregon Section of the AAC
Accidents in North American Mountaineering

  The Sport of Alpine Mountaineering
  Climbing Together
  Following the Leader
  The Mountaineers' Rope
  Basic Responsibilities       Cuatro Responsabiliades Basicas de Quienes Salen al Campo
  The Ten Essentials         Los Diez Sistemas Esenciales

A climb of Three Fingered Jack in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness
Ten high altitude deaths on Everest confirmed for 2006 climbing season
On Being and Becoming a Mountaineer: an Essay
Climbing Mount Hood in April with Arlene Blum and friends
AAC Report - Accident on Mount Washington ends with helicopter rescue
AAC Report - Fatal fall from Three Finger Jack in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness
Three Finger Jack - OSU student falls on steep scree slope
Mount Huntington's West Face by Coley Gentzel ©2005 by AAI. All Rights Reserved
Solo climber falls from Cooper Spur on Mount Hood
Climber dies on the steep snow slopes of Mount McLaughlin
Warning!! **Climbers swept by avalanche while descending North Sister's Thayer Glacier Snowfield
Mt. Whitney's East Face Route is quicker!
Mt. Whitney's Mountaineer's Route requires skill and experience
Report: R.J. Secor seriously injured during a runaway glissade
    Mount Rainer . . . eventually, with R.J. Secor by Tracy Sutkin
Warning!! ** Belayer drops climber off the end of the top rope
Runaway glissade fatal for Mazama climber on Mt. Whitney
Sierra Club climb on Middle Palisade fatal for Brian Reynolds
Smith Rock - Fall on rock, protection pulled out
Mount Washington - Report to the American Alpine Club on a second accident in 2004
Mount Hood - Solo hiker drowns while crossing Mt. Hood's Sandy River
Mount Hood - Solo climber slides into the Bergschrund and is found the following day
Notable mountain climbing accidents analyzed 
Mount Washington - Report to the American Alpine Club on the recent fatal accident
Mount Washington - "Oregon tragedy claims two lives"
Mount Jefferson - two climbers rescued by military helicopter
North Sister - climbing with Allan Throop

What is the best traditional alpine mountaineering summit pack?
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Young Bend man dies in back county avalanche
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Which light backpack do you use for winter and summer?    Analysis   pdf  
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Photos of lite gear packed for a multi day approach to spring and summer summits
Backpack lite gear list for spring and summer alpine mountaineering    4 pdf pages

What does Steve House wear for light and fast climbing?
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Which digital camera do you use in the mountains?
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How did you become interested in traditional mountaineering techniques?
Who is Conrad Messner?
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What are some of the comments you have received?
Who was Peter Starr?
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Who were the notorious Vulgarians?
How was top rope climbing practiced in the 1970s?
What is a Whillans sit harness?
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How accurate is the inexpensive hand-held GPS today?
Can you get me a $30 rebate on your favorite GPS: Garmin's Legend?    pdf form
What are some good Central Oregon Geocaches?
What is the Public Land Survey Grid?   pdf
What is the UTM Grid?   six pdf pages
Which GPS do you like?    
Which Compass do you like?   
How do you use your map, compass and GPS together, in a nut shell?
How can I learn to use my map, compass and GPS?
Do you have map, compass and GPS seminar notes?   six pdf pages

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