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Sierra Club's Honor Role of "Great Leaders" includes Robert Speik

Honor Roll of Great Leaders
This listing of Great Leaders was first publicly exhibited at an Angeles Chapter fundraising function held at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in 2001. It was compiled by Angeles Chapter Historian Bob Cates, and has since been updated only in the matter of adding the dates of death for some of the Great Leaders who have since ‘hiked over the Great Divide.’

There is no simple answer as to what makes a great outings leader. However, to be included in this list a simple set of rules was used. All outings appearing in the chapter activities schedule from the beginning in November of 1911 through 1972 have been recorded in a spreadsheet database. An arbitrary span of 10 years was chosen to define a “Great Leader.” Those persons who led outings over a span of time in excess of 10 years made the cut. In addition, persons who have been presented with a leadership award, either from the chapter or from one of the climbing sections, have also been included (whether they met the 10 year span requirement or not).

This methodology leaves much to be desired, but it is at least a start. It is certainly true that the Angeles Chapter (and its predecessor, the Southern California Chapter) has been blessed with many truly excellent leaders who do not meet one of these criteria. Also, because the outings program expanded exponentially with the tremendous growth in the Sierra Club’s membership in the early 1970s, no attempt has yet been made to update the survey beyond 1972. Thus, leaders who have come into prominence during the last three decades have been largely ignored. I encourage some brave soul with plenty of time to devote to the effort to step forward to take on the truly gargantuan task of updating this survey.

To those many fine leaders that have been omitted from this list, my sincere apologies. To those of you who are on this list and still with us, my congratulations! As you will see, you are in the ranks of an outstanding company.
--Bob Cates, Angeles Chapter Historian
January 4, 2005

Speik, Bob - Active 1976-
Angeles Chapter Special Service Award (1984)
"From the 1985 Chapter Awards Banquet write-up: "Bob took the Basic Mountaineering Training Course in 1972, but it was not until 1976 that he joined the club, took the Leadership Training Course, and plunged into chapter activity, which has continued up to the present. He became an assistant leader in the BMTC in the late '70s, and in 1979 became Treasurer of the Basic Mountaineering Training Committee. In 1982 he became Chair of the BMTC, a position he held through 1984. During his service he revamped committee bookkeeping procedures and assisted in rewriting committee policies, procedures and staff handbooks. He presided over establishment of the new Advanced Mountaineering Training Program. He has been actively engaged in leading trips for the chapter's hiking and climbing sections."


Sierra Club, Angeles Chapter Outings Program
Outings Mission Statement:
"To maintain and enhance a diversified, superior, volunteer-run outings program that supports the Sierra Club's conservation mission by connecting people with the natural world and with the Club."

There are over 4,000 Angeles Chapter outings each year open to all Sierra Club members and the general public. Some trips have special restrictions due to safety or membership factors. Almost all are free. A waiver is required for trips and hikes. Participants should be prepared to follow the Rules of Conduct established by the Sierra Club and Angeles Chapter. Find an outing that interests you by looking in the printed Schedule of Activities or on the on-line schedule.

After hiking for a while, you may be interested in training to become a volunteer Sierra Club Outings Leader.

Activities and Outings Skill Level Rating Codes:
The Chapter Safety Committee has established the following classifications for all Chapter sponsored outings to differentiate the levels of skill required of participants and the event leaders. This classification does not relate to outing strenuousness. C For events conducted by a non-Sierra Club entity (i.e. Concessionaire)

O Applies to a variety of uncomplicated outings (i.e., city walks, bike rides, trail hikes, backpacking.) May involve simple off trail hiking not requiring navigation skills. Climbing level: "Class 1" terrain.

I Includes outings that involve cross-country travel where navigation is necessary. Rougher ground than "O" outings may be traversed, and the use of hands for balance may be necessary. Includes outings that have snow travel or skiing on easy terrain. Climbing level: "Class 2" terrain.

M Includes Moderate level climbing: "Class 3" terrain. On rock, the hands are used for climbing. Some participants may want a safety belay. On snow, safety dictates the use of ice axes and the ability to self-arrest.

E More exposed than an M outing. Climbing on "Class 4" terrain. Rock climbs will use a rope for all in the party. On snow, steeper terrain than M outings is permissible, and safety dictates the use of crampons.



Note: In the mid 1980s, Robert Speik was Chair for three years of the Mountaineering Training Committee (MTC) of the Sierra Club's large Angeles Chapter in Southern California. The Committee was responsible for the training up to 1,000 people per year in Basic and Advanced Mountaineering Training with more than 250 volunteer Leaders in five geographical areas, qualified in several levels of technical competence and responsibility. Bob Speik edited a new MTC Staff Handbook in 1985, writing the chapter on technical Snow Climbing. Recently, he has conducted popular class room and field classes in several mountaineering subjects for Central Oregon Community College in Bend Oregon. He is the author of the popular website   --Margaret (Tommy) Thompson Speik




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