Washington has traditionally been a stronghold for climbing in North America, and the sheer diversity of climbing here is its trademark. Mt. Rainier is the fifth highest peak (guarded by the most glaciers) in the lower 48, and the steep granite walls at Index offer some of the finest cracks in the country. The real prize, though, is the outstanding alpine climbing. Come up to the PNW and see for yourself.
Meet your section chairs:
Chris Mutzel co-section chair for the Cascade section of the American Alpine Club. He lives in Seattle, WA. As an added burden to his duties as a section chair, he also carries the title of "social chair", and is in charge of making sure that nothing gets too serious. Chris enjoys hard alpine climbs, long ski days, and bushwhacking in the Cascades. Though the local mountains offer unlimited climbing potential, this year Chris aims to complete climbing trips to Canada, California, Chamonix, and Patagonia to answer the age-old question: who really has the best granite?
Erin Schneider is a northwest native who got a taste for climbing while at the University of Puget Sound. After following her parents around in the mountains for much of her youth it was an easy transition to the vertical world and she now enjoys all disciplines of the sport. Erin spends her days working for a global health non-profit in Seattle and can be found training for the mountains at one of the climbing gyms after work. She is also an expert skier, shuts down the dance clubs, and kills it on karaoke night.
Andrew Puhl been enamored with mountains since his earliest childhood memories. Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania, his climbing career started with a Chestnut tree in front of his grandparents house and quickly escalated to the New River Gorge and Seneca Rocks. Since landing in Seattle, the alpine environment of the Cascades taught him what type two fun really means, why skin tracks are better than chairlifts and that dawn patrol is an acceptable out of office message. Andrew also enjoys spreading the stoke of skiing and snowboarding to the masses, pouring beer at AAC events and advocating for good design to be apart of all aspects of our lives.
Jean Spencer is so proud to be a co-chair of the AAC cascades region. As a transplant from the Colorado Rockies, Jean has immediately found a new and inviting home in the Cascades. In her 8 years of climbing, Jean's solidified a passion for learning new climbing techniques, expanding the climbing community, and finding personal growth through mountain adventure. You'll likely find her on a trad line, trying to get her spice on, or skinning up some snow.