Phillip Elden on what it Means to Be a Mazama

Phillip EldenPhillip Elden, an active member in the West Coast mountain climbing group Mazamas, describes how others can get involved in an activity that provides physical exercise and mental stimulation.

Q: What must an individual do to be a member of the Mazamas?

Phillip Elden: To be considered a member of the Mazamas, an individual must do three things. First, climb to the summit of at least one glaciated peak and provide some form of photographic proof. If that isn’t possible, a detailed story will work nicely. Then, a membership application should be completed. These items are submitted along with an application fee and the first year’s dues.

Q: Where are the Oregon glaciated peaks that qualify individuals for Mazamas membership?

Phillip Elden: The Oregon glaciated peaks are Broken Top, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Thielsen and the South, Middle and North Sister. In California, several peaks including Mt. Shasta will count toward membership. In Washington, summiting Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier qualify the individual. After the snow is melted, the easiest routes for most climbers are Mt. St. Helens, South Sister and Old Snowy.

Q: What are the chief goals of the Mazamas?

Phillip Elden: Above all, the Mazamas advocate for the management and protection of natural areas in order to restore, enhance and preserve healthy ecosystems. The Mazamas organize a series of conservation efforts with community coalitions and groups.

Q: How can Mazamas ensure all safety measures are taken?

Phillip Elden: The Mazamas believe that safety is an important asset in all outdoor and educational activities. Incident reporting, risk management and training are primary elements of the organization.

Q: Where do the educational programs of Mazamas benefit members most?

Phillip Elden: The Mazamas believe that skills, experience and training development are fundamental to safety, enjoyment and preparedness in the mountains. Sharing and seeking knowledge leads to an enhanced understanding of these environments.

Phillip Elden, a longtime participant of the Mazamas, ascended Mt. Hood to attain his membership.