Phillip Elden is a longtime member of the Mazamas, a Portland based nonprofit that offers more than 900 hikes and 350 climbs annually for over 13,000 participants. According to Phillip Elden, the Mazamas offer a variety of classes and activities for every skill and fitness level, which are open to both members and nonmembers. Through his association with the Mazamas, Phillip Elden has climbed several mountains and volcanoes, including Mt. Hood, Mt. Washington, and the Three Sisters.
In 1894, an Oregon newspaper announced a meeting to organize a mountaineering club on the summit of Mt. Hood. The 105 organizers decided to name their club the Mazamas, Spanish for mountain goat, says Phillip Elden.
Phillip 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.
Phillip Elden climbed Mt. Hood for the first time 12 years ago with a small group including his wife, Cindi. Below, he explains the course of events from this life-changing experience.
Q: When was your climb up Mt. Hood?
Phillip Elden: The climb took place in early June. It started at Timberline Lodge around midnight. If you don’t start between midnight and 3 a.m., you can’t do the climb as the snow becomes too slushy during the late morning and throughout the afternoon to make the climb safely. Climbers are then picked up by a snowcat and taken up to the starting point near the ski resort.
Phillip Elden, a member of the mountain climbing club Mazamas, explains how the Cascade Range of western North America is a sight to behold.
Q: First of all, tell us about the Cascade Range.
Phillip Elden: The Cascade Range, also known as the Cascades, is a large mountain range that extends from British Columbia through the states of Washington and Oregon, and then into parts of northern California.
Q: How does the Cascade Range compare to other mountainous areas?
Phillip Elden: The Cascade Range is truly one of the most interesting and beautiful geographical locations in the world. Part of what attracts people to this region is its fragile nature.
Phillip Elden, an avid outdoorsmen and mountain climber from Oregon, has found a trusted friend to join him on his journeys through the Cascades Range: his 6-year-old Weimaraner, Jeff.
Q: Why are Weimaraners such beloved pets?
Phillip Elden: A German breed, Weimaraners are high endurance, extremely active, and enjoy being outside regularly. Once known as Weimer Pointers, their descent is traced from Bloodhounds. Weimaraners were originally used to hunt bear, deer and wolves.