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Mountain Climbing, Hunting Rank as Favorite Sports for Two Conard Hall Outdoor Enthusiasts

Mountain Climbing, Hunting Rank as Favorite Sports for Two Conard Hall Outdoor Enthusiasts

By Dave Wood 

Published February 22, 1962 

The old saying that girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice” is probably as true at WWC as anywhere else.  

For Joanne Dasher, accomplished marksman and author of a Youth’s Instructor story entitled “Olympic Elk,” and for Judy Pihl, member of Seattle Mountaineers Inc., the spice is at least as important as the sugar. 

Jo, a senior nursing student who lives on the Olympic peninsula, likes to go walking in the rain, but instead of carrying an umbrella she prefers a 303 Savage. 

“The best time for hunting bear,” she says, “is during huckleberry season in late July and August, because the bears are fat and lazy then. But if you want a good fur rug, you must catch them in late fall or early spring when they have their winter fur.” 

Home Tanned 

Jo’s family would rather tan the skins at home than send them away. “We use a manufactured chemical called Almatan to tan with,” she explains, “but one time we simply boiled hemlock leaves and needles until we had a black solution, then dipped the bear hide in that.”  

The solution was too hot when they first dipped the hide in, she continued, and some of the hair came off, “but it really made good leather.” 

Jo not only hunts, she also traps, “It is most interesting to trap mink because they can detect the human scent so easily,” she says. 

“My favorite sport is hunting elk,” Jo decided, “not with a gun but with a camera. Elk are actually quite harmless except that they jump on our fences and drag the wire out into the fields.” 

Judy, a veteran of two climbs of Mount Rainier, prefers climbing to any other outdoor sport. An experienced hand with sling ropes, ice axes and Trapper Nelson packs, she describes mountain climbing as a “really independent sport.”  

It takes two days to climb Rainier, says Judy. “Rather than climb the whole weekend without a break, we usually spend the Sabbath at the base camp at 9,000 feet altitude.” 

Trapper Nelson, a regular mountain pack, weighs about 50 pounds when loaded. This pack is carried by each member of the climbing party to the base camp. Here it is exchanged for a smaller pack that is carried to the summit. 

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Although it is cold and windy on the climb, sunburns are a real problem. “You could get sunburned in a blizzard up there,” Judy says. 

“Sunrise on Rainier at 14,410 feet is indescribably beautiful,” she exclaimed. “The sky at that altitude isn’t blue but black; about 3 a.m. the eastern horizon turns emerald green. 

Sky on Fire 

“When the sun touches the eastern horizon, the whole sky catches on fire. The glacier peak stands majestically black framed in flaming color.” 

From the top of Rainier, you can see until objects become just a blur in the distance,” says Judy. “It seems that you have left civilization completely behind and you get a feeling of satisfaction and freedom up there where Seattle is no more than a colored blur. It’s a feeling that is reserved for climbers only,” she declared.  

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