Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2nd Annual Dallas Kloke Memorial Clean-Up

It was just about two years ago that the highly respected first ascentionist and guidebook author, Dallas Kloke, was killed in a climbing accident.  Dallas was climbing with a group of five people in the North Cascades on the Pleiades Peaks, just east of Mount Larrabee, when he pulled on a rock that was loose.  Both Dallas and the rock fell...

A Plaque located deep in the North Cascades Memorializing Dallas and his Climbing

Dallas was well-known to the northwest climbing community, but the very heart of his climbing world was on Mount Erie, a small peak with a rocky south face just outside the city of Anacortes. Dallas was active on the peak from the 1960s until his death. Over those years, he was responsible for literally hundreds of new routes as well as the construction of dozens of trails and the organization of innumerable Mount Erie clean-up days...

Over Earth Day Weekend Anacortes Community Forest Lands, the Mount Erie Climbing Committee and Solid Rock Climbers for Christ came together to do a Mount Erie clean-up and trail-building project.  Sixty volunteers showed up for projects throughout the Forest Lands and the group did a wide variety of projects.

I had the opportunity to do something completely different from the projects I've done in the past at these kinds of events.  For once I didn't build a trail or pick up trash. No, this time I had the opportunity to help fight a scotch broom infestation on the mountain.

In 1965 Lady Bird Johnson's Highway Beautification Act was responsible for the intentional planting of scotch broom along the I-5 corridor. The plant quickly became an invasive species and began to spread all over the Pacific Northwest.

Some of the volunteers on Mount Erie have been fighting the weed for a number of years.  We visited a site where they had previously pulled all the scotch broom plants they could find.  As they grow quickly, there were quite a number of new plants there.

Once the clean-up was finished, my wife and children arrived at the mountain.  We spent the rest of the day rock climbing.

Dallas was a high school track coach and a mentor to many young climbers.  A day like the one we had, cleaning up Mount Erie and then climbing with kids, is perhaps one of the best ways to remember the man.

--Jason D. Martin

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