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As usual every Fall, my annual copies of the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing arrived from the American Alpine Club. I highly recommend both publications, whether or not you are a climber or mountaineer, especially the Accidents in North American Climbing (formerly Accidents in North American Mountaineering).
Accidents covers accidents in the mountains for North America, ranging from people wandering off maintained trails to serious climbing and mountaineering accidents. An important feature, started 2 or 3 years ago, is a lead-off article on safe practices in the mountains. This issue is about belaying. The AAC, with the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and IFMGA (the international version of the AMGA) has developed an instructional program on proper belaying techniques called the Universal Belaying Standard. Whether you only climb in a gym or on a technical rock, glacier, or ice climb, you probably have noticed the wide variety (and lack of attention) of belayers.
The accidents are all in mountain locations, though they include "trail" accidents. Virtually all were the result of carelessness. "It will never happen to me" - but the number which resulted from momentary inattention is eye-opening.
The AAJ is a thick tome with descriptions of notable climbs from around the world. It also contains book reviews and an "In Memoriam" section. In reading through the memoriams, I saw the names of people I had climbed and skied with, including some, like Bela Vadasz and Andy Tyson, had been my mentors and instructors, and others like Dean Potter who were friends. There is a great article about Fred Beckey (born 1923 and still climbing!) and the multitude of climbs and first ascents he put up. Many of those climbs are classics that climbers travel long distances to seek out.