More About Rich

You may not know what to make of his mesh, chalk-filled shirt pockets and sewn-in kneepads upon first meeting Rich Sanders, but his contagious enthusiasm for climbing, volunteering, inventing, and just about everything else will hit you right in your soft spot. He is, I think, loved by everyone. I graduated the Basic Course with him in 2011 and since then he has put his blood, sweat, and tears into helping teach incoming students. If you know Rich, you know I mean this literally for at least one of those bodily fluids. But while Richís literal blood may be occupying the best holds, his figurative blood is being pumped into full commitment to the students. His much needed and appreciated niche within the Bellingham Mountaineers is offering up his home (at any time!) to new students to practice belay escape and crevasse rescue. I, regrettably, have never seen his systems (Iíve always imagined the counterweight is a lawnmower for some reason. Is that true?), but whatever his contraptions are, they work! When students return from his set up they are fully prepared for class, usually outperforming students that did not utilized his guidance. No one asked Rich to this. The idea, like his functional wardrobe, was completely original. His dedication to the students may only be matched by his diligence to his slightly insane exercise regime. We are truly impressed, Rich. Thank you.

-Tracy Nowak

In the fall of every year, the members of Bellingham Mountaineers vote to elect one extraordinary volunteer who represents the best of our organization. This year we have chosen to recognize Rich Sanders.