Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The purpose of this information is to help you set and reach fitness goals. Our training goal is to help you get physically and mentally prepared to fully engage in the sport of mountaineering. Your climbing goal will be to perform strong and steady throughout your adventure.

Fitness Program Basics

Start on a good foot and seek your physician's approval and the advice of a physical trainer/fitness expert before taking on a serious training program. A sound fitness program addresses cardiovascular fitness (fitness of the heart) and motor fitness (particularly strength, endurance and balance).

* Cardiovascular fitness is measured through your aerobic capacity, your body's ability to take in and use oxygen. At sea level, the restrictive factor in delivering oxygen to the muscles is the heart's ability to pump blood, not the capability of the lungs to take in oxygen. It is at altitude, where oxygen is effectively less available, that lung capabilities come into question. Aerobics should be directed at conditioning your heart muscle even though it can also improve somatic muscle fitness.
* Motor fitness is needed to complement cardiovascular fitness. Motor fitness refers to strength (the ability to exert force), power (the ability to exert force rapidly), endurance (the ability to withstand exertion), balance (the ability to maintain stability), agility (the ability to perform actions quickly and smoothly), and flexibility (the ability to bend without breaking).
* Fitness and Acclimatization: The fitter you are, the more effectively you can acclimate (i.e., adjust) to altitude. That is simply because fit climbers expend less energy for a certain task (i.e., a day of hard climbing), leaving their bodies ready for the task of acclimatization.

It is important to understand what your goals are so that you may maximize your training. This is especially important given the time constraints placed on a mountaineer by weather, route conditions, objective hazards, and the effects of altitude. Proper physical conditioning will allow you to perform better by climbing longer, stronger and faster, be more comfortable on steeper and awkward terrain, carry heavier loads, recover quicker at rest, and enjoy the entire adventure more completely. Training goals will vary from mountain to mountain. For example:

During a Mount McKinley 22-day Expedition, you must:

* Be able to carry a 60-pound pack for five to eight hours a day for several successive days.
* Be able to recover from a difficult day of climbing within an eight- to twelve-hour period.
* Be able to perform as an asset on a summit day of fourteen hours (on slopes up to 40 degrees).

It is wise to take a look at your current fitness level before getting started on a new fitness program. A comprehensive assessment (done under advice of a trainer at your local gym) can certainly be an important tool toward your fitness goals.

The Fitness Program

Start your entire fitness training program well in advance of your climb, and increase the intensity and duration of your exercising as you gain fitness. Very generally, a six-month minimum is needed to implement an effective program. Your first weeks in this new fitness program will most likely be focused on getting into a routine. Discipline yourself to begin both the cardiovascular and motor fitness training from the outset, but start carefully to avoid overuse or over-enthusiasm injuries. Use a variety of exercises, activities, locations, etc. to keep physically challenged and mentally engaged. Be cautious of month-by-month formulaic programs which tend to over-simplify expectations and promises. You should have a plan that is both regimented specifically for you and be flexible enough to meet your personal needs.

The more your training can simulate real climbing, the more you will benefit. The following exercises can be used in your fitness program.
Use aerobic exercises to develop cardiovascular fitness.

There are a variety of aerobic exercises which are fantastic for training. They include: climbing and descending hills, stairs or stadium bleachers, any kind of skiing, snowboarding, running and cycling.

Other excellent aerobic activities which can benefit you but tend to be less focused for our needs include: aerobics classes, stationary cycling, circuit weight training, boxing and martial arts. Swimming can also be valuable. For the purposes of this expedition it would serve you better to use aerobic activities more suited to our goal of maximizing cardiovascular fitness and maximizing the strength and endurance needed for climbing.

In addition to the benefit of cardiovascular fitness, there needs to be concentrated effort on developing your aerobic ability for the descent from the summit. We should prepare for the event of a big storm moving in at the end of the day and thus train so we have the ability to get down quickly. A good strengthening program for the legs, especially quadriceps and knees, can really pay off on the mountain. When training with a pack, use a bathroom scale to hold it accountable.

Some training recommendations for aerobic exercising include:

1. Keep your training range at 65 to 85% of your maximum heart rate. There is a well known formula for ascertaining your maximum heart rate that is based on your age, which you subtract from the number 220 (beats per minute). Arbitrary at best. We suggest that you begin with that formula, and then be aware of how you feel. Your perceived exertion can actually be a better indicator of how you ought to be performing on a given day. Individually, we differ enough, and certainly we have good days and bad days, such that "how we feel" should come into play. For example, a 39 year old has a maximum heart rate of 181; i.e., 220 - 39 = 181 beats per minute. The training range, then, is between 118 and 154 beats per minute.
2. We recommend that the time you spend working aerobically should be a solid 30 minutes a day, and shouldn't exceed 60 minutes. In order to train for the lengthy days in the mountains, you've got to get out and do lengthy training climbs; nothing else will prepare you as adequately.
3. The frequency of your aerobic workout can be rather unlimited. You can train every day if you like. Be careful that you don't overdo it and set yourself up with injuries. You should include some rest time each week.

Use interval training to advance your cardiovascular fitness.

The technique of interval training calls for including surges in the activity while maintaining an elevated heart rate. Here are some examples:

1. If you are a runner, begin by running at a moderate intensity for twenty minutes. Every ten minutes thereafter, increase your pace for three to eight minutes, then return to the moderately intense level.
2. If you are at the track, run around the track once at a moderate pace. Sprint 220 yards, then run one lap again. Repeat.
3. If you are using a step mill, step moderately (at the high end of your aerobic training range) for ten minutes. Every five minutes thereafter, increase your pace for 1 to 1½ minutes, then return to moderate intensity.

Remembering that the heart's ability to pump blood to the body is a major limiting factor in our athletic performance, then here is a training technique which can help us overcome that limitation. What we are doing here is going beyond standard cardiovascular fitness. Interval training, when used over a longer period of time, can aid in increasing the heart's capacity for pumping blood through the body.

This is a very strenuous manner of training, and it shouldn't be initiated at the last minute. We have had success with interval training when we have a minimum of three months of training time.
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Use weights, calisthenics and stretching to develop motor fitness.

We suggest that when you work with weights, limit it to 2 sets of 20 repetitions with lighter weights (lighter than the heavy weights customarily used to intensify muscle growth). Your first 15 reps ought to go easy; your last five with each set should be tough. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

Below are sample workouts which we have found successful. This program develops both cardiovascular and motor fitness. We have intentionally omitted describing the specific mechanics of the workouts as there exists a huge arsenal of exercises and machines to match an individual's personal situation (personal history and present fitness level).

It is important that in addition to a sound lower body, you develop a sound upper body as well. A sound torso (both back and stomach) is especially important for mountaineering where heavy pack weights add a new dimension to our physical activities. These training principles are essentially the same for our upper and lower bodies. Use a physical trainer to help you build a program specific to your lifestyle and needs.

Stretching, balance, aerobic and abdominal exercises can be done every day. You should work with lower body and upper body weights at least twice a week (once every 3 days). Don't fail to include a good warm up and warm down in your workout.
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Warming up and warming down

Include 10 to 15 minute aerobic warm up and a 5 to 10 minute warm down in your program. This is an important component of any program. Keep your heart rate in an aerobic range; don't get anaerobic.

Examples include walking, jogging in place, step mills, treadmills, cycling, and jumping rope.

Include 15 minutes of quality stretching into your program.

Focus on slow, static stretching. Avoid bouncing, ballistic stretching.

With static stretching, hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing through the stretch. Hold it only to the point of tension, not to the point of pain.

Don't stretch through pain; you are stretching and tearing muscle fibers with this activity.

Be patient. The reward of proper stretching is the joy of movement which results.

Remember that stretching is a warm up and warm down exercise as well as a "real" workout for your body. Your goal is the reduction of muscular tension, not an attainment of extreme flexibility. Improper stretching can lead to injury and disillusionment with this aspect of motor fitness training.

Stretch at the beginning of a workout, just after the warm up, and also, even more importantly, after the workout when the muscles are at their warmest and most supple state. Stretching after a workout will do a tremendous amount of good toward alleviating muscle soreness and decreasing the chance of injury.

Lower body weights:

1. 1 to 2 sets of calf raises. Use a platform which allows you to make the full range of motion as you stand up on your toes and then drop your heels. Use body weight only.
2. 2 sets of leg curls. Your hams should be 1/3 to 1/2 as strong as your quads.
3. 2 sets of individual leg extensions.
4. 2 sets of squats. Use a machine to isolate the gluteal muscles and prevent back injury.

Upper body weights:

1. Begin by exhausting the larger muscles first. This includes the chest and back, and shoulders.
2. Work both the biceps and the triceps.

Points to focus on:

1. All weight sets should be performed focusing on excellent form and technique. You should hire a physical trainer for at least a day to assist you with developing good technique. It may also be beneficial to meet again with this person periodically to ensure good form and to measure progress.
2. Perform repetitions with a two-count positive motion and a four-count negative motion.
3. Breathe out on exertion.
4. Use proper rest periods between sets.
5. With all these exercises, slowly increase the weights over time. Be patient.
6. Tendon strength increases at a rate roughly ten times less quickly than muscles. Don't supercharge your muscles on an aggressive weight program only to injure your tendons.

Abdominal exercises

Focus on the quality of the exercise, not the number.

Changing up the exercises (cross-training the abdomen) is key to increasing abdominal fitness.

The abdominal muscles adapt remarkably well to a punishing workout - continue to change up your workout, even if you don't switch exercises, switch the routine.

Balance Exercises

Balance exercises reward you with increased body awareness and can aid in your ability to negotiate tricky terrain under a heavy pack.

Distinguish between static and dynamic balance exercises. Static exercises will keep one or both feet on the ground. Dynamic exercises involve the body in motion. Both are important for the development of this motor fitness skill.

Balance is a motor skill like strength, and can be improved over time. Include some of these into your workout. Here are some possibilities:

Static balance exercises:

1. Walk heel-to-toe in a straight line. Then return by walking backward. Then try with your eyes shut.
2. Stand in balance on one leg. Fold the other leg beneath you and hold it by the knee or foot.
3. Stand in balance on one leg, then squat, and then return to the stand position.
4. Try the same exercise, but standing on a piece of foam.

Dynamic balance exercises:

1. Skiing, snowboarding, roller skating, ice skating are obvious and fun.
2. Tennis, racquetball, table tennis, basketball and volleyball are all also great for balance.
3. Clamber up and down hills, the hard way - over rough trails or "off piste" over boulders and logs, through the woods, etc. This is a particularly effective exercise.

Training Log

We have found that a training log helps to keep people on track. It keeps you honest for one; but more importantly, it is rewarding to see progress occurring over the longer term. A log book can help you recognize and then seize some motivation and satisfaction, especially if you have been training for months.

Good luck. Train hard. We look forward to seeing you on the mountain!

Monday, October 26, 2009

PNU-MC at Mt. Batulao

Training Climb at Mt. Batulao

To become a fully-pledge mountaineer, climbing is part of the training without it, a trainee is not considered as a mountaineer.

The first training climb of Batch 11 is held at Mt. Batulao.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Unsung Heroes


Bayanihan system is one of the good Filipino trait which foreigners were physically, emotionally and socially amazed. Noone can take it out from the filipinos because it is in the blood. Because if you were a Filipino, you were a Hero "Bayani".

Everyone needs help. Philosophers says that "No one is an island" meaning to say that he cannot stand alone or built a nation by itself.

The Philippine Normal University - Mountainering Club represented by Sky Lladones, Melija Cahilig, Christopher Tapales, Elvie Peji, Rhobie Magana, Eloisa Veloria and Christian Cantero.


Ready to be packed and deliver to the disaster area.

As the time continue ticking, the PHilippine Normal University - Mountaineering Club is ready for any disaster and always ready to lend his hands for a help.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Prapering and Handling Medicinal Plants / Herbs

Tips on Handling Medicinal Plants / Herbs:

• If possible, buy herbs that are grown organically - without pesticides.

• Medicinal parts of plants are best harvested on sunny mornings. Avoid picking leaves, fruits or nuts during and after heavy rainfall.

• Leaves, fruits, flowers or nuts must be mature before harvesting. Less medicinal substances are found on young parts.

• After harvesting, if drying is required, it is advisable to dry the plant parts either in the oven or air-dried on screens above ground and never on concrete floors.

• Store plant parts in sealed plastic bags or brown bottles in a cool dry place without sunlight preferably with a moisture absorbent material like charcoal. Leaves and other plant parts that are prepared properly, well-dried and stored can be used up to six months.

Tips on Preparation for Intake of Herbal Medicines:

• Use only half the dosage prescribed for fresh parts like leaves when using dried parts.

• Do not use stainless steel utensils when boiling decoctions. Only use earthen, enamelled, glass or alike utensils.

• As a rule of thumb, when boiling leaves and other plant parts, do not cover the pot, and boil in low flame.

• Decoctions loose potency after some time. Dispose of decoctions after one day. To keep fresh during the day, keep lukewarm in a flask or thermos.

• Always consult with a doctor if symptoms persist or if any sign of allergic reaction develops.

Top Listed Medicinal Plants Commonly Found in the Philippines

These is the list of the ten (10) medicinal plants that the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) through its "Traditional Health Program" have endorsed. All ten (10) herbs have been thoroughly tested and have been clinically proven to have medicinal value in the relief and treatment of various aliments:

1. Akapulko (Cassia alata) - also known as "bayabas-bayabasan" and "ringworm bush" in English, this herbal medicine is used to treat ringworms and skin fungal infections.

2. Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) - known as "bitter gourd" or "bitter melon" in English, it most known as a treatment of diabetes (diabetes mellitus), for the non-insulin dependent patients.

3. Bawang (Allium sativum) - popularly known as "garlic", it mainly reduces cholesterol in the blood and hence, helps control blood pressure.

4. Bayabas (Psidium guajava) - "guava" in English. It is primarily used as an antiseptic, to disinfect wounds. Also, it can be used as a mouth wash to treat tooth decay and gum infection.

5. Lagundi (Vitex negundo) - known in English as the "5-leaved chaste tree". It's main use is for the relief of coughs and asthma.

6. Niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica L.) - is a vine known as "Chinese honey suckle". It is effective in the elimination of intestinal worms, particularly the Ascaris and Trichina. Only the dried matured seeds are medicinal -crack and ingest the dried seeds two hours after eating (5 to 7 seeds for children & 8 to 10 seeds for adults). If one dose does not eliminate the worms, wait a week before repeating the dose.

7. Sambong (Blumea balsamifera)- English name: Blumea camphora. A diuretic that helps in the excretion of urinary stones. It can also be used as an edema.

8. Tsaang Gubat (Ehretia microphylla Lam.) - Prepared like tea, this herbal medicine is effective in treating intestinal motility and also used as a mouth wash since the leaves of this shrub has high fluoride content.

9. Ulasimang Bato | Pansit-Pansitan (Peperomia pellucida) - It is effective in fighting arthritis and gout. The leaves can be eaten fresh (about a cupful) as salad or like tea. For the decoction, boil a cup of clean chopped leaves in 2 cups of water. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain, let cool and drink a cup after meals (3 times day).

10. Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii) - commonly known as Peppermint, this vine is used as an analgesic to relive body aches and pain. It can be taken internally as a decoction or externally by pounding the leaves and applied directly on the afflicted area.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Importance Of Physical Activity

Physical inactivity has been established as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and some people are not physically active enough to gain any health benefits. Women especially need to increase their physical activity because women become less active during their teenage years. Women also tend to stay less physically active than men for the rest of our lives.

According to the American Heart Association guidelines for physical activity, adult women should be betting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on most days of the week. However, physical activity recommendations for women who need to lose weight or sustain weight loss are different - minimum of 60--90 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (e.g., brisk walking) on most, and preferably all, days of the week. Not sure what is moderate exercise?? Learn more.

Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 3 killers of American women. Regular physical activity provides many benefits such as:

* Helps reduce your risk of heart disease
* Aids in controlling blood cholesterol, diabetes and obesity
* Helps lower blood pressure
* Builds stronger bones
* Aids in reducing anxiety and depression
* Increases energy levels

Tips for Getting Started

By being physically active, you'll feel better and look better, too! You can start today by:

* Warming up. Walk for about 5 minutes, then gently stretch your legs, lower back, and torso before beginning your activity session.

* Making watching television a dynamic activity. Do abdominal exercises, stretching, or other physical activity during commercials. See how much movement you get in one evening!.

* Wearing shoes that fit well. Break them in by walking around in them for short periods of time. Make sure they fit well before you leave the store. Try to find a knowledgeable salesperson who can help you.

* Making sure the areas you use outside aren't isolated and are well lighted at night. It's safer if you go with a friend or a group.

* Planning errands that require walking during your lunch hour.

* Increasing your strength and muscle tone by engaging in everyday activities such as carrying groceries, lifting a baby in and out of a stroller, or climbing steep stairs.

* Exercising inside! Walk in place. Take breaks while you're at the computer and do sit-ups, push-ups and other exercises. Rent or buy an aerobics, yoga or a Pilates video.

* Be engage in an outdoor activities such as hiking, biking,canoeing, etc.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Special Skills in Descending

Australian Rappel

It is a rappelling technique wherein the face of a descending person from a high angle environment is facing ground.

Lizard Rappel

Lizard rappel is a descending technique basically used in military operations to spy or to take a little information regarding their subject.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Descending Technique


Rappelling is the easiest way to descend in a high angle environment. It is also a useful technique in rescuing a person from such heights. Though rappelling is (normally) one of the simplistic tasks in climbing, it is also one of the most dangerous. Many climbers have been lost by rappelling off the end of their rope. To avoid rappelling off the end of your rope tie a knot at both ends of the rope. A double fishermans knot works well for the backup knots.

Types of Rappel

1. Basic Rappel
2. Australian Rappel
3. Lizard Rappel

Friday, October 9, 2009

Devil's Tower

Devil’s tower - Meek and Pratt at base

The late Chuck Pratt, legendary rock climber who was on the first three-man team to climb the 3,000-foot Salathe Wall in Yosemite, and John at the base of the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming -- scene of the filming of Stephen Spielberg’s first major hit movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

The World’s Noted Mountain Climbers

Allison, Stacy, first American woman to summit Everest, led team up K2.

Alzner, Jeff, K2 in 2000

Anker, Conrad, world climber and person who found George Mallory’s body on Everest.

Bass, Dick, first climber to reach the summit of the highest points on the seven continents.

Bates, Robert, pioneer K2 climber, early advisor in formation of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division and long-time supporter of AAC.

Blum, Arlene, leader of the all-female climb of Annapurna, author.

Boyle, John, major contributor of climbing books to the AAC Library

Briggs, Bill, noted climber, leader in establishing the Grand Teton Climbers Ranch, former Exum Guide, first to ski from the summit of the Grand Teton.

Climbers Ranch work week and rebuilding.
Climbers Ranch Benefit Concert, Mangy Moose Bar, August 29, 1993

Climbers Ranch Benefit Concert, Sno-king Resort, Aug. 29, 1993.
Climbers Ranch Benefit Concert, Aug. 15, Dornan’s Bar, Grand Teton National Park

Climbers Ranch Work Week – June, 1995

Climbers Ranch Work Week, June, 1996

Durrance, Dr. John, early K2 climber and first ascent of the Durrance Route on Devil’s Towers

Everest Event – ABC.

Everest 1995 American Team with George Mallory II

Exum, Glenn, founder of Exum Guides, oldest mountain guiding service in the U.S.

Exum, Glenn, “One Last Song on His Mountain,” PBS documentary of his 50th anniversary climb establishing the Direct Exum Route on the Grand Teton.

Feagin, Nancy, Exum Guide, Yosemite fast climber and Everest summiter.

Frost, Tom, Yosemite legend and one of three persons to do the first climb of the Salathe Route on El Cap in Yosemite.

Glavine, Hans, Yosemite speed climber.

Grissom, Kitty Calhoun, noted climber and former AAC board member.

Grunsfeld, Dr. John M., climber and NASA astronaut who repairs the Hubble Telescope.

Henderson, Ken, pioneer 20th century climber who set the bar.

Hillary, Sir Edmund, first climber to summit Everest.

Hill, Lynn, the human spider on the rocks.

Horner, Skip, member of the famous 1996 Everest climb.

Houston, Dr. Charles, world famous authority on mountain medicine, early climber on K2, author and lecturer.

“Into Thin Air” Docudrama.” -- ABC

Jackson Hole Climb Wall Competition.

Kaufman, Dr. Andrew, early climber on K2 and author.

Kennedy, Michael, Climbing Magazine founder and notable climber.

Lev, Peter, co-owner of Exum Guides, avalanche expert.

Mace, Charlie, Everest climber, former AAC board member, AAC staff member.

Moro, Simone, Sowles Award recipient for saving a climber on Lhotse.

Porzak, Glenn, former AAC president.

Pratt, Chuck, another Yosemite legend and first to climb the Salathe Wall on El Cap in Yosemite with Yvon Chouinard and Tom Frost.

Putman Bill
, world climber and part of the 10th Mountain Division.

Read, Al, president of Exum Guides.

Rieke, Peter, paralyzed in a climbing fall and trying to climb Mt. Rainer with a mechanical “snow pod.”

, Rick, world climber and author.

, Royal, world climber, early Yosemite legend and international sportsman.

Roberts, David, author and climber.

Robinson, Roger, Denali National Park climbing ranger.

Rowell, Galen, world climber, photographer and author of several coffee table books published by the Sierra Club.

Schoening, Pete, saved lives of six members of his climbing team on K2.

“Stay Alive Guide to Mountain Survival.”

Steck, Allen, noted Yosemite climber, coauthor of “Fifty Classic Climbs of North

America,” and AAC Literary Award recipient with Steve Roper.

Utah Climbing Competition – CBS Sports

Tackle, Jack, Exum Guide and world-class climber.

, Brad and Barbara, world climbers and mappers. Barbara was the first woman to summit Denali.

, Eric, a blind climber who summited Everest with Charlie Mace, former AAC board member and current AAC staff member.

, Robert, chairman of the board of the Mountain Institute, Washington, DC

, Jim, first American to summit Everest and leader of 1990 Peace Climb of Everest.

Wickwire, Jim, climber of major peaks.

Wilson, Ted, Grand Teton climbing ranger, leader in establishing the Grand Teton Climbers Ranch, former mayor of Salt Lake City, and faculty member at the University of Utah.

American Alpine Club Library
Golden, CO

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mountaineer's Week Upcoming

Mountaineer Week History

Mountaineer Week marks the time when the leaves are turning and the chill has returned to the evening air, setting the stage for a celebration filled with art, unique crafts, and Appalachian culture, heritage, and cuisine. This celebration of the state of West Virginia, held on the campus of West Virginia University, was conceived in 1947 as an event to arouse more school spirit. The initial weekend started with a thuse on the old athletic field the night before the WVU versus Kentucky football game. Following the game, a dance requiring mountaineer garb was held with awards given for the costumes most representative of a true mountaineer.

In 1948, additional Mountaineer school spirit activities were added to this University wide and community event. The other events added to the celebration were floats, hay wagons, an “jalopies” parading down High Street and up University Avenue before the football game.

The first-ever beard growing competition was held in 1949. The idea for a Mountaineer Mascot Statue was initiated during the 1950 Mountaineer Weekend which ended with a carnival in the Field House with the proceeds from the various booths being placed in a fund to help pay for a bronze statue of a Mountaineer for the campus.

Between 1953 and 1958, a fashion show, folk singing events, and a Friday night concert were added to the weekend highlights.

No major innovations were introduced until 1962 when the Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer Contest joined in the festivities. In 1972, the 25th Anniversary of this West Virginia University and state of West Virginia celebration grew into a week-long event now referred to as Mountaineer Week. The theme of the 25th Anniversary was deemed as “The Home of Mountaineers.” In 1972, several diversified events were added to Mountaineer Week, including: the first Mountaineer Week Arts and Crafts Festival, a Mountaineer dinner, various games and concerts, and a Downtown Festival.

West Virginia heritage at its finest was displayed during the 1972 Mountaineer Week with the opening of the first Mountaineer Week Arts and Crafts Festival. In cooperation with the West Virginia State Department of Commerce and the Campus Club, the Arts and Crafts Festival was held in the Gold Ballroom of the Mountainlair. Some crafts that highlighted the event were spinning, wood carving, early American basketry, cornhusk dolls, pottery, leather crafts, blacksmithing, and dulcimer making. Today, the Craft Fair remains to be held in the Blue and Gold Ballrooms of the Mountainlair and features traditional and contemporary crafts of Appalachia with over 66 artisans from West Virginia and neighboring states.

In 1972, the Mountaineer Week celebration also initiated a tradition that lasted many years at West Virginia University Mountaineer Week Cabin Sales. Located in the right front yard of the Mountainlair was a rustic mountaineer cabin which was completely built by the Foresters and was made from native West Virginia materials. Cabin Sales, viewed to contribute to the heritage and culture of our great state, provided a central location in which mountaineer items could be purchased throughout the week.

One of the first Mountaineer Week Dinners was held in 1972 in Summit Hall and the Mountainlair. The Mountaineer Week Committee in cooperation with Ms. Jean Benson of Housing and Food Service planned a menu that all Mountaineers loved. Today, the annual Country Vittles Dinner Buffet is a down-home feast like Grandma used to make. Mountaineer Week also offers Appalachian treats such as funnel cakes, homemade lemonade, maple sugar syrup/candy, muffins, fudge, pepperoni rolls, candy apples, and much more!

Tradition was always the predominant element of Mountaineer Week. In 1977, the practice of adopting a quilt pattern was incorporated into Mountaineer Week to add a feeling of unity to the week’s festivities. In 1977, the “Double Wedding Ring” quilt logo was proposed and accepted as the official quilt logo of that year’s Mountaineer Week. The quilt was made by Ethelyn Butler and Mae Long, who won the Bicentennial Quilt Show for the Smithsonian. The “Double Wedding Ring” Quilt is still on display at WVU Jackson’s Mill Conference Center. Each year thereafter, a quilt logo was chosen and a quilt square was made and framed to showcase that particular year. Most of the framed quilt squares are on display in the Mountainlair today. In 1997, the current Mountaineer Week logo was chosen to provide long-term unity and consistency and remains as the official Mountaineer Week Logo today. This year’s Mountaineer Week Quilt Show is being presented by the Country Roads Quilt Guild. Adorning the Mountaineer Room and Ballroom Stage of the Mountainlair will be colorful handmade quilts loved by generations, along with quilters showcasing their talents.

Fiddling has an extensive history and has been studied and written about by many music scholars and history enthusiasts. Fiddlers have provided mountain music and foot stompin’ fun for many years as part of Mountaineer Week. Still today, the Fiddler’s Contest remains a favorite part of Mountaineer Week. Local, state, and neighboring state fiddlers compete in the Gluck Theatre of the Mountainlair for the top awards in the Youth, Junior, and Senior Divisions.

From years gone by to the present time, dancing has provided exercise and friendship to both the young and the old. This heritage form of Appalachian entertainment historically consisted of dancing with partners at an old-time square dance or adding a step to the square dance to enjoy what is known as clogging. These traditions have followed our Mountaineers down through the years at WVU. Mountaineer Week today still hosts an Old-Fashioned Square Dance and many exhibitions of Clogging in Appalachia.

Mountaineer Week has showcased numerous other heritage events in its 60 years of existence. One of the student highlights through the years has been the annual PRT Cram. Mountaineer Week is certainly important on the WVU campus due to the fact that we have our very own Mountaineer Week PRT Car, designed specifically for our historical PRT Cram. The record number of students crammed into the PRT Car is 97, accomplished in 2000.

The Mr. & Ms. Mountaineer Contest has been held in conjunction with Mountaineer Week since 1962. Each year, the long-awaited announcement of Mr. & Ms. Mountaineer is presented to the Mountaineer fans at the half-time festivities of the Mountaineer Week Football Game. Down through the years, the Mr. & Ms. Mountaineer have represented West Virginia University and our great mountain state. This prestigious award honors one male and one female student who have a record of academic achievement and extracurricular involvement. Along with the announcement of Mr. & Ms. Mountaineer, is the naming of the Most Loyal West Virginian, the Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer, the Most Loyal Faculty Mountaineer, and the Most Loyal Staff Mountaineer for their accomplishments to the state and West Virginia University. Our Mountaineer Week Royalty will be named at half-time of the WVU versus Cincinnati Football Game to be held on Saturday, November 9th at Mylan Puskar Stadium.

The Mountaineer Mascot has represented West Virginia University ’s athletic teams, students, and alumni since 1927. In addition, each Mascot represented something even more—the Mountaineer spirit that is spread throughout the great state of West Virginia. In 1993, the first-ever Mountaineer Mascot Reunion was held during Mountaineer Week. At this humbling event, thousands of blue and gold fans welcomed back home our former Mountaineer Mascots who were chosen by Mountain Honorary for outstanding enthusiasm and character. At this first-ever gathering, it was decided that a Mascot Reunion would be held every five years during Mountaineer Week. In this regard, a reunion has been held in l997, 2002, and 2007. The current Mountaineer Mascot is Michael Squires, a Junior Speech Pathology and Audiology major from Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Mountaineer Idol will begin its fifth year on the campus of West Virginia University as part of Mountaineer Week. The WVU version of the hit TV show, “American Idol,” will showcase talented WVU students in this seven-week competition. The 2008 Mountaineer Idol will receive $1,000; first runner-up will receive $750, and second runner-up will receive $250—all donated by Coca Cola. In addition, the Mountaineer Idol will receive $500 in cash from Gibbie’s Pub and Eatery, a personal digital recorder from Fawley’s Music, and an ice cream party from Cold Stone Creamery. The competitions open to the public are: Sunday, September 14th at 3:00pm in the Mountainlair Ballrooms; Friday, September 26th at 8:30pm in the Mountainlair Ballrooms; Friday, October 10th at 9:00pm in the Mountainlair Ballrooms; Friday, October 17th at 8:30pm in the Mountainlair Ballrooms; Friday, October 31st at 8:30pm in the Mountainlair Ballrooms; and Sunday, November 9th at 3:00pm at the MET Theatre on High Street. Mountaineer Idol is sponsored by Coca-Cola, Gibbie’s Pub and Eatery, Fawley’s Music, Cold Stone Creamery, Coni & Franc, and organized by WVU Student Affairs in partnership with FOX 46, American Idol. For more information on our Mountaineer Idol Competition, please click on Mountaineer Idol.

Sixty-one years of culture and heritage is etched in the minds and hearts of Mountaineers as they remember Mountaineer Week on the campus of West Virginia University. Our WVU Students need to be reminded of the heritage that has made West Virginia what it is today. Therefore, we invite all members of our student body, faculty, staff, community, and state to join us on November 8-16, 2008, as we celebrate Mountaineer Week!

P.O. Box 6437
Morgantown, WV 26506
Phone: 304.293.2702