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The Mountaineering Culture Studies Group is made possible through the Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop programme at the Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan. It is also generously supported as a Special Interest Group by the university's Department of English.

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Past Events

Upcoming Event in March

31 March 2014 | 3512 Haven Hall | 6 p.m.
Mountaineering: Hobby to Profession | Mat Erpelding

This presentation will reflect on the impacts of converting mountaineering from a hobby to a profession. Expedition guiding at high and low altitudes requires both a specific education and a vocational skill-set that is unique to the field. The transition that takes place when moving from experiencing mountaineering for its inherent values to experiencing mountaineering as a profession requires a significant change in thought and decision-making strategies. Today's discussion will take us from the guiding life on North America's biggest mountains--Mt Baker, Mt Rainier, Denali--to outdoor education at the school and college level.

Mat Erpelding is an accomplished outdoor educator, high-altitude climbing guide, and owns two small businesses--Saga Leadership Associates and Idaho Mountain Guides. He is a past president of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and in 2010 he was awarded the Wilderness Education Association’s Instructor of the Year Award for bringing innovative and substantial curriculum improvements to the organization. In 2012, Mat was elected to serve in the Idaho House of Representatives from downtown Boise where he is appointed to the Revenue & Taxation, Resources & Conservation, and Agricultural Committees.

All are welcome to this public lecture, but please note that entrance to Haven Hall after 5 p.m. requires card access. Please let Amrita Dhar ( know if you do not have a card for this building after hours, but wish to attend.

Summer Reading Project Reviews
Several MCSG members participated in a summer reading project and their reviews on a variety of books related to mountaineering culture and history are now live on the site. (The reviews are permanently accessible via the bibliography page.)

  Last updated March 30, 2014.