Minutes of the
1997 NSS Vertical Section Meeting
June 24, 1997

The 1997 NSS Vertical Section meeting and papers session was held Thursday, June 24, 1997 at the Sullivan Fire House in Sullivan, Missouri. Executive Committee (EC) members present were Chairman Bruce Smith, Contest Coordinator Bill Cuddington, Vertical Techniques Workshop Coordinator Allen Padgett, Training Coordinator Gary Bush, Acting Secretary/Treasurer Bill Bussey, Editor Wm. Shrewsbury, and Miriam Cuddington. Executive Committee member Tray Murphy was absent. Approximately 40 Vertical Section members were in attendance.

Chairman Bruce Smith called the meeting to order at 12:13 PM.

Secretary's Report: Bill Bussey announced we have 744 voting members. With about 25 in attendance at the moment, we have a quorum. Total number of Nylon Highway's to be mailed as of May 31, is 831. Wm. Shrewsbury mailed 1146 issues of Nylon Highway's 41 & 42 in February. We have $5825 of encumbered dues for future issues we owe members. Answering a question by a member, Bill noted that we will continue to give participants of the Vertical Techniques Workshop a year of Vertical Section membership.

Treasurer's Report: As of May 31, 1997 we had a net income $4824.22. Total Expenses were $6850.35. Because of the incomplete Treasurer's report from last year, we did not have the Ending Balance from last year to serve as a beginning balance for this year. However, we have Account Balances of $3165.56 in the Cincinnati, OH account, $4221.25 in the Durham, NC account, approximately $1383.00 in the Chase Manhattan account, and $372.67 in the GMAC "high-interest-earning" account. This totals $9142.48. Because of a larger balance than anticipated in the Cincinnati account, we are in better shape than thought. See the itemized report for more info.

A member asked about the unexplained check #335 for $334.29. This was later determined to be reimbursement for overseas postage of Nylon Highways 39 & 40.

An amount of $5825 of the Total Cash on Hand figure of $9142.48 is committed to future years' issues. Gary Bush is owed $765 for printing of the Vertical Training Course materials. Bruce is owed $103 for printing of the Vertical Techniques Workshop workbook, and ordered mugs will cost approximately $1200. This leaves approximately $1250 cash available for use.

Editor's Report: Wm Shrewsbury Nylon Highway 41 & 42 were printed in February. He has enough articles for an issue and a half. He is looking for more articles! (Nylon Highway is only as good as membership makes it!) We should print at least Nylon Highway #43 in late July for publication in August. He will also start working on a CD-ROM compilation of the contents of Nylon Highway's 1-40.

Bruce noted that Gary Taylor hauled dozen or so boxes of Section back issues, records and fans he had to this convention. We are looking for a new home and a way to get it the many boxes there. Several suggestions were made on how to deal with this material. Note: As it turned out, the new Secretary/Treasurer took all of the back issues home with him.

There was discussion on what to ultimately do with large number of the more recent back issues.

Allen Padgett moved that: For one year we sell back issues of Nylon Highways for $1 each. After that time we will consider what to do with any significant numbers of issues remaining. The motion passed unanimously.

Bruce also added that we need articles which revisit earlier written material. "The Basics" are very much in demand right now. Many members don't have the older issues. Articles from other publications are also welcome. There is material on the Internet, which if illustrated and edited could be utilized.

Contest Chair Report: Bill Cuddington thanked the Missouri Convention for the gym and facilities, which were among the best the contest has ever had. He thanked the all the help in setting up and running the contest. Twelve hundred feet of PMI Anniversary rope will be divided into eight 150-foot lengths for prizes. We need more people trained to operate the long racks. We need to purchase three more stopwatches.

There was discussion about shortening the contest from two days to one long day. We had 26 attempts the first day and 52 the second day. More people delay and wait to run the second day. With two ropes, we can run a lot more people. Most records are set fairly early on the first day. This would hurt those people who wanted to run more than one or two events, as it would not allow time for personal recovery. It was noted that this is a smaller convention, and the smaller numbers from this year might not be applicable for other years.

A compromise might be a half day on Monday, then a full day on Tuesday. The rope could be rigged Monday, and climbs made on Monday afternoon, then a full day on Tuesday. We might gauge the time the contest runs based on the convention conditions. It will be up to the Contest Chair to determine the appropriate time the contest runs.

Vertical Techniques Workshop Report: Allen Padgett was thanked for picking up the ball on this years' Workshop. He thanked his staff for the great hands-on experience they gave workshop participants. As usual, the convention signed up many more people than we had slots for. However with no-shows, most who came were allowed to participate.

Rebelay Workshop Report: Gary Bush reported that the Rebelay Workshop had 28 climbers. It was moved indoors due to the heat, as well as concerns about damage to the trees. He felt that climbing suffered a little, but basically all went well.

Basic Vertical Training Course: Gary Bush said that 750 Instructor Manuals printed along with 1000 Student sets. We have sold 155 Instructor Manuals, and 97 student sets. We have made $593.47 back on an investment on $1869.00 . Gary is concerned that they aren't selling well. We urge Vertical Section members to spread the news about the availability of this course. It was suggested that an article describing the course be written for the NSS News and the NSS Administrative Memo. Bruce noted that training is a "bottoms up" demand, where it is the new members are demanding it. The grotto chair and old-timers already are trained. We need to get word of this course to the new members so they will convince the old-timers to teach the course. Liz Shrewsbury volunteered to write articles on the course for the NSS News and Administrative Memo.

Intermediate Vertical Training Course: Gary said he would have the proposed Intermediate Training Course ready for review by the end of the summer. It will then go for review, and depending on finances, it will be published by convention next summer. Roger Haley volunteered to assist in reviewing material for this Intermediate Course.

David Klinger moved and Terry Clark seconded that: The Executive Committee will publish the Intermediate Vertical Training Course after review at such time the Section finances are in shape to publish it. The motion passed unanimously.

On Rope II Update: Bruce Smith said sales of the book have been brisk. There are over one thousand new illustrations, not the seven hundred plus the NSS uses in their advertising. Kudos went to Barb Ritts for her tough proofreading, Bill Boehle for his stellar review for each chapter, and the rest of the Vertical Section Executive Committee for their help.

Symbolic Devices Chair Report: Bill Bussey reported for Tray Murphy that no T-shirts were made for convention. We now have some great-looking reflective stickers and mugs as promised last year. The mugs are not what we ordered, but they still make bad coffee taste great! Bill Boehle has volunteered for the position of Symbolic Devices Chair, and the Executive Committee approved him.


Elections Explained: Bruce Smith reported that in last years' elections we initiated two-year terms for Vertical Section Executive Committee members. The top two vote-getters got two-year terms, and the next two got one-year terms. Bruce and Bill Bussey were elected to two-year terms with Tray Murphy and Miriam Cuddington elected to one-year terms. Tray and Miriam's terms are up today and their positions will be up for two-year terms. Wm. Shrewsbury was elected Editor for a one-year term. Bill is Acting Secretary/Treasurer, which is a one-year term. Both positions are up for election

Nylon Highway Publishing Dates Changed: Wm Shrewsbury proposed that the Nylon Highway printing schedule be changed to a December or January issue, with another printed shortly after the NSS Convention. Bill Cuddington mentioned he could expand the Contest records for publication in after convention Nylon Highway.

Stopwatches: Ed Sira moved and Miriam Cuddington seconded that: The Vertical Section purchase three stop watches for the Climbing Contest. It passed unanimously.

Membership Based on Volume: As a train passed by outside, Allen Padgett moved and Bill Bussey seconded that: The Vertical Section membership move from a yearly membership to a volume of two issues per $5.00 membership. Members would receive two issues of Nylon Highway for their five bucks. This is in effect what we are currently doing. The motion passed unanimously.

Other Business
In discussion, membership directed the Secretary/Treasurer to accept pre-paid Section memberships to a maximum of three years, or six issues in advance of the current year.

There was discussion of what to do about keeping up with membership constantly changing their address. Moved members who fail to tell us where they are cost the Section over $200 each mailing. The best thing for members to do is to inform the Secretary/Treasurer when they move.

Bruce Smith announced that earlier that week Gary Taylor had apologized to him for not fulfilling the duties of Secretary/Treasurer. In a gesture of goodwill, Gary donated $500 to the Section.

A member asked about Jeffrey Power who as Editor two years ago took $2400 of Section funds. David Klinger who lives in Washington state, the last known whereabouts of Power, has volunteered to attempt to do what he can find Jeffrey Power. Section membership agreed to assist him.

Elections: In elections, David Joaquim of Scottsdale, Arizona was elected Secretary/Treasurer with direction not to go in any more horizontal caves! Wm Shrewsbury was elected Editor. In Executive Committee elections Miriam Cuddington and Bill Boehle were elected to the Vertical Section Executive Committee. Later in the week, Bruce Smith was re-elected Chair of the Vertical Section.

Papers: In the papers Session, Skip Withrow showed his rope washer to a favorable audience. Bruce Smith discussed that it is a fine line between damage and no damage to ropes due to friction. From discussion, it was determined that the key to avoiding damage to the rope on long rappels was to keep moving. By keeping constant motion, heat generated from brake bar friction will not be in contact with any one area of rope for long enough to damage the rope.


Respectfully Submitted,

Bill Bussey


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