Sierra Sweethearts in Profile: Robin and Lori Ives: A Force for Nature
Sierra Club leader, activist and volunteer Lori Ives died Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. Here's the story of how she and husband Robin met and shared a passion that would fuel their Angeles Chapter activities for a lifetime.
Even before she began mountain climbing, Lori Ives forged new paths as one of the first women to attend Harvey Mudd College (HMC). Lori was the only woman in her class when she graduated in 1961.
Having already attended the Eastman School of Music (viola major), the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, the University of Chicago, Lori was a non-traditional HMC student 10 years older than her peers. In her spare time at HMC, she went on mountain outings with a dashing associate professor of mathematics called Robin Ives.
The two married two days after Lori's graduation with a B.S. in mathematics. 'Robin made sure I had a backpack and boots when we got married,' says Lori, adding, 'I married the Sierra Club in 1961!'
Thus began the couple's passion for mountaineering and their long association with the Sierra Club.
With skills obtained from a very thorough mountaineering course he'd taken in Seattle, Robin started a similar course for the Angeles Chapter. For several years, Robin and Lori organized and chaired the Chapter's basic mountaineering training course, which brought hundreds of new members into the Club.
Robin has served on the Chapter's Executive Committee, which he chaired in 1975. He has also edited the Southern Sierran and to this day maintains an active and invaluable role as an Editorial Board member with an eagle's eye for revision. Robin worked for the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964, and then was active in the campaign to incorporate the San Gorgonio Primitive Area into the new system of Wilderness Areas. During the 1980s, the couple worked to establish protection for Calilfornia's coast and participated in an eight-year campaign that resulted in the passage of the California Wilderness Bill. In the 1990s, they worked for the eventual passage of the California Desert Protection Act.
While Robin's niche has been environmental lobbying, Lori's passion is communications. She edited the Angeles Chapter's Schedule of Activities for nine years and continues to edit and publish the Sierra Club California/Nevada RedBook. She also publishes the Conservation Committee Newsletter, which Robin edits.
As devoted to the Sierra Club as they are to each other, the Iveses find pleasure in the simple things like "walking among and contemplating the redwoods of California's north coast," they say.
Adapted from 'No Mountain High Enough,' first published in the Harvey Mudd College Bulletin. Photo: Robin and Lori Ives, circa 1961.