History

History

OVERVIEW

The Mountaineers is an outdoor community teaching you skills to explore the outdoors safely and responsibly. Founded in 1906, we've been getting people of all ages outside for over 100 years. We are passionate about building a community of people who are knowledgeable and care about the outdoors. We work to protect the outdoor experience for generations to come. 

Our mission is to enrich the community by helping people explore, conserve, learn about, and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

HISTORY

The Mountaineers played a pivotal role in the growth of the greater outdoor community in the Pacific Northwest. Many of today's recreational resources came from actions and activities of early Mountaineers members, including the creation of trails, wilderness areas, and national parks. Our members were also critical in the development of alpine skiing in the Cascades, climbing courses in the U.S., and founding the national Mountain Rescue Association.

Historical Records and Artifacts

We have a rich catalog of historical items available online:

You can also explore our club records in the UW Special Collections or view our unique look at history through our Videos. Or, access our entire history archive managed by Volunteer Historian Lowell Skoog

Northwest Mountaineering Journal

The mission of the Northwest Mountaineering Journal is to be an edited, permanent, annual record of mountaineering in the Pacific Northwest. The journal documents the events, people, history and spirit of climbing and other mountain sports in this region. The journal is published by volunteers from the mountaineering community in collaboration with The Mountaineers and is spearheaded by Lowell Skoog.

Access the Northwest Mountaineering Journal to view outdoor pursuits dating back to 2004.

The Mountaineers Library 

The Mountaineers library is currently being reorganized and restructured by our History committee. Our vast collection of historical items has been combed through with an eye toward retaining items reflecting The Mountaineers’ core activities in the Pacific Northwest (climbing, hiking, skiing, conservation, etc.). Titles outside of this scope are being donated to an appropriate home, and the titles within this scope are being retained in various forms. Eventually, we hope to make all of the titles accessible to researchers, but currently most of them are in boxes waiting to be re-shelved and re-cataloged. This process is being carried out by volunteers with limited time to devote to the project and will be completed when they have time.

Many of the collection remains at the Seattle Program Center. The Mountaineer Annuals and monthly Bulletins are held at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center in the upstairs archives. They are neatly arranged in bookcases, and available for research use during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 9-5pm. An incomplete catalog of the archives can be found here. For historical membership rosters, click here.

Other items are being stored with the University of Washington Special Collections. The Mountaineers has a longstanding relationship with the UW, which houses our area’s largest collection of Pacific Northwest Mountaineering information. Mountaineers members have access to the collection, which includes almost all of the Mountaineer Annuals, through a reciprocal agreement with UW Special Collections. To access those documents, visit the Special Collections website or visit them in person at Allen Library South, Basement, University of Washington, Seattle. Contact Nicolette Bromberg at for more information.

The Olympia Branch also maintains their own library. Learn more on the Olympia Library Committee page.

We are not currently accepting book donations for the library or any of our courses. Please reach out to your local library to donate any mountaineering guidebooks or narratives. If you believe you have something of historical significance please reach out to the history chair Lowell Skoog.

Summit Registers

Summit registers can also be found at the UW Special Collections Archive. To obtain a new summit register for placing on a peak please send an email to info@mountaineers.org.