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Alma Wagen: The first female mountain guide at Mount Rainier National Park

In 1918, Alma Wagen, an early member of The Mountaineers, was declared the first woman to join Mount Rainier’s guide staff. Upon accepting this position, Alma knew her accomplishment was not just personally life-changing, but also an opportunity to bring other women into climbing. “At last I had found the time and the place to climb, and I climbed hills and mountains and learned everything I possibly could about climbing,” she told a journalist in a 1923 interview for American Magazine. “Then I looked for new fields to conquer and found my life's work. I wanted to teach other women the joy of climbing.” Read more…

Conservation 101: The Mountaineers Conservation History

When you hear the word “conservation,” what comes to mind? To us, conservation can mean protecting natural landscapes for public enjoyment through the creation of national parks, forests, and wilderness areas. It can also mean individual acts of advocacy, stewardship, or low-impact recreation. Read more…

Retro Rewind | The Hansen Family Legacy at Stevens Lodge

A sloping lot in the crook of a mountain pass at 4,200 feet caught the eye of Mountaineers volunteers 75 years ago. A lease from the U.S. Forest Service was signed, and construction began on a rustic ski in/ski out cabin. As the June 1946 Mountaineer bulletin stated, “All sites will be developed as cheaply as possible, with maximum accommodations for minimum cost.” Read more…

Retro Rewind | Ski Jumping on 4th Avenue

Written in the Snows: Across Time on Skis in the Pacific Northwest, new from Mountaineers Books, offers a definitive and visually rich history of the past century of Northwest ski culture. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Harvey and His Hoaxes

The following is excerpted from Imaginary Peaks: The Riesenstein Hoax and Other Mountain Dreams, new from Mountaineers Books. Read more…

A Family Affair: The Story of Billee & Jack Brown

“And they said it wouldn’t last.”

Both snappily dressed in robin’s egg blue, two octogenarians sit perched in their warmly-decorated living room, eyes glittering. Their home is dotted with family photos, historic photographs, and art collected on far-away adventures. Read more…

First All-Black American Expedition to Everest Set to Make History

“Almost 60 years after the first successful American ascent of Mount Everest, a team of U.S. climbers aims to make history once again on the world’s highest peak. Led by Phil Henderson, a former instructor at the National Outdoor Leadership School and a veteran  mountaineer, this group, made up of athletes from across the country, aspires to be the first all-Black American expedition to reach the summit.” wrote James Edward Mills, Mountaineers Books Author and freelance journalist, in an article for Outside Business Journal announcing the project in late August 2021. Read more…

The Hidden History of the Pacific Crest Trail

Sometimes when we take a close look at a particular page in history, we find that the most commonly believed story is not necessarily the most accurate. Omitted facts, hidden characters, and forgotten conversations linger in an archival twilight zone, waiting to be unearthed to reshape the past. Their discovery can be thrilling. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Hidden but Not Forgotten

In 1953, George Rogers stood atop the stunning Mount Olympus with a group of fellow climbers from The Mountaineers. At the time George knew his family history was deeply intertwined with the club, but he had no idea just how much until, 67 years later, he saw a Retro Rewind piece in Mountaineer magazine entitled “An Olympic Summer, 100 Years Ago.” A sentence caught his eye – “The most summits by a single member was eight, completed by Phillip Rogers, Jr.” His first thought was, “Could that be my dad?” Read more…

Retro Rewind | Marge Mueller: Pioneering Illustrator and Guidebook Artist

Marge Mueller, author, co-author, book designer, mapmaker, illustrator, and lifetime member of The Mountaineers, passed away in September at the age of 84.

Many think of Mountaineers Books as synonymous with outdoor legends like Fred Beckey, Harvey Manning, Ira Spring, and others whose guidebooks were published to much acclaim and who inspired a new generation of writers and photographers. There is, however, one woman—an established Pacific Northwest author in her own right—who helped make so much of the success of their work possible. Read more…