History

All posts

Retro Rewind | When Lifts Stop Running: Washington ski resorts of yesteryear

Skiers and snowboarders in Washington State are lucky to enjoy a wide range of opportunities to zip down the hill. You want the deepest snow? Head to Mt. Baker. Easy access from Seattle? Snoqualmie has you covered. Looking for something small and community-oriented? Visit Meany Lodge! With a range of options to choose from, Washingtonians have it pretty good. Over the past 100 years though, the ski map of Washington has changed dramatically. The Cascade and Olympic Mountains have been home to dozens of resorts, and the ones you see now are the few that remain. Of the current popular areas, few were present in the minds of skiers before the last few decades. Buckle your boots – we’re going for a trip to the hidden gems of yesteryear. Read more…

Olympia Mountaineers Honor Life & Legacy of Branch Founder Paul Wiseman - Aug 27

The Olympia Mountaineers invites you to a dedication gathering celebrating Paul Wiseman, the late founder of the Olympia Branch of The Mountaineers who established our branch in 1963 and leaves behind and indelible legacy.  Read more…

Retro Rewind | In Asahel’s Footsteps: A Legendary Adventure Photographer

Asahel Curtis described Mount Shuksan in the first Mountaineers annual as “a beautiful mass of igneous rock with cascade glaciers flowing outward on all sides, except the north.” He, along with W. Montelius Price, claimed the first ascent of the peak in 1906 (Shuksan’s Curtis and Price glaciers serve as namesakes to the climbers). Asahel brought his faithful companion – a 10+ pound box-style camera – with him to the top. As was his trademark, he was simultaneously pioneering two fields: mountaineering and photography. Read more…

Retro Rewind | The Family of First Ascents: The Fierys Climb Their Way Through Mountaineering History

As staff liaison to the Everett branch, I have the opportunity to attend their branch banquet to witness the pride of accomplishment, honor exceptional volunteers, and to be inspired by their always entertaining featured speaker. This year, Lowell Skoog, a distinguished climber, skier, writer, photographer, and Mountaineers historian, gave a presentation on the past and future of Northwest mountaineering. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Into the Archives

In the first few decades of The Mountaineers existence, members planned long, yearly excursions into the wilderness every summer and winter. On these annual trips, our members ventured into the mountains to explore and discover first ascents on unmapped peaks. In 1912, The Mountaineers spent July 20 - August 10 traveling around Mt. Rainier. Read more…

Did You Know? The Long and Unlikely Journey of Our Basalt Columns

“The night before we didn’t sleep. We were seriously worried it’d be a disaster,” says John Ohlson, the man who hatched the idea of erecting 25-foot basalt columns at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center.  Read more…

Retro Rewind | The Teenagers Who Summited Rainier… in Winter

We thought we were in a safe spot, but before we knew it, my Dad was falling into a crevasse. Moments earlier, we had arrived back at high camp and started to unclip from the rope – the tether that allows climbers to catch one another in the event of a fall. Then, in an instant, the snow collapsed under Dad. He pulled his leg out, but was unable to gain purchase and started sliding down the slope into the void. Only one of us, a new climber named Scott, was still attached to him. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Mary Anderson, Decades of Inspiration

Born Mary Gaiser on December 7, 1909, in Yakima Valley, Mary loved Washington and the natural world from a young age. She moved to Seattle and taught grade school until the mid-1930s, all the while sharing her love for wild places with her students. She was especially passionate about biology and natural history. Read more…

K2 40th Anniversary: Inspiration Through Generations

As a teenager in the 1950s, I was a voracious reader fascinated with several books that became the classic accounts of the so called “Golden Age” of Himalayan mountaineering. Among this treasure trove was K2: The Savage Mountain, the unforgettable story of the 1953 American K2 expedition. It stirred a fascination with K2 in me which has lasted a lifetime. Read more…

An Epic Climb of Mount Rainier Via the Willis Wall

The wind is howling; it’s pitch dark, and heavy snow is blowing sideways. I stagger, trying to stay on my feet while Jim shouts at me from the bivouac to get in. Struggling in the gale, I lift one leg, try to step into the sack, and am blown flat on my side. I get up and try again. “If you don’t get into the sack, you’re going to die,” I think. Read more…