Remembering Mountaineer Peggy Ferber

Lifetime Mountaineers member and early Mountaineers Books supporter, Peggy Ferber, has passed away. Her contributions to the climbing community, particularly through her work on early editions of Freedom and the first edition of Cascade Alpine Guide, are immeasurable, and we are grateful that she shared so much with The Mountaineers.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 16, 2022
Remembering Mountaineer Peggy Ferber

Peggy Ferber, a lifetime Mountaineers member and early supporter of Mountaineers Books, passed away on September 2, 2021 at 88. Peggy initially served as a typist then later as copy editor on early editions of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, a book that forever changed how many people worldwide engaged with the outdoors. For this and many other acts of service, Peggy was awarded The Mountaineers Service Award in 1984. 

A local born in Tacoma, Washington, Peggy attended the College of Puget Sound and later the University of Washington, graduating magna cum laude with a history degree in 1955. During her time at the UW, she spent two formative summers working in administrative services at Paradise Inn on Mt. Rainier, beginning a love for the peaks and alpine meadows of the Pacific Northwest. 

Peggy joined The Mountaineers in 1956, and one of her first outings took her to the Minarets in California. On that trip she met Robert Ferber. The couple graduated from the Basic Alpine Climbing course and were married two years later in 1958. They shared many adventures, including having three children together: twins Garth and Brad, and daughter Trudi. Peggy loved to hike, snowshoe, and climb big mountains. With small kids at home, Peggy earned the Six Majors Peak Pin in 1973, successfully climbing Mount St. Helens (pre-eruption), Mount Adams, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Olympus, and Mount Rainier. The family continued to hike and backpack together for many years, and participated in the multi-week Summer Outings with The Mountaineers. Both Peggy and Robert loved to travel and were avid cyclists, joining The Mountaineers on bike touring trips, and traveling overseas on hiking and bike touring trips into the 1980s. Peggy was active late in life with our Retired Rovers group.

Cropped - PXL_20220715_02_ Robert and Peggy Ferber in 1997.jpgRobert and Peggy Ferber in 1997.

In the years following that fateful Minarets outing, Peggy held many volunteer positions with The Mountaineers and Mountaineers Books. She volunteered as a typist for the first edition of Freedom, and by the time the 3rd edition was published, she acted as copy editor which included dealing with and haranguing the contributors. She was instrumental in the publication of the first Cascade Alpine Guide, by Fred Beckey. Peggy joined the Literary Fund Committee (LFC), acting as chair for a number of years. In the early days, the LFC had the final say on what was approved for publication. She was part of a team responsible for reviewing all manuscripts and deciding what was worthy of publication. Peggy was most passionate about publishing books that encouraged the protection of vulnerable wilderness areas. For her efforts, Peggy received The Mountaineers Service Award in 1984.

Cropped - PXL_20220715_03_Donna DeShazo Peggy Ferber Connie Pious Paul Robish at Alki in 2005.jpgL-R: Donna DeShazo (member since 1961), Peggy Ferber (1956), Connie Pious (1970), and Paul Robisch (1964). All were very involved in The Mountaineers and Mountaineers Books. Photo taken at Alki Beach in 2005 by Ron Eng, then-Mountaineers Board President.

Outside of The Mountaineers, Peggy enjoyed numerous hobbies and had many interests. She was active in her church as a volunteer librarian, was a member of the Seattle Recorder Society, participated in multiple book groups, and loved birding. She was curious and adventurous, and always looking to learn new things. She took swimming lessons in her 70s, and later audited classes to study Latin. She was preceded in death by husband Robert Ferber, son Brad Ferber, and son-in-law Ken McLaughlin. She is survived by son Garth Ferber and daughter Trudi McLaughlin.

Thank you to Peggy for the many ways you shared your knowledge and passion with the outdoor community. You will be missed.

Cropped - PXL_20220715_04_Peggy Ferber in Lincoln Park in 2000s.jpgPeggy Ferber snowshoeing in Lincoln Park in the 2000s.


A celebration of life will be held at 1 pm on Friday, August 5, 2022, at Westside Presbyterian Church, 3601 California Ave SW, Seattle, 98116. For more information on the event, please email

Lead image of Peggy Ferber on an unknown summit, late 1950s. All photos courtesy of garth ferber. 

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