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On Belay

The Life of Legendary Mountaineer Paul Petzoldt

  • 240 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-0-89886-725-1
  • May 31, 2000


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* Paul Petzoldt was a pioneering North American climber and founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
* Details an adventurous, wild, and long life
* Drawn from 30 years of personal association and extensive interviews

There are old climbers and there are bold climbers, but there are no old, bold climbers. This familiar saying, coined by legendary climber Paul Petzoldt, is one he lived to disprove. When he passed away at the age of 91, Petzoldt's career was marked by decades of achievement in climbing, incomparable passion for outdoor education, wanderlust, and a relentless drive for adventure.

Petzoldt's name is synonymous with the Grand Tetons and NOLS, the highly respected outdoor school that he founded. Blazing the trail for an international code of wilderness ethics and safe climbing techniques, Petzoldt devised the voice signaling system that begins with On belay!

This intimate biography details Petzoldt's climbing career, including many first ascents in the Tetons, the first American expedition to K2, and the extraordinary leadership accomplishments that made him legendary.

Legends and Lore This title is part of our LEGENDS AND LORE series. Click here > to learn more.


  • 240 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-0-89886-725-1
  • May 31, 2000

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