The Mountaineers: A History

  • 208 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-0-89886-599-8
  • Sep 30, 1998

Paperback / softback
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* Illustrates the Mountaineers' leadership in outdoor skills training and conservation activism
* The nonprofit Mountaineers was founded in 1906
* Mountaineers Books was created by The Mountaineers in 1960
* Includes anecdotes about members who made significant contributions to the climbing world

"This club is vigilant for wise conservation, and it is also anxious to blaze ways into the hills that anyone may follow," wrote Edmond Meany in 1910. The revered Northwest conservationist was outlining a vision for The Mountaineers, the recently formed outdoor organization that he was to preside over for many years. But Meany couldn't foresee just how many would follow those ways.

The fascinating, often amusing story of The Mountaineers' first 90 years of exploring the freedom of the hills comes alive in this book. It's loaded with tales ranging from the astounding to the heroic, such as pioneering trails through terra incognita, rappelling from office buildings, rescuing injured climbers in the middle of the night, and pestering legislators on behalf of the wilderness. There's even some of the discord occasioned by the growing pains inevitable in a club of adventurers that now totals more than 10,000 feisty, dedicated individuals.

As this richly illustrated history shows, the evolution of The Mountaineers has matched and even aided the growth of outdoor recreation far beyond the Pacific Northwest. The 501c3 nonprofit organization, its members, and its publications have had a profound impact on the larger community. Many of today's recreational resources came from the actions and activities of the The Mountaineers, including trails, wilderness areas, and national parks; alpine skiing in the Cascades; climbing courses in the US, and the national Mountain Rescue Association.

Heading into the next century, The Mountaineers faces significant challenges both internal and external, such as: maintaining volunteerism in an nonprofit, member-managed club when it doesn't feel small and clubby anymore; assuring continued, responsible access to the backcountry; and dealing with the backlash conservation activists face from commercial and industrial interests. On these and other issues, The Mountaineers intends to remain a leader in both philosophy and action.


  • 208 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-0-89886-599-8
  • Sep 30, 1998

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