Freedom and Harvey

Left: First Edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills
Right: Photo of Harvey Manning (Chairman of Editors for Freedom 1) by Vicky Spring from
Foostore 4: Walks and Hikes Around Puget Sound 2E

In 1960, members of The Mountaineers published the first edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills to share their collective wisdom and expertise with a larger audience. From this single publication, Mountaineers Books has grown to become the nation’s leading independent outdoors publisher with a backlist of over six hundred books in print.

Belay Figure DrawingToday, our list of titles features a wide range of outdoor literature from adventure stories to wilderness memoirs, natural histories to biographies, and photography, art, and gift books. Our two imprints, Braided River and Skipstone, elevate conservation and backyard advocacy topics.

But our core commitment to producing trusted guidebooks for human-powered recreation remains unchanged. The Mountaineers Outdoor Basics series, for example, provides foundational skills for readers just beginning to adventure outside, while Mountaineers Outdoor Expert titles dive deeper into advanced and technical climbing skills, and the perennial bestseller Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain remains the gold standard in avy instruction. Our ever-popular hiking guidebooks have evolved from the early Pacific Northwest trail guides of Harvey Manning and Ira Spring to robust regional series — such as Day Hiking, Best Hikes with Dogs, and Hike the Parks — that offer local knowledge and insights on everything from easy afternoon excursions to season-long thru-hikes. And each one effectively promotes responsible use and stewardship of our nation’s trails.

Like climbing or hiking, leadership itself is a learned skill. Books such as The Outdoor Leader or Adventure Ready give readers the tools to advance from a lone adventurer to an expedition planner; to gain the skills to help develop an outdoors that is inviting, safe, and inclusive. We have produced guides in collaboration with organizations such as Outward Bound, the National Ski Patrol, American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), Yosemite Conservancy, and Olympic Mountain Rescue among many others, and our books are trusted by educators and practitioners ranging in settings from universities to search and rescue.

Foundational Info
Photo by Ian Nicholson, from Climbing Self Rescue

Now, as we enter our seventh decade and look toward the upcoming 10th Edition of Freedom of the Hills, Mountaineers Books remains at the leading edge of outdoor education.