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Paul Crews - Early Hiking in the Olympics, 1922-1942


p. 1: The author was introduced to the Olympic Mountains in June 1922 at age 5, on a family car camping trip from Bremerton to Mora and back. The prologue describes other trips by the author as a young boy.

Chapter 1 - Outdoor Organizations

p. 21: There is a brief summary of the O'Neil and Press expeditions across the Olympics, as well as the Dodwell-Rixon surveys.

p. 22: The author summarizes efforts to protect the Olympics, culminating with the creation of Olympic National Park in 1938.

p. 24: Describes outdoor organizations active in the Olympics: the Mazamas, Mountaineers, Klahhane Club, and Grays Harbor Olympians.

Chapter 2 - Backpacking

p. 31: Describes the origin of trails in the Olympics.

p. 32: Good description of early backpacking gear.

Chapter 3 - Early Scouting

p. 39: Describes the role of Boy Scouts in the Olympics.

p. 40: A summary of early Boy Scout camps: Camp Parsons, Camp Cleland and Camp Baldy.

Chapter 4 - A Week to Remember

p. 47: The author describes his first annual Boy Scout hike in 1931.

Chapter 5 - Valley of 1000 Waterfalls

p. 57: A 1935 hike, following high school graduation, to the Enchanted Valley.

Chapter 6 - West Anderson

p. 65: Bob "Pete" Pedersen describes a 1938 climb of the West Peak of Mt Anderson.

Chapter 7 - A Royal Mishap

p. 71: During a 1936 hike into Royal Basin, a Boy Scout broke his arm.

Chapter 8 - The Needles

p. 79: Elvin R. "Swede" Johnson describes pioneering climbs of the highest peaks in The Needles with George Martin in 1940.

Chapter 9 - Bob's Tales

p. 85: Bob Pritchard describes various summer trips in the 1930s, including an ascent of Mt Constance.

Chapter 10 - Flapjack Lakes

p. 92: A map on this page shows the location of "Mt Lincoln Ski Bowl".

p. 93: Descriptions and impressions of the area.

p. 97: The author describes a climb of Mt Lincoln with Karl Stingl in 1935. Stingl was an immigrant from Czechoslovakia and a Class A ski jumper.

Chapter 11 - The Cabin

p. 99: The Bremerton Ski Cruisers organized in the winter of 1935-36 and soon began searching for a local ski area. C.J. Ritchie, one of the club's founders, chartered a plane and returned with photos of open terrain that looked ideal. This page has a photo of the first party to try locate the area on foot on 1-2 January 1937.

p. 100: Searches on foot began on New Years Day 1937. The third search party, on April 17-18, found the ski bowl on the NE side of Mt Gladys, approaching from Flapjack Lakes.

p. 102a: Photo of second exploration party, 13-14 March 1937.

p. 102b: During the summer and fall of 1938 the Ski Cruisers, joined by the Shelton Ridge Runners, built a cabin at Flapjack Lakes.

p. 103: Following construction of the cabin, some members of the Ski Cruisers pushed to have the road extended to Flapjack Lakes. The summer hiking and climbing group resisted this idea and the Forest Service declined to help, due to pending changes in the boundaries of the new National Park. In 1939, the park boundary was extended to include the site of the cabin.

p. 104: Photo of the Flapjack Lakes cabin in summer.

p. 105: In 1941, a special use permit for the cabin was issued by the National Park Service to the Bremerton Ski Cruisers and Shelton Ridge Runners. By this time, many club members preferred skiing at Mt Rainier and the cabin was little used in winter. The cabin was used more in summer by hikers and was maintained by Art and Viola Landry, including major repairs when the ridge pole was broken by a falling tree.

p. 108a: After 1948, the National Park Service reclaimed the cabin and removed it.

p. 108b: From 1947 through 1948 or 1949, the Bremerton Ski Cruisers built a lodge at Stevens Pass. At the time of this book's publication, the club was still active there.

Chapter 12 - Mt Cruiser

p. 109: During autumn 1937, the Bremerton Ski Cruisers scouted the location of their proposed ski area near Mt Gladys. During the trip, Ray Layton and the author made the first ascent of Mt Cruiser, naming it after the club.

p. 110: Photo of Mt Cruiser in winter with a traversing ski track in the foreground.

Chapter 13 - Mt Pershing

p. 113: Don Dooley describes the first ascent of this peak.

p. 116: Photo of the Mt Lincoln Ski Bowl in spring.

Chapter 14 - The Club

p. 117: Provides background on the author's mountaineering friends.

Chapter 15 - To Ski

p. 122: In the fall of 1935, the author and friends saw the B&W short film, The Ski Chase. Inspired, they ordered 7-foot Northland skis from a Sears Roebuck catalog. The author provides a good description of ski equipment of the time. He read Arnold Lunn's Alpine Skiing at All Heights and Seasons, which described snow conditions, and the December 1930 Mountaineer Bulletin, which described ski techniques with illustrations. [I believe the author may be refering to the 1929 Mountaineer Annual, which was a special ski number. I've been unable to find a bulletin that fits this description.]

p. 123: Photo of "skiers" on their first outing to Upper Lake Lena. The text describes this trip.

p. 126: The author writes that he and Pete Pedersen are members of the Ancient Skiers club.

Chapter 16 - Valley of Lost Men

p. 127: Describes a 1939 attempted winter ascent of The Brothers, using skis on the approach. The author describes winter camping on this trip.

p. 128: Photo of one of the party members on the trail, on skis with an overnight pack.

Chapter 17 - Mt Stone

p. 131: On Memorial Day weekend, 1937, the author and Chuck Thompson brought short "summer" skis (3 feet long) for the approach to Mt Stone.

p. 132: Photo of three shirtless hikers in snow, one of them packing summer skis.

p. 137: Describes the author's efforts to utilize the short skis and lessons learned on the trip about sunburn and spring avalanche conditions.

Chapter 18 - The Brothers

p. 139: Over Labor Day, 1936, the author and friends climbed The Brothers, making a bivouac near the south peak and completing the first traverse to the north peak and back.

Chapter 19 - Olympus Traverse

p. 145: Describes a July 1937 traverse from Soleduc Hot Springs to the Hoh River, up Mt Olympus and over to the Elwah River, finally reaching the Dosewallips River via Hayden Pass.

Chapter 20 - Mt Olympus, Tom and Athena

p. 157: Pete Pedersen describes this 1938 trip, approaching from the Hoh River. This chapter also includes the story of Henry H. Botten, a fire protection engineer who made the first traverse of the three summits of Mt Olympus in 1908.

Chapter 21 - Constance Pass

p. 169: Describes the author's last trip in the Olympics, in June 1942, just before entering service in the U.S. army.

Chapter 22 - George

p. 175: This chapter provides a profile of George W. Martin, a school teacher and adminstrator, who accompanied the author on many Olympic outings. Martin was a skilled and prolific photographer. Following WWII, Martin became registrar at the new Olympic College. At the college, he initiated courses in Basic Mountaineering and Wilderness Survival.

p. 179: Photo of George W. Martin.

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Last Updated: Sat, Oct 19, 2019 10:54:40 AM