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Jim Kjeldsen - The Mountaineers: A History

Chapter 1 - Genesis

p. 11: In 1906, W. Montelius Price and Asahel Curtis came up with the notion of forming a Seattle mountaineering club while on a summer climb of Mt Baker with the Mazamas of Oregon. They made the first ascent of Mt Shuksan later during that trip.

p. 13: In February 1907 during the second meeting of the new club in Seattle, 151 people enrolled as charter members. Shortly thereafter, Edmund S. Meany joined the club. Meany became president in 1908 and served for twenty-seven years, until his death in 1935. This chapter describes some of the character of the Meany years.

Chapter 2 - Into the Mountains

Describes early local walks and summer outings to the Olympic Mountains (1907), Mt Baker (1908), Mt Rainier (1909) and Glacier Pk (1910).

Chapter 3 - Revolution

In the earliest years, nearly all climbing by the Mountaineers took place during the summer outings, which were typically several weeks in length. This chapter describes the growth of climbing separate from the summer outings.

p. 37: The author provides an overview of the planning and construction of the Mountaineers old Snoqualmie Lodge in 1914. This information is from the Mountaineer Annuals (see references).

p. 39: Photo of Rudy Amsler, Jim Martin, Norval Grigg and others lounging outside Snoqualmie Lodge in summertime, from the 1956 Mountaineer.

p. 40: Fine photo of Mountaineers skating on Lodge Lake in November 1935 by Art Winder.

p. 41: Fine photo of Mountaineers waiting for the train at Rockdale station, west portal of the Milwaukee Railroad tunnel near Snoqualmie Pass, in the late 1910s or early 1920s, by Fairman B. Lee. The photo is in winter and some of the people are holding snowshoes.

p. 42: Fine photo of cross-country skiers, including Edna Walsh, Arthur Wilson, Don Blair, Walter Hoffman, and Gertrude and Paul Shorrock, standing among snow covered trees near Snoqualmie Pass in the 1930s, by Art Winder.

p. 43b: In the 1920s and early 30s, Mountaineer climbers were required to sign in at Snoqualmie Lodge and pay a fee before going on any climbs, which effectively restricted climbing to the Snoqualmie Pass area. The rule was instituted to encourage use of the lodge to cover costs. Hermann Ulrichs, a club member from 1927 to 1933, dropped out partly over dissatisfaction with lodge rules.

p. 44: Asahel Curtis inaugurated the guide service on Mt Rainier in 1917. A photo on this page shows the guides in 1919, including Fairman B. Lee, Joseph Hazard, Alma Wegen and Hans Fuhrer.

p. 45: The author describes the growth of "outlaw climbing," independent climbing by small parties of younger climbers in the 1920s and 1930s. Prominent among them were Forrest Farr, Art Winder, Norval Grigg and Laurence Byington. These climbers were generally self-taught.

p. 47: Photo of a party on top of The Tooth in summer 1927. The party includes William J. Maxwell and Paul Shorrock, who were among those doing independent climbing in the late 1920s.

p. 50: In 1934, a younger group of climbers, including Lloyd Anderson, Wolf Bauer, William Degenhardt, Jack Hossack and George MacGowan created a climbers group within the club. In 1935 they began the club's first climbing course without official sanction. Wolf Bauer led the course, which grew out of dissatisfaction with the antiquated methods of the older self-taught group and their reluctance to teach newcomers.

Chapter 4 - No Mountain High Enough

Describes the accomplishments of Mountaineer climbers in the Cascades and around the world.

Chapter 5 - Winter Wonderland

This chapter contains an overview of early Mountaineer skiing. This information is from the Mountaineer Annuals (see references). The author describes early winter outings to Mt Rainier, equipment, techniques, and the establishment of the Meany Ski Hut.

p. 81: Fine photo of participants lining up for the Women's Ski Race at Snoqualmie Lodge in 1919, by C.G. Morrison.

p. 83: The highway over Snoqualmie Pass was kept open for the first time during the winter of 1930-31, creating unprecedented access. Previously, Mountaineer skiers largely had the pass to themselves in winter. In the mid-1930s the Seattle Parks Department cleared some trees, creating Municipal Hill, and allowed a concessionaire to build a small rope tow there.

p. 84: Photo of William J. Maxwell making a gorilla turn on skis.

p. 85a: The author describes the genesis of Mountaineer ski competitions, including the Harper Novice Cup, slalom and downhill trophies, and the Patrol Race. In February 1928, a party consisting of Rudy Amsler, Andy Anderson, Bill Maxwell, Bill Marzolf, Alex Fox and Lars Lovseth scouted the eighteen-mile route from Snoqualmie Lodge to the Meany Ski Hut. The party spent an unplanned night out near Dandy Pass. This became the route of the Patrol Race, which was inspired by Norwegian army maneuvers on skis. The author describes the race rules and how participants prepared for the race. The race was discontinued in 1941 due to waning interest.

p. 86: The author describes the Silver Skis race as the brainchild of Mountaineers member Hans-Otto Giese. He describes the first race in 1934 which was won by Don Fraser. Recollections of Wolf Bauer and Art Wilson (from the Mountaineer Annual) are provided. He mentions the death of Sigurd Hall in 1940 and says (erroneously) that the race was cancelled after that.

p. 88a: Fine photo by Robert H. Hayes of Mountaineers Ski Team in mid-1930s posing in front of Mt Shuksan in natty sweaters. The photo includes Scott Osborn, Wolf Bauer, Bill Miller and Don Blair.

p. 88b: The author describes attempts to ski Mt Rainier in the late 1920s by W.J. Maxwell, Andy Anderson and friends. The 1939 ascent by Sigurd Hall and Andy Hennig is described as well as the 1947 complete ski descent by Cliff Schmidtke, Dave Roberts, Kermit Bengtson and Charles Welsh.

p. 89: In 1941 the ski committee chaired by Walter Little created the club's first ski mountaineering course. Following World War II, the club's emphasis on ski competition gave way to backcountry skiing. Post-war equipment was heavy Army surplus gear. The author mentions active skiers including John and Irene Meulemans, Gary Rose, Hal Williams, and Joe and Joan Firey. Irene Meulemans describes common tours in the 1960s and notes that there were few backcountry skiers in those days.

p. 90b: Photo of Joe Firey belaying daughter Carla on Tillie's Tower in 1969.

p. 91: Photo by Keith Gunnar of Irene and John Meulemans at the Cashmere Crags in 1950.

Chapter 6 - At Home in the Snow

This chapter tells the story of Mountaineer lodges at Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, Mt Baker and near Stampede Pass (Meany Ski Hut). Much of this information is from the Mountaineer Annuals.

Chapter 7 - To the Rescue

This chapter provides an overview of the origins of the Mountain Rescue Council (MRC).

p. 101: Ome Daiber's role in mountain rescue began when he was called to help locate Delmar Fadden, who died following a solo ascent of Mt Rainier in January 1936. In 1939 the Mountaineers Rescue Patrol was formed. In 1948 Ome Daiber, Wolf Bauer, Dr. Otto Trott and others formed the nation's first Mountain Rescue Council. The national Mountain Rescue Associatin was formed in 1959. In 1964 the MRC and Mountaineers published an English-language edition of Wastl Mariner's Mountain Rescue Techniques, which was adopted for use worldwide.

p. 103: Photo by Ira Spring of Ome Daiber, Otto Trott and Wolf Bauer in about 1950, standing by a campfire looking at a map.

p. 104: The Mountain Rescue Council developed communications tools and the Stokeski stretcher. On p. 105 is a photo of Wally Burr on skis. Burr, a master craftsman, worked with Wolf Bauer and Jack Hossack to develop the Stokeski.

Chapter 8 - Gearing Up

This chapter tells the story of Recreational Equipment, Inc. founded by Mountaineer members Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938. Before REI, The Outdoor Store was the traditional supplier for mountaineers in the Seattle area. Lloyd Anderson ordered an ice ax from another small shop, Cunningham's, but received an inferior product. Swiss-born Rudy Amsler suggested ordering direct from one of the European suppliers. Anderson did, more orders followed, and the operation snowballed into an outdoor equipment co-operative. REI and the Mountaineers were closely but not formally associated in the early years.

Chapter 9 - "To Preserve the Natural Beauty of the Northwest"

p. 115: Founded during the term of President Theodore Roosevelt, the Mountaineers wrote conservation objectives into the club's constitution. The club was an off-shoot of the Mazamas, which in turn was an off-shoot of the Sierra Club. These clubs tried to balance their stake in conservation with their desire for greater accessibility to the mountains.

p. 119: In 1904 a bill was introduced in Congress to create an Elk National Park in the Olympic Mountains. In 1909 President Roosevelt invoked the Antiquities Act to establish a national monument in the Olympics. This action met with fierce opposition. Mountaineers George E. Wright, Edward Allen and Irving Clark worked to safeguard the Olympic preserve, while Asahel Curtis fought to make it smaller. In 1915, President Wilson signed a proclamation reducing the size of the monument by half. The struggle continued until 1938, when Olympic National Park was created. The park was nearly the same size as the monument originally created by President Roosevelt. Battles over logging in the park continued into the 1950s.

p. 126: Mountaineer members Robert Moran and Edward Allen were instrumental in creating the state park system in Washington.

p. 128: In the 1920s the Mountaineers proposed setting aside wilderness areas in Mt Rainier National Park. They fought the practice of assigning concession monopolies in the park without competitive bidding. In the 1950s (p. 131) the club fought development of a funicular tramway up Mt Rainier. Art Winder considered this a turning point in Northwest conservation efforts.

p. 132: The last part of this chapter describes Mountaineer efforts to create the North Cascades National Park, Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and pass the Washington Wilderness Act of 1984.

Chapter 10 - Shelter From the Storm

Describes the struggle to find a permanent clubhouse.

Chapter 11 - Branching Out

Describes the creation of club branches in Everett, Tacoma, Olympia, Bellingham and Wenatchee.

p. 147: In the 1920s, the Everett branch was on the lookout for a lodge of its own. They leased a former timber camp from the Forest Service on the northeast side of Mt Pilchuck. They retained the lease for only a few years.

p. 149: The Tacoma branch founders included A.H. Denman, John B. Flett and J. Harry Weer. Weer led the club's 1915 summer outing, a hike entirely around Mt Rainier over the route that became known as the Wonderland Trail.

p. 151: During the Depression, the Tacoma Mountaineers bought the Irish Cabin along the road to the Carbon River entrance to Mt Rainier National Park. The cabin was used as a base for hiking and climbing on the north and west side of Rainier for fifty years. It was torn down in 1978.

Chapter 12 - Spreading the Word

Describes the Mountaineers book publishing efforts, beginning with Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills in 1960 and Tom Miller's North Cascades in 1964.

Chapter 13 - Something Hidden

Describes the Kitsap Cabin and the Mountaineers Players.

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Last Updated: Fri Feb 28 21:53:13 PST 2003