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Dee Molenaar - Papers
UWSpecColl, Accession 4578-001
Blynne Olivieri, Northwest Curator of UW Special Collections, sent me copies of two letters from Dee Molenaar's papers after I told her and Dee about my acquisition of the Charles Perryman newsreel films from the Perryman family. (Those films have been added to the Mountaineers film collection.) I have not reviewed the rest of Dee's papers at UW yet.

Box 1

In a letter dated 19 Feb 1963, Jean Landry (his name anglicized to "John") wrote to Dee Molenaar after reading Dee's article about the climbing history of Mt Rainier in the Jan-Feb 1963 issue of Summit magazine. This letter was extensively quoted in Molenaar's subsequent book, The Challenge of Rainier. It describes the 1922 first winter ascent of Mt Rainier by Jean and Jacques Landry, Jacques Bergues, and newsreel cameraman Charles Perryman. The following note was omitted from the book:
It was agreed that if the film [shot by Perryman] was sold, each member of the party would receive an equal share of the proceeds. We had hoped in this way to earn funds with which to finance other winter climbs in North America. Unfortunately for us, the film was sent for processing to the laboratory with usually did this kind of work for Perryman's regular production. The Company which normally employed him appropriated our film and we were never compensated pecuniarily for the additional efforts we made to take the film.
The following note about the newspaper coverage at the time was truncated in the book:
In their articles we found much inaccuracy, exaggeration, falsehood and fancifulness. I think that perhaps the best effort in that direction was made by the anonymous author of the enclosed story which was sent me by a clipping agency; it appeared in a newspaper in Pawtucket, R.I. I also enclose a couple of articles from the Seattle P.I. Please return all these to me. I hope this letter will help you recreate the mood which prevailed at "The Mountain" during the 20s, and that you will derive some amusement from these distant echoes of that rather romantic period."
In a letter dated 4 April 1963, Jean Landry provides more information about the 1922 Mt Rainier climb. For skiing, the party used sealskin climbers put together hastily by one of the local fur companies. The climbers stretched badly and were reinforced using canvas robbed from a water hose. Much of the team's equipment was made locally. Jean Landry brought from Europe a pair of crampons, an ice-axe, ski boots and a Norwegian rucksack. These items were used as models by local firms.

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