The Mountaineers (Pacific NW)

The Mountaineers (Pacific NW)

The Mountaineers is an outdoor recreation and awareness group based in Seattle, Washington and is the third largest group of its kind in the country. It is a 501(c)(4) organization and has no restrictions on who may join. Its mission statement is:"To be the premier northwest outdoor recreation club, dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and protection of natural areas."


Originally a Seattle-based part of the Mazamas, a Portland based group founded in 1894, they formed their own branch shortly after the 1906 Mazamas Mount Baker expedition and dubbed themselves "The Mountaineers" with 110 charter members—nearly half women. The club constitution was officially adopted in 1907 by a membership of 151. Among these original members were Henry Landes (University of Washington geology dean), Edmond S. Meany (the father of the University of Washington Forestry school), the famous photographer Asahel Curtis, and Seattle photographer and North Cascades guide Lawrence Denny Lindsley.

The activities initially were local walks with the first trip being a hike through Fort Lawton to the West Point Lighthouse (now part of Discovery Park). The first mountain climbing trip was Mount Si. In 1907, 65 members made a group climb of Mount Olympus and exploration of the Olympic Mountains. The next year a summit of Mount Baker was organized, followed by Mount Rainier in 1909. In 1915, a club outing became the first sizable group to hike around Mount Rainier and established the route that would later become known as the Wonderland Trail.

21st century

In the first 100 years since the club's founding it expanded to over 15000 active members and expanded its offerings from a single annual climb to over two dozen different activities occurring throughout the year including backpacking, biking, folk dancing, hiking, rock climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, volleyball, and water sports. The club provides a forum for members to organize their own trips and find partners for climbs. Many classes are offered by the club beyond climbing skills including nature photography to tracking. A thirty hour wilderness first aid course called "Mountaineering Oriented First Aid" was produced by the club. The organization is home to The Mountaineers Forest Theatre Company which performs in parks around Western Washington and The Mountaineers Books publishing wing which publishes outdoor related literature.


*cite web
year = 2002
url =
title = History of the Mountaineers: Explorers of the Pacific Northwest and Beyond
work = Magnificient Views and Vistas: Mountaineers Climbs 1912-1916
publisher = Tacoma Public Library
accessdate = 2006-06-06

*cite book
author = The Mountaineers
editor = Steven M. Cox and Kris Fulsaas Ed.
year = 2003
title = Publisher Comments on The Freedom of the Hills
publisher = The Mountaineers Books
location = Seattle
id = ISBN 0-89886-828-9
url =

*cite book
author = Richard C. Berner
title=Seattle 1900-1920: From Boomtown, Urban Turbulence, to Restoration
publisher=Charles Press
location = Seattle
. p. 98–100.

Further reading

*cite book
last = Kjeldsen
first = Jim
year = 2006
title = The Mountaineers: A History
publisher = The Mountaineers Books
location = Seattle
id = ISBN 0-89886-599-9

External links

* [ The Mountaineers] - Club website
* [ Mountaineers Books] - Club publishing wing
* [ Magnificent Views and Vistas] - Information, photos and history of early climbing in the Pacific Northwest
* [ University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections – The Mountaineers Collection] Photographic albums and text documenting the Mountaineers official annual outings undertaken by club members from 1907-1951, primarily on the Olympic Peninsula, in Mount Rainier National Park and on Glacier Peak.
* [ University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections – Mountaineers: 1920 Outing to Mt. Olympus)] Online museum exhibit includes images of camps, maps, and excerpts from the 1913 essay "Melodious Days" by Hugh Elmer Brown.

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