Issac Newton said, "If I see farther than others, it is because I stood on the shoulder of giants." The various editions of Freedom represent a tradition of bringing together and sorting through the knowledge, techniques, opinions, and advice of a large number of practicing climbers. Students, both in training and on actual climbs, have been an especially pivotal source of information.
Prior to the publication of the first edition of Freedom in 1960, The Mountaineers climbing courses had used European works, particularly Young's classic Mountaincraft, as required reading. These works did not cover various subjects unique and important to American and Pacific Northwest mountaineering. To fill in the gaps, course lecturers prepared outlines, which they distributed to students. Eventually these outlines were fleshed out and gathered together as the Climbers Notebook, subsequently published, in 1948, as the Mountaineers Handbook. By 1955, tools and techniques had changed so drastically, and the courses had become so much more complex, that the new and more comprehensive textbook was needed.
Members of the first edition editorial committee were: Harvey Manning, chairman; John R. Hazle; Carl Henrikson; Nancy Bickford Miller; Thomas Miller; Franz Mohling; Rowland Tabor; and Lesley Stark Tabor. A substantial portion of the then relatively small Puget Sound climbing community participated—some seventy-five as writers of preliminary, revised, advanced, semifinal, and final chapter drafts, and another one or two hundred as reviewers, planners, illustrators, typists, proofreaders, financiers, promoters, retailers, warehousemen, and shipping clerks. At the time, there were few Mountaineer climbers who did not have a hand in making or selling the book.
Efforts leading to the publication of the second edition (in 1967) began in 1964. Members of the second edition editorial committee were: John M. Davis, chairman; Tom Hallstaff; Max Hollenbeck;
Jim Mitchell; Roger Neubauer; and Howard Stans-bury. Even though much of the first edition was retained, the task force was, again, of impressive proportions, numbering several dozen writers, uncounted reviewers, and helpers. Survivors of the previous committee, notably John R. Hazle, Tom Miller, and Harvey Manning, provided continuity to the effort. As he had with the first edition, Harvey Manning once more edited the entire text and supervised production.
The third edition editorial committee was formed in 1971 and headed by Sam Fry. Initially, a planning committee analyzed the previous edition and set guidelines for its revision. A steering committee, consisting of Jim Sanford, Fred Hart, Sean Rice, Howard Stansbury, and Sam Fry, directed the revision and had overall responsibility for the text. A large number of climbers contributed to individual chapters; the reviewing, revising, editing, and collation of chapters and sections was a true community effort. Peggy Ferber edited the entire book, which was published in 1974.
The fourth edition of Freedom involved a major revision and included the complete rewrites of many chapters, most notably the entire Ice and Snow section. A cast of hundreds was guided by a team of technical editors: Ed Peters, chairman; Roger Andersen; Dave Enfield; Lee Helser; John Young; Dave Anthony; and Robert Swanson. A large number of climbers submitted comments to the committee. Small teams of "writers" prepared a series of drafts for review by the technical editors. In addition to the substantial contribution of such writers, many others provided valuable help through critiques of subsequent and final drafts not only for technical accuracy and consistency, but also for readability and comprehension.
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