Origins Of The Book

Freedom's direction and emphasis originated from the development of climbing in the Pacific Northwest. The wild and complex character of the mountains in this region, with their abundance of snow and glaciers throughout the year, furthered the mountaineering challenge. Access was inherently difficult. There were few roads, and the initial explorations were themselves expeditions, often with native guides.

When The Mountaineers was organized in 1906, one of its major purposes was to explore and study the mountains, forests, and watercourses of the Northwest. The journey to the mountain summit was a long and difficult one, and it required a variety of skills. With the knowledge of these skills, the competence that comes from their practice, and the experience gained through climbing mountains, more than a few had the exhilarating experience of the freedom of the hills.

As interest in mountaineering in the region grew, so did a tradition of tutelage. Increasingly, experienced climbers took novices under their wings to pass on their knowledge and skills. The Mountaineers formalized that exchange by developing a series of climbing courses. This book grew out of six decades' worth of teaching moun taineering and conducting numerous climbs in the Northwest and throughout the world.

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