The Challenge of Rainier

Molenaar, Dee
Year Published: 
November 1979 (3rd ed)

"Dee Molenaar eschews the glib, self-serving, and obnoxious style so prevalent in this genre. Instead, Molenaar presents a chronicle of human history on ""The Mountain"" that is well written, informative, and self-effacing. He barely touches his own remarkably impressive mountaineering achievements and I am hopeful he publishes his memoirs soon. Further, it is a pleasure to read a writing style reflecting a generation which held manners and chivalry with esteem. Indeed, there is an element of anachronism in this revised edition, and it is worth preserving. I am honored that my copy is signed by the author!

Molenaar makes a detailed records analysis of the many accidents that have occurred on this massive mountain. For example, the guy who slid a thousand feet in his down booties trying to catch a lid that fell off of his cooking pot. Weird! Also, he details the tragedies with thoughtful suggestions. Our team studied this book before our climb so we would be aware of climbing errors that others have made. I think this is pretty much considered a Rainier classic by now...

This is an unforgettable history of Mt. Rainier, its pioneering and more recent explorers of trails to the summit, its geology and natural environment, and its inevitable human disasters. Molenaar's many explanatory sketches of climbing routes and his inclusion of numerous historic photos of famed climbers, guides, and ascents help immensely to illustrate the absorbing text. As one who is intimately familiar both as a guide, an artist, a scientist, and a world-famous mountaineer, he is uniquely fitted to write this story--one which anyone contemplating an ascent of ""the mountain"" could hardly do without--and he has succeeded beyond measure."

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