Non-Fiction


Ric Conrad

MOUNT HOOD: ADVENTURES OF THE WY’EAST CLIMBERS, 1930-1942

$25.00 USD + shipping (ISBN: 978-0-9887339-2-3)

Also at bookstores in Beaverton, Portland, Government Camp, Timberline Lodge, and various stores in the Columbia River Gorge.

$2.99 USD on Amazon Kindle and NOOK Books

In an age before cellphones, GPS satellite tracking technology, and high-tech mountaineering gear, mountaineers still managed to perform daring rescue work on Oregon’s highest peak—Mount Hood.

Members of the Wy’east Climbers helped form the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol in 1938 and were involved in the mountain’s search and rescue operations throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Rescuing injured climbers in violent storms at 10,000-feet, searching for lost alpinists amid sprawling glaciers, and recovering bodies on steep, icy slopes, and from volcanic fumaroles—the Wy’easters did it all.

Members of the Wy’east Climbers also made the first ascents of Mount Hood’s difficult climbing routes: Leuthold Couloir, Sandy Glacier Headwall, and Eliot Glacier Headwall. They also reopened and popularized several routes that hadn’t been used in years: The Wy’east Trail, Cathedral Ridge, and the Newton-Clark Headwall Route.

To capture the historic and extremely humorous experiences of these alpinists before they were lost for good, Ric Conrad began interviewing surviving members of the exclusive climbing club. Hank Lewis, Lu Norene, Russ McJury, and Randall Kester provided insight into the region’s most fascinating peak and the various outlaws who climbed alongside them. The oral history gleaned from these interviews, coupled with the author’s extensive research in the archives of the Portland-based Mazamas, has yielded the most thorough picture of the Golden Age of exploration on Mount Hood.


“Mount Hood: Adventures of the Wy’east Climbers is a beautifully illustrated compilation of stories from the most significant period of climbing on Mount Hood. Ric Conrad records how the Wy’east Climbers not only explored and pioneered new routes on the peak, but also established rescue organizations in the early days of Pacific Northwest mountaineering. An extraordinary glimpse into the period and a ‘must read’ for all mountaineers.”
—Charles Shimanski, Education Director, Mountain Rescue Association

“The Wy’east Climbers were a legendary, elite group of Northwest climbers. This book captures the energy and spirit of these men and their standard of high achievement during the Depression years. Their love of adventure shines through the numerous compelling stories retold here and also their depth of companionship forged by these challenges.”
—Ian Wade, Executive Director, Outward Bound International

“Ric Conrad brings to life the people, personalities and spirit of these Golden Age climbing pioneers who laid such a formidable foundation for today’s mountaineers. Mount Hood: Adventures of the Wy’east Climbers is a must read for anyone with a love of Mount Hood or a fascination with the roots of American climbing.”
—Lloyd Athearn, Executive Director at Colorado Fourteeners Initiative