Wolf G. Bauer papers, 1929-2015

Overview of the Collection

Bauer, Wolf G.
Wolf G. Bauer papers
1929-2015 (inclusive)
1.15 cubic feet (4 boxes), plus 8 oversize posterboards and 1 painting
Collection Number
Papers and ephemera of a Pacific Northwest mountaineer and conservationist
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Mr. Bauer was a pioneer climber on Mt. Rainier and Mt. Goode. He was the founder of the Mountaineers climbing course and helped establish the Mountain Rescue Council.

Bauer was born on February 24, 1912, in the Bavarian Alps. He started skiing in 1919. Bauer, with his parents, Hubert and Elsbeth, and four siblings moved to Seattle when he was 13 in 1925, where he attended Lincoln High School and joined Boy Scout Troop 145. In 1929, Bauer was one of three scouts selected to receive a free membership in The Mountaineers. After moving briefly to West Virginia with his family in 1930, Bauer returned to Seattle to study engineering at the University of Washington. He graduated in 1935 with his bachelor's degree in ceramic engineering and a minor in geology. Bauer published articles on ceramic engineering in journals such as "Chemical Engineering," "Pit and Quarry," and "Rock Products."

Bauer excelled not only as a skier and a climber, but also as a teacher. Beginning in 1933, he taught basic mountaineering skills to local Explorer Boy Scouts. One year later, he began to teach a climbing course to the Mountaineer Climbers' Group. He also taught rescue techniques. He continued to climb as he taught, and in 1935, Bauer and Jack Hossack were the first to reach the summit of Mount Rainier from its north side. In 1936, Bauer and four of his students were the first to climb Mount Goode.

Bauer began to work at Roche Harbor Lime & Cement Co. on San Juan Island in 1936. That same year, he married Harriet Woodward. Their son, Rocky, was born in 1937, and Larry was born in 1940. After many years of travel and relocation, in 1945 the family settled in Seattle, where Bauer worked as an independent consulting engineer.

Bauer also helped to establish the Mountain Rescue Council, which began as the Mountain Rescue and Safety Council, in 1948. Inspired by a volunteer rescue group in Bavaria, the Mountain Rescue Council was the first of its kind in the United States and provided year-round wilderness search and rescue. Bauer used the books "Anwendung des Seiles" and "Die Anwendung des Seiles im Fels, im Eis, in Bergnot" while setting up the Mountain Rescue Council.

Bauer was also an avid kayaker, which led to his interest in and concern for conservation. He founded the Washington Foldboat Club, later renamed Washington Kayak Club, in 1948. He worked on successful efforts to save the 12-mile Green River Gorge in the mid-1960s before focusing more broadly on shorelines throughout Puget Sound. He was also a founding member of the Washington Environmental Council in 1969. In 1975, he became a fulltime shoreline resource consultant and helped to successfully transform parks and beaches in Seattle and around Washington State. In 1991, he received an award from the Washington State Department of Ecology in recognition of his dedication and commitment in protecting shore resources. Bauer died at the age of 103 in 2016.

source: Seattle Times obituary

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Correspondence, speeches and writings, posterboards, reports, taped interview, biographical information, journals, articles, miscellaneous ephemera, a painting, and beach inventories.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on copying, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Organized into 4 accessions.

  • Accession No. 1669-001, Wolf G. Bauer papers, 1953-1970
  • Accession No. 1669-002, Wolf G. Bauer interview, 1974
  • Accession No. 1669-003, Wolf Bauer papers, 1973-1974
  • Accession No. 1669-004, Wolf G. Bauer papers, 1929-2015

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Accession No. 1669-001: Wolf G. Bauer papers, 1953-1970Return to Top

.18 cubic feet (1 box), plus 8 oversize posterboards

Scope and Content: Correspondence, speeches and writings, posters, reports, ephemera.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Donated by Wolf G. Bauer, 7/23/1971.

Accession No. 1669-002: Wolf G. Bauer interview, 1974Return to Top

1 folder
1 sound cassette

Scope and Content: Tape recorded interview conducted by Harry Majors, August 27, 1974 and biographical information.

Digital Content/Other Formats: Listen to the audio recording of this interview on the Libraries Digital Collections site.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Donated by Wolf G. Bauer, 8/1/1974.

Accession No. 1669-003: Wolf Bauer papers, 1973-1974Return to Top

.36 cubic feet (1 box)

Scope and Content: Beach inventories (accretion shoreforms) of islands in San Juan County and shoreline management reports.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Wolf Bauer Materials were transferred from Fish/Ocean Library., 2008-12-01

Accession No. 1669-004: Wolf G. Bauer papers, 1929-2015Return to Top

0.61 cubic feet; 2 boxes and 1 hanging painting

Scope and Content: Journal, articles, correspondence, writings, publications, painting, and other miscellaneous ephemera relating to Wolf Bauer.

Restrictions on Access: No restrictions on access.

Restrictions on Use: Restrictions may exist on copying, quotation, or publication. Contact University of Washington Libraries Special Collections for details.

Acquisition Info: Donated by Wolf Bauer's twin granddaughters Sara and Laura Bauer. Delivered by Ingrid Fabianson, Wolf Bauer's daughter-in-law.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder Accession
1/1 1669-004
Biographical information
1/2 1669-004
Miscellaneous correspondence
1/3 1669-004
Miscellaneous press clippings
1/4 1669-004
Miscellaneous writings and notes
1/5 1669-004
Bibliographies of published articles
1/6 1669-004
Miscellaneous published articles
1/7 1669-004
Harriet Woodward student record book
1/8 1669-004
Theatre tickets and program
1/9 1669-004
Washington Foldboat Club bulletin Christmas issue
1/10 1669-004
Washingotn Kayak Club lifetime membership certificate
1/11 1669-004
"Mountains Don't Care, But We Do" manuscript
1/12 1669-004
"Crags, Eddies & Riprap" memoir invitation
1/13 1669-004
Business cards
1/14 1669-004
1/15 1669-004
Washington State Senate Resolution 8689 recognizing Wolf Bauer
PNW Curator's Office 1669-004
Painting by Dee Molenaar (Medium unknown)
General Notes: There is a map on the back showing the first north face ascent to the summit of Mount Rainier in 1935. Wolf Bauer and Jack Hossack were the first ones. This painting was a gift from Dee Molenaar to Wolf Bauer.
undated (after 1935)
2 1669-004
Mount Rainier National Park "A Century of Resource Stewardship" plaque
2 1669-004
Two UW ceramic tiles

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Boats and boating--Societies, etc
  • Boats and boating--Washington (State)
  • Environmental protection--Washington (State)
  • Kayaks
  • Mountaineering--Alaska
  • Mountaineering--Societies, etc
  • Mountaineering--Washington (State)
  • Outdoor recreation--Washington (State)
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)

Personal Names

  • Bauer, Wolf G.--Archives
  • Daiber, Ome

Corporate Names

  • Mountain Rescue Council
  • Mountaineers (Society)
  • Washington Foldboat Club (Seattle, Wash
  • Washington Kayak Club (Seattle, Wash.)

Geographical Names

  • Goode Mountain (Wash.)
  • Rainier, Mount (Wash.)


  • Conservationists--United States
  • Mountaineers--United States

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • North Cascades History Project