Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Paul Petzoldt and NOLS

Paul Kiesow Petzoldt (1908 –1999) was one of America's most accomplished mountaineers. 
He is perhaps best known for establishing the National Outdoor Leadership School in 1965. Paul made his first ascent of the Grand Teton in 1924 at the age of 16 (wearing cowboy boots), becoming the youngest person at the time to have done so.  
In 1938 Paul Petzoldt was a member of the first American team to attempt a climb on K2. For the climb he did not use assisted oxygen, he learned to use rhythmic breathing. He and Dan Bryant, from New Zealand, were the first climbers ever to traverse the Matterhorn twice in one day. During World War II Petzoldt served in the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division fighting on the Italian Front.
Before the establishment of NOLS, he had a hand in creating a Colorado addition to the Outward Bound program as well as the first guide service in the Tetons.
While Petzoldt did manage to reach the summit of the Grand Teton, he never made the summit at Post Peak in the Ansel Adams Wilderness of California.

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