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A group of Mazamas climbers scales Mount Hood summer 1963

The Mazamas (pronounced mah zah maz) is a mountaineering organization based in Portland, Oregon, United States, founded in 1894.


The name Mazamas means mountain goat, from Nahuatl mazatl, deer.[1] Mount Mazama, the collapsed volcano that formed Crater Lake, is located in Oregon and was named after the organization on August 21, 1896 when they christened it as such while on their annual outing.[2][3][citation needed] They also named the Mazama Glacier on Mount Adams and the Mazama Glacier on Mount Baker after themselves in 1895 and 1907 respectively.[4][5]


It was founded 19 July 1894 on the summit of Mount Hood. Charter members had responded to an advertisement in the Morning Oregonian of 12 June 1894 announcing a meeting at the summit.[6] In all, 105 men and women were founders. Soon after, members made pioneering climbs throughout Oregon and Washington.[7]

Promotion of mountaineering[edit]

The founder of the Mazamas, W. G. Steel and an early climb of Mount Hood

The Mazamas has been an important part of the climbing community in the Pacific Northwest of the United States since its founding. The Mazamas is similar in its aims and activities to The Mountaineers of Seattle, Washington, which began in 1906 as an auxiliary of the Mazamas.[8]

The Mazamas offers more than 900 hikes and 350 climbs annually for more than 13,000 participants. A variety of classes and activities are offered for every skill and fitness level and are open to both members and nonmembers. The group also promotes mountaineering through education, climbing, hiking, fellowship, safety, and the protection of mountain environments.


  1. ^ See mazatl (Wiktionary)
  2. ^ Fuller, Fay (September 6, 1896). "Christened Mount Mazama". Tacoma Ledger. Tacoma, WA. 
  3. ^ Gorman, M. W. (1897). "The Discovery and Early History of Crater Lake". Mazama. Porland, OR: Mazamas. 1 (2): 150–161. Retrieved February 24, 2016. 
  4. ^ Rusk, Claude Ewing (1978) [1924]. Tales of a Western Mountaineer (1st ed.). Seattle, Washington: The Mountaineers. ISBN 0916890627. 
  5. ^ "Mazama Glacier". Geographic Names Information System. USGS. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Mazamas—Your Adventure Starts Here". The Mazamas. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  7. ^ Fred Beckey (1987). Cascade Alpine Guide, Volume I. The Mountaineers. ISBN 0-89886-127-6. 
  8. ^ E. S. Meany. "Mountaineering". University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections, Accesssion 106-70-12, Box 107/8. Edmond S. Meany Papers. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 

External links[edit]