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|Born||January 16, 1908|
|Died||October 6, 1999(aged 91)|
|Known for||Founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School NOLS; involved in the introduction of Outward Bound to the US|
Paul Kiesow Petzoldt (January 16, 1908 – October 6, 1999) was one of America's most accomplished mountaineers. He is perhaps best known for establishing the National Outdoor Leadership School in 1965. He made his first ascent of the Grand Teton in 1924 at the age of 16, becoming the youngest person at the time to have done so. In 1938 he 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.
Petzoldt's other accomplishments in the outdoors are also considered major advances among wilderness enthusiasts. 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. Noted in his introduction to The New Wilderness Handbook, his experience in NOLS, Outward Bound, and love of the wilderness evolved into the Wilderness Education Association. WEA courses, certification and knowledge are still helping many advocates of the environment learn to have low-impact adventures in the environment. Among the early instructors in Petzoldt's Outward Bound programs was Vince Lee.
- Petzoldt, Paul, Raye Carlson Ringholz. The New Wilderness Handbook. WW Norton & Company. New York: 1975.
- Petzoldt, Paul K. Teton Tales and Other Petzoldt Anecdotes. ICS Books, Inc. Merrillville, Indiana: 1995.
- National Outdoor Leadership School
- Wilderness Education Association
- Paul Petzoldt: brief biography and quotes