William Steel was one of the original founders of the West Coast's oldest continual mountaineering club, the Mazamas.
The Mazamas was founded in 1894 on the summit of Mount Hood after an advertisement was placed in local papers inviting interested, serious mountaineers to join the charter climb. More than 300 people encamped on the flanks of Mount Hood on July 18. By 8 a.m. the next day, the first climbing party reached the 11,239-foot summit, followed by the rest of the 193 men and women who were to reach the summit. One hundred and five climbers became charter members that day. Today, the nonprofit mountaineering education organization is located in Portland, Oregon, and offers over 700 hikes and 350 climbs annually.
Click the play button to see some historical footage of Mazama climbers on Mount Hood, 1912. Video courtesy of Oregon Historical Society.
© 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting.