Dee Molenaar

Born to Dutch immigrant parents in Los Angeles in 1918, Dee Molenaar spent much of his youth exploring the seashores, deserts and mountains of Southern California. He then extended his climbing horizons to the glaciered peaks of the Pacific Northwest, where he served several years as summit guide and park ranger at Mount Rainier. After climbing Mount Rainier some 50 times and traveling the park's high country over many years, in 1971 Molenaar authored The Challenge of Rainier, the award-winning--and continually updated--"definitive work" on the peaks's climbing history.

During World War II, Molenaar served as photographer in the U.S. Coast Guard in the Aleutians and Western Pacific. In 1950 he earned a B.Sc. degree in geology at the University of Washington and then briefly served as civilian advisor in the Army's Mountain & Cold Weather Training Command at Camp Hale, Colo. His career in geology then took him to Alaska, Colorado, Utah, and Washington, where he retired from the U.S. Geological Survey in 1983.

Molenaar has climbed mountains throughout the western U.S. and Canada, Alaska, the Alps, Himalayas, New Zealand and Antarctica. He has participated in expeditions to Mounts McKinley and St. Elias in Alaska, and Mount Kennedy in the Yukon and K2 in the Karakoram Himalayas--and a geology-oriented trek to Mount Everest.

An important part of Molenaar's climbing pack has been a small box of watercolors, with which he has painted mountain landscapes from below sea level in Death Valley to over 25,000 feet on K2 in the Himalayas. Dee's love of the hight, open world of rock and ice and the fringing meadow zone is reflected in his watercolors, oils, and pencil sketches, which are in private collections throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Russia, and China. His maps and artwork also appear in state park and U.S. Forest Service and Park Service exhibits, ski-area brochures, and climbers' guidebooks and autobiographies. In his "retirement" dee continues in his artwork and writing and lecturing about his mountain travels.

Dee and his wife Colleen have a daughter and two sons and live near Port Orchard, Washington.