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Archives on the Air 312: World Traveling Mountaineer – Lothar Kolbig Papers

Lothar Kolbig arrived in the U.S. from Germany in 1924. He was a young man with ten dollars in his pocket seeking a new life. Kolbig took up mountain climbing as a hobby and became a charter member of the Chicago Mountaineering Club.

Over time, his travels took him to mountain peaks on five continents. He summitted the Matterhorn in Switzerland and climbed in the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan.

While climbing Mount Athabaska in the Canadian Rockies he had a narrow brush with death. He fell through thin snow into a crevasse. Fortunately, he was able to use his ice axe to facilitate an escape.

His fall didn’t deter him. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and to the top of Pisco Peak in the Andes. Kolbig took delight in sharing films and photos of his travels with others.

You can climb mountains vicariously by reading the Lothar Kolbig papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.