Safety Blog Posts

Safety Blog Posts

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Outside Insight | That Could Never Happen To Me: When Luck Runs Out

I was lucky. In over 25 years of climbing, I was accident free. Friends have been injured. Others have died. I figured that I wasn’t better than them, just lucky. Read more…

Gnar Face

We’ve all had those days. Ranging from brutal crashes to foolish mistakes, when you get after it outdoors you’re bound to eat some dirt and bleed a little. Risk is part of the adventure, and sometimes your card comes up and you find yourself cam over teakettle. Your dedicated Mountaineers staff is no exception – enjoy the funny, painful, and unfortunate things we’ve done to ourselves in the outdoors. Read more…

Staying Safe on Remote Day Hikes

Outdoor activities have the tendency to escalate into bigger and more complex pursuits, and hiking is no exception. Even if you start with only an interest in moderate day hikes, you may soon be eyeing longer and more difficult trails. With long hikes, you assume more risk than on a day hike near town, and you may find yourself in remote places without cell service and few people on-trail to help if something goes wrong. Follow these tips to navigate this middle ground between hiking and backpacking responsibly: Read more…

Safety Stories | Beware of Slugs

Last May, what started out as a straight forward backpacking trip turned into a harrowing ordeal for Mountaineer member Michael Kelly. With humor and grace, she recounts the good, the bad, and the downright ridiculousness of having to travel five miles without the use of her right leg. Read more…

Humility and Exposure: Enduring Lessons from Forbidden Peak

In July 1996, I was a rock climber with very little experience in the mountains. I found myself in Glacier, having moved to Washington State from the relative flat-lands of the East Coast, where "it might be hot but at least it's humid." I was working for a small outdoor education program, and my new friend there suggested we go climb a technical peak in the North Cascades. Read more…

Safety First | Which Way to Go in Snow: Winter Decision-Making

My friend Roger Rosenblatt and I had arranged to meet early one Saturday morning in April some years ago to go skiing in the Snoqualmie pass backcountry. Neither of us were especially good skiers, so our normal trips involved going up a logging road, and then branching off to find a lake or view rewarding ridge line. Read more…

North Plaza Friction Slab Traffic Safety

The North Plaza friction slabs at our Seattle Program Center have become a popular resource, and it's important we keep safety in mind during course instruction. We ask you, as leaders and participants, to be aware of large groups spilling out into nearby streets or frequently crossing the eastern roadway, as this creates the potential for a traffic accident.  Read more…

Hiking With Dogs - The Basics

There’s nothing like sharing the great outdoors with your best friend. However, it’s important to keep trail etiquette and safety in mind when you explore with a dog in tow. Below are excerpts from the Mountaineers Books title Best Hikes with Dogs: Western Washington by Dan A. Nelson. Learn what to do (and not to do!) when you and Fido hit the trail. Read more…

How to Safely Go Bear Spotting in Washington

We are fortunate to have large National Parks and Wilderness areas in Washington State, and with them come an incredible array of wildlife. Among the more mysterious and hard-to-spot creatures are the bears populating our forests and rivers. I've had the opportunity to see over 50 bears in Washington over the last 15 years, and another dozen or so outside the state. I’ve written down every memorable encounter and have learned a few things about where to find them, how to spot them, and what to do (and not do).  Read more…

Traversing Blowdowns in the Pasayten Wilderness

My husband Bri and I love backcountry adventures, particularly to remote places without crowds and high routes without trail. We’ve explored much of the Cascades, but when we eyed a trip into the Pasayten Wilderness we felt that the driving distance and spectacular scenery warranted a longer expedition than usual. We decided to go before Slate Pass Road opened, when the high peaks in the area still had snow blanketing their scree slopes and the travelers on horseback had not yet arrived.   Read more…