2019 Recap: A Year In Review

Happy New Year! As we move forward into 2020 - a brand new decade - we take a moment to celebrate and reflect on our collective achievements during the past year.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
January 01, 2020
2019 Recap: A Year In Review

Volunteerism is at the core of The Mountaineers mission. Everything we accomplish is the result of volunteer initiative, and our "flavor" here in the PNW is that of a vibrant volunteer-driven community. We often say that volunteers are our "secret sauce", and that's more true than ever as we enter a new decade of adventure.


During the 2018-19 fiscal year (which runs from October 2018 to September 2019), 3,148 volunteers supported our programs, contributing 213,000 hours towards our mission to enrich the community by helping people explore, conserve, learn about, and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Over 20% of our total membership (or 1 in 5 members) actively volunteer in some capacity every year! This could be as a trip leader, committee member, instructor, lodge host, event volunteer, or as a stewardship activity participant. Thank you for supporting our mission!


Together we traveled 178,794 miles and climbed millions of vertical feet! That’s enough distance to circle the globe seven times and make countless trips to the summit of Mt. Rainier!

Of our total volunteers, 457 individuals were recognized as Super Volunteers for their commitment to volunteer 15 or more times through the year. We also had 88 volunteers lead 10 or more trips, receiving recognition as Key Leaders. Our total Super Volunteers increased by 23% compared to last year, likely meaning that our community is both getting more involved and also doing a better job at tracking their volunteer time.

Our outdoor community not only gives back as volunteers, they elevate our programs through a strong culture of philanthropy. In fiscal year 2019, 1,700 households and 75 organizations supported The Mountaineers raising over $1.4 M in contributions. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, philanthropic revenue enhances our ability to deliver on our mission in ways we cannot do with earned revenue alone, and we rely on these donations to support our conservation effortsyouth outreach and access programs, publishing divisionvolunteer leadership developmentscholarships, and more. As we kick of our new fiscal year, we are overwhelmed with gratitude to see over $100K  received during our year-end appeal, a testament to the commitment of The Mountaineers community to ensure that our donor-funded programs will have the resources needed to get more people outside and provide stewardship for our wild places.


2019 has also seen some exciting new publications for Mountaineers Books! With the release of Rising, The Road to San Donato, Bears Don’t Care About Your Problems, and so many more new releases, there’s something for everyone in our bookstore. Is conservation on your reading list? Then check out We are Puget Sound, The Big Thaw, or any other publications from Mountaineers Books’ conservation imprint Braided River.

To support our conservation and advocacy efforts to protect the outdoor experience, our community took more than 4,500 individual actions to protect public lands and volunteered 9,491 stewardship hours for our natural places. We also had 441 individuals receive the Low Impact Recreation badge, showing our community's ongoing commitment to lessening our impact and acting as stewards for public lands.


As an organization, The Mountaineers offered 182 courses in the last fiscal year, enrolling 5,439 students. In addition, we offered 322 seminars and clinics with a total of 3,430 student registrations. We're energized to see this continued growth in educational opportunities, providing 8,869 experiences for our outdoor community.

We're also particularly excited to increase our ongoing leadership development opportunities for Mountaineers volunteers through our new Leadership Development Series.


Our trip leaders continue to do what they do best. We had 612 unique trip leaders offer 2,707 stand alone trips, separate from our courses. Our membership grew to an an impressive 13,800 members - 3,268 of whom participated in at least one trip.

Here are a few of our favorite Leader Spotlights from this past year, and a little bit about why each of these folks chooses to lead with The Mountaineers:

  • "Hiking has been a passion for most of my life. Becoming a part of The Mountaineers community in Olympia five years ago, I was inspired by so many incredibly talented and caring leaders. It just seemed like a natural progression to follow in their footsteps and try to pass it on." - Ginger Sarver in Olympia
  • "I love getting outside and sharing that experience with others. It's fun getting to know people with so many different backgrounds, ages, and interests. Recently, I hiked with an 88-year-old...what an inspiration!" - Lisa Hayek in Tacoma
  • "I enjoy working with new people, and teaching them the tips and tricks I have used climbing and hiking over the years. I also use it as another reason to stay fit." - Lonny Moore in Kitsap
  • "[I lead because of] the leaders that came before me! I greatly appreciated all the time and effort those leaders put into my progression, and they did it while being fun. Those people became my climbing family. Once I had my own skills and experiences, I felt inclined to help others the way I was helped several years earlier." - Krissy Fagen in Bellingham
  • "I thought [leading] would be a good idea to motivate myself to get into the mountains regularly. I also wanted to give back to The Mountaineers community. Of course, being a leader also gives me learning opportunities to grow as a better person." - Atsuko Yamguchi in Everett

Thank you to everyone who participated with The Mountaineers over the year, either as a participant, student, and/or volunteer. We look forward to building our future with you over the next year and into the new decade. Cheers to another year of adventuring with purpose, advocating for our wild places, and welcoming the future generation of Mountaineers into our community!