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My Life in Tents

When I reflect upon my life of 74 years, many treasured memories are of nights in tents. What is it about the little nylon-framed shelter that offers so much? It provides protection from the elements, yet allows us to be closer to nature and the world around us. When in tents, we can hear rain pelting off tent walls, owls hooting in the night, ice breaking off glaciers, rivers rushing, waves lapping, and sometimes the sounds of bears and wolves coming into camp. Read more…

Bookmarks | All and Nothing: Inside Free Soloing

The following is an excerpt from All and Nothing: Inside Free Soloing by acclaimed author Jeff Smoot. Once considered a fringe activity, free soloing - climbing without a rope - has entered the mainstream consciousness. Yet climbers have been free soloing all along, motivated by reasons as varied as the climbers themselves. All and Nothing delves into the cultural history of free soloing and explores the interplay between climbing and risk, as well as psychological theories, evolving climbing ethics, and the effect of media coverage. With a complex personal connection to free soloing, Jeff Smoot examines our relationship with risk, how we perceive our sense of control, and what it means to consider our mortality. Read more…

Youth & Families Invited to View Salmon Run at Kitsap Forest Theater - Nov 12 & 13

The Kitsap Forest Theater invites all Mountaineers youth and their friends and families to witness the natural wonder of the chum salmon returning to Chico Creek this Saturday and Sunday!  Read more…

"What is a Raptor?" Free Seminar - Nov 16

In our upcoming November 16 seminar, "What is a Raptor?", we invite you to learn more about the birds we call raptors, their evolution, and where they live. This evening will take you on a world tour that covers 100 million years. The seminar will be both in person and over zoom; please register for the version you want.  Read more…

Falling

With my wrist in the strap of my trekking pole, I dangle over bright gray boulders bordering frothy water tumbling through the chasm. My brain is trying to comprehend what has happened. Just a few minutes ago I was hiking a wide, easy trail, and now I am hanging below it. Read more…

Olympia Basic Alpine Climbing 2023 Updates

When climbing courses were canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Olympia Basic Alpine Climbing Committee began incorporating new virtual educational methods into the program. Learn more about how these changes will be applied to our course moving forward, and how you can get involved.  Read more…

The Scariest Day of my Life: A Leader Fall on Guye Peak

I had a premonition. My partner was gone for the weekend and I was alone in bed, snuggled up with a stuffed sheep and an abundance of fear. I don’t know why I knew something bad was going to happen, I just had an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remember thinking I should wear better undergarments, as that was something I had heard long ago (maybe from a family member?) - “If you get in an accident, make sure you at least have decent underwear on!” I sent my boyfriend a snuggly selfie and went to bed early, but still couldn’t shake that ominous feeling. Looking back, I should have canceled the trip, but thought, who does that? based purely on a strange feeling. Read more…

Did You Know? The Fall Salmon Run

Starting in the summer and peaking in the fall, our local salmon embark on a lengthy and laborious journey from Puget Sound to their native rivers, streams, and lakes. These efforts, which will ultimately end in their death, is known as the salmon run. The reason for their fatal trek? Spawning time. Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Colin Chapman

Meet Colin Chapman, a backpack, hike, and snowshoe leader, as well as a 2021 Super Volunteer. Colin joined The Mountaineers to participate in the Foothills Backpacking Building Blocks (B3) course and now he’s a leader for the course! Read more…

How to Get Involved as an Instructor

The Mountaineers has a long history of volunteer instructors sharing their knowledge and teaching the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts and conservationists. Volunteer instructors take on a fundamental role in our organization by supporting, leading, and instructing our hundreds of monthly courses. As a volunteer-led organization, volunteer instructors are instrumental in carrying out our mission and upholding our core values. Read more…