Climbing

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Out, Outside

My Mountaineers climbing team is at the summit block of Mt. Olympus, and the clouds are coming in. It’s July 2018, and this is our second climb of the week. My muscles constantly remind me of the miles and elevation I’ve required of them so far, and the distance I still have to go. To finish this ascent we have a short pitch of rock, and we’re doing our best to get up there and see the mythical views before getting completely socked in. Read more…

Pretty Strong Film Screening - March 3

In partnership with SheJumps, The Mountaineers is excited to present Pretty Strong, a film following eight of the world’s strongest female climbers as they explore new climbing areas, send hard projects, and push the boundaries of the sport and themselves. Read more…

The Five Rules of Crack Climbing

One of my earliest crack climbing memories is of a notorious route on Peak District gritstone called The Vice—a short, steep hand-and-fist crack that requires a bit of brute force and tenacity, but with the correct techniques is not overly difficult. A confident twelve-year-old me spotted the HVS (5.10) grade in the Stanage guidebook, thought “that’s within my ability,” and then spent the next 20 minutes dangling on the end of a tight rope with my feet paddling the air and brushing the ground. Read more…

Mountain Education Alliance: A National Partnership of Mountain Clubs

As we well know at The Mountaineers, teamwork and a shared passion for the outdoors can produce some incredible things. Over the past few years, volunteers and staff at The Mountaineers have enjoyed deepening our relationships with our partners at the American Alpine Club, Colorado Mountain Club, and the Mazamas as we work together to develop national climbing education standards for volunteer clubs. Through this work, relationships and friendships have formed, new climbing partners were found, and we all quickly realized how much we have in common. Today, The Mountaineers is proud to be a part of the newly-named Mountain Education Alliance (MEA) - a formalized partnership between our organizations, and we’re excited to be a part of a new program to recognize volunteer educators, both in the United States and worldwide. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - Fall 2019

What better time to look back on your autumn adventures than when you're waiting for winter to arrive? Soon, snow will cover all of your favorite ski hills, the streets of the Pacific Northwest will be full of colorful down jackets and rain shells (if that hasn't already happened), and one single snowstorm will slow roads down for longer than is reasonable.  Read more…

Dawn Patrol: 5am is the Best Adventure Time

Borrowed from early military aviation’s dawn reconnaissance flights, the phrase “Dawn Patrol” was adopted by recreationists to describe 5am pre-work adventures, allowing you to fit two days into one. Pulling it off isn’t easy, but with an iron will and a few cups of coffee it can be done. Hear from three of our favorite Dawn Patrollers on what motivates them to roll out of bed long before sunrise, and why it’s so worth it. Read more…

Six Months in Nine Days: Life as an Intense Basic Student

Walking backward, on the roof of the Seattle Program Center, I made my way to the edge. I had doublechecked my rappel system: My anchor, rope, belay device, autoblock, and harness all looked good. Before I unclipped my personal anchor, my instructor gave my system a final sign off. Read more…

Silencing the Noise: Climbing Through an Anxiety Disorder

You’re climbing on a busy day at the crag, surrounded by incessant chatter and constant commotion. Sometimes you find this noise pleasantly engaging, but today you just want to tell everyone to be still – be quiet. The voices follow as you start your climb, continuing to echo in your brain even as you climb higher. They seem to be demanding your attention, and suddenly it feels like your mind is fighting between listening to the voices and trying to block them out. But the problem is that both options leave you unable to focus on the present moment. The “what-ifs” start to seep into your head, and before you know it, you fall. Read more…

Outdoor Leadership: Everyone Has A Place in the Mountains

Forest McBrian is an IFMGA Mountain Guide with over 15 years of experience in the mountains. Among his many notable achievements, in 2017, Forest and his partner Trevor Kostanich embarked on a 34-day ski traverse from Snoqualmie Pass to Canada. Forest instructs for the American Mountain Guide Association, and guides throughout the Pacific Northwest. Read more…

Devilish Trails for Halloween

Many hikers in Washington state have encountered – to their dismay – the prickly spines of devil's club, Oplopanax horridus, a shrub which grows in abundance in the Pacific Northwest as well as near Lake Superior. While the origins of the name of this bane of bushwhackers seem quite obvious given its notorious thorns, Washington state is home to many more "devils". In honor of Halloween, here is a sampling of the "Devils" in our state, from north to south. Read more…