Climbing

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When Can I Climb at the Seattle Program Center?

When our volunteers designed our donor-funded Seattle Program Center (SPC), which opened in 2009, the goal was to create a top-notch instructional center to teach outdoor skills. As we've grown, we continue to add new features and spaces for experiential learning. In total, the Seattle Program Center has nearly 400 bolts around the building, and we've been able to decrease our trips into the mountains by 40%, decreasing our carbon footprint on our wild places. Read more…

Unseen Danger: Navigating Snow Bridge Hazards

Last Sunday, search and rescue teams responded to an emergency call from a popular early-season climb in the Olympic mountains. Two climbers slipped on a steep snowy slope while climbing The Brothers. One fell “into an opening in the snow and over a rock face with running melt water,” and sadly did not survive. This tragic accident has brought an annually recurring hazard back into the thoughts of everyone within the outdoor community: the danger posed by snow bridges.  Read more…

Safety Stories: Near Miss – Unable to Arrest on Snowy Descent of Kangaroo Temple

As Mountaineers, we are committed to learning from our experiences. We examine every incident that happens on a Mountaineers trip for opportunities to improve the ways we explore and teach. Our volunteer safety committee reviews every incident report and picks a few each month to share as examples of ‘Lessons Learned’. The trip report below describes what happened on this trip, in the leader’s own words, and outlines the lessons the leader has identified. In some cases, we offer additional key learnings from the incident. Read more…

The Speed of Love: Going the Distance With Fred Beckey

While traveling solo to remote and wild places, I had been in some dicey situations. The risks were real, but I knew of no one else interested in exploring the nether regions of wilderness, nor the Himalayan front range from east to west, nor the ancient trade routes that connect Tibet to India through massive ranges, passes that cut deep, from north to south where borders often go unmarked – and so I had gone alone. Read more…

Safety Stories: Little Tahoma - The Route is Known for Rockfall

As Mountaineers, we are committed to learning from our experiences. We examine every incident that happens on a Mountaineers trip for opportunities to improve the ways we explore and teach. Our volunteer safety committee reviews every incident report and picks a few each month to share as examples of ‘Lessons Learned’. The trip report below describes what happened on this trip, in the leader’s own words, and outlines the lessons the leader has identified. In some cases, we offer additional key learnings from the incident. Read more…

Adjusting for Conditions: Lessons from an Unexpected Year

This year was a hard one. I hit rock bottom mid-May when I unexpectedly found myself crying alone in a tent in the middle of my living room floor. The chasm between the person I had planned to be when I set goals for 2020 and the person I actually was felt insurmountable. My carefully made plans, proudly anticipated fitness milestones, and dreams of adventure were slipping through my fingers. Read more…

Different & Able | A profile of Kimber Cross

It’s a chilly March morning in Provo, Utah, 2020. Kimber Cross has been flown here by the outdoor meal brand Peak Refuel to shoot a short film about her journey into ice climbing. As the team walks down the snow-packed trail to a frozen waterfall, Kimber feels the eyes of passersby, and they’re staring. Maybe it’s because of the big, red cameras that stand in contrast to the stark landscape, but an old fear starts to creep into her psyche, a fear that tells her to hide. All eyes focus on the tool strapped to her pack. Read more…

Shook: Everest's Deadliest Day with Jennifer Hull & Dave Hahn - Nov 17

Join Jennifer Hull, author of Shook: An Earthquake, a Legendary Mountain Guide, and Everest's Deadliest Day, and mountain guide Dave Hahn for a virtual event to benefit the Juniper Fund, Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, and The Mountaineers. Read more…

Failure and Growth, Courtesy of El Cap

In the past several years, climbing El Capitan in Yosemite National Park has blown up in the mainstream consciousness. With Free Solo winning an Oscar and the Dawn Wall ascent getting publicized in The New York Times, it seems as if everyone has a clear picture of what climbing El Cap is like. It is easy to imagine being up on the side of the wall when you see it on a high definition movie theater screen. But is it as easy as people make it look?  Read more…

What Are The Ten Essentials?

The Mountaineers Ten Essentials™ dates back to our climbing courses of the 1930s. This widely respected safety and packing system was formalized in the third edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, released in 1974. Each of the nine editions of Freedom, as it is affectionately known, was written entirely by volunteers and reflects the collective wisdom of hundreds of outdoor skills instructors. The list has always sought to answer two basic questions: Read more…