Courses & Activities

Courses & Activities

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Global Adventures | Cross-Country Skiing in Yellowstone National Park

Ten Mountaineers were fortunate to have plentiful sunshine and no winds for last February’s Global Adventure to Yellowstone National Park. We spent a week cross-country skiing in three sections of the park – Mammoth, North, and Old Faithful – which provided ample opportunities to experience the magic of winter in Yellowstone. Read more…

Winter Hiking: It's The Bomb

Olympia Hiking and Backpacking Committee Co-Chairs Carla Jonientz and Donna Krueger listened to Olympia hikers when they expressed interest in getting out, staying in shape, exercising, and socializing during the winter/early spring months. Read more…

Bookmarks | The Art of Shralpinism

Widely regarded as one of the world’s most legendary alpinists, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Jeremy Jones is an award-winning snowboarder, environmentalist, and entrepreneur. The founder of climate nonprofit Protect Our Winters (POW) and owner of Jones Snowboards, Jones has starred in dozens of snowboard films, including his highly acclaimed trilogy Deeper, Further, and Higher, and received 11 “Big Mountain Rider of the Year” awards from Snowboarder Magazine. His first book The Art of Shralpinism: Lessons from the Mountains (Mountaineers Books, 2022) explores the life-changing power of time in the mountains, the value of stoke, and how beauty and openness underscore all outdoor adventure. Please enjoy the following excerpt. Read more…

Learning Mosses: The History of Mountaineer Moss and Lichen Workshops

Mountain photography has been a passion of mine for over forty years, but I had little noticed (or perhaps intentionally ignored) mosses. After rejoining The Mountaineers in early 2015 to take the Introduction to the Natural World (INW) Course, I signed up for a few Naturalist activities that were oriented around mosses and lichens on wintertime hikes. I don’t recall wanting to learn about mosses and lichens - I barely knew what the latter were. I just wanted to expand my hiking repertoire. So I joined “moss hikes” on Cougar and Tiger Mountain. Read more…

Relative Merits of Different Sledding Apparatus

My hometown of Bozeman, Montana, has four seasons: summer, fall, snow, and mud. Snow season is the longest. While the climate crisis has changed things, as a child I remember planning Halloween costumes based on what would pair well with my snowsuit, and I often celebrated my mid-May birthday in a snowstorm. I spent many a weekend at the local sledding hill sweating my way up (often quitting halfway) and squealing my way down. As such, I consider myself a connoisseur of fun in freezing season. Read more…

Top 10 Mountaineers of Instagram: Inspiration for 2023

One of the first impulses we have while recreating outdoors is to take a photo. We want to share the exhilaration of our alpine scrambles, the warmth of alpenglow on an early morning snowshoe, or the unexpected wildlife dotting our hiking trails. We photograph because we have a deep connection to these natural places and we want others to experience that connection, too. Read more…

How To: Discover the Joys of Winter Camping

Many years ago, I spent my first snow camping trip on the Skyline Lake Trail opposite Stevens Pass Ski Resort. As we settled in for the night, I could see the slopes across the valley light up for night skiing and hear alpine music playing. Our side of the mountains was quiet and dark. I was a downhill skier at the time, and was charmed by the difference. Read more…

The Winter Solace of Birds

It was early February 2021, and Seattle had been darkened by overcast and rainy skies for weeks. Even worse, we were eleven months into the pandemic, and I was feeling isolated. Birds in my yard had been my only physical companions throughout Covid. Other than my two sisters I’d visited in Pennsylvania, I’d not been hugged or, for that matter, even had a handshake since the previous March. I generally don’t mind solitude, but that degree of isolation felt far different. Read more…

Top 5 Beginner Ski Tours

You’ve got the gear, taken the avalanche classes, found some friends, and are ready to hit the slopes. But where do you go for your first self-directed backcountry ski tour? Finding a safe place to explore, especially when you’re new to touring, can feel overwhelming. To help you on your way, here are five favorite ski (and splitboard!) tours for beginners, from our enthusiastic backcountry-loving staff. Be sure to check the local weather and NWAC forecast before you go, always pick tours within your ability level, and of course carry a beacon, shovel, and probe (and know how to use them). Read more…

Volunteer Now: Everett Branch Leadership Opportunities

Since taking on the role of Everett Branch Chair about a month ago, I’ve been humbled by the words of encouragement I’ve received and by the number of volunteers who have stepped forward to take on leadership roles in our community. Many of you heard the calling I made at our Annual Awards Banquet on November 5 and have raised your hand to help and to learn more about the critical roles in Everett that need filling. Read more…