Courses & Activities

Courses & Activities

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"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…

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…

Trip Planning Tools for The Weekend Warrior

I think one of the best and worst parts of working in Seattle is that the mountains are often visible reminder that the outdoors are right outside your office front door. Cascades to the east and Olympics to the west, the mountains are always out there waiting for the next adventure. Juggling the call of life's responsibilities with the call of the mountains starts with planning out your weekends to make sure you make the best of each opportunity. Read more…

Teton Gravity Research Backcountry Ski Film Slam - Nov 17

Join the new Seattle Backcountry Ski Committee at the Seattle Program Center for its inaugural event, a screening of two great ski films produced by Teton Gravity Research. Meet up with friends, have a beverage, and build the stoke for the upcoming ski season. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer David Carrier

David Carrier was an admired and respected Everett Mountaineers and Mazama member, and a highly experienced and prolific mountaineer with an impressive climbing resume. In addition to being an active instructor at both the Basic and Intermediate level, he also befriended and accompanied many Everett members on a number of private and official Mountaineers climbs over the past several years.  Read more…

Bonanza and Ben: A lifelong relationship with risk

Parental foolishness knows no bounds. When our son Ben was just an infant, we took him to Bonanza in an ill-advised attempt to climb the peak. Ben was an absolute terror and completely unmanageable at high camp – in other words, a classic 11-month-old, and we had to turn around. Read more…

Seattle Youth Volunteer Orientation Dinner - Sep 29

Join us on Thursday, September 29 for an evening of good food, good company, and ample opportunities to support the next generation of climbers and outdoor explorers through our youth programs.  Read more…

Alma Wagen: The first female mountain guide at Mount Rainier National Park

In 1918, Alma Wagen, an early member of The Mountaineers, was declared the first woman to join Mount Rainier’s guide staff. Upon accepting this position, Alma knew her accomplishment was not just personally life-changing, but also an opportunity to bring other women into climbing. “At last I had found the time and the place to climb, and I climbed hills and mountains and learned everything I possibly could about climbing,” she told a journalist in a 1923 interview for American Magazine. “Then I looked for new fields to conquer and found my life's work. I wanted to teach other women the joy of climbing.” Read more…

Trip Report: Clear Creek Intra-Urban Trail

Clear Creek Trail is an intra-urban, family-friendly trail located in Silverdale, Washington that winds through riparian zones, wetlands, and dense forests. This trail is open for walking, running, biking, or strolling leisurely with your kids. The best time to walk the beach is in the early mornings during low tide when you can observe wildlife and the many birds fishing for lunch around the estuary. My most recent visit was a quick jaunt with my pops and Bilbo the Adventure Dog to see the wetlands and the interior forests. Read more…

How To Get Involved as a Volunteer

The Mountaineers began as a volunteer organization, and 116 years later we are still largely run by volunteers, with a small staff supporting administrative tasks. Whether your interests are in teaching, leading trips, helping at events, supporting stewardship efforts, or serving on a committee that orchestrates such activities, we have opportunities for you to pitch in and make a difference!  Read more…

Try Car-free Hiking in the Puget Sound

It can feel like access to a reliable vehicle is the eleventh essential for lovers of the outdoors. Summertime, however, brings with it more options for hitting the trails via public transit; an eco-friendly choice that's also kinder to your wallet given current high gas prices (not to mention eliminating the worry of dealing with a trailhead break-in.)  Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Elizabeth Nakashima

Meet Elizabeth Nakashima, a Foothills hike and urban walk leader, as well as the Treasurer of the Foothills Backpacking and Hiking Committee. Elizabeth joined The Mountaineers to train for a hike across the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and has been with us ever since! Read more…

Love on the Water

In continuation of our article "Belationships, Packmances, and Nature-Loves" from our spring 2022 edition, we thought it fitting for summer to showcase two stories from Mountaineers sailors who met their partners on the open water. After all, what’s more romantic than the Salish Sea? Read more…

Backpacking Tips from a Dietitian: The health benefits of herbs and spices

Herbs and spices have been used around the world for thousands of years to support human health. This still holds true today. Herbs and spices  can be incredibly helpful for the modern day adventurer, especially when out on the trail. Naturally occurring compounds in plants called phytochemicals, designed to protect the plant from infection and illness, have also shown health benefits for humans as well. Read more…

Six Must Do's to Stay Safe on Mt. Rainier

The weekend of July 8, I was helping lead a Mountaineers climb of the Emmons Route on Mt. Rainier. Our team was fortunate to have great weather and even better route conditions, and everyone on our two rope teams made it safely to the summit and back to the White River trailhead with no mishaps. Read more…

Where to Buy Affordable Gear

“Contrary to the examples that most blogs, magazines, and brand-name catalogs present, a backpacking hobby doesn’t have to be expensive, extremely arduous, or put on hold until you are at your goal weight.” Shared in the opening pages of How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking and Backpacking by Diana Helmuth, these wise words are written with backpacking in mind but apply to all things outdoor gear. Read more…

New Route Update: South Early Winter Spires (SEWS)

South Early Winters Spire (SEWS) is a popular climbing route in the North Cascades. The highest summit of the Liberty Bell Group, the climb offers outstanding views of Liberty Bell and the North Cascades. Climbers flock to SEWS as a great option for their first alpine climbing experience because of the quality of granite rock and the relatively easy climbing and great scrambling. Read more…

Looking for Seattle First Aid Volunteers

The Seattle First Aid Committee's role is to ensure that our members and leaders have access to classes that allow them to gain and maintain first aid skills. During the past two years, the committee has lost a few core members due to job changes or moves. The Seattle branch is grateful that we've retained Mary Panza as the chair, but she can't do it alone. We are looking for both in-person and remote volunteers to support our community's First Aid education.  Read more…

The Case for Geotagging

I took two years away from social media for a much-needed cleanse several years ago. Before going off the grid, I posted three times a day, intending to gain traction for my hiking blog. But as much as I enjoyed beautiful landscape photos, I found I needed a break from seeing evasive posts from the self-proclaimed "influencers" or "inspirers" with a large following on Instagram and Facebook. Read more…

How To Make a Backcountry Poop Kit

It took a lot of practice, but I finally learned how to poop directly into a dog bag. I’d been getting outside for years – crag climbing and backcountry skiing mostly – and I wasn’t a fan of carrying a trowel and digging a six-inch cat hole. Instead, I’d find a private space, answer the call of nature directly onto the ground/snow, then pick it up (double bag!) and pack it out (toilet paper too!). Read more…

Make Your Own Backpacking Meals: Comfort food alternatives to commercial freeze-dried backpacking meals

Most of us have done it more than once in our backpacking lives – tear open a foil packet, pour in steaming water from the camp stove, wait ten minutes, then shovel the contents into our mouths in the hope that the quantity is right, the food is palatable, and the salt content doesn’t cause congestive heart failure. Then we rinse and haul the bulky foil packets back out to the trailhead. Read more…

New Course – Yoga for Hikers, Backpackers, and Trail Runners

You’re invited to participate in the Foothills branch’s newest course, Yoga for Hikers, Backpackers, and Trail Runners. Designed for outdoor athletes, this course will cover the fundamentals of yoga, how to utilize the practice for athletic recovery, and how to utilize the practice for strength. Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Susan Conbere

Meet Susan Conbere, a Foothills backpack, hike, and snowshoe leader. Susan also leads the Staying Found course and is an active member of the Foothills Backpacking and Hiking Committee. Susan earned Super Volunteer and Key badges in 2020 and 2021 in recognition of all she does for The Mountaineers!  Read more…

Ananth's Rainier 100: A collection of thoughts on 100 peaks

Mount Rainier National Park (MRNP) is one of the oldest national parks in the country, and also one of the most visited. Home to the highest volcanic peak in the contiguous United States and the largest alpine glacial system outside of Alaska, it’s no wonder that people come from near and far to appreciate its beauty. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer Jeremy Fuerst

Jeremy Fuerst was a more fruitful and accomplished climber than most of us would be in five lifetimes. He was an avid peakbagger, county high pointer, state high pointer, and an active member with the Seattle branch. Jeremy passed away in a climbing accident on September 9, 2021, in the Sangre de Cristo range in Colorado. Read more…

Update Your Volunteer Profile

As a 15,000 person community, our membership has a wide variety of skills, talents, and volunteer interests. But as a large and decentralized organization, one challenge we face is connecting interested volunteers with our many different volunteer opportunities. Read more…