Courses & Activities

Courses & Activities

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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…

Global Adventures | Exploring History and Alpine Peaks in Japan

It was 2019 and I had just arrived in Tokyo. Looking for the hotel where I was to meet our group of Mountaineers, I felt like a lost child. Maneuvering to avoid people with my big suitcase, my senses were in overload as I paused to take a picture of the tight flow of humanity passing me in every direction. A visit to Japan combines modern life with ancient traditions and incredible outdoor opportunities. The juxtaposition was jarring and thrilling. Read more…

30 in 30: Climbing Mailbox Peak 30 Times in 30 Days

Gaining 4,000 feet of vertical elevation in only 2.5 miles, Mailbox Peak definitely stands out among the more challenging hikes of the PNW. I am a regular in a crew of Mailbox enthusiasts who have visited the mountain hundreds of times over the past several years. In that time, I've witnessed droves of hikers suffer through great pains to reach the top. I've watched them rejoice as the summit first came into their view, and their eyes light up as they took their first picture next to the iconic mailbox. It has been an honor and a privilege to share in their experiences. For me, there would be no other mountain more fitting for my endeavor.  Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Phoebe Smith

Meet Phoebe Smith, a Foothills hike leader, active member of the Foothills Hiking Committee, and secretary of the Navigation Committee. Phoebe earned Super Volunteer and Key Leader badges in 2021 in recognition of all she does for The Mountaineers!  Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Dhanya Raghu

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to... Read more…

Bookmarks | Valley of Giants

Lauren DeLaunay Miller is the editor of a new anthology that shares the stories, famed and previously untold, of the remarkable women who have shaped Yosemite climbing history. Valley of Giants, published by Mountaineers Books, is a first-of-its-kind collection that gathers stories from journal excerpts, original essays, interviews, and archival materials from almost 40 contributors, including legends like Lynn Hill, Steph Davis, Kate Rutherford, Beth Rodden, Chelsea Griffie, and more. Lauren has worked for Yosemite Search and Rescue, served as Vice President of the Bishop Area Climbers Coalition, and as event coordinator for the American Alpine Club’s Bishop Craggin’ Classic festival. Read on as Lauren discusses her inspiration for this book, what it taught her, and more. Read more…

Happy Meals, Happy Paddling: A Guide to Food Planning for Sea Kayaking Trips

My partner Barbara and I were experienced campers and backpackers when we moved to Seattle in 2000, but we didn’t have much experience kayaking. We owned sea kayaks, had taken classes in San Francisco Bay, and we’d even done a kayak camping trip for a week in Prince William Sound, Alaska in the 80s. But we knew that Puget Sound was both fabulous and challenging for sea kayaking, and we’d better have more training before heading out there. As soon as we joined The Mountaineers, we signed up for the Basic Sea Kayaking course. Read more…

Learn About the Olympic National Forest Sustainable Recreation Survey | May 4

Join the Olympia Branch on May 4 to learn about the new Sustainable Recreation Study being conducted by the Olympic National Forest (ONF). Ranger Jai Lust, ONF Wilderness and Trails Coordinator, will be presenting on the study, designed to engage the public in the care of trails and gather feedback on individual trail management. Read more…

Half Moon Bouldering: Cultivating a New Kind of Climbing Community

Streaks of glue are glistening in our hair and work overalls from another late night working on the bouldering gym’s construction. My life partner Daniel is putting up wall paneling while I assist, a wet rag in my hands to wipe away residue from the installation. We’re exhausted and elated at the same time. It seems surreal to be putting the finishing touches on a project that has absorbed the last five years of our lives. In building Half Moon Bouldering, our family start-up and the first bouldering gym in Greenwood, we feel like we’ve been aiming for the moon, and now it seems we’re actually close to landing. Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Brian Talbert

Meet Brian Talbert, a Foothills backpacking leader and a mentor for the Foothills Backpacking Building Blocks course. As an active member of the Foothills Hiking and Backpacking Committee, Brian manages leadership development and certification for the committee. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Kendall Walker

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to... Read more…

No Man's Land Film Festival World Tour - April 14

Join The Mountaineers and the American Alpine Club to screen the No Man's Land World Tour. No Man's Land Film Festival (NMLFF) is the premier all-women adventure film festival based out of Carbondale, Colorado, and is currently touring internationally. Read more…

Meany Patrol Race Viewing – March 19

The Meany Patrol Race is back for another year! Join us as we watch teams race along the historic track and celebrate their accomplishments at The Mountaineers Meany Lodge on March 19, 2022.  Read more…

The Olympic Mountain Project, Part II

Standing on the edge of the water in my camp sandals, boots and pants stowed safely inside my pack, I look longingly across the river. I wish I could teleport myself instead of wading through the bitterly-cold, swift-moving water. It’s June 2021, and the Pacific Northwest’s unseasonable heatwave is melting the snowpack, sending it rushing down the mountain river valleys in record volume. Read more…

How the Basic Kayaking Course Opened a New World

Life was good since I retired in September of 2015 at 63 years young. In March 2015, I purchased the Mokai: a motorized kayak intended for use on rivers. The Mokai is 11’ Long 36” wide, powered by a 7hp 4-cycle Subaru engine, has an electric start, is a sit in kayak, and is rated for SK-III rapids. I bought to use in Washington rivers for fishing. Read more…

Daily Debrief

The last two years have been a challenge for us all. We have shared the emotional roller coaster of lockdowns, public land closures, and losses big and small. Yet, this crucible has also created space for self-reflection, realignment of values, and tremendous growth. Read more…

Film Screening: The Last Mountain - Mar 10

Join The Mountaineers for a screening of The Last Mountain, which tells the unforgettable story of climber Tom Ballard, 30, who disappeared on Nanga Parbat in 2019 – 24 years after his mother, legendary alpinist Alison Hargreaves, famously perished on K2. Read more…

How Not to Die in the Wild: A Podcast on The Mountaineers Ten Essentials

Podcaster Alison Young is a self-described female, middle-aged, titanium-reinforced solo hiker. Under her trail name “Blissful Hiker,” Alison hosts a podcast called Walking Distance, “a show for hikers, trekkers, trampers, and wanderers” with the premise that any place worth seeing can be reached by walking. On October 12, 2021, she released an episode titled How Not to Die in the Wild in which she spoke with Super Volunteer Steve McClure to discuss how he helped modernize and simplify The Ten Essentials for our ninth edition of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. Read more…

Global Adventures | An Introduction to the Global Adventures Program


Since 1969, The Mountaineers has been sponsoring multi-day outdoor adventures around the world through our Global Adventures program. Our members have skied the slopes of Japan, backpacked across Chilean Patagonia, and trekked through the Alps. In the past five decades we’ve offered 233 separate trips, the hours of which tally up to a cumulative 90 years of non-stop action and adventure. Like many of our activities, the program’s beginnings are far more humble than the hustle-and-bustle we see today. Read more…

How To: Buy a Compass

We get a lot of questions about compasses - and rightfully so! They're important. Follow these tips to select the compass that’s best for your needs. We suggest that you have this page handy for reference when you go the store to purchase a compass. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Kathleen Neves

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to... Read more…