Hiking & Backpacking

Hiking & Backpacking

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Invasion of the Modern Body Snatchers

It was an absolutely breathtaking Northwest late fall afternoon. I was doing field research (translation=hiking) for my upcoming Urban Trails Eastside Mountaineers Books guidebook. My task was to check out a patch of urban greenery on Lake Washington’s eastern shore. As I walked down this park’s trails and across its boardwalks, I was mesmerized by the surrounding natural beauty and by the moment itself. The sun was low, the sky deep blue. Rays of sunlight kissed my face and danced across the shimmering waters of a quiet bay. They illuminated the resident waterfowl and intensified the brilliant colors of the autumn foliage. The sun continued to sink in the sky and my surroundings became more surrealistic. I was in pure hiking heaven — utterly elated — senses completely stimulated.  Read more…

Did You Know? Mount St. Helens

Long before Washington State's Mount St. Helens famously erupted in 1980, the mountain was a defining feature in the landscape Native American tribes called home. Check out the legend of Mount St. Helens and check out some tips for planning your trip to this beautiful area. Read more…

Backpacking with Kids Course: May-Sept 2018

Many current Mountaineers had their start as kids when their parents got them out into the backcountry and taught them the skills and resilience to enjoy the outdoor world. Be a part of continuing this legacy with your own kids, by taking the Backpacking with Kids Course. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Tom Eckhout

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Tom Eckhout, a volunteer leader with the Olympia Branch who cherishes every moment he has in the mountains. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Deborah Fisher

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

Tacoma Singles Committee Up and Running

The organizing meeting of the New Tacoma Singles Activities Committee was a great success. Seventeen enthusiastic people joined to enjoy a potluck meal and good fellowship, and begin planning the structure and activities for this new committee. Dick Hayek and Darin Stavish were chosen as Co-Chairs, and an Executive Committee was selected consisting of Dick and Darin, Michael Bjornberg, Katie Cornejo, and Sabrina O'Donnell.  Read more…

Help Revitalize the Tacoma Singles Committee - Jan 14

How often do you have an opportunity to be a part of an exciting innovation? Join us at the Tacoma Mountaineers Program Center at 1pm on Sunday, January 14, to help organize a new Tacoma Mountaineers Singles Activities Committee! Read more…

What is Progressive Outdoor Education?

The Mountaineers 'Vision 2022' Strategic Plan calls for us to invest in being “innovative leaders in outdoor education.” This means we need to respond to growing needs and address new century challenges in ways that are different from traditional  outdoor education. This includes investment in our volunteers – the greatest source of innovation and a priceless resource that is uniquely Mountaineers. We call this new approach "Progressive Outdoor Education."  Read more…

Wilderness Trekker J.R. Harris to Share Gripping Stories from More than Fifty Years of Adventure

Mountaineers Books, in partnership with  Seward Park Audubon Center and  The Trail Posse, presents J.R. Harris' Way Out There: Adventurers of a Wilderness Trekker talk and book signing at Third Place Books - Seward Park in Seattle on Wednesday, November 29 from 7-8pm.  The talk is free and open to the public.  Read more…

Did You Know? Palouse Falls

Formerly known as Aput Aput, meaning "Falling Water," so named by the Palouse Native Americans, you can find this incredible waterfall in the aptly named Palouse Falls State Park. It's definitely worth a visit! Here's some history and travel tips on this natural wonder: Read more…

The Mountaineers Join the Effort to Save Lake Serene – And You Can Too!

Lands adjacent to the Lake Serene Trail are slated to be logged this year. If the plan goes through, the routes to Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls will be closed until July 1, 2018 and the surrounding forest will be scarred for many years to come. But there’s hope. Outdoor leaders, including The Mountaineers, are joining forces with individuals across the Pacific Northwest to purchase the land from the timber company. Together we can raise the funds, but we aren’t there yet – and we need your help! Read more…

Did You Know? Hoh Rainforest

The Hoh Rainforest, reminiscent of a land before time, receives between 140 and 170 inches of rain a year. Some of the trees that live here are over 1000 years old. The Hoh River Valley was formed thousands of years ago by glaciers.  Read more…

Foothills Leader Spotlight: Karen Wallace and Nancy Temkin

Our branch wants to give a big shout out to Karen Wallace and Nancy Temkin, two fairly new hike leaders who have really gone the extra mile during 2017 to bring beginner hikers out on the trail and instill a love of outdoor adventure. Your hard work is huge asset to the Foothills community. Thank You! Read more…

Become a Hike or Backpack Leader for The Mountaineers

My own Mountaineers leadership story started with a search for trail companions. I was seeking a compatible group on the types of hikes and backpacks that interested me. Then, one day, I took a new arrival from China on his first hike, and I saw the joy and wonder blossom on his face when Mount Rainier emerged in all her glory behind a ridge covered with meadow wildflowers. That was it, I was hooked. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Bill Borom

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Bill Borom, a 5-year leader whose involvement in a wide variety of club activities has continued to spark his sense of adventure and expand his pool of friends to adventure with! Read more…

Make your ideas a reality - volunteer on a committee!

Did you know that The Mountaineers club didn’t have a paid employee until 1984? Tired of all of the paperwork, the growing organization hired a part-time administrator to help with waivers and dues so that volunteers could focus on the fun stuff: developing courses, providing instruction, leading trips, and running committees. Read more…

Introduction to Hiking - Oct 16 in Issaquah

Are you new to the Pacific Northwest and to giving hiking/backpacking a try for the first time? If you're not sure where to go, how to find compatible people to go with, what gear you need, or how to do it safely, join us on Monday, October 16 for a free seminar. Read more…

Walking the Wild: 18 Days on the John Muir Trail with Daniel Zilcsak - October 4

The Mountaineers Walking the Wild Series celebrates extraordinary trekking and backpacking adventures by Mountaineers members with stories, photography, and information for other members to add those same experiences to their life list! Read more…

Block by Block - Gaia in the City at Night

It was one of the rare late winter weeknights with a full moon and a clear sky, but I missed a turn. Our Seattle Stairway Walks hiking group was passing several back doors (or were they front doors?) going up many unintended Magnolia steps. This was not the Gaia route I had planned and followed the prior week. Nor was it the highlighted route on the map tucked in my trouser pocket, or the same Gaia route on my iPhone.  Read more…

Hiking Tips For Kids: Girl Scout Silver Award Project

My name is Lucy Grim and I am a Girl Scout finishing out my last cadette year. I have been working towards earning my Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout cadette can earn, for the last few months. For my project, I made a video on how to stay safe and have a successful hiking trip for groups hiking with kids. Read more…

How To: Pick a Sleeping Bag

Has it happened to you? I was camping at 11,500 ft at Guitar Lake along the John Muir Trail on the last day of a 2013 backpacking trip with my 3 sons. The low overnight temperature was 32 degrees, and while I should have been comfortable in my 30 degree rated sleeping bag, even with all my clothes on, I was barely warm.  Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Donna Kreuger

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Donna Kreuger, a Hike Leader who wants people to understand that they don't have to be a big, bad mountain climber to rock the outdoors! Read more…

Circumambulating Lake Washington

On March 8, 2017, Seattle Hike Leaders Kathy Biever and Julie Miller set out on the first of seven urban hikes to complete a circuit around Lake Washington. Their fun summer journey will be complete on September 6. Read more…

How To: Train for Your Next Hike

People join The Mountaineers from all walks of life, at all levels of experience. For those looking to kickstart their outdoor experience or take their fitness up a notch, check out these training ideas from Alison Hudson at PartSelect. Hudson is a field instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School and a freelance writer and who has contributed to The Clymb and Outdoor Nation. In this piece, she shares how to train in the city, train for the downhills, and get  mentally tough. Read more…

Find a Park, Drink Wine, Get a Discount - Sept 14

Fjallraven, a new outdoor clothing and gear brand in the Northwest, and Canoe Ridge Vineyard, a Seattle-based winery, are anxious to meet Mountaineers, show you what they offer, and give you a big discount - all while you learn about Seattle parks that you've probably never heard of. Read more…

Essential Repellent: What You Need to Know to Survive the Battle of the Bug

The West Coast’s winter was wet and soggy. The forecast for the spring and summer is lingering snowpack, muddy trails … and bugs. Lots of bugs! Read more…

The Hills are Afoul with the Smell of Poo

Ahhh, there’s nothing like heading out on your favorite trail to take in the fragrant smells of spring... only to catch the putrid stench of crap. Dog and human alike — it seems lately there’s been a proliferation of poo plopped along our trails and streams of toilet paper flowers soiling our backcountry. And this abundance of trailside turds isn’t just an affront on our visionary and olfactory senses, it’s a major affront to our health and the health of our wild places. Read more…

Bucket List: Section Hike Oregon on the PCT - Webinar June 20

Mountaineers and friends are invited to join a free webinar, Tuesday, June 20, 7pm. Get tips for starting what for many is a bucket list item: hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) across your state. The presenter for this online event is Eli Boschetto, author of the new book, Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: OregonEli will talk about how to plan to section hike the Oregon length of the PCT, but his tips will be relevant to anyone planning  to hike the Washington PCT, too. Read more…

Take a (Mid-Week) Hike

Are you looking to beat the crowds, and to get out on the trail when it’s a bit less busy? Do you have a flexible schedule mid-week? If so, you should consider a Mid-Week Hike! Read more…

Become a volunteer hike or backpack leader - Seminar June 22

Attendees of our Leader Seminar will learn what it means to lead a Mountaineers hike or backpack. We'll cover how to prepare and lead your participants in a safe and enjoyable outing and how to handle some common on-trail leadership challenges, as well as how to post a hike or backpack and a post-trip activity report. This seminar  will get you started toward becoming a certified trip leader for the Seattle or Foothills Branches. (this seminar can count toward certification for the other branches as well!) Read more…