Skiing & Snowboarding

Skiing & Snowboarding

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Learn to Ski at Meany Lodge This Winter

Downhill ski, snowboard, and telemark lessons are now open for registration at Meany Lodge. We offer single-day lessons almost every Saturday, as well as multi-week classes (4 days total) during the winter season. Check out our Meany Lodge webpage and register for one of our ski courses!  Read more…

Speak Up Now to Protect Access to Peaks and Canyons

Note, this public comment period has closed. We'll keep our community updated on future developments in this process.

For many Mountaineers students, the South Face of the Tooth in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is their first foray into the world of alpine climbing. Considering its close proximity to the Seattle area, wide ledges for belaying, and grippy holds, it’s no wonder that the South Face is a classic teaching space for our alpine programs. Unfortunately, our community’s ability to safely access critical teaching spaces like the South Face of the Tooth is in jeopardy due to recently released National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) proposals. Read more…

Make the most of winter by visiting Washington Sno-parks

Venturing into nature during winter can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. The cold and snow require more technical gear to keep you safe and warm in such low temperatures. But there are ways you can get outside, even if you are short on experience or gear. If you are curious about exploring Washington in winter but don’t know where you should go, check out one of Washington’s Sno-parks!  Read more…

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…

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…

A Mule, a Klutz, and a Pair of Skis: Learning to ski as an adult

Rain on the windshield distorted the headlights of other cars waiting in the dark parking lot. My older sister was in the backseat next to me, leaning against our dad’s headrest as she looked over his shoulder. He flipped on the windshield wipers just as a school bus pulled in. “Is that it?” my sister asked. Mom replied, her eyes intent on her husband. “Looks like it. They said the bus would be here at 6.” Read more…

Sign Up Now for the 2023 Meany Lodge Patrol Race

The Meany Patrol Race is back and open for registration with racers lining up on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Steeped in the rich history of Mountaineers winter backcountry exploration and the nearly one hundred year old Meany Lodge, The Patrol Race remains the backcountry ski touring race in the Pacific Northwest. Sign up to race or to cheer the racers on as they cross the finish line at Meany Lodge.   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…

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…

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…

Meany Lodge Open to Vaccinated Guests

We’re looking forward to getting back to a more “normal” season at Meany Lodge with overnight guests! Registration is open now. Read more…

Global Adventures | Cross-Country Ski Routes of Norway


As the birthplace of Nordic skiing, it’s safe to say that the Norwegians have fine-tuned the art of cross-country skiing. From skis, Swix Wax, and Rottefella bindings to the Birkebeinerrennet and eating waffles on the trail, cross-country skiing is deeply embedded in Norwegian history and culture. Read more…

Bookmarks | This Land of Snow

A passionate skier since he was a child, Anders Morley dreamed of going on a significant adventure, something bold and of his own design. And so one year in his early thirties, he decided to strap on cross-country skis to travel across Canada in the winter alone. Read more…

Upcoming Olympia Branch Courses and COVID-19 Accommodations

As we navigate COVID-19, our priority is to keep our members safe and engaged in the outdoors. The Olympia branch is excited to offer three upcoming courses in January and February; hear from the course chairs on the safety adjustments made, and what you can expect to learn.  Read more…

Olympia Branch Winter Travel, Scrambling, and Skills Clinics - Dec 3-15

Interested in learning scrambling, winter travel, or other basic skills? Look no further than the upcoming Olympia Scrambling Course, Winter Travel Course, and clinics in avalanche safety, outdoor preparation, and more. Read more…

Snow in the Summer

The high temperatures we've been having lately have us dreaming of the cooler days ahead.  Don't misunderstand, we've been trying to get the most out of summer. Gardening, swimming, running - all activities best enjoyed in warm weather. That doesn't mean we're not looking forward to winter activities and a beautiful blanket of fresh snow.   Read more…

Preparing for the Worst: A Chaplain’s Perspective

On August 14, 2018, I received the phone call. A climber had died, and my mountaineering friend had just gotten the news. He needed assistance with what to do next. In seven years as an emergency services chaplain, I’ve lost count of how many death notifications I’ve given, and I was the right person for my friend to call. Only, when I realized that the climber he was talking about was Stephen Kornbluth, my best friend and “mountain husband,” I felt my world shatter into a million pieces. None of my experience had prepared me for this moment. Read more…

Citizen Science: White-Tailed Ptarmigan, Ghost Birds of the Winter Cascades

Washington is a haven for birders, and yet we still have huge gaps in our understanding of some of our most iconic wildlife. Take the White-tailed Ptarmigan for example. Many of you have likely spotted ptarmigan in the Cascades in their summer plumage, blending in with their rocky alpine habitat, but reports of these beautiful birds in their all-white winter plumage are few and far between. As a result, our knowledge of White-tailed Ptarmigan winter habitats in the Pacific Northwest are meager. Read more…

Dawn Patrol: 5am is the Best Adventure Time

Borrowed from early military aviation’s dawn reconnaissance flights, the phrase “Dawn Patrol” was adopted by recreationists to describe 5am pre-work adventures, allowing you to fit two days into one. Pulling it off isn’t easy, but with an iron will and a few cups of coffee it can be done. Hear from three of our favorite Dawn Patrollers on what motivates them to roll out of bed long before sunrise, and why it’s so worth it. Read more…

Snow Goat Skimo: Supporting the Boom in Uphill Ski Racing

It must be nice, being a mountain goat. To move through the mountains with speed and grace, inspiring fear, respect, and admiration in all who lay eyes on you. With gravitydefying climbing skills and a legendary beard, mountain goats are untouchable. Read more…

Join Us for Winter Trails Weekend in the Methow - Jan 3-6, 2020

"Planned very well, with nicely groomed trails, and clear direction of what to expect," remarked one participant of last year's Methow Winter Trails weekend, when asked about her favorite part of the Mazama trails ski trip. A Sun Mountain trip skier the next day responded, "The weather, the company, and that the leader selected the trails that most fit the group's abilities." Join us this year to explore the Methow and to find your own favorite part! Read more…

Mountain Bike Racer & Author Jeremy Benson Keeps the Passion Alive

Mountaineers Books author Jeremy Benson takes full advantage of Lake Tahoe, the California mountain bike mecca where he lives. Biking in the warm months and backcountry skiing in the snowy ones, he has both pursued his athletic passions and written about them in Mountain Bike - Tahoe: 50 Select Singletrack Routes and Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes: California. Now that the warm months are here, we asked Jeremy what advice he would give to those wanting to get started in mountain biking.  Read more…

This Summer, Help Us Sample Watermelon Snow for Science

We are excited to partner with Dr. Kodner and her students from Western Washington University for a third year on a citizen science project related to snow algae! This summer, take your alpine adventures to the next level and help us collect samples of summer "watermelon snow" algal blooms. These samples will support studies related to climate change and algal evolutionary biology. Read more…

Tell Me About: Trekking Poles

You’ve seen them around: whether with a speed walking grandpa, that youngin’ plowing down the path, or the ultrarunner in the video of the Rocky 100, trekking poles (also called hiking poles or walking sticks) are an outdoor accessory almost as old as hiking itself. But… why would you use them? Read more…

Five Favorite Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes

In the peak of ski season, we asked the authors of our Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Routes guidebooks to spill the beans on their favorite routes. Following are their faves – out of the 100 or so tours in each of their books. Below is the beta and general route description as excerpted from each book. Read more…

Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain: How I Discovered I Wasn't an Avalanche Expert

Bruce Tremper is the author of Staying Alive In Avalanche Terrain, which has just been published in the third edition. Staying Alive is the country's best-selling book on how to stay safe in  avalanche country.  Read more…

Winter Wildlands Backcountry Film Festival - Jan 10 & Jan 21

Calling all “go big or go home” winter enthusiasts! Get ready to get goosebumps while you “Ooh!” and “Ahh!” at the impact and importance of our winter wildlands through this collection of short films. The fourteenth annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival will screen in  Bellevue on January 10 and in Seattle at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center on January 21.  Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Bill Coady

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Bill Coady, a volunteer leader with the Everett Branch who encourages others to lead because he enjoys helping other similarly-minded outdoor enthusiasts ... and because he loves it! Read more…

A Hidden Winter Gem: Going Hut-to-Hut in Western Washington

I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you. It’s a hard trek during winter. My best friend and I took on the challenge last spring, breaking trail for a full mile through fresh powder with heavy backpacks. We felt breathless as we snowshoed four miles to one of the highest points in Tahoma State Forest. But with every crunch beneath our snowshoes — and between the sounds of our groans - the top of Mount Rainier became more and more visible. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Tab Wilkins

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Tab Wilkins, a volunteer leader with the Foothills Branch who encourages our leaders to be more collaborative, to learn from and recognize near-misses, and to embrace opportunities for feedback. Read more…