Courses & Activities

All posts

A Personal Story: Volunteers' Hidden Impact

It was my lowest moment as a Mountaineer, and I’ll never forget it. Evening was approaching on the first day of my Basic Winter Overnight at the old Snoqualmie property. I had done pretty well at ice-ax arrest, but I was cold, wet, and ready to head back to camp to get warm and dry. Then I saw it - my home for the night (an improperly staked 3-season backpacking tent) had collapsed under the 5" of heavy, wet snow that had fallen since morning. My gear was soaked in the puddles of standing water in the tent, and with night falling soon, there was no chance of drying out. I was mortified. Read more…

Take the Stewardship Challenge

The Olympia Branch is challenging you to dedicate one day (or more!) to stewarding our public lands.  This challenge is a great way to give back to our outdoor playgrounds and meet a vibrant community of volunteers. All Mountaineers members are welcome to join - regardless of branch affiliation. Read more…

Hikes, Bears & Brews: Playing Smart in WA's Bear Country

Did you know that Washington state is home to more than 25,000 black bears and two small populations of grizzlies? Spring is a great time to explore the natural beauty of our state and it’s also prime time to practice your bear awareness skills. Bears are highly active this time of year, waking from hibernation and looking for food. Read more…

A non-cook impresses friends with this Dirty Gourmet Trail Brittle

I've lived a charmed life, insofar as I like to eat and have a spouse who loves to cook. I'll gladly wash dishes as my part of this bargain, a chore I've managed with a moderate degree of competence. That said, I was intrigued by a recipe in Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures, a new cookbook from Mountaineers Books. Read more…

VHF Radios and Safety 101 for Sea Kayakers

A group of six of us set off from the north shore of the mouth of Willapa Bay. The tide was coming in, but was going to turn around noon and the swell outside was about six feet. We intended to cross over to Leadbetter Point, enjoy the beach there for lunch and then return in the afternoon. We had four people with lots of experience in coastal paddling (surf conditions) and two with much less experience but were strong paddlers. Read more…

Simul-Climbing: Pros and Cons for an Advanced Skill

Simul-climbing is an advanced climbing technique where both climbers simultaneously climb while roped together, with pieces of protection continuously placed between them by the lead climber. Given the long and committing nature of many alpine routes in the Cascades, simul-climbing can offer distinct benefits to climbers seeking to balance efficiency and safety moving over vast amounts of terrain; however, the technique has pros and cons, and nuances which warrant attention. It's important to dispel some common misperceptions about this technique. Read more…

Photography Scavenger Hunt on the Bremerton Waterfront

Six of us ventured to the Bremerton Waterfront on Sunday, March 26, for a photography scavenger hunt. The weather was wonderful, blue skies with interesting clouds, not too hot and not too cold...perfect weather for being outside! Read more…

Bears Ears Guidebook Author Answers Five Questions About The Monument

Morgan Sjogren’s new guidebook, The Best Bears Ears National Monument Hikes, came out in January, less than two months after the current administration reduced its boundaries by 85 percent. Published by Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) Press, Morgan’s book is the only guidebook published for this region. But Morgan, a writer, adventurer, and competitive trail runner, fell in love with Bears Ears while running in it and wanted to encourage others to explore this region, too. We asked her five questions  about the book and the Monument. Mountaineers Books is the worldwide distributor of CMC Press books. Read more…

Nominees Wanted for Olympia Branch Leadership Roles

In June, the full membership of the Olympia Mountaineers will be electing new Branch officers. These individuals will serve as members of the Olympia Branch Council, the group tasked with building and improving the Olympia Branch’s overall programs. The Olympia Branch is growing and has a lot of energy to move forward, and we want you to be part of it! Read more…

Apply Now! Alpine Ambassadors Rock Skill Development in Squamish

We invite you to apply for the the next Alpine Ambassadors trip to Squamish, British Columbia, from July 27-Aug 4. The program will help you develop more advanced multi-pitch rock skills on challenging terrain with support from each other, skilled volunteers, and professional guides. Volunteers from all branches are invited to participate in this innovative, aspirational program, which seeks to infuse The Mountaineers with deeper skills and inspiration to give back.   Read more…