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Your Rescue Practice May Look Like an Emergency to Someone Else

As Mountaineers, we are committed to learning from our experiences. We examine every incident that happens on a Mountaineers trip for opportunities to improve the ways we explore and teach. Our volunteer safety committee reviews every incident report and picks a few each month to share as examples of ‘Lessons Learned’. The trip report below describes what happened on this trip, in the leader’s own words, and outlines the lessons the leader has identified. In some cases, we offer additional key learnings from the incident. Read more…

How To: Entertain Kids While Hiking & Backpacking

Backpacking with kids is an exciting and eye-opening experience for both parents and children. Sharing the love of nature, exploration, and adventure is special, but not always the easiest thing to get kids exited about. These activity ideas will help you have a great time the next time you head into the backcountry with kids. Read more…

Seattle Climbing Committee: Reunion, Recruitment, and Summer Activities

While it's been a slower summer than usual for our Seattle Branch Climbing Committee and community, we have taught a number of students and enjoyed a handful of socially responsible trips together. Here are a few highlights from our summer, along with an invite to our reunion party and a call to join our committee as a leader: Read more…

How To: See Golden Larches This Fall

Crisp days and bright fall foliage call hikers out onto the trails each autumn, but few trees draw crowds like our much-loved larches. Located primarily on the sunny eastern slopes of the Cascades, larches are deciduous conifers whose needles turn a rich gold each year. Their stout frames and bristling branches dot hillsides with color each October, and make alpine scenes all the more magical. Read on to learn more about these unique trees and the best hikes to spy them on. Read more…

Trip Report: Lake Ingalls

Lake Ingalls in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is one of the most striking hikes for fall foliage. In fact, this area is stunning no matter what time of the year you go. In the spring the blooming flowers make a striking contrast against the craggy mountains, and in the fall the huckleberries are ripe, juicy, and delicious. Do not wait to hike this trail! Read more…

Climbing Holds Grab Bag Sale & Climbing Walls Improvements

UPDATE 10/15/20 - CLIMBING HOLDS HAVE SOLD OUT. 

Over the past year, Mountaineers volunteers and staff have chipped in to help clean, update, and repair our various climbing structures at the Seattle Program Center. The goal of the ongoing project is to improve the safety of the climbing structures with safe, clear color coded routes. Additionally, we hope the improvements will facilitate better teaching with more anchor stations, cleaner climbing lines, and offer more technical routes.  Read more…

Out of the Ashes: Creating a New Life in the Mountains

Every night after putting my boys to bed, I ran. On dark nights my feet would thud against the pavement, headlamp shining through the rain. I did it because I had to – it pushed out the despondency and grief that had been following me for almost two years. I knew pushing my body would bring me closer to what I needed: self-confidence, a distraction from the pain, physical and emotional strength. I moved toward my goal, one foot at a time. Read more…

Climbers of Color: A Partnership to Support More Leaders of Color

We're excited to be partnering with Climbers of Color in support of their mission to create more leaders of color in mountaineering. Established in 2017, Climbers of Color is a Washington State nonprofit that aims to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the climbing and mountaineering community by developing leaders of color. To accomplish its mission, Climbers of Color provides supportive mentorship, technical training from BIPOC professional guides, and access to key resources including gear and scholarships. Read more…

2021 Basic Alpine Climbing Courses

Fall is here, and with fall comes registration for new courses, including our popular Basic Alpine Climbing course. With the widespread effects of the pandemic, our capacity and format will be different for the 2021 courses, and we’ve tried our best to outline those changes below. We hope that you’ll still be able to find a course that piques your interest for the coming year! Read more…

Did You Know? Birding Basics: Start a Lifelong Journey of Bird Watching

The Black-capped Chickadee flitted through the fir branches. It was about the size of two ping-pong balls, and nimble – it twisted, turned, and darted through my Seattle neighborhood. This bird is common across much of North America and always brings a sense of joy each time I see one. In fact, it may be one of the first birds I learned to identify when my mother caught me sitting in the kitchen sink, watching birds coming to her feeders. I was five, and she patiently stood behind me naming each species. Almost 65 years later I remain delighted by these incredible creatures, and I would like to share with you some of the lessons I have learned in my many (well-spent) years of birdwatching. Read more…