Courses & Activities

All posts

Jonathan Franzen Wants to Bring Back the Birds

We hear their songs in the morning and almost subliminally note their presence throughout the day. While some of us seek them out, watching for certain species that herald a new season or hoping to see unusual ones, others have a more passive awareness of these feathered wonders. Either way, birds are part of all of our lives.  Read more…

Humility and Exposure: Enduring Lessons from Forbidden Peak

In July 1996, I was a rock climber with very little experience in the mountains. I found myself in Glacier, having moved to Washington State from the relative flat-lands of the East Coast, where "it might be hot but at least it's humid." I was working for a small outdoor education program, and my new friend there suggested we go climb a technical peak in the North Cascades. Read more…

Retro Rewind | The Family of First Ascents: The Fierys Climb Their Way Through Mountaineering History

As staff liaison to the Everett branch, I have the opportunity to attend their branch banquet to witness the pride of accomplishment, honor exceptional volunteers, and to be inspired by their always entertaining featured speaker. This year, Lowell Skoog, a distinguished climber, skier, writer, photographer, and Mountaineers historian, gave a presentation on the past and future of Northwest mountaineering. Read more…

BeWild with Molly Mitchell - An Interview on Being Vulnerable and Battling Anxiety

The Mountaineers and Adidas Terrex are pleased to present climbing phenom Molly Mitchell on May 14 at the Seattle Program Center. An accomplished 5.13+ trad climber and youth coach to aspiring climbers, Molly values fighting hard, trusting the process, and measuring success - even in the smallest of increments. Come learn how she celebrates success while being vulnerable and battling an anxiety disorder. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - April 2019

A little more dirt and a little less snow are filling the pages of our trip reports now that we're well into spring. You all promptly stepped into your hiking boots this month too, it would seem. But regardless of the trails clearing up, I still see plenty of rain jackets! Hooray for indecisive weather and unreliable forecasts through the next month or two! Read more…

Safety First | Which Way to Go in Snow: Winter Decision-Making

My friend Roger Rosenblatt and I had arranged to meet early one Saturday morning in April some years ago to go skiing in the Snoqualmie pass backcountry. Neither of us were especially good skiers, so our normal trips involved going up a logging road, and then branching off to find a lake or view rewarding ridge line. 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…

Impact Giving | Sharing the Awe: Inspired by Decades of Outdoor Lessons, Dave Enfield Pays It Forward

When Dave Enfield describes one of his first and most memorable Mountaineers scrambles along Mazama Ridge, he does not mention the iconic views of the Tatoosh Range, the subalpine meadows down below, or Mount Rainier looming above. He does not bring up the early-season frost spreading from underfoot to distant peaks and chilling glaciers. He does not speak of beauty or majesty. Dave describes something entirely different: leaving his tent in the morning, all he saw was pure white. Read more…

Plus Size Climbing Harnesses: Resources & Measurements

Climbing can be an intimidating sport. For plus size people it’s even more so. Worrying about whether or not a harness will fit your body is a huge barrier to so many. Many of you have told me that you’re scared or have felt uncomfortable trying a new sport when you’re surrounded by other straight sized folks. I really want to break down those barriers and offer a more comfortable space to learn in. Don’t worry, I’ll show you the ropes (pun intended)! Read more…

My Old Man and the Mountain

The following is an excerpt from My Old Man and the Mountain, by Leif Whittaker. The Seattle Times called Leif's memoir "an entertaining coming-of-age yarn from a likable, talented diarist."  Rock & Ice  said it was "engaging and humorous." The American Alpine Institute found it to be "a beautiful piece of writing, funny and sad, insightful, and engaging." 

The book is just out in the paperback edition. See what you think. Read more…