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Tips for Understanding and Preparing for Wind

Other than for the sailors among us, strong winds are generally annoying. Camping, paddling, skiing, cycling – all better enjoyed without 30+ mile-an-hour gusts. We can layer up for cold and down for the heat. We’ve got Gortex to defeat the rain and snow. But wind often feels relentless in spite of our best efforts to cope with it. Read more…

An Epic Climb of Mount Rainier Via the Willis Wall

The wind is howling; it’s pitch dark, and heavy snow is blowing sideways. I stagger, trying to stay on my feet while Jim shouts at me from the bivouac to get in. Struggling in the gale, I lift one leg, try to step into the sack, and am blown flat on my side. I get up and try again. “If you don’t get into the sack, you’re going to die,” I think. Read more…

Olympia Branch Hiking and Backpacking Set For A Great Summer

Welcome to summer and all that it entails! At the Olympia Hiking & Backpacking committee, we've been very busy gearing up for summer. Learn what's new and say hello to Monty Pratt (pictured above, left), our newest committee member! Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Bernadette Lamarca

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Bernadette Lamarca, a volunteer leader with the Everett Branch who was hooked on The Mountaineers after three hikes ... and one fortuitous piece of chocolate! Read more…

Why Developing a Routine Could be Your Most Important Water Safety Precaution

I have been a recreational kayaker for twenty five years and paddle often.   I kayak on slow moving rivers, ponds, lakes, and protected salt water coves. I continue to improve my skills as I gain even more experience and become involved with various paddling communities.  I have learned that most of what you can do to stay safe while paddling happens off the water. Read more…

Lessons Learned – Spring Avalanche on Colchuck NBC

With the recent stint of sun and warm spring conditions has come the annual cycle of wet avalanches in the Cascades. Mountaineers Sherrie Trecker and Nicole Cederblom were on a private climb and shared this close call with us. The two were roping up to begin an attempt on the North Buttress Couloir route on Colchuck Peak on May 24, 2018, when the lower half of their descent route was consumed in a massive wet avalanche. Read more…

Peak Fitness: Preventing Stiffness Post Outings

Imagine returning to the car after hiking double-digit miles into triple-digit temperatures, finally pitching your heavy pack into the back of the car. Before you take off to the local pub that serves nachos, pizza, and beer, consider how you’ll feel after an hour or more in the car.  Read more…

Volunteers Needed - Wilderness First Aid Scenarios

We're seeking volunteers to serve as victims for our First Aid Scenario Sessions in Renton on July 9, Sept 17, and Nov 7. This is a great way to brush up on your own first aid skills, flex your acting chops, and help our students graduate! Read more…

What it feels like to be lowered into a crevasse...voluntarily!

I joined The Everett Mountaineers in November 2015, and shortly thereafter completed a PCT thru-hike in the summer of 2016. I’ve always been interested in alpine climbing, especially anything over 8,500’, and so in 2018 I enrolled in Everett’s Basic Climbing Course. Basic is a 6-month course to teach you what you need to know for Mountaineering expeditions in the Pacific Northwest, and I was eager to learn. Read more…

The Communications Devices We Carry

On June 24, I will be leaving home - along with a group of three other Mountaineers sea kayakers - to paddle down the west coast of Vancouver Island. Our plan is to take three weeks, starting in Winter Harbor and ending in Tofino, paddling a distance of over 200 nautical miles of exposed and remote outer coastline.  As a part of our safety plan, we've included electronic signaling devices which we can use to call for emergency help. This blog describes the various options that I considered for our trip, an overview of what we decided to bring, and how we will use these devices throughout our journey.  Read more…