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Retro Rewind | In Asahel’s Footsteps: A Legendary Adventure Photographer

Asahel Curtis described Mount Shuksan in the first Mountaineers annual as “a beautiful mass of igneous rock with cascade glaciers flowing outward on all sides, except the north.” He, along with W. Montelius Price, claimed the first ascent of the peak in 1906 (Shuksan’s Curtis and Price glaciers serve as namesakes to the climbers). Asahel brought his faithful companion – a 10+ pound box-style camera – with him to the top. As was his trademark, he was simultaneously pioneering two fields: mountaineering and photography. Read more…

A Trip on Island Time

Recently, Mountaineers Richard Burt, Lynn Graf, and I took a canoe-camping trip to Long Island in Willapa Bay, an uninhabited five mile long, one mile wide National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Washington. Despite bucking a headwind as we paddled for an hour or so on an outgoing tide, we became ensconced in a sheltered, secure waterfront site that allowed us to observe the endless mudflats that are exposed after the tidal retreat. Read more…

The Types of Ancient Forests in Oregon

Oregon’s ancient forests are one of the region’s most precious treasures, providing not only vital habitat for fish and wildlife but also some of the most amazing hiking experiences in the state. In Oregon’s Ancient Forests: A Hiking Guide, author Chandra LeGue of Oregon Wild highlights these incredible places with 91 awe-inspiring hikes from across the state.  Read more…

2nd Annual Baker Lodge Summer Weekend - Aug 9-11

The photography and naturalists committees are teaming up again this year for our second annual at Baker Lodge. Last year was so much fun, in spite of the rainy weather, so we're doing it again! This is a great opportunity to share our love of the outdoors together and develop an enhanced sense of connection, and we hope you'll join us! Read more…

DIY Gear Room: From Garage to City Apartment

Last summer, my fiancé and I moved from Olympia to Seattle. We were excited for the change, but did not anticipate the space problem our move would entail: due to the much higher rent prices, our new city apartment was about a third of the size of our Olympia house. Read more…

No Hiker Left Behind: A Personal Perspective on the Importance of Belonging

My success as a climber was far from guaranteed.

Growing up Jewish, an ethnicity stereotyped as bookish and non-athletic, I struggled with scoliosis, a lazy eye, orthotic shoes, and a disability that impairs hand-eye (brain) coordination. In my urban Los Angeles elementary school, our “special” PE class endured taunts of “Retard PE!” from the “normal” kids. Add on teenaged depression/anxiety, an eating disorder, lifelong PTSD - in part from childhood bullying - and a bit of confusion (self-judgment) around gender and orientation, and I felt like a freak. Read more…

Bookmarks | Excerpt from The Sharp End of Life: A Mother’s Story

They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So it’s not hard to imagine that the mother of the world’s most audacious rock climber would be an interesting person herself. In The Sharp End of Life, Alex Honnold’s mom, Dierdre Wolownick, recounts her upbringing in an immigrant household, a difficult marriage, raising her children as a single mom, teaching in multiple languages, succeeding as a musician and children’s book author, and then, late in life, taking on the physical challenges of marathon running and learning to climb. Read more…

Stories Behind the Images: Beth Rodden

In a June 18 essay I'm a Climber, and a Mother, and Doing Great, Thank Youin The New York Times, professional climber Beth Rodden talked about the birth of her son and the fears she had about how the decision to become a mother would impact her climbing career. It's a moving piece. A new book by the photographer Corey Rich releasing in September includes a story about Beth and her pregnancy. Usually we wouldn't release an excerpt for a book that is a few months from publication, but because this is so complementary to Beth's article (and written long before it), we thought we'd make an exception.  Read more…

Introducing the New Olympia Trail Running Community

Join Mountaineers trail runners from Olympia to discover your love of trail running, discover new trails, and find  like minded folks! No previous trail running experience is required! Read more…

Staying Safe on Remote Day Hikes

Outdoor activities have the tendency to escalate into bigger and more complex pursuits, and hiking is no exception. Even if you start with only an interest in moderate day hikes, you may soon be eyeing longer and more difficult trails. With long hikes, you assume more risk than on a day hike near town, and you may find yourself in remote places without cell service and few people on-trail to help if something goes wrong. Follow these tips to navigate this middle ground between hiking and backpacking responsibly: Read more…