Courses & Activities

All posts

Dawn over Japan's Northern Alps

It was 4am in the Yarigatake Hut, nestled high in the snowy mountains of Japan. All who had persevered through the previous day's steep trek up to the hut  (elevation 9,908ft) started stirring in the large open sleeping quarters, struggling to fold the futon beds by our feet as silently as possible. The numbering system posted above the sleeping positions were very close together - one wonders during the crowded season how anyone can sleep without disturbing their neighbors!   Read more…

New Wilderness Pooping Course

Everybody poops... but not everyone knows how to poop in the wilderness in an environmentally friendly way. The Mountaineers are addressing this challenge with a new course launching April 1, 2021, just in time for summer: Wilderness Pooping.   Read more…

Introduction to Hiking Seminar - March 30

Ready to get out and explore all those amazing places you’ve seen photos of, but not sure how to get started? Join us for our virtual Introduction to Hiking seminar, which will provide you with the basic knowledge necessary to enjoy outdoor adventures in the Pacific Northwest and return home safely. Read more…

The Speed of Love: Going the Distance With Fred Beckey

While traveling solo to remote and wild places, I had been in some dicey situations. The risks were real, but I knew of no one else interested in exploring the nether regions of wilderness, nor the Himalayan front range from east to west, nor the ancient trade routes that connect Tibet to India through massive ranges, passes that cut deep, from north to south where borders often go unmarked – and so I had gone alone. Read more…

What's Your Eleventh Essential? Celebrating the Ten Essentials

The last patch of shade disappears in a wavering blue line, distorted by the heat. I sit on the scorching sand in exasperation. We are still five miles from the car, and I feel like garbage. I’m dizzy, a bit nauseous, and have a headache. After a year of hiking in the Northwest, I’ve forgotten about the unrelenting desert sun and my 2.5 liters of water was not nearly enough... I am dehydrated, and badly. Read more…

Celebrating Love: A Ruth Mountain Elopement

 Escape. Flee. Run away. Most likely derived from the 1500s Middle Dutch word lopen, the meaning of the word elope has shifted over time. From its origins describing a simple, non-romantic escape, elope morphed to mean a scandalous affair wherein a married woman ran off with her lover. The affair disappeared, but the scandal remained, when eloping changed once again to mean a secret marriage without parental consent. Read more…

Safety Stories: Little Tahoma - The Route is Known for Rockfall

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…

A Magical Owl of a Surprise

"Look there!" Danielle pointed across the marsh to the west, her binoculars just below her eyes.

"What do you see?" John quickly lifted his binoculars. Read more…

Trip Report: Carter Falls Snowshoe Adventure

The night before our snowshoe trip to Mount Rainier, I was a tad nervous reading the weather forecasts. I had been diligently reading them for a week prior, because a winter storm advisory was in effect. In addition, the avalanche danger had increased with all the new snow and slight warming trend. The next day, the expected weather forecast stated we were in for 90% precipitation, rain at lower elevations and snow higher. I was uneasy, and kept hoping that the road to Paradise would be closed. My backup plan for our adventure was to stay low and safe with a short snowshoe around Longmire. Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Luis Zuniga

This month, the Foothills Mountaineers would like to recognize the contributions of Luis Zuniga! Luis is a new Mountaineer who, with his wife Karla, has developed a passion for the outdoors and all things Mountaineers. He quickly became a Foothills hike leader, is already seeking his backpack leader badge, and has volunteered to be a mentor for the Backpacking Building Blocks course. We're thrilled to have Luis on the Foothills volunteer team! Read more…