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The Little Things: Moss Blankets and Raining Lichen

As the mountains brighten with a blanket of fresh white on its highest hills, and evening alpenglow illuminates the distance with shades of pink and orange, we are allured by snow: tossing on snowshoes and skis to venture into the fantastic. Naturalists, searching for flora and fauna, turn to the foothills — and their manuals. We flip past the names of flowering meadow plants, summer mammals and autumn berries. We're reminded of the little things that flourish year-round in the temperate rainforest that makes up the Pacific Northwest — and especially in its wettest seasons — moss and lichen. Read more…

American Team Makes First Ascent of Link Sar In Karakoram

Steve Swenson, a Mountaineers Books Author and member of The Mountaineers Board of Directors, along with alpinists Chris Wright, Graham Zimmerman, and Mark Richey, completed the first ascent of Link Sar (7,041m) in the Central Pakistani Karakoram via its 3400-meter Southeast Face. The object of at least nine previous expeditions, the first ascent of this peak has been a highly sought-after achievement for the climbing community. The team is calling their route the Southeast Face (M6+ WI4 90°, 2,300m), but the grade poorly portrays the challenge of this route that Steve, a Karakoram veteran, calls “one of the most complex and difficult routes I have ever climbed.” Read more…

Ins and Outs of Women's Backpacking Gear

Purchasing outdoor gear can be a daunting experience. I understand. We’ve all been there, standing in the middle of a gear shop, surrounded by dozens of sleeping bags, a pile of backpacks, and enough sleeping pads to stack to the ceiling. It’s all a bit much. Read more…

Making the Most of Your Ancient Forest Hike

Going for a hike in an ancient forest is a lot more interesting if you are armed with an inquisitive attitude, a little knowledge and context, and some extra time to enjoy the special place you are in. Here are a few tips that can help you have the best experience. Read more…

Staying Prepared For the Best Kind of Adventures

Unprepared adventurers, if they’re not lucky, can find themselves struggling out in the dark, under deteriorating conditions — or worse. Perhaps they leave without appropriate clothing or gear. Or they go without being cognizant of weather or available daylight. A few face difficulty because they chose an objective they were not physically ready for. And some expose themselves and others to risk because they decide to continue the climb even though objective information suggests they would be safer turning around or choosing another destination. Read more…

Behind the Scenes: Pooping in the Wilderness

By the end of the day, I was finally able to look squarely into the camera and say, “poop” without laughing. Our film team let out a collective sigh of relief. We were officially finished with one of the most challenging storytelling tasks of the Backcountry Impact Series film project: human waste. Read more…

Behind the Shot | Costa Rican Adventures - Sep 24

The Seattle Photography Committee started the Behind the Shot series last fall with a goal of inspiring others to go on their own photo adventure. These presentations will not only show you gorgeous photos, but will give you information about camera equipment and planning trips. Join us September 24 to explore Costa Rica, and save the date for other upcoming presentations. Read more…

From Auction to Alpinism: Climbing Rainier with Mike Gauthier & Tom Vogl

Every April, The Mountaineers hosts our Annual “Adventure with Purpose” Gala, a fundraising event that includes special guest speakers, dynamic programming, and a variety of live auction packages ranging from nature photography workshops to Everest Base Camp treks. This year, gala attendees had the opportunity to buy into a priceless trip up Mount Rainier with former lead climbing ranger and Mountaineers Books author, Mike Gauthier (who’s summited Washington’s famed mountain more than 180 times), and Mountaineers CEO, Tom Vogl. Read more…

Did You Know? Butte Camp Via Loowit Trail

I’ve been slowly marking off the 100 hikes that Ira Spring and Harvey Manning published in their book 100 Hikes in Washington: South Cascades and Olympics. I recently completed my 40th hike from this well-used and much-loved trail book, enjoying a beautiful trip from Butte Camp to the Loowit Trail. Read more…

The Personal Reward of Being an Environmental Steward and Volunteer

Being a huge fan of stewardship and conservation, I’m super proud of the hard hat I earned as a stewardship volunteer with the Olympia Mountaineers. I first became interested in 2014 when Kathy Fox and Jim French approached me to help out on several local projects, and from there I was hooked. Read more…