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Peak Fitness | Gamify Your Hikes: Making Family Adventures Fun for Everyone

Our twelve-year-old daughter loves to pester us with, “Are we there yet?”, “How much longer?” and “Can we take a break?” when we go on hikes. The solution? Bring a friend her age. If that strategy fails, we try to include a cool distraction like having a scavenger hunt, finding a geocache, playing in a snow patch, or identifying birds or plants. I recently stumbled on another technique you can add to your repertoire of distractions that can also work great on your pack carrying workouts. I call it “Gamify.” All it requires is a pair of dice and some creativity. Read more…

Learn to Navigate the Sailish Sea this September

 On a boat it's imperative to know your whereabouts – failure might lead to anything from mild embarrassment (“What do you mean this is Jones Island, not James Island?”) to the danger of running aground on a lee shore by wind and tide.Those of us who sail the Salish Sea only rarely run out of sight of land, but it does happen, most commonly when running into fog or sailing at night. Join us for Marine Coastal Navigation, studying the art and science of navigating within sight of land. Read more…

Last Word | The Wilderness Act at 50

My wife and I hiked up to Rachel Lake last week. The hike hurt. I felt old. But what a glorious way to pain — a stroll through an incredible old growth forest, then a scramble up a steep hillside to a beautiful mountain lake in the amazing Alpine Lakes Wilderness. What a gift it is, to be able to hike through wilderness, just an hour or so from the urban core. Read more…

Three Excellent Trails for Running on Seattle's Eastside

Some of the best trail running options in Washington can be found just minutes from bustling Bellevue, Redmond, and Issaquah. The Eastside is graced with a sprawling park system and extensive trail network that ranges from gentle paved rail trails to grueling single tracks up steep Cascades Foothills. Whether you’re looking for a trail for an easy jog, long run, or challenging training course, the Eastside has you covered. Here are three of my favorites for a great trail running experience. Read more…

Trekking Peru’s Ausangate

I rose shivering in the pre-dawn dark and poked my head out of the tent. Frost coated every surface and glittered in a thick layer on the tent fly. Outside a faint glow was building over the ridge opposite our tents, and the donkey drivers on our support crew were hooting and hollering on the hillsides, bringing our donkeys down from their overnight grazing spot above camp. Another glorious day in Peru was about to start, and we were looking forward to greeting the sun at the top of  a  15,416-foot pass. Read more…

Impact Giving | One Good Idea, Many Great Adventures

A climb-a-thon. Now, that’s an idea. I can’t take all the credit though. Gavin Woody was president of the board in 2012 when he asked me if I’d thought about doing some sort of climb-a-thon as a fundraiser to give members a fun way to support our new youth programs. This made sense as Mountaineers put in a lot of vertical feet all year round, but at the time I had just completed my first year as director for a new development program. We were already in early-stage planning for our next “first ascent,” a fundraising dinner in 2013 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jim Whittaker’s historic summit of Mt. Everest. Read more…

Did You Know: Tatoosh Ridge Trail

This summer I’ve been slowly marking off the 100 hikes that Ira Spring and Harvey Manning published in their second edition of 100 Hikes in Washington: South Cascades and Olympics. I completed my 41st as we hiked to the site of the former Tatoosh Ridge lookout on Tatoosh Peak, made famous in Martha Hardy’s book Tatoosh. This hike is neither for the faint of heart nor the causal hiker. It is steep, with some exposure and drop-offs that leave one wondering, “What am I doing this for?” Read more…

Hiking With Pre-Existing Health Conditions

I live with two realities that are mostly hereditary: aging-related hypertension and type II diabetes. My paternal grandfather died from diabetes complications in 1958 (he was 6'4" and thin as a rail). My dad has diabetes (he's 5'3" and only 107 lbs.). So, while I'm fatter than I'd like, my weight was not the determining factor in my diabetes. Read more…

PCE Communications Quarterly - Summer 2019

Progressive Climbing Education (PCE) is a strategic initiative to advance our Mountaineers climbing programs, make our suite of volunteer-led Climbing Programs more fun for volunteers to run, easier to recruit volunteers for, more attractive to new climbers (especially those coming out of the gym), and more advanced for our highly-skilled volunteers and students. This quarterly communication is intended to provide regular updates about each committees' projects, offer transparency, and ensure that all branches are able to provide feedback and input to proposed changes to the climbing programs. Read more…