Climbing

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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…

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…

100 Peaks: Individual Achievement Through Community Effort

Rugged. Imposing. Breathtakingly beautiful and big enough to create its own weather patterns, Mount Rainier is the defining icon of the Pacific Northwest. While Mount Rainier National Park is generally known for this massive stratovolcano, the park is also home to nearly 100 other peaks where off-the-beaten-path adventurers can climb, scramble, and hike. When one visionary Mountaineer crafted a list of these objectives, he also created a community willing to go the extra mile for each other, even after someone is gone. Read more…

Secret Rainier | The Spires of Mount Rainier

This installment of Our Secret Rainier takes you to the two spires of Mount Rainier – K Spire and Tokaloo Spire. We have visited both but have not climbed them, and we know only one individual who has climbed Tokaloo Spire. Fred Becky in his Cascade Alpine Climb, Volume 1, describes both as class 4 climbs. We include them in this installment of Our Secret Rainier because they are unique formations within the park and worthy of a visit – regardless of whether you stand on the top or not. Anyone contemplating climbing the spires should be an experienced climber and consult the Becky reference though details are sparse. Read more…

Outside Insight | That Could Never Happen To Me: When Luck Runs Out

I was lucky. In over 25 years of climbing, I was accident free. Friends have been injured. Others have died. I figured that I wasn’t better than them, just lucky. 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…

After the Fall: Moving Past Injury and Living a Life Outdoors

Jon Luthanen is a climber, mountaineer, and active member in our Bellingham Branch. He was on a climbing trip in southern Utah in May 2017 when he experienced a traumatic ankle injury while bouldering outside. He needed major surgery, and now requires a carbon fiber leg brace to pursue his outdoor passions. In this interview, Jon shares the story of his injury, his recovery, and why he chose our Basic Alpine Climbing Course to support his reentry into the outdoors. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - May 2019

I have to say, Mountaineers seem to be an excited bunch when the weather gets nice. With summer on the horizon, the number of trip reports you posted in May went WAY up. These reports have been wonderful, and it looks like it's bound to be a good summer for The Mountaineers community. This month, we have six climbs, one scramble, two hikes, and one sailing report to highlight from our favorite trip reports. Read more…