Climbing

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Bookmarks | All and Nothing: Inside Free Soloing

The following is an excerpt from All and Nothing: Inside Free Soloing by acclaimed author Jeff Smoot. Once considered a fringe activity, free soloing - climbing without a rope - has entered the mainstream consciousness. Yet climbers have been free soloing all along, motivated by reasons as varied as the climbers themselves. All and Nothing delves into the cultural history of free soloing and explores the interplay between climbing and risk, as well as psychological theories, evolving climbing ethics, and the effect of media coverage. With a complex personal connection to free soloing, Jeff Smoot examines our relationship with risk, how we perceive our sense of control, and what it means to consider our mortality. Read more…

The Scariest Day of my Life: A Leader Fall on Guye Peak

I had a premonition. My partner was gone for the weekend and I was alone in bed, snuggled up with a stuffed sheep and an abundance of fear. I don’t know why I knew something bad was going to happen, I just had an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remember thinking I should wear better undergarments, as that was something I had heard long ago (maybe from a family member?) - “If you get in an accident, make sure you at least have decent underwear on!” I sent my boyfriend a snuggly selfie and went to bed early, but still couldn’t shake that ominous feeling. Looking back, I should have canceled the trip, but thought, who does that? based purely on a strange feeling. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer David Carrier

David Carrier was an admired and respected Everett Mountaineers and Mazama member, and a highly experienced and prolific mountaineer with an impressive climbing resume. In addition to being an active instructor at both the Basic and Intermediate level, he also befriended and accompanied many Everett members on a number of private and official Mountaineers climbs over the past several years.  Read more…

Alma Wagen: The first female mountain guide at Mount Rainier National Park

In 1918, Alma Wagen, an early member of The Mountaineers, was declared the first woman to join Mount Rainier’s guide staff. Upon accepting this position, Alma knew her accomplishment was not just personally life-changing, but also an opportunity to bring other women into climbing. “At last I had found the time and the place to climb, and I climbed hills and mountains and learned everything I possibly could about climbing,” she told a journalist in a 1923 interview for American Magazine. “Then I looked for new fields to conquer and found my life's work. I wanted to teach other women the joy of climbing.” Read more…

The Case for Geotagging

I took two years away from social media for a much-needed cleanse several years ago. Before going off the grid, I posted three times a day, intending to gain traction for my hiking blog. But as much as I enjoyed beautiful landscape photos, I found I needed a break from seeing evasive posts from the self-proclaimed "influencers" or "inspirers" with a large following on Instagram and Facebook. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer Jeremy Fuerst

Jeremy Fuerst was a more fruitful and accomplished climber than most of us would be in five lifetimes. He was an avid peakbagger, county high pointer, state high pointer, and an active member with the Seattle branch. Jeremy passed away in a climbing accident on September 9, 2021, in the Sangre de Cristo range in Colorado. Read more…

Bookmarks | Valley of Giants

Lauren DeLaunay Miller is the editor of a new anthology that shares the stories, famed and previously untold, of the remarkable women who have shaped Yosemite climbing history. Valley of Giants, published by Mountaineers Books, is a first-of-its-kind collection that gathers stories from journal excerpts, original essays, interviews, and archival materials from almost 40 contributors, including legends like Lynn Hill, Steph Davis, Kate Rutherford, Beth Rodden, Chelsea Griffie, and more. Lauren has worked for Yosemite Search and Rescue, served as Vice President of the Bishop Area Climbers Coalition, and as event coordinator for the American Alpine Club’s Bishop Craggin’ Classic festival. Read on as Lauren discusses her inspiration for this book, what it taught her, and more. Read more…

Learn About the Olympic National Forest Sustainable Recreation Survey | May 4

Join the Olympia Branch on May 4 to learn about the new Sustainable Recreation Study being conducted by the Olympic National Forest (ONF). Ranger Jai Lust, ONF Wilderness and Trails Coordinator, will be presenting on the study, designed to engage the public in the care of trails and gather feedback on individual trail management. Read more…

Half Moon Bouldering: Cultivating a New Kind of Climbing Community

Streaks of glue are glistening in our hair and work overalls from another late night working on the bouldering gym’s construction. My life partner Daniel is putting up wall paneling while I assist, a wet rag in my hands to wipe away residue from the installation. We’re exhausted and elated at the same time. It seems surreal to be putting the finishing touches on a project that has absorbed the last five years of our lives. In building Half Moon Bouldering, our family start-up and the first bouldering gym in Greenwood, we feel like we’ve been aiming for the moon, and now it seems we’re actually close to landing. Read more…

The Olympic Mountain Project, Part II

Standing on the edge of the water in my camp sandals, boots and pants stowed safely inside my pack, I look longingly across the river. I wish I could teleport myself instead of wading through the bitterly-cold, swift-moving water. It’s June 2021, and the Pacific Northwest’s unseasonable heatwave is melting the snowpack, sending it rushing down the mountain river valleys in record volume. Read more…