Hiking & Backpacking

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Day Hiking 101

Hiking is a great way to appreciate our lush forests, mountains, and rivers in the Northwest, especially if you’re just starting to explore the outdoors. Learn about how to choose gear, select hikes, practice trail etiquette, and more, to make the most of your time on the trail.   Read more…

Safety Stories | Beware of Slugs

Last May, what started out as a straight forward backpacking trip turned into a harrowing ordeal for Mountaineer member Michael Kelly. With humor and grace, she recounts the good, the bad, and the downright ridiculousness of having to travel five miles without the use of her right leg. Read more…

Adventure Hacks for the Over-Stoked and Under-Prepared

Luxuries that we take for granted in our homes – the convenience of a kitchen, the comfort of a light switch – are nonexistent once you’re off-grid. The need for self-sufficiency is part of the appeal of the outdoors, but it also offers the opportunity to find yourself in a position where you didn’t pack as efficiently or appropriately as you should have. The time will come when you open your pack and realize that you forgot an item integral to your comfort or sanity. It’s happened to all of us, and is often a sign that your stoke outweighed your preparation. Read more…

How To: Cross-Promote Other Committees as a Trip Leader

I belong to several committees in The Mountaineers (photography, naturalists, and hiking), and I work hard to integrate the work of all of our committees into each of my trips. I do this because participants, like leaders, have varied interests, and the more we showcase the great offerings of The Mountaineers, the more engaged our participants will be! Read more…

Secret Rainier | Copper and Iron Peaks

Mount Rainier National Park has over 100 climbable peaks (not counting Mount Rainier itself) either within or immediately adjacent to the Park boundary, and most are seldom visited and underappreciated. In this sense they are “secrets” and worthy of being featured in this Secret Rainier series, where we outline the benefits of these 76 scrambles, 15 hikes, and nine climbs. In this issue of Secret Rainier, we describe Copper and Iron Mountains. These two gems in the park require an arduous day but are well worth it. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - April 2019

A little more dirt and a little less snow are filling the pages of our trip reports now that we're well into spring. You all promptly stepped into your hiking boots this month too, it would seem. But regardless of the trails clearing up, I still see plenty of rain jackets! Hooray for indecisive weather and unreliable forecasts through the next month or two! Read more…

Celebrate Spring With Birds, Flowers, and Mounds - May Events

Our Mountaineers naturalist committees offer opportunities to learn about the plants, animals, marine life, and geology of the Pacific Northwest. To help you get involved, the Olympia Naturalist Committee is offering new activities in May and June to help you learn more about the birds of our region. Read more…

Tell Me About: Trekking Poles

You’ve seen them around: whether with a speed walking grandpa, that youngin’ plowing down the path, or the ultrarunner in the video of the Rocky 100, trekking poles (also called hiking poles or walking sticks) are an outdoor accessory almost as old as hiking itself. But… why would you use them? Read more…

The Baby Peakbagger: Exploring Mount Rainier National Park with my Daughter

When most people think of Mount Rainier National Park, they think of the park’s namesake peak, a towering 14,441-foot stratovolcano that’s famous the world over. But Washington State’s iconic mountain only scratches the surfaces of the area’s summit possibilities. Longtime Mountaineers Gene Yore and Mickey Eisenberg identified the 100 peaks surrounding Rainier and set about climbing these lesser-known gems. Gene, who took on the challenge at age 72, overcame cardiac arrest and a broken femur on his way to reaching all 100 peaks. Read more…

Three Generations Outside: A Love Letter to my Sons and Granddaughters

Our small town in rural Pennsylvania didn’t have a community center. Or a swimming pool. The only thing for us children to do when we weren’t in school was hike the surrounding hills and mountains. My family was poor, so we never went on vacations that didn’t involve a tent or camper. My strongest and most vivid memories growing up are from experiences in the outdoors. Spending time in the forests and mountains is as natural to me as breathing. Read more…