How To

All posts

"Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock!": How to Avoid Rockfall

"OUCH!" screamed my instructor at the rock field trip last month. A golf ball-sized piece of Mt. Erie had just bounced off the top of her helmet and she asked her students why no one had been screaming the "rock, rock, rock!" warning. In this case, however, no climbers were above her and as best as we could figure out, an empty rope had knocked it loose earlier in a climb and it finally fell after the climber was off rappel. "Thank you" to Instructor Sherrie Trecker for that perfect demonstration why you always wear your helmet at the crag - even if you're not belaying or on a rope. Because of that, one modest "ouch" was all Sherrie had to say to convey her level of surprise: no injury was caused.  Read more…

Our Secret Rainier: Lookout Towers

Mount Rainier National Park has over 100 climbable peaks — not counting Mount Rainier itself — either within or immediately adjacent to the Park boundary. Most are scrambles, a few are climbs, and 15 peaks are reachable as hikes.  Read more…

How To: Preventing Descent Accidents

Recently, a group of 6 climbers were on Sahale Peak in the Boston Basin area of North Cascades National Park. They'd enjoyed great weather, and  climbed efficiently up the Quien Sabe Glacier on the northwest side of the peak, reaching the summit around 10:30am. Read more…

How To: Hiking "Hacks"

One of our members, Linsey Warren, recently became the youngest person to complete the Bulger List, climbing to the top of the 100 highest peaks in Washington. All those miles on the trail taught her some valuable lessons. Check out some of her favorite hacks to make your time on the trail more comfortable, convenient, and FUN! Read more…

How To: Managing Auto-Renewal Preferences

As a Mountaineers member, you can choose to have your membership renewed each year automatically. This feature ensures your membership will continue uninterrupted, and saves on time and resources - helping us (your staff and volunteers) give more people meaningful outdoor experiences. Read more…

How To: Sharing Trip Reports

Sharing your travel adventures with others in a Trip Report is helpful in many ways. Trip reports can be a useful tool to share current trail conditions or noteworthy changes to a route/place, and they're a fun and creative way to share your unique experiences in the wilderness!  Read more…

How To: Pick a Tent

Terry Breaux is what you would call an expert camper. He fell in love with the outdoors as a kid the first night he slept in a tent under the stars. He continues to pursue bikepacking expeditions today, always testing gear and seeking ways to create better shelters for outdoor users.  He's been designing tents since 1989, and for the last nine years he's worked at MSR. Now he's spreading his tent knowledge with you. Read more…

How To: Evaluate Self Arrest Skills Without Snow

Due to the record lack of snow this season, we spent weeks trying to figure out how we were going to do FT 7 Hard Snow and Ice Axe Self-Arrest, the final field trip for the Basic Class. Of course, in my infinite wisdom, I volunteered several months earlier to lead this FT because they were one leader short. I had no idea what I was getting into. Read more…

How To: Coil a Rope

Ever wondered how to efficiently coil a rope? With these three techniques from our friends at Petzl you can become the master of coiling a rope in your hand or over your shoulder to carry in a variety of ways safely to and from the crag. Read more…

A Primer on Course Instruction

The art of teaching and instruction is a skill honed over a lifetime, and we all have a lot to learn...about learning . Here are a few resources to start you off: Read more…