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Remembering Mountaineer Jeff Bowman

With great sadness we share the news that Jeff Bowman has passed away. Jeff was a 29-year Mountaineers member, 23-year member of our staff team, long-time volunteer with Stevens Lodge, Climb Leader, and volunteer contributor to Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. Jeff passed away unexpectedly after recent health challenges. He was 57.  Read more…

Fighting Racism In The Outdoors

All people should have equal opportunities and access to engage with nature. Our members, and the greater community at large, should be free to enjoy the outdoors without fear. They should be able to go birding (#ChristianCooper), go for a jog (#AhmaudArbery), walk to the store (#MikeBrown), walk with their family (#CliffordGlover), breathe (#EricGarner, #GeorgeFloyd), and live (#FreddieGray, #BreonnaTaylor) without being targeted for the color of their skin. Black lives matter, and we are committed to continuing to fight for equality. Read more…

CEO Update: Assumptions & Actions for Reopening The Mountaineers

I'm not certain what it was about this week, but it was a tough one. The cumulative impact of the Stay Home order, limited interactions with other people, and the realization that our "new normal" will be in place for a while seems to be weighing heavily on many. And, at the same time, as we near 50,000 COVID-19 related deaths in the US, we're reminded just how horrible this disease is and how important it is that we all continue to do our part to fight its spread. Read more…

Parting is such sweet sorrow: Saying Goodbye to Tess Wendel

Few people have done more for our organization than Tess Wendel, who has been a powerhouse for The Mountaineers from day one. She’s learned from and supported many different departments and volunteer groups, and after nearly six years with us, she is ready to move on and learn how other organizations and businesses get stuff done. With a heavy heart, we want to share that her last day with us will be June 15. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Ananth Maniam

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to.... Read more…

2016 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

We’re bringing the spirit of outdoor adventure and mountain culture to The Mountaineers again! The World Tour features the best mountain films this year, showcasing amazing filmmaking talent from the world over to an audience that spans the globe.  Read more…

Volunteers Share Why They Serve The Mountaineers

Volunteers often spend 1-2 days a week training course participants in skills to ensure safe and responsible enjoyment of our natural world. Others also help coordinate and administer course offerings. This is the core of what defines us - The Mountaineers - as a community.  Read more…

"Imposter Syndrome" in the Outdoors

As The Mountaineers Membership & Communications Director, I spend a lot of time thinking about and interacting with the outdoor community. People are drawn to the outdoors by a sense of curiosity, but not everyone feels welcome in this space - either because of the actions of others or by the unwritten "rules" of who belongs in the outdoors. I'm here today to say: you belong here. Read more…

Board & Branch Elections - 2019

As a 501(c)(3) volunteer-led organization, The Mountaineers continues to depend on the generosity, initiative, and leadership of our volunteers. We are humbled by the service provided by board and branch directors whose positions are confirmed by members each year. Thank you for all you do as members to elevate our mission, and your participation in the election process for these organization-wide leaders!  Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer Marty Babare

With great sadness we share the news of the passing of Marty Babare, an active 23-year member of The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch. Marty was at his cabin in Hood Canal when he suffered a heart attack on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Multiple resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.  Read more…

Top 10 Inspirational Mountaineers of Instagram for 2018

At The Mountaineers, we hike, ski, climb, paddle, sail, snowshoe, and scramble. We capture and savor. Sharing our wild places is a legacy all adventurers share, and today it's easier than ever to honor our special places through social media. Instagram is an incredible place to find inspiration, meet new people, and connect with the world around us.  Read more…

Top 10 Mountaineers of Instagram -Inspiration for 2017

Capturing our wild places is a legacy all adventurers share, and today it's easier than ever through social media. Instagram is an incredible place to find inspiration, meet new people, and connect with the world around us.  Read more…

The Case for Tahoma

The name Rainier means a lot to people in the Pacific Northwest: it's our majestic guardian mountain and the first major summit for many local outdoor enthusiasts. It was also the training ground for famed Mountaineers member and first American to summit Mount Everest, Jim Whittaker. Do you know what essential item he carried on his journey to the top of the world? Why mountain-fresh Rainier beer of course! Read more…

Becoming Backwoods Barbie

A cold silver padlock is pressed against my hand as my fingers stumble to regain dexterity. Clumsily, I align a set of small white numbers with a red and unforgiving arrow; the lock clicks open. I feel my face grow warm and my palms clammy. The cool touch of steel presses against my wet skin as I lean against a row of metal lockers. Nervously, I begin to undress.  Read more…

Safety Stories: Unable to Arrest Above a 30-Foot Cliff

We make our way across a questionable snow bridge perched precariously near a waterfall of melting snowpack. Our team of three snow scrambling students and two course leaders move slowly, taking turns crossing the snow bridge one at a time. When the last person steps off the bridge, we share a collective sigh of relief that our group decision was a safe one. I’m grateful to have my helmet on and ice axe in hand. Read more…

Keta Obstructs Sound of Music at Kitsap Forest Theater

In a disappointing move, Keta Legacy Foundation took steps this week to restrict access to the Kitsap Forest Theater, which may force The Mountaineers to cancel upcoming productions of The Sound of Music. On May 17, just days before final rehearsals and set-building work for opening night of The Sound of Music, Keta locked The Mountaineers Players out from the backstage area at the Theater. This area has been continually accessed by The Mountaineers for nearly 40 years over easements crossing several parcels of property and the Rhododendron Preserve. Keta also barred access to a parking area that is essential to accommodate guests – particularly elderly guests and those with disabilities. Keta has been aware, and was again reminded of, the vital importance of this access and the troubling impact its restriction would have on persons with limited mobility, as well as productions as a whole. Read more…

What Does Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Mean For The Mountaineers?

In November, a subset of The Mountaineers Leadership Team attended a seminar on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) offered by the Bridgespan Group. The seminar brought together leaders from nearly 50 different local nonprofits to share experiences and insights into the important work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Read more…

How to Recycle Empty Fuel Canisters

Tired of the growing pile of empty fuel canisters collecting dust in your garage? Recycle them at United Recycling! Follow the guidelines below to drop off your recycling. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer Patti Polinsky

With great sadness we share the news of the passing of Patti Polinsky, a 56-year member of The Mountaineers, long-time volunteer with Meany Lodge and the Foothills Branch, ski instructor, and Global Adventures Leader. Patti passed away after a long battle with cancer on June 15, 2021. She was comfortable and surrounded by loved ones, including her husband of 45 years, Dave Claar. Read more…

Winter Access Changes for Mount Rainier National Park’s Paradise Area

We’ve heard from many members expressing concern about this winter’s weekday closure of the Longmire to Paradise Road in Mount Rainier National Park. We share those concerns for the loss of winter recreation access, and we are sympathetic to the staffing challenges the Park is currently facing. Read more…

Language Matters: Let's Stop Using the Slang Word For Carabiner

Many people use an abbreviated slang word in climbing without consideration or afterthought. This word is frequently used alongside other words like rope, harness, and belay. If you search on the Internet for this word, the first 5-10 results would reference the term to describe a piece of standard climbing gear. Countless climbing websites recognize the slang word as a standard, and our basic climbing students are even indoctrinated with its common use. And all of us are wrong. Read more…

Enjoying The Outdoors With New Knees

For the past ten years, I haven't been able to hike. My knees were severely arthritic and the pain was so great that it got to where I couldn't even stand for more than 15 minutes without crying. I tried to not let it stop me. I was in my late 50s, felt 20 years older, obese from not being able to exercise, losing muscle tone, depressed, and not wanting to leave the house. It was time for a change. Read more…

Introducing the Cheater Badge!

Recreating outside is hard work. You have to travel long distances, carry heavy things, and deal with the whims of the weather. And that's saying nothing about the physical discomfort of activity. Sweating. Chaffing. Blisters. Sunburns. Frostbite. The list goes on. Thankfully, we now have a solution to bypass all of those things: the new Mountaineers Cheater Badge! Read more…

New Guidance for Reopening Mountaineers Programming: Phases 1.5 & 2

As Washington state continues to reopen, it’s critically important for our community to recreate responsibly. Last week, Governor Inslee announced an expansion of the Washington Safe Start plan that moves Washington through a re-opening on a county-by-county basis. We've adjusted our guidance to align with each county's programs and plan to resume some in-person programming beginning June 6. Read more…

Vote Now! Board & Branch Elections - 2022

As a 501(c)(3) volunteer-led organization, The Mountaineers depend on the generosity, initiative, and leadership of our volunteers to steward the future of our organization. We are humbled by the service provided by board and branch directors whose positions are confirmed by members each year. Thank you for all you do as members to elevate our mission, and for your participation in the forthcoming election process for these organization-wide leaders. Read more…

Progressive Climbing Education - Planning the Plan

Earlier in 2016, The Mountaineers Board of Directors voted to allocate funds to a project we’re calling Progressive Climbing Education. The goal is to dedicate resources to advance the goals and initiatives  of our passionate volunteers. Done well, these strategic investments will 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. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Tom Eckhout

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Tom Eckhout, a volunteer leader with the Olympia Branch who cherishes every moment he has in the mountains. Read more…

How To: Pick an Altimeter

Early altimeters with 19 jewels and Swiss-made movements were price-prohibitive and thus weren’t included in either The Mountaineers navigation courses or the Ten Essentials. However, with new technology emerging, the upcoming  9th edition of Freedom of the Hills  will feature map, compass, and all of the modern tools with altimeters prominent among them. Read more…

Introducing The Mountaineers Statement on Climate Change

Since its earliest days, The Mountaineers has been committed to conservation and stewardship of wild places. That’s why we created our Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee, tasked with helping make sure that The Mountaineers and Mountaineers Books are doing our part to address the global climate crisis.  Read more…