Most Popular Blogs

Most Popular Blogs

All posts

Big Changes Proposed for Mount Rainier National Park

Note: The comment period for the draft visitor use management plan is now closed. Learn more about The Mountaineers concerns with the plan in this blog. We'll continue to update our community as this process develops. Thank you for your interest and engagement in this important issue.

In response to increased visitation during the peak summer season, Mount Rainier National Park recently proposed significant changes to how people access the park. The Nisqually to Paradise Corridor Draft Management Plan proposes to implement a timed-entry reservation system for popular areas of the park. This proposal could dramatically change how Mountaineers programs and members access places like Paradise and Sunrise. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer Lisa Berntsen

With great sadness we share the news of the passing of Lisa Berntsen, a beloved member of The Mountaineers community - a Mountaineer, Tacoma branch member, volunteer leader, and board member. Read more…

Website Update Report 3-Months Post-Launch

Nearly three months ago we launched our new website - Mountaineers.org 2.0 - culminating a process that began almost three years ago. The new website allows us to take a more holistic approach to how we use technology to make the most impact for the most people. The technology we selected is more flexible and adaptable than our old system, which means it allows for continuous improvement. Gone are the days of building a website and then leaving it to month ball. We have a budget and new processes to make continuous improvements. And while as a nonprofit we don't have unlimited resources, we are proud to make the most of what we do have and to be as efficient as possible in serving you! Read more…

What is Leader's Permission?

Mountaineers activities are led by volunteers giving their time to get other people into the outdoors safely. Due to the potentially hazardous nature of our activities, some of our leaders choose to require their permission - Leader’s Permission - to register. The process to obtain leader’s permission is not prescribed, and is up to the leader to manage on a trip-by-trip basis. Leader's Permission can be a critical tool for ensuring a successful trip, but good communication is key to avoiding frustration. We hope the guidance below will help set expectations and illustrate best practices for both leaders and participants. Read more…

House Rules Change Devalues Our Public Lands

The 115th Congress spent the first day of its new session making it easier to sell off our public lands. On Tuesday evening, Congress passed a “rules package,” which contained a provision [Section 3(q)(1) of H.Res. 5 (p. 35)] allowing lawmakers to transfer federal lands to the state without accounting for the economic ramifications. Read more…

CEO Update on the Keta Legacy Foundation Lawsuit

You may have heard recently that Keta Legacy Foundation, formerly known as The Mountaineers Foundation, filed a federal lawsuit against The Mountaineers. We were saddened by Keta’s action in suing us. And we were stunned to learn that Keta was not only demanding that the court allow it to continue to use the name “The Mountaineers” but also that the court prohibit us from using our own name for charitable fund‐raising activities. Read more…

Karen Sykes Shared Her Love for Trails with Thousands

The hiking community lost a passionate champion for trails this past week when hiking columnist and guidebook author Karen Sykes died in Mount Rainier National Park. Read more…

Lessons Learned - Glissading into a 30-foot Hole - Aasgard Pass

After climbing for over 20 years in the Cascades, I have lived through a few incidents and near-misses. This is the story of how I almost died glissading down Aasgard Pass in the Enchantments. Read more…

Transforming Inclusion at The Mountaineers

Over the years, members of The Mountaineers community have worked on a number of inclusion initiatives to encourage more involvement from diverse communities. To date, limited resources have been put toward a mindful effort to create a more inclusive environment at The Mountaineers. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Lonny Moore

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Lonny Moore, a volunteer leader with the Kitsap Branch who loves to sing 80's medleys and wear Leader Yellow. Read more…

Granite Mountain - April Avalanche Time

As Mountaineers, we are committed to learning from our experiences. We examine every incident that happens on a Mountaineers trip for opportunities to improve the ways we explore and teach. Our volunteer safety committee reviews every incident report and picks a few each month to share as examples of ‘Lessons Learned’. The trip report below describes what happened on this trip, in the leader’s own words, and outlines the lessons the leader has identified. In some cases, we offer additional key learnings from the incident. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Cheryl Talbert

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

Olympia Conditioning Hiking Series has Something for Everyone

Join the Olympia branch for our upcoming Conditioning Hiking Series (CHS) course, offering participants the chance to improve their fitness level and hike with many of the same people throughout the course.  Read more…

Gear Grab - December 11, 2023

Have a gear wish list a mile long or some extra gear you'd like to unload? Stop by our holiday Gear Sale at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center on Monday, December 11 from 6-8pm to find great gear at bargain prices. Read more…

We Can Do Better: Mindful Recreation in Light of Perseid Viewing Damage at Mt. Rainier

A recent trip to Mount Rainier National Park during the Perseid meteor shower offered a stark reminder of how important it is to adhere to mindful and low impact recreation practices. I spent my professional career working to protect and restore public lands, and that evening was frustrating, frightening, and heartbreaking. I want to encourage all members and volunteers to increase outreach to our community – and especially non-members – on the ethical use of natural places and proper etiquette when there. Read more…

Alpine Skills Development Program: Canmore and Beyond!

A few weeks ago, we announced an open call for applications in an exciting new Alpine Skills Development program. Its goals are to help intermediate-level climbers refine and develop their technical skills to be poised to effectively give back to The Mountaineers. Together, we're taking strategic steps to design programs aimed at building a cohort of skilled alpinists. Read more…

How To: Buy a Compass

We get a lot of questions about compasses - and rightfully so! They're important. Follow these tips to select the compass that’s best for your needs. We suggest that you have this page handy for reference when you go the store to purchase a compass. Read more…

Mystery of the 120-year-old biscuit

Some of you may have seen a little fruit cake tin in the Mountaineer Archives which contains a very old cookie or biscuit. I've seen this before and have always set it aside for another time (after scratching my head over why it was even there). Read more…

2015 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…

Happy 107th Birthday, Mary Anderson!

Today we wish a very Happy Birthday to our longest standing member: Mary Anderson – a Washington State native, longtime teacher in the Seattle Public School Districts, and co-founder of REI with her husband Lloyd (she holds membership card #2). She was one of a handful of Mountaineers instrumental in setting up our climbing course in 1936. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer Fred Beckey

Fred Beckey, a legend among Northwest Mountaineers, and a climber, environmentalist, historian, and Mountaineers Books author, passed away on October 30, 2017. He was 94. Read more…

Board & Branch Elections - 2018

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…

The Tooth - Off Rappel, Then A Long Spinning Slide on Hard Snow

After summiting the Tooth, we were descending from Pineapple pass around 4pm and had set up a single rope rappel to get a student down the rock step onto the steep snow below. Read more…

Dragontail Peak, Serpentine Arete - A reluctant call on the Personal Locator Beacon

Our plan was to climb Dragontail Peak by the Serpentine Arete car-to-car from the Colchuck Lake Trailhead on Thursday, August 31. We expected to return to the car around nightfall Thursday. We both had cell phones but did not expect to have service (T-Mobile). Each of us carried a one-way emergency-only AQR ResQLink PLB. Read more…

The Hills are Alive with The Sound of Music And I'm Not Happy About It

There’s nothing like that rush of exhilaration you feel upon cresting a high ridge bursting with wildflowers and surrounded by snow-capped craggy peaks. You stand upon your heavenly perch and gaze out with utter astonishment on how breathtakingly beautiful the natural world is; from the glistening glaciers before you to the fluttering butterflies among a carpet of brilliant blossoms below you. With senses completely overloaded, who among us hasn’t felt the urge to twirl amid the lupines and pull a Julie Andrews?  Read more…

Mountaineers Programming and the Coronavirus

On February 28, 2020, the Center for Disease Control announced the likelihood that coronavirus (COVID-19) would spread in US communities. Since then, The Mountaineers  has been carefully tracking the recommendations of public health agencies, and our hearts go out to those who have been affected. The health and safety of our community is our top priority and we will diligently implement recommended actions while doing everything we can to sustain our mission and operations. We will continue to update this blog as the situation develops. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Rich Lawrence

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

Announcing The Mountaineers Land Acknowledgment Statement

From craggy summits to windswept beaches, Washington’s lands and waters provide inspiration, connection, and transformative experiences. For more than 115 years, The Mountaineers community has been connected through a passion for these places and a commitment to leave outdoor spaces better than we found them. However, it is important to recognize that the places where we gather, learn, and recreate are the lands of Native peoples who have lived here since time immemorial. Read more…

5 Things You Should Know About the Public Lands Heist

Have you heard about efforts in Western States, including Washington, to transfer federal public lands to the state? A campaign to transfer public lands to state control threatens hundreds of millions of acres of national forests, rangelands, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas and historic sites across the Western US. Read more…

The Winter Solace of Birds

It was early February 2021, and Seattle had been darkened by overcast and rainy skies for weeks. Even worse, we were eleven months into the pandemic, and I was feeling isolated. Birds in my yard had been my only physical companions throughout Covid. Other than my two sisters I’d visited in Pennsylvania, I’d not been hugged or, for that matter, even had a handshake since the previous March. I generally don’t mind solitude, but that degree of isolation felt far different. Read more…