Mountaineer Magazine

All posts

Bookmarks | Adventure Ready

The reputations of Katie “Salty” Gerber and Heather “Anish” Anderson precede them. Katie is a renowned wilderness instructor and guide who has logged thousands of miles on trails including the CDT, PCT, Colorado Trail, and Oregon Desert Trail. Heather is a record-smashing legend who was named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for her 2018 Calendar Year Triple Crown (hiking the AT, PCT, and CDT all in one year). Now they have joined forces to combine what they’ve learned on the trail and through their expertise in nutrition and personal training to create Adventure Ready: A Hiker’s Guide to Planning, Training & Resiliency, new from Mountaineers Books. Read more…

Youth Outside | Taking the Reins: Tacoma MAC prepare for a future of outdoor adventure

Mountaineers Adventure Club (MAC) is a year-round club for teens, giving them access to education and skills rivaling many adult programs. Imagine an at-your-own-pace Basic and Intermediate Alpine Climbing course, taken over a period of four years with sport climbing, skiing, hiking, and backpacking thrown in. As a young member, you learn from upperclassmen, and as you gain more experience, you begin passing down that knowledge to others. Most importantly, you learn to take care of yourself and others in the mountains. Read more…

Outside Insight | Packrafting: More than a mode of travel

Mountaineers have a history of changing and adapting with the times. We adjust our courses and activities to respond to new safety practices, revolutionary gear, and the ever-evolving passions of our community. Take packrafting, for example. These inflatable “packable” rafts began to appear in army surplus stores in the 1950s – leftover survival equipment from WWII airplanes. Packrafting has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity as lighter-weight versions have become available. And recently our volunteers got together to create the Seattle Packrafting Committee to share their love with other rafters and soon-to-be-rafters in the Pacific Northwest. Read more…

Where to Buy Affordable Gear

“Contrary to the examples that most blogs, magazines, and brand-name catalogs present, a backpacking hobby doesn’t have to be expensive, extremely arduous, or put on hold until you are at your goal weight.” Shared in the opening pages of How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking and Backpacking by Diana Helmuth, these wise words are written with backpacking in mind but apply to all things outdoor gear. 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…

Did You Know | The Perseid Meteor Showers

After a long, hot day on the trail, you’ve finally settled in at camp. With the tent pitched and your Mountain House Creamy Mac n’ Cheese devoured, the temptation to sleep can be overwhelming. Every bone in your body is telling you to climb into your tent and get horizontal. But you have to fight it: if you hold off long enough, you may get lucky and witness a remarkable natural spectacle in the summer sky. Read more…

Trail Talk | The Trouble with Mount Rainier: Our “scenery bias” and what it means for our landscapes

Rising nearly three vertical miles over Puget Sound and visible from much of the state, Washington’s Mount Rainier is an imposing landmark. Shrouded in glistening glaciers, sprawling meadows, and impressive cathedral forests, Mount Rainier is a stunning place to hike, camp, and commune with nature. It’s absolutely one of the most awe-inspiring places in America - and that’s the problem. Rainier is just too damn spectacular. Read more…

Peak Performance: Summit Day Preparation

When preparing for a new alpine summit, most people know to increase their targeted exercise. However, it’s equally important to consider your mental and skill-based preparation. This will allow you to feel calm, confident, and practiced on your summit day. Below are a few strategies to help you get ready: Read more…

Make Your Own Backpacking Meals: Comfort food alternatives to commercial freeze-dried backpacking meals

Most of us have done it more than once in our backpacking lives – tear open a foil packet, pour in steaming water from the camp stove, wait ten minutes, then shovel the contents into our mouths in the hope that the quantity is right, the food is palatable, and the salt content doesn’t cause congestive heart failure. Then we rinse and haul the bulky foil packets back out to the trailhead. Read more…

Hunting for Watermelon Snow: A citizen science project to track snow algae and its environmental effects

The incongruous streaks of red and pink on the snowfield look like faint blood stains across the side of the mountain. I quicken my pace, excited to finally find my quarry after two days of hiking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness. I step gingerly onto the snow and head straight for the darkest patch of red as I pull a sample tube out of my pocket. I fill it with the vibrant, pink-tinted snow, screw on the cap tightly, and label it with my coordinates. This small vial, which at first glance looks like a prop in a bad horror movie, is filled with tiny bits of algae that live a fascinating life in the mountains – one that is tied to the larger stories of climate change in our home ranges. Read more…