Mountaineer Magazine

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Last Word | Empowerment

While my wife was buying our snowshoe permits for the Crystal Mountain Nordic Area, I leaned against the back of our car, put my snowshoes on, and admired the couple resting at a nearby picnic table. They’d finished their jaunt through the powder around Leach Lake. They had at least a score on our three score years and I saw them as my role models. I too would be taking to the slopes for the next two decades, no matter the whining from my knees. They were doing it. I could do it. They had seized the day. Their stooping shoulders were not to be yoked by the presumptions of society or nature. They were empowered. Read more…

Two Girls in the Mountains

With a whirlwind of energy, Aisha and Anisah enter The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center, along with their father, Hakim Ali. The program center is a giant playground for them, starting with the basalt columns outside. I’m always proud to share with guests that people actually climb them – but the little Mountaineers, Aisha and Anisah weren’t surprised. Read more…

Peak Performance | Single Leg Deadlift: Open Book T

Most hikers and climbers want to improve balance and increase speed for easier travel in the mountains. For many years I've recommended the one-legged deadlift and its variations as a powerful exercise to build ankle, knee and hip stability. The Open Book T variation is an advanced balance move combining Warrior 3 and Half Moon poses from yoga, with internal and external hip rotation. It reminds me of graceful figure skaters who glide effortlessly across the ice, leg extended behind them parallel to the ground. Read more…

Voices Heard | POC-in-Chief: A Legacy Living On

In Tucson, a large Latino community abuts Saguaro National Park but seldom visits it. It was there that I met Cam Juárez through work that Barack Obama made possible. Juárez was a planner and project manager outside the Park Service when he agreed to take on the challenge of connecting his community with Saguaro. Juárez is a miracle, really. He has birth defects that caused shortened upper limbs and missing digits, and a cardiac condition. His mother was a single parent and a migrant farm worker in California’s Central Valley, where she likely was exposed to pesticides associated with defects suffered by her son and now her grandson as well. Read more…

Trail Talk | Reflections at Walden Pond

"After a still winter night I awoke with the impression that some question had been put to me, which I had been endeavoring in vain to answer in my sleep, as what -how -when -where? But there was dawning Nature, in whom all creatures live, looking in at my broad windows with serene and satisfied face, and no question on her lips. I awoke to an answered question, to Nature and daylight." -Walden, Henry David Thoreau Read more…

Voices Heard | Belonging in Nature

In 2005, Dr. Carolyn Finney visited the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta with her father, a stoic man who grew up in the segregated South. She was startled when he grabbed her with a stricken look on his face. “I thought he was having a heart attack,” Finney said during a recent lecture at the University of Washington. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Wolf Bauer, A Wonderful Life: 1912-2016

Wolf Bauer, one of The Mountaineers’ oldest and most distinguished members, passed away on January 23, 2016, a month shy of his 104th birthday. He was born on February 24, 1912. Read more…

Peak Fitness | Ankle Mobility for Agility in Winter Sports

I n preparation for the upcoming snow season, I recommend skiers focus on strengthening their quads, core, and other muscles around the hips and knees. However, it’s important not to overlook the small hinge that transfers ground force through the rest of the body: the ankle. Read more…

Last Word | Transformation

I’m not a joiner. I’ve never been drawn to participate in structured organizations to make social contacts, network, or fulfill a need to belong to a group. So how did I become fully engaged with The Mountaineers in progressively more involved and time-consuming roles? I’ve asked myself this question more than once, and being asked to write his column has moved me to self-reflection to distill my motivations into words. Read more…

Retro Rewind | The Evolution of Freedom: A Look Back at The Mountaineers Seminal Climbing Book

In 1934, a group of aspiring Seattle peak baggers lined the railings of the Rialto Building to watch a young University of Washington student named Wolf Bauer rappel three stories down the central shaft. The maneuver was one of several climbing techniques Wolf had taught himself using materials solicited from family ties in Germany. In lieu of a belay device or climbing harness, neither of which had been invented, Wolf ran two lines of rope between his legs, around one thigh, up and across his chest, over his shoulder, and down his back. Read more…