Mountaineer Magazine

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Peak Performance | Seven Steps to Vibrant Health

As a Mountaineer with summer objectives, you may already have a solid exercise program that includes a weekend adventure, weekday trainings, and weekly strength and flexibility workouts. But a healthy lifestyle is more than your exercise routine. If you’re like a lot of people I know, you may be cutting corners on sleep, stressing about work or school, eating in the car to fit everything in, and skipping social commitments with friends. Read more…

Life Skills: Reflections From Our Annual MAC Trip

I started climbing about twelve years ago, in the mountains of North Carolina in my mid-20s. Climbing did not come naturally to me, and I still constantly fight the cognitive dissonance of wanting to ascend higher and master moves while facing a petrifying fear of heights. Through the years I have experimented with ways to manage this fear, which has made room for this activity to make a positive impact on my life. I’ve used climbing as a vehicle for travel and exploration. My closest friends are those who’ve tied into a rope with me. And climbing is the activity I most enjoy teaching to new and aspiring Mountaineers. Read more…

Bookmarks | Arctic Solitaire: A Boat, A Bay, and the Quest for the Perfect Bear

The wilderness was vast and seemingly empty, but as I motored along I was nestled in a glowing cocoon of technological magic. Not one but two Garmin GPS chart plotters silently communed with the satellites overhead. My radar system could penetrate the thickest of fogs, though the day’s clear skies and sunshine made the prospect unlikely. My depth-sounder pinged sonar pulses off the rocks below, and I even carried something called, in bureaucratese, an Emergency Position Indicating Rescue Beacon, or, more jauntily, an EPIRB. Supposedly it would, at the panicked touch of a button, supply my coordinates and credit card information to the nearest helicopter rescue service. Read more…

Conservation Currents | Stoke Is Exactly What Outdoor Conservation Needs

High Country News recently published an essay by Ethan Linck, “Your Stoke Won’t Save Us,” questioning the efficacy of outdoor recreationists and the outdoor industry as advocates for conservation. In a sense, Linck is right, stoke alone won’t save us, and the most unimpeachable personal conservation ethic won’t either. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Coming Full Circle

Judy Sterry remembers the exact day she joined The Mountaineers. It was her 14th birthday, the minimum age required to become a member at the time. By 16, she had climbed all six of Washington’s major Cascade volcanoes: Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Olympus, and Mount Rainier – 65,640 feet in total elevation. Read more…

Outside Insight: Making the Case for Outdoor Recreation

Ruth Nielsen has practiced law in Washington for 30 years, specializing primarily in sports-related personal injury defense and outdoor product liability defense. She has successfully defended claims involving many of the activities that we lead at The Mountaineers - including skiing, rock climbing, mountaineering, and backpacking - and she is a frequent presenter at The Mountaineers annual Leadership Conference. Read more…

Nature's Way: Rare Plants, Marine Birds, and a Warming Ocean

When worlds collide, it’s usually a bad thing. But when geology and botany come together for Mark Darrach, he’s as happy as a Polystichum lemmonii on an ultramafic substrate. Read more…

Looking Beyond Stoke: It’s Time To Educate The Masses

It’s no surprise to any of us who have been hiking and adventuring in our wild places since the days of heavy luggedsole boots, knee high cotton socks, and external frames that in the words of conservationist Rick McGuire of the North Cascades Conservation Council and Alpine Lakes Protection Society: we are currently facing a human tsunami on our trails. And if we’re to stay true to this metaphor, a tsunami inundating our wild places isn’t going to leave them in good shape. Read more…

MountainLove | Wendell Brown & Roberta Spiro

In each issue of Mountaineer magazine, we feature two lovebirds who met through The Mountaineers and share a passion of the outdoors. In this column, we talked to Wendel Brown & Roberta Spiro, who met in 1980 and recently celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary. Read more…

We ARE Outside | Reframing What It Means to Be ‘Outdoorsy’

One of my favorite places in the outdoors has multiple trails, several different habitats, and offers spectacular views of a major snow-capped peak. There is an old-growth forest where, among the mossy trees, you are serenaded by the rat-ta-tat-tat of pileated woodpeckers, hoots from barred owls, and screeches of Stellar’s jays. There also is abundant shoreline, where rabbits bound, beavers sun, and bald eagles, kingfishers, great blue heron, osprey, and otters nab fish. Read more…