Mountaineer Magazine

All posts

Did You Know? Washington's Wildflowers

We know spring has arrived in the northwest when the crocuses worm their violet heads and long green bodies out of the dirt every March, a harbinger of brighter days. Our walks to work and school are dotted by blasting spring rains, and hikers slowly start to fill the trails again as snow melts and our forests become plump with moss and ferns. Read more…

Out, Outside

My Mountaineers climbing team is at the summit block of Mt. Olympus, and the clouds are coming in. It’s July 2018, and this is our second climb of the week. My muscles constantly remind me of the miles and elevation I’ve required of them so far, and the distance I still have to go. To finish this ascent we have a short pitch of rock, and we’re doing our best to get up there and see the mythical views before getting completely socked in. Read more…

Tying In: Progress on Vision 2022

Lead innovation in outdoor education, engage future Mountaineers, and advocate for wild places: these are the three strategic initiatives at the foundation of our current strategic plan, Vision 2022. It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the midpoint of the plan that has guided our priorities and investments over the last two years.  Read more…

Ouside Insight | Alpine Ambassadors: Professional Training to Grow Our Programs

In mid-2016, The Mountaineers Board of Directors voted to allocate funds to begin an initiative called Progressive Climbing Education (PCE). The goal was to dedicate resources to advance the goals and initiatives of our passionate volunteers. Read more…

Nature's Way | Pigeon Guillemots: Indicating the Health of the Salish Sea

The black bird flew around the dock, showing long, white patches on its wings, and dropped its fire-engine red feet to land on the water with hardly a splash. The pigeon guillemot then looked both directions before diving. Its stubby wings flapped gently under the water as it headed to the shallow bottom in search of food. I caught glimpses of other guillemots coming and going while standing on the dock in Langley on Whidbey Island – some were nesting and may have had nestlings to feed – but the one below me disappeared entirely into the depths. Read more…

Retro Rewind | When Lifts Stop Running: Washington ski resorts of yesteryear

Skiers and snowboarders in Washington State are lucky to enjoy a wide range of opportunities to zip down the hill. You want the deepest snow? Head to Mt. Baker. Easy access from Seattle? Snoqualmie has you covered. Looking for something small and community-oriented? Visit Meany Lodge! With a range of options to choose from, Washingtonians have it pretty good. Over the past 100 years though, the ski map of Washington has changed dramatically. The Cascade and Olympic Mountains have been home to dozens of resorts, and the ones you see now are the few that remain. Of the current popular areas, few were present in the minds of skiers before the last few decades. Buckle your boots – we’re going for a trip to the hidden gems of yesteryear. Read more…

Global Adventures | Why Costa Rica Keeps Calling Me

A trip to Costa Rica is an all-sensory experience. The various fragrances are more pleasing, and different, than any you experience here in the US. The sounds are unique too, with wildlife chattering in preserves and an entertaining hum buzzing through the towns and villages. The sights are raved about, and it’s easy to see why; you’ll find tree-top bridges, great sand beaches, vibrant farms growing flowers shipped to local shops, stunning volcanoes, aromatic coffee farms, and, of course, rainforests teeming with life. Read more…

Peak Performance | 90-90 Heel Digs with Pelvic Tilt

Though it’s easy to become focused on major muscle groups, it’s important to remind ourselves to take a look at those parts of our bodies that sometimes go unnoticed. Read more…

Did You Know? Ski Equipment of the 1930s

The 1930s were a decade of firsts for skiers. New technologies, techniques, and ski areas were opening possibilities for the sport that used to be associated only with the European elite. With the introduction of the rope tow, those unwilling to climb were able to enjoy the same downhill thrill, and its popularity exploded. The number of skiers doubled between the late 1920s and the early 1930s, with an estimated one million American skiers in 1936. This, paired with new types of skis, methods of instruction, and options for gear, catapulted the sport into the American consciousness, and skiing as we know it today began to take shape. Read more…

Citizen Science: White-Tailed Ptarmigan, Ghost Birds of the Winter Cascades

Washington is a haven for birders, and yet we still have huge gaps in our understanding of some of our most iconic wildlife. Take the White-tailed Ptarmigan for example. Many of you have likely spotted ptarmigan in the Cascades in their summer plumage, blending in with their rocky alpine habitat, but reports of these beautiful birds in their all-white winter plumage are few and far between. As a result, our knowledge of White-tailed Ptarmigan winter habitats in the Pacific Northwest are meager. Read more…