Mountaineer Magazine

All posts

A Hidden Winter Gem: Going Hut-to-Hut in Western Washington

I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you. It’s a hard trek during winter. My best friend and I took on the challenge last spring, breaking trail for a full mile through fresh powder with heavy backpacks. We felt breathless as we snowshoed four miles to one of the highest points in Tahoma State Forest. But with every crunch beneath our snowshoes — and between the sounds of our groans - the top of Mount Rainier became more and more visible. Read more…

Footprints: Hiking vs. Carbon

Our family has hiked together since our 12-year-old daughter was a newborn. I remember our daughter’s first decade as a series of literal peaks and valleys, many of them in the Olympics. I can picture her chasing butterflies over Marmot Pass at age five, and searching for fairies in old growth cathedrals along the Dungeness River. When she finished first grade we backpacked into Grand Valley, then clambered up Grand Peak, a perch with majestic views into the heart of the Olympic wilderness. Read more…

Voices Heard | A Seattle Urban Park Ranger Bringing Diversity to the Outdoors

White, male and “midcareer,” Seattle’s Charles Beall in a lot of ways is the face of the National Park Service that turned 100 on August 25, 2016.

He also may be the best hope the agency has for changing that face to match the diversity that is rapidly transforming this country. And the reasons essentially start out the same: Because he is white, male and “midcareer.” Read more…

Global Adventures | We Aren’t in Kansas Anymore: Trekking in Tasmania

Perhaps it was the splash of the shy platypus as it swam away after a close encounter with us on the trail, or the snarl of Tasmanian devils feeding on carcasses and biting each other at a sanctuary near the start of our trek. Or maybe it was the zzzzzzzzip of a big, black currawong bird unzipping a backpack and helping itself to the snacks in our backpacks, or the THUMP of the Bennett’s wallaby jumping away with a joey in her pouch as we watched from our hut. One thing was certain: we weren’t in Kansas anymore. Read more…

Last Word | Stoked

I was not stoked to write this column, not stoked at all, bra’.

When I hear someone say how stoked they are to get on with whatever it is they are getting on with, I get wistful at the lack of context.  Read more…

Self-Care in the Mountains: Magic in the Rwenzoris

The Mountaineers first met Tyrhee Moore in The Adventure Gap, a book we published chronicling the first all African-American summit attempt on Denali. Tyrhee was among the youngest of nine climbers, ranging in age from 17 to 65, to attempt the climb America’s highest peak. Since the 2013 expedition, his outdoor resume has grown to include Grand Teton, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Aconcagua. His experiences and challenges in the outdoors have garnered national attention, and he’s risen as an advocate for increasing interest and advocacy amongst black youth in outdoor spaces. Today Tyrhee speaks around the country on topics regarding the adventure gap and conservation leadership, and is a champion for increasing diversity in the outdoors. Read more…

Outside Insight | Stewardship Through The Eyes of a Land Manager

Sarah Lange is an outdoor recreation planner for the U.S. Forest Service. She’s also a former Mountaineers staff member, working as the Public Lands Program Manager from 2010-2013. At the 2017 Mountaineers Leadership Conference, Sarah was part of a land manager and partners panel and discussed ways that Mountaineers leaders can integrate stewardship and low-impact recreation into their trips and activities. Heading into the busy summer season, I caught up with Sarah to better understand her perspective as a land manager, and to learn more about how our leaders can encourage and inspire others to be responsible stewards of our public lands. Read more…

Last Word | Purpose

My only purpose in life is to live.

Is that too egoistic?

Maybe too amoral? Read more…

Trail Talk | Morning on Mount Bonaparte

Eastern Washington’s third highest summit, 7,257-foot Mount Bonaparte rises all alone in the Okanogan Highlands. Bonaparte is a monadnock (also known as an inselberg) — a geological term taken from Mount Monadnock, a popular southern New Hampshire mountain memorialized by 19th century writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. The word monadnock is of Abenaki origin translating to isolated mountain. Monadnocks are lone isolated mountains standing above their surroundings. They have fared better than their environs in surviving the agents of erosion. Broad lofty Mount Bonaparte indeed stands alone, and with a 3,500-foot prominence, is distinguishable from quite a distance away. Read more…

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…