Mountaineer Magazine

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Rebuilding History & Hearts

"What are those?” I asked, pointing to the four hikers who had pulled off the trail to don microspikes and crampons. It was a frigid, late Saturday in February 2015 on Mount Pilchuck. At this point in my outdoor career I was a sport climber, a casual hiker (at best), and had only backpacked a handful of times. You can imagine my reaction to seeing people take these grizzly-bear like claws from their packs and attach them to their boots. Read more…

Impact Giving | How Scholarships Strengthen Community

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, The Mountaineers will participate in #GivingTuesday and once again all donations received on this day will directly support Mountaineers scholarships. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Mastering McKinley

Charles “Charlie” Crenchaw was a member of The Mountaineers and the first African American to summit Denali. He did so on a Mountaineers expedition and Charlie wrote a report of the adventure for our 1965 Annual to commemorate the trip. The expedition, was exemplary for a variety of reasons, and Charlie’s recap has its fair share of excitement. Read more…

Silencing the Noise: Climbing Through an Anxiety Disorder

You’re climbing on a busy day at the crag, surrounded by incessant chatter and constant commotion. Sometimes you find this noise pleasantly engaging, but today you just want to tell everyone to be still – be quiet. The voices follow as you start your climb, continuing to echo in your brain even as you climb higher. They seem to be demanding your attention, and suddenly it feels like your mind is fighting between listening to the voices and trying to block them out. But the problem is that both options leave you unable to focus on the present moment. The “what-ifs” start to seep into your head, and before you know it, you fall. Read more…

Becoming a Commuter Naturalist

A shadow darkens the window – a heartbeat of dim sunlight. I look up to see a large bird, a raptor, glide against the sky, wings stretched wide to catch a breeze. Squinting against the light, I catch the distinctive white head and tail before the eagle flicks a few feathers, banks right, and disappears. The train continues racing north to home while my gaze falls back to the shoreline looking for birds and animals, my little time with nature on my commute. Read more…

Outdoor Leadership: Everyone Has A Place in the Mountains

Forest McBrian is an IFMGA Mountain Guide with over 15 years of experience in the mountains. Among his many notable achievements, in 2017, Forest and his partner Trevor Kostanich embarked on a 34-day ski traverse from Snoqualmie Pass to Canada. Forest instructs for the American Mountain Guide Association, and guides throughout the Pacific Northwest. Read more…

NOLS Leadership: An Interview with John Abel

John Abel has been a NOLS instructor since 1991, and has a Masters in Leadership and Organizational Development from the Leadership Institute of Seattle. Since 2010, he has worked primarily for NOLS Professional Training, teaching leadership seminars for NOLS Instructors, and facilitating various leadership training programs for NOLS organizational clients.  Read more…

Peak Performance | Time-Tested Tapering

As a big trip approaches, it’s understandable that you might worry about whether you’ve done enough to prepare. For some people, this means throwing everything at a training regimen at the last minute under the mistaken idea that more is better. Unfortunately, such thinking can lead to overtraining, resulting in a strain or injury that can lead to a cancelled trip before you even get started. The focus of this quarter’s issue is “appreciation”, and it brings to mind the need to recognize all the hard work you’ve put in by allowing your body the rest and recovery it needs before a trip. To fully understand what it means to taper and how to include it in your training program, read on. Read more…

Appreciate Every Minute

Known as the “widow maker” heart attack, a blockage in the left anterior descending artery (LAD) is almost always fatal. Symptoms include shortness of breath, left shoulder and arm pain, nausea, cold sweats, and the debilitating sensation of an elephant sitting on your chest. Had these signs appeared a few hours earlier while Tom Eckhout was skiing on Mount Rainier, the outcome might have been very different. Read more…

Trail Talk: Better than the 10 Essentials, Pack Plenty of Knowledge on Your Next Hike

One of the biggest highlights of my career as an outdoors writer so far was being flown to Los Angeles last spring for a TV shoot on the Weather Channel’s SOS How to Survive. The program is hosted by Creek Stewart, a nationally renowned survival instructor and author. Each episode of SOS How to Survive spotlights true life stories involving folks who have dealt with life-threatening situations (often in the wilderness) interjected with segments on survival tips and skills. Read more…