Mountaineer Magazine

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Youth Outside: Discover the Magic of Winter with Olympia Youth Programs

As a child, do you remember anything more exciting than a snow day? The magic of waking up to a blanket of crisp white snow, the world outside your door transformed into something new and seemingly boundless, was unlike anything else. You’d grab your coat, tug on boots, and run outside to dive headfirst into winter, making snowballs, swooshing your arms into a snow angels, and grinning ear-to-ear at the snow-capped trees. On snow days, the cold didn’t seem quite as bitter and your cheeks didn’t feel quite as red. The world was a whole new place to be explored. Read more…

Conservation Currents | Conservation and Advocacy, Together

In the six years I’ve served as The Mountaineers Conservation and Advocacy Director, I’ve watched our community come together time and again to speak up for the places we hold dear. Together, we’ve enjoyed a number of successes, and suffered a few setbacks. Threats to our public lands, including the climate crisis, are mounting, and as someone whose life has been formed by adventuring in nature, I am concerned about what our planet will be like for future generations. Read more…

Trail Talk: Peril in the Pyrenees

I had hiked the route from the Col de Tentes over the 7,450- foot Port de Boucharo, straddling the French and Spanish border to the medieval town of Torla in Aragon, a half dozen times. It was one of my favorite hikes to bring folks along on when I worked as a hiking guide in the Pyrenees for Portland-based Mountain Hiking Holidays. I loved looking for edelweiss, pointing out izards (a chamois native to the Pyrenees), explaining the fascinating history of the route (used by pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago and refugees during the Spanish Civil War), and highlighting so many other facets of this fascinating route to the folks I was guiding. Read more…

Wobble Your Way Through Ski Season: Finding Fun as a First-Time Skier

So you want to shred some gnar. Welcome. And congratulations on your willingness to look silly as a grown-up in the pursuit of a new skill. Many of your friends have likely been skiing since they were kids, and have no idea what it’s like to learn as an adult. They forget that white-knuckling your way down a ski slope with a waistband full of snow isn’t always stoke-inducing. So here’s a guide from another new skier based on my first season - tools I found useful, things I wish I’d known, and why you should accept and enjoy being an awful skier. Read more…

Mountain Education Alliance: A National Partnership of Mountain Clubs

As we well know at The Mountaineers, teamwork and a shared passion for the outdoors can produce some incredible things. Over the past few years, volunteers and staff at The Mountaineers have enjoyed deepening our relationships with our partners at the American Alpine Club, Colorado Mountain Club, and the Mazamas as we work together to develop national climbing education standards for volunteer clubs. Through this work, relationships and friendships have formed, new climbing partners were found, and we all quickly realized how much we have in common. Today, The Mountaineers is proud to be a part of the newly-named Mountain Education Alliance (MEA) - a formalized partnership between our organizations, and we’re excited to be a part of a new program to recognize volunteer educators, both in the United States and worldwide. Read more…

Dawn Patrol: 5am is the Best Adventure Time

Borrowed from early military aviation’s dawn reconnaissance flights, the phrase “Dawn Patrol” was adopted by recreationists to describe 5am pre-work adventures, allowing you to fit two days into one. Pulling it off isn’t easy, but with an iron will and a few cups of coffee it can be done. Hear from three of our favorite Dawn Patrollers on what motivates them to roll out of bed long before sunrise, and why it’s so worth it. Read more…

Snow Camping 101: An Ode to the Cold

You have a dream of waking up to the perfect winter morning – just you, the stars, and the sunrise on the mountain. It sounds delightful, but one thought may give you pause… why sleep in a freezer? Read more…

Snow Goat Skimo: Supporting the Boom in Uphill Ski Racing

It must be nice, being a mountain goat. To move through the mountains with speed and grace, inspiring fear, respect, and admiration in all who lay eyes on you. With gravitydefying climbing skills and a legendary beard, mountain goats are untouchable. Read more…

New Beginnings: A Place To Be Yourself

17 miles per hour. That’s the speed of the rope tow at Meany Lodge when it’s in third gear. Touted as the fastest, longest, legally operated tow west of the Mississippi, the Meany Tow whisks skiers 500ft up an east-facing glade deep in the heart of Stampede Pass. The angle is gradual at first, but then steepens midway, creating a small gap between the rope and the slope. Regulars will tell you they routinely see small children lift off the ground, carried for a dozen or so feet before touching back down on the high side. They love it. Read more…

Six Months in Nine Days: Life as an Intense Basic Student

Walking backward, on the roof of the Seattle Program Center, I made my way to the edge. I had doublechecked my rappel system: My anchor, rope, belay device, autoblock, and harness all looked good. Before I unclipped my personal anchor, my instructor gave my system a final sign off. Read more…