Mountaineer Magazine

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Backcountry Hygiene 101: You Don't Have to Smell Bad to Smell Better

Hello gorgeous! You - yes, you! With the messy hair, dirty legs, and that certain wilderness glow about you. You look fabulous! Read more…

Bookmarks | Peak Nutrition: Smart Fuel for Outdoor Adventure. An interview with Chef Maria Hines

Most people know Maria Hines for her culinary accomplishments. In 2005, she was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs, in 2006 she went on to open her first restaurant, Tilth, in Wallingford, and in 2009 she won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest. Read more…

Outside Insight | Charting New Waters: Creating a Cross-Branch Paddling Community

In the Pacific Northwest, year-round sea kayakers are a tight-knit community. These brave individuals don their drysuits in all conditions and relish in the opportunity to paddle big waves during winter storms. They seek adverse conditions to build their skills, growing more confident in their ability to explore wilder and more remote places. Read more…

Youth Outside | The Meaning of Mountain Workshops

Growing up, I counted down the days to when the Activity Bus would roll into our parking lot with my class on its roster. The air static with excitement, we would board the bus in single file, sitting side-by-side on cracked bench seats with backpacks at our feet. Short of a snow day, we were about to embark on one of the single greatest grade school events: a field trip. Read more…

Trail Talk | As Goes the Caribou

One of the most beautiful and wild places on the eastern seaboard, the Chic-Choc Traverse was placed on Peter Potterfield’s 25 Classic Hikes of North America with good reason. In May 2000, my wife Heather and I did a recon trip to Quebec’s Chic-Choc Mountains in the 200,000-acre Parc National de la Gaspésie. Three months later we returned to backpack the 50-mile Chic Choc Traverse – one of the most stunning stretches of the International Appalachian Trail. We were hooked. Read more…

Mother Tree

I watched in fascinated disgust as dozens of insects squirmed and wriggled towards the edges of the bark where it met the soft damp core, searching for darkness and safety. Just moments before, my mother in an effort to teach me about the wonders of nurse logs had wedged her fingernail between bark and wood and carefully pried off a chunk of bark the size of her hand. “All those insects make their home in the log. They eat the wood and make it into soil so other trees can grow.” Then she replaced the bark as carefully as she had removed it. “Let’s not disturb them any further.” Read more…

Retro Rewind | Mountaineers Books: Fulfilling Our Mission, 60 Years and Counting

A squabble over climbing styles nearly tore The Mountaineers apart in its early years. Choosing instead to put differences aside, that turmoil spawned a text so seminal that it would come to be read religiously by aspiring climbers around the world. Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills is now seen by many as the pinnacle of climbing education material, and next to it since the beginning is the nonprofit publisher Mountaineers Books. Read more…

Peak Performance | Mountain Mindfulness

Mindfulness has become a popular practice in yoga and other therapies, but it also has its place in the mountains. To be “mindful” means paying complete attention to what’s going on, both inside your head and outside of yourself, and being fully present in the moment. If you are multi-tasking, you are likely not being mindful. Likewise, if you are rushing to get things done, or tag the summit and get back to the car, you probably don’t have a good chance of being mindful. The other component of mindfulness is accepting yourself exactly as you are, or treating yourself the way you would treat a good friend. Read more…

Why Hornbein Gives: The Importance of Philanthropy in Nonprofit Publishing

When I asked Tom Hornbein about his relationship with reading over his 89-year lifespan, he didn’t answer, he simply rotated his computer forty-five degrees so I could see the room behind him on our Skype call. What was revealed was an entire wall of books, most of them about outdoor adventures, many of which were Mountaineers Books titles. Buried in his stack is surely his own book, Everest: The West Ridge, which follows his and partner Willie Unsoeld’s groundbreaking 1963 first ascent of Mt. Everest via the treacherous West Ridge. It doesn’t take a bibliophile to recognize that this collection is the mark of fervor; his ice axe long stowed, Hornbein now sits on a mountain of literature.  Read more…

Gear Love

Forget about that special someone – let’s focus on that special something! We all have the pieces of gear we love above the rest. Things that keep you warm, safe, and comfortable. Take a moment to think about that piece of equipment you just couldn’t live without, and enjoy these love letters written by Mountaineers to gear they adore the most. Read more…