Mountaineer Magazine

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Staying Prepared For the Best Kind of Adventures

Unprepared adventurers, if they’re not lucky, can find themselves struggling out in the dark, under deteriorating conditions — or worse. Perhaps they leave without appropriate clothing or gear. Or they go without being cognizant of weather or available daylight. A few face difficulty because they chose an objective they were not physically ready for. And some expose themselves and others to risk because they decide to continue the climb even though objective information suggests they would be safer turning around or choosing another destination. Read more…

The Big Beach Cleanup

The breeze on my face contained the chill of an early spring day, sunny warmth trying to shaking off the last of winter. On this day, with the task at hand, the chill was welcome. I rested on a bleached log long stripped of bark, the waves filling my ears with swaying sound. A member of my Mountaineers group came into view along the water-line, his body bent as he dragged a line of buoys behind him. Smiling, I picked up my garbage sack and started looking for that piece of plastic I noticed earlier. Today was turning out to be a good day. Read more…

Family Playtime At Kitsap Forest Theater

Last spring, I saw The Wizard of Oz at the Kistsap Forest Theater. When the first notes of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” hit, I was floored at the depth and talent coming out of the young woman singing. Everyone in the show impressed me, but the person playing Dorothy was so young and yet so professional. Where did she get her training, I thought? Where did she get her confidence to be on stage in front of hundreds of people? I learned a lesson I’ve learned many times in The Mountaineers: never underestimate the skill and dedication of volunteers. Yes, the Kitsap Forest Theater is run entirely by volunteers and is a part of The Mountaineers. Read more…

Mount Rainier Valor Memorial: Recognizing the Sacrifices of Fallen Rangers

Friday, August 25, 2017 marked the 101st anniversary of the National Park Service. It was also the date of a very special and moving ceremony dedicating a new memorial at Longmire in Mount Rainier National Park. Read more…

100 Peaks: Individual Achievement Through Community Effort

Rugged. Imposing. Breathtakingly beautiful and big enough to create its own weather patterns, Mount Rainier is the defining icon of the Pacific Northwest. While Mount Rainier National Park is generally known for this massive stratovolcano, the park is also home to nearly 100 other peaks where off-the-beaten-path adventurers can climb, scramble, and hike. When one visionary Mountaineer crafted a list of these objectives, he also created a community willing to go the extra mile for each other, even after someone is gone. Read more…

Secret Rainier | The Spires of Mount Rainier

This installment of Our Secret Rainier takes you to the two spires of Mount Rainier – K Spire and Tokaloo Spire. We have visited both but have not climbed them, and we know only one individual who has climbed Tokaloo Spire. Fred Becky in his Cascade Alpine Climb, Volume 1, describes both as class 4 climbs. We include them in this installment of Our Secret Rainier because they are unique formations within the park and worthy of a visit – regardless of whether you stand on the top or not. Anyone contemplating climbing the spires should be an experienced climber and consult the Becky reference though details are sparse. Read more…

Outside Insight | That Could Never Happen To Me: When Luck Runs Out

I was lucky. In over 25 years of climbing, I was accident free. Friends have been injured. Others have died. I figured that I wasn’t better than them, just lucky. Read more…

Did You Know? A Mysterious Package in the Night

This story came to our attention after one of our longtime members saw the feature by Bam Mendiola in the spring 2018 issue. Bam’s piece discussed the unique challenges of climbing Tahoma (Mt. Rainier) as a queer, non-binary person of color. After reading Bam’s work, this member (who shall remain nameless for reasons which will soon become obvious) felt compelled to share his own Mt. Rainier anecdote. Without further ado, here’s the story of Mt. Rainier, Spire Rock, and a mysterious package in the night. Read more…

Retro Rewind | In Asahel’s Footsteps: A Legendary Adventure Photographer

Asahel Curtis described Mount Shuksan in the first Mountaineers annual as “a beautiful mass of igneous rock with cascade glaciers flowing outward on all sides, except the north.” He, along with W. Montelius Price, claimed the first ascent of the peak in 1906 (Shuksan’s Curtis and Price glaciers serve as namesakes to the climbers). Asahel brought his faithful companion – a 10+ pound box-style camera – with him to the top. As was his trademark, he was simultaneously pioneering two fields: mountaineering and photography. Read more…

DIY Gear Room: From Garage to City Apartment

Last summer, my fiancé and I moved from Olympia to Seattle. We were excited for the change, but did not anticipate the space problem our move would entail: due to the much higher rent prices, our new city apartment was about a third of the size of our Olympia house. Read more…