Mountaineer Magazine

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Our Secret Rainier: Memorials at Mount Rainier

Usually visitors to Mt. Rainier National Park admire grand vistas and the natural world surrounding them. This is as it should be, but in addition to the glory of the place are two large memorials and numerous plaques commemorating the people and human history associated with the park. This installment of Our Secret Rainier tells you how to find the two memorials and provides the location of the smaller plaques located throughout the park.  Read more…

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to The National Parks

My plan was initially without a hitch. Hike from Longmire on the Wonderland Trail to Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground. Do a little photography in those famed fields, visit the Mirror Lakes and then head back out via the Kautz Creek Trail. It would be a nice 14.5-mile hike with some decent elevation gain. My hiking partner would leave a car at the Kautz Creek trailhead and we would drive back to Longmire to retrieve my vehicle. Plan was good — until my hiking partner couldn’t make it. I was on assignment, so the hike would go on.  Read more…

On the West Ridge of Golden Mount Stuart

With headlamps switched on, we started up the Ingalls Creek trail. The first rays of dawn followed behind, ready to bask the forest in gold, while our lamps illuminated the trail in front — guiding us up and over the pass.  Read more…

Sunshine, Smiles & Transformation

I arrived early on my first day at Junior Mountaineers Summer Camp, excited to meet all the kids and ready to learn how this camp worked and what to do. After meeting the other counselors, my co-counselor Christoph and I read through the forms for each of our campers. Read more…

Theater in the Wild

When I first learned The Mountaineers had a theater, I thought it was a bit strange. What does acting and drama have to do with mountaineering? The answer, in short, is community. Before forest access roads and rules that limit parties to 12, it was common for large groups of Mountaineers to spend days together just to get to where we now park our cars. To entertain each other in the evenings, animated camp-fire stories and performances, when organized with props, quickly became a type of theater. Read more…

Connections in the Sky: mount-top ham radio

You’ve reached the summit and the view is breathtaking: time for a “Summit-Selfie” to share your success with your friends...but there’s no cell coverage up here. You have a Personal Locator Beacon, but this doesn’t quite qualify as an emergency. Fortunately, you have a ham radio and can talk to the world. Read more…

Trail Talk: More than "because it's there"

The hair on my arms and back of my neck stood up straight. The summit rocks surrounding me buzzed like an electrical transformer. The fillings in my teeth hummed. A thick fog enveloped me. The sky lit up as thunder cracked. I stood in snow under a gray shroud at 14,000 feet preparing to die. I had gotten caught in an electrical storm on the summit of California’s Mount Shasta. Read more…

Turns All Year: A Personal Look at Backcountry Skiing

I consider myself one of the ‘lucky ones’. I learned to ski shortly after learning to walk, and remember a childhood of white Montana winters racing after my parents down the ski slopes. Winters get cold in Big Sky Country, but fueled on a steady stream of hot cocoa and M&Ms, my dad managed to teach not only me, but my younger twin-sisters, to be pretty darn good skiers. Read more…

Observable Differences: Glacier Recession in the North Cascades

The project measures a variety of glaciers across the North Cascades — from the south end of the range on Mount Daniel to the north end on Mount Shuksan; and from the West side on Kulshan (Mount Baker) to the dry East side on the Ice Worm Glacier (aka Hyas Creek Glacier). The glaciers are a critical resource in the region, providing water for farm and crop irrigation, hydropower, salmon and other wildlife, along with municipal supply. Read more…