Mountaineer Magazine

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An Indirect Path to Flexibility

By the time Mercedes Pollmeier arrived at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), she’d lived in Australia, China, Mauritius, and had spent considerable time in Germany with her grandma. The daughter of a German father and an Indian South African mum, Mercedes had seen a lot of the world already when a full-ride tennis scholarship brought her to the U.S. at 17. A multilingual world citizen, the starry-eyed teen had her eyes keenly set on one thing: the Olympics. Little did she know that she’d soon meet a strength coach who would forever change the course of her life. Read more…

Different & Able | A profile of Kimber Cross

It’s a chilly March morning in Provo, Utah, 2020. Kimber Cross has been flown here by the outdoor meal brand Peak Refuel to shoot a short film about her journey into ice climbing. As the team walks down the snow-packed trail to a frozen waterfall, Kimber feels the eyes of passersby, and they’re staring. Maybe it’s because of the big, red cameras that stand in contrast to the stark landscape, but an old fear starts to creep into her psyche, a fear that tells her to hide. All eyes focus on the tool strapped to her pack. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Douglas Gillan

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to... Read more…

Youth Outside | The Power of Community

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take a group of incoming college freshmen on a rafting trip in Arizona. I scrambled to get all my gear together before we launched, and that first night I realized that I had forgotten to pack my tent. Thankfully we were in the desert, and I was sleeping on my boat, so I didn’t have to worry about insects and other critters on the beach. The first night I lucked out with a light breeze coming off the water and a crystal clear sky. I slept like a rock. Read more…

Global Adventures | Among the Nomads of Lycia

Chunks of rough rock covered our trail in the dry, scrubby foothills of the Taurus Mountains. The Mediterranean Sea glittered below us as we climbed, 85 miles into our 115-mile, 14-day journey. Read more…

Outside Insight | Trial by Ice

It was a bitterly cold day in early November, and our small group of four canyoneers had just donned our wetsuits on the hillside above the canyon. The cold weather meant water levels in the glacier-fed river were at their lowest for the year, a key consideration when descending a deep, narrow slot canyon that has never been explored before. Read more…

Go Big With Member Benefits

Now more than ever, our small businesses need your support. They’re the ones who help keep your bag dry on rainy nights, your spork full, and your puffies stuffed. If you’re doing any shopping, please consider going local and supporting one of our partners: Read more…

Conservation Currents | Speaking up for Public Lands: An Interview with Thomas O’Keefe

Thomas O’Keefe is a conservationist who is equally comfortable paddling a Class IV river as he is testifying before Congress (wearing his trademark bow tie). The longtime Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director for American Whitewater, Tom has dedicated his life to protecting whitewater rivers. Tom works closely with The Mountaineers to advocate for our wild places and provides strategic advice as a member of the Advisory Council. Here, we get to know Tom and learn what sparked his passion for protecting and stewarding public lands. Plus, we learn a great trick for recruiting Mountaineers members! Read more…

Bookmarks | Frodo’s Birthday: An Excerpt from Journeys North

In Journeys North, legendary trail angel and thru-hiker Barney Scout Mann spins a compelling tale of six hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail on their trek from Mexico to Canada. This ensemble story unfolds as these half-dozen hikers — including Barney and his wife, Sandy (Frodo) — trod north, facing a once-in-a-generation drought and early severe winter storms that test their will. In fact, only a third of all hikers who set out on the trail that year would finish. Read more…

Failure and Growth, Courtesy of El Cap

In the past several years, climbing El Capitan in Yosemite National Park has blown up in the mainstream consciousness. With Free Solo winning an Oscar and the Dawn Wall ascent getting publicized in The New York Times, it seems as if everyone has a clear picture of what climbing El Cap is like. It is easy to imagine being up on the side of the wall when you see it on a high definition movie theater screen. But is it as easy as people make it look?  Read more…