Mountaineer Magazine

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The Seeds of Thor

If you have breakfast at Thor Hanson’ home in the San Juans, you will experience the amazing variety of seeds: wheat in your pancakes, cotton for your pajamas, pepper in your bacon, jam from strawberries, and of course that most stimulating of seed brews – coffee. Read more…

Books Stand the Test of Time in the Age of Smartphones

In 2007, I was working for The Washington Post and Slate magazine in New York City. My role was to support the sales team in developing media plans and executing digital media campaigns across our publishing platforms: The Washington Post, Slate, Newsweek and Budget Travel. I worked for The Washington Post for about six years, during which time I watched the decline of print newspaper subscriptions as the ascendancy of online media, tablets and smartphones took hold. I experienced first-hand how digital devices altered the world of print publishing. Read more…

Bookmarks | Found: A Life in Mountain Rescue

The converted bicycle wheel supports much of the litter’s weight, but this trail is miles of boulders and steep hairpin switchbacks, and the light is fading. In the beginning we tie a piece of webbing to the back of the litter for a tagline; four people hold the litter up and then a half-dozen other people grab onto this piece of webbing to keep the brakeless contraption from rocketing downhill with gravity. Nobody can see their feet, and this trail, like all trails, is too narrow to fit the litter in the middle with two people abreast on either side, so the people on the sides are intermittently mashed into trees, or have no footing and suddenly disappear downslope to be picked up at the next switchback. The folks on the front and back ends do not have a better time. Read more…

Western Bluebirds - A Reintroduction

Prairie savannas dotted with Garry oak trees — the only native oak species in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia — used to be common throughout the Puget trough, including the San Juan Islands. As human development and Douglas fir have encroached, this unique ecosystem has shrunk to less than five percent of its historic range in this area, and birds like the Western bluebird, that need open spaces, have disappeared along with it.  Read more…

Impact Giving | Maiza Lima's Story

In her first class with The Mountaineers, Maiza Lima was impressed to learn that all classes were taught by volunteers, and all trips were led by volunteers. “It’s hard to believe people give so much time to be there for you.” She was so amazed she said to herself, “Next year, I will volunteer.” Read more…

Secret Rainier: Hidden Lake, Palisades and a Skull

This installment of Our Secret Rainier is technically a scramble as it has a portion that is off-trail. But it is a very easy scramble and most experienced hikers would be very comfortable on this route (so long as they had good route finding skills). The route goes by a lovely hidden lake and goes to the top of the Palisades where there are great views of The Big One. Along the way, one finds the mysterious Skull of Marcus.  Read more…

Conservation Currents | A Public Lands Cry for Help

Some people have a defining moment in the outdoors that changed their lives. I don’t. I can recount a vague memory of camping with my dad, and him pulling me out of the tent in my pajamas to hike under a full moon. I can tell you that you couldn’t keep me out of waterfalls as a kid, that climbing for the first time as a sixth-grader blew my socks off, and that learning how to crack climb in Indian Creek, Utah 20 years later was completely humbling and inspiring. What I know is that our public lands are integral to who I am, and because of that I believe it’s imperative that we protect these places and the experiences they provide, and that we work to provide opportunities for everyone to have nature-based experiences. Read more…

National Trails Day - Celebrating the Trails We Love

I’ve been a member of The Mountaineers since 2002, when I joined to meet other outdoor enthusiasts and learn about hikes in the area. Since then I’ve explored many of our local trails year-round.  Read more…

Summer Conditioning: Push ups and Superman

You put in some time to train during the winter and spring to get ready for this amazing season that we have each year: summer. But what happens when it finally arrives? Do you continue to train? Ideally, yes.  Read more…

The Return of the Fisher

With their luxurious dark brown coats, fishers were irresistible to trappers in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Their pelts brought a good price. By the late 20th century, none of these large members of the weasel family could be found in Washington State. Trapping and loss of their forest habitat led to their disappearance. In 1998, although fishers still could be found in neighboring states and other regions, Washington declared fishers endangered. Read more…