Mountaineer Magazine

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Outside Insights | Let’s GoHike!


At 50, Liz McNett Crowl started hiking. She met Dave on a guided snowshoe trip of Mount Baker who, through a fateful invitation, would become her hiking mentor. They hiked together for years throughout the North Cascades, exploring places like Yellow Aster Butte and beautiful alpine ridges. Then, Dave moved out of state. That’s when Liz discovered The Mountaineers, exploring longer-distance hiking in our Conditioning Hiking Series. Read more…

Zippers 101: Get the most out of your gear

We were driving back from the mountains, and the guy at the wheel was ranting. About zippers. Worst invention ever. Absolutely hated them. Read more…

Conservation Currents | A Brighter Future for Washington’s Forests

 For years, Mountaineers Super Volunteer Richard Babunovic loaded up his Subaru Outback and headed to Mt. Pilchuck - his favorite mountain. Read more…

Half Moon Bouldering: Cultivating a New Kind of Climbing Community

Streaks of glue are glistening in our hair and work overalls from another late night working on the bouldering gym’s construction. My life partner Daniel is putting up wall paneling while I assist, a wet rag in my hands to wipe away residue from the installation. We’re exhausted and elated at the same time. It seems surreal to be putting the finishing touches on a project that has absorbed the last five years of our lives. In building Half Moon Bouldering, our family start-up and the first bouldering gym in Greenwood, we feel like we’ve been aiming for the moon, and now it seems we’re actually close to landing. Read more…

Retro Rewind | The Hansen Family Legacy at Stevens Lodge

A sloping lot in the crook of a mountain pass at 4,200 feet caught the eye of Mountaineers volunteers 75 years ago. A lease from the U.S. Forest Service was signed, and construction began on a rustic ski in/ski out cabin. As the June 1946 Mountaineer bulletin stated, “All sites will be developed as cheaply as possible, with maximum accommodations for minimum cost.” Read more…

Stop and Paint the Wildflowers

You are cobalt blue mixed with just a little bit of rose. And you are my yellow straight out of the palette, no mixing required! What is your name, little friend? Ohhh, and you are scarlet and ultramarine blue with a hint of white. Read more…

Youth Outside | Rebuilding Mountain Workshops

Helping youth explore the outdoors is one of the key ways we foster a love of nature, a conservation mindset, and outdoor independence in future generations. Over the last decade, The Mountaineers has developed partnerships with school groups and youth-serving organizations across the greater Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia areas to provide quality outdoor programs known as Mountain Workshops. With the goal of decreasing barriers to the outdoors, Mountain Workshops provide the expertise and gear needed to get kids outside. Read more…

Trail Talk | Reemerging on the Trail

It’s been two long years now since COVID-19 emerged on the world and turned it upside-down. As we begin year three it looks like the virus won’t be going away for good, although we can all hope that it at least fades in prominence and influence. As the current wave is ebbing, I am trying to remain optimistic in the face of new potential variants. But while the pandemic has had many negative and disruptive effects, it has also been a game-changer for many of us on how we view our world, our relationship with others, and how we want to approach life moving forward. Read more…

The Olympic Mountain Project, Part II

Standing on the edge of the water in my camp sandals, boots and pants stowed safely inside my pack, I look longingly across the river. I wish I could teleport myself instead of wading through the bitterly-cold, swift-moving water. It’s June 2021, and the Pacific Northwest’s unseasonable heatwave is melting the snowpack, sending it rushing down the mountain river valleys in record volume. Read more…

Daily Debrief

The last two years have been a challenge for us all. We have shared the emotional roller coaster of lockdowns, public land closures, and losses big and small. Yet, this crucible has also created space for self-reflection, realignment of values, and tremendous growth. Read more…