Mountaineer Magazine

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Trail Talk | Reflections on a Life Reared Outdoors

I was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut; the largest city in one of the country’s most densely populated states. Located 50 miles east of New York City, Bridgeport was an industrial powerhouse from the late 1800s to just after World War II. The city attracted waves of immigrants and was, and still is, incredibly diverse. I lived in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood where Italian and Yiddish were freely spoken. I remember a lot of little old ladies in black dresses. My parents were not outdoorspeople, nor were my friends. My neighborhood of tightly-packed two and three family homes was no Walden Pond. Read more…

A New Program Center for our Kitsap Branch

A revamped building in Bremerton is set to transform how The Mountaineers Kitsap Branch teaches and trains students. But before we get too far into the future, the story of our new home warrants a look at the past. Read more…

Global Adventures | A Lucky Find in Italy

A few years ago, I took a group of Nordic skiers to the Dolomites in Italy. One couple in my group was looking forward to celebrating a significant anniversary in Florence and Rome following our ski adventures. We had been in the Dolomiti for about 10 days and, on this day, had enjoyed a rigorous mountain ski. After lunch and a ski back to a side valley where our path crossed a road, the anniversary couple decided to take the rest of the day off and bus back to the hotel. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Into the Archives

In the first few decades of The Mountaineers existence, members planned long, yearly excursions into the wilderness every summer and winter. On these annual trips, our members ventured into the mountains to explore and discover first ascents on unmapped peaks. In 1912, The Mountaineers spent July 20 - August 10 traveling around Mt. Rainier. Read more…

Nature's Way | Earthquakes and Tsunamis: The Cascadia Subduction Zone

On February 28, 2001, a friend was being prepped for varicose vein surgery at the Seattle VA Hospital. He was given a mild sedative and began experiencing what he thought was vertigo when his surgeon announced that the procedure was cancelled and he needed to get dressed and leave the hospital immediately. An earthquake later known as the Nisqually, of a magnitude 6.8-7.0 had struck. My friend was disappointed at the postponement of his operation at the time, but it could have been worse. Read more…

Did You Know? The Long and Unlikely Journey of Our Basalt Columns

“The night before we didn’t sleep. We were seriously worried it’d be a disaster,” says John Ohlson, the man who hatched the idea of erecting 25-foot basalt columns at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center.  Read more…

Peak Performance | Knee Health: Reverse Step Ups & Backwards Walking

One of the most common concerns mountaineering clients have is how to keep their knees healthy as they add mileage and years. To strengthen your quadriceps for downhill hiking, add Reverse Step Ups and Backward Walking to your training program. Both moves will help you develop better balance and build your leg strength and confidence, no matter your age. Read more…

Youth Outside | Where Are They Now? Following Up With Former MAC Leaders, Katy And Isabel

In August of 2017, our sixth class of Mountaineers Adventure Club (MAC) reached graduation. MAC is a year-round outdoor club for teenagers in The Mountaineers. With about 30 participants a year, many join in 8th grade or as freshmen, and grow into outdoor leaders through their senior year in High School. Some of our MAC kids come up through Explorers, our middle-school outdoor club. Read more…

Voices Heard | Life as a City Girl Gone Green

I am by nature a city girl. I enjoy bright lights and long walks down populated concrete sidewalks while street musicians fill the air with tunes. I am from Chicago, land of blues and backyard barbecue smells, where as a child I played double dutch near curbs on city streets in my Westside neighborhood. Big-city noises such as loud car motors and high-volume voices drowned out the sounds of pigeons, crows, and ravens, but the city was their home too. Read more…

Sailing Around Blakely Rock: A Groundbreaking Adventure

The wind was unreliable and moody that day. It was a typical Pacific Northwest early April morning: overcast and chilly but with a crisp tinge of salt in the air. My wife, Michelle, and I were at Shilshole Marina, just west of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, to take part in the Blakely Rock Benefit Race (sponsored by Sloop Tavern Yacht Club). We had both just finished the Mountaineers sailing class, but, here we were, about to partake in a major sailing event. Read more…