Mountaineer Magazine

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Trail Talk | Revelations After More than 30,000 Miles on the Trail

As an outdoors writer and guidebook author, former backcountry ranger in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, former mountain guide in the Spanish and French Pyrenees, and dedicated adventurer, I’ve spent a fair amount of time on the trail. It totals more than 30,000 miles hiking and backpacking, and who knows how many miles running. I’ve hiked on trails from Nova Scotia to Florida, Alaska to Argentina, and in Europe and Asia. I’ve seen a lot of spectacular natural places. And I’ve learned quite a bit along the way — some trivial, some life changing — about nature, humanity, and myself. In a stream of consciousness (just as my mind works while I’m hiking), here are a few of the things I’ve learned while putting thousands of miles on the trail: Read more…

Retro Rewind | Louise Marshall: Mountaineer, WTA Founder, and Pioneering Trail Advocate

An avid hiker, community organizer, and Mountaineers member, Louise Marshall was a passionate outdoorswoman and a key figure in Washington’s history. As a young woman I not only had the opportunity to meet Louise and hike with her, but reaped the benefits of all that she brought to the hiking community and the broader Washington outdoors community. I am excited to share with you the trials, tribulations, and triumphs that Louise experienced as a pioneer in the outdoor industry. Read more…

Peak Performance | Strengthen Postural Muscles in the Upper Back

In the last issue, we suggested home variations on the plank for developing the horizontal pushing muscles in our shoulders, chest, triceps and core. Below we offer several movements for the opposing muscle groups: the horizontal pulling muscles of the rhomboids and shoulders. Read more…

Out of the Ashes: Creating a New Life in the Mountains

Every night after putting my boys to bed, I ran. On dark nights my feet would thud against the pavement, headlamp shining through the rain. I did it because I had to – it pushed out the despondency and grief that had been following me for almost two years. I knew pushing my body would bring me closer to what I needed: self-confidence, a distraction from the pain, physical and emotional strength. I moved toward my goal, one foot at a time. Read more…

Did You Know? Birding Basics: Start a Lifelong Journey of Bird Watching

The Black-capped Chickadee flitted through the fir branches. It was about the size of two ping-pong balls, and nimble – it twisted, turned, and darted through my Seattle neighborhood. This bird is common across much of North America and always brings a sense of joy each time I see one. In fact, it may be one of the first birds I learned to identify when my mother caught me sitting in the kitchen sink, watching birds coming to her feeders. I was five, and she patiently stood behind me naming each species. Almost 65 years later I remain delighted by these incredible creatures, and I would like to share with you some of the lessons I have learned in my many (well-spent) years of birdwatching. Read more…

30 Before 30

Theresa Silveyra and Amber Chang are both accomplished climbers and mountaineers. They recently teamed up for Theresa’s #30Before30 project: an ambitious plan for Teresa to climb Wy’east (Mt. Hood) 30 times before Theresa turned 30. Amber joined Teresa for a celebratory summit number 31! Read more…

Life as a Trail Angel: The Reality of 1200 Houseguests

You quit your job, sublet your apartment, and sold your car. Standing on the curb at the San Diego airport, everything you know has been left behind. There’s just you and your backpack, and a dream so big you wonder again: Will it fit that five-month hole I’ve carved out of my life? You’re looking for a yellow pompom. Just like more than 6,000 others before you. Read more…

The Olympic Mountain Project

I always wondered what it would feel like to be in snow in the middle of August. Read more…

The Mountain is Out

Mount Rainier has always been a special place. I was born in Yakima over 70 years ago and saw the mountain from the eastside before my family moved to Buckley when I was very young. From Buckley, I had an unobstructed view of her every day she was visible. Even when she was hiding, it was always comforting to know she was there. I remember my father using the lenticular cloud cap on the summit to predict the weather during the summer haying season. My parents were avid Mountaineers and hikers, having hiked the length of the Wonderland Trail together and earned their Snoqualmie Second Ten Peak Pins. They instilled in me a love and respect for nature from a young age.  Read more…

Peak Performance | The Versatile Plank

March 2020 stunned us nationwide with national, state, and city park closures, school cancellations, Stay Home orders, and changes to our everyday freedoms. But that doesn’t mean our mental and physical wellness must shut down with it. To develop resilience and versatility in the comfort of your own home, include the plank. It is one of the most versatile upper body movements you can perform to develop core, triceps, shoulders, and chest strength. You can make it part of an anaerobic workout by adding a jump, or a meditative workout by adding a downward-facing dog. Pull out a mat and move! Read more…