Mountaineer Magazine

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Creating Conservationists: Our Voice

To truly care about something, it has to have impacted you intimately. It’s that personal connection that gives us the impetus to act. Read more…

National Parks Through the Eyes of a Fourth-Grader

“Look Mom!” I cried. “Bison!”

We were heading to the geysers [in Yellowstone National Park], but when we rounded the corner we saw a field of bison.

We could see a calf fighting its sibling, each one tumbling into the dust. We could see the bulls wallowing in the mud pits. We could even see the cows looking after the calves. It was an amazing sight seeing the bison covering that field like ants covering honey.

That’s one of the many exciting memories Samuel Tinker shared with me. Read more…

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…

The Hills are Afoul with the Smell of Poo

Ahhh, there’s nothing like heading out on your favorite trail to take in the fragrant smells of spring... only to catch the putrid stench of crap. Dog and human alike — it seems lately there’s been a proliferation of poo plopped along our trails and streams of toilet paper flowers soiling our backcountry. And this abundance of trailside turds isn’t just an affront on our visionary and olfactory senses, it’s a major affront to our health and the health of our wild places. Read more…

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…

Ambition

Two people, standing in a valley staring up at the mountaintop, can offer up two very different reactions. 

The first person says, “I am going to the summit if it kills me!”

The second says, “I’m good right here.” 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…

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…

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…