Mountaineer Magazine

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Global Adventures | An Unexpected Adventure in New Zealand

As we neared the ridge crest, the wind blasted snow pellets into my face like hot shrapnel. Just ahead of me, Bob’s blue pack cover snapped once, hard, then blew off his pack and into the white. Read more…

Youth Outside | On the Road: How our youth van helped us navigate COVID-19

A little over a year ago, a colleague and I ventured about an hour north of Seattle to the little seaside town of Anacortes. Although tempted by views of nearby Mount Erie State Park, we were on our way to pick up the newest addition to The Mountaineers: a 15-passenger van. The vehicle was fated to take Mountaineers youth to the lakes, trails, and mountains surrounding Puget Sound. Read more…

Bookmarks | Mud, Rocks, Blazes: Letting Go on the Appalachian Trail

MudRocksBlazes_Cover_Final.jpgI went to the Pacific Crest Trail to find my limit. I’d imagined my fastest known time attempt ending with me on hands and knees — dry heaving — at my utmost breaking point. Yet that never happened. I started the hike with my little plastic trowel, intent on digging deep as I’d learned to do over many ultramarathons, but the PCT laughed at that, and within a few days had handed me a full-size shovel instead. Read more…

Outside Insights | Active Terrain Management

One of my first jaunts into the alpine was blindly following friends to the summit of Kaleetan Peak. As we climbed, rocks whizzed passed me, kicked off by my friends above. On the descent, my roommate slipped on a slick patch and was nearly swept down a steep chute that dropped a hundred feet below. Read more…

Peak Performance | Create Your Own Training Program

With summer around the corner, it’s time to train for upcoming outdoor goals. In this edition of Peak Performance, I hope to help you assess the components of your alpine sport, and describe how to put together a safe, suitable, and personalized training program. Read more…

Conservation Currents | The SOAR Act: Reimagining our Federal Permitting Processes

Teaching kayak self-rescue on a bleary Northwest day. Practicing crevasse rescue with a “fallen climber” twice your size. Encountering surprise sleet and snow on a backpacking trip. Of the many challenging situations they encounter, navigating federal permitting processes is one of the few that make our volunteer leaders groan. Read more…

Not Another Day at the Dog Park: Surviving a Cougar Attack at Cooper Lake

We’ve all experienced a moment of true fear. Your fingers grow cold and your stomach drops. Time slows while your mind and body prime to react, and all you can think is, “This is actually happening.” Read more…

Trail Talk | Love is in the Plein Air: Exploring the land with the ones you love

Reading the journals of many naturalists, outdoorspeople, and adventurers, you immediately feel their strong love for the land. You can sense how this love touched their souls and tantalized their emotions. But what about romantic, familial, or platonic love? Did they experience that too while out and about in the backcountry? Read more…

Impact Giving | Investing in the Future: A Conversation with Lily and Amber Walker

Sometimes a story asks to be told. As part of my role as Assistant Director of Development, I have the privilege of connecting with members to learn how Mountaineers philanthropy has positively impacted their lives. In last fall’s #GivingTuesday scholarship fundraising effort we introduced 18 year-old scholarship recipient Lily Walker, a five-year member of our year-round teen program, the Tacoma Mountaineers Adventure Club (MAC). Read more…

The Speed of Love: Going the Distance With Fred Beckey

While traveling solo to remote and wild places, I had been in some dicey situations. The risks were real, but I knew of no one else interested in exploring the nether regions of wilderness, nor the Himalayan front range from east to west, nor the ancient trade routes that connect Tibet to India through massive ranges, passes that cut deep, from north to south where borders often go unmarked – and so I had gone alone. Read more…