Mountaineer Magazine

Mountaineer Magazine

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Wild Skills and Girafficorns: SheJumps disrupting norms

In a recent conversation with my mom, she told me she regretted not taking my sisters and me camping and hiking more when we were little. As a single mom, it just seemed impossible at the time. Read more…

Karakoram: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict - An Interview with Steve Swenson

Steve Swenson, a current Mountaineers Director at Large, has been climbing for more than 45 years. He has made ascents of K2 and Everest, both without supplemental oxygen. In 2012, he and his partners made the first ascent of Saser Kangri II (7518 meters), then the second-highest unclimbed mountain in the world, a feat for which they were awarded the prestigious Piolet d’Or. Steve and his wife, Ann, divide their time between Seattle and Canmore, Alberta. Read more…

A Solo Adventure for the Benefit of a Community

In June 2015, we launched our first ever adventure-based peer-to-peer fundraising campaign called Our Parks | Your Adventure (OPYA). The premise was simple: choose a National Park(s), pick a personal challenge, and complete it to raise money for The Mountaineers youth programs.  Read more…

Adventure Writing Workshop with Charlotte Austin - May 15, 2017

We're very excited to be hosting IMG mountain guide and adventure writer Charlotte Austin again for an evening writing workshop. Whether you're an experienced author, part-time blogger, or curious novice, this class will give you a glimpse into the wide world of travel writing.  Read more…

I’m a Mountaineer!

During Junior Mountaineers Summer Camp in 2014, nine-year-old Sydney Swenson confidently announced to then Youth Programs Manager Caitlin O’Brien that she was planning to climb The Tooth in celebration of her tenth birthday. In January 2015, Sydney’s dad Matt Swenson sent an email to some of his friends in The Mountaineers climbing community asking if anyone was interested in joining him and Sydney on the celebratory Tooth climb. Read more…

Your Go-To Adventure Buddy

Funny songs and unlimited jokes. That’s what Andre brings to the mountains according to his friends — along with his gregarious nature and enthusiasm for people. He moved from New Orleans to Seattle with his mom and sister after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, staying for college and beyond.  Read more…

Ambition

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

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

Don't Get Tripped Up

You’re done with the “hard part” of the trip. It’s all downhill now. On a trail. You’re tired. So is the rest of the team. Suddenly someone lets out a surprising loud “ouch!” He heard a pop. And now, your car seems so far away. Read more…

Conservation Currents | Getting Your Hands Dirty With Satisfying Stewardship

There's something about digging in the dirt. I always know my kid's had an especially good day when he’s in outfit number three or there's dirt in his ears. As adults, or even young adults, our dirt ‘play’ changes significantly. I hike and climb and get dirty that way for sure, but there's something about getting dirt under-the-nails through good, old-fashioned dirt digging and rock moving. I started participating in trail-work events as a way to give back to the places I played. And kept doing it in part because it because it was so satisfying to see what impact a group of volunteers could make in a day’s work, and in part because it continues to be… simply fun. Read more…

Plate Tectonics and the North Cascades

Traveling along the North Cascade Scenic Highway (State Highway 20) between Marblemount and Mazama, one can’t help but be awed by the views of jagged peaks towering on every side. It is just as awe-inspiring to realize that the North Cascades began to be formed only about 90 million years ago, a blink of an eye in geologic time, through many collisions of fragments of the Earth’s lithosphere, called plates. The region has additionally been fine-tuned by ice-sheet and valley glaciers over the past two plus million years.  Read more…

Life rises from ash at Mount St. Helens

Even after 34 years, the process of plant recolonization is still going on at Mount St. Helens. To go from moonscape to
forested landscape is a long process, and scientist John Bishop finds it “wondrous.” John, an ecologist and professor at Washington State University’s School of Biological Sciences, Vancouver, has been conducting research at the national monument for 25 years, starting as a grad student. He says his initial focus was evolutionary genetics. What better place to study than a landscape that was almost biblical: it was ripe for any kind of evolution. Read more…

Secret Rainier: A Monument and Some Columns

This installment of Our Secret Rainier guides you to a monument and some amazing basalt columns in the national park. With extra effort, one can continue on to two scrambles in a remote part of the park.  Read more…

The Hills are Alive with The Sound of Music And I'm Not Happy About It

There’s nothing like that rush of exhilaration you feel upon cresting a high ridge bursting with wildflowers and surrounded by snow-capped craggy peaks. You stand upon your heavenly perch and gaze out with utter astonishment on how breathtakingly beautiful the natural world is; from the glistening glaciers before you to the fluttering butterflies among a carpet of brilliant blossoms below you. With senses completely overloaded, who among us hasn’t felt the urge to twirl amid the lupines and pull a Julie Andrews?  Read more…

Retro Rewind | Conservationist Helen Engle

Meet Helen Engle, a 64-year Mountaineers member and lifelong conservationist. She has devoted her life to protecting the places she loves, and is truly and inspiration to our community of explorers. Read more…

My Old Man and the Mountain - An interview with Leif Whittaker

I first dreamed of writing books when I was twelve years old, stuck on my family’s sailboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Writing was an antidote to boredom, but as I grew up, it became a true passion. When I followed in my father’s footsteps to the summit of Mount Everest, the story was too good not to write about. Read more…

Habits for Good Nutrition

Atkins. Paleo. Zone. Low-carb. Low-fat. Gluten-free. There are as many eating plans out there as there are individuals, and just as much confusing information about which is best for the active outdoors enthusiast. The following habits recommended by Precision Nutrition require no calorie counting or food weighing, yet provide you with a healthy, functioning body that will get you where you want to go. Read more…

The Doug Walker I Knew

Life is full of people you don’t know for long, but who have a profound impact on your life and work. I met a guy like that a little more than a year ago. It was at the REI flagship in Seattle, for an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Read more…

Bookmarks | A Wild Idea

One of the stories from The Wild Edge that resonates strongly with me is from Baja California, of gray whales approaching boats and trusting people to touch their bodies and stroke their newborn calves. People who experience these intimate encounters with whales describe them as among the most stirring moments of their lives--a connection of heart and spirit. Read more…

Leadership

I was at a pretty big Thanksgiving gathering at an old YMCA camp on the Oregon Coast. In the industrial sized kitchen, a volunteer crew was preparing to feed a group of 50. Preparing to chop, the young man in charge of the meal that night dumped a bag of onions on the counter. I was nearby, chatting with a friend. I wasn’t part of the crew but I offered to help.  Read more…

Adventure Writing Workshop with Charlotte Austin - Jan 5, 2017

We're very excited to be hosting IMG mountain guide and adventure writer Charlotte Austin for a one-night writing workshop. Whether you're an experienced author, part-time blogger, or curious novice, this class will give you a glimpse into the wide world of travel writing.  Read more…

Born to Climb

Sometimes our passions find us young. Sometimes they don’t find us at all – and sometimes, we’re born for a specific purpose. For me, that purpose was adventure. Specifically, the kind that can be found trekking, kick-stepping and climbing up a mountain. And especially, the kind that is done with friends. Read more…

Happy 107th Birthday, Mary Anderson!

Today we wish a very Happy Birthday to our longest standing member: Mary Anderson – a Washington State native, longtime teacher in the Seattle Public School Districts, and co-founder of REI with her husband Lloyd (she holds membership card #2). She was one of a handful of Mountaineers instrumental in setting up our climbing course in 1936. Read more…

Finding Paradise in Methow Valley

I fell in love with the snow as a child. We didn’t have a lot of the white stuff where I grew up near London, England but I was fortunate in that my parents took my brother and I skiing in Austria. Every winter after that I tried to get in at least one ski vacation.  Read more…

Volunteers Meet their Match | Workplace Giving for The Mountaineers

If you’ve spent any time at the Seattle Program Center, you’ve probably come across John Wick in the basement, building test friction slabs or adjusting plumbing to install a washing machine, or behind the climbing wall removing bee hives, or attending an event. A mechanical engineer by trade and longtime employee of Boeing, John has shared his professional skills along with his love of the outdoors with The Mountaineers and the greater outdoor community. Read more…

Over a Mountain - how one climber beat breast cancer

Life is all about mountains for Marybeth Dingledy — not just the kind you scale, but the rugged terrain you have to slog up, over, around or through when life goes sideways. Read more…

Summiting for Soldiers

For veterans Steve Redenbaugh and Michael Fairman, climbing together was a way to cope with their struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Read more…

A Rich Feast in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Snapping awake sometime before dawn, I extracted myself from sleeping bag and tent as quietly as possible so as not to awaken my tentmate. Snuggling in down parka, alpaca cap and mittens, I found a perch on a rock in the front row of the sunrise light show over the Cordillera across the deep gorge below. Read more…

Community Building with Tacoma Mountaineers Youth Programs

As Mountaineers, we see the outdoors as the ultimate community center. It's a venue for young and old, new and seasoned, professional and novice to convene around a common interest. The renovated program center in Tacoma is an indoor space that proves the outdoors is not the only place Mountaineers come together.  Read more…

The Wild Nearby, on exhibit at The Burke

Few places on earth rival the rugged beauty and biological diversity of Washington state’s North Cascades mountain range. Read more…

Lunge Step Up: Strength and Stability

Several months ago, I successfully rehabilitated my core and left hip stabilizer muscles, but steep steps remained awkward and tentative on my right leg. It turns out that crucial gluteal muscles were lagging behind those on the left side. It was time to even things out. Read more…