Mountaineer Magazine

All posts

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…

Summer Conditioning: Push ups and Superman

You put in some time to train during the winter and spring to get ready for this amazing season that we have each year: summer. But what happens when it finally arrives? Do you continue to train? Ideally, yes.  Read more…

The Return of the Fisher

With their luxurious dark brown coats, fishers were irresistible to trappers in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Their pelts brought a good price. By the late 20th century, none of these large members of the weasel family could be found in Washington State. Trapping and loss of their forest habitat led to their disappearance. In 1998, although fishers still could be found in neighboring states and other regions, Washington declared fishers endangered. Read more…

Big Dreams - A Journey Along the PCT

June 6, 2013: As the plane swooped over brown hillsides and stucco homes with tile roofs, I realized how very far from Washington State I was. I stared east, where clouds and ridges loomed faint and low on the horizon. I remembered the last time I was here, eight years younger and vastly inexperienced. I had faced the same distance, but this time I knew the extent of the land that sprawled between me and Washington, which had become my home. I already felt the pull of the mountains I knew like friends, and the people I loved.  Read more…