Mountaineer Magazine

All posts

Secret Rainier | Copper and Iron Peaks

Mount Rainier National Park has over 100 climbable peaks (not counting Mount Rainier itself) either within or immediately adjacent to the Park boundary, and most are seldom visited and underappreciated. In this sense they are “secrets” and worthy of being featured in this Secret Rainier series, where we outline the benefits of these 76 scrambles, 15 hikes, and nine climbs. In this issue of Secret Rainier, we describe Copper and Iron Mountains. These two gems in the park require an arduous day but are well worth it. Read more…

Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home: An Interview with Speed Thru-hiker Heather “Anish” Anderson

Last November, on a southern point along the Continental Divide Trail in New Mexico, Heather Anderson, known as “Anish” on the trail, became the first woman and sixth person overall to complete one of thru-hiking’s ultimate feats: the “Calendar Year Triple Crown.” Read more…

Humility and Exposure: Enduring Lessons from Forbidden Peak

In July 1996, I was a rock climber with very little experience in the mountains. I found myself in Glacier, having moved to Washington State from the relative flat-lands of the East Coast, where "it might be hot but at least it's humid." I was working for a small outdoor education program, and my new friend there suggested we go climb a technical peak in the North Cascades. Read more…

Retro Rewind | The Family of First Ascents: The Fierys Climb Their Way Through Mountaineering History

As staff liaison to the Everett branch, I have the opportunity to attend their branch banquet to witness the pride of accomplishment, honor exceptional volunteers, and to be inspired by their always entertaining featured speaker. This year, Lowell Skoog, a distinguished climber, skier, writer, photographer, and Mountaineers historian, gave a presentation on the past and future of Northwest mountaineering. Read more…

Safety First | Which Way to Go in Snow: Winter Decision-Making

My friend Roger Rosenblatt and I had arranged to meet early one Saturday morning in April some years ago to go skiing in the Snoqualmie pass backcountry. Neither of us were especially good skiers, so our normal trips involved going up a logging road, and then branching off to find a lake or view rewarding ridge line. Read more…

Impact Giving | Sharing the Awe: Inspired by Decades of Outdoor Lessons, Dave Enfield Pays It Forward

When Dave Enfield describes one of his first and most memorable Mountaineers scrambles along Mazama Ridge, he does not mention the iconic views of the Tatoosh Range, the subalpine meadows down below, or Mount Rainier looming above. He does not bring up the early-season frost spreading from underfoot to distant peaks and chilling glaciers. He does not speak of beauty or majesty. Dave describes something entirely different: leaving his tent in the morning, all he saw was pure white. Read more…

The Baby Peakbagger: Exploring Mount Rainier National Park with my Daughter

When most people think of Mount Rainier National Park, they think of the park’s namesake peak, a towering 14,441-foot stratovolcano that’s famous the world over. But Washington State’s iconic mountain only scratches the surfaces of the area’s summit possibilities. Longtime Mountaineers Gene Yore and Mickey Eisenberg identified the 100 peaks surrounding Rainier and set about climbing these lesser-known gems. Gene, who took on the challenge at age 72, overcame cardiac arrest and a broken femur on his way to reaching all 100 peaks. Read more…

Confessions of an Old Scrambling Student

I looked around at the others, perhaps 75 in all, and saw that almost everyone was quite a bit younger than me. One exception was an instructor who looked like he might at least hail from the same part of the century. The lines on his clean-shaven face were well-defined and weathered in a good way. Read more…

Youth Outside | Growing Up with Nature

A little past noon, the younger members of our group started getting hungry. One of the parents found a small rock outcropping with a nice view for a bite, and I unburdened myself of my backpack and sat down next to my father. Taking in the early autumn air of the Appalachians, we ate the sandwiches he’d prepared earlier that morning. Read more…

Three Generations Outside: A Love Letter to my Sons and Granddaughters

Our small town in rural Pennsylvania didn’t have a community center. Or a swimming pool. The only thing for us children to do when we weren’t in school was hike the surrounding hills and mountains. My family was poor, so we never went on vacations that didn’t involve a tent or camper. My strongest and most vivid memories growing up are from experiences in the outdoors. Spending time in the forests and mountains is as natural to me as breathing. Read more…