Mountaineer Magazine

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Trail Talk | Honoring a Guidebook Legacy: Carrying conservation and passion into the modern world

Hiking guidebooks and I go back a long time, long before I first set out with a notebook, pen, and camera to craft my own. In the early 1980s, after years as a road cycling fanatic (and fanatic I was, having biked across North America three times before my twenty-first birthday) I discovered the world of trails. A handful of hiking guidebooks helped me discover so many trails near and far: the AMC White Mountain Guide, 50 hikes in the White Mountains, and GMC’s Long Trail Guide, soon followed by many others. Read more…

Inside Insights: Innovative Outdoor Education in a Changing World

In the short span of several weeks, the coronavirus outbreak went from a small blip on our radar to something that, at times, feels all-consuming. Nearly every person, company, and organization on the planet is impacted by this crisis - and The Mountaineers is no exception.  Read more…

Raising Adventurous Kids: How We Survived the Early Years

The fourth time my 6-year-old fell down on the muddy trail and screamed like there was no tomorrow, I thought, “hmmm… maybe we should turn back.” Then I figured he’ll be fine - it’s all part of getting outside. To be fair, he kept falling because he was wearing his mom’s (giant for him) rain boots, because he’d forgotten his own boots. He also forgot his shoes, and we didn’t drive an hour to not go for a hike because our kid forgot his boots when we had a perfectly good pair of rain boots in the car. Lesson learned: double-check footwear for all family members. See also: socks, pants, gloves, hats… you get the idea. Read more…

Secret Rainier | Bald Rock

Bald Rock is infrequently visited but it makes for a lovely
forest hike with great views of Rainier and Little Tahoma.
The peak is named for it smooth treeless summit. Read more…

Canyoning in the PNW

In November of 2001, my friend Stacy and I began our regular journey eastward, heading home to our respective states of Tennessee and Connecticut after a season of teaching Outdoor Education in California. We were both excited to visit Zion National Park on the way home for a few weeks of exploration. Both climbers in our 20’s, Stacy and I hoped to rappel through a slot canyon. Read more…

Finding Family in the Passenger Seat: A Car-Free Journey to Community

“Hiking is free. As long as you have shoes and an Orca card, you can go anywhere.” Read more…

Love & Loss

 I knew something was wrong. I could feel it. I was out on a solo hike and had stopped for a break when a small voice in my head propelled me into motion with a sudden sense of urgency. Get back down the trail, it said. Now. Go carefully and take the easy route. Get home quickly and take a shower. Keep your phone close. Somehow my subconscious knew before I did that Tyler’s life had ended. It would be hours before I got the call that changed my life forever. Read more…

Conservation Currents | Underfunded: Why Our Public Lands Need Your Help

One sunny summer weekend in 2019, Becca Polglase was driving with three friends to the Dingford Creek Trailhead for a brisk day hike. As they wove through the forest, the conversation flitted between adventure goals and gear, eventually landing on the topic of public lands. Her friends lamented closures, access limitations, and much-needed maintenance. “You know”, Becca said, “permits are confusing, roads are bad, and trailheads aren’t being serviced because of a lack of funding.” Read more…

Safety Stories | A Fall on Cutthroat Peak

Everything about this climb was perfect, until it wasn’t. Read more…

Backcountry Hygiene 101: You Don't Have to Smell Bad to Smell Better

Hello gorgeous! You - yes, you! With the messy hair, dirty legs, and that certain wilderness glow about you. You look fabulous! Read more…