Mountaineer Magazine

Mountaineer Magazine

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Happy 106th Birthday, Mary Anderson!

On behalf of The Mountaineers, I’d like to wish a very Happy Birthday to our longest standing member: Mary Anderson – a Washington State native, co-founder of REI with her husband Lloyd, one of a handful of Mountaineers instrumental in setting up the climbing course in 1936, and a longtime teacher in the Seattle Public School District. Read more…

Breakthrough

I remember the first mountain I climbed. Well, climbed is an overstatement — trudged is better. Dragged myself up is even more accurate. Read more…

Pretty Faces - an interview with Lynsey Dyer

My parents met in Steamboat, CO, where my dad was a ski instructor. They moved to Whitefish, MT, where I was born. A Montanan with a ski-instructor father, I like to joke I basically came out of the womb with ski boots on my feet. Read more…

Empowering Connections

It’s pushing 95 degrees in Portland, and I’m biking home in the uncharacteristic and unforgiving sunshine, squinting even behind my sunglasses. It’s been over 90 all week. Read more…

Trail Talk: The Path of a Guidebook and its author

“I want your job!” 

A sentiment I’ve heard more than the sound of mosquitoes buzzing in my ears in my decade of writing guidebooks. I usually chuckle upon hearing it. But in my mind I’m thinking, “Sure you want my job — and I’d like your six figure salary, plush retirement plan, and Cadillac healthcare plan!”  Read more…

Outdoor Education: A Salmon Safari

Walking down the steep switchbacks to the creek, I was startled by the sound of a herd of third graders yelling, “I see them! There they are!” I was being particularly careful to focus on the trail and keep a hold not only of my footing but my camera as well. I thought to myself what everyone else was thinking, “Boy, I didn’t bring the right shoes for this trip.” The ground was wet and everyone was excited to keep moving, which made navigating the exposed roots difficult and our trip down to Wildcat Creek slow going. I could feel the anxiousness rising when one boy stopped to tie his shoe. The whole line stopped. I took a breath and looked around at the dewy forest canopy covered in rich green moss. I was on a Salmon Safari.  Read more…

50 Years of Wilderness: the past and future of our protected lands

As Mountaineers, we have accessed and experienced some of the most remote areas of this region. Close your eyes and think about where you were on you favorite or most recent trip outdoors. Chances are this trip brought you to some sort of protected land, quite possibly to a federally designated “Wilderness” area, such as the Olympic Wilderness, the San Juan Wilderness, Mount Rainier National Park, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Boulder River Wilderness and more.  Read more…

Expedition Denali: Bridging the Gap

We have come a long way from the early 1900’s when The Mountaineers advised women to “carry heavy veils to shield their faces from sunburn when on snow” and men used greasepaint to protect their skin. Today, we all wear the same clothes and use the same gear, but you are still more likely to see a man climbing a mountain than a woman. However, the gender gap is decreasing, and the accomplishments of female climbers are now celebrated as proudly as those of their male counterparts. Read more…

Grizzlies in the North Cascades: Unbearable to ponder or barely a concern?

Like my first love, I’ll never forget my first grizzly bear encounter. It was highly emotional and intense. Short-lived too, but forever etched into my mind. But unlike my first love, I wish to continue my relationship with grizzly bears into the future. Read more…

Alex Honnold - A World-view Climber

Alex Honnold was on an academic and expected track – at least for the type of lifestyle he grew up in. Before his international climbing career, he was at the top of his class in a prestigious high school in Sacramento, California. Berkeley was his next step, with engineering as his major. Read more…

An Unexpected Path to Conservation

I grew up blind to the American legacy of public lands — an inheritance for all people, regardless of background, language, or creed. I get shivers to think of what my life would be without the rush of climbing mountains in the North Cascades, diving into alpine lakes in the Grand Teton backcountry, or having Elysian Park as a family gathering place for our “Carne Asadas,” our version of a family BBQ. I found my soul in the wild and the heart of my passion within my family in the city of Los Angeles.  Read more…

Balance and Coordination - One-leg deadlift

One of the most important exercises in my own outdoor-conditioning strength program, and indeed in the program of many hundreds of mountaineers I've trained over the past fifteen years, is the one-legged deadlift. Whether you are 8 or 88, you need balance, coordination, and strength. To go faster uphill on foot, include the one-legged deadlift in your program. It will help your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and balancing muscles around the feet, ankles, hips and knees. Read more…

A Climbing Evolution: 40 years with The Mountaineers

We’re aware some people perceive us as an ‘old guy’s club’. And while that may have been the case 60 years ago when we were inventing methods of climbing the highest and most remote peaks, it just isn’t true anymore. Read more…

The Subtle Joys of Autumn

Autumn in the Pacific Northwest can be a circle of sun and ice. Mornings of frost-coated leaves melt into blazing sunny days. You may start the day piling on layers of fleece and down, only to find yourself in one short-sleeve shirt by mid-afternoon.  Read more…

The Fall

Thursday, July 12, 2012. 

It could have been the last day of my life. In fact, I’m still a little surprised it wasn’t. There are certain events that occur in one’s life, to which it’s hard not to attribute supernatural meaning. It being the day before Friday the 13th, I’ve thought perhaps that Thursday was contaminated by the misfortune of its notorious neighbor. I’ve also caught myself half-believing in guardian angels, and, while contemplating other close calls, have wondered whether the Universe is out to kill me, and if so, why it hasn’t succeeded.  Read more…

Conservation Currents | Protecting the Outdoor Experience

For over a century, The Mountaineers has inspired conservation and stewardship of our public lands through our outdoor education programs and books. Today, we build on this tradition by taking responsibility for protecting the places that inspire, excite, and challenge us. The Mountaineers is uniquely positioned to define and grow the modern conservation movement by providing powerful outdoor experiences that enable people to gain special connections to these places and the desire to protect them. We instill stewardship and Leave-No-Trace wilderness ethics through the educational components of our courses and provide opportunities to learn and engage in conservation issues – practices that ignite passion and action in current and future generations of conservationists. Read more…

Stewardship: Strengthening our Connections to the Backcountry and to Each Other

“There are two things that interest me: the relationship of people to the land, and the relationship of people to each other.” –Aldo Leopold Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Kristina Ciari

For our member profile this week, we talked to our very own Kristina Ciari, Mountaineers' Membership and Marketing Manager. Her spirit of adventure takes her to mountains and crags all over the world - from Alaska to Croatia to Thailand. And as a Turns-All-Year skier of 48 months and counting, she's very familiar with the mountains and volcanos of the Pacific NW.  Read more…

Certainty

by Steve Scher

A climber, staring up from below, already has the summit in mind. The cracks and crevices might be as thick as an interstate on a highway map or as faint as a Jeep trail. The route will emerge.  Read more…

Nature's Way: A Walk through the Sagebrush Sea

The sagebrush sea is a vast ecosystem wearing many faces across 11 states: from southern desert shrublands to mountain woodlands, from grasslands and riparian areas to the sagebrush steppe, where grasses and shrubs are co-dominant. Perhaps the sagebrush sea’s most recognizable form, the sagebrush steppe is a mix of big sagebrush, antelope bitterbrush, horsebrush, and rabbitbrush, with perennial bunchgrasses (providing horizontal cover for ground nests) dotted with balsamroot, lupine, Indian paintbrush, pasqueflower, saxifrage, and shooting stars. This is the realm of the greater sage grouse, Gunnison sage grouse, sagebrush sparrow, Brewer’s sparrow, and sage thrasher, obligate species that require sagebrush for cover, nest protection, and food.  Read more…

Mount Si - Love it or hate it, we need it

No, I am not talking about whether you consider yourself a liberal or conservative. I’m talking about whether you've hiked Mount Si or not. Read more…

Mountaineering Sisters of Adventure

Ever since we were quite young, the out-of-doors has been an important companion in our games and studies. As we grew older, however, a dream to partake more seriously in the joys and dangers of the wilderness took firm root. When our family moved back to our native Pacific Northwest after living in the rural Midwest and East for a number of years, it began to look like the dream might just become a reality. Read more…

Conditioning for Outdoor Enthusiasts over 50

As an outdoor enthusiast nearing fifty, I’ve noticed my balance and coordination aren’t what they used to be several decades ago. Both of these are important for hiking, climbing, backpacking, trekking, skiing, and mountaineering. Try this exercise to help restore balance and coordination for any age or ability level. Read more…

Wildnearby

What is the collective meaning of this unusual part of our country — the north eastern shore of the Pacific? We are all People of the Salish Sea and the uplands that feed this second largest estuary of the United States, where we live. It’s a place; an idea; an ideal; a future; the sum of its historic parts. It is our shared vernacular. Read more…

Conservation Currents | Conservation and Recreation Intersect in Washington, D.C.

I made my first trip to Washington, D.C. for The Mountaineers about five months into my job here. As I coordinated with partner organizations to schedule meeting with legislators, I was a bit surprised — I was easily able to get meetings as a representative of The Mountaineers that other organizations couldn’t. I say only ‘a bit’ surprised because I knew I was walking in the footsteps of giants; that our organization’s reputation as a leader in outdoor education and conservation far preceded any of my work here. Indeed, The Mountaineers’ legacy of leadership is why I joined and took on the role of defining and amplifying our conservation work as we move forward. Read more…

The Mountaineers & Camp Long - Partners in Serving Youth

Our first-ever Mountain Workshop was with the John Muir Elementary School fifth grade. The program had three parts: our volunteers visited the school, the kids came to the Seattle Program Center to climb, and we all met one last time at Seward Park to spend the day exploring outside and working on a stewardship project with Seattle Audubon. Read more…

A Big Day for Elwha River Restoration

As I look out over a plain of rushing water, a pleasant earthy smell permeates the air, hinting surprisingly of sulfur. Read more…

Women in the Lead: A Climbing Mentorship

Eight years ago, Stef Schiller was clinging to the side of a rock face. She was leading a section of Saber, one of Leavenworth's classic moderate multi-pitch routes. She was terrified. Read more…

Trails Loved to Death?

Blame the Internet. Blame social media. Blame me and other guidebook writers. Blame the Washington Trails Association (WTA). Read more…

We All Begin Somewhere

It still doesn’t seem real that just three years ago, I was standing at the base of the indoor climbing wall at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center, trembling with fear. Read more…