Mountaineer Magazine

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Trail Talk | Pandemic Ponderings: The significance and shortcomings of our Public Lands

The emptiness of Northeastern Washington’s Salmo-Priest Wilderness has never felt more comforting. I stand alone on a ridge gazing out over waves of emerald ridges, shadowed by processions of white puffy clouds. Soft, warm breezes whistle through silver snags, prompting boughs of bear grass to delicately sway. I haven’t encountered another human all day; out in all of that wildness before me, some of Washington’s last grizzlies still roam. I finally feel safe and relieved from the ravages of the pandemic sweeping the world outside my wilderness. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Marge Mueller: Pioneering Illustrator and Guidebook Artist

Marge Mueller, author, co-author, book designer, mapmaker, illustrator, and lifetime member of The Mountaineers, passed away in September at the age of 84.

Many think of Mountaineers Books as synonymous with outdoor legends like Fred Beckey, Harvey Manning, Ira Spring, and others whose guidebooks were published to much acclaim and who inspired a new generation of writers and photographers. There is, however, one woman—an established Pacific Northwest author in her own right—who helped make so much of the success of their work possible. Read more…

How To Watercolor In Winter

At 5:30am the arctic sun illuminates icebergs with delicate bands of yellow light. My Zodiac ride to explore Disko Bay leaves in 30 minutes, and I need to find vodka, fast. Read more…

Avalanche Safety | Making Safe Decisions in the Backcountry

The snow rushes past in a swift river of movement. The slough was kicked off by my turns above, and the loose powder is now flowing through a natural gully in the snow, no more than six inches wide. That’s not so bad. I think. It looks like a little creek; totally manageable. Without further hesitation, I turn my skis to cross the stream. Read more…

An Indirect Path to Flexibility

By the time Mercedes Pollmeier arrived at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), she’d lived in Australia, China, Mauritius, and had spent considerable time in Germany with her grandma. The daughter of a German father and an Indian South African mum, Mercedes had seen a lot of the world already when a full-ride tennis scholarship brought her to the U.S. at 17. A multilingual world citizen, the starry-eyed teen had her eyes keenly set on one thing: the Olympics. Little did she know that she’d soon meet a strength coach who would forever change the course of her life. Read more…

Different & Able | A profile of Kimber Cross

It’s a chilly March morning in Provo, Utah, 2020. Kimber Cross has been flown here by the outdoor meal brand Peak Refuel to shoot a short film about her journey into ice climbing. As the team walks down the snow-packed trail to a frozen waterfall, Kimber feels the eyes of passersby, and they’re staring. Maybe it’s because of the big, red cameras that stand in contrast to the stark landscape, but an old fear starts to creep into her psyche, a fear that tells her to hide. All eyes focus on the tool strapped to her pack. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Douglas Gillan

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to... Read more…

Youth Outside | The Power of Community

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take a group of incoming college freshmen on a rafting trip in Arizona. I scrambled to get all my gear together before we launched, and that first night I realized that I had forgotten to pack my tent. Thankfully we were in the desert, and I was sleeping on my boat, so I didn’t have to worry about insects and other critters on the beach. The first night I lucked out with a light breeze coming off the water and a crystal clear sky. I slept like a rock. Read more…

Global Adventures | Among the Nomads of Lycia

Chunks of rough rock covered our trail in the dry, scrubby foothills of the Taurus Mountains. The Mediterranean Sea glittered below us as we climbed, 85 miles into our 115-mile, 14-day journey. Read more…

Outside Insight | Trial by Ice

It was a bitterly cold day in early November, and our small group of four canyoneers had just donned our wetsuits on the hillside above the canyon. The cold weather meant water levels in the glacier-fed river were at their lowest for the year, a key consideration when descending a deep, narrow slot canyon that has never been explored before. Read more…