Mountaineer Magazine

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Peak Performance | Are You Prepared for the Unexpected?

In terms of conditioning, "going the extra mile" means working to get stronger, faster, and fitter than you think you need to be for your trips. Many novices start training programs too late, thinking you can "cram" like you might for a test, or worse, "get by” without the proper preparation. Hurrying fitness will only result in sore or strained muscles, failure to reach your objectives, or worse, injury. Read more…

Adventure Hacks for the Over-Stoked and Under-Prepared

Luxuries that we take for granted in our homes – the convenience of a kitchen, the comfort of a light switch – are nonexistent once you’re off-grid. The need for self-sufficiency is part of the appeal of the outdoors, but it also offers the opportunity to find yourself in a position where you didn’t pack as efficiently or appropriately as you should have. The time will come when you open your pack and realize that you forgot an item integral to your comfort or sanity. It’s happened to all of us, and is often a sign that your stoke outweighed your preparation. Read more…

Peak Performance | The Importance of Sleep for Optimal Performance

When it comes to health, exercise and nutrition tend to get the bulk of the attention. But getting adequate sleep may be the key to improving your outdoor performance, increasing brain and body function, and perhaps even losing unwanted weight as we enter the season of holiday parties and shorter daylight. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Gardner's Purpose: 49 years of service with the Kitsap Forest Theater

The Mountaineers’ Kitsap Forest Theater is one-of-a-kind. Attendees take a winding, quarter-mile path through lush woodlands sprinkled with wild rhododendrons. At the trail’s end, almost as though designed by the forest itself, the theater rises from the greenery. Giant firs surround terraced seating, moss-covered bark forms theater wings, verdant ferns serve as footlights, and sunlight shines through the tree canopy to create spotlights. Read more…

Nature's Way | Seabirds Abound in Puget Sound

Sometimes a seabird is simply a bird that lives on the sea; other times it can lead you to a deeper connection with the world around you. For Joe Sweeney, that magic happens every time he visits the shore. Read more…

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…