Mountaineer Magazine

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Forays into Forest Bathing: Exploring Nature One Tree at a Time

Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is a Japanese nature therapy practice to help individuals develop strong connections with nature and reap the physical and emotional benefits that this connection provides. Although its roots are far older, the modern understanding of this practice began in 1982 when the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries instituted a national forest bathing program. Now gaining traction internationally, forest bathing is a tool that many are beginning to explore. Read on to learn about one member’s experiences, and steps you can take to begin your own forest bathing journey. Read more…

Trail Talk | How to Plan the Best Hike Ever: Or at least a pretty darn good one

I’ve been hiking and backpacking for more than 40 years now. Along the way I’ve learned a few things from research, the guidance of others, the trials of my own errors, and random luck. It’s not only helped make me a successful guidebook author, but a confident hiker, backpacker, and trail runner. Below are a few of my hard-earned, trail-tested tips on how to have a pretty darn good hiking adventure. Read more…

Impact Giving | Lifelong Engagement through Leadership

Over my last four years working for The Mountaineers, it has been a great honor to observe and learn from three amazing Board Presidents, each with their own unique abilities and unwavering commitment to the health of our organization. I may be biased in my admiration of strong women in leadership, but one president stands out as particularly inspiring to me. This spring we honored retiring Board President Lorna Corrigan, an accomplished attorney and 30-year member of the Everett Branch who recently completed her third and final year of presidential leadership. Read more…

A Path to Healing: Treating Combat Veteran Trauma in Nature

Cindy Ross is the author of nine books, including her first, A Woman’s Journey on the Appalachian Trail, which has been in print for nearly 40 years and has become a hiking classic. A former contributing editor for Backpacker Magazine, her column “Everyday Wisdom” was one of the publication’s most popular features. In April 2021, Mountaineers Books published her 9th book, Walking Toward Peace: Veterans Healing on America’s Trails, featuring stories of veterans who have struggled with PTSD and their journeys toward healing. This article includes excerpts from her most recent book in italics. Read more…

A Mountaineers Legend: Recognizing John Ohlson

The word “legend” often evokes tall tales, stories whose veracity is less relevant than our collective belief in the incredible. Amidst the giant lumberjacks, sea monsters, and ‘there be dragons’ marks on the map, however, there do exist flesh-and-blood legends. Their footsteps are a little smaller and their voices a little softer, but they are there, crafting history. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Tom Eng

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

Did You Know? | Owls in Washington

Have you ever been hiking alone and felt like you were being watched? It’s quite possible you were under observation - by a stealthy owl, perched above you in a tree. Often heard but not seen in our forests, these amazing birds of prey can swoop down silently, blending in with the trees they inhabit. Read more…

Global Adventures | An Unexpected Adventure in New Zealand

As we neared the ridge crest, the wind blasted snow pellets into my face like hot shrapnel. Just ahead of me, Bob’s blue pack cover snapped once, hard, then blew off his pack and into the white. Read more…

Youth Outside | On the Road: How our youth van helped us navigate COVID-19

A little over a year ago, a colleague and I ventured about an hour north of Seattle to the little seaside town of Anacortes. Although tempted by views of nearby Mount Erie State Park, we were on our way to pick up the newest addition to The Mountaineers: a 15-passenger van. The vehicle was fated to take Mountaineers youth to the lakes, trails, and mountains surrounding Puget Sound. Read more…

Bookmarks | Mud, Rocks, Blazes: Letting Go on the Appalachian Trail

MudRocksBlazes_Cover_Final.jpgI went to the Pacific Crest Trail to find my limit. I’d imagined my fastest known time attempt ending with me on hands and knees — dry heaving — at my utmost breaking point. Yet that never happened. I started the hike with my little plastic trowel, intent on digging deep as I’d learned to do over many ultramarathons, but the PCT laughed at that, and within a few days had handed me a full-size shovel instead. Read more…