Mountaineer Magazine

Mountaineer Magazine

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The Nature of Belonging

Have you ever walked into a space, say a meeting room or a new bar, and known immediately that you were out of place? Read more…

Impact Giving | Celebrating the Memory of Barbara J. Allan (1927-2021)

In the summer of 2021, I received a phone call from lifetime Mountaineer MaryJane Steele delivering the difficult news that Barbara Jean Allan had recently passed away. A biochemist and researcher at the University of Washington, Barbara was a passionate outdoorswoman and environmental advocate. The lifetime she spent in the mountains inspired her to give back in many ways, and for her, that included protecting the legacy of outdoor education by planning for a bequest to benefit The Mountaineers. Read more…

How to Write a Top Trip Report

Our eNewsletter Routefinder, sent on the first of each month to over 30,000 individuals (including our 15,000 members), is one of our most important communications. Considered a “mini magazine,” each month we sift through dozens of blogs, events, and updates to select eight to ten of the most important items for you to read. This includes heartfelt magazine stories, key organizational updates, conservation and advocacy alerts, new courses, and more. And do you know what is often the most popular item, month after month? Read more…

Trail Talk | Sourdough Mountain Magic

It wasn’t my first hike in the North Cascades, but my second that had me forever hooked on this incredible range of craggy, glaciated mountains. A warm, sunny morning greeted me when I hit the trail to ascend Sourdough Mountain. The day would leave a deep impression on me, forever securing Sourdough as one of my absolute favorite places in the world. Read more…

Bonanza and Ben: A lifelong relationship with risk

Parental foolishness knows no bounds. When our son Ben was just an infant, we took him to Bonanza in an ill-advised attempt to climb the peak. Ben was an absolute terror and completely unmanageable at high camp – in other words, a classic 11-month-old, and we had to turn around. Read more…

Mountaineer Magazine Fall 2022

As a Mountaineers member, you receive free access to our quarterly Mountaineer magazine, keeping you up-to-date with everything our organization and community have been up to. Hear from regular contributors on topics from training exercises to trail tips, and read features from our members sharing stories from the outdoors. We encourage you to access all of our updates, stories, tips, and more in the tree free online magazine today. Read more…

Alma Wagen: The first female mountain guide at Mount Rainier National Park

In 1918, Alma Wagen, an early member of The Mountaineers, was declared the first woman to join Mount Rainier’s guide staff. Upon accepting this position, Alma knew her accomplishment was not just personally life-changing, but also an opportunity to bring other women into climbing. “At last I had found the time and the place to climb, and I climbed hills and mountains and learned everything I possibly could about climbing,” she told a journalist in a 1923 interview for American Magazine. “Then I looked for new fields to conquer and found my life's work. I wanted to teach other women the joy of climbing.” Read more…

Impact Giving | Mountain Workshops: Inspiration, instruction, and inclusion for the next generation

Leaving the cars behind, a group of young teens were a little unsure, but excited, as they walked up the trail together. Hiking is not something that they would usually choose to do on a summer afternoon. We’re just looking at a bunch of trees? Where do we go to the bathroom? Is there even cell service up here? Jiordi Henderson, Recreation Lead at Seattle Parks and Recreation and one of the chaperones for the day, hoped that the kids would be able to unplug. Read more…

The Stories of Mount Rainier: Tall tales, guidebooks, and maps from Mountaineers Books

Mount Rainier National Park is a wonderland of outdoor escape, offering a little something for everyone. Hikers, backpackers, cyclists, naturalists, and climbers flock to the park, enjoying its larger-than-life views and breathtaking natural beauty. At Mountaineers Books, we are fortunate to have a wealth of titles centered on this incredible place. Below are a few resources for anyone who wishes to explore the wonders, large and small, of Rainier. Read more…

Conservation Currents | Meet New Mount Rainier Superintendent Greg Dudgeon

The magic of Mount Rainier has inspired Mountaineers for generations. From our early involvement advocating for wilderness areas and building trails (including the Wonderland Trail) to today’s river of hikers, backpackers, trail runners, and climbers flowing into the park, it has long been one of the most popular and stunningly beautiful recreation destinations in the region. Read more…

Bookmarks | Adventure Ready

The reputations of Katie “Salty” Gerber and Heather “Anish” Anderson precede them. Katie is a renowned wilderness instructor and guide who has logged thousands of miles on trails including the CDT, PCT, Colorado Trail, and Oregon Desert Trail. Heather is a record-smashing legend who was named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for her 2018 Calendar Year Triple Crown (hiking the AT, PCT, and CDT all in one year). Now they have joined forces to combine what they’ve learned on the trail and through their expertise in nutrition and personal training to create Adventure Ready: A Hiker’s Guide to Planning, Training & Resiliency, new from Mountaineers Books. Read more…

Love on the Water

In continuation of our article "Belationships, Packmances, and Nature-Loves" from our spring 2022 edition, we thought it fitting for summer to showcase two stories from Mountaineers sailors who met their partners on the open water. After all, what’s more romantic than the Salish Sea? Read more…

Youth Outside | Taking the Reins: Tacoma MAC prepare for a future of outdoor adventure

Mountaineers Adventure Club (MAC) is a year-round club for teens, giving them access to education and skills rivaling many adult programs. Imagine an at-your-own-pace Basic and Intermediate Alpine Climbing course, taken over a period of four years with sport climbing, skiing, hiking, and backpacking thrown in. As a young member, you learn from upperclassmen, and as you gain more experience, you begin passing down that knowledge to others. Most importantly, you learn to take care of yourself and others in the mountains. Read more…

Outside Insight | Packrafting: More than a mode of travel

Mountaineers have a history of changing and adapting with the times. We adjust our courses and activities to respond to new safety practices, revolutionary gear, and the ever-evolving passions of our community. Take packrafting, for example. These inflatable “packable” rafts began to appear in army surplus stores in the 1950s – leftover survival equipment from WWII airplanes. Packrafting has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity as lighter-weight versions have become available. And recently our volunteers got together to create the Seattle Packrafting Committee to share their love with other rafters and soon-to-be-rafters in the Pacific Northwest. Read more…

Where to Buy Affordable Gear

“Contrary to the examples that most blogs, magazines, and brand-name catalogs present, a backpacking hobby doesn’t have to be expensive, extremely arduous, or put on hold until you are at your goal weight.” Shared in the opening pages of How to Suffer Outside: A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking and Backpacking by Diana Helmuth, these wise words are written with backpacking in mind but apply to all things outdoor gear. Read more…

The Case for Geotagging

I took two years away from social media for a much-needed cleanse several years ago. Before going off the grid, I posted three times a day, intending to gain traction for my hiking blog. But as much as I enjoyed beautiful landscape photos, I found I needed a break from seeing evasive posts from the self-proclaimed "influencers" or "inspirers" with a large following on Instagram and Facebook. Read more…

Did You Know | The Perseid Meteor Showers

After a long, hot day on the trail, you’ve finally settled in at camp. With the tent pitched and your Mountain House Creamy Mac n’ Cheese devoured, the temptation to sleep can be overwhelming. Every bone in your body is telling you to climb into your tent and get horizontal. But you have to fight it: if you hold off long enough, you may get lucky and witness a remarkable natural spectacle in the summer sky. Read more…

Trail Talk | The Trouble with Mount Rainier: Our “scenery bias” and what it means for our landscapes

Rising nearly three vertical miles over Puget Sound and visible from much of the state, Washington’s Mount Rainier is an imposing landmark. Shrouded in glistening glaciers, sprawling meadows, and impressive cathedral forests, Mount Rainier is a stunning place to hike, camp, and commune with nature. It’s absolutely one of the most awe-inspiring places in America - and that’s the problem. Rainier is just too damn spectacular. Read more…

Peak Performance: Summit Day Preparation

When preparing for a new alpine summit, most people know to increase their targeted exercise. However, it’s equally important to consider your mental and skill-based preparation. This will allow you to feel calm, confident, and practiced on your summit day. Below are a few strategies to help you get ready: Read more…

Make Your Own Backpacking Meals: Comfort food alternatives to commercial freeze-dried backpacking meals

Most of us have done it more than once in our backpacking lives – tear open a foil packet, pour in steaming water from the camp stove, wait ten minutes, then shovel the contents into our mouths in the hope that the quantity is right, the food is palatable, and the salt content doesn’t cause congestive heart failure. Then we rinse and haul the bulky foil packets back out to the trailhead. Read more…

Hunting for Watermelon Snow: A citizen science project to track snow algae and its environmental effects

The incongruous streaks of red and pink on the snowfield look like faint blood stains across the side of the mountain. I quicken my pace, excited to finally find my quarry after two days of hiking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness. I step gingerly onto the snow and head straight for the darkest patch of red as I pull a sample tube out of my pocket. I fill it with the vibrant, pink-tinted snow, screw on the cap tightly, and label it with my coordinates. This small vial, which at first glance looks like a prop in a bad horror movie, is filled with tiny bits of algae that live a fascinating life in the mountains – one that is tied to the larger stories of climate change in our home ranges. Read more…

Ananth's Rainier 100: A collection of thoughts on 100 peaks

Mount Rainier National Park (MRNP) is one of the oldest national parks in the country, and also one of the most visited. Home to the highest volcanic peak in the contiguous United States and the largest alpine glacial system outside of Alaska, it’s no wonder that people come from near and far to appreciate its beauty. Read more…

Mountaineer Magazine Summer 2022

As a Mountaineers member, you receive free access to our quarterly Mountaineer magazine, keeping you up-to-date with everything our organization and community have been up to. Hear from regular contributors on topics from training exercises to trail tips, and read features from our members sharing stories from the outdoors. We encourage you to access all of our updates, stories, tips, and more in the tree free online magazine today. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Jake Huddleston

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 | High Country Bumble Bee

After a long winter, there's nothing more wonderful than seeing the mountains in bloom. It’s that time of year when hikers are returning to the trails, hoping to admire the petals popping up to color our landscapes. Of course, wildflowers wouldn’t be possible without pollinators. But did you know that out of the 28 species of bumble bees found in the Northwest, one in particular is largely responsible for our alpine blooms? Read more…

Peak Performance | Get Unstuck

If you’re like me, you might have some important goals in mind for this year. Perhaps you’re not quite sure how to get started on them. On my blog at CourtSchurmanGo.com, I recently shared how using five-minute actions can be a fantastic trick for getting yourself unstuck. Read more…

Global Adventures | Exploring History and Alpine Peaks in Japan

It was 2019 and I had just arrived in Tokyo. Looking for the hotel where I was to meet our group of Mountaineers, I felt like a lost child. Maneuvering to avoid people with my big suitcase, my senses were in overload as I paused to take a picture of the tight flow of humanity passing me in every direction. A visit to Japan combines modern life with ancient traditions and incredible outdoor opportunities. The juxtaposition was jarring and thrilling. Read more…

The Mountains are Calling... Or Was That a Pika?


Pikas, those fuzzy rabbit relatives calling from rocky talus, have received attention in recent years due to the looming threat of climate change. They are generally found at high elevations, and with shrinking alpine zones becoming ever more common, their resilience on a warming planet is something many are questioning. Read more…

Bookmarks | Valley of Giants

Lauren DeLaunay Miller is the editor of a new anthology that shares the stories, famed and previously untold, of the remarkable women who have shaped Yosemite climbing history. Valley of Giants, published by Mountaineers Books, is a first-of-its-kind collection that gathers stories from journal excerpts, original essays, interviews, and archival materials from almost 40 contributors, including legends like Lynn Hill, Steph Davis, Kate Rutherford, Beth Rodden, Chelsea Griffie, and more. Lauren has worked for Yosemite Search and Rescue, served as Vice President of the Bishop Area Climbers Coalition, and as event coordinator for the American Alpine Club’s Bishop Craggin’ Classic festival. Read on as Lauren discusses her inspiration for this book, what it taught her, and more. Read more…

Outside Insights | Let’s GoHike!


At 50, Liz McNett Crowl started hiking. She met Dave on a guided snowshoe trip of Mount Baker who, through a fateful invitation, would become her hiking mentor. They hiked together for years throughout the North Cascades, exploring places like Yellow Aster Butte and beautiful alpine ridges. Then, Dave moved out of state. That’s when Liz discovered The Mountaineers, exploring longer-distance hiking in our Conditioning Hiking Series. Read more…