Safety Stories

All posts

Outside Insight | Learning from Near-Misses

We’ve all been there: a near-miss during a trip. They’re a possibility even with the best safety planning. But rather than categorizing them as bad luck, paying close attention to near-misses will offer insight into why they happen, and how you can prevent them. Read more…

2021 Wildfire Closures and Resources

Wildfires are burning across our region and smoke is causing extremely poor air quality in some counties. Our hearts are heavy with concern for those affected by fires in Washington State and beyond. We ask our community to practice good decision-making skills and respect public land closures when getting outside this summer. Read more…

Join us at the 2021 Wilderness Risk Management Conference

How do industry trends affect, shape, and impact our programs at The Mountaineers? If this is a question that you've ever considered, and a conversation that you're interested in being a part of, we invite you to join The Mountaineers at this year's Wilderness Risk Management Conference online. Read more…

Safety Stories: Unable to Arrest Above a 30-Foot Cliff

We make our way across a questionable snow bridge perched precariously near a waterfall of melting snowpack. Our team of three snow scrambling students and two course leaders move slowly, taking turns crossing the snow bridge one at a time. When the last person steps off the bridge, we share a collective sigh of relief that our group decision was a safe one. I’m grateful to have my helmet on and ice axe in hand. Read more…

Unseen Danger: Navigating Snow Bridge Hazards

Last Sunday, search and rescue teams responded to an emergency call from a popular early-season climb in the Olympic mountains. Two climbers slipped on a steep snowy slope while climbing The Brothers. One fell “into an opening in the snow and over a rock face with running melt water,” and sadly did not survive. This tragic accident has brought an annually recurring hazard back into the thoughts of everyone within the outdoor community: the danger posed by snow bridges.  Read more…

Safety Stories: Earl-Bean Traverse – A rock bulge broke loose, sending me backwards

As Mountaineers, we are committed to learning from our experiences. We examine every incident that happens on a Mountaineers trip for opportunities to improve the ways we explore and teach. Our volunteer safety committee reviews every incident report and picks a few each month to share as examples of ‘Lessons Learned’. The trip report below describes what happened on this trip, in the leader’s own words, and outlines the lessons the leader has identified. In some cases, we offer additional key learnings from the incident. Read more…

Outside Insights | Active Terrain Management

One of my first jaunts into the alpine was blindly following friends to the summit of Kaleetan Peak. As we climbed, rocks whizzed passed me, kicked off by my friends above. On the descent, my roommate slipped on a slick patch and was nearly swept down a steep chute that dropped a hundred feet below. Read more…

Safety Stories: Near Miss – Unable to Arrest on Snowy Descent of Kangaroo Temple

As Mountaineers, we are committed to learning from our experiences. We examine every incident that happens on a Mountaineers trip for opportunities to improve the ways we explore and teach. Our volunteer safety committee reviews every incident report and picks a few each month to share as examples of ‘Lessons Learned’. The trip report below describes what happened on this trip, in the leader’s own words, and outlines the lessons the leader has identified. In some cases, we offer additional key learnings from the incident. Read more…

Safety Stories: Little Tahoma - The Route is Known for Rockfall

As Mountaineers, we are committed to learning from our experiences. We examine every incident that happens on a Mountaineers trip for opportunities to improve the ways we explore and teach. Our volunteer safety committee reviews every incident report and picks a few each month to share as examples of ‘Lessons Learned’. The trip report below describes what happened on this trip, in the leader’s own words, and outlines the lessons the leader has identified. In some cases, we offer additional key learnings from the incident. Read more…

Safety Stories: Struck by “Dinner Plate” While Ice Climbing in Canmore

As Mountaineers, we are committed to learning from our experiences. We examine every incident that happens on a Mountaineers trip for opportunities to improve the ways we explore and teach. Our volunteer safety committee reviews every incident report and picks a few each month to share as examples of ‘Lessons Learned’. The trip report below describes what happened on this trip, in the leader’s own words, and outlines the lessons the leader has identified. In some cases, we offer additional key learnings from the incident. Read more…