Stuck Inside Youth Blog

Stuck Inside Youth Blog

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The Mountaineers Gala Rescheduled and Reimagined

I am writing to update you about our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and actions related to our annual Gala. A lot has changed since last week, and we are committed to keeping our community healthy and to responding to public health recommendations in a way that allows us to best sustain our mission. In partnership with our Gala Co-Chairs and Event Committee, who are diligently keeping the health and safety of our community at front of mind, we are rescheduling The Mountaineers Gala to July 23, 2020.  Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Skye Stoury

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

Mountaineers Silent Auction Goes Online

Earlier this week we had to make a hard decision in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and our commitment to the health and safety of our community. In partnership with our Gala Co-Chairs and Event Committee, we officially rescheduled The Mountaineers Gala: Adventure with Purpose to July 23, 2020Read more…

Trail Edge Gives Way, Backpacker Falls 30 Feet

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…

Tying In: Progress on Vision 2022

Lead innovation in outdoor education, engage future Mountaineers, and advocate for wild places: these are the three strategic initiatives at the foundation of our current strategic plan, Vision 2022. It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the midpoint of the plan that has guided our priorities and investments over the last two years.  Read more…

Out, Outside

My Mountaineers climbing team is at the summit block of Mt. Olympus, and the clouds are coming in. It’s July 2018, and this is our second climb of the week. My muscles constantly remind me of the miles and elevation I’ve required of them so far, and the distance I still have to go. To finish this ascent we have a short pitch of rock, and we’re doing our best to get up there and see the mythical views before getting completely socked in. Read more…

Love & Loss

 I knew something was wrong. I could feel it. I was out on a solo hike and had stopped for a break when a small voice in my head propelled me into motion with a sudden sense of urgency. Get back down the trail, it said. Now. Go carefully and take the easy route. Get home quickly and take a shower. Keep your phone close. Somehow my subconscious knew before I did that Tyler’s life had ended. It would be hours before I got the call that changed my life forever. Read more…

Did You Know? Washington's Wildflowers

We know spring has arrived in the northwest when the crocuses worm their violet heads and long green bodies out of the dirt every March, a harbinger of brighter days. Our walks to work and school are dotted by blasting spring rains, and hikers slowly start to fill the trails again as snow melts and our forests become plump with moss and ferns. Read more…

All Dressed Up, Nowhere to Go

Last week, you hopefully received an email update from Tom Vogl that shared our exciting news about The Mountaineers Virtual Gala Campaign. In light of the annual gala being rescheduled to July 23, we are launching a special giving campaign between March 30-April 4, which will include our first-ever online auctionRead more…

COVID-19 and Trip Planning

While we fully understand the desire to get outside right now, we want to urge caution and preparation. Many of the towns and communities that are gateways to the outdoors are more rural, with limited access to groceries, fuel, and medical supplies. They’re already being hit hard with visitors, as are parks where rangers and administrators are also sick and having a hard time managing the off season crowds. Read more…

How To: Stay Connected to the Outdoors While Practicing Social Distancing

Our Mountaineers outdoor community is lucky in that we often de-stress by getting outside. As social distancing becomes the new norm for the next month or so, de-stressing is more important than ever. With many of us working from home right now, fresh air, physical activity, and a break from the digital world can make a huge difference and improve mental health. Here are some tips to practice social distancing in the places we already love to play. Read more…

Action Alert! Support Full Funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

A week ago, the Senate introduced a once-in-a-lifetime public lands funding package called the Great American Outdoors Act that includes permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This package gives us an incredible opportunity to permanently better fund our public lands. Join us in telling Congress to support full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to support our public lands long-term. Read more…

Introducing The Mountaineers Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee

Conservation has been an important part of The Mountaineers since its beginning. From advocating for the creation of national parks and Wilderness areas, to protecting current threats to our public lands and teaching Leave No Trace principles, The Mountaineers has ignited its members to stand up for our wild place. Today, much of the good work from the past is in jeopardy due to what is arguably the greatest threat to our natural world as we know it: climate change.  Read more…

Safety Stories: They Asked for Directions, and We Said, "Just Follow Us”.

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…

My Surf Kayak Got Trapped by Breaking Surf

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…

How To: Stay Home, Stay Healthy

On March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a stay home, stay healthy order for Washington state. The goal of this order is to help slow the spread of COVID-19 to “flatten the curve.”

We are being asked/ordered to stay at home with the exception of essential activities. These activities include going out for groceries, medical care, and approved work in an essential business. We are also being asked to observe strict social distancing protocol and hygiene measures when we do leave the house. Read more…

Staying Together While We’re Apart

What a year this month has been.

The COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing and stress is at an all-time high. As a community that thrives off of strong connections to people and wild places, it’s truly a bummer that we won’t be gathering together next weekend. We all would love to spend time with friends, hear from our special guests, and raise a glass (and funds!) for The Mountaineers. Read more…

We’re Feeling the Pinch, Here’s How You Can Help

As a course leader, I deeply empathize with any volunteer who’s had to make the extremely difficult decision to cancel or alter a course that you spent months planning. I also empathize with the hundreds of volunteers who were looking forward to supporting these courses or continuing the operations of our lodges this spring. With at least 30 courses, all of our lodges, and nearly 1,000 volunteers and students affected by these changes, it’s clear that we are entering truly unprecedented times. Read more…

Time on your hands? Help keep our community connected!

We’re entering uncharted territory. Mountaineers in-person programming is suspended until at least April 24 and a two-week minimum Stay Home, Stay Healthy order limits non-essential businesses and access to many of our favorite places. Schools are closed and many of us are at least temporarily out of work. These are big scary changes and we know that many of our members and volunteers will need to reprioritize their lives to care for their families. Others are finding themselves with endless free time and forbidden from doing the things they love outside.  Read more…

Stuck Inside: Youth Edition, Episode 1

Are you missing your friends and adventures beyond your home’s four walls? Fear not! The Seattle Youth Team is here to help you with some clever ideas on ways to have the best time while sticking close to home with the members of your household.
Read more…

Your Rescue Practice May Look Like an Emergency to Someone Else

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…

Recommended Nature Reads

The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and it's clear that spring is upon us once again. The rhythms of nature bring comfort during difficult times, and remind us that in spite of everything the world keeps turning.  Read more…

Why Hornbein Gives: The Importance of Philanthropy in Nonprofit Publishing

When I asked Tom Hornbein about his relationship with reading over his 89-year lifespan, he didn’t answer, he simply rotated his computer forty-five degrees so I could see the room behind him on our Skype call. What was revealed was an entire wall of books, most of them about outdoor adventures, many of which were Mountaineers Books titles. Buried in his stack is surely his own book, Everest: The West Ridge, which follows his and partner Willie Unsoeld’s groundbreaking 1963 first ascent of Mt. Everest via the treacherous West Ridge. It doesn’t take a bibliophile to recognize that this collection is the mark of fervor; his ice axe long stowed, Hornbein now sits on a mountain of literature.  Read more…

Let The Games Begin

On your mark . . . get set . . . bid! 

Consider this message the “starting gun” for our  Mountaineers Virtual Gala giving week! If you haven’t already registered for the online auction, stop everything you’re doing, sign up now, and place your bid. Now is your chance to receive a personal consultation from Wonderland Trail expert Tami Asars or secure a 3-day, 2-night post-quarantine retreat to Little Lake Leota.  Read more…

Gear Love

Forget about that special someone – let’s focus on that special something! We all have the pieces of gear we love above the rest. Things that keep you warm, safe, and comfortable. Take a moment to think about that piece of equipment you just couldn’t live without, and enjoy these love letters written by Mountaineers to gear they adore the most. Read more…

Preparing for the Worst: A Chaplain’s Perspective

On August 14, 2018, I received the phone call. A climber had died, and my mountaineering friend had just gotten the news. He needed assistance with what to do next. In seven years as an emergency services chaplain, I’ve lost count of how many death notifications I’ve given, and I was the right person for my friend to call. Only, when I realized that the climber he was talking about was Stephen Kornbluth, my best friend and “mountain husband,” I felt my world shatter into a million pieces. None of my experience had prepared me for this moment. Read more…

We Challenge You To A Match

Four weeks ago we were in a much different place. Business was on track to hit our budget goals and we were getting ready to welcome 500 party-goers to our biggest fundraiser of the year. In addition to rescheduling the Gala, we have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of earned revenue by halting our programs to mitigate the public health impact of COVID-19.  Read more…

Introducing the Stayed Home Badge!

The first day of April has grown to be a favorite around The Mountaineers. With the outdoor industry going all in on April Fools Day pranks, we’ve had fun following the pranks and coming up with a few of our own. Surely you remember the HonnSolo 11 Freesolo Airbag Pack by Black Diamond, or the Technical Lederhosen from Outdoor Research. We’re especially proud of the Cheater Badges we created for April Fools last year. Read more…

CEO Update: The Mountaineers Response to COVID-19

It’s hard to believe that almost exactly a month ago I was on the phone with Mitsu Iwasaki, my counterpart and the Executive Director of the Mazamas, discussing their response to a relatively new thing called the novel coronavirus. The Mazamas were issuing new guidance on best practices for hygiene in groups, and Mitsu kindly let The Mountaineers borrow his language for our first public post on COVID-19. The message at that time was essentially, ‘don’t panic and be sure to wash your hands frequently’. An incredible amount has changed since then. Read more…

What Does the Board of Directors Do At The Mountaineers?

The Mountaineers Board of Directors is the ultimate governing body responsible for overseeing the organization as dictated by our bylaws. This includes setting the strategic plan, approving the budget and tracking organizational financial performance, hiring the CEO, electing the board’s officers, and setting organizational policies and procedures. The board works with the CEO and staff to set the overall direction for the organization through the strategic plan (e.g., Vision 2022). The board also reviews and approves the annual budget and reviews performance to that budget. Read more…

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