The Mountain is Out

In this piece from Mountaineer magazine, a member shares with us his special relationship with Mt. Rainier.
Kenneth Wilson Kenneth Wilson
54-year member
August 29, 2020
The Mountain is Out

Mount Rainier has always been a special place. I was born in Yakima over 70 years ago and saw the mountain from the eastside before my family moved to Buckley when I was very young. From Buckley, I had an unobstructed view of her every day she was visible. Even when she was hiding, it was always comforting to know she was there. I remember my father using the lenticular cloud cap on the summit to predict the weather during the summer haying season. My parents were avid Mountaineers and hikers, having hiked the length of the Wonderland Trail together and earned their Snoqualmie Second Ten Peak Pins. They instilled in me a love and respect for nature from a young age. 

Over 50 years ago, I joined The Mountaineers with my parents and we graduated from the Basic Climbing Course together. We later joined the Seattle and Tacoma Mountain Rescue Councils, and my father became an EMT to provide First Responder services in the mountains. Though my father and I summited Mt. St. Helens prior to it blowing its top, I was never interested in summiting Mt. Rainier; she was a spiritual place to me and it felt disrespectful to climb her. My wife holds the same feelings I do about Mt. Rainier, and we have a provision in our wills that Mt. Rainier be our final resting place.

This poem is dedicated to my deceased parents and my wife of 42 years. I would also like to honor all of the Indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest who call the mountain home, each by a different name. Lastly, to my fellow Mountaineers - stay safe out there, enjoy what we have, and preserve it for all future generations. We are all blessed to live in the Northwest.

The Mountain is Out 

The Mountain is out
So the locals say;
She has been concealed
Behind a veil of gray.

Some call her Takhoma
Most call her Rainier;
Hold her close to your heart
And forever dear.

The Mountain is out
In all her glory;
Gather around all
To hear her story.

She is a special place
For people far and wide;
For all who live near
She is a source of pride.

The Mountain is out
Against a curtain of blue;
She stands there proudly
For me and you.

Wander the meadows
Or climb for a view;
Breathe the fresh air
And feel renewed.

The Mountain is out
With wildflowers in bloom;
You must hurry though
To see them soon.

Forget not why you came
To this majestic place;
Be one with nature
And full of grace.

So come now my friends
And family too;
The Mountain is out
And the sky is blue.

This article originally appeared in our Summer 2020 issue of Mountaineer Magazine. To view the original article in magazine form and read more stories from our publication, visit our magazine archive.

LEAD IMAGE by nate brown.

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