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Explore Northern Patagonia - Info Session Sept 26

Most people have heard about the granite towers and lakes of southern Patagonia, but the peaks and lakes of the northern Patagonian Andes are a relatively undiscovered treasure for hikers and backpackers - a treasure often mentioned by local guides as their favorite place to backpack in all of Patagonia!   Read more…

Seeking Applicants for New Board Position of Vice President of Branches

We are working to strengthen collaboration and communication across the organization and between branches, the front-line volunteers, and the Board of Directors. By adding a Vice-President of Branches to the Board of Directors, the Mountaineers is reinforcing its commitment to the branches, branch programs and the dedicated volunteers who run them. Please consider applying to serve in this critical role. Read more…

Stewardship: Strengthening our Connections to the Backcountry and to Each Other

“There are two things that interest me: the relationship of people to the land, and the relationship of people to each other.” –Aldo Leopold Read more…

Olympia Branch Election Results 2015

In August we held our annual elections to replace the Olympia Branch Officer's Committee members whose positions will soon expire. Many of you voted, and I appreciate your participation. Please join me in congratulating to the following newly elected Olympia Branch officers, beginning October 1: Read more…

Technology Projects

project plan, scope and execution
The future of mountaineers.org
Technology Blog
Have an Idea?

 

Project Plan, Scope and execution

The Mountaineers has historically made technology decisions based on immediate needs, without a clear focus on governance, effectiveness, or efficiency of the entire technology environment. While this has allowed us to change how we run the organization for the better, it has also been a challenge for us to keep up with the pace of change. In this project, we've taken a proactive and strategic approach with a holistic view of how we've used technology in the past and examined the possibilities for how we'd like to use it in the future.

In 2010 we started gathering feedback from volunteers, members, and guests that became the outline of our design requirements. Starting in May 2013, we created our website using an "agile development" process which allowed us to test our website as we created it. We completed internal functional development (how stuff works) and testing, and content development (words and images) in late February 2014. We conducted external "beta" testing with a group of key volunteers from around our organization in March to April. The final week of April and early May we spent fixing the bugs uncovered during testing and completing the content development. We launched on May 5th, an ideal launch date because it is a transitional period for us. Many courses that started in winter and spring are winding down and the spring and summer activity programs are just starting to wind up.

Our ultimate goal with our new website was to simplify and improve as many processes as possible.

  • We designed and built simple tools for our leaders, making it easier for our volunteers to volunteer: schedule and manage activities, schedule and manage courses, manage committee rosters and documents. Are you a leader? Learn more about all of these features on our Leader Resources page.
  • We added new features like our badges and blogs and created new web pages where people can easily learn about who we are, what we do and where we gather.

We are quite pleased with the results. Our new website is friendly, contemporary, and modern. Our courses and activities are more accessible, making it easy for everyone to explore, learn about and protect the outdoors with us. We created a blog that highlights our skilled volunteers, showcases our diverse conservation efforts, and directs everyone to our vast portfolio of outdoor knowledge.

The Future of mountaineers.org

As you can imagine, we’re excited about this project and what it means for our members and our programs. Watching this evolve from early user interface discussions to a nearly completed system has been fantastic. But we’re not done... and, arguably, we will never be done. Our launch on May 5, 2014 was just the beginning of a constantly evolving technology platform. We will work to continually enhance our new website with improvements and new features to better meet our needs.

Through the course of this project, we identified many more features that were not in the May 5th launch. Some were because of complexity, some because of time, and for many, we want everyone to get used to our new system and its capabilities before enhancing or adding certain features. We have dozens of items on our backlog. Some are very important, and some are not as important. We will review and prioritize these items and any identified by you, our volunteers, members and guests. Here is our list of top priority enhancements:

  • Integrating book purchase into the shopping cart so that members to purchase books along with a membership and course.
  • Importing activity and course history so that members can review what they’ve done and staff can create reports. Note that all prerequisites one might need for activity registration are the badge rosters that were imported at launch.
  • Improved accounting functionality and integration.
  • Improved course functionality, mostly aimed at making instructor registration easier to find and mange.
  • Map search in addition to the list-style faceted search for activities, courses and Route & Places. A cool feature that requires a small amount of development.

Have an idea?

Log on to feedback.mountaineers.org, our feedback and help desk system powered by UserVoice, and tell us about it!

Future Website Enhancements Archive

Before we started using feedback.mountaineers.org to organize ideas and report on their status, we kept them in spreadsheets. The Future Website Enhancements Archive folder contains all of these.

Bad Movie Night - Aug 26

The Mountaineers pioneered alpine climbing in North America. Join us on August 26 to revel in the terrible ways climbing has been portrayed in the movies ever since. The "Arc'Teryx Bad Movie Night" is the premier event you didn't know you wanted!  Read more…

Act now to Help Save the Land and Water Conservation Fund

If you’ve never heard of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), you’re not alone. Yet, LWCF is one of the most effective tools we have to conserve land and improve outdoor recreation opportunities, and it expires this September. It's responsible for protecting sections of the Pacific Crest Trail and Mt. Si, to name a few. Follow this link  to help save it. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Stefanie Schiller

For our member profile this week we talked to Stefanie Schiller, a professional "climbing bum" who hails from Germany and who credits The Mountaineers with "literally changing the trajectory of her life." Read more…

Ski in the French Alps in March 2016! Learn more Sept 20

Ski the skiers' favorite ski areas in the world: the mega resorts of Val d'Isere France with 86 lifts and Les Arc/La Plagne, France with 145 lifts - both which guarantee snow every year! Learn more at our information session on September 20. Read more…

Mount Angeles - Encounter with Aggressive (Stinging) Insects

HEADS UP
Incident reports of party members getting stung by yellow jackets and wasps began arriving in mid July this year, six weeks earlier than one would normally expect.
Read more…