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Adventure Profiles

Conservation Currents | Learn How to Advocate for Public Lands With Advocacy 101

It was a humid summer day in the other Washington, as I donned a sport coat and tie and met with fellow bird conservation advocates on Capitol Hill. As a budding conservation advocate, this was my first in-person lobby meeting – a short 15-minutes with a congressional staffer about a bill that would help make federal buildings safer for birds. Read more…

Registration Is Open for Foothills Day Camp

With summer sun and fun right around the corner, our team is diving into camp preparation and planning. This year will include many of the traditional Mountaineers Summer Camp activities in addition to new ventures. This year, we’re launching a Day Camp program on the East Side, expanding our Summer Camp offerings to include week-long Day Camp programs in Renton starting in 2024.  Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Zihao Deng

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

"We wanted to know more, and that's how it all began."

Headstrap authors Nandini Purandare and Deepa Balsavar share insight into the start of this decade-long project.  Read more…

Adventure with Purpose: A Recap of Our 2024 Gala

Each year, our community gathers at our annual fundraising Gala, Adventure with Purpose, to make a difference for people and places through the mission and vision of The Mountaineers. The funds raised in this single night represent more than a third of our charitable revenue for the year, elevating  mission and values driven initiatives across all branches and activities. Your support is vital for some of our most impactful programs such as youth outreach, scholarships, volunteer leadership development, nonprofit publishing, conservation advocacy efforts, and more. At this year’s Gala, we raised an astonishing $650,000 elevating the way we LEAD innovation in outdoor education, ENGAGE a vibrant community of outdoor enthusiasts, and ADVOCATE on behalf of the natural world. Read more…

Action Alert! Keep Up the Momentum for the EXPLORE Act!

As Mountaineers know well, land managers need new tools and resources to sustainably manage growing recreation on public lands in Washington State and across the country. For several years, The Mountaineers and our partners at Outdoor Alliance have been advocating for federal legislation that improves sustainable and equitable access to outdoor recreation, and we’re now one step closer to achieving a big win for the outdoors.  Read more…

Impact Giving | Ascending to New Heights: South Sound Youth Programs

On a wintry Saturday in Olympia, Claire Edwards, Mountaineers Youth Program Associate Manager, is getting kids and families stoked on snowshoeing during the “Ice Days” event at the Hands On Children’s Museum. It’s equal parts wonder, chaos, and pure delight as participants attempt walking in snowshoes on top of makeshift “snow.” While most participants have never snowshoed before, many leave excited to try this new activity with their family in real snow. Read more…

Foothills Volunteer Spotlight: Jessica Umayam

Meet Jessica Umayam, a Foothills Hike and Scramble Leader and 2023 Super Volunteer with fond memories doing yoga in the evening light at Seward Park during the Yoga for Hikers, Backpackers, and Trail Runners Course. Jessica is working on the Smoot’s List and loves helping people explore new places. Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Kathy Fox

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

Global Adventures | Going Home to a Place I’d Never Been

In 2019, I joined a Global Adventures trip – first to Torres del Paine in Chile and then to the Fitz Roy Massif in Argentina. I was 76 and rather long in the tooth for a backpack classified as “very strenuous.” But Fitz Roy was a mountain I’d wanted to see since my late teens. This was my first chance. Jump! Read more…

Mapping a Dream | Arctic Traverse

Summoning my life’s longest, most formative journey, I sometimes put the maps of my arctic traverse end to end. When I do, all the wilderness I could ever want spreads across my living room floor, a smorgasbord of possibilities. “You must walk like a camel,” Thoreau counseled, “which is said to be the only beast which ruminates when walking.” And I did. Read more…

Introducing the Four-Legged Hike Leader Badge

Everyone knows that adventures are more fun with friends. This golden rule applies to adventures with our furry besties as well. These four-legged adventurers earn just as many miles - if not more! - than their two-legged counterparts, and it’s high time we recognized their service to outdoor exploration with a badge. That’s why we’re thrilled to finally introduce the Four-Legged Hike Leader badge! Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - March 2024

It's officially spring, and as such, it feels fitting to share this perfectly packaged collection of trip reports wrapped in sunshine and reminiscent of the good old days. Read on, dear friends, for our tried and true bestie, the occasional need to crawl, skiing hot pow, and this thing we call snow.  Read more…

Youth Outside | Meet the Members of Our Youth Team

Nearly thirteen years ago, The Mountaineers made a strategic investment in Youth Programs to offer more programming for our younger members. Since then, we’ve expanded youth programming in all branches and outdoor centers. With the help of volunteers, families, and staff, we now have opportunities for youth to explore the Pacific Northwest throughout the year. This year, we’ll have offered over 100,000 total youth experiences since the inception of these programs. Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Kimber Cross

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

Remembering Mountaineer Lou Whittaker

Lou Whittaker, a world-renowned mountaineer, legendary mountain guide, and local entrepreneur, passed away at his home near Mt. Rainier on March 24, 2024 surrounded by family and loved ones. ’Big Lou’ or ‘Rainier Lou’ was 95. Read more…

Adventure Awaits in The Mountaineers Gala Auction

Dreaming of your next big adventure? Enjoy this look at a few of the auction items available at the 2024 Mountaineers Gala: Adventure with Purpose! The Gala, taking place on April 6, 2024 at Fremont Studios, is our biggest fundraiser of the year. The live and silent auction are big parts of the Gala that help us reach our Gala fundraising goal of $620,000. Bid on the ultimate getaway, experience or gear package and feel great knowing that your donation will help elevate the way our community transforms lives through outdoor education and conservation.  Read more…

The Big Call: Conversations With Big Snow Mountain

Squinting against the morning sun, I stab my pole into the steep east face of Wild Goat Peak and break loose a small snowball that quickly grows to the size of a man’s torso. Gaining speed as it travels downhill, the snowball finally topples where the mountain’s pitch shallows out. The test confirms my suspicions: this face is ripe for a wet avalanche. Read more…

How to Lead a Stewardship Activity

Caring for our public lands, waterways, and outdoor spaces through stewardship is a central component of The Mountaineers ethic. Many Mountaineers courses require completion of the Stewardship Credit badge to graduate, and our membership gives thousands of volunteer hours toward stewardship each year.  Read more…

Experience Cuba's Joie de Vivre with Global Adventures

Cuba’s inherent joie de vivre awaits Mountaineers in the upcoming Global Adventures Day Hiking and Naturalist trip (Nov 19 – Dec 4, 2024). The past six decades of Cuba’s political landscape has shaped a people who are generous, gracious, confident, and unreserved, and a landscape that has escaped heavy tourism impacts. Read more…

Trail Talk | Oh to Live on Bear Mountain

I wasn’t born into a family of hikers or a lineage of outdoorspeople. I was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut — a largely industrial, multi-ethnic city on Long Island Sound in the greater New York City Metropolitan Area. My neighborhood consisted of two and three family homes in the city’s Little Italy north end. Bridgeport, which had once attracted waves of immigrants, began its decline in the late 60s, prompting thousands to leave for the suburbs. We would eventually leave too, and to a place less disconnected from nature; but living in a dense metropolis didn’t stop me from discovering my love for wild places. Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Amanda Chalfant

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

CEO Update: Organizational Realignment & Hiring Plan

As organizations grow and evolve, it’s common to redesign roles and org structures to better support the communities they serve. With the development of our new strategic plan, Adventure With Purpose, we feel that now is the right time to realign our staff organizational structure.  Read more…

Did You Know? Petrichor

Winter is mostly gone. The ground is thawing. You watch as sunshine comes, then goes and dark clouds rumble in the distance. As the clouds move closer, the air changes and you smell the earth. The scent is sweet and almost savory, like honeysuckle flavored olive oil or carrot flavored cake. Breathe it in. Remember, as a child, playing in the rain? Breathe it out. It didn’t matter how wet you were, you kept playing as the earth reminded you it was spring with that delicate, thick, familiar scent: petrichor. Read more…

Advocacy 101: Best Practices for Engaging with Lawmakers

You don’t have to be a skilled lobbyist or an expert advocate to make a difference for the lands you love. As someone who cares deeply about the outdoors, you’re well positioned to be an effective advocate - it just takes a little time and training. That’s where our recently-launched Advocacy 101 eLearning course comes in. Through Advocacy 101, you’ll learn the basics of advocacy and best practices for advocating for important conservation and recreation initiatives by engaging with lawmakers and land managers.
Read more…

Introducing Relaxed Pace Trips - Foothills Backpacking Committee

The Foothills Backpacking Committee has an amazing community of leaders whose passion is to share their love of the outdoors and build community at the same time. In an effort to answer the call for more relaxed paced trips, our committee has launched an initiative for members who are looking for just these kinds of trips. Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Jolie Dunn

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

Action Alert! Thank Lawmakers for Prioritizing Public Lands in the 2024 State Budget

State-managed public lands like Blanchard Mountain, Mount Si, and Tieton’s Royal Columns connect us to nature through the recreational activities we enjoy in all seasons. With Mountaineers programs and activities frequently occurring on state lands, each legislative session we advocate for priority bills and funding requests that improve conservation and recreation at the state level.
Read more…

Bucket list adventure: Hike the Camino Frances to Santiago and the Galician Coast in Spain

The Camino Frances is the most popular and well-traveled route of the Camino de Santiago passing through variety of terrains, including mountainous regions, rolling hills, and flat plains, as well as urban and rural settings, historic towns, and charming villages.  Read more…

Tying In | Spring 2024 Leadership Update

About a year ago, we unveiled our recently-updated strategic plan, Adventure with Purpose. We have shared the implementation plan details and progress toward our goals with our community in various ways, including at our Annual Meeting, at the State of the Organization presentation, and through blog posts. We’ve also been doing Adventure with Purpose updates at each of our board meetings, highlighting one of our three strategic priorities: Lead Innovation in Outdoor Education, Engage a Vibrant Community of Outdoor Enthusiasts, and Advocate on Behalf of the Natural World. Read more…