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Adventure Profiles

Outside Insights | Taking Care of the Basics: Setting your students up for successful learning

Volunteer-led outdoor education is the heart and soul of The Mountaineers. Our instructors are passionate about sharing their love of the outdoors with others, and many of our students choose to play an important role in our community as volunteer instructors after graduation. Read more…

Safety Stories: Our Ice Pitch Top-Rope Anchor Would Have Been Worrisome, Had We Known

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…

Backpacking Courses Spring 2021

Although we’re still in the heart of winter, it won’t be too long before the skies begin to lighten and we’re planning our spring and summer adventures. Get a head-start on your summer plans now by signing up for one of our upcoming introduction to backpacking courses, an excellent way to develop your skills and confidence on the trails before heading out on your first over-night or multi-night trip. Read more…

Join Mountains to Sound Greenway for an MLK Day of Service

On January 18,  the Foothills Conservation Committee is collaborating with Mountains to Sound Greenway to sponsor a day of service in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day. This is a great opportunity to get outside and provide cleanup to the parks and public lands that we all love, use, and recreate in.  Read more…

What's in a Name? Why We Use Equity & Inclusion (E&I)

Language is powerful. We use a string of characters or words to attempt to capture history, context, meaning, intent, and often, emotion. Language is subject to personal interpretation -  most context-laden words rarely share the exact same meaning from one individual to the next. That’s what makes language imperfect.  Read more…

Conservation Currents | At Capacity: Getting outside in the age of COVID-19

Like many aspects of our lives, 2020 has been a roller coaster of a year for public lands. During the initial weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, public lands in Washington State closed as a result of Governor Inslee’s ”Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Read more…

Webinar Series - Giving Structured Feedback

It is an all-too-familiar feeling for many of us. You just watched one of your peers fumble a skill demonstration. Or maybe you've noticed a student who is over-participating, not leaving at room for others to ask questions or share knowledge. You want to provide feedback to get things back on track, but you're worried about how it will be received. What do you do? Read more…

Trip Report: Windy Ridge at Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens is an exciting place to explore; a true-to-life science experiment, fun for both children and adults alike. My hiking partner and I decided to hike and explore the seldom traveled Windy Ridge Side of Mt. St. Helens. Here you get an up-close and personal view of the destruction done by the lateral blast that rolled over the landscape on May 18, 1980. Read more…

Upcoming Olympia Branch Courses and COVID-19 Accommodations

As we navigate COVID-19, our priority is to keep our members safe and engaged in the outdoors. The Olympia branch is excited to offer three upcoming courses in January and February; hear from the course chairs on the safety adjustments made, and what you can expect to learn.  Read more…

2020 Recap: A Year in Review

The Mountaineers is an incredible community of adventurers, students, instructors, advocates, and leaders. As we close the door on 2020 and look ahead to 2021, we reflect on our core values and how they’ve guided us through the past nine months of this pandemic.  Read more…

BeWild with Bernadette McDonald - Jan 14

For eight years, we've hosted the BeWild Speaker Series to bring  you stories of passion and adventure. We're excited to kick the 2021 season off with historian, founder of the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture, and author of the new Mountaineers Books title Winter 8000, Bernadette McDonald.  Read more…

$135K and counting!

As we begin 2021, I am humbled by the continued generosity of our Mountaineers community. So many of you choose to donate your time, talents, and treasure in honor of our shared outdoor experience. It’s because of you that we’re ringing in the new year with so much to celebrate! Read more…

Olympia Branch Annual Open House Going Virtual - Jan 7

2020 was a difficult year for our Mountaineers programs. With 2021 just a few weeks away, Olympia leaders are developing hybrid courses and tailoring activities to ensure the COVID-19 safety of all participants. Join us on January 7, 2021 to learn about new and exciting way of providing outdoor education and look forward to welcoming new members. Read more…

Rainy Season Tips for the Summer Hiker

I grabbed my antique wooden snowshoes and headed for the door. Growing up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, solo adventures every weekend were the norm as a kid. Winters were my favorite; a blanket of snow transformed the world into a black and white vintage photo from December through April. My brothers and I would skate on the lake and wander the empty woods surrounding our small cabin until dusk. Read more…

Impact Giving | Philanthropy's Year In Review

As we look back at January 2020, The Mountaineers and Mountaineers Books teams were celebrating the new calendar year, a successful first quarter, and building momentum to deliver on the $9.28M approved operating budget for fiscal year 2020. A year ago today, we celebrated our most successful year-end appeal campaign and were getting ready to  open ticket sales for our 6th annual Gala, where we planned to welcome Sir Chris Bonington and 500 Mountaineers guests to Fremont Studios. The Mountaineers fundraising team was excited to see how the organization’s culture of philanthropy would continue to grow. Little did we know, a storm was blowing in. Read more…

Adjusting for Conditions: Lessons from an Unexpected Year

This year was a hard one. I hit rock bottom mid-May when I unexpectedly found myself crying alone in a tent in the middle of my living room floor. The chasm between the person I had planned to be when I set goals for 2020 and the person I actually was felt insurmountable. My carefully made plans, proudly anticipated fitness milestones, and dreams of adventure were slipping through my fingers. Read more…

Donate Before the Clock Strikes Midnight

As we approach the last moments of 2020, I’d like to invite you to join in a New Year’s Eve toast. With three days left on the tax-calendar, members and donors like you rose to the challenge and helped us meet our $100,000 December goal to protect our core Mountaineers operations. Your commitment to our community continues to be a bright light through one of the darkest years we’ve ever experienced.  Read more…

Trail Talk | Pandemic Ponderings: The significance and shortcomings of our Public Lands

The emptiness of Northeastern Washington’s Salmo-Priest Wilderness has never felt more comforting. I stand alone on a ridge gazing out over waves of emerald ridges, shadowed by processions of white puffy clouds. Soft, warm breezes whistle through silver snags, prompting boughs of bear grass to delicately sway. I haven’t encountered another human all day; out in all of that wildness before me, some of Washington’s last grizzlies still roam. I finally feel safe and relieved from the ravages of the pandemic sweeping the world outside my wilderness. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Steve Payne

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Steve Payne, a longtime volunteer with the Seattle Branch who recently moved to Olympia and has jumped right in! Read more…

2020 Award Winners

This past year has been filled with challenges, but it hasn't been without its silver linings. During 2020 thirteen of our titles were recognized by various book award competitions, and we couldn't be more proud.  Read more…

Running a Course in the Middle of a Pandemic

This story starts back in 2019 when, as the Hiking Chair for the Tacoma Hiking and Backpacking Committee, I had the idea of offering a Conditioning Hiking Series (CHS) in Tacoma. The goal of a series like this is to help casual or new hikers increase their mileage and elevation gain in a fun, community-oriented way, and I had a feeling it would be popular at our branch.  Read more…

Retro Rewind | Marge Mueller: Pioneering Illustrator and Guidebook Artist

Marge Mueller, author, co-author, book designer, mapmaker, illustrator, and lifetime member of The Mountaineers, passed away in September at the age of 84.

Many think of Mountaineers Books as synonymous with outdoor legends like Fred Beckey, Harvey Manning, Ira Spring, and others whose guidebooks were published to much acclaim and who inspired a new generation of writers and photographers. There is, however, one woman—an established Pacific Northwest author in her own right—who helped make so much of the success of their work possible. Read more…

Outdoor Alliance’s Adam Cramer on the Outdoor Advocacy “Superpowers” of The Mountaineers

For almost six years, The Mountaineers has been a proud member of Outdoor Alliance, a nonprofit organization that unites the voices of outdoor enthusiasts in order to protect the human-powered outdoor recreation experience and conserve America’s public lands. Our membership in Outdoor Alliance amplifies our ability to weigh in on national policy issues and bring regional issues to national attention. Read more…

A Letter from Peter & Nancy: An Act of Love Towards All Our Children

As the year comes to a close, we’ve been reflecting on how grateful we are for the support we receive through The Mountaineers, and as volunteer leaders, we’re committed to the health, safety, and strength of the organization. Though both of us discovered The Mountaineers in different ways, it is a place where we found each other and a community to share our lives with. Here’s a glimpse into the paths that led us to The Mountaineers: Read more…

The Arctic Refuge at 60: An Excerpt from “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land”

This December marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and  for nearly 20 years, our conservation imprint Braided River has been publishing stunning books about this special place. These books serve as the visual foundation for advocacy campaigns to protect the Arctic from oil and gas development, climate change, and other threats. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is under imminent threat of oil and gas leasing as soon as January 2021 by the federal administration (learn more at Protect the Arctic and make your voice heard).  Read more…

Get Your 8-9 Year Old Outside With Us

Winter has come and our youth programs are gearing up for some fun in the snow! We have a few spots left in our Nomads program (ages 8-9) - sign your kids up for a year of learning and exploration. Read more…

Are We Open? Lodge and Program Centers Update

For many people in our Mountaineers community, spending time at our lodges is a winter and holiday tradition. During a normal year, many of our courses begin hosting lectures and practice sessions at our program centers in the winter months. And without a pandemic our Baker, Meany, and Stevens Lodges would be serving as home base for Mountaineers members and guests for snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, lift-serviced alpine skiing, and other winter adventures.  Read more…

BeWild Speaker Series - Introducing the 2021 Lineup

For eight years, we've hosted the BeWild Speaker Series to bring you stories of passion and adventure. We're excited to announce this year's lineup, which includes award winning authors, not your average thru-hiker, and a world class alpinist. Read more…

Let's Match: With a Corporate Matching Gift

As the foremost outdoor recreation organization of the Pacific Northwest, The Mountaineers is dedicated to educating and inspiring people of all ages to explore the outdoors and conserve and steward our public lands and waters. When you take advantage of your employer’s Workplace Giving Program, you maximize the impact of your volunteer hours, membership dues and charitable donations, and can double, sometimes triple your impact! Read more…

How To Watercolor In Winter

At 5:30am the arctic sun illuminates icebergs with delicate bands of yellow light. My Zodiac ride to explore Disko Bay leaves in 30 minutes, and I need to find vodka, fast. Read more…