Mountaineers Books Blog

Mountaineers Books Blog

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On National Nature Photography Day: Thank you photographers

Today is National Nature Photography Day. Mountaineers Books and, especially our conservation imprint, Braided River, works with a number of amazingly talented and dedicated nature photographers. These folks frequently spend long hours alone in the wild capturing images that the rest of us would never see without them. These images have a huge impact on how we come to understand and feel about nature. Often their photos are the only reference we have for faraway places, and they move us to care about those environments. Nature photographers are on the leading edge of connecting us emotionally to the world that we depend on for all of our physical needs and for which degradation in a faraway place  affects the place where we live. Read more…

Swimming Holes of Seattle

Summer’s almost here, which means it’s time to put on your bathing suit, mentally prepare yourself for showing your sun-starved skin to the world, and head out to one of Washington State’s many beautiful swimming holes. No matter where you live, you don’t have to go far—there’s over 8,000 lakes and over 70,000 miles of river to choose from. For those of you who live in or near Seattle, here are our favorite swimming holes close to home: Read more…

Wildfire: On the Front Lines with Station 8

Heather Hansen is an award-winning environmental reporter and author. Her book, Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service, published by Mountaineers Books, won the Colorado Authors’ League General Nonfiction award and was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Read more…

A Book Affected Him Deeply: The Climbers

Books can affect us deeply and in meaningful ways. Many of us have that feeling about one or more books we consider treasures. Because of that, Mountaineers Books and our authors receive fan mail on a fairly regular basis. The following is correspondence that Jim Herrington, author and photographer of The Climbers (© 2017), received recently from Mitch Solomon. We thought Mitch's letter was touching and, with his permission, that you would enjoy it, too.  Read more…

Top Three Tips for Hiking with Kids

Some kids love hiking; others would rather stay home and read a book (I have one of each). Once my unenthusiastic hiker is actually on the trail, his attitude usually improves, thanks to some of the tricks I’ve learned over the years: Read more…

BeWild: Heather Hansen on The Front Lines with Wildland Firefighters | June 19

This June we welcome the Heather Hansen, the author of Wildfire: On the Front Lines with Station 8  from Mountaineers Books. She will take us on a journey through her experience after embedding with Boulder, CO wildland firefighters and share her lessons on what more we can do to help prevent such devastating wildfires. Read more…

Best Waterfalls in Northern California’s Cascades

Northern California is home to the southern reaches of the California Cascades, and this rugged volcanic landscape contains some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the western United States. Here are four of my favorites that are featured in my hiking guidebooks, all linked by CA Highway 89: Read more…

Dealing with Bears 101

For hikers, Montana is close to heaven. Thousands of miles of trails lead to scenic mountain lakes, wildflower-covered meadows, and dramatic viewpoints. All winter long (and our winters are really long) Montanans eagerly await the snowmelt when we can once again head for our beloved backcountry. But the melting snows also signal the time when our state’s famous bruins awaken, looking to replenish the fat layer lost during their winter sleep. We humans typically have the opposite seasonal timing on fat layers – another excellent reason to hit the trails. Read more…

Section Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California + More - May 22

Ever thought about backpacking sections of the Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California? Philip Kramer, author of the new book Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California (Mountaineers Books, 2018) shares key information in this wide-ranging interview. Read more…

#GiveBIG Generates Tremendous Impact

#GiveBIG is always an exciting time for us at The Mountaineers and this year was no exception. Thanks to your contributions, you helped us stretch beyond our match goal and together we raised $27,000 to support The Mountaineers, Mountaineers Books, and the community of volunteers who teach us to explore, connect, and advocate. Read more…

Give Mom a Plein Air Painting Kit This Mother's Day

Watercolor is the most quickly executed painting medium and has been used for centuries because of its ease and speed of use and also for the effects than can be achieved with it. Read more…

Five Things You Didn't Know About Fire Lookouts

You may have hiked to a couple fire lookouts already, sweating your way up a steep trail until you reach an historic wooden cabin perched on a mountaintop. But here are a few things you might not know about lookouts as hiking destinations. Read more…

Titles Honored with Nautilus and Independent Book Awards

The Nautilus Book Awards, with the mission of "Better Books for a Better World," celebrates and honors books that support conscious living and green values, high-level wellness, positive social change, and spiritual growth.  Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Susan Elderkin

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

A Wild Promise for Prince William Sound

“We need a book. But first you need to see this place.” So began my conversation with Debbie Miller and Hugh Rose in a bar in Fairbanks on my first day back to civilization after an all-too-brief rafting trip in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Debbie, Hugh, and I had collaborated before. Through numerous past publishing and outreach efforts we had strived to prevent oil drilling in America’s Arctic. This time our discussions revolved around 2.1 million acres of the Chugach National Forest in southwestern Alaska proposed as a wilderness study area. This stemmed from the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) passed in 1980, the largest lands conservation act in U.S. history and the law that has defined much of Alaska’s public lands debates. The fate of this wilderness study area established in 1980 was expected to be resolved in a few years, yet it is still in limbo decades later. Read more…

Making Earth-friendly Books

Here’s a dilemma: How does a publishing company that is deeply invested in advocating for environmental conservation deal with the fact that the product they sell relies on using trees? This is something that we here at Mountaineers Books are intensely aware of. Approximately four billion trees are cut down every year around the world just to produce paper products, accounting for about 35 percent of the total harvest. Even though 2.3 billion seedlings are planted each year in the US alone, the fact remains that the timber and paper industries, and by extension the publishing industry, have a significant impact on the environment. Read more…

Grow a sustainable garden with advice from Master Gardener and author John J. Albers

We caught up with John J. Albers, creator of the Albers Vista Garden and author of the recent release The Northwest Garden Manifesto, to ask him about his top gardening tips. Here’s what he had to say: Read more…

A non-cook impresses friends with this Dirty Gourmet Trail Brittle

I've lived a charmed life, insofar as I like to eat and have a spouse who loves to cook. I'll gladly wash dishes as my part of this bargain, a chore I've managed with a moderate degree of competence. That said, I was intrigued by a recipe in Dirty Gourmet: Food for Your Outdoor Adventures, a new cookbook from Mountaineers Books. Read more…

Bears Ears Guidebook Author Answers Five Questions About The Monument

Morgan Sjogren’s new guidebook, The Best Bears Ears National Monument Hikes, came out in January, less than two months after the current administration reduced its boundaries by 85 percent. Published by Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) Press, Morgan’s book is the only guidebook published for this region. But Morgan, a writer, adventurer, and competitive trail runner, fell in love with Bears Ears while running in it and wanted to encourage others to explore this region, too. We asked her five questions  about the book and the Monument. Mountaineers Books is the worldwide distributor of CMC Press books. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Mary Metz

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

Five Questions for PCT Hiker and Author Philip Kramer

We got in touch with author Philip Kramer to ask him a few questions about writing his recent book,  Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California. Here's what he had to say. Read more…

BeWild: Section Hiking The PCT At Your Own Pace | May 22

 The Mountaineers are proud to present the BeWild Speaker Series, putting passion and adventure on the stage! Come to these talks to unlock inspiration to seek adventure, connect with nature, and work to protect the wild places we cherish. This May we welcome Pacific Crest Trail guidebook authors, Eli Boschetto, Shawntè Salabert, Tami Asars, and Philip Kramer to share their adventures documenting the 2,650 miles of the PCT. Read more…

When the World Suddenly Changes

I was dumbfounded and could not quite comprehend what was happening. I crouched down on my knees and put my hands over my head. Otherwise I did not even try to defend myself; if I had done so, they would all have attacked me. Another Sherpa, standing above me, was aiming at my head with a brick-sized rock when Melissa got between us. Attacking a woman would have been against the Sherpas’ mores. Read more…

To Everest and Beyond - Tom Hornbein Reflects on Life and Mountains

As Tom Hornbein stood in the shadow of Everest, he knew getting to the top wasn’t enough. He wanted more.

In 1963, Tom was a member of a sponsored expedition designed to send the first Americans to the summit of the highest peak in the world. The strategy was clear: climb the South Col route first established by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. While summiting via the South Col was far from a guarantee, the proven route was their best chance.  Read more…

"1001 Climbing Tips" Author Shares His Top Five Tips

Author Andy Kirkpatrick, who also happens to be a renouned big wall and alpine climber, recently wrote  1001 Climbing Tips, published by Mountaineers Books. That's a lot of tips! Since Andy is known for big, cold, scary climbs around the world, we thought we'd give him a challenge: Out of the 1001 tips in your book, what are your top five and why? Read more…

Joe Riis Talks About Documenting Breathtaking Animal Migrations at BeWild on March 20

Joe Riis is a wildlife biologist turned photojournalist and filmmaker on the cutting edge of explorations of heretofore unknown animal migrations in Yellowstone’s expansive landscapes—within, and outside, the protection of the park. His first book Yellowstone Migrationswas recently published by Braided River, the conservation imprint of Mountaineers Books. Read more…

BeWild with Joe Riis - March 20

The Mountaineers are proud to present the BeWild Speaker Series, putting passion and adventure on the stage! Come to these talks to unlock inspiration to seek adventure, connect with nature, and work to protect the wild places we cherish. This March we welcome photographer Joe Riis. Read more…

Invasion of the Modern Body Snatchers

It was an absolutely breathtaking Northwest late fall afternoon. I was doing field research (translation=hiking) for my upcoming Urban Trails Eastside Mountaineers Books guidebook. My task was to check out a patch of urban greenery on Lake Washington’s eastern shore. As I walked down this park’s trails and across its boardwalks, I was mesmerized by the surrounding natural beauty and by the moment itself. The sun was low, the sky deep blue. Rays of sunlight kissed my face and danced across the shimmering waters of a quiet bay. They illuminated the resident waterfowl and intensified the brilliant colors of the autumn foliage. The sun continued to sink in the sky and my surroundings became more surrealistic. I was in pure hiking heaven — utterly elated — senses completely stimulated.  Read more…

2018 Is the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System

The National Trails System (NTS) Act was passed in 1968, making 2018 its fiftieth anniversary. Among all of the trails stewarded by this Act, the 2600-mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is one of just 11 designated National Scenic Trails. The anniversary coincides with publication of Mountaineers Books' final volume in its four-book Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail set. Released in February, Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California joins the Southern California, Oregon, and Washington volumes to finish the most up-to-date and comprehensive guidebooks to this long-distance challenge. Read more…

Outdoor Stories from Women Over 50

We're crazy for stories -- campfire stories, stories in books, stories told at organized events, podcast stories and . . . well you get the idea. Recently we heard an inspirational podcast from She-Explores about how women over 50 are participating in the outdoors. We thought we'd share it with you. Read more…