Bellingham Branch Blog Posts

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Equity & Inclusion Update: Meet Our Steering Committee

At The Mountaineers, we believe a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love. We aspire to offer outdoor opportunities for ALL, and have assembled a board-chartered Equity & Inclusion (E&I) Steering Committee to direct our strategy and financial investments to become a place where, a century from now, future generations will recognize themselves in The Mountaineers. Read more…

How To: Deal With A Smash and Grab

On Monday, February 11, a quick jaunt to a local park in the Issaquah Alps to enjoy the fresh snow on skis had a less-than-happy ending. The snow itself was delightfully powdery, and the skiing was memorable and fun! But when the fun ended, we came back to a smashed car window, with items stolen from the vehicle, and yet another nasty surprise awaiting us: our home had been burglarized as well.


The car registration swiped from the glovebox, plus the knowledge that we were away from home, made for an easy crime of opportunity. The thieves mapped from the trailhead to our house to find out if it was feasible to drive there quickly. The house keys stolen from our car meant the thieves simply unlocked the front door on their way in.

We all know it’s best to remove anything of value — and anything that might look valuable — from an unattended car. Even a bag containing odds and ends may attract unwanted attention. However, the notion of using a car’s registration to rob the car owner’s home was something I’d never considered, until it happened to me.


More than 450,000 cars currently belong to households in the metro Seattle area and Seattle Times reports that nearly half of property crimes in Seattle involve a motor vehicle. Opportunity doesn’t knock, it drives!

Prevention Tips

In the future, I'll be making sure my car is empty as possible, and that my car registration is not conveniently in the glovebox. Oh, and I'll definitely be advocating for more public transit service to popular trailheads, like Trailhead Direct. Carfree just might equal carefree!

The Seattle police department has tips on car prowl prevention online. Taking your car registration with you is one way to avoid inadvertently sharing your address with a car prowler, whether you're out for a hike or spending a few hours shopping or at the movies. The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) will accept post office boxes as your mailing address and print your post office box on your car registration, rather than your physical home address, so that's a good option as well.

What to do if your car is broken into

If your vehicle is broken into, you can call the local police department and they will direct you to the right law enforcement agency. For example, the city of Issaquah has a police department, but some public lands and unincorporated areas near Issaquah are under the jurisdiction of the King County Sheriff’s Office. The King County Sheriff's Office has a 24-hour non-emergency line that you can call to report a car prowl, if it's over: 206-296-3311. They will guide you through the next steps to take.

To report a car prowl to the Seattle police, call the non-emergency number at 206-625-5011, or file a report online at There is no need to remain on the scene to report a crime. 

If you need immediate help from the police, medics, or fire department always call 911.

Happy 90th Birthday, Jim Whittaker!

Jim Whittaker, a living legend among mountaineers worldwide, is a father, husband, environmentalist, and author. He is recognized as one the most influential climbers in American history, and is a visionary business and community leader in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. We're proud to count 'Big Jim' as a Mountaineers member, and invite you to join us in wishing him, and his twin brother Lou, a very happy 90th birthday today!   Read more…

2019 State Budget: Step Up for Washington’s State Lands

In odd-numbered years (like this one), Washington legislators set the two-year state budget (capitol and operating). Lawmakers are currently negotiating this year’s funding package. Critical provisions for education, human services, infrastructure, and public lands hang in the balance. From the shores of Deception Pass to the Ponderosa pines of Riverside, our state public lands - and the agencies that steward them - need sufficient funding to provide the outdoor experience we know and love. Read more…

Donate Your Vehicle To Support The Mountaineers!

When you donate a vehicle  you no longer need, you not only support The Mountaineers and Mountaineers Books, but you reduce your impact and your gift qualifies for a tax deduction! Most cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RVs, motorcycles, off road vehicles, heavy equipment, and other motorized vehicles are eligible, making it easy for you to support The Mountaineers in another exciting way! Read more…

Congratulations to our 2018 Volunteer Award Recipients!

Volunteers are at the core of our Mountaineers community. During the 2017-18 fiscal year alone, we had an outstanding 2,865 volunteers support our programs. This could be as a trip leader, committee member, instructor, lodge host, event volunteer, or even as stewardship activity participant! Read more…

What the New Congress Means for Public Lands

January 3, 2019 marked the start of the 116th Congress, and with it a new landscape for outdoor advocates to navigate. Here are some key changes to keep in mind as we work to conserve the public lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond: Read more…

The Government Shutdown and Its Impact on Public Lands

The government shutdown is now the longest in history, and it may continue for weeks or even months. One of the most visible manifestations of the shutdown has been its effects on our national parks, many of which are being kept open despite having few staff and no budget. Read more…

Doing Dishes is Fun! And Other Lessons Learned At Camp

After four adventure packed days at The Mountaineers Meany Lodge, it was time for the seven campers to head home. The kids, ages 7 to 10, ran into hugs from their parents with huge grins on their faces. They instantly began to list all the fun memories they made at camp. "We went sledding, we built a snow fort, we learned to snowshoe, the lodge food was incredible..." Surprisingly, one of the loudest, most frequent, and incredibly enthusiastic proclamation was "DOING DISHES IS FUN!" Read more…

Backpacking Courses for 2019

Backpacking season will be upon us before we know it, and we have more options than ever to help you kick-start your backcountry dreams. Courses are available for adults at all skill and experience levels, as well as for families who want to take kids out on the trail. And, you're welcome to take a course with any branch regardless of your branch affiliation. Be sure to sign up for courses while you can, they fill up quickly!   Read more…