Bellingham Branch Blog Posts

Bellingham Branch Blog Posts

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New Public Lands Investments Secured in 2023 WA State Budget

State-managed public lands like Deception Pass, Blanchard Mountain, and Mount Si 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 bills and funding requests that improve conservation and recreation at the state level. Year after year, Mountaineers continue to speak up for the state parks and recreation areas we love. Read more…

Living River: The Promise of the Mighty Colorado

For 6 million years the Colorado River has flowed 1,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. But in just a few decades, overallocation of water resources, climate change, and megadrought have altered the great river. In Living River: The Promise of the Mighty Colorado, a new book and campaign from Braided River - the conservation imprint of Mountaineers Books - conservation photographer and author Dave Showalter shares stories from seven years of hiking, biking, rafting, and adventuring through the watershed. Read more…

Olympia Branch Challenges You to Give Back through Stewardship

Mountaineers members play a hands-on role in protecting, restoring, and maintaining the lands and waters of our region. The practice of stewardship brings Mountaineers together from across branches and activities to care for the places where we recreate so that they continue to thrive for future generations. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - March 2023

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” - Charles Dickens

As the winter melts away and the flowers dare to bloom, we too must dare to "March" forward into the new year. Read on for our Top 10 Trip Reports for the month of March, filled with outings and adventures galore!  Read more…

Develop Leadership skills through our Leadership Development Fund

Learning is a never-ending journey. At The Mountaineers, we continue to elevate our organization’s position in the outdoor community and enhance our own courses and activities by supporting our volunteers' skill development. Each year, The Mountaineers designates funds to the Leadership Development Fund, which allows Mountaineers leaders and instructors to attend conferences, workshops, courses, and programs led by other organizations. Read more…

Gear Grab - May 22

Have a gear wish list a mile long, or some extra gear you'd like to unload? Come to The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center from 6-8 pm on Monday, May 22 for our upcoming Gear Grab.  Read more…

Action Alert! Help Pass America's Outdoor Recreation Act

Last year, we came very close to passing a package of recreation bills called America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA). Many of you took action to urge Congress to pass this legislation because it included one of our long term policy priorities, the Simplifying Access to Outdoor Recreation Act (SOAR Act). If passed, AORA would have improved the unpredictable recreational permitting system that creates barriers for people who want to experience the outdoors through Mountaineers courses and youth programs, as well as other changes to improve outdoor recreation on public lands and waters. Read more…

Mountaineer Magazine Spring 2023

As a Mountaineers member, you receive free access to our quarterly Mountaineer magazine, keeping you up-to-date with everything our organization and community have been up to. Hear from regular contributors on topics from training exercises to trail tips, and read features from our members sharing stories from the outdoors. We encourage you to access all of our updates, stories, tips, and more in the tree free online magazine today. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - February 2023

Happy February Mountaineers! As the weather gets warmer and we shed the winter blues, we look to February as the month of change and the beginning of those summer feels!  Read more…

How to Get Involved as a Trip Leader

 At The Mountaineers, leadership plays an integral part in every facet of our organization. We have a wide variety of leaders in many different roles - from Branch Treasurer, to Qualified Youth Leader, to Committee Chair. The term "leader" also specifically refers to a volunteer who has been vetted by an activity committee to lead a Mountaineers activity. These trips leaders have fulfilled the technical and interpersonal skill requirements included in our Club-wide Activity Standards. By leading hundreds of trips each month, trip leaders play a fundamental role within our organization.  Read more…

Congratulations To Our 2022 Volunteer Award Recipients!

This past year, as always, our volunteers have remained at the core of our operations. Thank you to the 3,254 members who volunteered their time during fiscal year 2022 (October 2021-September 2022), and to the many others who supported from afar! Each of you has made a difference. Read more…

Join us for Overnight Lodge Camps this summer - Registration Now Open!

Since the beginning of Mountaineers Youth Programs in 2011, camp has been a staple of our summers, filling the Seattle and Tacoma Program Centers with camp joy every year. As we strive to connect more youth with nature year after year, we’re excited to expand our summer offerings to include week-long camp programs from mid-June through mid-August. Join us for a week, or multiple, full of community building and outdoor exploration at a Mountaineers lodge this summer!  Read more…

Announcing Our Net Zero Vision

As we experience worsening impacts of the climate crisis on our public lands and communities, we must do more to respond to this urgent threat.
Read more…

Deepen Your Leadership Skills with the Leadership Development Series

The Leadership Development Series offers high-quality, continuing education opportunities for our current and aspiring volunteer leaders and instructors. Offered mainly remotely through Zoom, with a couple in-person sessions, these seminars lean on the expertise of outdoor professionals - including experts within our community - and focus on areas of leadership development. Read more…

Action Alert! Support State Public Lands and Recreation this Legislative Session

Whether it’s paddling the emerald waters of Deception Pass, hiking through Capitol State Forest, or climbing the Royal Columns at Oak Creek Wildlife area, Washington’s state-managed public lands and waters connect us to nature through the many recreational activities we enjoy. Over the years, Mountaineers have been strong champions for Washington’s state parks and recreation areas and the outdoor opportunities they provide.
Read more…

Conservation Currents | Year One of Outdoor Alliance Washington

Whether you prefer backcountry skiing the North Cascades, climbing in Tieton, or day hiking along the Snoqualmie River, as Mountaineers you’ve likely experienced how policy and management decisions impact our public lands. Many of us have seen hazardous roads, decrepit facilities, and closed trailheads as funding falls shy year after year. But this frustration can – and has – produced change. The experiences of recreationists like you translate into compelling advocacy for conservation and recreation. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - January 2023

Happy January Mountaineers!  As we ring in the new year with some of our favorite trip reports from last month, we hope you feel inspired to reflect on your past success as you forge ahead into a year full of adventure and personal growth.

This month we are  highlighting trip reports that "beat" the "winter blues" amidst the dark and dreary winter. Read on for our favorite January reports of smiles, snow, and the occasional blue sky.  
Read more…

Protections Restored for Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

Over the years, we’ve been on a long journey to protect ancient, old-growth trees in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. Our community has answered our calls to action time and time again because it understands that protecting Roadless Areas in Alaska sets a strong precedent for protecting backcountry places in Washington State and beyond. Last week, the administration finalized protections for the Tongass, securing a much-anticipated win for conservation, climate, and Indigenous communities. Read more…

New Course: Emotional Safety in the Outdoors

One of the unwritten core values at The Mountaineers is safety. When we go out together, we make every effort to return safely. And, safety is about more than just physical safety. Feeling emotionally safe - to ask questions, share concerns, and show up as your full self - is a key component to physically safe outcomes. To support emotionally safe environments for our participants, we are excited to share our new Emotional Safety in the Outdoors eLearning course. Read more…

Action Alert! Anti-Public Lands Measures Return to Congress in House Rules Changes

Federal public lands are central to The Mountaineers, playing host to nearly 60% of our programs and activities. Places like Mount Rainier, Washington Pass, the Olympic Coast, and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness connect us to nature and provide many public health benefits. Unfortunately, the 118th Congress spent the initial days of the new session making it easier to advance an anti-public lands agenda in the coming months.
Read more…

Conservation 101: What We Advocate For and How We Choose Our Issues

Advocacy has been an enduring theme throughout The Mountaineers history. In the face of intensifying impacts of climate change and increasing recreational use of public lands, it’s as important as ever that the outdoor community advocate to protect public lands and the outdoor experiences they provide. Read more…

Learning Mosses: The History of Mountaineer Moss and Lichen Workshops

Mountain photography has been a passion of mine for over forty years, but I had little noticed (or perhaps intentionally ignored) mosses. After rejoining The Mountaineers in early 2015 to take the Introduction to the Natural World (INW) Course, I signed up for a few Naturalist activities that were oriented around mosses and lichens on wintertime hikes. I don’t recall wanting to learn about mosses and lichens - I barely knew what the latter were. I just wanted to expand my hiking repertoire. So I joined “moss hikes” on Cougar and Tiger Mountain. Read more…

Relative Merits of Different Sledding Apparatus

My hometown of Bozeman, Montana, has four seasons: summer, fall, snow, and mud. Snow season is the longest. While the climate crisis has changed things, as a child I remember planning Halloween costumes based on what would pair well with my snowsuit, and I often celebrated my mid-May birthday in a snowstorm. I spent many a weekend at the local sledding hill sweating my way up (often quitting halfway) and squealing my way down. As such, I consider myself a connoisseur of fun in freezing season. Read more…

Introducing The Mountaineers Equity & Inclusion Leader Toolkit

Over the past 18 months, Mountaineers volunteers have been working to create an Equity and Inclusion (E&I) Leader Toolkit for our community. The E&I Leader Toolkit is designed to help you (our volunteer leaders) foster a culture of belonging in your courses and activities. As part of our organizational commitment to equity and inclusion, we are working to create a Mountaineers where everyone can feel belonging. We hope this toolkit is a helpful resource for the many volunteers requesting more E&I support. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - December 2022

December's Top Trip Reports catalogs the closing chapter of a truly wonderful and joyous year, despite an end-of-month ice storm that had everyone wondering if they would "make it home for the holidays"!

Read on for some of our favorite trip reports from last month, including a tumultuous sea kayaking trip, arduous scrambles, numerous snowed-in parking lots, a spicy bikepacking trip, and endless smiles!  Read more…

2022 Recap: A Year in Review

The Mountaineers is an incredible community of outdoor enthusiasts, students, instructors, advocates, and leaders. We are inspired by our community’s dedication to fostering connections to the outdoors. As we close the door on 2022 and look ahead to 2023, we reflect on our core values and how they’ve guided us through this past fiscal year. Read more…

Top 10 Mountaineers of Instagram: Inspiration for 2023

One of the first impulses we have while recreating outdoors is to take a photo. We want to share the exhilaration of our alpine scrambles, the warmth of alpenglow on an early morning snowshoe, or the unexpected wildlife dotting our hiking trails. We photograph because we have a deep connection to these natural places and we want others to experience that connection, too. Read more…

Winter Access Changes for Mount Rainier National Park’s Paradise Area

We’ve heard from many members expressing concern about this winter’s weekday closure of the Longmire to Paradise Road in Mount Rainier National Park. We share those concerns for the loss of winter recreation access, and we are sympathetic to the staffing challenges the Park is currently facing. Read more…

Trip Report: Outdoor Alliance WA visits D.C.

Last year we announced that The Mountaineers is leading Outdoor Alliance Washington (OA Washington), a network of organizations representing the human-powered outdoor recreation community in Washington State. The goal of OA Washington is to forge strong relationships with lawmakers and land managers so that we can effectively advocate for shared conservation, recreation, and climate priorities. By amplifying the voices of more than 75,000 hikers,  paddlers, climbers, backcountry skiers, and mountain bikers across the state, we can achieve a more sustainable future for Washington’s outdoors. Read more…

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Through the Inflation Reduction Act

As we increasingly experience the impacts of climate change in our communities and on outdoor experiences, it’s time to meaningfully invest in fighting the climate crisis. This summer, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) - a massive package of climate, healthcare, and tax bills - was passed by Congress and signed into law. Read more…