Foothills Branch Blog Posts

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A Hidden Winter Gem: Going Hut-to-Hut in Western Washington

I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you. It’s a hard trek during winter. My best friend and I took on the challenge last spring, breaking trail for a full mile through fresh powder with heavy backpacks. We felt breathless as we snowshoed four miles to one of the highest points in Tahoma State Forest. But with every crunch beneath our snowshoes — and between the sounds of our groans - the top of Mount Rainier became more and more visible. Read more…

Announcing 'Jim Whittaker Day' + "Return to Mount Kennedy" Film Premier - Feb 19, 2019

In 1965 Jim Whittaker led Senator Robert Kennedy to the first ascent of a remote mountain in the Yukon named after the late president JFK. Fifty years later, the sons of the original climbing team—a raucous band manager, a candidate for governor, and a young mountaineer—embarked on an expedition to the mountain to celebrate the special bond that connects them all. This expedition is captured in the film Return to Mount Kennedy, and was screened in front of packed house in Seattle on December 9, 2018, and will be featured again on February 19, 2019, at our Seattle Program Center. Read more…

More Than A Summit: Mountain-Queers Celebrate Their First Scramble Trip

At the top of Three Way Peak, our rainbow assortment of French macarons shone in contrast to the cloudy skies. My mood mirrored our brightly colored summit treats. This was the first on-the-ground outing of Mountain-Queers, an affinity group of LGBTQ Mountaineers that I started laying the groundwork for last August. When I began, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, now I couldn’t wait to see what was next. Read more…

10 Essential Questions: Scott Shafer

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

Introducing Outdoor Advocates Network!

At a time when public lands and waters are under unprecedented attack, the outdoor community needs the knowledge and resources to protect the outdoor experience. That’s why we’re launching Outdoor Advocates Network, a resource where you can learn about and take action to champion our public lands. Read more…

Retro Rewind | Mary Anderson, Decades of Inspiration

Born Mary Gaiser on December 7, 1909, in Yakima Valley, Mary loved Washington and the natural world from a young age. She moved to Seattle and taught grade school until the mid-1930s, all the while sharing her love for wild places with her students. She was especially passionate about biology and natural history. Read more…

How to Safely Go Bear Spotting in Washington

We are fortunate to have large National Parks and Wilderness areas in Washington State, and with them come an incredible array of wildlife. Among the more mysterious and hard-to-spot creatures are the bears populating our forests and rivers. I've had the opportunity to see over 50 bears in Washington over the last 15 years, and another dozen or so outside the state. I’ve written down every memorable encounter and have learned a few things about where to find them, how to spot them, and what to do (and not do).  Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - November 2018

As Washington's ski resorts are finally nearing opening day, we can look back on a November  with a tiny bit of snow, some clear weather, and of course, a more than a dash of rain. Regardless of the weather, Mountaineers across the branches hiked, scrambled, and kayaked  their way through the month.  Read more…

How To: Get Ready for Winter

Though we’ve been teased with temperate days this October and November, autumn is rapidly coming to a close - and with it comes biting wind and cherry red cheeks. Bring your a-game this season by being fully prepared to handle the cold and any unexpected surprises father winter may throw your way. From winter trail running to cross-country skiing, we have you covered. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Tab Wilkins

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Tab Wilkins, a volunteer leader with the Foothills Branch who encourages our leaders to be more collaborative, to learn from and recognize near-misses, and to embrace opportunities for feedback. Read more…