Kitsap Branch Blog Posts

Kitsap Branch Blog Posts

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Trip Report: Scenic Beach State Park

Scenic Beach State Park is a childhood favorite of mine. My grandparents often tucked us grandkids into their car with giant hampers filled with food, plastic bags for collecting shellfish, and binoculars for spying wildlife, boats, and the Olympic Mountains. This little hidden gem is worthy of an excursion amidst its shady trees, offering majestic views of Hood Canal. Our picnic was held in regal dining hall filled with cedar and Douglas fir, fit for little wild kings and queens. Read more…

How To: Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in Our National Forests

Did you know that our national forests issue permits each year to harvest your own Christmas tree? In years past, permits were issued at ranger stations but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you will now be able to purchase your Christmas tree permit online at recreation.gov. Search by state or browse the list of national forests to find the most convenient location for you. Read more…

Honoring Indigenous People Through Education

As a white person, my own education on Native history and culture is ongoing and largely self-directed, and I want to share a few things I've learned in the hopes that it will be helpful to others like me. Read more…

Volunteer Search & Rescue: Learn About These Everyday Heroes - Nov 18

The Pacific Northwest, especially the Puget Sound Area, is famous for its natural beauty and abundance of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Our combination of mountains, ocean, islands, rivers, and forests is unique, and has given rise over the decades to a vibrant outdoor scene that includes not just an enthusiastic community of individual adventurers, but a rich ecosystem of outdoor clubs, gear manufactures and shops, outfitters, guiding services, authors, publishers, WTA, NWAC, and of course The Mountaineers. Among the most amazing, yet least understood, contributors are the region's all volunteer Search and Rescue organizations. Read more…

CEO Update: Navigating 2020 & Looking Ahead to 2021

For most of us, putting 2020 in the rearview mirror is something we’re looking forward to. As I’ve shared before, the COVID-19 crisis has created significant challenges for organizations such as The Mountaineers. The biggest headwind we faced this year was the dramatic reduction of program revenue as we largely shut down. At the beginning of the crisis, we literally wondered if we’d have enough cash in the bank to get us through the summer because the courses, camps, lodges, and books retailers that traditionally support our organization had nearly ground to a halt. In what felt like the blink of an eye, we were facing a more than 25% revenue gap for the year. To successfully survive this COVID-induced storm, we’ve had to adapt to significant changes and redouble our commitment to our mission and core values. Read more…

Shook: Everest's Deadliest Day with Jennifer Hull & Dave Hahn - Nov 17

Join Jennifer Hull, author of Shook: An Earthquake, a Legendary Mountain Guide, and Everest's Deadliest Day, and mountain guide Dave Hahn for a virtual event to benefit the Juniper Fund, Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, and The Mountaineers. Read more…

New Branch Chair, Committee Chair, and Branch Officer Badges

In an effort to better recognize our club leadership, we’re excited to announce a new trio of badges to celebrate branch chairs, activity committee chairs, and branch officers! Read more…

Mountaineering and the Climate Crisis: A Recap of Events with Conrad Anker

The Mountaineers was honored to host legendary alpinist and environmental activist Conrad Anker for two recent events on the climate crisis. Conrad joined us on September 24, 2020, to share stories of adventures around the world and how wild places have been negatively impacted by the global climate crisis. The following evening, our Peak Society donors enjoyed a special discussion with Conrad and several other esteemed panelists. Read more…

E&I Update: 2020 Actions + New Steering Committee Members

More than two years ago The Mountaineers announced our intention to engage in equity & inclusion (E&I) work. This commitment stems from our belief that a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love. We're grateful to all in our community who have been engaging and supportive, and we're excited to share the work we’ve done so far in 2020 and introduce you to our new steering committee members. Read more…

How To: Entertain Kids While Hiking & Backpacking

Backpacking with kids is an exciting and eye-opening experience for both parents and children. Sharing the love of nature, exploration, and adventure is special, but not always the easiest thing to get kids exited about. These activity ideas will help you have a great time the next time you head into the backcountry with kids. Read more…

How To: See Golden Larches This Fall

Crisp days and bright fall foliage call hikers out onto the trails each autumn, but few trees draw crowds like our much-loved larches. Located primarily on the sunny eastern slopes of the Cascades, larches are deciduous conifers whose needles turn a rich gold each year. Their stout frames and bristling branches dot hillsides with color each October, and make alpine scenes all the more magical. Read on to learn more about these unique trees and the best hikes to spy them on. Read more…

Climbers of Color: A Partnership to Support More Leaders of Color

We're excited to be partnering with Climbers of Color in support of their mission to create more leaders of color in mountaineering. Established in 2017, Climbers of Color is a Washington State nonprofit that aims to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the climbing and mountaineering community by developing leaders of color. To accomplish its mission, Climbers of Color provides supportive mentorship, technical training from BIPOC professional guides, and access to key resources including gear and scholarships. Read more…

2021 Basic Alpine Climbing Courses

Fall is here, and with fall comes registration for new courses, including our popular Basic Alpine Climbing course. With the widespread effects of the pandemic, our capacity and format will be different for the 2021 courses, and we’ve tried our best to outline those changes below. We hope that you’ll still be able to find a course that piques your interest for the coming year! Read more…

Leave No Trace Tips for New Hikers

Hiking is a wonderful way to get outside, stretch your legs, and see the best of what the Northwest has to offer. However, it’s important to be mindful of the impacts that we can have on our public lands by doing our best to keep the places we visit wild and pristine. Read more…

Share Your Forest Use Data - Help Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Do you hike, climb, bike, hunt, picnic, or otherwise spend time outdoors in Washington? We need your help! Our partners are working to help the US Forest Service improve their data collection related to visitor use in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Information about outdoor recreation is critical for maintaining and advocating for recreational opportunities on public lands. Read more…

Mountainfilm on Tour - Oct 1-3, 2020

Mountainfilm on Tour showcases a selection of culturally rich, adventure-packed, and incredibly inspiring documentary films curated from the annual Mountainfilm festival held in Telluride, Colorado. In lieu of a traditional in-person gathering, The Mountaineers will be hosting a virtual screening of Mountainfilm on Tour with an inspiring program of films that explore themes connected to Mountainfilm’s mission of using the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world. Films can be viewed from Oct 1-3, 2020 Read more…

Wildfire Closures and Resources

Wildfires are burning across our region and smoke is causing extremely poor air quality. Our hearts are heavy with concern for those affected by fires in Washington State and beyond. We ask our community to practice good decision-making skills, respect public land closures, and consider staying home. Here is a list of current closures and guidance from land managers (Note: this information was current as of September 11, 2020. Please check current conditions on land manager websites before venturing out.): Read more…

CEO Update: COVID-19 Challenges and Financial Health Review

Since our last organization-wide COVID-19 update, we’ve settled into a new normal of mask-wearing, smaller group and lower-risk activities, and virtual programs in place of larger, in-person gatherings. We’ve demonstrated resilience and creativity as a community, and although we know the year ahead will likely throw many challenges at us, more and more, we have confidence that The Mountaineers will survive. Here's an overview of some of the challenges we’ve overcome this summer and the plans we’re building for the coming year to ensure we continue to support our community and the mission of The Mountaineers.  Read more…

BeWild with Vik Sahney - Sep 10

Join us on September 10 for a virtual BeWild event with avid mountaineer, climber of the 7-summits, and Mountaineers board president, Vik Sahney. Read more…

Joint Statement on Climbing Route Naming

The American Alpine Club, Appalachian Mountain Club, Colorado Mountain Club, Mazamas, and The Mountaineers join with those speaking out and taking action against racist, sexist, and otherwise derogatory route names, and we welcome the conversation about how best to move forward as a community.  Read more…

What Does the Great American Outdoors Act Mean for Washington?

On August 4, 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) was signed into law. This historic victory was the result of years of work by the conservation and recreation community, including The Mountaineers. What does the Great American Outdoors Act mean for Washington state and the places we love to explore? The answer is both “a lot” and “we’re not quite sure yet.” The Mountaineers will be working hard over the coming months to make sure that communities and outdoor spaces in Washington maximally benefit from this new infusion of funding.  Read more…

Discover Mushrooms of the PNW - August 26

What do Chantrelles, Morels, Lobsters, Oysters, Shaggy manes, Cauliflower, King Boletes and  Matsutake have in common? They are all wild edible mushrooms found in Northwest forests. If you would like to start gathering wild mushrooms or if you are looking for a refresher, this one evening seminar is for you. Read more…

Conrad Anker: Mountaineering and the Climate Crisis - Sep 24

There’s no arguing that Conrad Anker is one of the most accomplished climbers of our time. During his 30+ years as a professional climber, he’s completed numerous first ascents (including the infamous Shark’s Fin on Meru), set speed records on big mountains around the globe, and scaled many of the tallest and most technical peaks on the planet. In between expeditions and explorations, he’s busy paving the way for outdoor enthusiasts to participate in a different kind of adventure: environmental activism. Join us on September 24 for a virtual conversation with this outdoor legend. Read more…

SOAR Act Advances in U.S. House

This week, we're thrilled that legislation we've been working on for over six years - the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act - passed out of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. Next, the bill will head to the House floor for a vote. That means we're one step closer to fixing the current inefficient, unpredictable recreational permitting system that creates barriers for people to experience the outdoors through outdoor programs like The Mountaineers. Read more…

Adventure With Purpose: A Recap of Our 2020 Virtual Gala

In previous years, it has been our tradition to gather our community each spring to celebrate our achievements and support future efforts to transform lives and protect wild places at our annual fundraising gala. This year, however, was a little different.  Read more…

Great American Outdoors Act Passes Congress - Set to Become Law!

Your voice made a difference! The Great American Outdoors Act just passed the House with an overwhelming, bipartisan vote. Next, it goes to the President’s desk and is expected to be signed into law. Read more…

Action Alert! Keep Up the Momentum for Wild Olympics

Earlier this year, the House passed the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, which includes additional protections for the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act here in Washington state. The bill would protect over 126,000 acres around the Olympic National Park as Wilderness where outdoor enthusiasts, including Mountaineers, hike, camp, climb, and more.  Read more…

Free CalTopo Trip Planning Webinar – Aug 5

First among The Mountaineers Ten Essentials is navigation, and as technology has advanced that now includes both digital and physical maps. While physical maps can be customized for type, scale, coordinate markings, and personalized tracks and waypoints, digital maps have the benefit of GPS capability – allowing you to know where you are in the backcountry. Read more…

No Man's Land Virtual Film Festival - July 16

Join The Mountaineers to view some of the world's best outdoor films largely created by women and featuring female athletes! Films this year include the story of a refugee that finds a home in the climbing community, a marine biologist dedicated to protecting our planet, a pair of singletrack shredders that use pizza to bridge differences, and much more.  Read more…

Inside Insights: Innovative Outdoor Education in a Changing World

In the short span of several weeks, the coronavirus outbreak went from a small blip on our radar to something that, at times, feels all-consuming. Nearly every person, company, and organization on the planet is impacted by this crisis - and The Mountaineers is no exception.  Read more…