Olympia Branch Blog Posts

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Looking Beyond Stoke: It’s Time To Educate The Masses

It’s no surprise to any of us who have been hiking and adventuring in our wild places since the days of heavy luggedsole boots, knee high cotton socks, and external frames that in the words of conservationist Rick McGuire of the North Cascades Conservation Council and Alpine Lakes Protection Society: we are currently facing a human tsunami on our trails. And if we’re to stay true to this metaphor, a tsunami inundating our wild places isn’t going to leave them in good shape. Read more…

Volunteers Needed! Recruiting for Inclusion Committee

The storied legacy and history of our 112-year old organization is our biggest asset, and our biggest weakness. Like all great mountains, The Mountaineers has a shadow side; a largely untold story where people have been excluded from or marginalized in the outdoors because of their skin color or gender or available resources or sexual orientation. It's time to change. Read more…

Olympia Mountaineers Annual Recognition & Awards Banquet - Oct 27

You're invited to join us for the annual Olympia Mountaineers Banquet! Each year we gather to celebrate the work we have done, the fun we have had, and the friendships we made during the 2018 program year. Read more…

Building A Safe and Respectful Culture

One of our Core Values is Community. We provide opportunities for all because we believe a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love. To be true to this value, our commitment to treating one another respectfully must be iron-clad. When we do this consistently, day in and day out, we build the kind of culture where all people feel safe and can enjoy outdoor experiences to their fullest. Read more…

Celebrating K2: A Recap of our 40th Anniversary Event Series

It started with a phone call. Jim Whittaker, best known as the first American to summit Mt. Everest, had an idea. In 1978 'Big Jim' led the first Americans to the top of K2, and wanted to get his ’78 team back together, 40 years to the day of the summit. As a visionary leader, Jim knew the reunion would be a gathering for the ages and wanted to share the excitement with the community that supported him. Jim started climbing with us when he was fifteen, and as a lifelong Mountaineer he saw an opportunity to promote The Mountaineers, with all proceeds benefiting our nonprofit. We were honored and quick to agree. Read more…

Mountaineers Youth Clubs - New Member Meetings & Registration

It’s fall, the air is crisp, the leaves are turning golden brown, and The Mountaineers Youth Clubs are launching new seasons to transform our young Mountaineers into lifelong outdoor enthusiasts! Join our youth clubs this fall as we welcome new members and plan for a year of learning new skills and adventuring. Read more…

We ARE Outside | Reframing What It Means to Be ‘Outdoorsy’

One of my favorite places in the outdoors has multiple trails, several different habitats, and offers spectacular views of a major snow-capped peak. There is an old-growth forest where, among the mossy trees, you are serenaded by the rat-ta-tat-tat of pileated woodpeckers, hoots from barred owls, and screeches of Stellar’s jays. There also is abundant shoreline, where rabbits bound, beavers sun, and bald eagles, kingfishers, great blue heron, osprey, and otters nab fish. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer Laurie Choate

We're devastated to share the news of the passing of Laurie Choate, an active member and volunteer leader with our Olympia Branch. She was hiking the Kendall Katwalk on a private trip on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, when she slipped and fell approximately 300ft. She did not survive. Read more…

Apply Now! Alpine Ambassadors Ice Skills Development - Ouray & Canmore

We invite you to apply for this winter's Alpine Ambassadors ice climbing program. The program will help you develop more advanced ice climbing skills on challenging terrain with support from each other, skilled volunteers, and professional guides. Volunteers from all branches are invited to participate in this innovative, aspirational program, which seeks to infuse The Mountaineers with deeper skills and inspiration to give back.   Read more…

K2 40th Anniversary: Inspiration Through Generations

As a teenager in the 1950s, I was a voracious reader fascinated with several books that became the classic accounts of the so called “Golden Age” of Himalayan mountaineering. Among this treasure trove was K2: The Savage Mountain, the unforgettable story of the 1953 American K2 expedition. It stirred a fascination with K2 in me which has lasted a lifetime. Read more…