Olympia Branch Blog Posts

Olympia Branch Blog Posts

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Trip Report: Clear Creek Intra-Urban Trail

Clear Creek Trail is an intra-urban, family-friendly trail located in Silverdale, Washington that winds through riparian zones, wetlands, and dense forests. This trail is open for walking, running, biking, or strolling leisurely with your kids. The best time to walk the beach is in the early mornings during low tide when you can observe wildlife and the many birds fishing for lunch around the estuary. My most recent visit was a quick jaunt with my pops and Bilbo the Adventure Dog to see the wetlands and the interior forests. Read more…

An Evening of Advocacy: Featured Artists - Sep 24

Join us on the waterfront on Saturday, September 24 for An Evening of Advocacy and incredible artwork!  Read more…

How To Get Involved as a Volunteer

The Mountaineers began as a volunteer organization, and 116 years later we are still largely run by volunteers, with a small staff supporting administrative tasks. Whether your interests are in teaching, leading trips, helping at events, supporting stewardship efforts, or serving on a committee that orchestrates such activities, we have opportunities for you to pitch in and make a difference!  Read more…

You're Invited to join our Strategic Plan Focus Sessions

Our five-year strategic Plan, Vision 2022, provided an important foundation for us as leaders in innovative outdoor education striving to engage future generations in advocacy, adventure, education, volunteerism, and community. Vision 2022 also put a stake in the ground for our goal of becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization where all people can feel belonging. Read more…

Trip Report: Outdoor Alliance Washington Summer Celebration

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…

End of Summer Gear Grab - August 29

Have a gear wishlist a mile long, or some extra gear you'd like to unload? Come to The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center from 6-8pm on Monday, August 29 for our upcoming Gear Grab.  Read more…

Conservation 101: Mountaineers Conservation Education

Education lies at the heart of most everything we do at The Mountaineers. As a 116-year-old outdoor education organization, we’ve found that the more you know about your environment, the more you can enjoy it. Our courses, activities, and initiatives teach outdoor enthusiasts new ways to experience and enjoy Washington’s landscapes. We educate and empower youth to connect to nature by introducing them to the many benefits of outdoor experience, including perseverance, self-confidence, and appreciation for the natural world. Read more…

Trip Report: Outdoor Alliance Washington talks Climate Action and Outdoor Access with Rep. Pramila Jayapal

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

An Evening of Advocacy on Seattle’s Waterfront - Sep 24

We are thrilled to welcome you on Saturday, September 24 to support our impactful conservation and advocacy work. The Mountaineers has a long and rich history as a regional leader in these efforts, and we need your help to continue moving the needle on climate policy. Read more…

You’re Invited! End of Summer Bash at REI - Sep 15

Join us on September 15 for our End of Summer Bash hosted by REI. Adults 21 and over can enjoy a fun night of food, drinks, and music on the outdoor terrace at REI Seattle’s Flagship Store. Read more…

Nominate an Outstanding Leader for the Olympia Branch Service Award

Our volunteer leaders are a huge part of what makes the Olympia Branch such an inspiring, fun, and impactful community. Each year we honor the hard work and dedication of one Olympia volunteer by presenting them with the Branch Service Award. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - July 2022

June may have been a cold and rainy month, but if the heat of the past couple weeks is any indication, summer is finally here. Our activity calendars are filling up and so are trailhead parking lots. Most trail snow has left, mosquitoes have arrived en masse, and the summits are generous in their offerings of clear-skied views. Read more…

Trip Report: North Fork Quinault River to Wolf Bar

The day started off cool, gray, and cloudy. We arrived at the trailhead at 10:35 am. The low-lying mist swirled gently around us, cloaking ancient trees, shrouding foothills from view, and forcing us into cold weather gear we were not too happy to put on. Summer was here after all, but it didn’t seem like it. Read more…

Volunteer Recruitment Made Easy

The work of our existing dedicated volunteers is one of the many reasons we see our volunteer base growing each year. Many Mountaineers have shared how a positive experience with a volunteer or leader led them to pay it forward themselves, allowing us to provide more courses, trips, and programs for our membership.  Read more…

New Courses: Foundations of Leadership, Foundations of Instruction

Over the past year, two new courses have been developed by staff and select volunteer leaders to help set the benchmark for outdoor leadership training at The Mountaineers. These courses are the Foundations of Leadership and the Foundations of Instruction eLearning courses. They were designed for our current and future volunteer trip leaders and instructors, with the goal of fostering diverse and passionate connections throughout The Mountaineers.  Read more…

New Route Update: South Early Winter Spires (SEWS)

South Early Winters Spire (SEWS) is a popular climbing route in the North Cascades. The highest summit of the Liberty Bell Group, the climb offers outstanding views of Liberty Bell and the North Cascades. Climbers flock to SEWS as a great option for their first alpine climbing experience because of the quality of granite rock and the relatively easy climbing and great scrambling. Read more…

Volunteer Opportunity - Olympic National Forest Sustainable Trails Survey

Join the Olympia Branch as they work to support the Olympic National Forest's Sustainable Recreation Study. The study is designed to engage the public in the care of trails and gather feedback on individual trail management. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - June 2022

With cobalt-blue skies, post-bedtime sunsets, and Rainier finally making a regular appearance on the horizon, it feels like summer is finally here. As the weather starts to heat up and we attempt to cool off (however unsuccessfully) with summer swims and smoothies, let’s refresh ourselves with the brisker memories of June’s adventures.  Read more…

Celebrate Summer at the Olympia Branch 2022 Annual Picnic

Join the Olympia Branch for our annual summer picnic, where we celebrate our unique local community. The event will be sustainably catered and is open to members and their families & guests.  Read more…

Protect the Mount St. Helens Area from Mining

Directly bordering the monument, the upper Green River Valley is an ecologically important landscape beloved for its scenic views and many recreation opportunities. Early versions of the bill to designate Mount St. Helens a national monument included protections for the valley, but those lands were carved out of the final version to protect mining interests. Left unprotected, the valley continues to face the threat of development. Read more…

Meet The Mountaineers Conservation & Advocacy Committee

At its heart, conservation is about people - people with strong outdoor connections that steward and protect our landscapes, and grow a community of advocates for our wild places. The people that power conservation at The Mountaineers aren’t just our staff, they’re members and volunteers driven to preserve the outdoor experience for future generations. Read more…

How To Make a Backcountry Poop Kit

It took a lot of practice, but I finally learned how to poop directly into a dog bag. I’d been getting outside for years – crag climbing and backcountry skiing mostly – and I wasn’t a fan of carrying a trowel and digging a six-inch cat hole. Instead, I’d find a private space, answer the call of nature directly onto the ground/snow, then pick it up (double bag!) and pack it out (toilet paper too!). Read more…

Stewardship Trip Report: Glacial Heritage Preserve

Glacial Heritage is a special native prairie ecosystem. It is one of the premier prairie conservation sites in the South Puget Sound region, and is only open to the public once a year on Prairie Appreciation Day, May 14.  Read more…

Conservation 101: The Mountaineers Conservation History

When you hear the word “conservation,” what comes to mind? To us, conservation can mean protecting natural landscapes for public enjoyment through the creation of national parks, forests, and wilderness areas. It can also mean individual acts of advocacy, stewardship, or low-impact recreation. Read more…

Seeking Candidates for the Olympia Branch Council

The Olympia Branch is a vibrant, growing community with quality volunteer leaders. Behind these leaders is a dedicated Branch Council, who provides the structure and support to help our leaders and general membership thrive.  Read more…

Stewarding Mount Rainier National Park: A Conversation with Volunteer Margot Tsakonas

Mountaineers have cherished the natural beauty and challenges offered by Mount Rainier since our beginning, and stewardship and volunteering have always been a part of that story. Early members helped build the original Wonderland Trail, and many current and former members volunteer their time to care for this special place today. Read more…

Mountaineer Magazine Summer 2022

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…

Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area Update

The Mountains to Sound Greenway is an ecologically diverse corridor stretching 100 miles from Seattle to Ellensburg. A focal area for Mountaineers adventures, the Greenway’s 1,600 miles of trails are home to many of the places we ski, hike, climb, and bike. Whether taking in stunning views of the Cascade crest, climbing at Exit 38, or hiking to Rattlesnake Ledge, the Greenway’s landscapes and the outdoor opportunities they provide help preserve our region’s unique history and culture. Read more…

Safety Stories: Preventing Slips & Falls

We all fall in the outdoors. Some fall more than others and, unfortunately, I fit within that category. I am uncoordinated and always have been. I fall all the time. That's one of the main reasons while I will never learn to climb mountains; I'd probably fall off one!  Read more…