Olympia Branch Blog Posts

Olympia Branch Blog Posts

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Impact Report for Fiscal Year 2021: The Mountaineers Annual Report

We are proud to share our fiscal year 2021 Impact Report, an annual publication highlighting the ways that programs, publishing, and people combine forces to impact our outdoor community and the future of outdoor recreation. Read more…

Evening of Advocacy Recap - September 24, 2022

Together with our End of Summer Bash sponsored by REI Co-op, we’ve raised just shy of $40,000 to support The Mountaineers Conservation and Advocacy program.  Our community has a long and rich history as a regional leader advocating on behalf of the natural world, and our successes would not be possible without your dedication and commitment to protect the places we love. Read more…

Help Shape Sustainable Recreation Planning in the Olympic National Forest

The Olympic National Forest draws Mountaineers from all over the region year-round to hike, camp, and experience the natural beauty of the Olympic Peninsula. Whether you’re drawn to peaks like Mount Ellinor or love to hike lush river valleys like the Skokomish, the forest’s five wilderness and twenty developed campgrounds offer something for everyone hoping to experience these iconic old growth forests. Read more…

Announcing The Mountaineers Land Acknowledgment Statement

From craggy summits to windswept beaches, Washington’s lands and waters provide inspiration, connection, and transformative experiences. For more than 115 years, The Mountaineers community has been connected through a passion for these places and a commitment to leave outdoor spaces better than we found them. However, it is important to recognize that the places where we gather, learn, and recreate are the lands of Native peoples who have lived here since time immemorial. Read more…

Watch The Mountaineers Annual Meeting from Sep 13, 2022


Each year, we host an annual meeting for our members to share a retroactive tour of our last fiscal year. Members are invited to join virtually to hear about how The Mountaineers is doing, learn more about our strategic planning process and upcoming focus sessions, have the opportunity to ask questions of our leaders. Per our bylaws, the Annual Meeting also allows Mountaineers members to make At-Large Director nominations from the floor for the 2022 election season. Here's the recording from September 13, 2022. Read more…

Why Do We Talk About Diversity in The Mountaineers?

Recently, my partner and I helped teach the Kitsap Alpine Scrambling Course. We began class with an icebreaker question: “When did you fall in love with the outdoors? And if you’re not sure you’re in love yet, when did the outdoors start to call to you?” The responses varied, and even though we came from vastly different backgrounds, we found we had as much common ground as we had differences. This icebreaker served as an introduction to our 20-minute module on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). We continued our conversation by asking a question, in some cases considered the question, then talked about other ways we, as leaders and students, can help foster a culture of belonging for ourselves and each other. Read more…

Mountaineer Magazine Fall 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…

Top 10 Trip Reports - August 2022

How fitting that this fall's magazine theme would be Trip Reports, because this month’s members absolutely rocked it with theirs! Stories, photos, and beta galore, these reports were a joy to read through, especially because our trip leaders were quite the comedians this time around. Read more…

Saying Goodbye to Amber Carrigan

Few people have done more to change the trajectory of our organization than Amber Carrigan. In her five years serving as Development Director, Amber built a talented and high-performing team, dramatically transformed our fundraising mission and messaging to build a stronger culture of philanthropy, and most importantly built deep and caring relationships with hundreds of donors and volunteers. While we are sad to say goodbye, we wish her the best of luck as she moves on to her next chapter at the end of September. Read more…

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…