Olympia Branch Blog Posts

Olympia Branch Blog Posts

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Olympia Hiking and Backpacking Committee Meeting – Nov 9

Join the Olympia Branch for a Hiking and Backpacking Committee meeting! This online meeting is a place for hike and backpack leaders within the branch to come together, share ideas, and get a refresher if you haven’t led any activities for a while. We will be reviewing our plans for the 2021-2022 season, providing news on the latest Mountaineers leader guidelines, and sharing experiences from the last year. Read more…

Trip Report: Outdoor Alliance Washington Tours Olympic National Forest with Representative Kilmer

Thanks to support from outdoor enthusiasts like you, we’re able to successfully advocate for public lands protections and outdoor access. It starts with building relationships with lawmakers, management agencies, and their staff at the federal and local level in order to influence legislation and advocate for critical funding to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities and protect our beloved Pacific Northwest landscapes. Read more…

Announcing Outdoor Alliance Washington

For six years, The Mountaineers has been a proud member of Outdoor Alliance, a national coalition of human-powered outdoor recreation organizations working to conserve America’s public lands. We joined Outdoor Alliance because we know that the voices of climbers, paddlers, hikers, mountain bikers, and backcountry skiers are much more powerful when we speak together. Our collective voice increases our community’s leverage with federal and state decision makers on public lands and recreation. Read more…

Protections Restored for Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

On Friday, President Biden restored protections to three national monuments, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in southeast Utah. These spectacular landscapes are sacred to Indigenous peoples and contain world-class recreational opportunities. The President used his authority under the Antiquities Act - a bedrock conservation law - to permanently protect these lands as national monuments. Read more…

Mountainfilm on Tour - Streaming Oct 14-17, 2021

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 14-17, 2021. Read more…

It's Crunch Time! Tell Congress to Invest in Climate & Public Lands

Lately you’ve heard from us about historic opportunities to tackle climate change and invest in public lands through upcoming infrastructure and budget reconciliation bills. Now it’s crunch time: Congress is on the precipice of passing once-in-a-generation legislation to protect climate and public lands. How big Congress decides to go is still very much in the air, so this is a critical time to share your priorities with your senators and representatives. Read more…

Celebrating Public Lands and the Rich Conservation History of The Mountaineers

If you’re a bit like me, then maybe every day could be public lands day. The Pacific Northwest is fortunate to have many parks, trails, waterways, and green spaces that provide positive benefits across communities. There truly is something for everyone, in every season. Here at The Mountaineers, we strive to raise awareness around the importance of natural landscapes conserved as public lands - not just for recreation, but for the health and cultural identity of our region. Join us to celebrate National Public Lands Day this September 25th. Read more…

First All-Black American Expedition to Everest Set to Make History

“Almost 60 years after the first successful American ascent of Mount Everest, a team of U.S. climbers aims to make history once again on the world’s highest peak. Led by Phil Henderson, a former instructor at the National Outdoor Leadership School and a veteran  mountaineer, this group, made up of athletes from across the country, aspires to be the first all-Black American expedition to reach the summit.” wrote James Edward Mills, Mountaineers Books Author and freelance journalist, in an article for Outside Business Journal announcing the project in late August 2021. Read more…

Mountaineer Magazine Fall 2021

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…

Action Alert! Support Public Lands Funding

We say it all the time: funding public lands is a core part of protecting the places we love. Years of underfunding and budget cuts have left agencies without the staff or resources they need to steward our public lands and waters. Without adequate funding, trails don’t get maintained, facilities like restrooms and campgrounds are closed, and the natural environment is degraded. Fortunately, there are several opportunities right now to take action to support public lands funding.  Read more…

Help Shape the Future of Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier is a favorite destination for Mountaineers members for activities like wildflower hikes, snow skills practice at Paradise, or a Basic alpine climb in the Tatoosh Range. But park entrances and roads can get quite congested, especially on sunny summer weekends. Hours-long waits at the Nisqually entrance near Ashford are common, and finding parking can be the crux of the trip.  Read more…

Meet The Mountaineers + Gear Grab - Aug 23

Interested in learning how to snowshoe, kayak, or navigate in the backcountry? Want to meet new adventure buddies? 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 23 for our upcoming Gear Grab.  Read more…

2021 Wildfire Closures and Resources

Wildfires are burning across our region and smoke is causing extremely poor air quality in some counties. 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 and respect public land closures when getting outside this summer. Read more…

King 5 Evening Features Kitsap Forest Theater - Get Tickets Today

“The show must go on” has always been the motto of The Mountaineers Players who have been performing at the Kitsap Forest Theater since 1923. We produce shows to enrich the community by bringing stories to life in a magical outdoor setting that all ages can enjoy. We perform through all types of challenges (rain, record heat, cold, a closed Kitsap Cabin), and are thrilled to present Little Women on most weekends this summer. Come take a hike to visit our magical space and experience the wonder of outdoor theater for yourselfRead more…

Great News for Ancient Forests and Climate: Tongass Protections Restored

Over the past few years, we’ve asked you to take action against a proposal to exempt the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from the Roadless Rule. The Roadless Rule is an important conservation tool that protects many of our most valued backcountry landscapes, including many in Washington, from logging, road building, and other development. The previous administration removed protections from the Tongass rainforest to open it up to development, despite overwhelming opposition. Read more…

Action Alert! Tell Congress to Act on Climate

As the Pacific Northwest faces an early and intense wildfire season, an unprecedented heat wave, and severe drought, we’ve been thinking a lot about how The Mountaineers can help advance climate solutions. The climate crisis is an urgent threat to our communities and the Pacific Northwest landscapes we love. Our community experiences the effects of climate change on our outdoor adventures, as wildfires cancel hikes and glacier travel becomes more perilous. It also impacts our health and communities, especially our most vulnerable. Read more…

Olympia Stewardship: Spring & Early Summer 2021

Olympia Mountaineers have been busy this year! We're back in full force now that COVID-19 restrictions have loosened, and our hard work has already made a big impact. Read about two recent projects branch members undertook, and get inspired for your own stewardship day this season. Read more…

Trip Report: Cape Perpetua

For our third installment of the Oregon Winter Adventure series, we take a look at Cape Perpetua and the geological marvels that it holds. Learn about this gorgeous spot along the Oregon Coast, and how to maximize your visit if you choose to head south for some seaside adventures.  Read more…

Olympia Virtual Banff Mountain Film Festival - New Monthly Programming

The Banff Film Festival has been part of the fabric of the Olympia Branch for over 20 years. Is not only a significant source of revenue for the Olympia Branch, but it provides the Olympia Mountaineers with a venue for promoting our classes, programs, and activities. We will soon meet again on those cold December evenings, but until then please enjoy the Banff Mountain Film Festival Virtual World Tour Playlists and the Monthly Award Winners Series. Read more…

How Do You Recreate in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest? Share Your Data

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…

Get Tickets: 2021 Banff Mountain Film Festival in Olympia - Sep 9 & 10

The Olympia Mountaineers have been sponsoring the Banff Film Festival for more than 20 years. We usually host our community screenings in December, but have moved the 2021 world tour to September due to COVID-19 concerns.  Read more…

Announcing the Tacoma Program Center Net-Zero Energy Project

The Mountaineers made a commitment to reduce our organization’s carbon footprint as part of Vision 2022. Since 2018, we have made significant progress in reducing the carbon footprint of Mountaineers buildings, including installing a solar panel system at our Seattle Program Center and replacing over 500 lightbulbs in four buildings with LED retrofits. Now, The Mountaineers Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee is excited to announce the Tacoma Program Center Net-Zero Energy Project.  Read more…

The Mountaineers Testifies Before Congress

We were incredibly honored to bring The Mountaineers mission and priorities to a national stage last week. Conservation and Advocacy Director Betsy Robblee was invited to testify before a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on increasing access to the outdoors by improving the federal recreational permitting process. We’ve been working for years on legislation to improve the current inefficient, unpredictable recreational permitting system, and were grateful for the opportunity to share our ideas with Congress.  Read more…

Olympia's Annual Picnic and Banquet - Aug 4

Picnics and northwest summer evenings are made for each other, and they're even even better when the picnic offers your first chance to gather in person with other Olympia Branch members in over a year.  We invite you to join us for our summer picnic on August 4.  Read more…

Trip Report: Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Seal Rock

The Oregon coast is known for its stunning geography and charming seaside towns. In a winter trip along the coast I had the joy of visiting two delightful locations on the coast: Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Seal Rock. Read on to learn about these remarkable places, and to find tips so that you might plan your own trip. 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. To help with this process, we ask our branch members to submit nominations for those they believe go above and beyond their volunteer responsibilities to enhance the courses, activities and spirit of The Mountaineers. Read more…

Unseen Danger: Navigating Snow Bridge Hazards

Last Sunday, search and rescue teams responded to an emergency call from a popular early-season climb in the Olympic mountains. Two climbers slipped on a steep snowy slope while climbing The Brothers. One fell “into an opening in the snow and over a rock face with running melt water,” and sadly did not survive. This tragic accident has brought an annually recurring hazard back into the thoughts of everyone within the outdoor community: the danger posed by snow bridges.  Read more…

Seeking Proposals: Equity & Emotional Safety in the Outdoors Online Course

The Mountaineers, in partnership with the Mountain Education Alliance (MEA), is looking to develop an online Equity & Emotional Safety in the Outdoors training for our volunteers. We're seeking DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) curriculum experts to submit proposals for consideration. Please help us spread the word. Read more…

Climate Change Speaker Series Recap

During Earth Month, the Mountaineers Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee hosted a Climate Change Speaker Series to help our community learn more about the climate crisis. Mountaineers members and a Mountaineers Books author shared insights about how climate change will affect our world, our wild places, and our lives. The events were well attended and participants asked great questions of the presenters.  Read more…

Great News for the Outdoors in Washington State’s Budget

This winter, we shared our funding priorities for outdoor programs in Washington’s state budget. Hundreds of you took action to share those priorities with your state legislators - thank you! We’re excited to report that outdoor recreation and conservation received strong support from the Legislature this session.  Read more…