Olympia Branch Blog Posts

Olympia Branch Blog Posts

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The Mountaineers Gala Rescheduled and Reimagined

I am writing to update you about our response to the COVID-19 outbreak and actions related to our annual Gala. A lot has changed since last week, and we are committed to keeping our community healthy and to responding to public health recommendations in a way that allows us to best sustain our mission. In partnership with our Gala Co-Chairs and Event Committee, who are diligently keeping the health and safety of our community at front of mind, we are rescheduling The Mountaineers Gala to July 23, 2020.  Read more…

Hit the Trail With a Day Hiking Course - Begins March 30

With spring around the corner, we want to help you get ready to hit the trail with the Olympia Branch's new Day Hiking Course! Are you new to hiking, or haven't been out in a while? Do you wonder about gear, clothing, or backpack weight? Want to get better acquainted with our local area? This course is for you!  Read more…

CEO Update on the Keta Legacy Foundation Lawsuit

You may have heard recently that Keta Legacy Foundation, formerly known as The Mountaineers Foundation, filed a federal lawsuit against The Mountaineers. We were saddened by Keta’s action in suing us. And we were stunned to learn that Keta was not only demanding that the court allow it to continue to use the name “The Mountaineers” but also that the court prohibit us from using our own name for charitable fund‐raising activities. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Dee Ann Kline

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Dee Ann Kline, a volunteer leader with the Olympia Branch who enjoys leading easy paced hikes with plenty of time for photos and berry picking. Read more…

Sign Up For Olympia Summer Youth Camps - June 22-July 24

This summer, our Olympia Branch of The Mountaineers is offering four weeks of unique and exciting summer camp adventures. With a combination of day camps and overnight camps (both cabin and camping opportunities), we have opportunities everyone will enjoy. See what we have planned and find a week (or four!) that works for your family. Read more…

Leadership at the Top: Seeking Candidates for the Olympia Branch Council

The Olympia Branch is a vibrant, growing community with quality volunteer leaders. The Branch Council supports this great community of volunteers. The council is recruiting applicants for the Branch Council elections that will be held this summer. Read more…

Olympia Conservation Stewardship Development Meeting - Feb 27

According to Olympia Mountaineer Jim French: "as Mountaineers, we may have been the first to see changes in our environment and they have been catastrophic. The signs aren't good. Well, the smart gambler says, 'let's not take that chance. Maybe we should be doing something.'" Read more…

Mountaineers Backpacking Courses for 2020

Backpacking season will be upon us before we know it, and we have more options than ever to help you kick-start your backcountry dreams. Courses are available for adults at all skill and experience levels, as well as for families who want to take kids out on the trail. And, you're welcome to take a course with any branch regardless of your branch affiliation. Be sure to sign up for courses while you can, they fill up quickly!   Read more…

Trip Report: Indian Heaven Trail #33

The Indian Heaven area has been volcanically active since the Pleistocene age, with the most recent eruption happening around 9000 years ago, creating the Big Lava Bed south of the Indian Heaven. Lava flows paired with melting glacial ice created high, wide, thickly-forested plateaus within the Indian Heaven Wilderness making for great views, many deep lakes, and huckleberries galore. Read more…

Welcome New Olympia Mountaineers Members

Welcome new Olympia Branch members. You may have a few months and some courses and activities under your belt, or you might be brand new and getting ready to launch into 2020 with a bang, but wherever you are on your Mountaineers journey we're glad you've chosen the Olympia Branch to get you started! Read more…

Evening Leadership Seminar, Lacey - Feb 10, 2020

Whether you're a Mountaineers leader or not, we invite you to join us for our Leadership Development Series Seminar with Ben Brown. Join us to develop skills and strategies for presenting, providing feedback, and evaluating understanding on Feb 10, 2020. Read more…

Olympia Mountaineers Used Gear Sale - Feb 6

Join us Feb 6, 2020 for the annual Olympia Used Gear Sale! The sale is timed to take place after the first climbing and scrambling classes of 2020. Students will learn what gear and equipment they need and can bring their own shopping list to find bargains, and everyone is welcome to buy and sell! Read more…

Our Most Popular Blogs of 2019

We share a lot of content through our blog! With a community of 14,000 Mountaineers participating in courses, trips, activities, and so much more all the time, plus a nonprofit publishing division creating 30-35 books a year, we have plenty to share. Here are our Top 10 most read blogs of 2019:  Read more…

$100K Raised for Our People and Our Places

As we begin 2020, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be part of The Mountaineers community. We’re ringing in the new decade with celebration and it’s all because of you! Read more…

Top 10 Mountaineers of Instagram: Inspiration for 2020

Now more than ever, outdoor enthusiasts can learn about great places to play through social media. Finding new trails, discovering new paddles, and reaching new summits is easier than ever you connect with a community celebrating adventure through photos, videos, and stories on Instagram. Because we think the outdoors are worth sharing, we've picked a few Mountaineers whose Instagrams might just inspire you to get outside in the new year.  Read more…

Vision 2022 Progress Update: A Two Year Look At Our Strategic Plan

Each year we host a Leadership Conference to support our volunteer leaders. Leadership is as much an art as it is a skill, and the best outdoor leaders are always working to refine their leadership. And The Mountaineers are working to refine our leadership as well. Here's an update on our Vision 2022 strategic plan I shared with the attendees of our conference: Read more…

Olympia Mountaineers Recognize Leaders at Annual Banquet

The Olympia Branch of The Mountaineers has a rich history of developing outstanding leaders.  Each year, one leader in the climbing, conservation, hiking, and sea kayaking activities is honored as  Leader of the Year.  The Branch Service Award is given in recognition of service above the call of duty to the Olympia branch. Read more…

Mountain Education Alliance: A National Partnership of Mountain Clubs

As we well know at The Mountaineers, teamwork and a shared passion for the outdoors can produce some incredible things. Over the past few years, volunteers and staff at The Mountaineers have enjoyed deepening our relationships with our partners at the American Alpine Club, Colorado Mountain Club, and the Mazamas as we work together to develop national climbing education standards for volunteer clubs. Through this work, relationships and friendships have formed, new climbing partners were found, and we all quickly realized how much we have in common. Today, The Mountaineers is proud to be a part of the newly-named Mountain Education Alliance (MEA) - a formalized partnership between our organizations, and we’re excited to be a part of a new program to recognize volunteer educators, both in the United States and worldwide. Read more…

My Profile: Pronouns & Optional Demographics

We believe a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love, and that's why we seek to provide opportunities for all. As a reflection of our Core Values and the strategic priorities of Vision 2022, we’ve invested in internal equity to be sure everyone feels a place of belonging in The Mountaineers. Recently, we invested in improvements to the My Profile page for you to share your pronouns and demographic information. Read more…

Where are you REALLY from?

The scene is one familiar to every Mountaineer: a full car on a long drive back from a successful outing. The conversation is flowing and everyone is at ease after having shared an inspiring time out in the wilderness. Then, inevitably, a fellow climber asks me the question: “Where are you from?” Read more…

51 Years of The Mountaineers Foundation

It is a sad moment in the history of The Mountaineers. With a heavy heart, we learned that the foundation we created more than 50 years ago has filed a lawsuit against The Mountaineers. We want to explain the events that led to this and share our plan to defend our beloved organization and the wishes of our donors. Read more…

Did You Know? Ape Canyon Trail

Our hike this month takes us to Mt. St. Helens’ Ape Canyon trail. The trail takes its name from Sasquatch sightings back in the early 1920s. Not only is the trail rich in local folklore and legend, but geological history as well. Hiking up to the Loowit trail you can view the geological history of Mt. St. Helens. The hike follows an ancient lahar debris flow on one side of the ridge and the Ape Canyon on the other side, and views of both can be glimpsed through the trees. Read more…

Olympia Branch Winter Open House - Jan 2, 2020

Are you dreaming of outdoor adventures or looking to improve your skills? The Olympia Mountaineers can help get you on your way. Join us on January 2, 2020 for our annual Winter Open House. You can meet representatives from our courses and activities who will answer your questions about what it takes to get started, the gear you will need, course schedules, expectations, benefits, and more! Read more…

Introducing the Paul Wiseman Memorial Bench Peaks Badge - Olympia Branch

On August 27, 2019, the Olympia Mountaineers dedicated a memorial bench on the Olympia Waterfront to branch founder Paul Wiseman. Now, we're introducing the new peaks pins badge in his honor. Read more…

Leadership Seminar: Five Lessons Learned in a Decade of Guiding - Nov 12

Charlotte Austin is an award-winning adventure writer and international mountain guide. In her decade of guiding, she's led climbing and mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas, Alaska, South America, and more. Join us in Olympia November 12, 2019, to hear from Charlotte about how she's turned lessons learned into actionable hands-on tools for safe and successful trips. Read more…

2019 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour - Nov 25-Dec 8

The world-renowned Banff Centre's Banff Mountain Film Festival celebrates its 43rd year, continuing to bring the best action, environment, and adventure films to audiences in Banff and no less than 40 countries across the globe. Join us this Nov & Dec to catch showings in Tacoma (Nov 25-26), Seattle (Dec 4-5), or Olympia (Dec 6-8).  Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Ginger Sarver

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Ginger Sarver, a volunteer leader with the Olympia Branch who loves hiking and dove head-first into leading stewardship activities with The Mountaineers! Read more…

Did You Know? Teely Creek Trail

The Teely Creek trail has much to offer hikers: fishing, camping, swimming, geocaching, and a relaxing atmosphere amidst an old growth forest. Read on to learn more about this incredible area, and how you can make the most of your trip if you decide to explore the trail.  Read more…

Olympia Mountaineers Annual Banquet - Oct 26, 2019

The annual banquet is a special yearly event where students, graduates, instructors, and leaders from our Olympia Branch courses and activities come together to celebrate another great year of adventuring in the great outdoors. Read more…

Did You Know: Tatoosh Ridge Trail

This summer I’ve been slowly marking off the 100 hikes that Ira Spring and Harvey Manning published in their second edition of 100 Hikes in Washington: South Cascades and Olympics. I completed my 41st as we hiked to the site of the former Tatoosh Ridge lookout on Tatoosh Peak, made famous in Martha Hardy’s book Tatoosh. This hike is neither for the faint of heart nor the causal hiker. It is steep, with some exposure and drop-offs that leave one wondering, “What am I doing this for?” Read more…