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How to Safely Go Bear Spotting in Washington

We are fortunate to have large National Parks and Wilderness areas in Washington State, and with them come an incredible array of wildlife. Among the more mysterious and hard-to-spot creatures are the bears populating our forests and rivers. I've had the opportunity to see over 50 bears in Washington over the last 15 years, and another dozen or so outside the state. I’ve written down every memorable encounter and have learned a few things about where to find them, how to spot them, and what to do (and not do).  Read more…

Olympia Branch Winter Open House - January 3, 2019

Do you know someone who wants to learn to climb, hike, ski, snowshoe, scramble, kayak, or backpack? Do you know families who would like to start getting into the wilderness but don't know how to begin? Encourage them to attend the Olympia Open House on January 3 to "Meet the Mountaineers" and learn about the opportunities we have for training and skill development, and the fun they can have getting outdoors with friendly, like-minded people. Read more…

Did You Know? Tumwater Falls Park

Tumwater Falls is a small historical park set in the midst of two bustling city centers. The falls, as it is locally known, is a great in-town walk anytime of the year. This means that even in the worst weather, you can still enjoy the falls and the park. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - November 2018

As Washington's ski resorts are finally nearing opening day, we can look back on a November  with a tiny bit of snow, some clear weather, and of course, a more than a dash of rain. Regardless of the weather, Mountaineers across the branches hiked, scrambled, and kayaked  their way through the month.  Read more…

How To: Get Ready for Winter

Though we’ve been teased with temperate days this October and November, autumn is rapidly coming to a close - and with it comes biting wind and cherry red cheeks. Bring your a-game this season by being fully prepared to handle the cold and any unexpected surprises father winter may throw your way. From winter trail running to cross-country skiing, we have you covered. Read more…

Wilderness Risk Management Conference Recap - 2018

The Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) is an annual gathering of outdoor professionals that creates an unparalleled opportunity for experts from throughout the industry to share knowledge and best practices. We were lucky that this year's conference was so close to home - just down the road in Portland, OR - which allowed us the opportunity to send a group of fourteen staff and volunteers to learn and share on behalf of our organization. Read more…

This #GivingTuesday, Support Future Volunteer Leaders

Community is the foundation of The Mountaineers. We come together to learn, grow, and enjoy incredible transformations in the outdoors. This #GivingTuesday, we ask you to support our community by donating to The Mountaineers Access Program (MAP) scholarship fund. Read more…

Keep Calm and Learn to Climb: How Mountain Workshops Improves Life Skills

“You should have seen my classroom before we started with The Mountaineers,” says Robin Gannett, a teacher at Aki Kurose Middle School. “It’s a completely different classroom now.” Read more…

Make a Difference for Youth Through Our MAP Scholarship Fund

The Mountaineers relies on the generosity of our community to provide courses and programs that make a difference in so many lives. Last year, donors gave $65,000 in scholarships that made it possible for 492 youth and 54 adults to experience the wonders of the great outdoors - many for the first time. We have set a goal to raise $20,000 to specifically support The Mountaineers Access Program (MAP) by the end of the year, and this #GivingTuesday all donations will go directly to support MAP scholarships, because everyone should have access to the outdoors.  Read more…

Voices Heard | A Seattle Urban Park Ranger Bringing Diversity to the Outdoors

White, male and “midcareer,” Seattle’s Charles Beall in a lot of ways is the face of the National Park Service that turned 100 on August 25, 2016.

He also may be the best hope the agency has for changing that face to match the diversity that is rapidly transforming this country. And the reasons essentially start out the same: Because he is white, male and “midcareer.” Read more…