Olympia Branch Blog Posts

Olympia Branch Blog Posts

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What the New Congress Means for Public Lands

January 3, 2019 marked the start of the 116th Congress, and with it a new landscape for outdoor advocates to navigate. Here are some key changes to keep in mind as we work to conserve the public lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond: Read more…

Action Alert: The Government Shutdown and Its Impact on Public Lands

The government shutdown is now the longest in history, and it may continue for weeks or even months. One of the most visible manifestations of the shutdown has been its effects on our national parks, many of which are being kept open despite having few staff and no budget. Read more…

Bid Adieu to OlympiaMountaineers.org

For many years, Olympia Mountaineers Ray Philen and Donnie Miller maintained our online "home" at www.olympiamountaineers.org. In 2014, The Mountaineers launched a new website, designed to make it easier for people to discover and get involved with our community. After nearly five years, we've managed to move all of our old content on to the new platform. Thank you to everyone who helped! Read more…

Did you Know? Twanoh State Park & Mary E. Theler Wetlands Nature Preserve

Created on June 91923, Twanoh State Park is one of the oldest Washington State Parks. It covers 182 acres and includes 3,100 feet of shoreline. This park offers quite a bit - including boating, fishing, hiking, and camping. We combined our hike on the Twanoh River Trail with a walk around the Mary E. Theler Wetlands.   Read more…

Equity & Inclusion Update: Community Feedback and Steering Committee

At The Mountaineers, we believe a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love. As we aspire to offer outdoor opportunities for ALL, we are assembling a board-chartered Equity & Inclusion (E&I) Steering Committee to lead our efforts to become a place where, a century from now, future generations will recognize themselves in The Mountaineers. Read more…

Olympia Annual Recognition and Awards Banquet 2018

We gathered 146 Olympia Mountaineers and guests at Saint Martin's Pavilion for the Olympia Mountaineers Annual Awards Banquet, held on Oct 27. We celebrated a year of hard work, connected with new friends, shared a delicious meal, and remembered friends we lost this year. Read more…

More Than A Summit: Mountain-Queers Celebrate First Scramble Trip

At the top of Three Way Peak, our rainbow assortment of French macarons shone in contrast to the cloudy skies. My mood mirrored our brightly colored summit treats. This was the first on-the-ground outing of Mountain-Queers, an affinity group of LGBTQ Mountaineers that I started laying the groundwork for last August. When I began, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, now I couldn’t wait to see what was next. 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…

2018 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

The world-renowned Banff Centre's Banff Mountain Film Festival celebrates its 42nd year, continuing to bring the best action, environment, and adventure films to audiences in Banff and no less than 40 countries across the globe. Read more…

Did you Know? Boulder Cave Bats

The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is a large, diverse landscape, encompassing over 4 million acres along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range. It's home to the one and only Boulder Cave located east of Mt Rainier National Park. Read more…

Olympia Mountaineers Annual Recognition & Awards Banquet - Oct 27

You're invited to join us for the annual Olympia Mountaineers Banquet! Each year we gather to celebrate the work we have done, the fun we have had, and the friendships we made during the 2018 program year. Read more…

Did You Know? South Point Lookout Trail #123

South Point Lookout Trail #123 is located in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The path used to lead to a fire lookout, which was established in the 1920s and dismantled in 1972. Read more…

Building A Safe and Respectful Culture

One of our Core Values is Community. We provide opportunities for all because we believe a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love. To be true to this value, our commitment to treating one another respectfully must be iron-clad. When we do this consistently, day in and day out, we build the kind of culture where all people feel safe and can enjoy outdoor experiences to their fullest. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer Laurie Choate

We're devastated to share the news of the passing of Laurie Choate, an active member and volunteer leader with our Olympia Branch. She was hiking the Kendall Katwalk on a private trip on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, when she slipped and fell approximately 300ft. She did not survive. Read more…

Trip Report: Hiking in the Mist

Dense fog concealed the subalpine meadow in an eerie white veil. Water dripped from the firs and cedars, and our pant legs were soaked from touching the grass, lupines, and mountain hemlocks. Only a hundred feet in front of me, my friend, Laurie, began to disappear into the white. Waves of heavier mist drifted across the field and lasted for just a few minutes before passing. Every snap of a stick in the surrounding forest would cause us to stop and look. Spray Park is well known for its black bears, and we didn’t want to meet one in a cloud. Read more…

Mountaineers Youth Clubs - New Member Meetings & Registration

It’s fall, the air is crisp, the leaves are turning golden brown, and The Mountaineers Youth Clubs are launching new seasons to transform our young Mountaineers into lifelong outdoor enthusiasts! Join our youth clubs this fall as we welcome new members and plan for a year of learning new skills and adventuring. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Henry Romer

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Henry Romer, a volunteer leader and instructor with the Olympia Branch who leads for multiple activities and encourages new leaders to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge available within our Mountaineers community! Read more…

Did You Know? Ozette Loop

The Ozette Loop, often referred to as the Ozette Triangle, is located on the Olympic Peninsula and offers spectacular coastal scenery. Ozette is the ancestral home of the Makah, and the site of a world-famous archaeological discovery. Here are some ways you can enjoy the hike and learn more about Makah culture. Read more…

Remembering Mountaineer Stephen Kornbluth

With great sadness we share the news of the passing of Stephen Kornbluth, an active member of The Mountaineers community with our Olympia Branch. He was climbing Dewey Peak in Mt. Rainier National Park with two other Mountaineers on a private climb on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. While descending, Stephen fell. He did not survive the injuries sustained in the fall. Read more…

Introducing: Vision 2022

Every five years or so, we refresh our strategic plan - a roadmap defining  the priority actions and investments we believe are essential to our future success. After a year-long process involving significant input from The Mountaineers community, our Board of Directors approved our latest strategic plan, Vision 2022. The actual document itself is hot off the presses and we're pleased to share it with our community.  Read more…

The Olympia Stewardship Challenge Continues To Grow

In April, the Olympia Branch of The Mountaineers issued a Stewardship Challenge to Mountaineers organization wide. The purpose of the Stewardship Challenge is to engage all members to participate in a rewarding day of stewardship. The Olympia Stewardship Committee believes this day of service will create closer connections to our magnificent natural resources, demonstrate our determination to support the public lands, and awaken a genuine spirit of service to our region in each participant. In short: we feel it's our duty to leave the trails better than before. Read more…

Did You Know? Mt. Skokomish Wilderness

With its steep and rugged trail systems and its proximity to Olympia, the Mt. Skokomish Wilderness is a great training ground for the locals. It's not just for locals though - many of its mountains and trails are well worth traveling to visit.  Read more…

Olympia Naturalist Committee's First Events

Beginning in April 2018, seven Olympia Mountaineers made  monthly trips to Seattle to participate in the Naturalist course. Using that course as inspiration, we formed an Olympia Naturalist Committee and are developing a series of "Walks and Talks" featuring naturalist topics. Join us for these starting in August! Read more…

Tech Update 3.1 - Feedback Improvements, Gift Memberships

Since the 3.0 update in mid-February to bring Mountaineers Programs and Publishing under one roof, we have continued to make many improvements to our website. The two biggest ones are committee-aggregated feedback and an improved gift membership process. Read on to learn more. Read more…

Olympia Branch Hiking and Backpacking Set For A Great Summer

Welcome to summer and all that it entails! At the Olympia Hiking & Backpacking committee, we've been very busy gearing up for summer. Learn what's new and say hello to Monty Pratt (pictured above, left), our newest committee member! Read more…

Vote Now! Olympia Branch Elections 2018

The Olympia Branch has three outstanding candidates for two open positions in the 2018/19 Officer’s Council. The open positions are Chair-Elect and Secretary.  Read more…

Olympia Stewardship Challenge

Jim French, a 20-year Mountaineers stewardship trip leader, has noticed a familiar refrain from new participants. After a long day clearing trails, removing invasive species, or seeding native plants, they exclaim, “Wow, that was great! I would have never done that if it hadn’t been required as part of The Mountaineers course I’m taking. I’d like to do it again.” Read more…

Update on the 2018 Stewardship Challenge

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we're blessed with some of the most beautiful and accessible parks, forests, and refuges in the nation. Many Mountaineers understand the value of these wild places and set aside time to give back to our public lands.  Read more…

Olympia Branch Seeks Volunteer Equipment Manager

The Equipment Manager plays an important role in the management and security of the Olympia Branch’s non-climbing equipment storage.  Read more…