Olympia Branch Blog Posts

Olympia Branch Blog Posts

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The Show Will Go On! The Sound of Music No Longer Locked Out

Last week we shared the disappointing news that the Keta Legacy Foundation (Keta) took steps to restrict our access to the Kitsap Forest Theater by installing locks on the access road and a parking area, threatening the opening of our production of The Sound of Music and potentially our entire 100th anniversary season. The Mountaineers filed an emergency motion in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order to regain access to the theater. This morning our motion was granted. The court  ruled in our favor, barring Keta from interfering with our historical access to the theater during the production season. A copy of the court’s order can be found here. The show will go on!  Read more…

Keta Obstructs Sound of Music at Kitsap Forest Theater

In a disappointing move, Keta Legacy Foundation took steps this week to restrict access to the Kitsap Forest Theater, which may force The Mountaineers to cancel upcoming productions of The Sound of Music. On May 17, just days before final rehearsals and set-building work for opening night of The Sound of Music, Keta locked The Mountaineers Players out from the backstage area at the Theater. This area has been continually accessed by The Mountaineers for nearly 40 years over easements crossing several parcels of property and the Rhododendron Preserve. Keta also barred access to a parking area that is essential to accommodate guests – particularly elderly guests and those with disabilities. Keta has been aware, and was again reminded of, the vital importance of this access and the troubling impact its restriction would have on persons with limited mobility, as well as productions as a whole. Read more…

Open Nominations: Join The Mountaineers Board of Directors in 2023

We’re excited to once again be calling for nominations for individuals to join our Board of Directors. Our goal is for our Board to represent the communities we currently serve and those we wish to serve, and we have been successful in diversifying the perspectives and lived experiences of our Board in the last few years. Read more…

Speak Up for the Alpine Lakes Wilderness: Eightmile Lake Dam Replacement Update

In January 2021, we shared how the effort to replace the dam at Eightmile Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness could bring negative impacts to the Wilderness area and the world-class outdoor recreation opportunities it provides. Read more…

Big Changes Proposed for Mount Rainier National Park

Note: The comment period for the draft visitor use management plan is now closed. Learn more about The Mountaineers concerns with the plan in this blog. We'll continue to update our community as this process develops. Thank you for your interest and engagement in this important issue.

In response to increased visitation during the peak summer season, Mount Rainier National Park recently proposed significant changes to how people access the park. The Nisqually to Paradise Corridor Draft Management Plan proposes to implement a timed-entry reservation system for popular areas of the park. This proposal could dramatically change how Mountaineers programs and members access places like Paradise and Sunrise. Read more…

Mount Rainier Winter Access Update

As the highest and oldest road access for winter recreation in Washington, the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park offers an unparalleled outdoor experience and is integral to Mountaineers programs. This winter looked a little different on the mountain as the Park restricted weekday access to Paradise through the Longmire gate. We heard from many in our community who expressed concerns about the closure. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - April 2023

Always keep moving forward,
Pushing your limits, and
Remember, each obstacle
Is a chance to grow, to
Learn from the past and thrive. Read more…

Celebrate Summer at the Olympia Branch 2023 Summer 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 and guests.  Read more…

New Public Lands Investments Secured in 2023 WA State Budget

State-managed public lands like Deception Pass, Blanchard Mountain, and Mount Si connect us to nature through the recreational activities we enjoy in all seasons. With Mountaineers programs and activities frequently occurring on state lands, each legislative session we advocate for bills and funding requests that improve conservation and recreation at the state level. Year after year, Mountaineers continue to speak up for the state parks and recreation areas we love. Read more…

We're Hiring! Join The Mountaineers Staff Team

At the heart of the outdoor industry lies seasonal work. These fast-paced, short-term jobs are a great way to gain experience, meet like minded people, and work outside! In fact, many of our full-time staff members in the Mountaineers Youth Department are former seasonal workers. We’ve been field instructors, glacier guides, ski instructors, backpacking guides, camp counselors, and many things in between. We loved our experiences so much that we want you to come work seasonally with us! Read more…

Living River: The Promise of the Mighty Colorado

For 6 million years the Colorado River has flowed 1,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. But in just a few decades, overallocation of water resources, climate change, and megadrought have altered the great river. In Living River: The Promise of the Mighty Colorado, a new book and campaign from Braided River - the conservation imprint of Mountaineers Books - conservation photographer and author Dave Showalter shares stories from seven years of hiking, biking, rafting, and adventuring through the watershed. Read more…

Olympia Branch Challenges You to Give Back through Stewardship

Mountaineers members play a hands-on role in protecting, restoring, and maintaining the lands and waters of our region. The practice of stewardship brings Mountaineers together from across branches and activities to care for the places where we recreate so that they continue to thrive for future generations. Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - March 2023

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” - Charles Dickens

As the winter melts away and the flowers dare to bloom, we too must dare to "March" forward into the new year. Read on for our Top 10 Trip Reports for the month of March, filled with outings and adventures galore!  Read more…

Develop Leadership skills through our Leadership Development Fund

Learning is a never-ending journey. At The Mountaineers, we continue to elevate our organization’s position in the outdoor community and enhance our own courses and activities by supporting our volunteers' skill development. Each year, The Mountaineers designates funds to the Leadership Development Fund, which allows Mountaineers leaders and instructors to attend conferences, workshops, courses, and programs led by other organizations. Read more…

Gear Grab - May 22, 2022

Have a gear wish list a mile long, or some extra gear you'd like to unload? Come to The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center from 6-8 pm on Monday, May 22 for our upcoming Gear Grab.  Read more…

Action Alert! Help Pass America's Outdoor Recreation Act

Last year, we came very close to passing a package of recreation bills called America’s Outdoor Recreation Act (AORA). Many of you took action to urge Congress to pass this legislation because it included one of our long term policy priorities, the Simplifying Access to Outdoor Recreation Act (SOAR Act). If passed, AORA would have improved the unpredictable recreational permitting system that creates barriers for people who want to experience the outdoors through Mountaineers courses and youth programs, as well as other changes to improve outdoor recreation on public lands and waters. Read more…

Mountaineer Magazine Spring 2023

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 - February 2023

Happy February Mountaineers! As the weather gets warmer and we shed the winter blues, we look to February as the month of change and the beginning of those summer feels!  Read more…

How to Get Involved as a Trip Leader

 At The Mountaineers, leadership plays an integral part in every facet of our organization. We have a wide variety of leaders in many different roles - from Branch Treasurer, to Qualified Youth Leader, to Committee Chair. The term "leader" also specifically refers to a volunteer who has been vetted by an activity committee to lead a Mountaineers activity. These trips leaders have fulfilled the technical and interpersonal skill requirements included in our Club-wide Activity Standards. By leading hundreds of trips each month, trip leaders play a fundamental role within our organization.  Read more…

Congratulations To Our 2022 Volunteer Award Recipients!

This past year, as always, our volunteers have remained at the core of our operations. Thank you to the 3,254 members who volunteered their time during fiscal year 2022 (October 2021-September 2022), and to the many others who supported from afar! Each of you has made a difference. Read more…

Join us for Overnight Lodge Camps this summer - Registration Now Open!

Since the beginning of Mountaineers Youth Programs in 2011, camp has been a staple of our summers, filling the Seattle and Tacoma Program Centers with camp joy every year. As we strive to connect more youth with nature year after year, we’re excited to expand our summer offerings to include week-long camp programs from mid-June through mid-August. Join us for a week, or multiple, full of community building and outdoor exploration at a Mountaineers lodge this summer!  Read more…

Announcing Our Net Zero Vision

As we experience worsening impacts of the climate crisis on our public lands and communities, we must do more to respond to this urgent threat.
Read more…

Deepen Your Leadership Skills with the Leadership Development Series

The Leadership Development Series offers high-quality, continuing education opportunities for our current and aspiring volunteer leaders and instructors. Offered mainly remotely through Zoom, with a couple in-person sessions, these seminars lean on the expertise of outdoor professionals - including experts within our community - and focus on areas of leadership development. Read more…

Action Alert! Support State Public Lands and Recreation this Legislative Session

Whether it’s paddling the emerald waters of Deception Pass, hiking through Capitol State Forest, or climbing the Royal Columns at Oak Creek Wildlife area, Washington’s state-managed public lands and waters connect us to nature through the many recreational activities we enjoy. Over the years, Mountaineers have been strong champions for Washington’s state parks and recreation areas and the outdoor opportunities they provide.
Read more…

Conservation Currents | Year One of Outdoor Alliance Washington

Whether you prefer backcountry skiing the North Cascades, climbing in Tieton, or day hiking along the Snoqualmie River, as Mountaineers you’ve likely experienced how policy and management decisions impact our public lands. Many of us have seen hazardous roads, decrepit facilities, and closed trailheads as funding falls shy year after year. But this frustration can – and has – produced change. The experiences of recreationists like you translate into compelling advocacy for conservation and recreation. Read more…

Congratulations Will Greenough: Mountaineers Leader of the Year

As a member since 1977, Will has been an active leader in our community for over a decade. His success in the Basic and Intermediate Sea Kayaking Courses led him to become a prominent Sea Kayaking leader at the Olympia Branch. For his service to the Olympia Branch, Will received the Olympia Branch Service Award in 2016.  Read more…

Top 10 Trip Reports - January 2023

Happy January Mountaineers!  As we ring in the new year with some of our favorite trip reports from last month, we hope you feel inspired to reflect on your past success as you forge ahead into a year full of adventure and personal growth.

This month we are  highlighting trip reports that "beat" the "winter blues" amidst the dark and dreary winter. Read on for our favorite January reports of smiles, snow, and the occasional blue sky.  
Read more…

Protections Restored for Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

Over the years, we’ve been on a long journey to protect ancient, old-growth trees in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. Our community has answered our calls to action time and time again because it understands that protecting Roadless Areas in Alaska sets a strong precedent for protecting backcountry places in Washington State and beyond. Last week, the administration finalized protections for the Tongass, securing a much-anticipated win for conservation, climate, and Indigenous communities. Read more…

New Course: Emotional Safety in the Outdoors

One of the unwritten core values at The Mountaineers is safety. When we go out together, we make every effort to return safely. And, safety is about more than just physical safety. Feeling emotionally safe - to ask questions, share concerns, and show up as your full self - is a key component to physically safe outcomes. To support emotionally safe environments for our participants, we are excited to share our new Emotional Safety in the Outdoors eLearning course. Read more…

Winter Hiking: It's The Bomb

Olympia Hiking and Backpacking Committee Co-Chairs Carla Jonientz and Donna Krueger listened to Olympia hikers when they expressed interest in getting out, staying in shape, exercising, and socializing during the winter/early spring months. Read more…