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Outside Insight | A Life of Adventure Education: An interview with Ken Wylie

A massive avalanche buried thirteen climbers below La Traviata peak near Revelstoke, British Columbia in 2003, killing seven in its wake. It made international headlines. Ken Wylie was among those buried; he escaped with guilt weighing heavily on his conscience, as he was one of the mountain guides responsible for decision-making on that trip. Ken wrote a popular book titled, Buried, about his experience surviving that avalanche, and the soul-searching life lessons which ensued. I have been learning from Ken for almost twenty years - starting at Outward Bound, then at the Wilderness Risk Management Conference, and most recently as a speaker at our Mountaineers Leadership Conference in 2017, where he gave a profoundly moving presentation about leadership, loss, and the healing that comes from courageous vulnerability. I sat down with him to learn more from his experience. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Rena Chinn

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Rena Chinn, a volunteer leader with the Seattle Branch who encourages others leaders to develop a clear sense of their capabilities and limitations, and to lead within the scope of their skill base. Read more…

Urban Speed Hiking With Liz Thomas

With the sun about to kiss the horizon, Liz Thomas, trail name: “Snorkel,” has places to go and needs the last rays of the day to illuminate her path. She is ascending and descending steps in Seattle, one of the hilliest and most publicly staircased cities in the country. This is not a task to be executed, at her pace, in complete darkness. Read more…

How To: Hike Healthy As You Age

On Monday, August 13, 2018, I attended a free presentation at REI by Dr. Michael Domingo, DPT, OCS entitled "Exercises for Healthy Hiking". I learned a lot about how to stay active in the outdoors as you enter your 'wiser years', and with Dr. Domingo's permission I want to share those tips with you. Read more…

Leadership on the Water: An Interview with Tom Unger

Tom Unger has been hiking, climbing, skiing, paddling, and sailing up and down the west coast for 25 years. He’s widely praised by students and participants for his outstanding communications, group facilitation, instruction, and collaborative leadership. In the summer of 2017, Tom led a two-week trip with The Mountaineers around Cape Scott with Barney Bernhard, Esther Ladwig, Marty Mayock, Charlie Michel, and Karen Cramer. In this interview, Tom discusses how he intentionally brought his group together around common goals, expectations, and trip styles. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Curtis Stock

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Curtis Stock, a volunteer leader with the Tacoma Branch who encourages our members to give trip leadership a try. If your committee thinks you're ready, you probably are! Read more…

Clarifying Failure as a Path to Success

What happens if a student isn’t able to demonstrate proficiency in a skill? What if a student has demonstrated the skill, but fails to do so during a test? When is good enough good enough, and when is an error sufficient to fail a student? When we fail a student, what options does that student have to continue to pursue this activity with The Mountaineers? Read more…

Join us at the 2018 Wilderness Risk Management Conference!

How do industry trends affect, shape, and impact our programs at The Mountaineers? If this is a question that you've ever considered – and a conversation that you're interested in being a part of – we invite you to join The Mountaineers at this year's Wilderness Risk Management Conference in Portland, Oregon. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Ted Miller

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Ted Miller, a volunteer leader with the Bellingham Branch who strives to provide a safe environment for students to learn from their mistakes. Read more…

The Communications Devices We Carry

On June 24, I will be leaving home - along with a group of three other Mountaineers sea kayakers - to paddle down the west coast of Vancouver Island. Our plan is to take three weeks, starting in Winter Harbor and ending in Tofino, paddling a distance of over 200 nautical miles of exposed and remote outer coastline.  As a part of our safety plan, we've included electronic signaling devices which we can use to call for emergency help. This blog describes the various options that I considered for our trip, an overview of what we decided to bring, and how we will use these devices throughout our journey.  Read more…