Publications Style Guide

Publications Style Guide

Common practice usage for all Mountaineers publications, both on the web and in print. Please follow these rules and guidelines when creating courses and activities, posting events, and writing blogs.

Refer to this document for common practice usage for all Mountaineers publications, both on the web and in print. Read below to see how we treat different words, or check out our Logos, Fonts, and Colors document. If you have something to add or suggest, please contact Kristina Ciari.



The Mountaineers enriches lives and communities by helping people explore, conserve, learn about, and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.


  • Mountaineers facilities: When referring to the Magnuson Park facility it should be called The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center. Our facility in Tacoma should be The Mountaineers Tacoma Program Center. Do not use “clubrooms,” “clubhouse” or “headquarters.” For room references, capitalize the room’s name as a proper noun: the Cascade Room, Summit Room, the John Wayne Room. Don’t capitalize when using informal names such as the committee room, lunch room, conference room or card room.
  • Geographic Names: If using the full name of a geographical location, use upper case to begin all words in the title. For Example: Puget Sound, Thornton Creek, Cascade Range, the Albert D. Rosselini Bridge. When listing multiple geographical locations within a category, such as rivers, use lowercase for the category. For Example: The Hamma Hamma, Dosewallips and Dungeness rivers are part of the study.

Sentence Structure

  • Only one space between sentences for any and all communications.


  • axe (not ax)
  • ice axe (no hyphen)
  • campsite (one word)
  • clear-cut (not clear cut or clearcut)
  • double-rope (not double rope or doublerope)
  • down-climbing (not down climbing or downclimbing)
  • email (capitalize the “e” only when beginning the sentence)
  • The internet (no capitalization)
  • login (one word)
  • nonprofit (not non profit or non-profit)
  • online (one word)
  • routefinding (one word)
  • sign-up (not signup) note: if used as a verb, like “I am going to sign up for a course,” use a space, not a dash.
  • turn-off (not turn off or turnoff) note: as noun — for a road that leaves another road to go in a different direction
  • turn off (two words) note: as verb — for to leave the road you are travelling on at a turn-off
  • The web (no capitalization)
  • webmaster (one word)
  • web page (two words)
  • website (one word)

Web Address

Use (not or


  • Use Interstate font for all print items (magazine, brochures, etc.).
  • When sending emails or electronic news, use Tahoma font.



  • Select images showing proper safety equipment when applicable such as helmets on climbs and backcountry skiing and life vests for sea kayaking.
  • No photos of dogs in national parks (or where illegal) and dogs on hikes must be on a leash.
  • Do not use images that poorly reflect the organization (use discretion).
  • Do not use images with borders.


  • Use only images that The Mountaineers has been given permission to use from the photographer and those in the photo itself who are facing the camera and recognizable – no images “just found on the web.”
  • Credit all photographers unless agreed upon from the photographer that there will be no credit given in that instance.

Sizes for the website

  • Most images to be used on a landing page should be at least 400 pixels on one side. They should be rectangular and square is ok. The aspect ratio isn't critical, but it's best not to exceed 3x5 (portrait) or 5x3 (landscape).
  • Landing page banner-style lead images must be 786 x 370 pixels.
  • Branch "home page" banner-style lead images must be 975 x 370 pixels.
  • Full page-width screen capture images for how to pages should be 660 pixels wide and as high as needed to maintain their aspect ratio. Do make screen captures small enough to take up minimal space, but large enough so that test on them is readable.
  • Badge images should be square, 444x444 pixels, and look good when scaled down to 64x64 pixels.
  • Portlet header icons should be no more than 40 pixels on either dimension and can be square or rectangular.
  • In general, make sure the image looks good in use after uploading.
Check out our photo and images policy for other frequently asked questions



  • The Mountaineers is singular in usage. For Example: The Mountaineers adopts (not The Mountaineers adopt)
  • The Mountaineers Books or books division


  • Use United States measuring: feet, miles and nautical miles abbreviated to ft, mi and nm
  • Never use a period after a unit of measure
  • Elevation numerals: 2,000 ft
  • Nautical miles: 5 nm
  • Knots: 35 kts
  • Speed: 35 mph
  • Time: 4 hr, 3 min, 35 sec
  • Temperature: 96 degrees F; 33 degrees C (you can abbreviate ºC; ºF – hold ALT + 0)
  • Bearings: 180 degrees can be abbreviated 180°
  • Use metric if used commonly in industry. For example, 60 m rope for a 60 meter rope.


  • Spell out zero through ten and use numerical values for 11 and up.
  • When citing a course number: course registration No. 22345.
  • Time: use 6:30am or 6am (not 6:00am). Always lower case on am and pm, and never a space between the number and letters.
  • Dollar amount: $45 or $44.50 (do not use .00 for whole dollar amounts), and $1,000 (not $1000)
  • Telephone numbers: 206-521-6000 (not (206) 521-6000 or 206.521.6000)
  • Percentages in text: 55 percent of those responding (don’t use % unless necessary for space)
  • Some exceptions are allowed due to common use in publications:
  • Pitch 2
  • Grade I, Grade II, etc.
  • Class 1, Class 2, etc.
  • YDS (Yosemite Decimal System): 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, etc.


  • When using north, south, east and west to indicate a direction or general location, do not capitalize them
  • When using them to designate a proper name or region they are capitalized
  • Do not abbreviate any of the cardinal directions.  Always use north, south, east or west with appropriate capitalization
  • Do not abbreviate any of the ordinal directions. Always use northeast, southeast, southwest or northwest with appropriate capitalization
  • Do not abbreviate any of the other directions. Always use north-northeast, east-northeast, etc.
  • If space is absolutely at a premium, abbreviations may be acceptable for ordinal and other directions. Please check with the Publications Manager
  • Examples:
  • Travel south across the scree slope on the West Face
  • Climb the final half of the North Ridge on its east side
  • Travel north-northeast to the obvious gully


  • Some roads may use abbreviations common to maps.
  • Interstate 90 West as I-90 West
  • US Highway 20 as US-20
  • State Route 410 as SR-410
  • State Road 903 as State Road 903
  • United States Forest Service Road 26 as Forest Road 26


  • Some well recognized federal, state and local agencies may be shortened.
  • United States Forest Service as U.S. Forest Service


  • When citing a trail number use No.: Trail No. 20
  • Capitalize Trail for proper names of trails (e.g. Wonderland Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Putvin Trail, etc.)



  • Do not use unless absolutely necessary. First try shortening the sentence or title. If you need to abbreviate, contact the Publications Manager for assistance.
  • Measurements allow for abbreviation of units (see MEASUREMENTS)
  • Only use two-letter postal code abbreviations for states (e.g. WA)
  • p. may be used for page number
  • pp. may be used for pages


  • Always capitalize “the” in “The Mountaineers”
  • The titles of courses, when used in full, are capitalized, but lower case when not used in full. For Example: Graduates of the Alpine Scrambling Course will be honored. The scrambling course is sometimes suggested as a preparatory course to the Basic Climbing Course.
  • When preceding the name, an official title is capitalized. For Example: Executive Director Martinique Grigg
  • When following the name, the title is lower case. For Example: Martinique Grigg is the executive director.
  • Don’t capitalize the “branch” unless used with the branch name. For Example: the Tacoma Branch, the Olympia Branch or the Everett Branch.
  • Do not capitalize seasons. Use winter, spring, summer and fall.
  • Do capitalize all proper names. For example: Hike Trail 1319 and then head directly up the North Ridge of Peak 2357.


  • Use serial commas, also known as the Oxford Comma.
  • Example: “Remember to bring a helmet, Texas prusiks or Purcell prusiks, and ice axe.”
  • If your list is long and/or complicated consider using a bulleted list.


  • When using an ellipsis, place a space after three/four dots before the beginning of the next section. Three dots indicates a change within a sentence or when connecting the same idea in one fluid sentence. Four dots should be used when you reach the end of a sentence/theme: “Beginning of a quote... end of a quote.”

Em Dashes

  • When using a dash, put a space before and after: For Example: The elevation of the peak — interpretations vary from text to text — falls between 12,344 and 12,352 feet.


  • When using a hyphen for a range, do not put a space before and after: 500-1,000 ft, 2-3 hr, class 3-4, 5.2-5.3, Sat-Sun (see Time and Date), etc.


  • Use title case: First word is always capitalized. Use upper case for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Lower case for articles such as the, a or an.
  • Suggestion: Use a verb in every headline to give it an active quality.


  • Use italics for book titles, magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals when used in text. For Example: Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills.


  • Write out time in the following manner: 6am or 6:30am (do not use AM or a.m.)


  • Spell out days and dates
  • Examples:  We'll review the course schedule next Tuesday. Our field trips usually happen in October.
  • Use abbreviations in the examples when dates are shown as data on our website.
  • Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
  • Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
  • Examples:  Sat, Jul 5; Jul 5, 2013; Sat-Sun, Jul 5-6

Quotes and Names

  • When quoting someone or using their name in a story, display their first and last name and then only their first name when referencing them in the same text.



  • Format: Book Title by Author (Publisher, Year).
  • Example: Day Hiking Snoqualmie Region, 1st ed by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books, 2007).


Our website is designed in Plone which is a Content Management System, often just called a CMS. There are a few fields common to nearly all content type in Plone. Here is some guidance in using these and a few fields specific to our website.


  • Enter the name of the content item. Keep the tile short and descriptive, and have all words spelled out - no abbreviations in titles! If abbreviation seems necessary, shorten the title as best you can and add the extra information to the Summary field.


  • Summaries are plain text brief descriptions of the content item. Try to be as specific as possible so that no two listings have the exact same summary. Use two to three short sentences. It is important when writing for the web to break sentences up into easy-to-digest little bites. It's also okay to be creative with summaries.
  • Route/Place Hike Example: An easy, 3.5 mile hike with 500 feet of elevation gain. This hike takes you through old-growth forest and features views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympics on a clear day. The trail is open to horses and bikes but not dogs.

descriptions (or body text)

  • The Description, sometime called Body Text, contains the bulk of the information about the content item.  
  • They are created using a rich text editor, so they may contain styles, links, tables, etc.  
  • Do consider other fields that are in the content item and avoid duplicating that information in the description field. For example, there is no need to put the leader’s name and contact information in the Leader’s Notes field which is the description for the Activity content type.
  • ~ is allowed as an equivalent for “approximately” in tables in descriptions
  • Abbreviations are allowed for long terms that are used repeatedly in a section
  • The format to be use is "term (abbreviation)" [e.g. Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)]

Maps for Routes & Places

  • On the website, most of the maps are in the map list for Routes & Places, so it is rare that we will need to add a map to the system
  • They follow the naming convention: Publisher Name Map Name Map Number (if applicable.
  • Follow these examples:
  • USGS Shuksan Arm
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S

Difficulties for Routes & Places

  • Most Routes & Places have a single difficulty rating. Some have a two-part rating system.
  • Some Routes & Places may have a variable difficulty rating. For these, choose the “Varies” difficulty rating followed by the easiest difficulty rating and then the hardest. Sea kayaking and skiing trips are the two activity types that where the difficulty rating may vary based on conditions or specific route that will be traveled.

Table of Contents for Landing Pages

  • Use anchors at the top of each section to be in the table of contents
  • Place table of contents items with links to their anchors in a centered paragraph with items separated by a horizontal line or in a bulleted list.


  • You can store videos on YouTube or Vimeo and link to them in any rich text field. Use the "Embedly" tool in the rich text editor's toolbar. You'll enter the video's URL and frame size to display on the page. Note that you'll need to make adjustments to what you want displayed in the video's frame (e.g. frame image, title, player tools, sharing icons, etc.); do always show the player tools. Videos require the same permission as images.


  • Mountaineers book titles may be listed with many pieces of content (e.g. Routes & Places, Courses). Look for the "Recommended Books" field when editing content and enter them there. For now they are a link to the product pages at By this fall, we should have them integrated into, so that people may join, register for your course and purchase the required book(s) in one smooth transaction.


  • All of our committees and subcommittees were imported from our old website, so there should be little need to add any.  If you do think you need a new committee or subcommittee, please contact our staff at for help adding what you need.
  • The committee naming convention is Branch Name Committee Name Committee (e.g. Everett Sea Kayaking Committee).
  • The subcommittee naming convention is Branch Name Committee Name Subcommittee - Subcommittee Name (e.g. Tacoma Climbing Subcommittee - Basic Alpine Climbing).
  • Place asterisks at the start and end of committee name for committees like the branch councils that should appear at top of a committees list (e.g. *Foothills Branch Council*).

sending email from the website

  • Only send email to those who are willing to receive it (e.g. trip participants, committee members, potential carpool participants).
  • The maximum number of email addresses for one message is 500. If you need to send to more, please contact us at
  • Best practice is to include links in the body of an email rather than adding attachment. With the ability to upload files to our website, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, andDropBox, it's very esy to do this.
  • If an email attachment is needed, it's best to send only ones that are PDFs or images. Other file types are often cause email to be classified as spam/junk, quarantined, or deleted altogether.
  • The total size limit for all email attachments is 7.5 MB, because most ISPs (Internet Service Providers) limit the total size of incoming email messages to 10 MB and we need to leave room for the recipient list, header, and message itself.