Darrington Ranger District
Our neck of the woods wouldn’t be the same without the tireless conservation efforts and labor of the Mountaineers.
The nonprofit outdoor recreation organization, founded in Seattle over a century ago, is dedicated to conservation, trails maintenance, and outdoor education. Their programs and hikes are all run by volunteers. Today, the Mountaineers have multiple chapters throughout Western Washington: from Bellingham to the foothills of the Cascades, all the way to the Olympic Peninsula.
Here’s a bit of history for you- The Everett Mountaineers have been active stewards of the forest of Seattle NorthCountry since their inception. Half of their founding members were women. Their inaugural climb was a men’s and women’s excursion to the peak of Mount Rainier in 1909. The journey took charter members along a newly-blazed path that would later become the famous and scenic Wonderland Trail.
The Everett Mountaineers have the special brand of tenacity typical to people of the regions north of Seattle. When the founding Seattle chapter of the Mountaineers was hesitant to accept an Everett chapter, the Everett party lobbied endlessly until the Seattle Mountaineers relented.
And good thing. Everett is in close proximity to some of the most breathtaking peaks in the North Cascades, including Mount Pilchuck, Three Fingers, and the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Their active exploration and infrastructure-building in these areas has allowed subsequent generations of outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels to enjoy the scenic mountains and foothills of the Cascades.
The Everett Mountaineers built the fire lookout on top of Mount Pilchuck. They also preserved and maintained the once-abandoned and dilapidated Heybrook Lookout on the edge of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Now, Heybrook is a hiking trail with a great trailhead which leads to the old lookout. The lookout now is a remarkable glamping spot 17,000 feet in the air with views of Mount Index, Mount Bering and Bridal Veil Falls.
The history of the Mountaineers is revealing. The Seattle-based group began as an offshoot of the Oregon-based Mazama recreation club, which was in turn predated by the Oregon Recreation Club.
There is a strong tradition of outdoorsmen and -women being the guardians and stewards of the great outdoors. The Mountaineers continue this Western American tradition.
Since the days of women Mountaineers in skirts climbing over glaciers, the true PNW has always been a welcoming destination for the “enlightened explorer.”
Learn more about the Mountaineers here.