All Blog Posts (85)

High Altitude Outdoor Cooking and boiling

The higher the elevation, the lower the atmospheric pressure. The less atmospheric pressure that bears down on the surface of the liquid, the easier it is for water molecules to escape into the air. Water comes to its full rapid boil at a lower temperature at 6000 feet (1828 meters) than at sea level. For each thousand feet above sea level, the boiling point of water drops almost 2° F. Knowing this I normally boil my water longer at high altitudes especially areas prone to contamination such as… Continue

Added by Ali Alami on September 8, 2009 at 2:34pm — No Comments

Stretching for hiking and mountaineering

While most of us are good at stretching at the gym or before a run, we often forget to stretch before hiking, climbing, or just as part of the daily routine. It’s important to maintain a stretching program year round in order to prevent injury due to conditions you encounter outdoors like stepping on and over logs, uneven and steep ground, rocks, river crossings, boulders, and twisting and reaching in unnatural positions to find holds.

Stretching before and after a hike or climb… Continue

Added by Ali Alami on August 31, 2009 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Developing A Survivor Mind set

Most people realize that a person’s mental state and attitude play a big part in survival situations. I don’t believe a strong mind is something we are born with but developed through our environment and experiences. In my opinion a strong survivor mind set is the single most important factor to success in survival situations, climbing, sports, work, and life. What does this really mean? Here are some factors that help define a good survival frame of mind. The main focus of this article is to… Continue

Added by Ali Alami on August 4, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

Calculate your wake up time for the summit.

Timing in life and in mountaineering can mean the difference between success and failure. In alpine mountaineering you want to time your summit bid to take advantage of the cold, environmental factors, good weather, light, and desired time to be on the summit. As an example on Mt. Rainier in Washington State most climbers leave base camp around midnight to summit between 7-10AM. At night and early morning is when the snow is hardest making it easier to climb, harder for snow bridges to…


Added by Ali Alami on July 2, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

10 tips for getting rescued, Signaling and Communication in the wilderness

Calling for help or getting rescued in the wilderness is not something most of us want to do, but spend enough time outdoors and chances are you’ll experience some type of emergency. When it comes to using your cell phone and getting rescued, here are10 tips you can follow that will help rescuers find you quickly, assist them, and get you out safely. A quick rescue increases the odds of survival and can reduce exposure to rescue parties. Communication and signaling play an important role in… Continue

Added by Ali Alami on June 25, 2009 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Plant edibility test

Having a basic knowledge of edible and poisonous plants can help a hiker in a survival situation. More common is the enjoyment of recognizing and trying different plants. Plants are an easy source of food to procure when a person is on the move and don’t require specialized tools or much effort to gather. Here are some tips on eating plants in the wild;

If you don’t know a plant and can’t identify it, you can do an edibility test in a survival situation to find out if it’s edible.… Continue

Added by Ali Alami on June 17, 2009 at 11:13pm — No Comments

Basic Shelter and Camping knots

Properly tied knots are important in camping and survival because they help with improvising, safety, hauling, and can be untied with relative ease. Proper knots will also save you time and energy. Here are some basic knots every outdoor person should know.

Square Knot:

Uses: To join two ends of a rope or line together to make a loop or to extend the length of two lines to make a longer line. Mainly used in tying down equipment and shelter lines. A square knot is… Continue

Added by Ali Alami on April 8, 2009 at 10:12am — No Comments

Climbing Mount St. Helens Mother’s day

I consider Mt. St. Helens one of the funnest scrambles in the Pacific Northwest. For many this is a good introduction to mountaineering. Although a permit is required year round to climb above 4500 feet, Mothers Day weekend is the last weekend where the number of climbers is not restricted to 100 per day. The other fun part of climbing on Mothers Day is most climbers (males and females) wear a dress or skirt in honor of your mom; it’s acceptable to wear the dress over your climbing clothes.…


Added by Ali Alami on April 4, 2009 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Winter in the Rockies (2007)

As I pull up to the final belay I look over the overwhelming beauty of the Ghost River Valley of Alberta, Canada and only one thing comes to mind, “life’s so rad”. The line from the preamble of the classic “Sweater Song” by Weezer could not more perfectly sum up the landscape that lays before me. We have just finished the classic Sorcerer, one of the finest pieces of ice I have had the privilege to climb. It is my partners and my last climb in the… Continue

Added by Graham Zimmerman on April 2, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

Training Techniques

I started this article with the intention of designing the perfect training program for those folks whipping their bodies into shape to climb mountains. After much fafing about I decided to reconsider my intention and rather bring up some of my own techniques for training that can be incorporated into a program. This is partially because I myself do not have a clear “program”. I train in the time I have allocated and push hard on the muscles… Continue

Added by Graham Zimmerman on March 31, 2009 at 10:30am — No Comments

Keeping Your Fingers and Toes

A few days ago I found my self halfway up the Northeast face of Mt Andromeda in the Rockies of Alberta Canada on a route called The Andromeda Strain. It was -15°C, spindrift was falling heavily onto me and I was stuck to a belay for nearly two hours while my partner battled with the snow covered mixed crux of the route… oh the joys of winter alpinism.

During this time I was able to work diligently on my techniques for avoiding frost bite. So I thought that I might… Continue

Added by Graham Zimmerman on March 30, 2009 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

Making your own ‘GU’ (that’s organic!)

GU, the fuel that propels many of today’s fast and light ascents. It has application to many sports and activities and if used correctly can be an excellent way to push the body farther in endurance activities such as alpine climbing.

This is a very simple recipe for making your own energy gel, it is very similar to the CliffShots (one of the many brands available). It is my personal favorite since it is so easy to make and can be made out of all organic… Continue

Added by Graham Zimmerman on March 30, 2009 at 5:01pm — 1 Comment

Climbing in the Kichatna Spires of Alaska

This is a copy of a post from my personal blog ( that I thought some folks might enjoy...

The fabled Northern state, Alaska. The journey was wild, and despite not completing our proposed objective an amazing time was had...

After successfully getting to Anchorage with all of our luggage Ian, Ryan and I bought a rather large pile of food and caught a ride to the wonderful little town of Talkeetna and… Continue

Added by Graham Zimmerman on March 30, 2009 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Tips for First-Time Mt. Rainier Climbers

I climbed Mt. Rainier in 2002 as part of a group guided by Rainier Mountaineering, Inc (RMI). I enjoyed the experience thoroughly, and loved the view from the top!

RMI provided our group with a list of general fitness training guidelines, but no specific exercises. I wish they'd done the latter, because I missed a few key areas in my training regimen. In addition, I don't believe I ate exactly the right foods during the climb, which sapped my energy.

I was able to summit… Continue

Added by Keil Dumsch on March 27, 2009 at 11:51pm — 1 Comment

Get in hiking or mountaineering shape for that summer trip

Picture yourself on your first mountaineering trip with friends. You’ve spent a month’s salary on equipment, burned 3 days of vacation, and flew 5 hours to get to Mount Rainier in WA State. A quarter of the way up to base camp your sucking air, your legs are cramping, your feeling queasy, and out of steam. You don’t understand what’s wrong; you ran and went to the gym for weeks. Worst than the physical pain is the emotional frustration and feeling that your holding up the others. Now imagine…


Added by Ali Alami on March 27, 2009 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

Training Hike Reference

Taking a weekend trip? You might just find me on one of these in the spring.

Tiger Mountain #3

Trailhead Elevation: ~520'

Summit Elevation: 2522'

Gain to Summit: 2002

Length: 5.2 miles

Slope: 770' per mile

Location: Issaquah


This is just a bit of a challenge for beginning hikers and can be taken at a fast pace or with weight for a great training hike. There are two trails to the top, one is the 2.6 mile one way trip… Continue

Added by Jeffrey Kelly on February 12, 2009 at 8:07pm — 2 Comments

The Bork

Bork: When a cyclist completely cracks while training or racing on one particular stage or day.

Borking is completely avoidable. If you have ever watched a professional cycling race, you will see that the riders are regularly eating and drinking. This keeps energy levels up, core temperature down, and the body's cooling system working. The same can happen while hiking or backpacking.

When I hike, I take food and water every 20 minutes or less. By regularly taking water and… Continue

Added by Jeffrey Kelly on February 12, 2009 at 7:57pm — No Comments

Basic Navigation: How to read a map

Many outdoor experts place a map as one of the 10 essentials. Even if you’re just following an established trail a map can come in handy for distances and in cases where you might veer off due to the trail being covered up in snow. Many mountaineering routes are in snow or remote area without a permanent trail. Maps are also light and easy to pack, and can be easily downloaded from the internet, is a good site. Many friends I know, including myself carry a GPS loaded with maps… Continue

Added by Ali Alami on February 12, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

10 minute a day rock climbing workout

There are many exercises that are benefit to rock climbers. If you have only 10 minutes a day for a quick work out and want to improve your climbing strength pull-ups should be a priority. Pull-ups help with pull muscle strength vital to most rock climbing techniques. Aim for 3-4 sessions a week. If you can’t do a single pull up start with lat pull downs in the gym and increase the weight till you can pull down close to your own. Another alternative without going to the gym is to use a bar and… Continue

Added by Ali Alami on February 2, 2009 at 9:58pm — No Comments

6 week beginner Mountaineering and backpacking training plan

Here's a rough 6 week training plan to get in shape for hiking/mountaineering. This will is a good plan for getting in shape to climb Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, or a 2 day back pack trip with less than 4000ft of elevation gain. Some things to remember when following this plan:

1. It really helps to have a heart rate monitor and follow the suggested MHR.

2. This is just a roadmap, not everyone is the same or has the same needs, tailor it to your needs. The important thing is… Continue

Added by Ali Alami on January 11, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Free Training plans:
Hiking and Backpacking
6 week beginner plan

General Mountaineering:
Intermediate Plan 12 weeks

Mt. Rainier 12 week plan:

Mount Rainier Training Plan

8 Month Mountaineering Training & Fitness Plan

Meal Plans:
Backpacking and Climbing Meal Plans

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