Skiing in the Picket Range. Photo © Jason Hummel.
Skiing in the Picket Range. Photo © Jason Hummel.

  Issue 7, Summer 2010  


T he Northwest Mountaineering Journal (NWMJ) was launched in 2004 to provide an edited, permanent, annual record of mountaineering in the Pacific Northwest. For seven years, we’ve pursued that mission, publishing dozens of feature articles and over 250 short reports documenting new routes in the region.

Recently, we put together a comprehensive index of our feature articles here and an index of short reports here. It has been said that we’ve enjoyed a “Golden Age” in Northwest mountaineering in recent years. When I look at the explosion of activity recorded in the NWMJ, I find it hard to dispute that claim.

As an editor, one of the things that inspires me about the NWMJ is that it provides a vehicle for the Northwest mountaineering community to define itself. Too often mountaineering in the Northwest has been defined (in a literary sense) by writers and editors in California, Colorado, or the East who don’t really understand this region. The Northwest Mountaineering Journal provides a local perspective. The journal can publish stories that would never see the light of day in commercial media. It also provides a way to connect different generations of Northwest mountaineers.

When I launched the journal in 2004, a friend asked me how long I envisioned leading this project. In my most enthusiastic moments, I thought I might do it for a decade. I hoped that in ten years the journal would have proven its value, and others would step forward to take over.

After seven years, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to move on. I still value the journal greatly, but I’ve found that the time I’ve been putting into it each year has grown steadily, and it has squeezed out other important goals in my life. I need to refocus on those goals.

Time will tell whether others in the Northwest mountaineering community step forward to keep the journal going. I’ve been in touch with a few people who are interested, and I’ll be happy to offer my advice and encouragement. But on a day-to-day basis, I’ll be stepping away.

Looking back over the journal, I’d like to express special thanks to Steve Firebaugh, who developed the NWMJ web design. Steve did virtually all the web layout for the first five years, making improvements in each issue. When Steve moved away from the Northwest in 2009, I took over the web design task and I’ve come to appreciate how much work he did. Steve’s beautiful design inspired the NWMJ editors to gather content that was as fine as its online setting.

—Lowell Skoog, editorial team leader

Issue 7 Notes
Editorial Team
Rad Roberts
Lowell Skoog
Steve Smith
Jessica Todd
Curt Veldhuisen

The editors would like to thank the folks at CascadeClimbers.com, both for the resource that they provide to the larger community and the special forum used by the NWMJ team for collaboration.

The editors also extend thanks to Ralph Bodenner, who supports the wiki used by our team to manage the hundreds of individual items that go into the journal each year.