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What Mount Rainier Can Teach Us

What Mount Rainier Can Teach Us

Rising 14,409 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier towers so far above Seattle that a person can forecast the day’s weather by it. When the most glaciated peak in the entire continental U.S. is in clear view, the day holds pleasant temperatures and dry skies. If clouds obscure its lofty flanks, settle in for a…
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What Hunger Taught Me

What Hunger Taught Me

Summit Adventure participants (pictured above) eat very well on course, but Summit Executive Director Tom Smith wasn’t as lucky on an outdoor course during his youth. Read his story below.  This year marks the 30th anniversary of a powerful lesson that hunger revealed about my sinful nature. I like food. A lot. Especially when I know…
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Peak ascents, laughter in the rain: a 10-Day Youth Adventure

Peak ascents, laughter in the rain: a 10-Day Youth Adventure

From July 17th to the 26th, Summit Adventure instructors Daniel Hiebert and Kristen Narum took out five young adults backpacking on a 10-day adventure leadership course through the Sierra National Forest and Ansel Adams Wilderness. Upon their return to Summit’s Base at the end of their trip, I had the privilege to interview three of…
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Adventures in joy: an interview with Go For It! instructors

Adventures in joy: an interview with Go For It! instructors

Since the early years of Summit Adventure’s foundation, Tim Hansel instituted an adaptive program which still runs today, known as our Go For It! course. The course allows for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities to engage in outdoor adventure activities, led by a team of instructors. During the summer 2015 Go For It!, a group…
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Memorize the 7 Basics of Leave No Trace

Memorize the 7 Basics of Leave No Trace

Whether in your daily life or out enjoying the wilderness, understanding the Leave No Trace principles are essential to keeping a healthy relationship with the nature around you…and your local forest ranger. There are seven basic LNT principles everyone should memorize. As one who has a hard time memorizing without cues, I came up with…
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Why Adults Should Be More Like Children

Why Adults Should Be More Like Children

What do 3000, 15, 9, and 18 have to do with Patagonia? This is not really a math question as much as it is a statement of performance. These four numbers highlight my son Brayden’s recent trip to the land of Patagonia in Argentina. They will always remind me of the amazing grit he showed…
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What Does Risk Have To Do With It Anyway?

What Does Risk Have To Do With It Anyway?

Editor’s note: This is the second installment of Stories From The Field series, in which Summit Adventure Executive Director Tom Smith will share notable stories from his time leading courses. In the following blog, Tom shares how he fits risk management into the perspective of planning for family adventures.  Risk: “the possibility that something bad or unpleasant (such as…
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A Bridge Worth Crossing

A Bridge Worth Crossing

Editor’s note: The following is a blog post written by Carey Smith–Summit Instructor and wife of Executive Director Tom Smith–in which she reflects on overcoming challenges throughout her exploration of Patagonia during Summit Adventure’s first trekking course in that region.  We started our trek crossing the most rickety, terrifying, worn-out wooden bridge you could imagine…And it was…
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10 Days in Patagonia with Summit Adventure

10 Days in Patagonia with Summit Adventure

Editor’s note: Upon his return from Summit Adventure’s inaugural trek & serve course in Patagonia, participant Miles Bocianski wrote a brief recap and reflection of his time on course. Read his thoughts on trekking in Argentine Patagonia below. Words cannot begin to express the joy, gratitude, and refreshment experienced during this journey to Argentina. After 26…
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21 Reasons to do a 21-Day Expedition

21 Reasons to do a 21-Day Expedition

With the oak trees already sprouting their leaves out here in central California, summertime will be here faster than you can say “Where are my shorts?” Ready to get summer adventures on your mind, too? Out of all of Summit Adventure’s open-enrollment summer courses, the 21-Day Leadership Expedition (for ages 16+) is the longest course…
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