Whether you are new to the Northwest and a seasoned backcountry traveller, a long-time Portland resident who’s ready to start exploring, or somewhere in between, we can connect to to the hiking and climbing adventures you’re looking for.
Unlike some smaller hiking/climbing organizations, The Mazamas do not have regular meetings. (Maybe the fact that we have about 3,000 members and a auditorium that holds about 100 people has something to do with this.) However, there are plenty of other ways to get started.
Please note that all Mazama activities are open to members and nonmembers, and we offer hikes and climbs for all ranges of fitness and experience.
Here’s a few activities through which most of our members have become involved. For more info on any of these, follow the links of feel free to call the Mazamas office.
First steps - Activity overview
For a quick rundown on all of our main activities, have a look at our First Steps page.
Mountaineering is our main activity, and nonmembers are welcome on all our climbs. Please note that all applicants for climbs need to have the needed skills and experience for the route they want to try. This may mean decent fitness and no climbing experience at all for an “A” level scramble such as Mt. St. Helens or South Sister, or it could mean more extensive technical skills for more challenging climb. (in this sense, although we do except nonmembers on our climbs, we’re not a guide service.)
Basic Climbing Education Program (BCEP)
Our BCEP program, going strong now for over 50 years, has introduced thousands of people to mountaineering. The class covers the basics of snow climbing, rock climbing, navigation, clothing and nutrition for backcountry travel, conditioning hikes on nearby trails,and a lot of fun and vibrant people who share the same interests as you! The classes taught once a year in the spring. If you want to learn a solid foundation of climbing skills to begin your Alpine adventures, this is your class.
Our hiking program off as more than 700 hikes a year, and we have something for everyone. We carpool from Portland, there’s no need to sign up in advance, and we leave very promptly.
Street rambles, one of our most popular programs, are twice-weekly, year-round, rain or shine, two hour evening urban hikes on the streets and trails of Northwest Portland. On these hikes we have many hike leaders, climb leaders and longtime members, as well as many new folks for whom a ramble is their first Mazama activity. Street rambles are great way to stay fit within your busy schedule, the lots of new people with an interest in hiking, and see some remote parts of Northwest Portland that you might never discover on your own.
Hike to the Summit (HTTS)
The Hike to the Summit program is designed to provide a summit climb of a local glaciated peak for people who have a hiking background and are physically fit, but who do not have an interest in a more technical climb involving ropes, crampons, ice axe, and all that other gear. Because our membership requirements is that all members must summit a glaciated peak, the hike to the summit program is a common path to Mazamas membership.
Evening Adventure Travel Programs
Our adventure travel programs are typically slide shows that highlight foreign and domestic travel, and occasional natural history and conservation issues. These programs run from October to April of each year. While many of those who attend these programs are not Mazama members, they can still be a way to get an initial feel for what the Mazamas offer . . . as well is come visit the wonderful new Mazama Mountaineering Center.
AYM (Adventurous Young Mazamas) activities
The Adventurous Young Mazamas (AYM) have a huge range of activities designed for those younger members roughly 40 years and younger. Check the AYM pages for complete details on their current trips.
The monthly bulletin is our main means of communicating with members and subscribers. If you’d like a free trial copy, please contact us and we’ll be glad to mail you one. If the bulletin looks like something you’d like to subscribe to, you can get it for just $15 a year. Some people who prefer to hike occasionally with us find that a bulletin subscription is a better option for them than Mazama membership.
Midmonthly email newsletter
We also publish an e-mail newsletter that covers last-minute events and other items that don’t quite make it in the printed monthly bulletin. It’s fast and easy to subscribe to the email newsletter, and it’s free and open to anyone, member or nonmember.