Northwest Portland has several outdoor enthusiasts living among its neighborhoods, and there are myriad destinations and resources that cater to these locals. Beyond the typical non-paved trails that they may hike, there are also opportunities to get involved with mountaineering, rock climbing and other activities that aren’t focused solely on trekking by foot for outdoor exercise.
Mazamas is a nonprofit group of mountaineering enthusiasts with several Northwest Portland members and over 3,000 members across the state. Formed in 1894, they strive to provide education to the Portland public and beyond, while providing a strong sense of communities among the hiking and mountain-climbing fans in the area.
They schedule events year-round for members to gather and tackle various excursions into the mountain ranges near Portland, with more than 1,000 hikes and climbs organized each year. The Mazamas have a lodge located in Government Camp near Mt. Hood, as well as a resource center with an extensive library in Southeast Portland; see below for directions to the resource center.
Membership with the Mazamas includes such benefits as discounts at outdoor goods retailers and gyms throughout the Portland area, subscription to the group’s newsletter and monthly publication, rescue insurance when climbing and reduced costs to join Mazama climbs and other events. There are several membership packages available, with $60 for annual fees reduced to fit certain demographics (children, students, seniors, etc.) and a $25 initiation fee; check their website for details.
The Mazamas‘ education opportunities are vast and frequent, including the 60-years-strong Basic Climbing Education Program that provides six evening classes and an exam to prepare potential mountaineers for outings with the group. It is offered in spring annually and costs $295 for members to enroll ($355 for non-members), plus the cost of mountaineering equipment as outlined by course instructors. Rentals are available for students who do not have equipment of their own.
The Mazamas Mountineering Center is located at 527 SE 43rd Avenue, and there is ample parking in the area TriMet Bus Line 75 makes a stop four blocks west of the center at Southeast 39th Avenue and Southeast Stark Street. They may be contacted at 503.227.2345 or by visiting their website.