slideshow 1 slideshow 2 slideshow 3 slideshow 4 slideshow 5 slideshow 6

Monthly Program:

The Changing Landscape of Ultrarunning: 25 Years of Perspective and a Look Forward

Tue, 2024-05-28

Dave Coblentz will speak about ultrarunning at the May 28 Mountaineers meeting. In the past 25 years, ultrarunning (running competitions longer than marathon distance) has transitioned from a fringe sport with about 10,000 total finishes in 1998 to more than 130,000 total finishes in 2023. Consequently, there are many more runners training and competing on remote trails. In contrast to ultrarunners from 25 years ago, many of these runners lack backcountry experience and the number of search and rescue responses involving trail runners has increased markedly in recent years. Coincidently, climate change over the past 25 years has had a significant impact on the hazards present in the backcountry (e.g., affecting wildfire hazard, storm and lightning severity, and the character of avalanches).  In this presentation, issues surrounding the convergence of changes in the sport of ultrarunning with a changing climate will be discussed, with particular focus on safety in the mountains.

David Coblentz is an avid skier and ultrarunner who lives and works in Los Alamos. He ran his first ultramarathon in 1998 and has competed in more than 150 ultramarathons over the past twenty five years.  He is also active in race organization and serves on the Hardrock 100 Board of Directors and the High Altitude Athletics Club (which puts on the local Jemez Mountain Trail Runs).

We welcome all to this Mountaineers’ meeting, on the regular fourth Tuesday of the month. The social hour, with cookies, begins at 6:45 PM and the program at 7:00 PM. The presentation will be streamed at Los Alamos Nature Center; the slides will be live-streamed on Zoom. Registration is required to Zoom and recommended for in-person – we would love to see your smiling face. Registration is at

Dave Coblentz on a June snowfield during the San Juan Solstice 50 race, on his way to 12,856 feet of elevation gain over 50 miles.


Climbing School Update

Registration is Open for Los Alamos Mountaineers Climbing School

The Los Alamos Mountaineers are thrilled to announce that they will be offering a climbing school following last year’s successful revival of the school, in conjunction with Mountain Skills Rock Climbing Adventures of Taos. Details can be found on their climbing school page, here .
Mountain Skills, supported by Mountaineers volunteers, will teach rock climbing with a safety first attitude, including movement on rock, belaying, rappelling, cleaning protective gear, and removing anchors, with extensive on-rock practice. The course objective is such that successful students should develop the skills needed to participate in top roping, follow a leader in a multi-pitch trad climb, and be able to climb or descend moderate technical obstacles in unplanned backcountry situations using improvised gear (e.g. rope and carabiners). No previous rock climbing experience is required.

Outdoor sessions will be held at Northern New Mexico climbing areas, principally Tres Piedras. The outdoor sessions will encompass a full day (6 hours) on the Saturdays of April 6, 13, 20, and May 4, with a backup date to make up any weather cancellation on May 11.  Participants will sign a Los Alamos Mountaineers waiver at the first session, and additional waivers as requested by Mountain Skills. Mountain Skills will provide equipment (helmets, harnesses, climbing shoes) based on the information provided by participants in their registration form.

The cost for the school will be $650; a slot in the school will be secured when (1) participants sign up online,  (2) payment is received by the Mountaineers, and (3) participants sign up for Mountaineer membership, if needed. Payment may be made by check, made out to “Los Alamos Mountaineers”, mailed to LAM c/o Cecile Hemez at 1060-B 49th Street, Los Alamos, NM, 87544. The school will take place if we register at least 7 participants, and will fill at 25 participants.  Payment will be refunded only if the slot can be filled by a suitable replacement. Participants will be responsible for obtaining their own copy of the course book, “How To Rock Climb” by John Long and Bob Gaines. Registration will close on March 15.
Participants should be at least 18 years old, except that 16- or 17-year olds can take part if a parent or guardian is present at all outdoor activities, either as a fellow student or an observer. All participants should be members of the Los Alamos Mountaineers; joining the Mountaineers is easy, and can be done
at  If the money is a problem for you, we have a limited number of scholarships for community-minded individuals.  The scholarship application is here, completed applications should be mailed to  

The climbing school was a highlight of the Mountaineers year for decades, and the Club is excited to have it back. Friendships made at the climbing school lasted for years, and participants went on to become Mountaineers participants and leaders. We trust that the renewed climbing school will open the door to adventures for decades to come.

For questions, potential students can contact Toni Taylor, the Mountaineers climbing school lead, at

Ongoing Events


Monthly Public Meeting and Presentation:

Normally held in the planetarium of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC)
on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Now offering hybrid meetings with in-person and zoom options! Sign up for each talk at the Monthly Program page.

Social at 6:45.  Reports of recent and upcoming trips at 7:05pm.   Program to follow.

Visitors are always welcome!  Free refreshments!

Past presentations, and occasionally future, can be viewed here


Future Club Speakers:  In addition to frequent presentations by nationally known adventurers, we love to hear from our own members....not that some of you aren't in that group.  A presentation gets you a free club membership and dinner at the restaurant of your choice in Los Alamos.

LAM Member Presentations Wanted! The LAM Board would like to encourage our members to provide more of our monthly presentations.  We understand well that club members are an active lot, with a wealth of activities in their repertoire that can and have been inspiring to new and old members alike.  We have often focused our monthly presentations on the elite of the outdoor adventure world, and perhaps created the undesired effect of squelching the voices of our own members who participate in frequent beautiful and exciting adventures of their own.  Although our own activities are not always "world class", they are representative of what we "weekend" athletes can and do accomplish.  We want many of our programs to inspire the "I can do that" attitude in our members, not merely entertain.  Shock and awe may have their rightful place, but inspiration to participate and shine is our true goal.


Trip Leaders:  Post your trip by logging in and then going here.  If you do not have an account, contact  the webmaster. For overnight trips, please ensure that membership waivers for participants are current and recorded by the club Membership Chairperson prior to your trip. Non-members may participate in day trips. All club sponsored trips require the trip waiver. After the trip, please scan and email a PDF of the waiver to the Trip Coordinator.

Trip Leader Awards: The club will recognize trip leaders as described here.

Borrow Equipment: We have a limited amount of mountaineering equipment for loan (e.g., avalanche transceivers). Contact our Equipment Manager listed on this page.



Trip Leaders: Anyone can lead a trip! Post your trip by logging in and then going here. If you do not have an account, contact the webmaster. For overnight trips, please ensure that membership waivers for participants are current and recorded by the club Membership Chairperson prior to your trip. Non-members may participate in day trips. All club sponsored trips require the trip waiver. After the trip, please scan and email a PDF of the waiver to the Trip Coordinator.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer