Health In Action: Tmber’s Hiking Team

Northwest Community Saturday, September 21, 2013 Written by

Our Health in Action series profiles people in the community who are living Actively Northwest. Follow along each week as we profile new people who are committed to living active, healthy lives through fitness and food. 

Have you ever wanted to plan a weekend hiking adventure, but didn’t know where to go? While there are many great trail information resources out there, none are more aesthetically pleasing than the Tmber website. Started by a group of friends who love to hike, the site helps you find hikes with easy-to-use filters. Once you’ve picked your hike, you’ll find everything you need to know – including trail overviews, videos, photos, maps and more. Tmber turns a usually tedious research project into a fun afternoon of planning.

We spoke with the folks at Tmber to learn more about what inspired them to start the site and to hear about their favorite adventures.

ANW: Why did you and your team decide to start Tmber, and what helped you make it a reality?

Tmber: Tmber evolved out of a couple of key ideas. The first was that we wanted to simplify what it takes to get outdoors, especially given the busy lives we all lead. We’ve had our fair share of botched adventures (two hours of driving, only to find out that the trail head is snowed in and inaccessible), and we wanted to create a resource that has all of the information you need in one place. We also love being able to take advantage of the rich visuals and accessibility of an online format and use it to bring the beauty of nature to the site.

Glacier Peak

Hikers along the trail at Glacier Peak

Tmber really came to life thanks to the talents and time invested by our crew. We each bring different skills and passions to the team, but we all value our time outdoors. Being in nature challenges us, gives us perspective and at the end of the day we like to think that it makes us better people.

ANW: Since starting the site, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about the hiking community and what they want from an online resource?

Tmber: We’re very aware that we are living in an era where life is conducted both online and in person. And while we exist online, our goal is always to give our users what they need so that they can turn off their screens and immerse themselves in the incredible mountains, meadows, lakes and forests that make up the Pacific Northwest. It’s great to be able to tap into a collective knowledge base online, sharing insights and experiences through stories and photographs. But it’s also important to have real-world encounters with others and nature. Challenging switchbacks, beautiful sunsets, filtered sunlight on mossy bark and silly trail banter… these all are best appreciated when experienced firsthand.

Spider Gap

The lush green scenery at Spider Gap

ANW: What’s the most popular Washington hike on your site? How about Oregon?

Tmber: In Washington, the Enchantments and Colchuck Lake are definitely at the top of the list. Our content in Oregon is slowly but steadily growing. But for now, Mount Hood and Oneonta Gorge are our most frequently visited trail reviews.

Upper Lyman Lake

The majestic views of Upper Lyman Lake

ANW: There are a lot of amazing trails in Washington and Oregon that people flock to. What are you favorite hikes when you want to steer clear of crowds?

Tmber: Great question! Here are a few of our favorite places:

1. Mount Teneriffe is a great alternative to the uber-popular Mount Si, and it’s just a half mile down the road. In fact, the views at the end of this very challenging hike are even better.

2. Church Mountain near Mount Baker has gorgeous meadow and summit views of the North Cascades that go on forever.

3. Goat Peak, just outside Mount Rainier National Park, is the former site of a fire lookout. Spectacular views of Rainier await.

Mount Defiance

Morning views at Mount Defiance

ANW: Tmber has great content for families who have little ones. As parents yourselves, what have you learned about hiking with kids, and how have you been able to get them to love the outdoors as much as you do?

Tmber: Honestly, hiking with kids requires a whole extra level of preparation. We’ve shared a few tips on Tmber that we’ve picked up through trial and error. But the truth is hiking with kids requires endurance. There’s more to plan, more to pack, more to carry and more encouragement that needs to be doled out along the way. But it’s totally worth it. Some trails are better than others. But without fail, if we make the effort to get our kids outdoors, nature puts on a show every time. And they feel proud of themselves when they make it to the top of a mountain, which, as a parent, is a pretty great thing to witness.

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Want to learn more? Check out the Tmber website, read their blog, or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.