I-MAC Mission

The INTER-MOUNTAIN ALPINE CLUB (I-MAC) was organized in October 1948 to bring together people who seek to enjoy shaking the dust of civilization from our boots and hitting the high country trails whenever the opportunity arises.  Our primary purpose is to encourage the enjoyment of the outdoors and to promote hiking, mountain climbing, and other activities in the Pacific Northwest.  We seek to provide the stimulus and opportunity to people to learn more about the skills, abilities, knowledge, equipment, and even the technology of modern outdoor recreation through direct personal experience in the great outdoors.  We offer opportunities for people of all skill levels, from the beginner to the seasoned expert, to enjoy the special personal satisfaction that comes from attaining the heights under their own power and gaining a deeper appreciation of Mother Nature as a result of knowing her first hand.

First 50 Years

History: 1998-2008

History: 2008-2018



Board Members



Aivett has been an I-MAC member since moving to Washington in 2016. She began nature hiking in the French Pyrenees in 2011 and it soon became her favorite hobby along with international traveling. She has been discovering the wonders of the Pacific Northwest participating and helping with many I-MAC activities, including hiking, backpacking, and community outreach. Aivett has served two terms on the I-MAC Board as Director at Large. She is a computational scientist and loves introducing and encouraging people to enjoy and preserve Nature through outdoor activities.


Vice President

Diana was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she fell in love with the mountains and backpacking during her college years. She continued to hike and backpack for the few years she spent in Japan, where she had the opportunity to hike to the top of Mt. Fuji. Work brought Diana to the Tri-cities in 2005. She liked the people and the small-town atmosphere (especially in Richland) and decided to stay. She changed her career from scientific research to teaching and has been working at Pacific Northwest Christian College since 2012. Diana joined I-MAC in the summer of 2021 after she saw their poster at the Badger Mountain trail head on Dallas Rd. She took over the position of secretary for the I-MAC board in 2003.



Nancy has been a member of I-MAC since 2000. She has enjoyed doing more hiking and backpacking since the kids left home. She is a dietitian and diabetes educator in her day job and teaches food and nutrition for the backpacking class. She has been on the I-MAC Board for about 8 years, served as Secretary and President, and is the current Treasurer. She values highly the friendships she has made through I-MAC.


Past President

James has been involved in IMAC since 2016 when he first went through the Mountaineering school. Moving to the Pacific Northwest while having little to no idea how to navigate the vast wonders it possesses; all within a short drive from our hometown; IMAC was an invaluable resource to learn all he could and meet fantastic partners to explore with. Since then he has served many roles in the club and continue to help with the Mountaineering program and other aspects of climbing. He continues to enjoy mountaineering, climbing on rock and ice, ski touring, backpacking with family, and many combinations of all of those. Our hope as a club has always been to bring people together and empower them to get outside, he is proud to aid in the furthering of that mission.


Senior Director At Large, Winter Activities Chair

Forrest Heller is a Tri-Cities native who grew up exposed to nature from a young age from family camping trips. He discovered many of current outdoor interests from his time in Boy Scouts including climbing, hiking, backpacking and snow camping. In 2012 he joined I-MAC and got involved with instructing at the renewed mountaineering school in 2016. For I-MAC trips he leads mountain climbing, XC skiing/snow shoeing, and snow camping.



Sierra has been a member of I-MAC since 2023. She occasionally hiked with her parents in Western Washington throughout high school, but started hiking and backpacking more seriously after moving to the Tri-Cities. After attending I-MAC’s Wilderness Medicine course and Backpacking School, she stepped up to become a member of the Board. She appreciates the opportunity to share experiences and make new friendships, and wants to give back to her community by helping others who are discovering their love for the outdoors.


Junior Director At Large

Anthony has been a member of I-MAC since 2022. Growing up by the coast, he had limited hiking experience in his early years. But since 2019, he has become an avid hiker and liked it so much he advanced to backpacking. After moving from Idaho to the Tri-Cities in 2020, he attended I-MAC’s Backpacking School and has participated in backpacking trips with the club. Anthony enjoys skiing, backpacking, camping and hiking and loves introducing the outdoor experience to people. He also volunteers for the Washington Trail Association helping to preserve trails.


Committee Chairs


Rentals, Local Hiking/Trail Access

Joined I-MAC in 1981 and served on the Board of Directors, including 5 times as President, and held several other positions for several years. He served as Trailmaster for Friends of Badger Mountain, leading the trail construction resulting in the creation of the trail systems on Badger and Candy Mountains. He continues to be very active leading and participating with hiking, backpacking and cross-country skiing trips but these days you are more likely to find him doing volunteer work on a trail somewhere. Jim was awarded lifetime honorary membership in 2001 for his service to the club.



Joined I-MAC in the late 1960’s to hike, backpack and snowshoe.  She has held many offices over the years and has been historian since 1988.  Marilyn was awarded lifetime honorary membership in 2005 for her service to the club.


Conservation, Backpacking School, Leader Training

Steve loves long backpacking trips. He completed the Pacific Crest Trail over two years, and leads week-long trips each year. He shares his knowledge at the annual IMAC Backpacking School, coordinates trips led by others, and helps train new trip leaders.

501 (c) (3) Details

You can view more details about our 501 (c)(3) by selecting the button below.

I-MAC is a 501(c)(3) organization as defined by the IRS:
“To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.
Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.
The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.”
mountaineering practice

I-MAC Basic Mountaineering Course

For those looking to enhance their outdoor adventures beyond backpacking, the mountaineering course is full of instructional knowledge and practical learning to prepare students for summiting mountains in the Pacific Northwest.  The course covers basic and technical climbing skills, including rope handling, anchors and knots, rappelling and ascending, snow and glacier travel, gear selection, and navigation.  Essential safety information is relayed as well, including how to conduct risk assessments, interpret weather conditions, and plan a trip with other climbers.  In addition, the following skills are covered: basic first aid, self-arrest, crevasse rescue, and avalanche awareness.
The course is held every year in the spring and includes both classroom sessions and hands-on learning.  Upon course completion, students are given the opportunity to summit PNW mountains on a team-coordinated climb.  The course itself is FREE apart from a nominal gear rental fee and an I-MAC membership.  Additional costs for individual gear may be applicable.  For more information contact Eddie Goss at imac.climbing@gmail.com.

Community Programs

I-MAC enjoys providing the community with opportunities to come together with other outdoor enthusiasts to learn and share. The Reel Rock Film Fest is one such event. This annual event showcases a set of spectacular films about rock climbing (Think Free Solo, only shorter). REI and local climbing clubs toss prizes into the crowd during the intermissions. Proceeds from the event go to worthy organizations selected by the I-MAC Board.

We also host guest speakers from outside the area to provide presentations on mountain climbs, ski tours, hiking and other backcountry adventures. I-MAC members also provide presentations on a variety of topics from epic club hikes to conservation.

Backpacking School 2023

Backpacking School

Are you interested in learning how to backpack? If yes, then the I-MAC Backpacking School is for you. This free two-day class is offered nearly every year. A combination of indoor and outdoor classes teaches you what you need to know to start backpacking on your own.

The purpose of the backpacking school is to prepare participants for comfortable and safe multi-day backpacking trips. No prior experience in the outdoors is required. Each topic is taught by an I-MAC member with years of experience.

Topics include:
· The ten essentials
· Training for a backpacking trip
· Gear (e.g., tents, sleep systems, water filters, stoves, backpacks)
· Nutrition and cooking
· Water purification
· Route planning
· Navigation including map & compass and digital navigation

The first day consists of lecture-style presentations. The second day includes outdoor field demonstrations of equipment and techniques at a local park. The school culminates in overnight backpacking trips led by I-MAC trip leaders.

Before the course, we recommend you get the book The Backpacker’s Field Manual, by Rick Curtis, and read as much as you can (it is not available through REI). We also recommend that you join I-MAC before the school. Membership will get you access to more information about our trips, both before and after, and about our community.

The school is free and open to the public.

Registration is required.

For inquires, please email to backpacking@imacnw.org.


Youth Outreach

I-MAC partners with local community organizations to teach youth outdoor skills and provide outdoor experiences, such as hiking. I-MAC has partnered with Boys and Girls Club of Benton and Franklin Countries as well as Girls Scouts of Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho.

Friends of Badger Mtn trail work 2023

Volunteer Trail Work

I-MAC focuses most of their trail work volunteer time on local trails, specifically Badger and Candy Mountains. These trails are used by 300,000 people every year. The trail work is led by I-MAC’s Jim Langdon, who is the FRIENDS OF BADGER MOUNTAIN TRAILMASTER.


Wilderness First Aid

I-MAC hosts Wilderness First Aid classes, provided by outside agencies, on a semi-regular basis. The most recent class was presented by Longleaf Wilderness Medicine and was held at Columbia Basin College, using both indoor and outdoor spaces. Instruction includes both lecture and hands-on practice. Classes are open to the public and I-MAC members can register before the public.


Trip Costs & Passes

Trip participants are expected to pay drivers a fee to help cover the cost of fuel and vehicle usage. The per milage rate is occasionally adjusted to reflect the general cost of fuel. We want drivers to feel comfortable that their costs are covered, but we would also never want the cost of carpooling to prevent someone from going on a trip. We aim to keep the rate at an acceptable compromise for everyone.

The current mileage rate of $0.12 per mile was voted on by the I-MAC board in April 2023.

On the first day of the trip, be prepared to pay your driver in cash for the amount noted in the trip cost section of the trip description. Checks are not accepted. Some drivers may accept Venmo or other cash apps. Check with the driver prior to the trip if you would like to pay with a cash app.


We are fortunate to have easy access to city, county, state, and federal public lands. Some of these parks and forest are free while other charge fees. Depending on who manages the land, the required fee or pass is different. Below is information about the three primary passes you’ll need to enjoy federal and state public lands in the Pacific Northwest.

Annual Washington State Parks Discover Pass

Discover Pass is a permit that gives you access to state parks and recreation lands in Washington.

Annual Northwest Forest Pass

The Annual Northwest Forest Pass is honored at all US Forest Service operated recreation sites in Washington and Oregon where a day use fee is required.

America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Lands Passes

There are several different America the Beautiful passes to choose from depending on certain criteria. All the passes cover entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees (day use fees) at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and US Army Corps of Engineers.

Locally, many of these passes can be purchased at REI. All of the America the Beautiful passes are available at the McNary National Wildlife Refuge office at 64 Maple Street in Burbank. All above-listed passes are also available for purchase online.

Wahkeena Falls

Activity Classification

I-MAC strives to provide experiences for folks of all skill levels. We classify excursions by skill level or experience needed so you can sign up for activities that best match your fitness and comfort levels. This helps ensure the safe and enjoyable experience for the entire group. Before signing up for a trip, read the trip description thoroughly. If you have any questions, contact the trip leader. Our trip leaders are happy to discuss any concerns you may have. Note that these classifications are guidelines only. All trip leaders reserve the right to independently vet trip participants.


1 – Easy

Less than 6 miles and less than 1,000-ft elevation gain per day

2 – Moderate

6 to 10 miles or 1,000 to 2,000-ft elevation gain per day.

3 – Strenuous

10 to 12 miles or 2,000 to 3,000-ft elevation gain per day

4 – Very Strenuous

More than 12 miles or more than 3,000-ft elevation per day.


0 – Class

No experience needed. This is a training class.

1 – Easy

Minimum experience needed, ample opportunity for instruction.

2 – Moderate

Moderate experience needed, still a good opportunity for instruction.

3 – Strenuous

Advanced levels of experience needed, little opportunity for instruction.

4 – Very Strenuous

Must be entirely self-sufficient, no instruction provided.


0 – Class

No skills needed. This is a training class.

1 – Easy

Less than 5 miles and less than 500 ft elevation gain.

2 – Moderate

5 to 8 miles or 500 ft to 1,500 ft elevation gain.

3 – Strenuous

More than 8 miles or more than 1,500 ft elevation gain.

4 – Very Strenuous

Usually requires great effort, could include overnight outings requiring full packs.


0 – Class

No skills needed. This is a training class.

1 – Easy

Less than 6 miles and less than 500 ft elevation gain. Minimal stopping and turning skills necessary.

2 – Moderate

6 to 11 miles or 500 feet to 1,500 ft elevation gain. Stopping and turning skills are important.

3 – Strenuous

More than 11 miles, or greater than 1,500 ft elevation gain. Stopping and turning skills a must.

4 – Very Strenuous

Usually requires great effort and advanced skills. This could include overnight outings requiring full packs.


Ten Essentials

The 10 Essentials are a collection of first aid and emergency items that can help you in the event of minor injuries, sudden weather changes, or unexpected delays. The 10 Essentials are only the basic items you should have with you. You may need additional items depending on the activity in which you participate (e.g., ice ax, climbing rope, personal locator beacon).
The 10 Essentials are organized into ten categories, or systems:
Map, compass, and GPS system Navigation systems are used when planning your route before your trip, and when you need help orienting yourself in your surroundings during your activity. Know how to use a topographical or relief map as well as your compass or GPS unit before going out.
Sunglasses, sunscreen, and hat Sun protection is necessary to protect your skin and eyes against harsh UV rays that are responsible for sunburns and skin cancer. Consider using sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats. Sun-protection clothing such as pants and long sleeve shirts can also help minimize your exposure to the sun.
Jacket, hat, gloves, rain shell, and thermal underwear Nature is unpredictable. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions. Pack an extra layer of clothing that reflects the most extreme conditions you could encounter.
Flashlight, lanterns, and headlamp Lighting is indispensable in the outdoors where no conventional light sources can be found. Items include flashlights, lanterns, and headlamps. Headlamps are the preferred light source because they are hands-free. Be sure to pack extra batteries.
First Aid Kit Be prepared for emergencies by packing first-aid supplies with you. Start with a pre-made kit and modify it to fit your trip and your medical needs. Check the expiration date on all items and replace them as needed. Consider including an emergency guide in case you are faced with an unfamiliar medical emergency.
Matches, lighter and fire starters Fire can be an emergency signal and a heat source for cooking and staying warm. Pack matches (preferably waterproof) and fire starters – items that catch fire quickly and sustain a flame (e.g., lighter). Familiarize yourself with the fire use regulations of your park before heading out.
Duct tape, knife, screwdriver, and scissors Carry a basic repair kit with you to help repair equipment. The kit should include items such as duct tape, a knife, and scissors. Consider packing a multi-tool, a compact version of many tools that can include a knife, screwdriver, can opener, etc. Be sure to bring any tools specific to your trip and your activity.
Food You should always be prepared for the possibility of changes to your trip plans. Pack an extra day’s supply of food, preferably no-cook items that have good nutritional value in order to keep your energy high. Salty and easy to digest snacks (e.g., trail mix, nuts, and granola bars) work well for outdoor activities.
Water and water treatment supplies Staying hydrated on your trip is of utmost importance! Physical activity increases your risk of dehydration (loss of water and salts from the body), which can lead to negative health consequences. If you’re active outdoors (hiking, biking, running, swimming, etc.), especially in hot weather, you should drink water often and before you feel thirsty. Prepare your water before you need it and do not allow yourself to become dehydrated. Before heading out on your trip, be sure to identify if there are any bodies of water at your destination that you could collect water from and treat using your water treatment supplies. Learn more about purifying water.
Tent, space blanket, tarp, and bivy Shelter is one of the most important elements during an emergency survival situation. It can protect you from severe weather conditions and exposure to the elements. A tent, tarp, bivy sack, or emergency space blanket are all light weight options for emergency shelter.
The I-MAC snowshoe crew starting off strong


Snowshoeing is like hiking but done in the winter. You can follow established trails or make your own trails through the snow. Snowshoeing is a great way to get outside during the winter months and explore new areas or see your favorite summer hiking trails in a different season. Snowshoeing is an excellent low-impact aerobic exercise and fun way to stay in shape during the winter months.
Few outdoor activities are as beginner friendly as snowshoeing. Snowshoes and poles are affordably priced and can be used for many years. I-MAC also rents snowshoes and poles. I-MAC members lead snowshoe trips December through March depending on the snow conditions.

Check out the I-MAC ACTIVITY CALENDAR for upcoming trips. If you are interested in joining an I-MAC adventure, review the ACTIVITY CLASSIFICATION and TRIP COSTS & PASSES  pages before you sign up to ensure the trip is right for you.

Each participant is responsible for their own safety and being prepared. Planning and preparation start with the 10 ESSENTIALS  and staying up-to-date on road and trail conditions, permit requirements, party size limits, snowpack, wildfires, and weather.

Outdoor Rock Practice at Wallula Gap

Rock & Ice Climbing

Rock climbing is the sport of climbing up, down, or across natural rock formations or indoor climbing walls often with the aid of ropes and special equipment. Ice climbing is a similar concept except it involves ascending routes that consist only of frozen water and requires some different equipment such as ice screws, crampons, and ice tools. Both sports are physically demanding, can be dangerous, and require technical skills and specialized equipment.
For adventure seekers interested in building their skills, I-MAC members lead skill development trips throughout the year as well as trips that require advance skills and knowledge of either sport. I-MAC also rents equipment such as helmets, ropes, and ice axes.
Check out the I-MAC ACTIVITY CALENDAR for upcoming trips. If you are interested in joining an I-MAC adventure, review the ACTIVITY CLASSIFICATION and TRIP COSTS & PASSES  pages before you sign up to ensure the trip is right for you.

Each participant is responsible for their own safety and being prepared. Planning and preparation start with the 10 ESSENTIALS  and staying up-to-date on road and trail conditions, permit requirements, party size limits, snowpack, wildfires, and weather.



Are you looking to extend your outdoor adventure beyond day hikes? Backpacking is similar to hiking except that you bring all your gear with you including food, clothing, sleeping pad and bag, tent, and other personal items. Backpacking requires physical conditioning to ensure you have the stamina to carry the extra weight and be on the move for multiple days in a row. It is also important to have knowledge of map reading, Leave No Trace Principles, and and basic outdoor skills.

I-MAC members lead backpacking trips from easy overnight trips to challenging multi-day adventures even in the winter! Backpacking is a wonderful way to explore hard to reach locations and get off grid for a while.

I-IMAC offers a backpacking school once a year, which is a combination of indoor and outdoor classes designed to teach you what you need to know to get started on your own backpacking adventure. About once a year, I-MAC sponsors a Wilderness First Aid Class for members. The information learned in these classes can help save a life when out in the backcountry.

Check out the I-MAC activity calendar for upcoming trips. If you are interested in joining an I-MAC adventure, review the Activity Classification and Trip Costs & Passes  pages before you sign up to ensure the trip is right for you.

Each participant is responsible for their own safety and being prepared. Planning and preparation start with the 10 essentials  and staying up-to-date on road and trail conditions, permit requirements, party size limits, snowpack, wildfires, and weather.

Learn More