Your Local Retail Shop: Mountain Shop

Our Local Retail Shop Series highlights local gear shops and tells their stories. We chat with shop owners to find out what makes their shop unique and how they serve their local communities. 

Shop Name: Mountain Shop

Location: Portland, OR

Owner: Marcus Stephens

The oldest mountaineering shop in the US? We’ve found it! The Mountain Shop is located in Portland, OR and has been open for over 80 years. The shop’s staff are active and passionate outdoor adventurers with an intimate understanding of the gear that is required to get after it. If you need a recommendation for the best camping, climbing, hiking, trail running, adventure biking, or skiing equipment available, this is the place!

What’s the story behind Mountain Shop?

Mountain Shop was founded in 1937 by a passionate outdoor couple, Everett and Ida Darr. One of our original locations was the home base for the first-ever ski patrol on Mount Hood. Our shop stored the first-aid supplies, had beds for patrollers staying the night, and was the dispatch location for patrollers when there were emergencies on the Mountain. We have deep roots in the mountain community here in Oregon and our current owner is a trainee with the Mt Hood Ski Patrol this season to carry on that legacy.

What sets your shop apart/makes you unique?

Mountain Shop was one of the first outdoor stores in the country opening our doors in 1937! We take pride in carrying a curated selection of small local brands and we offer extensive rental gear options ranging from a kids first pair of skis all the way to technical ice climbing tools to make getting outside accessible to a variety of people in our community. 

What outdoor activities do you specialize in? 

We carry a great selection of mountaineering, alpine, alpine touring, and nordic ski gear, as well as specialized ultralight backpacking products.

What are some of your most popular products?

We LOVE our local and small-batch products: NW Alpine (Salem, OR), Range Meal Bars (Portland, OR), Folkrm Poles (Hood River, OR), Six Moon Designs (Beaverton, OR), Showers Pass (Portland, OR), Feathered Friends (Seattle, WA), Trail Butter (Portland, OR), Mountaineers Books (Seattle, WA), Blackstrap (Bend, OR), Voile (Small-Batch skis and straps from SLC, Utah).

I see Mountain Shop hosts events. Can you tell us more about these?

Mountain Shop hosts educational presentations for our community around a wide range of topics including: working with Mt Hood Search and Rescue groups to share hazards, terrain, gear, and preparation techniques for climbing our local volcanoes or working with our local avalanche center, NWAC, on avalanche awareness education nights. We also host local adventurers and ambassadors to share their trips, route beta, and adventures with us during our community event slideshows. Aside from in-shop events, we partner with local run clubs on a monthly basis where we do raffles, give out prizes, and get to share time outside on the trails with our community.

How can we best support your gear shop?

Mountain Shop is purely a brick and mortar shop without a big online presence. We pride ourselves in being a community resource for things from local mountain conditions, to the best gear for all of your adventures. To support us – come see us or send folks our way! We’d love to have you!

If a pro were to come into your shop, how would you prefer they shop?

We appreciate the opportunity to have conversations with customers about products, trips, and all things outdoors. If someone doesn’t buy that specific product from us that’s OK, maybe they will come back for something that they don’t have a pro deal on or that they need in short order and don’t have time to wait. We pride ourselves on being a community resource.

Do you own a local gear shop and want to be featured on Dirtbag Dreams? Shoot an email over to [email protected] so we can spotlight your awesome shop!

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro

Kelly Knauf is on the marketing team at Outdoor Prolink. When she’s not doing handstands, you’ll find Kelly camping, snowboarding, and grooving on the dance floor.


  1. Evan Watts

    Love me some Mountain Shop! The events the put on with Portland Mountain Rescue are super helpful for the local community!


    1. Kelly Knauf

      Heck ya! They rock!


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