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The heartbeat of Cascadia


CONTRIBUTORS Tim Ahern is a recently unretired mountain climber, avid hiker, backcountry skier and kayaker, with a main focus on the Pacific Northwest and East Greenland. His college degrees are in biochemistry, oceanography and Russian literature, and in addition to writing travel articles for various publications, he has published three books on James Joyce. He currently lives in Littleton, Massachusetts. Nick Belcaster is an adventure journalist who cut his teeth for the big three—hiking, climbing and splitboarding—on the jagged wave of rock that is the North Cascades. Residing in Bellingham, WA, he contributes to local and national publications and tries to stay out of trouble in the mountains.


Volume 13. Issue 3 Both are outdoor and environmental educators who have explored, volunteered, and worked across the country. They write the (almost) weekly Full-Time Campers column for The Dyrt online magazine. The Pacific Northwest has a special place in their hearts. Peter James is on a constant quest for natural beauty all around Northwest Washington. His work shows Mother Nature in her pure form with no signs of human life. He prints his vibrant images on huge sheets of aluminum and displays over 50 of them in his gallery in Fairhaven’s new Orca Building. Learn more at

Long ago, Kathy and Craig Copeland rearranged their lives to make hiking the white-hot molten core of their shared identity. They built their livelihood on a unique ability to express the wonder, joy, and exhilaration they feel in wild places. They’re now Canada’s most prolific hiking-and-camping guidebook authors. Visit to see their titles and peruse their blog.

Sarah Laing is a nutritionist, author and cofounder of S&J Natural Products, which offers CBD-infused products for healthy lifestyles. She is currently writing her second book, The Cannabinoid Diet, which focuses on phytocannabinoidbased nutritional guidelines to activate the body’s endocannabinoid system, restoring balance in the body and promoting overall health.

The poet Roger Gilman lives in Bellingham and can be found around the northwest along Cascade Mountain streams and in Puget Sound salt marshes fly fishing and birding for poems. He is a philosopher of evolutionary ecology and of restoration biology, and a former dean of Fairhaven College at Western Washington University.

Alan Majchrowicz is a mountain wilderness fanatic who has been hiking and photographing in the Pacific Northwest and beyond for over 35 years. His landscape and nature images have been used by The Sierra Club, Apple Computer, National Geographic, Alaska Airlines and many more. He resides with his family in Bellingham. Learn more at

David Hutchison and Shari Galiardi are a traveling freelance writer/photographer couple.

Ted Rosen is a member of the Bellingham Greenways Advisory Committee and has been

The heartbeat of Cascadia

AUTUMN | 2018

a champion of land conservation since his youth in the industrial wastelands of northern New Jersey. He enjoys writing, day hikes, photography, guitar, and the occasional pale ale. Denise Snyder, her photographer husband, Brett Baunton and dog, Luna live in Bellingham. Check out her art at Social Fabric clothing store and The Lightcatcher Museum gift shop in downtown Bellingham, MONA gift shop in La Conner, and Matzke Gallery on Camano Island. She also creates commercial commissions.

COVER PHOTO by John D’Onofrio

A Look Ahead:

Our Winter Issue

Winter Bliss in the Methow Valley Surviving the Orcas 100 Backcountry Graduation Photo by Ken Harrison

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The Heart of the North Cascades


Alan Majchrowicz

Doppelgänger on Mount Baker! An Aging Climber Finds His Way Tim Ahern

10 16

Paddling Paradox Autumn in the San Juans

David Hutchison & Shari Galiardi

Autumn’s Reminder

Peter James

20 26

Nick Belcaster


Mebee Pass Lookout John Scurlock’s Labor of Love

The Olympic Mountain Goats End of an Era Ted Rosen The Topography of Paradise

John D’Onofrio

Autumn at Lake O’Hara

30 38

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Value of the Wild Out & About 3 Great Hikes ... for Autumn eARTh: The Art of Nature Outside In Vital Signs Bright Lines Field Trip: Mendenhall Ice Caves Cascadia Gear Race | Play | Experience Calendar Next Adventure

6 8 9 15 19 24 40 44 45 46 50

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Photo by John D’Onofrio


The heartbeat of Cascadia




t is stating the obvious to say that nurturing deep connections to nature offers us a wealth of benefits that are as profound as they are diverse: physiological, psychological, sociological, spiritual. Simply stated, connecting to the natural world makes us better people. The realization that we are a part of nature, rather than detached observers of the natural world, enlivens and deepens our lives. And now, evidence is mounting that the preservation of wild lands pays significant—and enduring— economic benefits to our communities, the country, and the planet as a whole. People are increasingly drawn to these unsullied environments for recreation (344 million visited our National Parks last year) and this visitation provides substantial financial stimulus. It’s Economics 101: the law of supply and demand. The supply of pristine, undeveloped land in which to recreate is certainly diminishing (in addition to the constant pressure of development, the current administration has withdrawn more public land from

Volume 13. Issue 3

AUTUMN | 2018

protected status than at any point in our history). And in today’s agitated and anxious America, the demand for the solace of open spaces rises with each passing year, as over-stressed and overstimulated people living in a manufactured world seek sanctuary from the clamor of machines in ever-increasing numbers. If you doubt this, visit the Skyline Divide trailhead on a summer weekend. These pilgrims come from far and wide, and they spend money. In a report issued this year by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the outdoor recreation industry now generates $374 billion per year, more than mining, oil, gas and logging combined, according to Timothy Egan, writing in the New York Times. Recreationalists offer significant economic benefits to the “gateway” communities that are adjacent to public lands scattered across the western United States. We are not talking about a get-rich-quick scheme here. The old model, squeezing whatever “natural resources” are to be had from the land, leaves affected communities with short-term prosperity, a boom cycle that always eventually turns bust. If you doubt this, visit Forks, WA. on a winter weekday. And the supreme beauty of this monetization of the land is that instead of depleting the resource, it is its preservation that makes the cash registers ring. It is cause for a new model of economic development. It is cause for hope.

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Chasing the Thunder with Paul Watson

The Friday Harbor Film Festival will honor Captain Paul Watson in October, presenting him with the Andrew V. McLaglen Lifetime Achievement Award. Watson was one of the founders of Greenpeace and subsequently began the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He has dedicated his life to protecting the world’s oceans through peaceful protest and direct-action tactics. Watson, who was featured in the documentary, How to Change the World (shown at the 2016 Festival), will be will be honored at the festival’s opening night gala at the San Juan Community Theatre on Friday, October 26. A screening of his new film, Chasing the Thunder, will follow. The new film is a high-seas documentary about the eco-warriors of Sea Shepherd as they engage on an epic 110-day, 10,000-mile chase of the Thunder, a notorious poaching vessel. Wanted by Interpol and banned from fishing in the Antarctic, it had eluded apprehension for over a decade. The film takes the audience on an exhilarating ride to the farthest reaches of the planet as it captures the dangerous drama of the world’s longest maritime pursuit.

Captain Paul Watson in Antarctica

Watson has starred in seven seasons of Animal Planet’s television series Whale Wars and was named one of the Top 20 Environmental Heroes of the Twentieth Century by Time magazine in 2000. In 2012 he became only the second person (after Captain Jacques Cousteau) to be awarded the Jules Verne Award, dedicated to environmentalists and adventurers.

Photo courtesy of Sea Sherpherd Conservation Society

Now in its sixth year, the Friday Harbor Film Festival is recognized regionally as a premier festival for documentary filmmakers. The festival’s mission is to share compelling, relevant documentary films and to encourage viewers to be a force for positive change. The diverse slate of films is hand-picked to be inspiring and thought-provoking, addressing the issues of the day head-on with depth and substance. Many of the filmmakers (and local experts) will discuss the films and answer questions following the screenings. This year’s festival runs from October 26-28. More info:


The heartbeat of Cascadia

Cloud Mountain Fall Fruit Festival Can it be 29 years? Cloud Mountain Farm is a Whatcom County institution, sure. But can it really be the 29th Annual Fall Fruit Festival? Apparently it can. If you’ve never experienced this slice of Cascadian bliss, you’ll have a chance to rectify that oversight on the weekend of October 6-7. In terms of family-friendly events, they don’t come any friendlier. Kid’s activities, U-pick pumpkin patch, plus live music, great food, cooking demonstrations, and more—all of it a beloved tradition in this neck of the woods. Where else can you taste more than 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables—all grown at Cloud Mountain? The Fruit Festival provides an authentic chance to celebrate our local food system in a direct way. Proceeds support Cloud Mountain’s internship program, community workshops and educational opportunities, all vital to the future of sustainable agriculture in Whatcom County. More info: www. >>> Go to

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Celebrate a Victory on Blanchard Mountain Join our friends at Conservation Northwest for a celebration of Blanchard Mountain and the newly-renamed Harriet Spanel State Forest on Sunday, September 16 at the Samish Overlook in the Chuckanut Mountains of Skagit County. In 2008, the Blanchard Forest Strategy agreement was reached by a group of stakeholders convened by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). That agreement called for a The Samish Overlook 1,600-acre core zone to be Photo by Mike McQuaide permanently protected for future generations to enjoy. However, to implement the agreement, DNR needed funding to purchase replacement timberlands to offset those being preserved in the core zone. Due to the recession and other challenges, it took until this spring to secure the needed funds.

3 Great Hikes for A ut umn

Twisp Pass

Way up the Twisp River, the Twisp Pass Trail provides a back door to North Cascades National Park. The trail is a fine autumn hike and the pass sits on the borders of both the National Park and the high realm of larch wonderlands. The route ascends through aspen forest (glorious in autumn), crosses the Twisp River on a bridge and then climbs up into the realm of rocks and meadows. Don’t stop at the pass. Follow the obvious trail that climbs to Stiletto Lake, where the autumn colors are remarkable and the crowds are absent. If you want to camp in the National Park, you’ll need a backcountry permit. Total Roundtrip: 9 Miles/Elevation Gain: 2500 feet. Trailhead: The end of the Twisp River Road, 24 miles west of Twisp and WA-20.

Blue Lake

Located between Bellingham and Burlington in the Chuckanut Mountains, Blanchard Mountain is a hugely popular recreation destination visited by as many as 100,000 people each year. For decades, its trails to popular locations like Oyster Dome were at risk of being closed or catastrophically altered by logging in the area. Crucial wildlife habitat was at stake. Thanks to this collaborative effort by local groups, citizens and elected leaders, the area is now the beneficiary of permanent protection.

Nestled below Washington Pass, Blue Lake is a picture-perfect mirror for the soaring spires that crowd the sky near the highest point on the North Cascades Highway. The hike is easy and transcendently beautiful even if clouds obscure the peaks. The beguiling lake is surrounded by stands of glowing larches, making the Blue Lake Trail an excellent introduction to these beautiful trees that grace the east side of the range at elevation. Total Roundtrip: 4.5 miles/Elevation Gain: 1050 feet.

This free event will include guided hikes and bike rides, live music from Bellingham’s Yankee Driver, a BBQ served by volunteers with the Backcountry Horsemen, and remarks from key leaders in the campaign to save Blanchard Mountain, including Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. Free shuttle vans will be provided to transport attendees from the entrance of Blanchard Hill Road to the overlook.

Trailhead: The North Cascades Highway (WA-20), about 1/2-mile past MP161 on the south side of the highway.

Ptarmigan Ridge

The leisurely stroll along Ptarmigan Ridge offers perhaps the best effort-to-payoff ratio around Mt. Baker. Non-hiking friends visiting from New Victories like this one need to be celebrated. Jersey? Take them to Ptarmigan Ridge. Starting at the frenetically busy Artist Point parking More info at:, head west beneath Table Mountain on the protection-of-blanchard-mountain-tickets-48623826173 Chain Lakes Trail for one mile before staying left at a junction where the Chain Lakes trail goes right. Although there are some minor ups and downs, elevation gain is minimal and the views are jaw-dropping from the first step (from the Ptarmigan Ridge parking lot, actually). Go as far as you like. At 3.8 It is no mystery that the good people of Bellingham and Photo by John D’Onofrio miles you’ll find yourself beneath the looming Whatcom County love their trails. It is also no mystery that dark tower of Coleman Pinnacle, gazing down upon tiny Mystic/ they love their local bounty of diverse and delicious craft beer. Goat Lake, a recent addition to the landscape created by receding In what seems obvious in retrospect, a brand new trail running glacial ice. Continue on, if inspired, across steeper, rougher terrain event, Trails to Taps makes its debut this year on October 21, to the end of the official trail atop a little plateau (labeled Camp organized by Whatcom Events, the folks who bring us Ski to Sea Kiser on the map) at 4.5 miles. A diversion beckons: from here, a and Tour de Whatcom. primitive boot-beaten route takes aim for the sky, climbing 1,000 The event is the brainchild of Jenny Schmidt, founder of Shifting feet in a mile, ultimately reaching the top of the East Portal at 6500 Gears (a local non-profit dedicated to “creating welcoming feet. An epically dramatic perch, high above the Sholes Glacier, recreation experiences that encourage confidence, wellness, this is one of the finest vantage points around Baker. But the route growth and joy”). Runners will travel relay-style to and from nine is steep, rough, potentially confusing and dangerous when snowbreweries and one special handoff, over more than 26 miles of covered (which is most of the time). Roundtrip to trail’s end at trails and roads. Does it get any more Bellingham than that? Camp Kiser: 9 miles/Elevation Gain: 1350 feet.

Trails to Taps: The Circle is Complete

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Trailhead: Artist Point at the end of the Mt. Baker Highway (WA-542).

The heartbeat of Cascadia



Tapto Lakes Story and photos by Alan Majchrowicz

A Long-Awaited Return to the Heart of the North Cascades

Whatcom Peak reflected in Tapto Lake


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veryone has a place they dream of, somewhere that holds a special spot in their heart. At some point in their lives, usually at a young age, they see a picture or read a story about a place that for various reasons captures their imagination. They carry it with them over the years and hope someday for the chance to visit it in person.

hiker could make it in two days. Most people allow three to four days. My primary goals were photography and relaxation, so I allocated six days. Aside from the photography thing, I always feel that if you work so hard to get some place, why hurry to leave? Take your time to relax and enjoy the surroundings!

Hiking to Hannegan Pass On the first day I made an early start, hoping to make it through the brushy Ruth Creek Valley before the black flies awoke. It’s about five miles and 2000’ up to Hannegan Pass, along

For me it has always been mountain wilderness. And not just any run-of-the-mill mountain wilderness. It had to have a primordial feel. Dark mysterious forests, raging rivers, and rugged peaks with jagged rock summits jutting out from glittering glaciers. For me the North Cascades fits the bill perfectly. It was this vision that first drew me to Whatcom Pass many years ago. Last year I was finally able to make a return visit to Whatcom Pass and Tapto Lakes, in North Cascades National Park. In the heart of the park, Whatcom Pass Near Hannegan Pass is quintessential North Cascades wilderness. It rises out of deep a very scenic trail that sees a lot of foot untouched forest valleys to jaw-dropping traffic. I’ve been up this trail to the pass views of rugged glacier-clad peaks, far nearly a dozen times and never get tired away from any road, town or cell signal. of the open views of rugged Nooksack My first visit had been way back in the Ridge. About halfway up you begin late-eighties and I’ve been wanting to go to see snow-capped Ruth Mountain back ever since. There have been many guarding the head of the valley. Ruth reasons for my delayed return, not the Mountain itself is a popular destinaleast of which were the memories of the tion for hikers, climbers, and skiers in long, exhausting hike and the nightmarearly season. Although I’m not much of ish swarms of flying insects. a mountaineer, I managed to hike up Unlike most backpacking trips, this the glacier to the summit several years one—in addition to covering lots of back. From the top you get an incredmiles—has some major ups and downs. ible view of Mount Shuksan and its The first day requires climbing a pass glaciers spilling into Nooksack Cirque. and then descending deep into another Truly awe-inspiring! valley. The next day you must climb all the way up to another pass, then higher Down the Chilliwack Valley still to the lake basin. In all you’ll cover Upon reaching Hannegan Pass I around 40+ miles and about 8500’ of took a rest break to have a snack and dry elevation, including side trips, before off my sweat-soaked shirt. From here it returning to the trailhead. A very strong stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

was all downhill into the wild Chilliwack River Valley, losing all that hard-won elevation. Shortly after leaving the pass, I finally entered North Cascades National Park, indicated by a weather-beaten wooden sign. The hike down into the valley was through a beautiful untouched fragrant forest of silver fir, mountain hemlock and grand fir. The feeling here of true wilderness was very tangible. Even the trail seemed wilder. From the pass I needed to travel another five miles to U.S. Cabin camp, my first night’s destination. Ten miles is about my limit for hiking with a full multi-day pack, so I was glad to reach the camp and set up my tent. Amazingly, there were very few bugs thus far and I was able to relax and eat dinner along the river unmolested, enjoying the impressive forest. That night I turned in early in anticipation of the grueling hike the next day. I had to hike another seven miles and more than 3000’ up to my ultimate destination, Tapto Lakes above Whatcom Pass. The next morning I again got up early to hit the trail. The first stop of the day was the unique crossing of the Chilliwack River via a handoperated cable car. I don’t know how common these contraptions are but for most hikers it’s a highlight of their trip. Later in the season, crossing the river on foot wouldn’t be very hard, but why pass up such an interesting experience? Two hikers and their packs can fit in the car which is operated by pulling on a rope. It’s pretty easy getting across the first half since the cable sags down a bit. After that you begin to pull your weight up to the opposite side. By the time I got the car docked on the platform my arms were pretty tired from pulling.

Climbing to Whatcom Pass After the river crossing, it was back to work again on the trail, which now traversed a very brushy section. Years ago, The heartbeat of Cascadia


on my first visit, the chest-high brush Continental Divide, and Appalachian was covered in morning dew. After a half trails, you need to hike a set number of an hour of hiking I was soaked from the miles each day to complete it. During our waist down. A few miles later the climb brief conversation I couldn’t help admirto Whatcom Pass began in earnest. The ing her determination and stamina. But trail began to rise from the valley bottom at the same time I also felt a bit sorry for and gradually views opened up to rugged her. It struck me as sad that she needed Easy Ridge. After what seemed like an to hurry through such beauty to stay on eternity, Whatcom Peak came into view schedule. and the terrain began to take on a subalpine look. I arrived at Whatcom Pass exhausted and once again drenched in sweat from the climb. I still had another mile and 800-feet of elevation to travel to my camp at Tapto Lakes. At this point I was wiped out and began to have doubts that I could make it. The trail to the lakes is more like a climbers route, with sections so steep you need Along the Chilliwack River to pull yourself up by root and branches. While deciding if I had the energy, I spoke with a few other At Tapto Lakes backpackers doing the cross-park hike to By this time I felt physically and Ross Lake. Like me, they had spent the mentally rested enough to slog up to whole morning climbing up to Whatcom reach my camp at Tapto Lakes. Taking it Pass. However, they only paused briefly very slowly, the climb proved easier than to take in the views before heading down I anticipated. Soon enough the views again into the adjacent valley. Again I exploded to include Mount Challenger thought to myself, what’s the point of all and the imposing rock buttresses of the work if you hurry past the best parts? Whatcom Peak. A short 200’ descent The previous day I had met a woman into the basin brought me to the beautiwho was hiking the Pacific Northwest ful lakes. The day was still young so I Trail. This 1200-mile long trail starts took my time and leisurely explored the at Glacier Park in Montana and ends at area to find the best campsite. The only the Pacific Ocean. Like the Pacific Crest,

other people there was a small group staying at the pass below. They had day hiked up to the lakes to take in the views and enjoy a quick dip in the frigid lake waters. When they left I had the entire place all to myself. Time to rest and take it all in, and do nothing but marvel at the rugged beauty that spread before my eyes. At last I had returned to the place that held my imagination spellbound for nearly 28 years.

Exploring Tapto Lakes Basin Tapto Lakes is one of those locations that many hikers dream about visiting. Remote, high in the subalpine, and surrounded by rugged snowcapped peaks, the lakes have all the attributes of a classic backpacking destination. About 800’ above Whatcom Pass, they sit in a basin containing one large lake and several smaller lakes set in a heather-filled subalpine meadow. The basin is shaped somewhat like an amphitheater, with the main show being the stupendous views of Mount Challenger and Whatcom Peak. This is a designated cross-country zone within North Cascades National Park and with a permit you are free to camp anywhere among the lakes, though with a few caveats. After investing two days of hard work reaching the lakes I woke up rested and refreshed. Elated at the prospect of not having to hike anywhere with a



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full pack, I took in the views and planned my day. Of course since my main reason for being here was landscape photography I woke up early to survey the light. I had already identified several excellent spots to run to in the event of some great morning light. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case on my first morning, so I had lots of leisure time to explore all the lakes. My usual modus operandi is to spend most of the day scouting out and lining up possible compositions. I then try to assign a priority to them and work from top down when the lighting becomes appropriate. My first evening had some very nice light, enabling me to photograph some classic reflections of Whatcom Peak.


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The View North On my second day I decided to move camp to a higher location. My map showed a very small lake not far away in its own small talus-fringed basin on Red Face Mountain. It appeared to offer even more commanding views, along with quick access to a ridge on that beautiful peak. The short hike up was definitely worth it. The lake still had some snow along one side and I quickly found an excellent spot to set up camp, after which I continued to explore upwards. As I crested the ridge I was presented with incredible views of the wild peaks to the north. Dominating the view was Bear Mountain and the jagged needle-like spires of Mox Peaks and

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Whatcom Artist Studio Tour First 2 weekends in October Oct. 6,7 & 13,14

Guidebooks available in businesses and restaurants throughout the county. Visit our website for additional information and Google Maps with easy locators for all the studios!

Silver Peaks. Far below the precipitous and crumbling ridge were the turquoise-colored Reveille Lakes. All of this territory was completely devoid of trails, a true wilderness only accessible to the most determined mountaineers. I sat there for quite some time, contemplating how fortunate I was to be in such a special place. I got up after a while and headed back down the slope, wondering if I’d ever return. Back down at the lake, I immersed myself in the splendor of the setting. Some clouds had moved in and were swirling around the summits of nearby peaks. I was hopeful they wouldn’t completely sock in everything before sunset. I moved to the back of the lake where Whatcom Peak was reflected in the still waters, the clouds and reflections creating a sort of Rorschach effect, painted in subtle pastel tones. All in all, it was a very satisfying day.

Middle Lakes The next day, I packed up and moved on. I discovered a few more small tarns, the most accessible being the Middle Lakes. I decided to spend my last day here before heading back. Climbing back up to the ridge I turned and bid a somewhat melancholy goodbye to the lakes I had dreamed of revisiting all those years ago. Middle Lakes turned out to be an easy mile or so further, with only a steep rock slope to cross to add a bit of excitement. When I reached upper Middle Lake I found the setting to be


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somewhat desolate. Surrounded by steep Hiking Out slopes on three sides and a boulder field The next day it was time to head out, at the outlet, there didn’t seem to be any retracing my steps down to Whatcom good campsites. I moved on to check Pass and into the Chilliwack River out the lower lake. The lower lake was Valley. Although I was filled with a deep more attractive, but it too afforded little sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, flat ground for camping. However, when scouting for campsites I noticed an odd mound near the lake outlet with intense iron-red soil. There appeared to be springs emanating from the mound. The main spring had formed small red mineral terraces similar to Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone. I felt the water but it was cool to the touch. I ultimately found Mount Challenger a nice spot for the night among boulders and I was also sorry to leave. I faced a long heather meadows with a commandday of hiking filled with memories - both ing view of Mount Challenger. For a old and new. After around ten miles, mountain with such an imposing glaI reached Copper Creek Camp, bonecier it seemed that its elevation should weary with plenty of hot spots on my be more than 8236’. During my entire heels and toes. The next day I faced the stay in the area I noticed a nearly constant flow of clouds near its summit. Apparently despite its relatively modest height, Mount Challenger tends to make its own weather, partly explaining the huge glacier. Most of that afternoon and evening I enjoyed and photographed the dancing mists whimsically Denise Snyder: curling around the summit.

stiff climb back up to Hannegan Pass and then the final miles out to the trailhead where my truck waited. Nearing the pass I began to meet more hikers. Many of them were just beginning trips similar to mine. You could easily see the excitement in their faces, anticipating the wonders that were waiting for them. Then it was down the pass for the last five miles of the trip. Although I was out of North Cascades National Park and in the Mount Baker Wilderness, it was easy to sense civilization was close. I began to see more people on the wider, well-maintained trail. I got back to my truck in a few hours, in a parking lot filled with dozens of cars. Tired but flush with a deep sense of contentment, I began wondering how soon I might get another chance to return to the dreamlands around Whatcom Pass. ANW

The art of nature


Explorations in Natural Sculpture The Pacific Northwest is an abundant source of inspiration for my work. Bare trees against the skyline, fields of grass, curling vines, seasons in nature…all of these motivate me to create sculpture. Using branches, grasses, paper, wire, and fibers, I create wall- and free-standing sculpture that embodies the depth and volume of concepts portrayed in nature. The materials are not concealed, but are clearly evident in the artwork and their own innate beauty is as important as the final form. Clockwise from top left: Fall Migration, Full of Ideas, Picasso’s Basket, Flight, Wild Energy

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Doppelgänger on An aging climber finds his way

threatening our lives, and without that element of challenge perhaps an essential something would be missing. And along that line, the idea lingered that it might

Story by Tim Ahern Whether you climb up the mountain or go down the hill to the valley, whether you journey to the end of the world or merely walk around your house, none but yourself shall you meet. - Maurice Maeterlinck La sagesse et las destinée (Wisdom and Destiny) 1898


arly this year I got a call from a long-time climbing buddy: how would I like to go up Mount Baker? That was an easy one—of course I would! Never mind that I have never climbed the mountain, I am in my sixties, and now live on the East Coast. The mountain seemed to occupy the sweet spot: not too high, not too hard, and new to me. Another attractive point was we were going to do it old style! Recently I had fallen in with a sketchy crowd that eschews hard, sweaty manual labor, preferring instead to ski down volcanoes like Hood and Adams. That’s fun, exhilarating even, but the idea of stumping up and down a mountain on crampons seems baked into me, going back to the 1960s. For decades, in addition to rock ascents, we had alpine-climbed everywhere in the Northwest we considered a challenge: Shuksan, Ptarmigan Traverse, Glacier, El Dorado, Sunset Amphitheatre, Liberty Ridge, and so on. So how had Baker escaped this orgy of ice-capades? Maybe it was a sense we had harbored that it could hardly hint at 16

The heartbeat of Cascadia

The Sherman Crater Photo by Tim Ahern

be a bit of a plod. Mount Baker and all its ancillary gods, please forgive me for all that silly, irrelevant nonsense! •••• I pulled out a sled-like bin from under the eaves in my attic and began pawing through the equipment. A mouse had overwintered in one of my sleeping bags: not good! To add insult to injury, it had brazenly eaten two bags of freezedried Beef Stroganoff. I cleaned up the mess as I put things in order for the trip. Fortunately there were no rodent teeth marks on my “ashwood-handled hotforged Grivel Mont Blanc” ice axe, the first piece of equipment ever sold by REI. I understand that they have recently is

sued a collector’s version. My feelings for this axe are as warm as Stephen Dedalus’s for his ashplant in James Joyce’s Ulysses (Dedalus dispatches his mother’s ghost and a chandelier with his ashplant walking stick). Both serve as excellent walking sticks, and their owners toy with the idea that they have magical powers capable of warding off incipient dangers. Ghosts, glaciers and chandeliers, beware! As the plane departed Boston I thought of the dig a Seattle friend gave me during a visit. “Tim, why doesn’t the pilot say, ‘And if you look out the left side of the plane, you will see Mount Washington.’ Why doesn’t he say that, Tim?” “Oh,” I replied, scrambling for a pithy answer, “The weather is so severe up there, it’s rare that you would ever see its crags from a plane.” However, there was no more need for such evasions, for I was going where the peaks stand out in all their glory, with no assists from their admirers. It was early on a fine Sunday morning when the three of us drove up Sulphur Creek onto the flanks of Mount Baker. I was excited to see dappling green/yellow in the sunny undergrowth— magnificent specimens of the primordial Oplopanax horridum. Once the bane of my life, it now looked like just a prickly old friend you might bump into at a Boston dive like The Dugout or Wally’s. I wondered, though, what terrible punishment would be dished out to anyone who dared introduce Devil’s Club to the East Coast mountain ranges; maybe they would be caned with it? The Northwest Tlingit and Haida tribes use the plant for medicine, even hanging it on door frames to ward off bad spirits, which seems apt if “like versus like” is a good strategy. As we turned a corner, local Native Americans appeared in the road bed and surround>>> Go to

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Mount Baker! ing forest carrying “chitticum bark” of the cascara tree. Cascara has been the most abundant North American natural product to be found in drug preparations, despite the medical authorities’ skepticism about its overall benefits. After a few stops to convince ourselves we were still on the right road, we eventually parked and started up the Park Butte Trail through waist-high fields of huckleberry and heather. Water flooded down the trail as we approached the Sulphur Creek crossing. The ice thaw was not at The Easton Glacier climbing route peak, though. We didn’t Photo by John D’Onofrio need to wade the raging creek as my climbing partner Rick Lindberg had to do during a previous hike. Ditching our unused river shoes under a stunted fir, we ascended the switchbacks through the forest of Douglas Fir and cedar and onto the snow still covering Schreiber’s Meadow. Rick is the type of guy who has the highest regard for the spirit of the wildness of the Cascades. He regaled us with stories of the times Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder and Philip Whalen spent in the area. (There’s a wonderful book by John Suiter, entitled Poets on The Peaks (2002) that documents their experiences.) Rick and I have had all sorts of Cascade adventures. He is game for anything, and enjoys all the twists and turns that may be encountered (except for slide alder; about which no one could possibly find anything positive to say.) The third member of our party, Peter, is a former Seattle science teacher and outdoor adventure organizer. Since the weekend was winding down, a lot of other groups were passing as they made their way home. “Love your ice axe,” was heard several times from the tattooed, younger set. Even natives living in remote reaches like East Greenland, pointing to my puffy red REI down jacket from the 1970s, have asked, “Excuse me, how old is that?” What had I become, I wondered, a walking museum for the whole world?!! •••• Mount Baker’s summit is frequently visible along this route. The meadows lead up to the Railroad Grade, a beautiful knife-edge moraine with a gentle heather slope to the west and a steep crumbly scree face eroding eastward into Sulphur Creek. At some points it behooved us to hold onto branches stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

as we skirted past precipitous drop-offs along a trail capable of suddenly giving way and tumbling us several hundred feet into the creek. The terrain reminded me of the Northeast’s famous Mount Katahdin ridgeline trail where a disoriented Henry David Thoreau once lost his way, except Railroad Grade is just a Mount Baker appetizer rather than the Maine entrée. Marmots were gobbling the budding plants as we approached, ducking into their burrows only when we were nearly on top of them. The upper reaches of the moraine afforded bivouac spots for climbers on a few rock outcrops in the snow field leading onto the glacier. As we set up camp, one marmot ran across the expanse and into a den, triggering a tremendous tumult



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with creatures repeatedly flying into the air as they screeched and bit each other. It was either a spirited defense against an early evening raid or a returning spouse being upbraided for its wandering ways, not clear which. After sunset, the full moon rose up to cast the mountains and valleys in an altogether different light. Lying on the ground in my bivy sac as I often had so many years ago, I thought of who I had been then and who I am now. I had undergone many changes; all the cells in my body had been replaced many times over, but I was still the same I, and yet here I was in my former world, which made for an uncanny experience. The moment is now. Where then? If Socrates leave his house today, if Judas go forth tonight. Why? That lies in space which I in time must come to, ineluctably. - James Joyce, Ulysses In the morning I laced up the gaiters my mother had sewn for me a half century ago, and we set off onto Easton Glacier. And what a glacier it is! Approximately two square miles in area, it seemed even larger with its apron of seasonal snow fields and adjoining

Deming and Squak Glaciers. The view is always fascinating with the Black Buttes towering westward and the anvil-like summit ever in view, from which plumes of sulfurous mist rise, giving the snow around the sum-

which steam belched and roared! It was a fitting place for James Joyce’s character, Shem, who in Finnegans Wake is asked, “Are you not danzzling on the age of a volcano?” It is a dazzling place to cavort about in wonder at the eons of volcanism unfolding at this spot. I have since read that Mount Baker is the number one contributor of sulfur emissions in Washington State, and that the other side of the crater occasionally lets go torrents of melted snow and ice, mudflows and massive rocks onto the aptly named Boulder Glacier. On quieter days Moonrise the thrill-seeker must Photo byTim Ahern content himself with the sight of huge pieces of mit crater a golden-yellowish hue. More ice calving off the Park Glacier further and more of the glacier revealed itself as east over a spectacular wall “like the we ascended it, crossing deep blue crewaters of Niagara,” as Charles Easton vasses via snow bridges along the way. described it in the early 1900s. It made for an absolutely superb hike •••• throughout the morning. The last pitch to the summit sparBy the time we reached the slopes kled yellow-gold before us, an odd, stepof Sherman Peak, the Black Buttes had like topography due to sun-sculpting of dropped below us. We kept an eye on the snow. We moved more slowly now, falling rock as we scampered under the owing to the pitch, the altitude and the cliffs, eventually climbing up to the hours already spent climbing. As the edge of the summit crater nestled about slope lessened, the horizon became one a thousand feet below Sherman and the vast arc of white against a cobalt sky. main, Grant Peak. What a thrill to look From behind me I heard Rick announce down into an enormous, apparently in a very measured way: “I – am – enjoybottomless vent in the glacier from ing – every – step – of – this – climb.”

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And it was true! We still had the legs and the lungs for it, the weather was perfect, all was right with the world. At the top we made for a small depression in the snow and set out provisions for lunch. As we ate our “tiffin”, two very unusual characters appeared, dressed in the Canadian Mountie colors of red, black and gold. They slowly veered passed us northward and were lost from view. Curiouser and curiouser; as good a sign as any to begin to pack up and head down. It’s Government land over two miles high. Not enough air (which gives you notions, “This is real, this is true”). - Philip Whalen I Think of Mountains (1958) As we roped up and began the descent, the weather started to come in. Fortunately Peter had brought a global positioning device that had been marking our route up. With its help we negotiated what we dubbed “The Garmin District”, pausing now and then to wonder which snow bridge was still sturdy after a day of sun. “Hey, does this one look OK?” asked Rick. “Yeah, if you jump over it,” replied Peter who was leading. “Right, sure…don’t think so, let’s go around,” and we continued to zig-zag through the

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Reflections on Wilderness by Kathy and Craig Copeland

The Flow Observing a trickle in a broad, bedrock streambed, I think of my languid self: when I lose volume and speed, accomplishing little, creating nothing, stimulating no one. But I’m aware we all feel this, and it passes. We’re not the trickle. We’re the streambed. Life flows—surging, subsiding, surging again—through us. Our calling is to be big, open, ready for inevitable torrents, droughts, challenges, opportunities. Patience, I tell myself. A flood will come soon enough. Extracted from Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads Within by Kathy and Craig Copeland (

glacier’s stretch marks. It’s never good to be on a slack rope when crossing snow bridges, and at one point Peter stumbled due to his crampons caking just as I was traversing one. “Keep moving!” I called out as the group momentarily came to a halt. The rest of the descent proceeded without further incident. But what a long distance it seemed! One expanse after another of gently sloping glacier fields. After dropping our packs at base camp I felt the business the mountain had done to my legs, and sleeping that night was tranquility itself. We were older (wiser?) men doing what is now the provenance of millennials. Nevertheless, we had left

our cozy houses to go up the mountain today, shed our years with each passing hour, and on our return found ourselves seated on our doorsteps. ANW If Socrates leave his house today he will find the sage at his doorstep. If Judas go forth tonight it is to Judas his steps will tend. Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves. - James Joyce, Ulysses

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Paddling Paradox Autumn in the San Juan Islands

Story by David Hutchison Photos by Shari Galiardi

Sunset, Jones Island


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e paddled around the small headland and entered a glassy pool that reflected dark conifers.

The soft sand of the protected beach was welcome indeed. • • • • In a recent article in Adventure Kayak, Neil Schulman compares sea kayaking to ‘old school’ alpine mountaineering, with its combination of endurance, skills, judgment, and attitude. According to Schulman, both involve repetitious movements, with heavy loads; interspersed

It was another world entirely than the one we just departed. The early evening light softened the scene into lazy shadows and rich colors. We relaxed when we heard the soft crunch of sand as our kayaks come to rest on the beach. Just an hour before, we had found ourselves crossing the southern end of East Sound off Orcas Island in conditions which could best be described as tempestuous. On one side of the headland, calm, on the other, complete chaos. Blowing directly out of the northwest, the wind had howled a steady 15-20 knots, down five unobstructed miles, kicking up Beneath the Volcano three-foot waves. An ocean swell twice as high would have been far with brief moments of adrenaline and kinder than these steep, short pulses of energy all-out effort. “Exposed crossings, tide pounding us in rapid succession. Just as we races, surf zones and boomer fields are crashed through one crest and slamming our headwalls, crevasses, and knife-edged down into the trough, another battered us. ridges,” he postulates. Few activities ofMy wife and I had stayed connected by fer the schizophrenic adrenalin-juiced tow rope during the crossing, which proved swings from tranquil to tumultuous the helpful at keeping us moving together at way sea kayaking can. the same speed but had also hindered her Moments before the crossing, we’d maneuverability. At least we wouldn’t get been enjoying the wind-sheltered south separated should one of us capsize in the shore of Orcas Island on a glorious day 52-degree water.

with epic views of Mt. Baker. As an east coast paddler, I’d never experienced the thrills of navigating a complex network of islands with challenging tidal currents and boat traffic, all within view of an almost 11,000-foot glacier-covered volcano. I was fully under the San Juan spell! This is the lure of these islands, one of sea kayaking’s holy grails that had been on my bucket-list for nearly two decades. It was worth the wait. The San Juan Islands are a fascinating contradiction. We could just as easily paddle into a harbor for a hot cappuccino as we could slide up to a tiny island camp that left us feeling like the only people in the world. Few other places offer this unique balance of wildness and civility. I am certainly not alone in my enthusiasm for these islands. The number of people boating, sailing, paddling, or just ferrying from the mainland to the San Juans is staggering. But when to go, just as much as where to go and with whom, is worthy of careful consideration. • • • • My wife and I travel for about four months each year in our vintage camper trailer, and we always include some extended backcountry adventures, but we rarely go anywhere during the peak travel

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crush of humanity was already on its way to somewhere else. Traveling during this time of year doesn’t mean total solitude, but it does allow us to wander at our own pace and still find a spot on many of the “first-come, firstserved” camping isSunset, Jones Island lands. We always prefer to travel sans reservations, and we are especially zealous about it when it comes to sea kayak camping. Too many things can go awry in timing and weather that will challenge a rigidlyplanned itinerary. Many wilderness recreation areas require permitted reservations (and we understand why), but I’m pleased that Washington State Parks hasn’t extended this to their boat-in locations. The flexibility, in addition to the smaller crowds, allows us to have a loose plan but still make changes based upon conditions

and unforeseen opportunities. • • • • Our launch, in the heart of the archipelago, is lovely Lopez Island. During our few days of pre-paddle preparation and exploration, we fell in love with this little piece of rock and almost hated to paddle away. Our first crossing from Lopez to Turn Island State Park offers a taste of boat traffic, and we keep our head on a swivel and the VHF radio on channel 16. Paddling up to Turn in the early


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evening, we have our choice of campsites evening. It’s a perfect rocky perch from the stirring of wildlife. In the indistinct and our only companions are the resident which to watch the sunset and observe light of dusk I see something large disracoons, who try valiantly to get into the hatches of our overturned boats on the beach. GO HOME TO We wake to the haunting FURNITURE sounds of a fog horn, the basso profundo of a Washington AS EXCITING State Ferry moving through AS YOUR LAST the pass from Friday Harbor ADVENTURE toward Anacortes. Emerging from the tent, our world is reduced to a 50-yard radius of thick fog, increasing the intensity of the sound. It is both an eerie and beautifully slow start to our second day; and the fog diminishes soon enough. We paddle into Friday Harbor for a leisurely coffee break and a visit to the Hand-crafted furnishings from reclaimed materials. Whale Museum, eventually arriving on Jones Island where R EV ISIO N DI V ISIO N a program of we grab the last campsite in 2309 Meridian St. | (360) 647-5921 | the southAdventureNW-VertAd_180816.pdf harbor on a Friday 1 8/16/18 8:59 PM “Making it Happen” Since 1984

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turb the water out in the pass between the islands, but I can’t completely make it out. Was it a transient Orca? We opt to linger for another day to explore the island on foot. Jones is home to a few miles of wandering trails as well as a small population of miniature, black-tailed deer who are nearly as tame as house cats. On Day Five, we head to the Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island to indulge in a well-earned soak in their famous hot pools. It’s an odd mix of adventure—going from such an exposed, isolated place out in the middle of the Salish Sea to soaking in a hot pool with a dozen other people. Our sore shoulders welcome the indulgence. Doe Bay offers excellent camping and seaside yurts, but none can beat the

view available from tiny Doe Island. After our afternoon soak, we paddle the 200 yards back to our island for the night and watch the strong currents ebb and flow through this magical place. With space for only a few tents, we are the sole inhabitants tonight, and the solitude is delightful. We feel miles away from anywhere. We launch in the morning, with just enough time to grab the current flowing in our direction. We make our final crossing between Blakely and Lopez Islands, arriving both exhilarated and exhausted from a week of paddling in these spectacular islands at this spectacular time of year. Sometimes, we agree, timing is ANW everything.

VITAL SIGNS Tips for Getting your Fall Routine Back on Track By Sarah Laing, B.Sc. Nutrition

With the hot summer days still cooking away, it’s hard to believe that the return to school and our work routines is just right around the corner. For many of us, this abrupt shift from the idyllic summer schedule into the hustle and bustle of autumn comes with anxiety and can catch us off guard. Planning for the transition can make all the difference between a chaotic start to fall and a low-stress segue into a healthy and manageable groove. Seasonal foods such as blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, apricots and tomatoes are a great way to incorporate protective phytonutrients, with antioxidant and immune-boosting 24

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properties that help you combat both physical and psychological stress, and help you stay on track. The Pacific Northwest is home to many varieties of mushrooms including chanterelle, lobster and oyster mushrooms that can be foraged in the fall and contain beta glucan fiber, which also has immuneboosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Finding time for stress-relieving activities such as hiking and spending time with friends and family is always a healthy distraction from everyday routines and helps bring perspective and balance to your lifestyle.

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Autumn’s Reminder By Peter James

Fall is perhaps my favorite season to photograph nature. The sun hangs lower in the sky, casting long shadows and sweet light across a tapestry of leaves and foliage that changes colors day by day. I love the smells too and the crisp feeling in the air that reminds me to soak up the last of the warm days before the winter rains come. Sun bursting through crimson and vibrant yellow trees creates a phenomenal glow that fills my soul with warmth, a warmth that will get me through the dark days of winter and on to the new green of distant spring. See more of Peter’s photographic artistry at Visit to view an extended gallery of Peter James’ autumn images. Clockwise from right: Waterfall in Fall; South Fork, Sauk River; Rocky Creek; Sol Duc River; Maple Grove in Autumn; North Fork, Sauk River; Sunlight Peeking through Autumn Leaves; Autumn at Whatcom Falls


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Mebee Pass Lookout John Scurlock’s Labor of Love Story by Nick Belcaster


ost things can be hard to find accounts, very much a lost thing. in the wilderness of the North Located among the precipitous peaks Cascades, so when aerial pho- of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, the small structure had never tographer John Scurlock spied the rough angles of a man-made strucScurlock and Lookout Photo by Dave Adams ture among a zone of alpine krummholz, that last green gasp of stunted subalpine fir at tree line, he must have thought himself lucky. Remembering the comment of a climbing friend who had mentioned a last-of-its-kind fire lookout, Scurlock pointed the nose of his homemade airplane toward Mazama, scanning the terrain for the 10’x10’ wooden structure. Atop Mebee Pass and sitting among the windblown snow, the dilapidated former Forest Service lookout was holding on in its 80th Cascades winter—if only barely. Mebee Pass Lookout was, by most

known high recognition as a lookout, most-likely only manned in times of high-fire risk, and only saw use for roughly a decade until it was abandoned. Scurlock had photographed the lookout before in 2006 and 2007, but after his winter visit he was struck by how tiny, remote and delicate it appeared.

Scurlock’s interest was infectious, and as photos from his fly-over spread, the lookout became somewhat of a cause célèbre. Thus was born the “Friends of Mebee Pass Lookout,” a group dedicated to the restoration of the lookout. “It’s a historical relic, and our short term goal is preserving it for the sake of preserving it,” Scurlock said. “In the future, people could end up using it for recreation purposes.” The lookout itself represents a small chunk of North Cascades history. Constructed in 1934 by the Forest Service, the diminutive lookout was the smallest style of lookout used during the time, known as an L5 Cab. At the peak of their use, fire lookout towers dotted Washington’s peaks, numbering 685 in total. Today, it is believed that Mebee Pass Lookout is quite likely the only lookout of this style left standing in the range.


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Work had been done previously on the lookout by U.S. Forest Service (USFS) workers on their own dime and time, but nothing compared to the overhaul Scurlock and his volunteers had in mind. Primary concerns were stabilizing the foundation and structure itself, then installing a new roof and lightning protection system. Scurlock brought these ideas to the USFS and spoke with representatives including Methow District Ranger Mike Liu. “We were very supportive of the project,” Liu explained. “ I had heard about Mebee Pass Lookout from past Forest Service employees, and I knew it had deteriorated quite a bit over the years.” The Forest Service offered technical assistance on the project, overlooking the plans, and ensuring the materials and activities were consistent with historical preservation of the lookout. “John spearheaded it,” Liu said. “We authorized it.”

By the summer of 2013, the restoration group had raised roughly $3,500 to purchase materials and pay for the helicopter time needed to transport them to the lookout site, and with the good graces of the USFS, Scurlock and his grassroots crew of mountaineering friends began clearing the trail to the lookout. By September they were able to put in a three-day work weekend, accomplishing a laundry list of tasks and buttoning up the lookout to endure another Cascades winter. Scurlock says that the next phase of the project hinges on a bridge being built over Granite Creek, the original having deteriorated to the point where it was decommissioned by dropping it into the creek. Liu says that the requests for those funds have been submitted. ANW Join the Friends of Mebee Pass Lookout: Email to learn how you can contribute to the restoration.

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The Olympic Mountain Goats End of an Era Story by Ted Rosen


fter decades of debate, draft plans, and environmental assessments, the National Park Service (NPS) has decided to eliminate mountain goats from the Olympic National Park and the surrounding National Forest areas. They plan to employ their Record of Decision, Alternative D: a combination of relocation and lethal removal.

goats in the Olympics. The goats were blamed for the degradation of sensitive flora, especially moss and lichens, which were being stripped away in the

This means relocating at least 50% of the Olympic area mountain goats to the North Cascades. This will be accomplished by tranquilizing mountain goats and moving them to locations in the Mount B a k e r- S n o q u a l m i e National Forest, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and lands owned by Seattle Public Utilities. The Olympic goats will be netted or tranquilized, then transported by helicopter or truck. The Photo by John D’Onofrio remaining goats will be liquidated by a combinadrier areas of the park where they were tion of ground and aerial hunts. least likely to recover. These mosses and This is expected to be a four-year eflichens are part of the chain that encourfort, and it has drawn a lot of controversy. ages the growth of other sensitive plants In the 1980s, the NPS became in these high places. aware of problems caused by mountain 30

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Compounding the problem is the goats’ tendency to trample, forage, and wallow in sensitive areas. Soil disturbance affects many types of flora by changing their habitat and weakening or killing them. According to the NPS reports, the local Astragalus (milkvetch) plants have been devastated since the 1970s and are on the brink of disappearing. It may seem excessive to eradicate mountain goats to save some plants, but the NPS is charged with preserving our National Parks intact, in perpetuity. The flora of the Olympics is native. The goats are not. To an agency tasked with preservation, the answer is clear: the “prime directive” must be upheld and the goats must go. In addition to problems with the local flora, there were also increasing complaints of aggressive interactions with hikers and campers, often caused by the goats’ need for salt. Goats are known to paw the ground near campsites for salty urine goodness. They also loiter near campsites for access to sweaty backpacks and clothes. These negative interactions culminated in 2010 when hiker Robert Boardman was gored to death by an >>> Go to

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aggressive mountain goat near Hurricane Ridge. According to the NPS, mountain goats are not native to the Olympics. Unlike the North Cascades, where exposed mineral deposits provide plenty of salt sources that mountain goats need, the Olympics are woefully short of open salt licks. As a result of this and other geographic factors, mountain goats never migrated naturally to the Olympics. Instead, they were introduced to these mountains in the 1920s by hunters who wanted something big to shoot. Despite the sub-optimal resources, the goats flourished. This may have been due to the goats’ hardiness, and partly because some hunters, photographers, and well-meaning hikers left salt licks in the open to attract the goats. The Olympic mountain goat population waxed and waned over the decades. Between 1973 and 1983, the population increased from around 400 to as many as 1200 individuals. By 1994 that number went as low as 300. The current population is estimated at around 725. There are various conclusions about these wildly swinging numbers, but it seems clear that the Olympic goat population faces challenges despite the lack of natural predators. Every outdoor enthusiast gets a thrill from seeing mountain goats in the wild. No one wants to see mountain goats exiled and gunned down. This explains why the process has dragged on for decades and why the NPS has decided to move forward now. The park administration is sensitive to the wishes of their

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guests but sometimes they need to roll up the NPS that describes in great detail the their sleeves and get the dirty work done, length and breadth of the problems with regardless of how awful it is. the Olympic mountain goats. Not everyone is on board with this plan. Animal rights activists contend that the mountain goats might be native to the Olympics. They point to an 1896 report by National Geographic that claimed sightings of mountain goats in the Olympics. There is scant scientific evidence to support this theory outside of this single report, and it has been largely dismissed by the NPS and research organizations like the Conservation Photo by John D’Onofrio Biology Institute. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that local hunters would have bothered to relocate mounNonetheless, local activists claim that tain goats to the Olympics in the 1920s if the science blaming the goats is flawed, goats were already there. that the flora destruction is exacerbated Hinging goat policy on that one by other factors, like other fauna, climate questionable National Geographic report change, weathering, and erosion. They has been judged to be a dubious propoalso feel that the problems with human sition, particularly when framed against interactions seem little different from the exhaustive report commissioned by those experienced with any other high

country creatures. They see no need to remove the goats, though their concerns dwell primarily on the planned hunt rather than the somewhat friendlier Cutline relocation. They aren’t alone. Local Photo by citizens have mobilized resistance to the goat liquidation since it was first proposed in the 1980s. These local citizens have animal rights organizations and the occasional concerned politician on their side. When all is said and done, the argument for removal and eradication hinges on three fundamental conclusions. Defenders of the goats have argued for decades that the three core pillars of the goat question are not settled science.

Pillar 1: The Olympic mountain goats are not native to the area. Besides the aforementioned 1896 National Geographic article about mountain goats in the Olympics, some activists insist that mountain goats in some form

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once foraged in the Olympics. This assertion places a heavy burden on researchers to prove a negative. There is absolutely no biological evidence for native goats yet discovered, and the farther back in history one goes, the farther removed one becomes from the biota. Did some form of proto-goat or unknown sub-species once clamber over the rocky cliffs of the Olympics 10,000 years ago? And if so, was the ecology of the Olympics similar then to what it is now? These questions, and their answers, have little bearing on the current situation. It is also asserted that there may have been contemporary native mountain goats in the Olympics prior to their forced introduction in the 1920s, but neither the white settlers nor the native tribes had the skill to locate them. This again requires the counter-arguer to prove a negative when the burden of proof should be supplied by those making the positive claim. As far as we (“we” being the historic populations: settlers,

natives, and scientists) know, there is no compelling evidence that mountain goats lived in the Olympics prior to 1925.

Pillar 2: The Olympic mountain goats are damaging sensitive flora on the Olympics. Defenders of the goats question the science that has driven this primary pillar of the goat question. The most comprehensive refutation of the NPS claims is found in the 1998 book, White Goats, White Lies by anthropology professor R. Lee Lyman. In it, Lyman carefully teases details from every aspect of the Olympic goat question. He has particular concerns about the exhaustive study by Bruce Moorhead, D. B. Houston and E. G. Schreiner that assembles the evidence in a lengthy report made public by the NPS. While Lyman does not dispute the overall consensus that mountain goats are non-native to the Olympics and that

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the population of mountain goats causes some environmental impacts, he is skeptical of the neutrality of the NPS’s efforts. He rightly points out occasional reliance on inexact experiments and evidence gathering, and the dismissal of the unknowables. That is, we still do not have a complete historiography of the Olympics flora, nor the certainty that mountain goats are the sole culprits of all the described environmental degradation. Lyman feels that the NPS had come


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to a conclusion (the goats must be eradicated) and then cherry-picked studies that confirm their conclusion while soft-pedaling or even dismissing those that raise uncertainty. He is particularly upset by the NPS’ tendency to refuse publication of some studies while trumpeting others, a hallmark of bad science. Regardless, there remains compelling evidence that the goats are indeed harmful to the Olympic area biota. The published report from Schreiner et al. is,

despite its limitations, a fairly accurate picture of the overall situation. It is a carefully-researched collection of data from many sources designed to explore not only the goat question, but the limits of our data gathering efforts in the Olympics. We like to think modern science is faultless, but unless you’ve spent a decade trying to count goats or inspect folded plant stems, it’s hard to grasp the near-impossibility of compiling a complete picture. Nature is wild and she does not easily bend to our wishes. Even the critic Lyman had to agree that the mountain goats of the Olympics were having an effect on the park. The actual breadth and depth of these effects were his primary quibbles. His criticisms stem from some of the methods by which the NPS studies were assembled, not that the conclusions were ill-founded. He is not one to brook political maneuverings in scientific pursuits. In the end, the NPS is doing what we asked them to do: to keep our national parks in their current state, as well as can be managed, in perpetuity. I do not believe anyone in the NPS is delighting in the killing of Olympic mountain goats. Instead, I believe the NPS is seeing serious problems in the Olympics and they feel honor-bound to address them comprehensively. If the goats are eradicated will all the problems disappear? Will this NPS decision be vindicated? It will take many decades to know for sure.

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Pillar 3: The Olympic mountain goats are not integrating well with park visitors. The NPS contends that unlike their cousins in the North Cascades, the Olympic area mountain goats have become increasingly troublesome in their interactions with humans. When Robert Boardman was killed by an Olympic mountain goat in 2010, it was revealed that the goat in question had been be-

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having aggressively since at least 2008. Park rangers had been “hazing” the mountain goats for some time, a practice that involves throwing rocks or shooting beanbags at goats that regularly traverse popular trails. Hazing (also known as “aversive conditioning”) is a common, non-harmful technique to train goats to avoid human contact, but in the case of the killer goat it may have backfired. We don’t know for sure, but the NPS remains convinced that

unlike their cousins in the North Cascades, the mountain goats of the Olympics have become bolder, more aggressive, and more dangerous. It may be due to their elevated need for our salt sources or their own curiosity and herd behaviors. Regardless: there are statistically more incidents with Olympic goats than Cascades goats. Using salt blocks to tempt goats away from human visitors might help, but it would do nothing to address the EIS concerns about damage to the flora.

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We don’t know if transplanted Olympic goats will behave better when among their Cascade cousins, but doing nothing is not really an option. • • • • The NPS looked at many solutions before embarking on Record of Decision, Alternative D. Public meetings recommended some alternatives to the planned liquidation, but none passed muster. Reintroduction of gray wolves as predators was a non-starter. Mountain goats are actually agile escapees of wolf attacks and the wolves would be more likely to take down elk and deer. Public hunting is forbidden in the Olympic National Park, so that option was off the table. There is no approved contraceptive chemical for mountain goats, and staff felt that the effort required to isolate and spay the goats would be better spent relocating them permanently. The friendly option of continuing to monitor and manage the goats was considered, but after decades of failed

management efforts, the NPS has decided that the time had come to take action. With the goats removed from

Photo by John D’Onofrio

the Olympics, they hope to see positive results both inside the park and inside the North Cascades, where the relocated goats will bolster the local population

and eventually create a stable population supported by the habitat. I know better than most how majestic, how valuable, and how troublesome these shaggy white beasts can be (see next page). I sincerely wish there was an option to keep these great creatures in the Olympics. I am just as horrified and repulsed as anyone that we are resorting to gunning them down from helicopters and leaving their carcasses to rot in the snow and the rocks. Like the short-sighted Victorian botanists who imported invasive species throughout Britain in the 19th century, our foolish decision to introduce mountain goats to the Olympics will end in tragedy. If there is anything positive to come of this, it should be our collective decision to never repeat this stupid and cruel activity. We should keep our all our pristine habitats native. In that, I understand why the NPS is going ahead with their plan. Nonetheless, it’s sad and it’s regrettable and it should never happen again. ANW

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Goat Attack? As I prepared this story, I decided it would be remiss of me to avoid mentioning that I have a personal history with mountain goats. In July 2003, I was attacked by mountain goats. I wasn’t injured, but it was an event that taught me respect for the creatures that we assume are our fluffy white friends of the high country.

digital camera. The goats kept coming closer. The camera got holstered as the goats ambled unnervingly close to me. To my relief, they sidled right past me. Some of the shaggy males gave me a critical eye, but none of them headbutted me. Instead, they clambered up the scree of Echo Rock. Then their real plan unfolded...

It was a hot July weekend. I was camping in the Spray Park backcountry of Mount Rainier. At morning’s first light, I left my camp at the high edge of the meadows and began to climb the Flett Glacier.

The herd started kicking rocks at me. These were not innocent footfalls. These were purposeful efforts to rain large rocks down onto my head. I dodged left and right to avoid the rocks. I was tempted to back off, but it was clear that the biggest rocks were bouncing up near the tongue of the scree patch, high enough to hit me square in the head. If I stayed close to the scree, the rocks would bounce right over me.

Up on the glacier, I edged along Echo Rock, across the expanse of ice toward my intended destination, Observation Rock. As I rested in the shadow of Echo Rock, I saw in the distance a herd of mountain goats. I had never seen a wild goat before, much less a herd of about fifteen. They ambled slowly toward me. I took some photos with my primitive

So for a few minutes we played a game: the goats kicked down rocks, and I leaped left and right to avoid them, like a demented version of Space Invaders.

After a few minutes of this game, the goats ceased their attack. They decided that the human interloper was not worth any more effort. The herd descended the scree, formed a line about 20 meters away from me, then casually marched up the glacier and out of sight. I was glad to have avoided the rocks. I was unhurt and saw no reason to curtail my mission so I crossed the glacier to Observation Rock. Up on the rock I met two Irish tourists who were enjoying a hike around Rainier. They offered me tea and snacks. The two Irishmen then asked dryly: “So, ye had a bit o’ goat trouble down there, did you?” and we all burst out laughing. They had seen the entire event, and like every other averted disaster, this was now a humorous event. Mixed in was a bit of nervous laughter on my part. It was funny, but there were moments of true terror as well.

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The Topography of Paradise

Autumn at Lake O’Hara Story and photos by John D’Onofrio

Lak O’Hara


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first set eyes on Lake O’Hara way back in 1991.

in the sublime, a perfect combination and arrangement of elements: lake, forest, meadow, mountain, glacier, sky. From the lake, a series of trails radiate outward and upward, conveying the supplicant to a variety of remarkable destinations. In each case the journey is as rewarding as the objective: hiking these trails is as good as hiking gets. They are expertly constructed—equally practical and poetic—and deliver hikers

It was the last day of July. It snowed. I was there on a whim, having heard about this beautiful place in the Canadian Rockies, travelling with some friends on an extended backpacking trip. We were looking for magic. We found it at Lake O’Hara. Since that first delirious visit, I have returned again and again, drawn to Cathedral Mountain and Larches the sublime beauty of this wonderland within Yoho National Park. The Canadian Rockies are, of course, justifiably world-famous for their astonishing beauty. They eclipse the American Rockies in scale, grandeur and painterly allure. I’ve visited in every season and have found ecstasy in each one, but autumn at Lake O’Hara is in a league of its own. The lake itself is a study in subalpine elto countless variations on a theme of egance, a comely body of turquoise water mountain splendor. surrounded by the kind of epic peaks that And yes ... the larches. How to dedefine this UNESCO World Heritage scribe them? Imagine forests—vast and Site. The colors are magnificent. I’ve long delicate—emanating light, illuminatbeen a fan of the autumnal mardi-gras ing the shadows. The kind of storybook color show put on by larch trees and this woods that are home to imaginary creaspectacle reaches its zenith here every tures, all of them friendly. The forest of September when the larch forests glow your childhood imagination. with an orange light warm enough to But getting here is not easy. make you forget about the cold wind that Sure, visitors are transported by blows down from the glaciers. bus to Lake O’Hara (no private vehiI have spent a lifetime seeking cles, thank God) and from the lake, the mountain beauty, a wild-eyed pilgrim trails pose no undue challenge in terms in the Cascade, Sierra, Alaska, Coast, St. of effort or stamina. The hard part is to Elias, Brooks and other ranges. I have secure a ticket on the bus and a campfound myself enthralled at the base of site at the walk-in campground, from Mt. Monolith in the Yukon’s Tombstone which you can explore the surrounding Range and have danced among the area. Not easily done. The enlightened aspens on Utah’s Boulder Mountain. folks at Parks Canada have wisely But when it comes to classic mountain restricted access - otherwise, Lake beauty, the Lake O’Hara area is a study stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

O’Hara would have been laid waste years ago like so much else. Bus and campsite reservations are made available 90 days in advance. They sell out within hours. Fortitude is required to procure a reservation. Apply yourself. You’ll find dramatic mountains, their faces striated and streaked with snow; aquamarine lakes; iridescent blue glaciers; roaring waterfalls; vast windswept meadows; the occasional bear, moose, mountain goat, or Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, curved horns suggesting the architecture of the Norse Gods. Thanks to the northern declination, all of this wonderment is bathed in an incandescent golden light, the lighting scheme of a Maxfield Parrish painting. But be forewarned: the height of larch season is also the season’s turning point and snow is not uncommon. Bring traction devices for your feet—yaktrax or micro cleats— they’ll quite likely come in handy. From a base camp at the Lake O’Hara Campground (or the nearby $1000/night Lodge) four separate alpine areas vie for your attention, each reached via a spectacular trail system. The ultimate experience, one of the premier hikes on Planet Earth, stitches together several of these trails on the Alpine Circuit, a grand loop of extraordinary beauty and drama.

Lake Oesa

4 miles RT, elevation gain: 800 feet Climb stone steps to a realm of austere beauty and wind-swept magnificence. Literally, the Stairway to Heaven. Lake Oesa is surrounded by massive 11,000+ footers: Mt. Victoria (11,362), Mt. Lefroy (11,227) and Mt. The heartbeat of Cascadia


Huber (11,047). This is an excellent introduction to the wonders of the area.

Lake McArthur


4.3 miles RT, elevation gain: 1355 feet

by Roger Gilman

Wan light: Yellow maple leaves glide Downstream.

Photo by John D’Onofrio

The Blind Brook on an Autumn Afternoon

A wild high lake cradled in a bowl of shattered rock and lingering snow, McArthur feels remote despite its proximity to Lake O’Hara. Across the lake, a glacier spills down from Mt. Biddle (10,886). I’ve circumnavigated this, the largest of the lakes in the Lake O’Hara area, but it’s no walk in the park, requiring semi-exposed scrambling on the steep slopes and cliffs that rise as much as 2,000 feet above the shoreline. The trail to McArthur passes through sublime larch forest.

Odaray Mountain

4.3 miles RT, elevation gain: 1625 feet

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This high vantage on a shoulder of Odaray Mountain offers a view out over the entire Lake O’Hara area from the 8300-foot Odaray Grandview Prospect. Especially beguiling are the postcard views of Cathedral Peak (10,456) and the Goodsir Towers (11,703). This is rock and scree country. Bring warm layers: the wind means business up here. The trail to Odaray is prime grizzly habitat and Parks Canada limits the number of parties that can hike here each day (before August 15, access is limited to four groups per day, two groups per day between August 16 and

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A gentle exploration of sweet little alpine tarns beneath towering walls, the Opabin Circuit is perhaps the easiest of the hikes in the Lake O’Hara region. Once atop the plateau, the trail winds through meadows dotted with larches to Opabin Lake at 7500 feet, set like a jewel beneath Yukness Peak (9354). Don’t miss the Opabin Prospect, with its birds-eye views over Lake O’Hara.

a misplaced step would have very serious consequences. Definitely not a hike to consider in bad weather. From Wiwaxy, follow ledges of Mt. Huber to Lake Oesa, before crossing the infamous Yukness

The Lake O’Hara Alpine Circuit 7.7 miles, elevation gain: 1625 feet

Lake O’Hara and Autumn Snow

September 15, and back to four groups thereafter). A logbook located at the junction of the Highline Trail will let you know how many have passed through previously.

Opabin Plateau

4.5 miles RT, elevation gain: 820 feet

Few hiking routes offer the kind of non-stop awe available on the Alpine Circuit. This route (and it is a route, stitching trails together and including some very airy quasi-scrambling) transports hikers through a realm of high-mountain glory that beggars the imagination. Begin with the stiff ascent to 8315-foot Wiwaxy Gap and dispense with the steepest section right away. There are many places where exposure is significant along the circuit as the route traverses ledges where

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Lawrence Grassi The trail system at Lake O’Hara is an engineering marvel, granting easy access to the wonders of the alpine. We can thank Lawrence Grassi, a retired coal miner, prolific mountaineer and passionate lover of the mountains for his dedication and artistry in constructing many of these amazing trails during the 1950s. Born Andrea Lorenzo Grassi, he immigrated to Canada from Italy in 1912 and eventually settled in the Bow Valley in 1916 to work as a coal miner. He arrived at O’Hara in 1946 and served as assistant warden (ranger) over the following two decades. Lake McArthur

Ledges to the Opabin Plateau. From here, pick up the All Souls’ Alpine Route which climbs to All Souls’ Prospect at 8118 feet (superlatives fail to describe this viewpoint) and then down to Schaefer Lake and back to Lake O’Hara. ANW

Grassi single-handedly constructed many of the trails, moving immense rocks to form great stone staircases that represent the pinnacle of the trail-builder’s art. By all accounts, he favored simplicity and solitude, living alone in a simple cabin and savoring the beauty of the Rockies. He died in Canmore, Alberta in 1980. Multi Day Adventures Sunset Cruises Day Trips Gift Certificates Available

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Field Trip Adventures beyond the PNW

Mendenhall Ice Caves Story and photo by John D’Onofrio


s a boy, I was introduced to the joy of paddling canoes on a small lake in Ontario, a generally placid body of water with little cause for concern about wind and currents. I was taught that the cardinal rule of paddling is to avoid overloading the canoe. And so it was that I found myself, forty-some odd years later, somewhat conflicted about being in the middle of Alaska’s Mendenhall Lake in a grotesquely overloaded canoe - four of us (!) plus daypacks and copious amounts of photography gear. We were headed to the Mendenhall Ice Caves at the head of the lake. The owner of the canoe, handling the stern was Doug, a bear of a man and a team leader with the Juneau Search and 44

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Rescue. He must know what he’s doing, I thought. Maybe overloading a canoe is OK under certain conditions. Perhaps like today, when the lake is vast, wavetossed and wind-whipped, and boasts copious amounts of floating ice. Waves splashing over the gunwales, we tossed and turned across the tempestuous lake. Our arrival on a rubble-strewn beach at the base of the Mendenhall Glacier was welcome indeed. A short hike up the moraine led us to the mouth of the ice cave, a fantastic gleaming portal into a polished world of indescribable blue. A stream flowed through the cave and water dripped constantly from the ceiling, along with the occasional spattering of viscous glacial slurry. A second cave branched off and I followed it to its end, where the blue light

grew dim and exceptionally rich. The walls were carved in remarkable sculptural forms; delicate and sensuous curves, multi-faceted geometric abstractions and bulbous frozen ice bubbles, like a garden of burnished clown noses. It was the landscape of a dream and just as vivid. We lingered in the magical light, exploring nooks and crannies, finding astonishments everywhere. Imagination was given free reign: horse’s heads, brass knuckles and vertebrae carved in ice. When finally, we emerged back outside, I took a few minutes to allow my eyes to adjust from the cerulean blue light of the cave to the brilliant sunshine of the moraine. The hours beneath the ice were among the finest of my life. ANW

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Cascadia Gear:

Gear Spotlight:

The Art & Science of Layering by Chris Gerston

We get a lot of questions at Backcountry Essentials about layering. Realistically, it’s different for everyone because we all have different needs and these needs change throughout our lives. Mastering the art of layering is a lifetime pursuit, but the science is relatively straightforward. The basics of layering typically include a base layer for moisture management, a shell for keeping the elements at bay, and a mid-layer in between, depending on the day and activity level. Base layers can be synthetic, which tend to wick moisture and dry quickly, or wool, which feels great next to the skin even when wet, but tends to dry more slowly. Shells vary by weight, durability, breathability, and price (typically, you get to choose two of these as priorities). But it’s in the midlayer that the nuances live. Do you choose fleece because of its warmth, durability and low price; or perhaps a soft-shell because wind resistance and breathability are your primary concerns? Or are you always cold and want to go with a body-mapped insulation piece? Perhaps adding a vest over a base layer will provide just the right micro climate around your body to keep you feeling fresh while working hard? Complicating matters is the need to differentiate between what you want while moving (and working up some body heat) versus what you’ll need when taking a break while your body cools off. I’ve recently been testing out the Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody, $149. This super thin soft-shell jacket has become my ‘go-to’ mid-layer for spring skiing or fall climbing, mountain biking and hiking. Patagonia and Rab make similar pieces and any of them just might become your favorite too. Stop in and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect combination that’s right for you. Chris Gerston owns Backcountry Essentials, an outdoor specialty shop located at 214 W. Holly in Bellingham, WA. Check out more of Chris’ gear reviews at

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RACE I PLAY I EXPERIENCE CALENDAR SEPTEMBER >>> Saturday, 8 September RUN/WALK Middle Fork Trail Run–– Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trailhead, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm. 10k, Half, 22mi, and 50k races on well-marked trails in a breathtaking mountain valley.

Saturday, 15 September SPECIAL Bellingham Traverse–– Boundary Bay Brewery, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Get Hooked on the Bellingham Traverse, a fun relay race that celebrates the journey of wild salmon. Families, friends and local companies form Chinook (solo), Coho (tandem) and CHUM (relay teams) to run, bike and paddle through Bellingham’s scenic parks, winding trails and open waterways.

Saturday, 22 September RUN/WALK Paradise Valley Trail Run––Paradise Valley Conservation Area, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm. 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon races on a forested

plateau. Finish timing, snacks, and prizes.

Sunday, 23 September SPECIAL Street Scramble Fremont Oktoberfest––Fremont Neighborhood, N 35th St & Phinney Ave N, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Run or walk, solo or with friends to find checkpoints marked on a map.

OCTOBER >>> Saturday, 6 October RUN/WALK Run Like a Girl 10k & Half Marathon––Fairhaven Park, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. A super fun, inspiring event that raises funds for the Girls on the Run program.

Saturday, 29 September RUN/WALK Run with the Kokanee––TBA, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm. Flat and fast 5k and 10k races in Issaquah. Supports Trout Unlimited’s habitat recovery work.

Sunday, 30 September RUN/WALK Bellingham Bay Marathon––7:30 am – 2:00 pm. Featuring views of Bellingham Bay, San Juan islands, and North Cascade mountains, Bellingham Bay Marathon (which includes a full marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K and marathon relay options) is often called the most beautiful marathon in the Pacific Northwest. The race is known for fantastic volunteer support, course

12th Annual

entertainment, and fun finish line festivities – including a beer garden! All net proceeds support local youth non-profits. Join us September 30th for this well-loved community event!

RUN/WALK Moran Constitutional Relay––Moran State Park, 7:30 am – 7:30 pm. Epic 70 mile, 12-leg relay on breathtaking Orcas Island. Teams of 2-6 runners. Meals included.

Saturday-Sunday, 6-7 October SPECIAL Fall Fruit Festival––Cloud Mountain Farm Center, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Join Cloud Mountain Farm Center for a tasty and festive weekend at their annual Fall Fruit Festival, Saturday October 6 from 10am-5pm and Sunday October 7 from

8 September - 20 October 11am-4pm. Experience the farm firsthand and savor the bounty of our region. This family-friendly event features tastings of over 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables all grown here on the farm. Enjoy live music, kid’s activities, u-pick pumpkin patch, cooking demonstrations, great food, and so much more!

Thursday-Saturday, 18-20 October SPECIAL Komo Kulshan Ski & Snowboard Swap––Bloedel Donovan Park Gym. 9:00 am – 9:30 pm. FREE EVENT – Fundraiser for KKSC Thursday, October 18 Drop-off equipment 4-9 pm. Friday, October 19 The Sale 4-9:30 pm. FRIDAY ONLY early entry 3-4 pm $10 individual $25 family for first 100 shoppers. Saturday, October 20 The Sale 9 am – 2 pm. SELL YOUR USED GEAR • BUY NEW AND USED GEAR • EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING FOR ADULTS AND KIDS.

Saturday, 20 October RUN/WALK Whidbey Woods Trail

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20 October (cont.) - 30 November Run––Putney Woods, 9:30 am – 1:00 pm. 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon races on beautiful forest trails. Finish timing, snacks, and prizes. SPECIAL Whidbey Woods Checkpoint Run––Putney Woods, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Navigate to find checkpoints and finish as many loops as you can in 6 hours.

Sunday, 28 October RUN/WALK Cougar Mountain 50k Trail Run––Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. 50k, 19.5mi and 7.6mi races on beautiful trails raise money for King County Parks.

NOVEMBER >>> Saturday, 3 November RUN/WALK Carkeek Cooler Trail Run––Carkeek Park, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm. 5k and 10k over well-marked trails along a salmon stream. Timing, snacks, and prizes.

Wednesday, 14 November SPECIAL Breakfast of Champions––Boundary Bay

Brewery, 7:00 am – 8:30 am. Join the Recreation Northwest Board of Directors in celebrating our Outdoor Recreation Champions (like yourself) with a delicious breakfast at Boundary Bay Brewery. This event is a benefit for our new Parkscriptions program, where we are partnering with health practitioners to get more people outdoors to enjoy the increased physical, mental, emotional and community health benefits of time spent in nature.

Saturday, 17 November RUN/WALK Ravenna Refresher Trail Run––Ravenna Park, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm. 4k, 8k, and 12k trail runs over well-marked park trails. Timing, snacks, and prizes.

Friday, 30 November SNOW Avalanche Course–– American Alpine Institute, Nov 30, 7:30 am – Dec 1, 5:00 pm. Three days of training that could save your life. Offered every weekend. If you, a friend, or loved one rides, skis, or

Trail Blazers & Girls on the Run Begins the week of September 10 Trail Blazers

Girls on the Run

Girls & boys 2nd-5th grades

Girls 3rd-5th grades



30 November (cont.) - 24 February 2019 snowshoes in the winter backcountry, these skills are essential to your safety. Learn what to look for in the snow pack, how to test stability, read terrain, avoid danger zones, and to rescue yourself or partners if caught in an avalanche. 1 day in classroom, two days Mt. Baker backcountry. American Alpine Institute.

DECEMBER >>> Saturday, 1 December RUN/WALK Redmond Reindeer Romp Trail Run––Redmond Watershed Preserve, 9:30 am – 1:00 pm. Great novice race: easy trails over flat to gentlyrolling terrain. 5mi and Half Marathon.

Saturday, 8 December SPECIAL Street Scramble at the Market––Pike Place Market, 9:30 am – 1:00 pm. Run or walk, solo or with friends to find checkpoints marked on a map.

Saturday, 15 December RUN/WALK Seward Solstice Trail Run––Seward Park, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm. 4.2mi and 10k runs over wellmarked trails in old growth forest. Timing, snacks, and prizes.

Sunday, 30 December RUN/WALK Absolution Run––St. Edward State Park, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm. 4mi and 8mi trail runs over well-marked trails in beautiful forest. Timing, snacks, and prizes.

JANUARY 2019 >>> Saturday, 12 January RUN/WALK Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival––Bridle Trails State Park, 3:00 pm - 11:00 pm. 5mi, 10mi, 50k solo and relay races in the evening on the beautiful trails of this forested State Park.

Saturday, 19 January RUN/WALK The Rain Run Half Marathon––Marymoor Park, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm. Don’t run from the rain, run IN the rain. Flat, fast course on what is typically a rainy day in



Seattle. Includes: chip-timed half marathon entry, huge, shiny finisher’s medal, insulated stainless steel rain run travel mug, cupcakes with…sprinkles! Chance for random prize give-aways from our sponsors, and bragging rights that you kicked butt in the rain. RUN/WALK Frost Eagle Trail Run–– Soaring Eagle Regional Park, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm. 5-mile and Half Marathon runs on fun, twisting single-track trails. Finish timing, snacks, prizes.

FEBRUARY 2019 >>> Saturday, 2 February RUN/WALK Interlaken Icicle Dash–– Interlaken Park, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm. 5k and 10k on mix of flat pavement and hilly trails. Finish timing, snacks, prizes.

Saturday - Sunday, 23-24 February RUN/WALK Fort Ebey Kettles Trail Running Festival––Fort Ebey State Park, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. 5k, 10k, Half

>>> VIew or download even MORE Race|Play|Experience

24 February (cont.)

The premier guide to arts and entertainment happenings in the region!

Marathon, Marathon, and Checkpoint Run options feature sweeping waterfront vistas and trails that wind among kettle depressions. Timing, snacks, and prizes. ANW

FIND Adventures NW is available free at hundreds of

locations region-wide: throughout Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, and Island counties, at select spots in Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties, and in Leavenworth, the Methow Valley, Spokane, and Wenatchee. The magazine is also available at REI locations across Washington and Oregon as well as at numerous locations in the Vancouver, BC metro area, at races and events, at area visitor centers.

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EVENTS Have your outdoor-related event, race or

public outing listed in the quarterly Race|Play|Experience calendar and in our comprehensive on-line version. Visit to post events or contact ads @ for details.

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ADVENTURES NW>>> magazine Invites you to join us for a

Photography Tour/Workshop of a Lifetime May 21-28 & May 31-June 7, 2019

September 8 • 11am - 6pm

Skagit River Salmon Festival

Edgewater Park in Mount Vernon, WA

Aboard the M/V David B with

John D’Onofrio Editor/Publisher

Adventures NW Magazine

Alan Sanders

Digital Imaging Specialist/Instructor

Whatcom Community College

Glacier Bay - Alaska Fjords/Bears of Admiralty Island In-depth Workshop on Digital Shooting, Editing and Post-Processing All Inclusive: Private Staterooms & Gourmet Meals Limited to Six Passengers

Learn more: event listings at

Live Music Local Artisans Fabulous Food Beer & Wine Garden Kidz Activity Zone RACE | PLAY | EXPERIENCE





Autumn’s Goodbye photo by CARL BREMEN I’ve always been fascinated by transitions. This image was captured at the exact turning point from autumn to winter, an especially poignant passage for me. We were in the midst of a week-long backpacking trip in the Enchantments, one of the marquee attractions in the Cascade Range. The Enchantments are spectacular at any time but in autumn when the forests are ablaze with color, they are unreal. While we were there, it began to snow: the first snow of the season. It fell silently, muting the fall colors and softening the textures of this granite landscape.


The heartbeat of Cascadia

Should I follow my head, or my heart? For some of life’s questions, you’re not alone.

the economy is strong, you’re not alone. 86% of investors surveyed for our latest UBS Investor Watch say the crisis still affects how they think about money. How can you overcome this inner struggle? 98% of investors tell us a comprehensive market. Your UBS Financial Advisor can help. David J. Mauro Sr Vice President--Wealth Mgmt 360-714-2550

UBS Financial Services Inc. 104 Unity Street Bellingham, WA 98225-4418 360-715-8939 800-774-8422 by different laws and separate contracts. For more information on the distinctions between our brokerage and investment advisory services, please speak with your Financial Advisor or visit our website at ©UBS 2017. All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC. D-UBS-83DBB382

Profile for John  DOnofrio

Adventures NW Magazine Autumn 2018  

Adventures NW is the region’s favorite outdoor recreation, sports and lifestyle magazine, focusing on all the area has to offer casual and s...

Adventures NW Magazine Autumn 2018  

Adventures NW is the region’s favorite outdoor recreation, sports and lifestyle magazine, focusing on all the area has to offer casual and s...

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