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FALL | 2013 Volume 8. Issue 3

Alyson Indrunas is counting down the days until she can return to the Olympics. She’d like to thank Tami Garrard for capturing the many lovely pictures featured in her article. In this photo, she laughs at the largest marmot she has ever seen as he quakes with rage and shows his teeth.

Aaron Theisen hikes, bikes and runs across the Inland Northwest as a freelance writer and photographer. He is currently writing Day Hiking Mt. St. Helens with Craig Romano. Aaron wrote about snowshoeing in the Methow Valley for the Winter 2013 issue of Adventures NW. Floris van Breugel is a part-time nature photographer and fulltime PhD student at Caltech and the University of Washington, studying the neurobiology of behavior in fruit flies. In both careers, he strives to marry art and science to give rise to creative visions. Visit his website at

After moving to Bellingham in 1998, Lanny Little literally painted the town. The Old Town, Village Green and Carnegie Library murals, to name a few. Since then he has transitioned into painting urban and northwest landscapes in acrylics on canvas. Lanny is represented by the Lucia Douglas Gallery in Fairhaven and the Matzke Fine Art Gallery on Camano Island. Christian Martin is a freelance writer based in Bellingham. He is the co-author of a book on the North Cascades to be published by Mountaineers Books in 2014 and works as communications coordinator for North Cascades Institute. He enjoys hiking, sea kayaking, hot springing, cooking, gardening and making the annual pilgrimage to the Burning Man festival in Nevada. More at Dave Mauro is a longtime resident of Bellingham and father of two. He works as a Financial Planner at UBS, and often performs improv at the Upfront Theatre. More than adventure itself, Dave loves to share the experiences of adventure through his blogs and published works. He has stood atop the highest points of all seven continents.

A Look Ahead: Our Winter Issue Trail Running Winter Kayaking Snowshoeing Mount Rainier

Dale McKinnon is a sometimes inappropriate gramma living in Bellingham. She learned to row at 57, and proceeded to solo row the length of the Inside Passage over two summers. She usually meanders through the San Juans and Gulf Islands in one of her boats, often with no particular destination. David Moskowitz, a professional wildlife tracker, photographer, outdoor educator, and avid mountaineer, has contributed to wildlife studies in the Pacific Northwest and in the Canadian and U.S. Rocky Mountains. He is the author of Wolves in the Land of Salmon and Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest, both from Timber Press.

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Reaching the Sky From Bellingham to Mount Everest

Autumn on Two Wheels Mountain Biking the Methow Valley

The Pursuit of Ecstasy Best Hikes Around Mount Baker

Dave Mauro


Aaron Theisen


John D’Onofrio


Autumn in the North Cascades

Floris van Breugel

Fall Colors, Sweet Dreams

The Rewilding of the North Cascades The Return of Wolves and Grizzlies Christian Martin Kaleidoscope of Green A Walk in Olympic National Park Alyson Indrunas Welcome to the Bone Pile Changing Times on Barter Island Dale McKinnon

26 28 32 36

Out & About eARTh: The Art of Nature Cascadia Gear Race | Play | Experience Calendar Advertiser Index Next Adventure

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COVER High Pass

“Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values... God made life simple. It is man who complicates it. ” - Charles A Lindbergh

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ADVENTURES nw > 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 all REI locations in Washington and Oregon as well as at numerous locations in the Vancouver, BC metro area and through races and events and at area visitor centers.

FALL | 2013 Volume 8. Issue 3

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Connectivity graphic celebration of the art of nature, as part of the Whatcom Museum’s “Brown Bag” series at 12:30 p.m. on September 6 in the rotunda of the old museum. In conjunction with Bridget Collins House, we’re presenting a multi-media presentation by Dave Mauro (author of Reaching the Sky: From Bellingham to Everest in this issue) on September 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Backcountry Essentials in Bellingham. We’ll also be hosting a reception and screening of an amazing new film, Antarctica: A Year on Ice at the Pickford Film Center on October 16, featuring the film’s director Anthony Powell. Finally, on November 21 at 7 p.m. we’ll be presenting North to the Yukon: Into the Tombstone Range at the Whatcom Museum as part of the City of Bellingham’s travelogue series. As all of us who live here know, autumn is prime time in the Pacific Northwest. So get out there and make your own connections - to kindred spirits, to this amazing landscape, to the adventurous spirit that dwells within!

EXPERIENCE FALL IN THE NORTH CASCADES with NORTH CASCADES INSTITUTE SEPTEMBER 20-22 Late September Family Getaway 28 or 29 Mount Baker: The Story of Volcanoes 28 Street Smart Naturalist in Seattle OCTOBER 5 Avifauna Afloat: Birds of the Bay 4-6 Journaling in the North Cascades 26 Northwest Mushrooms DECEMBER 21 Salmon and Eagles of the Skagit WWW.NCASCADES.ORG • NCI@NCASCADES.ORG • (360) 856-2599

Photos left-right: Benj Drummond, Kacey Shoemaker, Jessica Haag

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about connectivity. It seems clear that many of the issues that we face - both as individuals and as part of the collective - can be traced back to isolation, a lack of connectivity. All too often, we are cut off from each other, divided by our religions, ethnicity, cultural ‘tribe’ or political beliefs. And increasingly, we are cut off from the natural world (which is really another way of saying that we are cut off from ourselves). The remedy then, is connectivity. Connecting with each other, the natural world, our diverse culture, ourselves. In the face of so many challenges, we can find strength and inspiration (and the power to enact change) in numbers. Margaret Mead’s famous quote is certainly true: “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” But another thing that she said really strikes me: “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” We take pride in our uniqueness, but need to learn something about coming together. And connecting to Mother Earth. You’ll find lots of inspiration in this issue, as we focus on the magnificent North Cascades. Hikes that transport you to life-affirming vistas, chances to reconnect with apex predators once given up for dead, bike rides that will transport you to sublime heights. And the adventure doesn’t stop there. Cross the Olympics, visit the Arctic coast, and ascend Mount Everest. Powerful connections. And speaking of connectivity, Adventures NW is partnering with some of our community’s shining lights this autumn to bring the spirit of adventure to the City of Subdued Excitement. We’ve partnered with the Whatcom Museum to present Illuminations, a photo-

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Vanishing Ice at the Whatcom Museum

At this point, climate change is undoubtedly the elephant in the room. It has become impossible to ignore, and the implications make the rest of our global troubles pale in comparison. To highlight this cataclysmically important issue, the Whatcom Museum will be presenting Vanishing Ice, a ground-breaking exhibition of art from around the globe starting November 2 at the Lightcatcher in downtown Bellingham. Presented by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Vanishing Ice makes a powerful case for the urgency of global warming and features the work of photographers Ansel Adams, Frank Hurley (photographer on Shackleton’s Endurance adventure), and David Breashears, along with scores of other artists in a variety of mediums. The show’s curator, Barbara Matilsky explains why Vanishing Ice is important. “The exhibition offers another perspective by providing visitors an opportunity to experience the majesty of sublime land-

well-being of both nature and culture.” Vanishing Ice will be at the Lightcatcher until March.

Waterfront 15K Celebrates Cascadia Bellingham has no shortage of opportunities to enjoy our spectacular outdoors while wearing running shoes. But the annual Fairhaven Runners Waterfront 15K is a special kind of race. The course, naturally, is awesome, including Bellingham Bay’s Waterfront Trail, Taylor Street Dock, Boulevard Park, and

chiropractic care are a given. But what makes this race so beloved is the vibe: The sense of community and shared pleasure in the joys of running permeates the air. It’s pure Bellingham. The post-race party, with food and live music is always a blast for both runners and spectators. It’s a perfect way to spend a glorious late-summer day in the City of Subdued Excitement. This year’s race is set for Saturday, September 14 and gets started at 8:30 a.m.

Adventure for Your Ears

Strong community: The Waterfront 15k Photo by

the Marina. It’s a scenic delight: lush greenery, snow-capped mountains, the San Juan Islands and the sparkling waters of the bay surround the 750 racers as they make their way to the finish line. And needless to say, the logistics are always smooth. Chip timing, well-staffed aid stations, and complimentary massage and

In what has become an end-ofsummer ritual for music lovers, the Third Annual Bellwether Jazz Festival returns to Tom Glenn Commons at the tip of the Bellwether Peninsula in Bellingham on Saturday September 7. The festival is free and prides itself on being familyfriendly. The line-up includes the Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto, Blues Union, the Gail Pettis Quartet, and the Christopher Woitach Quartet. There’s a beer and wine garden (courtesy of Boundary Bay Brewery and Noble Wines) and lots of fun in the sun beside Bellingham Bay. The festival opens at noon and the music gets going around 1 p.m.

William Bradford, Caught in the Ice Floes, c. 1867, Oil on canvas, 37.5 x 55.25 in. Courtesy of the New Bedford Whaling Museum (Kendall Collection), New Bedford, MA

scapes that have inspired artists, writers, and naturalists for more than two hundred years. Interweaving science, history and art, and highlighting their historical interrelationships, the exhibition encourages audiences to value the preservation of alpine and polar environments for the stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

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Reaching From Bellingham to Mount Everest Story By Dave Mauro


t occurred to me that I might be dying.

My symptoms matched those which preceded the sudden death of a team member, DaRita Sherpa, the week before. He had been a few hundred feet higher, at Camp Three, when he returned to his tent complaining of dizziness. He was pronounced dead an hour later. I reached behind me to make sure I was still clipped into the anchor set onto the narrow ice ledge where I stood, thousands of feet up the Lhotse Face. As I did, my vision nar10

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rowed. I remember thinking “this can’t be good.” At one point, two years earlier, I had re-read Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and decided I would never climb Mt Everest. I suppose this book has a similar effect on most who read it. But that decision changed in July of 2012. I was in Papua New Guinea, climbing Carstensz Pyramid, the highest point in Oceania. In 2007, I had set out to climb the Seven Summits, the highest points on each of the planet’s continents. Carstensz Pyramid was the sixth one. We had sum

mited that morning and were descending, rappelling down its steep rock face. I stopped on a ledge to rig the next rope in my figure eight descender. It was raining, and my leather gloves were soaked, my fingers numb. Suddenly it just came into my mind like the solution to a math problem I had been struggling with: Everest. It was not so much the word or the image that came with it as the energy. There was a warmth to it. I smiled confidently. Though the only things I knew about Everest scared the heck out of me, the notion of climbing it seemed inex>>> Go to

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the Sky High camp on Lhotse Photo by Dave Mauro

plicably doable. It was ‘The Call’ I had always wondered about, and it could not have been more clear. I would put my fear aside and reach for the sky. I signed on with the International Mountain Guides (IMG) 2013 Everest Expedition two months later. The next months were consumed with the rigorous training I hoped would deliver me to the top of the world. My entire strategy would be based on speed, moving as fast as possible to limit the time spent exposed to dangerous areas on Everest. This meant short rests of only 10-30 seconds while stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

maintaining an elevated heart rate. Mike Locke at the Bellingham Athletic Club designed my workouts, borrowing from the training used for Navy Seals. I also had a complete physical evaluation done by my doctor. The blood work revealed an elevated cholesterol level. “We would like you to start getting regular exercise,” his nurse counseled in the follow-up phone call.

Beginning I arrived in the busy city of Kathmandu on March 31. Twenty-

one other members of the IMG Team soon joined us, 11 of whom were planning to join me on the summit. We flew to Lukla two days later. The next two weeks were spent trekking up the Khumbu Valley through forests of rhododendron and white pine, past tiny villages of stone houses, over long suspension bridges trailing streamers of tattered prayer flags. There were prayer wheels and monasteries, tea houses and yak trains. It felt more like a spiritual pilgrimage than the start of a climbing expedition. race | play | experience


Mules packing provisions for Everest Base Camp, Namche Bazaar Photo by Dave Mauro

The process of preparing for an Everest summit attempt requires many weeks and several climbs out of Everest Base Camp (EBC). This is a process designed to gradually tease a climber’s physiology higher, prompting the production of millions of additional red blood cells. These in turn help compensate for the thinning air. It is also the chief reason that it takes two months to climb Mt Everest. First we climbed neighboring Mt. Lobuche (20,000 ft), then half way up


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the Khumbu Icefall. Between each climb we rested for up to five days, regaining our strength. We then climbed through the icefall to Camp One, spent the night, and returned to EBC. Then we climbed to Camp Two (21,000 ft), and stayed two nights before returning to EBC. Our last acclimation rotation took us to Camp Three (24,000 ft), again returning to EBC. It was on this rotation that DaRita Sherpa died in his tent. A veteran of many Everest climbs, he was strong, reliable, and an expert mountaineer. He was also brother in-law to my own Sherpa, Mingma Chhring, who then accompanied his body back to their village for Buddhist ceremonies. The cause of DaRita Sherpa’s death was eventually ruled “a cardiac event.” He was 37 and left behind two children and a wife. The IMG camp was stunned and saddened. By May 6 we were stalking a summit date. Mt Everest (29,035 ft) is tall enough to jab up into the jet stream. Winds there often exceed 100 mph. But the jet stream moves north of Everest as the monsoon season gets underway in mid-May and, for a brief few days, the winds at the summit lay down like a slack tide. This is what Everest climbers wait for. In the meantime, they sharpen crampons and repair gear, call home and write in their journals. They also try, without success, to regain some of the weight lost to the ravages of altitude. It is almost impossible to consume as many calories as one burns each day at high altitude. Our team members lost an average of 26 pounds each

in the run-up to our summit attempt. I personally lost 30 pounds while supplementing my diet with a case of Hershey’s chocolate bars. Mingma returned to EBC on May 10 and five days later we began climbing. The weather forecasts were hopeful and May 19 was selected as “summit day.”

Ascending The dread of passing through the infamous Khumbu ice fall weighed heavily as we set out from EBC at 3 a.m. that morning. Mingma and I visited the Puja Altar before leaving, as had been our custom on previous trips into the ice fall. I left the chanting to Mingma. It was my job to toss the rice on cue. The air was thick with the scent of smoldering juniper, a fire that would not be extinguished until all climbers and Sherpa had vacated the mountain at season’s end. Daily temperatures had warmed enough in the time since arriving at EBC to meaningfully increase the movement of ice within the fall. Ladders used in the second rotation were crushed miserably between fallen seracs. Parts of the route had been completely redirected to avoid the fields of refrigerator-sized ice blocks now piled on the path we had once trod. But on this night the ice was still, and we passed up through the fall in a brisk four hours. We skipped Camp One, arriving at Camp Two around 10:30 that morning. Word came as we rested the next day that our summit date had been moved >>> Go to

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back to May 20. We spent the following two days tracking the progress of our advance team, as they attempted the summit in what should have been the first climbable weather of the emerging window. But the forecast of abating winds did not prove correct and all members were turned back at the Balcony (27,600 ft). It was a painful hit to team morale as two of our very strongest climbers had taken part, one of them now forced to surrender his dream and return home, frostbitten and dejected. We left for Camp Three in the dark hours of May 18. The south route up Everest cheats over onto Mt. Lhotse for this part of the ascent. It is a bootstrap accessing the South Col, from which the summit is then attempted. Varying from 45-60 degrees incline, the blue-ice Lhotse Face represents a formidable obstacle. It rises two miles over a horizontal distance of just 1.4 miles, making it the steepest face of this size anywhere in the world. Camp Three sat at 24,000 feet

on a ledge carved into the ice with hand tools. It was there that DaRita Sherpa had died suddenly. Things had been going well. Mingma and I had ascended 2,000 feet up the face by the time we reached a small ledge where we could rest. Another team member soon joined us. As we stood there,

Exiting the top of the Khumbu Ice Fall Photo by Dave Mauro

looking out across the vast Himalayas, I suddenly felt very dizzy. “Gibby,” I said to him, “there’s something wrong with me.” Gibby is a rescue medic who regularly leaps from planes to help downed airmen. He immediately shifted into that role. “Talk to me,” he said, “What are you feeling?”

“I’m dizzy. I think I’m about to pass out,” I said. He sat me down on the ledge and put a Pulse Oximeter on one finger. Then he radioed down to EBC for medical consultation. The most dangerous possibilities were quickly eliminated. I began to feel better as I sat on the ledge drinking Gatorade. I had somehow become severely dehydrated. “Have you had any diarrhea?” Gibby asked. “Yeah. I woke up with it this morning.” “Bingo,” he said. “There’s your dehydration. This is the same thing I saw Fraser for yesterday at C2, GI issues followed by dizziness. It must be a bug going around camp.” Fraser said he was “100 percent” when a guide was subsequently sent to check on him. Apparently it was a 24hour bug. If I could make it to Camp Three, I might be all right. That would give me the night for this thing to pass. Additionally, climbers start breathing bottled Oxygen at C3 and that would do much to help me regain strength. IMG

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thing special for summit day, having Leaders gave me permission to continue arranged for an additional bottle of O2. higher under close supervision. I was still This, I hoped, would combine with the in the hunt. hard conditioning we had already done, I woke the next morning feeling enabling a rapid pace and thus a shorter much improved after sleeping with the stay in the Death Zone. bottled O2. We left C3, traversing the Mingma tinkered with the flow Lhotse face, climbing the Yellow Band, rate to my mask while we settled into and scaling the Geneva Spur to arrive our climbing pace. We passed a pair at C4, the South Col (26,000 ft), by 11 a.m. I was shown to a tent where I could Preparing to rappel down from the South Summit, 28,000 feet Photo by Mingma Chhring Sherpa rest until leaving for the summit later that night, but nervous energy got the best of me. Digging through my pack, I extracted the crumpled plastic of my inflatable palm tree. It had adorned the area next to my tent at EBC all these weeks. Feeling some distraction might be welcome, I had packed it up Everest. The double-takes my palm tree gathered from oxygendeprived climbers were worth every ounce of weight. Before leaving my tent that night I laid out several photos of family members and spoke to each. I told them how much I loved them. I of climbers, then a group of five, a solo said I would use my best judgment, and climber, then ten at once. Each time I asked them to climb with me, to give me saw Mingma unclip from the fixed line I strength. Then I pulled on my oxygen started hyperventilating to oxygenate my mask and, gathering the pictures up in a body. Halfway up the Triangle Face we pocket, climbed out into the darkness. threaded into a narrow seam in the rocks. A dozen or more climbers had formed a slow log jam. We skirted past them as Reaching the Sky soon as we emerged on the open face. There were already 60 or more headIt was 11 p.m. when we arrived at the lamps winding up the face of Everest, Balcony, a small flat notch in the side of climbers who had left an hour earlier. Everest at 27,600 feet. A large group was We could not afford to find ourselves already there swapping oxygen bottles. trapped behind them in a long wait up We changed our tanks quickly, so as to high. I knew this would be a test of our get back out ahead of them on the steep speed strategy. But I had planned some14

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route to the South Summit. For the next 40 minutes we trailed a solo climber who then waved us by. I looked up to see how far the next set of climbers were above us. There were none. Not a single headlamp shown from the darkness. We were leading the climb. Something inside me relaxed for the first time in days. I took a moment to look around and gather the moment. The silhouette of Everest looked impossibly tall against the backdrop of stars, stars that reached around and below us - from this altitude the curvature of the earth was visible! I felt tiny and grateful, muttering a muffled “Wow” from behind my mask. For the next several hours we were the highest humans on the planet. There was no one at the South Summit, no one at the Hilary Step. I had put away my goggles when they froze over hours earlier, so the tears I shed as we approached the summit of Everest crystallized in the corner of one eye. It was 3:42 a.m. on May 20, 2013 as I stepped up onto the highest point on the planet. Though I would see daybreak arrive forty minutes later the world beneath me was still fast asleep. I thought about the last six years and the epic journey that had taken me, literally, to the ends of the Earth. There was so much about that journey I still did not understand, but one thing seemed clear, and in that instant I heard myself say “thank you.”

Home I am home now, and have finally settled back into “normal” life back in >>> Go to

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nificance. But if it is the best you can do, Bellingham. It was not easy at first. Life then count it, celebrate it, and consider on an Everest expedition swings from tedious boredom to highstakes fear and back again. The highest man on Earth - the summit, 3:42 a.m., May 20, 2013 Photo by Mingma Chhring Sherpa There is no middle ground. But modern life is designed to have only middle ground. The transition from one to the other took some time. It seems the distance to “home” is greater psychologically than the miles actually traveled. I spent much time thinking about the seven climbs that had taken me to the top of each continent and how I had been changed by these experiences. More than anything, I came away with a clear this day worthy of your having lived it. understanding of how important it is to Big goals are great, and we should all have find some joy in each day. Some days them, but the climbers who think only that joy is very small and one has to conof the summit rarely reach it. It is too vince oneself of its authenticity and sig-

high, too far away, and the promise of its reward is consumed by moments of pain and doubt. But the climber who remains present in the moment has forgotten the struggles of yesterday and does not entertain the fears of tomorrow. So his summit comes in the form of a payment from which he has taken no advance. It is pure. It is just. It is love. ANW Adventures NW (and Bridget Collins House) presents Reaching the Sky, a multi-media presentation by Dave Mauro on September 10 at Backcountry Essentials in Bellingham. Read more about his six-year quest for The Seven Summits (including video from the top of the world) at

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Climbing Mt Everest

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Autumn on Two Wheels Mountain biking the Methow Valley Story and photos by Aaron Theisen


he mayor of Winthrop is working on my bike.

Dave Acheson, the Service Manager at Methow Cycle & Sport on the edge of Winthrop (and currently that town’s top elected official) dials in my front suspension as Julie Muyllaert, co-owner of the shop, chats with me and my riding partner for the day, Kristen Smith, Marketing Director for the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association. In addition to her day job, Julie chairs the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce; Smith acts as its Marketing Director. I imagine this isn’t the first gathering of Winthrop community leaders that’s happened around a mountain bike. And while it’s true that in many small communities, residents might wear multiple hats, in the Methow, one of those is likely to be a bike helmet. The Methow Valley, on the sunny east slope of the North Cascades, grew up in relative isolation -

The 11-mile out-and-back to Cutthroat Pass is the Methow’s signature alpine ride



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Most Methow trails are true cross-country experiences

the paved North Cascades Highway was only completed in 1972 - and seems to have developed its own pace of life. It could have been different. In the 1970s, the Aspen Ski Corporation came to the Methow to investigate an alpine ski destination, to be called “Early Winters”. Locals fought, citing concerns both environmental (increased air pollution from more wood-burning stoves) and economic (traffic, utilities). In the end, the locals prevailed, and Aspen Ski Corporation went on to build Whistler-Blackcomb near Vancouver, British Columbia. At that point, the locals realized they had the opportunity to build their own world-class ski system - nordic, rather than alpine. Easements through private land on the valley floor paved the way for what is today the country’s largest nordic ski trail system. As this network expanded, the sport of mountain biking naturally followed. It helps that the Methow attracts folks who are not only physically active, but also politically active in their communities. “The Methow attracts fanatical recreationists,” says Smith. We have former Olympians here, people who don’t think twice about getting in three vigorous outdoor pursuits a day.” Although she doesn’t count herself among this group, Smith could. The former manager of the flagship REI in Seattle and a formidable climber on her bike, Smith rides every day and is the Methow’s unofficial mountain biking ambassador. “Mountain biking in the Methow has the same characteristics as the Methow Valley itself: it’s all about aerobic activity, and it’s all about scenery,” says Smith. “Most of the trails are true cross-country trails that give you a great workout, and they all reward your effort with great views.” Many of the trails are rated intermediate or advanced in terms of fitness, but are non-technical enough that big-hit bikes aren’t necessary. In other stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

words, you’re more likely to be passed on a climb - with a friendly “Hello!” - by someone training for an endurance event than buzzed by a full-face helmeted free-rider. In fact, Smith says many Canadians cross the border for a change of pace from black-diamond descents. The long riding season helps, too. Situated on the arid side of the Cascade Crest, the Methow greets spring a good two months earlier than the west side. “The Methow Valley is one of the

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RESOURCES Trail information: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Methow Valley Ranger District 24 West Chewuch Road Winthrop, WA 98862 Ph: 509.996.4003 Website: okawen/ Methow Valley Sport Trails Association Cutline P.O. Box 147 Winthrop, WA 98862 Ph: 509.996.3287 E-mail: Website: Bike gear / rentals: Methow Valley Cycle & Sport is the hub of cycling in the Methow. Stop here for gear, rentals or current conditions. 29 SR 20 Winthrop, WA 98862 Ph: 509.996.3645 E-mail: Website:

best places in Washington to ride yearround,” says Smith. “In the spring, it’s sunny and the wildflowers are phenomenal. In summer you get access to the high-alpine country, in the autumn you get the amazing fall colors, and then in the winter, with the advent of fat bikes [specially designed mountain bikes with tractor-like tires], you can ride on the snow. There’s now no reason to ever put your bike away.” Best of all, compared to some communities in which I’ve ridden, where the locals advertise a few trails to outsiders and then hoard the best to themselves, there’s no secret stash here. Says Smith, “We’re happy to share our trails, because, first of all, there still aren’t that many people on the trails,” so they remain good daily-workout destinations, and second, “we know how amazing the trails are; they’re too good to keep secret.” Which means that, often as not, you’ll run into more locals than out-of-

towners on the most popular routes. One of them may even be the mayor.

Here are three classic fat-tire forays in the Methow: The popular Sun Mountain trail system, arrayed around the namesake resort on private and Forest Service land, is the ideal introduction to Methow biking. The extensive - and still growing -network of trails can be pieced together for an endless variety of loops and lengths. The scenery dazzles in the spring with wildflowers - balsamroot, bitterroot, and buckwheat, but autumn features its own charms as golden aspen and red Douglas maple leaves garland the trail. The views are unbeatable year-round. Bike in the evening to watch the sun dip behind the North Cascades’ showcase peaks. A popular 16-mile loop, beginning on the double-track Winthrop Trail and connecting Patterson Lake, Rader, Magpie, Rodeo and Black Bear trails, samples

Post-ride dining: Elegant enough for a night out, but relaxed enough that a bike jersey won’t look out of place, Arrowleaf Bistro makes an ideal post-ride stop. Reward yourself with a steak and cocktail on the riverside patio. 253 Riverside Ave. Winthrop, WA 98862 Ph: 509.996.3919 E-mail: Website: http://www.arrowleafbistro. com Post-ride lodging: Refined yet relaxed, Chewuch Inn & Cabins is the ideal upscale lodging for recreationists: innkeepers Dan and Sally Kuperberg are themselves avid outdoor adventurers and can give ride recommendations and current conditions. The inn boasts the valley’s best breakfast, too. 223 White Ave. Winthrop, WA 98862 Ph: 800.747.3107 E-mail: Website:


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the best of the trail system, from the shoreline singletrack of the Patterson Lake Trail to the quick, twisty descent, sprinkled with smooth rock launch-pads and stair-step drops of Magpie. Best of all, riders can park downtown and connect with the Sun Mountain trails via the Methow Community Trail an ingenious stroke of car-free biking. The approximately 12-mile Buck Mountain Loop is distilled Methow Valley riding: rollercoaster single-track; quick, non-technical descents; and views, views, views. From Buck Lake, a twomile grunt up steep double-track yields sublime, flowerlined riding: Bike it in mid-May and myriad blooms - balsamroot, lupine, gromwell and more - streak by in a Monet-like blur. Several miles in, a rock knob grants panoramic views of the North Cascades, ChelanSawtooth Wilderness, and the Methow Valley below. Admire, then hold on for one of the Methow’s best descents. Designed with bikes in mind, with slaloming curves around sagebrush-obscured

Cascades. This approximately 12-mile roundtrip out-and-back begins on wide, well-worn tread - the short hike to Cutthroat Lake, a 3.5-mile roundtrip, is the valley’s most popular. At just over 1.5 miles, pass the spur to Cutthroat Lake and commence climbing, as the trail switchbacks steadily, though not cruelly - almost 5 miles to Cutthroat Pass. Scores of bright, wheelcatching granite boulders and tight switchbacks will demand your attention, but pause frequently for the views of the steep cirque of Cutthroat Lake, and the larchMountain biking in the Methow Valley is characterized accented Cascade by rolling singletrack; fast, non-technical decents; and views, views, views Crest. And they just keep getting better, climaxing with a view at Cutthroat Pass that will take Lake. Stop at Methow Cycle & Sport away what little breath you have remainto check on the status of active logging ing. Bikes are not allowed on the Pacific operations.) Crest Trail, so point your bike downhill If Sun Mountain and Buck for an Alps-style descent (remember all Mountain represent the terrain most those boulders you rolled over on the riders associate with the Methow Valley way up!). Near the end, ease aching drifting hills dotted with ponderosas and quads and forearms in the outlet stream painted with wildflowers - Cutthroat of Cutthroat, a worthy quarter-mile side Pass will remind them that the Methow ANW trip. forms the eastern outpost of the North rocks and long, sweeping turns, the trail will leave you begging for more. (Note: owing to logging operations, Buck Mountain is currently accessible via two trailheads, at Cub Creek and Buck

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The Pursuit of Ecstasy Best Hikes around Mount Baker Story and photos by John D’Onofrio


he Cascade Range extends from southern British Columbia to northern California. It is a momentous thing, with enough beauty spots to occupy a lifetime of inspired wandering. But in my trail-weathered view, the apex of high mountain ecstasy can be found just up the Mount Baker Highway. Of course, there’s a catch. These wonderlands are

buried in snow most of the time serious snow. Mount Baker holds the world record for snowfall. Did I mention the snow? With this in mind, it is important - nay, imperative - to take advantage of every blessed day that these paths to glory are available to us boot-clad acolytes. The season is short. Hell, life is short. To focus your atten-

tion, I have compiled a short list of the best of the best, the supreme trail-accessible dreamlands on this most dramatic corner of the coolest mountain range on Earth. In my humble opinion, some of the best hikes - anywhere.

Skyline Divide There are a few days every year when Skyline Divide is quite likely the most beautiful place on Earth. Fields of wildflowers - primarily deep purple lupines - carpet the slopes, and the ice of the surrounding high peaks gleams in the sun. Perhaps tendrils of mist dance among the spires, the choreography of the Gods. The rest of the time it is merely spectacular, truly Sound of

Approaching Koma Kulshan on Skyline Divide


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Music country. The trail is short - some grunting, sure - but before you can sing Edelweiss, you’ll be dancing on a wideopen alpine ridge that meanders for miles and miles. Savor every moment on this undulating ridge - follow it until the green slopes give way to shattered rock beneath the gothic wall of Chowder Ridge. There’s usually a little snow-melt creek at the very end, should you wish to spend the evening. Access: Drive the Mount Baker Highway and turn right near milepost 35 onto Glacier Creek Road (FR 39). Make an immediate left on Dead Horse Road (FR 37)and go 12.8 miles to the trailhead on the left side of the road. The hike is six to nine miles round-trip, with an

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elevation gain of 2100-2400 feet.

Tomyhoi Peak/Yellow Aster Butte Yellow Aster Butte is a well-known and deservedly-beloved hiking destination. The top of the Butte is magical, an alpine fantasy come to life. The austere shores of the beguiling little tarns at its base are inviting and well-loved campsites. Totally worth the effort to get here. But the real mojo, the ultimate buzz, is to be found up on Tomyhoi Peak with its magnificent rock gardens and million-dollar views. The sound of the wind up here is musical; sometimes a Chopin nocturne, sometimes a Wagner opera. Always inspiring. To access the Tomyhoi highlands, cross the tarn basin below Yellow Aster Butte and find the climber’s path that ascends the steep wall cascading down from the peak. Keep going, past secluded campsites

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Mount Baker from the tarn basin below Yellow Aster Butte

(water from snow melt pools, if you’re lucky). Eventually you’ll reach a notch, an epic chasm frequented by mountain goats. With care, you can descend this obstacle and climb up the other side. Just below the summit, the route requires crossing a steeplypitched glacier, definitely not recommended without climbing gear and experience. No matter: the views are amazing from any of the high points. The magnificent Border Peaks are

Hiking Guides In this northern mountain enclave we are fortunate to have a plethora of excellent hiking guidebooks. Legends like Harvey Manning, Ira Spring, and Fred Darvill set the bar high, back in the day. Their obvious passion got us going. Here’s a short list of some of the best of the current hiking guides: Hiking from Here to WOW: North Cascades (Wow Guides) by Kathy Copeland and Craig Copeland (Wilderness Press) Day Hiking North Cascades: Mount Baker, Mountain Loop Highway, San Juan Islands by Craig Romano (Mountaineers Books) Day Hike! North Cascades, 2nd Edition: The Best Trails You Can Hike In a Day by Mike Mcquaide


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Hiking the North Cascades, 2nd Edition: A Guide to More Than 100 Great Hiking Adventures (Regional Hiking Series) (FalconGuides)

Here are the classics: Hiking the North Cascades by Fred T. Darvill (Stackpole Books) 100 Hikes in Washington’s North Cascades National Park Region by Harvey Manning and Ira Spring (Mountaineers Books) The 1979 version of 101 Hikes in the North Cascades by Ira Spring and Harvey Manning (if you can find it) has route descriptions for some long-forgotten trails, unmaintained by officialdom for decades. Places that you might want to go, if you possess that old-fashioned vigor.

front-and-center, while Shuksan, Baker, the Pickets, and an infinity of ragged peaks are revealed in all their glory. Access: Drive the Mount Baker Highway to a left on Twin Lakes Road (FR 3065), near milepost 47. Go 4.5 miles to the trailhead on the left. At a trail junction (about 1.5 miles in), turn left. The hike to Yellow Aster Butte is seven miles round-trip with an elevation gain of about 2100 feet. Add another six miles round-trip and 2,000 feet for the Tomyhoi excursion.

Ptarmigan Ridge The hike to Ptarmigan Ridge is the easiest hike on this list. Maybe. This route holds snow longer than any of the others and is frequently inaccessible until late summer (or autumn). When it’s snow covered, it can be dangerous without an ice axe and the facility to use it. But when the snow is (mostly) gone you can do this as a rapturous day hike - every step is out in the open with the high peaks on all sides. Or you could find Nirvana by overnighting on the far end of the ridge, beneath the ice walls of Koma Kulshan. Climb the final, ultimate rock stairway to heaven, to the top of The Portals, two great stone parapets rising above the glacial ice . At 6500 feet, this is an intense and powerful spot. Watching the sunrise here is better than church, perhaps. Access: Drive the Mount Baker Highway to its end at Artist Point. The trail exits from the southwest side of the lot, traversing the slopes of Table Mountain. At the junction with the Chain Lakes trail, bear left. Round-trip to the Portals is about 14 miles, with an elevation gain of 1600 feet.

Railroad Grade/Park Butte Although this sacred spot is accessed from the Baker Lake Road rather than the Mount Baker Highway, it deserves a place on this very short list. The trail that climbs from Schreiber’s >>> Go to

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Meadow offers a wealth of ecstatic experiences. Climb the switchbacks up through the woods, and at the junction in Morovitz Meadows, take your pick. Left goes to Park Butte and right ascends the Railroad Grade. Park Butte, with its lookout cabin and stupendous views of the Black Buttes and Mt. Baker provides a memorable place to spend the night (available for overnight use on a first come-first served basis). As the sun goes down, gaze over the Twin Sisters Range to the gleaming waters of the Salish Sea, a polished mirror to the west. Or else bear right on the trail to Railroad Grade, a ramp that brings the casual hiker up high on the mountain. This is a climber’s trail and it delivers you to the ice of the Easton Glacier. Unless you are equipped with the appropriate gear - and knowledge - this is a good place to turn around. Or better yet, angle along the top of the moraine to a promontory, the brink of a great

amphitheatre of ice. The Deming Glacier pours down in an ice-fall at the base of the Black Buttes, soaring above the ice like gothic towers. It’s one of the most dramatic vantage points around Baker, a spot to contemplate the power of the elements. As you’d expect in a place like this, the wind blows cold. Bring a hat. Access: Take the North Cascades Highway and turn Feasting on berries, Ptarmigan Ridge left on the Baker Lake Road (near milepost 82). Drive 12 ferent every time you go. The Glacier miles and turn left on FR 12. At 3.5 Public Service Center near milepost miles, turn right on FR 13 and follow it 34 on the Mount Baker Highway is for 5 miles until it ends at the trailhead. the place to check out what’s going on Round-trip to Park Butte is 6.6 miles in the alpine, get permits for overnight with an elevation gain of 2100 feet. use and procure a Recreation Pass, reRoundtrip to the top of Railroad Grade quired for parking at some trailheads. is about nine miles with an elevation For the Park Butte/Railroad Grade gain of 2900 feet. option, visit the Mount Baker Ranger Caveat: Change is constant. For District office at 810 State Route 20 in these - and all hikes - conditions are difSedro-Woolley. ANW

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Autumn in the North Cascades The Photography of Floris Van Breugel


utumn is perhaps the most wonderful time to be in the mountains, especially the North Cascades. Many of the sub-alpine hillsides (between 5,000 and 7,000 feet or so) are covered in berry bushes, and around mid- to late-September the berries ripen into heavenly little treats. These are Cascade Bilberries. They have one of the more appropriate Latin names I’ve come across: Vaccinium deliciosum. Indeed, they truly are delicious, like a superbly intense blueberry with a distinct banana tang – maybe it’s the altitude spice that comes from growing at higher than 5,000 feet. Together with the berries ripening, the leaves begin to turn red, and in the right light it’s as if the hillsides are covered in sparkling rubies..

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Clockwise from left: Winter is Coming, The Red Carpet, Mossicles, Alpine Harvest, Autumn Mists, Berry Heaven

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The Rewilding of the North Cascades The Return of Gray Wolves and Grizzly Bears Story by Christian Martin


rizzly bears roaming the hills a few ridges east of Bellingham? A pack of wolves on the hunt in forests less than 100 miles from downtown Seattle?

In a time of environmental crisis - a warming, overcrowded planet, ocean acidification, an ark’s worth of species on the brink of extinction - there is something amazing happening here in our own backyard: the renewed presence of rare, large mammals in the North Cascades. The North Cascades are an international ecosystem that stretches from the Fraser River in the north to Stevens Pass in the south, and from the Okanagan highlands to the east all the way down to the shores of the Salish Sea. This ecosystem is defined by its complex and dramatic geology - the ways that multiple ice ages and glaciation have shaped the topography - and by the biological diversity that is a result of varied terrain, climate and vertical relief. It is a landscape of superlatives: 15 peaks tower over 9,000 feet and another 300 rise between 7,000 and 9,000 feet; it’s the most glaciated region with the most vertical relief in the Lower 48; and the biological diversity is profound, including the largest concentration 28

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robust federal protection - is a place where wilderness still has a chance to express itself, a refugium of the natural world that closely resembles what it was before Euro-Americans moved in. “What’s so exciting about the North Cascades ecosystem,” explains local wildlife biologist Bill Gaines, “is that it is really rare to have such large connected wildlands and have the opportunity to restore a full compliment of large carnivores. There are few places in the Lower 48 that this is even possible, really only the Rockies and the North Cascades. Other places have a lot of wildlands but have to start restoration missing several pieces of the puzzle.” Two pieces of this puzzle Famous profile: This photo, taken in October, 2010 shows a grizzly - gray wolves and grizzly bears in North Cascades National Park, the first confirmed sighting in the tell two different stories about the Cascades south of the Canadian border since 1985 Photo by Joe Sebille state of carnivores in the North Cascades. National Recreation Areas, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, Okanogan and Gray Wolves Wenatchee National Forests and eight Gray wolves were extirpated from Wilderness areas. North of the border, Washington State by the 1930s through Manning and Cathedral Provincial campaigns of poisoning, hunting and Parks, the Skagit and Cascade trapping. On the brink of extinction, Recreation Areas and Provincial Forests wolves were given protection under the provide conservation protection. Endangered Species Act in 1973 when What all of this adds up to - rugthey were close to being wiped out ged and remote landscapes, lots of across the U.S. pristine habitat and varied ecosystems, The troubled relationship beof bald eagles in the U.S. outside of Alaska, many unique botanical communities and a host of rare carnivores, including lynx, wolverine, pine marten, bears and wolves. Fortunately, it is also a region protected by a mosaic of public lands, including North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake and Lake Chelan

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tween Canis lupus and Homo sapiens began a new chapter when the federal government reintroduced wolves in Yellowstone National Park and Idaho in 1995. Since then, wolves have steadily rebounded in the northern Rockies and surprised many people when they began being sporadically sighted in northern Washington State in 2005. The first wolf pack with pups in the North Cascades was confirmed in 2008 in Okanagan County, marking the first time they have taken up residence here in more than 80 years. The past five years have seen a remarkable comeback for wolves in the Evergreen State. The 2012 census found nine packs with at least five breeding pairs in places including the Selkirk Mountains, the Spokane and Colville Indian Reservations, Wenatchee and Teanaway. “Wolf populations can grow quite quickly once they establish a foothold in a landscape,” explains David Moskowitz, author of the recently published Wolves in the Land of Salmon. “They have a high reproductive rate for a large carnivore. Young adults will either disperse to areas adjacent to where they were born or travel several hundred miles before settling down.” These wolves are returning to Washington under their own power, which Moskowitz says is a good thing: “Allowing wolves to naturally repopulate is less expensive and less likely to trigger people who are suspicious of the government and its intentions related to managing landscapes. “ The wolves on the east side of the state have wandered in from Montana and Idaho, while the ones taking up residence in the North Cascades are from a different subspecies population found in the Coast Range and Vancouver Island of British Columbia. “Ecologically, these BC wolves have adapted to the unique coastal rainforest habitat,” says Moskowitz. “This shows stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

up in their behavior - traveling along shorelines and swimming between islands extensively. It also shows up in their diet. In some packs, salmon and animals harvested in the intertidal zone make up the majority of their diet at certain times of the year, compared to in the Rockies where deer, elk or moose are almost always the primary food source.” The state has responded, rather quickly, by adopting the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan in 2011 “to guide recovery…of gray wolves as they naturally recolonize the State of Washington.” The goal is to have 15 breeding pairs spread out geographically across the state. “Washington’s Wolf Management Plan is probably the most progressive and scientifically and socially well thought-out management plan of any western state,” opines Moskowitz. “Ultimately, I think the plan does a good job of attending to the variety of needs and interests of the people of the state. The biggest challenge now is to implement it fairly. If we do, it is very likely wolves will recover in the state,

Photo taken from Wolves in the Land of Salmon© 2013 by David Moskowitz. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved

there will still be a huge livestock industry in the state, and people will still have ample deer and elk hunting opportunities.”

Grizzly Bears Grizzly bears, on the other hand, are just barely holding on to their foothold in the North Cascades. It is believed that between 10-20 grizzlies still roam the most remote corners of the international ecosystem, though hard proof has been nearly impossible to come by despite decades of searching. There was once a thriving population of grizzlies in the Cascades but, like the gray wolf, they were systematically destroyed by trapping and hunting. High Country News reports that “by 1860, an estimated 350 grizzly bears survived in the Cascades, down from an historical population of around 1,000.” The last documented grizzly on the U.S. side of the border was shot in 1967 in Fisher Creek basin, the heart of the North Cascades. Less than ten years later, they were recognized as a threatened species by the U.S. Gaines has been studying Ursus arctos since the mid-1980s when he was hired to work on the North Cascades Grizzly Bear Evaluation Project. His survey helped de-

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termine the North Cascades as having outstanding habitat for grizzlies and led to the region being designated as an official recovery zone by U.S. Fish & Wildlife in 1993. But since then, efforts at restoring grizzly bears in Washington have stalled, primarily due to lack of funding. Gaines continues to lead scientific expeditions into the far reaches of the

Wolves in the Land of Salmon Long considered an icon of the wild, wolves capture our imagination and spark controversy. Humans are the adult wolf’s only true natural predator; its return to the old-growth forests and wild coastlines of the Pacific Northwest renews age-old questions about the value of wildlands and wildlife.

ecosystem, searching for brown bears and mapping habitat. It’s an interesting paradox: he loves working outdoors in some of the most magnificent country in the world, but after more than 25 years, he has still not found the object of his quest. “To date, based on thousands of DNA samples we’ve sent to the lab and thousands of photos, we have not been able to detect a grizzly bear in the North Cascades,” he explains. “While it’s been rewarding to put a pack on my back and go to work in places I love, it’s also disheartening to come up emptyhanded in the search for grizzlies.”

The Future Looking ahead, the North Cascades ecosystem, like all other irreplaceable wild places, faces several challenges. While there are several worthwhile cam-

Wolves in the North cascades

Among the wonders of this rich portrait are the author’s accounts of young wolves at play just feet away from his makeshift blind on a remote beach and of eerie howls piercing the night air from a den site nearby. Wildlife tracker Moskowitz’s daring photography and determination to see for himself provide the first significant, nuanced portrayal of this charismatic apex carnivore from the Pacific Northwest coast to the edge of the Rocky Mountains. The remarkable story will resonate everywhere that mighty social animals - like humans and wolves - struggle to coexist.


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Map created by Analisa Fenix/Ecotrust under a Creative Commons license and prepared for publication by Laken Wright

As the vivid stories unfold in this riveting and timely book, wolves emerge as smart, complex players uniquely adapted to the vast interdependent ecosystem of this stunning region. Observing them at close range, David Moskowitz explores how they live, hunt, and communicate, tracing their biology and ecology through firsthand encounters in the Northwest. In the process, he challenges assumptions about their role and the impact of even well-meaning human interventions.

It’s puzzling to him and other scientists because the North Cascades have lots of protected space, relatively few people and plenty of food. “When I think about the North Cascades as an ecosystem, I ask ‘are all the pieces of the puzzle here to make the ecosystem whole?’” Gaines continues. “The grizzly bears are a piece needing more time and effort.”

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Range riding for wolves



The North Cascades have room to paigns underway to increase protections roam as well as natural corridors for in the region, it will take monumental the movement of action to slow down animals. the warming of the Will wolves planet. Climate continue to rechange is driving claim their former temperatures in the habitats in northern North Cascades Washington State? steadily upwards, Can grizzly bears including hotter, hold on without drier summers and direct intervention milder winters with from land managless snowfall. More ers? The continuing precipitation is fallsaga of Cascadian ing as rain instead carnivores continof snow, and the ues and it will be glaciers that stabilize fascinating to see the ecology in so what happens next. many different ways Grizzly Bear© Chris Weston, are in retreat. ANW “In the last 50 years, the average winter freezing level has risen 600 feet, or around 12 feet a year,” says Jon Riedel, a glacial geologist with North Wolves are on the return to Washington after a 70-year hiatus, Cascades National Park. “That’s huge with the first wolves, the Cascades and it impacts everything from when Lookout Pack, documented in 2008 things bloom; when pollinators arrive; by citizen monitors and Conservation when birds migrate; the life-cycles of Northwest. Conservation Northwest is a Bellingham-based nonprofit that marmots and pikas. Climate change is connects and protects wildlands and not something projected to happen, it wildlife from Washington’s Coast to the is happening now.” British Columbia Rockies. In addition Wildlife biologists are looking to to helping gain a conservation plan for recovering wolves, they kick-started a habitat connectivity as one way to plan range rider program and are now sponahead for the changes taking place. soring three range riders around the “As climate changes,” Gaines exstate helping ranchers live with wolves. plains, “animals are going to shift ranges Visit to adjust to a changing environment.”

bike events As Summer gives way to gorgeous Autumn days— join us on these easy, social bike rides.


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Kaleidoscope of Green

A Walk in Olympic National Park Story By Alyson Indrunas Photos by Tami Garrard


ou know how many times I’ve taken this ferry? ” Tami asked, spreading out three maps on her lap. We’re in my car with the windows down as the ferry out of Edmonds kicks into full speed. The ocean shimmers all around us. For the next twelve days, we’re going backpacking in Olympic National Park. “Tam,” I said, “you’ve to got to at least look at this view. It’s amazing.” “Yeah, yeah.” She humors me with a nod, and promptly goes back to her research. Tami grew up in Port Angeles, and the Olympics are practically in her backyard. I’m from suburban Atlanta; so I’m still awestruck by ferry rides, the ocean, and mountains even after living in the Northwest for thirteen years. Donning her first pack at three years old, Tami has a long history of walking in these epic woods. We’ve been friends for over a decade, but this is first time I’m heading to her home with her. I trusted her planned route; and it would turn out to be the most scenic backpacking trip I have taken. Ever.

Embracing the Green I discovered backpacking at nineteen, and since then, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the Rockies and the Cascades, but this trip, hands down, would turn out to be my all-time favorite. If you have been putting off going to the Olympics, I’m hoping this story will motivate you to head to the peninsula. The landscape, for lack of a better word, is unique. Everything I love about alpine environments is found in the Olympics—only it’s different. Greener. Brighter. Along the rivers the moss, lichen, and ferns create a lush rainforest floor. Nurse logs spawn small clusters of wildflowers that bloom in the most impossible spots. Water falls, drips, and runs,

Leaving Cameron Pass


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from picking as I hiked. As a result of providing a constant soundtrack. Creeks my gluttony, I had fallen behind Tami. I cut meadows. Rivers rage in valleys. The startled the bear, which moaned in a way views are a kaleidoscope of green. that communicated both irritation and As we climbed up and down five a warning. It was a deep sigh - Tibetan glorious mountain passes, I was struck monk-like. I backed up five feet, avoided by the rockiness of the alpine country, eye contact, and hid behind a thin pine but also, paradoxically, how unlike most tree. She walked uphill away from me, sat scorched ranges in late August it was. down, and sniffed in my direction. The mountainside had patches of snow and the grasses grew in the chutes and ravines. Wildlife thrived. Ground critters - deer, birds, marmot, and black bears were making the most of the short summer right alongside us. We saw less than a dozen other hikers. And the most unbelievable part of this trip was that we hiked 82 miles in the Olympics without ever using raingear. A down coat, wool hat, and fleece gloves in August: yes. But that infamous rain never fell. Reflections of paradise: Morning at Hart Lake We stayed on the eastern slopes, remembering that Tami was nowhere in sight. Sweat well-known saying about the Olympics: poured down my face. I watched her paw “West Side. Wet Side.” True enough. at a bush and lick something from her We avoided the rain, but we encounlong claws. Finally, I saw Tami across the tered another notorious resident of the ravine, and I yelled for her. Later she told Olympics: black bears. I scoffed at the me that she didn’t hear what I yelled but necessity of carrying a required “bear can” thought it sounded like “Bear” (Bingo!). (you can rent one from the ranger staShe hiked back to me while clicking her tion). Until the day that I turned a corner hiking poles, which scared the sow away. only to see a large sow. The berries were esThat night, we watched another pecially plentiful; my hands were stained

What does it feel like when YOU THRIVE?

black bear walk across the ridge above Hart Lake as the sun set. We marveled at how quickly and gracefully the bear moved across the terrain. The alpenglow was something to behold in the quiet of the approaching night. As the temperature dropped, the mountainside turned deep rust and then orange, while the snow behind us changed from white to pink. Thanks to the sage advice of a backcountry ranger, we settled in for a night at Hart Lake - one of the best backcountry sites I have ever seen. When I woke up that morning, it was still dark and I made coffee by headlamp. I was just about to light my stove when a coyote yelped three times. Just as the sun rose over the ridge, an elk bugled. If there is a better morning, I have not yet lived to see it.

Do it Yourself Ready to go? What follows is my advice on how best to enjoy this route. Arrive at the Dungeness Forks trailhead during the day so that you avoid all the sketchy car camping sites near an old quarry. Start the hike by going 8.4 miles along the Gray Wolf River to the Three Forks campsite. Make camp on Cameron Creek. Prioritize your meals not by what sounds the tastiest, but rather by what’s

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Wildflowers carpet White Creek Meadow

heaviest. Eat the heavy stuff first. On the second day, hike 10.3 miles to Upper Cameron Basin, and make sure you have a camera and an extra hour to explore the most gorgeous meadow on the Cutline entire trip. Collect rocks to scare away aggressive deer from your dinner and drying socks. Unpack your down coat, unfurl your sleeping bag, and ignore the frost on your boots in the morning.


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On day three, travel an amazing 14 miles by crossing Cameron Pass, and then down to Lost Pass. Be happy as you ascend 1500 feet only to descend 1500 feet. The view from Cameron Pass is stunning. Take many pictures. Burn the view into your memory. Ignore your suffering feet. Remember this is what you choose to do for vacation. Ration your moleskin. Don’t complain as your blisters pulse. On the next day, camp at Deception Creek, and burn up the miles along the Dosewallips River. Pass the time by singing “Dosewallips.” It rolls off the tongue. In the middle of the day, rest on the high bridge over the Dose Forks. With boots off, and lunches out, spend an hour cooling your feet. Take a nap. Once you complete that day’s 12 miles, camp at Diamond Meadows on the south side of Mount Anderson. White Mountain and Mount LaCrosse come into view. Welcome these towering beauties as your view for the next three days. Their rocky cragginess is pure high alpine glory. Try to count the many shades of green. Good luck with that. Don’t separate from your partner, ease off on the berries, and stick to the business of hiking (see anecdote above). Once you make it to O’Neill Pass, you’ll see how easy it is for black bears to hop, skip, and jump down to the Enchanted Valley. If you think that black bear sightings are exaggerated as you complain about the weight of your bear can, remember that you are travelling in their habitat. Make sure you have two days at Hart Lake in order to explore Lake LaCrosse. Enjoy a pristine backcountry site. Ignore how rough you look in the reflection of the tarns. Then descend to the Duckabush River and camp at the Mount LaCrosse Trailhead. Rinse your socks in the cold creek, make a fire at the camp, and enjoy the quiet of the forest. Wake up pre-dawn and eat a good breakfast. The next day climb up switchback after switchback, gaining 3000 feet. At the top, enjoy a lovely rock outcropping between Mount Elk Lick and Mount LaCrosse. Have

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ior is acceptable after long stretches in the your lunch and daydream about the valwoods. ley below. Lose all of the elevation you just gained, and camp at Honeymoon Hike out the next day, and have Meadows. somebody shuttle you back to your car. From there, hike out and spend Appreciate the cold sandwiches and supone last night in the press moans of walk-in sites of the delight as they Chilling on the bridge over the Dosewallips River Dosewallips. The offer you sugary bridge is washed drinks. Be thankout, but you are goful you know ing to have company people who offor the first time in fer you a seat in a while. Enjoy the their car, knowing river. Make friends you’ve worn the with people who are same shorts for eager to share their two weeks. As whiskey and greasy they fill you in meat. Entertain them on news of the with stories about world, be silent your trip. Be polite as they drive you and stay awake late back to your car. talking with your new friends (Tami’s Have gratitude that these mountains are approach). Or be rude like me, eat their only a ferry ride away. ANW food, and retire to your tent to read. Convince yourself that anti-social behav-

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Welcome to the Bone Pile

Changing Times on Barter Island

Story by Dale McKinnon Photos by Janiene Licciardi

The Bone Pile


n the spring of 2010, Janiene Licciardi found herself flying north to Barrow, Alaska, an isolated community hunkered down on the shores of the Beaufort Sea. Looking down from 20,000 feet over the Brooks Range, she was awed by the utter desolation below her, the expanse of unending frozen emptiness, white ridge after white ridge. It was an environment that would challenge her. Janiene, a veterinarian from Bellingham who works on contract with Alaska’s North Slope Bureau, high in the arctic, was no stranger to the north. She had worked the annual Iditarod race as a vet for the past several years at isolated checkpoints. She had climbed several northwestern peaks (Baker, Shuksan, Garibaldi, Olympus, and Shasta) as well as summiting Pico de Orizaba (18,491 ft.) in Mexico. An extremely fit adventurer, wilderness kayaker, and back country traveler, Janiene possesses a quiet moxie mixed with a self-effacing and humble outlook (“I tramp around.”), part genetic and part acquired. In her travels in the arctic, spaying and neutering dogs and answering questions from the Inupiat and Yupik villagers, she had begun to absorb the full effects of the disappearing sea ice on their lives and on the lives of the creatures that inhabit their polar dreams. The urgency she feels to communicate the reality of what is happening “up north” as a result of global warming is tempered by the inability of people in the south to grasp what it has not experienced in these more southern climes. In 2012, the Beaufort sea ice receded further from the shoreline than at any other time in recorded history. It was a disappearance that has never been seen before by humankind.

Ursus maritimus


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The Monkey’s Knot In Barrow, Alaska she observed the first subsistence whale hunt that she’d ever seen, and, she realized, quite possibly the last. “It was an evening in Barrow that began... around 7 p.m. and lingered until midnight, with the cold sun beaming golden light the entire time.” That was also the first time she saw wild polar bears. The experience nearly brought her to her knees, and did bring her to tears. “It was some combination of the spectacle: the whale, an incongruous black hulk on the ice, it’s freshly dead warmth steaming into the cold air; the bears loping and ranging about like wolves on the outskirts of town; the men with their implements of hooks, rope tows, and butchering knifes; the old ladies stringing out the whale’s hot bloody intestines, readying them for soup. People of all ages eating fresh muktuk (whale blubber), laughing, smiling, and the whole while the bears, shuffling, swinging their black noses, occasionally slipping and splaying on the ice in the

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The Bone Pile represents the tailings of the Inupiat subsistence lifestyle. Located a couple kilometers from the center of Kaktovik , it is where the Inupiat dump the remains of the three bowhead whales they are allowed to kill and butcher for subsistence each September. In late summer and early fall the polar bears feed on the unused portions of whales carcasses. The bears have been on Barter Island for as long as the villagers can remember. Ringed seals (the bears major food source) are abundant in the arctic waters nearby and the bears can hunt them from the ice, which until recently has been pretty much year round. But, now, as Janiene observed, “the ice Janiene on the ice is coming later, the ice is leaving earlier, the ice is not as thick” and so, the polar bears “can’t hunt their natural food as easily as they used to be able to.” Prior to 2012, on any given complicated monkey’s knot of wildlife September day, an average of 25 bears research, the regulatory layers of various were observed on or around Barter agencies, ancestral Inupiat subsistence Island. Contrary to the myth that polar hunting and culture, climate change, and bears are solitary animals, they get along polar bear tourism. At the center of the very peacefully, regardless of age or sex, knot is the Bone Pile of Barter Island. distance.” It was a “magic and tragic scene” to her, and she wasn’t really sure how she should feel. When she “found frozen tears” on her cheeks, she had her answer. But it was six weeks later in Kaktovik, a village of 300 on the shores of Barter Island, that she began to learn about the

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Butchering a whale in Barrow

except when brown bears (tundra counterparts to the polar bear) enter into the Bone Pile. However, last summer the sea ice was over 600 miles from the shoreline and over eighty polar bears were observed by scientists on Barter Island on a single day. Without the ice, the polar bears are forced to make a landward shift for the sake of survival. In 2008, it was estimated that only 10 percent of the Beaufort Sea


polar bear population was adapting to the shoreline environment. Four years later, that number has tripled.

The Vanishing Ice

Explorers have been seeking the ‘Northwest Passage’ since the fifteenth century. Originally called the Straits of Annian, it took Roald Amundsen three years at the beginning of the twentieth century to, ART, GET A FREE DRINK! basically, drift with the arctic current while trapped in pack ice, until he and his crew of six could make their way to ice-free leads and back to Norway. It wasn’t THE ALLEY DISTRICT until 1944 that a 929 N. STATE STREET

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Canadian fortified schooner made the first “single season” traverse through the Northwest Passage from Halifax to Vancouver. In 1957, the first U.S. ships to successfully traverse the Passage were the U.S. Coast Guard buoy tenders, Storis, Bramble and SPAR, and in 1984 the first commercial passenger vessel successfully made it through. Then during the remarkably ice-free months from August to September 2012, The World followed Roald Amundsen’s path, carrying 481 passengers in its transit of the Northwest Passage. The summer of 2012 also saw the first tanker travel from Norway to Japan to deliver natural gas, and the 34-meter-long Australian luxury yacht FORTRUS sped through the High Arctic leaving behind a trail of illegal fireworks, paintballs, $40,000 of booze and bounced checks. While in Kaktovik, Janiene and another vet, sat at dusk in a truck to observe the bears at the “Designated Bear Viewing Area” at the Bone Pile, their most active time of day. While there they saw a man drive up, a tourist. He got out of a truck with a camera, and walked up to the “barrier” to take photos, about 50 feet from the bears. Janiene became alarmed not only at his behavior but at the behavior of the bears that turned to look at him, distracted from their dinner. She rolled down her window, leaned out and said “Hey, dude, you shouldn’t be doing that. That’s not too smart.” He turned and

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best visitors, and respect their life-ways. community recognizes it’s time to start walked back to her truck and said “Well, The kids are conveying that informathinking about that.” you’re a real nice lady aren’t you?” and she tion firsthand to the visitors - it’s a really Reed says that this year the U.S. replied “Well, you’re a smart guy, aren’t wonderful exchange between visitors and Forest Service and ANWR “are working you?” whereupon he got in his truck and young conservationists.” with the community to provide them drove back into town. Janiene Licciardi has been home with the resources that they need to start The following day, disturbed by from the Arctic since April of 2013. making those decisions. We don’t live the encounter, Janiene found the Alaska You might run into National Wildlife her at the Animal Refuge (ANWR) bunk Emergency Clinic, or house/office, a prefab working as relief for building with a solitary a local veterinary ofdesk and spare furnishfice, settled into her ings, and introduced comfortable life with herself, inquiring if there her partner and runwas someone she could ning the Interurban talk to about what she Trail with her old dog. had witnessed the prior The vivid memories evening. Luckily, she of endlessness, whitefound Jennifer Reed, ness, the butchered the Visitors Services bowhead whale and Coordinator for ANWR the Bone Pile tend to who was in Kaktovik for fade a bit, but she says two days to coordinate the events in Barrow with members of the vilLocked and loaded: A walk beside the and Kaktovik were lage’s “bear committee” Beaufort Sea, shotgun at the ready the “two singular exin preparation for the pereinces that defined summers influx of polar my entire time in the bear tourists. arctic.” When asked what she thought there. They are the ones that have to find According to Reed, ANWR “canwould be the outcome of the human/bear a workable solution.” not regulate viewing the Bone Pile,” but interface, she sadly shrugged her shoulOne solution is the Kaktovik Youth only... “boat-based polar bear viewing.” ders and threw up her hands, saying “It’s Ambassadors program. It is the kids of Although the Alaska National Wildlife a complicated puzzle. Who knows what Kaktovik that are educating about polar Refuge consists of over nine million acres, the outcome will be?” The bears, the ice, bear behavior. “We are so proud... of the spit of land commonly known as the the Inupiat villagers, and eventually all of the success of the Youth Ambassadors Bone Pile is not under its auspices, but is us, will adapt to what is happening. The program. Those kids are getting guid“military withdrawal” land - reserved for question is, into what? ANW ance from their own elders and their own use by the military for testing and traincommunity about how visitors can be the ing. This is the monkey’s knot. According to Reed, “the scientific term for that is habituation and there Providing caring, professional Real Estate Services for buyers & sellers are two kinds of habituation: There are animals habituating to the proximity of people, but the corollary is people habituRealtor – Broker The Muljat Group Broadway ating to the proximity of polar bears... Bellingham, WA Even though we’ve been very lucky that (360) 303-4428 the polar bear-human conflict has been minimal and infrequent, polar bears are Eco-Broker wild animals and it’s a very unpredictable ABR     Accredited Buyers Representative environment. Decisions about how the CRS     Certified Residential Specialist SRES    Seniors Real Estate Specialist Bone Pile is going to be managed have CBA    Commercial Brokers Association to be made by the community and the

Danne Neill

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Painting the Light: Lanny Little

Clockwise from top: Bracken Fern; Grandy Lake; Lower Falls, Whatcom Creek; Sunny Day, Rainy Lake

I love to paint the Northwest light. At times I see a certain play of light and shadow on a tree or field or stream that causes a spontaneous emotional response - a heightened sense of reality. I am unable to put it into words but have found a way to express it through painting. My goal is to create works that elicit similar responses from the viewers. I attempt to create a situation where light, color and paint surface interact to produce a unique and moving visual experience. My painting process is not a spontaneous activity but instead a thorough and meticulous process that involves capturing the subtlety and fleeting nature of light and color.


The art of nature INDOOR/OUTDOOR FOUNTAINS • FINE WOODWORKING • ORIGINAL PAINTINGS • CUSTOM FRAMING Open Monday through Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM Sunday 12:00 NOON – 5:30 PM

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Cordata Store

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Cascadia Gear:

Essentials for your next Adventure Banishing the Darkness Headlamps have come a long way. This is good news for those of us who enjoy catching the sunset from that lofty ledge above camp and then high-tailing it back down through the scree in the dark. The SEO series of lightweight headlamps from LED Lenser® (a division of the Leatherman Tool Group) have raised the bar with respect to headlamp usability and technology. We tested the SEO7R and if we’ve ever seen a brighter headlamp, we can’t remember it. With 220 lumens in high-power mode, the light is bright enough for minor surgery. Weighing just 3.8 ounces, it’s reasonably light and compact, yet feels durable. The SEO7R runs on three AAA batteries or an innovative, rechargeable battery pack that can be charged either via an AC outlet or a USB cable. And as if that isn’t enough, this headlamp features what LED Lenser calls “Optisense” ™, which allows the light to adjust its intensity based on ambient light levels. The SEO7R will run for five hours on a set of batteries at high intensity and 20 hours on low. Info:

Gear Spotlight: Black Diamond’s Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell

A Pleasing Contradiction The ThermaRest® brand has long been synonymous with backpacking sleeping pads. They have continually refined and perfected the art of building lightweight, tough, and cushy pads, and those of us who appreciate a good night’s rest after an arduous day on the trail are grateful to them. But they’re never satisfied. This quest for constant innovation has led them to engineer a new line of sleeping bags that work in conjunction with their pads as a system. We tested one of these, the Antares™ 20, a down bag rated to 20° F. Thanks to the way the bag attaches to the pad via a pair of straps (ThermaRest calls them SynergyLink Connectors, c’mon now), insulation is omitted from the underside, where it is instead provided by the pad. This results in a super-light (just a smidge under two pounds) and super-compact (7 by 12 inches in your pack) bag that immerses you in 750+ goose down. And here’s the kicker: Despite its light weight and diminutive packed size, the interior dimensions of the bag are generous. The genius of this became obvious the first night I slept in the bag. Thanks to the roominess, instead of turning over with the bag, one turns over inside the bag. The straps keep everything where it should be and instead of waking up in a knot of twisted down, one wakes up in the morning pretty much the same way that one went to bed. This is a good thing. When combined with a ThermaRest pad like the NeoAir ™XLite ®, the Antares 20 offers a pleasing contradiction. It’s roomy, yet packs small. It’s light, yet delivers a warm, comfortable night’s sleep. Info:

A Picture-Perfect Camera Bag

by Chris Gerston Black Diamond’s mantra over the years - from carabiners to Avalung packs - has been: Use. Design. Engineer. Build. Repeat. This same approach has inspired their new clothing line. While not all the line would work in the great “North wet,” as backcountry skiers, we loved the idea of the Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell’s combination of Schoeller’s Nanosphere in the body and C-change waterproof/breathable material over the shoulders for weather protection. My initial forays in the jacket demonstrated a huge leap in breathability due to the softshell panels around the torso. Perfect for touring and mountaineering where moving the moisture out is a primary concern. Beware, though, you will likely need to rethink your layering system underneath; I’d recommend adding at least a wind vest for touring or maybe a down sweater for skiing inbounds. With colors chosen to last beyond trends, this jacket should be a favorite for years to come. Chris Gerston owns Backcountry Essentials, an outdoor specialty shop located at 214 W. Holly in Bellingham, WA.

The Lowe Pro® Inverse 200 camera bag is the latest in a long line of hipslingers from Lowe-Pro. The bag hangs on a robust waist belt and also offers a strap for over-the-shoulder carrying (or as a load distribution aid when slung around the neck). I have used this type of camera bag for years - it enables me to access my camera gear while wearing a backpack. I learned years ago that ready access to the camera and accessories equates to more pictures taken, which in turn means more “keepers”. This bag has a few cool innovations including straps on the bottom for attaching a tripod, a built in rain-cover that tucks into a pocket when not in use (sheer genius) and convenient pouches for quick access to memory cards. The bag performed well in the field, holding my Canon DSLR, two lenses (including a moderately long zoom), a hood loupe, filters, cable release, extra batteries, etc. A round-the-top zipper makes access to the contents of the bag easy. The Inverse 200 is another winner from Lowe Pro. Info at

Check out more gear reviews by Chris Gerston at Sponsored Review

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Race I Play I Experience SEPTEMBER >>> Friday, 6 September SPEC Illuminations – Whatcom Museum slide show––Whatcom Museum, Old City Hall, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm. Adventures NW presents “Illuminations”, a slide show of photographer John D’Onofrio’s recent work, including images of the Pacific Northwest, the American Southwest and the Far

North. This show will feature abstract interpretations of the natural world. Suggested donation is $3.00 (museum members are free).

Saturday, 7 September BIKE Emerald City Lights Bike & 5-K Walk–– Auburn Game Farm Park, 7:00 am – 5:00 pm. Fun Family Event bike or walk and give to those in need

ers. There will be field games, kid activities, lake shore exploration, and tours that include birding, native plant ID and watershed conservation information. Eat free Acme Ice Cream! Drink free BelleWood Acres cider! Learn why the property is called “Ladies of the Lake.” Celebrate conservation in Whatcom County! Food vendors will be on site.

SPEC LANDFest!––Ladies of the Lake Preserve, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Join us on September 7th from Noon to 4p at our Ladies of the Lake property on Lake Whatcom. The event will include music with Richard and Helen Scholtz, Geof Morgan and oth-

Friday, 10 September


SPEC Reaching the Sky: From Bellingham to Everest––Backcountry Essentials, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Local climber Dave Mauro offers a multimedia presentation about his recent ascent of Mount Everest. The Everest climb was the final of the “Seven Summits” – the highest points on each continent – that Dave has climbed since 2007. Dave’s story is one of setting big goals and overcoming obstacles to achieve them. His stories are thrilling, exotic and often hilarious. This event is a fund-raiser for Bridget Collins House.

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1314 N. State Street • Bellingham, WA • 360.671.1023 •

Visit for complete listings of Outdoor events through 2013



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Historic Fairhaven


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6 September - 20 September Saturday, 14 September

Sunday, 15 September

RUN/WALK Fairhaven Runners Waterfront 15K––Fairhaven Village Green, 8:30 am – 10:30 am, Whether running or walking along this 9.3 mile course, you get a great opportunity to traverse Bellingham Bay’s beautiful waterfront.Tour the Taylor Street Dock, Boulevard Park, downtown and the marina.The race features chip timing and finishes with a post-race party including food, live music and complimentary massage and chiropractic care. Be sure to stay for awards (5 year age groups to 80+), random prizes and prompt race results! We have a beautiful, well-staffed course starting in Fairhaven and running out through downtown Bellingham and back on waterside paths. From elite racing to fitness walking this course is awesome. Capped at 1000 participants.Advance registration only.

BIKE Chuckanut Century 2013––Boundary Bay, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. The 2013 Chuckanut Century will be held on September 15, 2013. Ride one of the most scenic rides in Washington. With many routes offered you can pick your distance ranging from 25, 38, 50, 62, 100, or the double metric century of 124 miles. Although all cyclists should be fully prepared when they take to the roads you can enjoy the added security of knowing that there is ride support if needed and food stops along all of the routes. The 25 mile loop is perfect for the first timer to an organized event. All routes start and finish at the legendary Boundary Bay Brewery.

SPEC Whatcom County Farm Tour–– Whatcom County,10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Head out with family and friends for a chance to see, taste and explore Whatcom County’s diverse familyowned farms, on this free, selfguided tour.8 farms, 2 wineries & 1 fabulous Farmers Market. http:// events/ whatcom-county-farm-tour-2

RUN/WALK Hammer Nutrition Two Bear Marathon and Half Marathon––The Wave, 7:30 am – 3:00 pm

Friday, 20 September BIKE the Intrepid––7:00 am – Sunday @ 4:00 pm. 3 days, 300 miles, 20,000 feet Done the GranFondo’s? The Intrepid is the next challenge in cycling. 3 day stage ride in BC’s Okanagan Valley, Sept. 20 to 22, 2013. Ride from Kelowna to Big White, to Osoyoos, to Penticton Adventurous, Fraternal, Intimate.


851 Coho Way Bellingham, WA 360.734.3336

SUNDAY 9am - 4pm event listings at

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21 September - 29 September

Saturday, 21 September RUN/WALK Tour de Whidbey––Greenbank Farm, 7:00 am – 6:00 pm. Hospital fundraising ride with well-supported 10, 30,40,50,100 mile routes on Whildbey Island country road https://whidbeygen. org/wgh-foundation/tour-de-whidbey RUN/WALK Bellingham Traverse––Market Depot/Boundary Bay, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm.The Bellingham Traverse is a community event that celebrates the life-cycle of wild salmon, demonstrating the natural and urban challenges ofw their journey. Solo, tandem and relay teams challenge themselves and one another on a rugged course that highlights the City of Bellingham’s parks, Greenways system, bike-friendly roads, and open water opportunities for recreation home

Ride country roads on beautiful Whidbey Island Washington State, USA

Saturday, 28 September SPEC San Juan Island Quest Adventure Race––Orcas Island, WA, 6:00 am – 6:00 pm. Experience the San Juan Islands like never before in the San Juan Island Quest Adventure Race. Sea kayak, mt. bike, and trek between check points using only map and compass. Race it solo or with up to three of your friends. 6 hour and 12 hour options on a stunning and natural course. See you on the Island.

Saturday September 21, 2013 Platinum Spoke Sponsor

Gold Spoke Sponsors

forests above Patterson Lake in the beautiful Methow Valley! 40Km Mtn Bike/10Km Trail Run, 2nd Annual. BIKE Arbor Day Autumn Ride––Elizabeth Park, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Celebrate Bellingham’s wonderful trees with a bike ride through the historic Columbia neighborhood, honoring Arbor Day at Cornwall, Broadway and Memorial Parks. We’ll visit significant trees along the way. BIKE Cascade Cross Series Prologue–– Bellingham BMX Track, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm. The debut of our new permanent CX course! Fun practice format, mixed categories, evening races. bbmx-prologue/

Sunday, 29 September RUN/WALK Bellingham Bay Marathon, 1/2 Marathon & 5K––Bellingham Depot Market, 7:30 am – 4:00 pm. Come experience the natural beauty of Bellingham Bay, San Juan Islands, mountain views and a touch of trail in Bellingham, Washington. Enjoy what many runners have commented is “the most beautiful marathon in the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful Courses, Short Sleeve Tech shirts for Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K participants, Finisher Medal for Marathon & Half Marathon finishers, Boston Marathon qualifier, USATF Certified courses, Chip timing, Pacific Northwest’s most enthusiastic volunteers,100% of net proceeds benefit non-profit youth organizations. See complete list of beneficiariesunder Community.

BIKE Methow Valley Off-Road Duathlon–– Chickadee Trailhead, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. 40Km Mtn Bike/10Km Trail Run. Race through aspen and pine

Silver Spoke Sponsors

Team Health Northwest • Foster Pepper Parker Smith Feek • Valic Financial Advisors

Experience Yoga in a New Way

Yoga for Paddlers Runners

Susan D’Onofrio 8 Petals Yoga Studio

1317 Commercial St. #203 • Bellingham, WA for class info 44

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Fall Rock Climbing All levels – from learning the basics to learning to lead. Erie • Leavenworth • Squamish Red Rock • Joshua Tree • Moab

American Alpine Institute



Yoga with


Hikers Cyclists…and YOU!

1515 12th Street • Bellingham • 360-671-1505 •

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Silver Lake Double Cross 12 Cyclocross Races


Outdoor Festival

Cyclocross Races start at 9:30 am

Rae • Activities for kids Access to playground and water activities Guided tours through Forestry Center and Gudrum Historical House

Beer Garden and live music by BandZandt


Camping in Silver Lake Park Bicycle Mini-course for kids


13 Cross Country Races

We Frame Awesome.

Photo by Joe Martin

Proceeds from these races go to support the Friends of the Deming Library, bringing library services and cultural events to the Foothills Community.

Poster design by Carnes Media

5K and 10K Runs Start at 10 am

Contact Information For more information and registration, visit our website:



2013 Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan 2014

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Downtown Bellingham

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1 October (cont.) - 19 October

OCTOBER >>> Tuesday, 1 October RUN/WALK Fairhaven Runners Weekly Tuesday Night All-Paces Run–– Fairhaven Runners & Walkers, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Get fit, get inspired and have fun! Led by staffers Dylan & Jeva, runs are 20 minutes out and back on two key routes, by the water or through the woods. Participants are divided into groups ranging from run/walk to seven minute pace.

Thursday, 3 October RUN/WALK Natural Running 101––MEC North Vancouver, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm ContentPrimary/Community/Events/ EventsCalendar/BC.jsp

Friday, 4 October SPEC Racehorse Creek: First Friday Field Trips with the Steward–– Racehorse Creek and Bear Creek, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm. Spend a day in the woods! Racehorse Creek is a popular spot for local recreation, so you may get conscripted to haul some trash out and kick apart a fire ring or two, but it will be worth it. Fossils are abundant, the creek is, well—a racehorse of a waterway, and the geology is raw.Please call ahead (360 650-9470) or email Greg@ to reserve a spot.

Saturday, 5 October BIKE Cascade Cross Series #1–– Bellingham BMX Track, 9:30 pm – Oct 6 @ 3:00 pm. Partnering for a huge double-header with MFG Cyclocross series of Seattle.

Saturday, 12 October RUN/WALK MVHS Band-Aid Fun Run––Skagit Valley College, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Saturday, 12 October - Sunday, 13 October BIKE Silver Lake Double Cross – Cascade Cross Series #2––Silver Lake Park. Silver Lake Double Cross Outdoor Festival – Cascade Cross Series #2 First


annual outdoor cycling & running festival in Maple Falls,WA and a fundraiser for Friends of the Deming Public Library. Cyclocross race on Saturday, 5K/10K Cross Country run on Sunday. Overnight camping reserved within the venue. Beer garden, DJ & live music, and food trucks! Band Zandt plays 4pm to dusk. Breakfast Sunday from Lion’s Club of Everson. Kids events & facilities, beautiful lake with water activities, forestry center tours, a raffle, and more! races/double-cross

Sunday, 13 October RUN/WALK DiabloMan Triathlon––Mt. Diablo State Park, 7:00 am – 3:30 pm. diabloman-triathlon/

Monday, 14 October RUN/WALK Steve King 100 Classic Relay & Ultra––Princeton to Summerland, 6:00 am – 7:00 pm. 100 KM Realy upto 8 members, 100 KM Ultra/Solo.

Wednesday, 16 October SPEC Antarctica: A Year on Ice–– Pickford Film Center, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Adventures NW presents Antarctica: A Year on Ice. This stunning new film from Director Anthony Powell explores the frozen landscapes of Antarctica with remarkable time-lapse photography and amazing visuals that tell a compelling story about our role in nature and the effects of climate change on this most remote continent. Reception with the director at 6 p.m. (light snacks and no-host bar) followed by a screening at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, 19 October RUN/WALK Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon––Lake Padden,


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19 October (cont.) - 8 November Bellingham, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Lake Padden Trail Half – a 13.1 mile TRAIL half-marathon to support the kids! SPEC WMBC 3rd Annual Shoot the Trails Awards––Depot Market Square, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Mountain Bike Video and Photography Contest, Prizes, Raffle, Beer! Come out and support your local Trail Building and Advocacy Organization! For contest rules and event updates: www.whimpsmtb. org RUN/WALK Run with the Kokanee-5 & 10k Fun Run––Lake Sammamish State Park, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Thursday, 24 October SPEC 14th Annual Mt. Baker Ski Area Film Festival––Mount Baker Theatre, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Saturday, 26 October BIKE Cascade Cross Series #3: Woolley Cross––Northern State Rec Area, 9:30 am – 3:00 pm. Now a classic & favorite venue of NW ‘cross racers! RUN/WALK Freaky 5K Zombie Run––Federal Way Community Center, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm.

Sunday, 27 October RUN/WALK Snohomish River Run Half Marathon & 10k––Rotary Park, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm.

Sunday, 3 November BIKE Cascade Cross Series #5: Cross Border Clash––Day 2 of double header at Transition Bikes HQ, Delta Tech Industrial Park, 9:30-3:00pm. Beer garden, camping on Saturday night, USA v Canada battle for the Clash Cup! http://www.

Friday, 8 November SPEC Ticket To Ride – Warren Miller film––Mt. Baker Theatre, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm. The world’s leading winter sports film producer, Warren Miller Entertainment has announced its highly-anticipated 64th annual film will be titled Ticket to Ride. Staying true to its title, the newest installment of the legendary film series takes ski fans on an action-packed ride to the world’s most exotic destinations including The Alaskan Tordrillos, Switzerland’s Jungfrau, Iceland’s Troll Peninsula and beyond. The skiers starring in Ticket to Ride are as diverse as the terrain and include World Cup champions, legBetween Milepost 20 - 21 Mt. Baker Hwy., Deming Ph 360/599-BEER (2337)

RUN/WALK Run Scared 5K––Seward Park, Seattle, 9:00 am – 11:00 am.

NOVEMBER >>> Friday, 1 November SPEC Allied Arts Juried Artist Series: Nature Walk–– Allied Arts of Whatcom County, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday, 2 November RUN/WALK Mud and Chocolate Run––Redmond Watershed Preserve, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Saturday, 2 November BIKE Cascade Cross Series #4: Cross Border Clash––Transition Bikes HQ, 9:30 am – 3:00 pm. Day 1 of double header at Transition Bikes HQ, Delta Tech Industrial Park, 9:30-3:00pm. Beer garden, camping, USA v Canada battle for the Clash Cup! Visit Adventures for complete listings of Outdoor events through 2013

Come In, Explore & Discover


Find the best GUIDE BOOK for your next day trip or big adventure. New, used, bargain, electronic... we’ve got the books you need!

1200 11th St in Historic Fairhaven, Bellingham • 360.671.2626 • 800.392.BOOK • event listings at

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race I play I experience endary ski mountaineers and veterans of the new school. The film showcases Chris Davenport skiing the West face of the Eiger, Julia Mancuso powder chasing in the Arctic Circle and JT Holmes soaring off massive cliffs deep in central Asia.

8 November (cont.) - 1 December

Saturday, 9 November SPEC Weddings On Whidbey & Events Tour––Crockett Barn,11:30 am – 5:30 pm. Envision your perfect Whidbey Island event! Featuring 40+ wedding & event specialists. http://

DECEMBER >>> Sunday, 1 December RUN/WALK Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon–– Seattle Center, 7:00 am – 2:30 pm.

Saturday, 16 November BIKE Cascade Cross Series #6:Thanks Given’er––Lutherwood Bible Camp, 9:30 am – 3:00 pm. Camping, cabins, & BBQ hosted by Lutherwood Bible Camp, and a radically difficult course! Guided trail rides Sunday. http://www. SPEC North to the Yukon: Into the Tombstone Range––Whatcom Museum - Old City Hall, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Photographer John D’Onofrio presents his images of the spectacular landscapes of Tombstone Territorial Park, located in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Tombstone is one of North America’s newest wilderness areas and has been called “Canada’s Patagonia” for the soaring monoliths that rise from the northern tundra. A visit to the park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the autumn, when the northern landscape is ablaze with fall color and the northern lights dance in the sky. Visit Adventures for complete listings of Outdoor events through 2013

Tickets onsale at

Advertiser Index

Thursday, 21 November

7C Creative................................................................................ 46 The Alley District................................................................ 24-25 American Alpine Institute........................................................ 44 Backcountry Essentials............................................................. 41 Back Porch Wine & Spirits...................................................... 40 Bellewood Acres Farm...............................Inside Front Cover Bellingham Automotive............................................................ 49 Bellingham Bay Marathon........................................................ 46 Bellingham Frameworks........................................................... 45 Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism................................. 47 Bellwether Jazz Festival......................................................Insert Boundary Bay Brewery............................................................ 43 Brandon Nelson - Re/Max Realty............................................ 7 Bruce Cox Motors................................................................... 18 Chuckanut Bay Art Gallery..................................................... 40 Clarity Massage & Wellness.................................................... 33 Colophon Cafe.......................................................................... 23 Community Food Co-Op....................................................... 40 D’Anna’s Cafe Italiano.............................................................. 45 Danne Neill - Muljat Group.................................................... 39 Dave Mauro - UBS Financial Services................................... 15 Dawn Durand - Windermere Real Estate............................. 3 Entertainment Media................................................................ 48 Everybody Bike.......................................................................... 31 Fairhaven Bike & Ski................................................................... 9 Fairhaven Pizza & Prawns........................................................ 34 Fairhaven Runners & Walkers................................................. 17 Gato Verde Sailing....................................................................... 4 Inner Passage.............................................................................. 12 Iron Street Printing................................................................... 33 JM Electric................................................................................... 49 Josh Feyen - Re/Max Realty.................................................... 44 Klicks Running & Walking.......................................................... 3 Kulshan Brewery......................................................................... 8 Lake Padden Trail Half Marathon........................................... 35

and venue outlets.


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Yakima Spokane* Portland * Richland Tacoma Bellingham Bellevue

10/24 10/25 10/25 & 27 10/26 11/2 11/8 11/9

Bremerton 11/14 Olympia 11/15 - 11/16 Auburn 11/20 Everett 11/21 Seattle 11/22 - 11/23 Kirkland 11/26 - 11/27 New venue locations. *Go to for more info


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6 December - 14 December Friday, 6 December

Saturday, 14 December

BIKE Superhero Lighted Bike Parade––Bellingham Public Market, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm. Don your superhero cape and light up the holiday Art Walk as we parade slowly through downtown Bellingham, visiting the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

RUN/WALK Deception Pass 50k/25k––Deception Pass State Park, 7:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Advertiser Index

LFS Marine & Outdoor............................................................ 43 Lithtex NW................................................................................ 49 Mallard Ice Cream..................................................................... 37 Meridian Tire................................................................................ 6 Mount Baker Guides................................................................ 13 Mt Baker Foothills Chamber.................................................. 45 Mt Baker Ski Area..................................................................... 21 Nooksack River Casino.......................................... Back Cover North Cascades Institute.......................................................... 8 North Cascades Mountain Guides....................................... 38 North Cascades Mountain Hostel........................................ 13 North Fork Brewery .............................................................. 47 NW European Autoworks...................................................... 19 Old Fairhaven Association....................................................... 42 Quicksilver Photo Lab............................................................. 43 Pizza Pipeline.............................................................................. 51 The ReStore............................................................................... 48 Sally Farrell - Coldwell Bain Real Estate.............................. 34 San Juan Sailing............................................................................. 6 Silver Lake Double Cross........................................................ 45 Skagit Valley Food Co-Op....................................................... 35 Sportsman Chalet....................................................................... 3 Superior Automotive................................................................ 38 Sustainable Connections......................................................... 49 The Wailing Goat Espresso..................................................... 38 The Whale Museum.................................................................. 31 Tour de Whidbey....................................................................... 44 Village Books.............................................................................. 47 Whatcom Educational Credit Union...................................... 4 Whatcom Family YMCA.......................................................... 23 Whatcom Land Trust..........................................................Insert Whidbey Island Bank.................................................................. 5 Yoga Northwest........................................................................ 42 Yoga with Susan D’Onofrio.................................................... 44 Zaremba Paxton PS.................................................................. 42


JM Electric 419 Hemmi Rd. Lynden, WA. 98264


360.676.1977 •

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Sometimes Local Adventures are the Best photo by SUE COTTRELL On this crisp October morning I travelled a mere five minutes from my home to Lake Padden, a Bellingham City Park. When I arrived, the fog was rising off the lake into the clear, deep-blue sky of autumn. The refreshing chill of the air combined with the autumn colors was all the spark I needed to launch me on my early morning run. As I sat on the dock afterward another early riser came around the curve of the shore slicing through the mist with every stroke of her paddle. There was magic in the air that fall morning, the mystery of fog and mist and the wonders that emerge from them. You don’t always need to travel far for an adventure. It can often be found right out your back door. For more of Sue’s work:


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Adventures NW Fall 2013  

Adventures NW is the region’s favorite outdoor recreation, sports and lifestyle magazine, published since 2006 and focusing on all the area...