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Enjoy every page!

honor the

FLAKES glacier peak wild preservation vs recreation



to strapping on snowshoes for a cause

Solstice Ski


even you can join a trail crew

SUMMITING golden ears winter trailrunning favorites ADVENTURES with ATTITUDE

making of a mountain BOY

Plan your WINTER & ALL 2012 with the race | play | experience calendar inside & online.



3k or 5k Snowshoe Walk or 3k Snowshoe Race


Sat, January 21, 2012 MT BACHELOR


Sat, February 4, 2012


British Columbia Sat, March 3, 2012 MT SEYMOUR PRESENTED BY




CONTRIBUTORS Alyson Indrunas not only adores a marmot’s whistle, she loves the hooting owl that nests near her house. When she’s not hiking trails, she’s riding her bike somewhere in the embarrassment of riches that is the Pacific Northwest. Her latest obsession is trying to improve as a cyclocross racer.

John D’Onofrio is a Bellingham-based writer/ photographer/artist. His stories appear regularly in numerous publications and his photography has been utilized in calendars, greeting cards and by the NBC and ABC television networks. You can check out his photographs at the Allied Arts Holiday Festival in Bellingham or at

Lawrence Goolsby grew up along SR 542 in the valley carved by the North Fork of the Nooksack River. His skiing career began in 1966 and ended in 2006 when he retired from Ski Patrol. His love for the mountains, over the years, has transitioned from skiing to climbing.

Abigail Sussman and ZACHARY Treisman have encountered many snowflakes. It is possible, but highly unlikely, that two of them were identical. This winter Abigail will probably not see stellar dendrite snowflakes during her stay in western Antarctica, as the cold, dry conditions usually produce small, nearly perfect hexagonal prisms. Zack will be presented by the more varied array of snowflakes typical of Colorado’s West Elk Mountains. He promises to save some for Abby when she gets back in March. Read more at


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WINTER | NEW YEAR. 2011|2012 Volume 6. Issue 4 Craig Romano is constantly on the run throughout Washington State. An avid hiker, runner, and cyclist, he is also the author of eight Washington guidebooks, including Backpacking Washington (Mountaineers Books), for which he hiked over 1,500 miles to research. When not on the trail he can often be found napping with his cats Giuseppe and Scruffy Gray. Visit him at

A bicyclist, backpacker, and regular contributor to Adventures NW, Laural Ringler has published over seventy articles in magazines such as Adventure Cyclist, Chuckanut Reader and Entertainment News Northwest. She blogs on family adventuring at, and this winter will be looking to buy cross-country skate ski gear that actually fits her.

Mike McQuaide, who was never very good at math, considers himself 50-percent road rider, 50-percent mountain biker, 50-percent runner. The Bellingham author and Seattle Times contributor has written five books including Insiders’ Guide to Bellingham and Mount Baker and Day Hike! North Cascades. His sixth, Classic Road Rides of Washington, hits stores in May 2012. Read more McQ at A graduate of Appalachian State University, Craig Popelars is a twenty-year veteran of the book publishing industry and currently serves as the marketing director of Algonquin Books. A swimmer, cyclist, mountain biker, and beer geek, Craig resides in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with his wife and daughter. He once resuscitated a pelican with mouth-to-mouth and the Heimlich maneuver after it had choked on a piece of saltwater taffy. Witnesses claimed the mouth-to-mouth wasn’t necessary.



Paul Haskins 7

reaching the peak

Making of a mountain boy crediting Franz Lawrence Goolsby 9 winter trailrunning Favorites more fun than work

joining a trail crew

Solstice Ski longest ski / shortest day

Craig Romano 13 Alyson Indrunas 19 Laural Ringler 24

Attitude anything goes

Mike McQuaide 27

snowflakes a primer

Abigail Sussman 30

preservation vs recreation Glacier Peak wild John D’Onofrio 36 Romping & stomping a novice snowshoer experience Craig Popelars 42 “Whereas in the neophyte years a climber’s youthful exuberance often requires only that the peak challenges his physical potential, in later years the mellowing process takes over and the aging mountaineer dwells more on the enjoyment of companions and shared experiences.”

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Getting Away—Pick Your Trail


Next Adventure photo


Race|Play|Experience Calendar 46-57 Race Report—Romp to Stomp


COVER Sean Davis in his element; photo by Zachary Treisman

Cascade Waves; photo by Paul Haskins

—Dee Molenaar, The Challenge of Rainier

Sometimes An Afternoon Stroll Just Takes Your Breath Away.

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WINTER | NEW YEAR. 2011|2012 Volume 6. Issue 4


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> INVOLVED... John D’Onofrio • Lawrence Goolsby Chris Gordon • Alyson Indrunas Mike McQuaide • Jennie Pittis Craig Popelars • Dana Ringler Laural Ringler • Craig Romano Abigail Sussman • Zachary Treisman

> ALSO... Norm Buckley • Jay Haskins Michael Power • Mt. Baker Ski Area Steve Roguski • Lance Romo US Forest Service Adventures NW magazine is printed by Lithtex NW Printing Solutions, Bellingham

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imagine T

he twin peaks

have occupied a spot in my imagination since I first took note of them many, many years ago. Slate blue and stately in the summer, bedecked in a gown of snow in the winter, the peaks, just north of the United States-Canadian border, stand slightly apart from their Garibaldi Range brethren—two “ears” that, on a clear day, you can see anywhere from Vancouver, BC, south to Bellingham, Washington, where I live. I often wondered what the view would be like from atop. Golden Ears, as I came to find out, is the name of the grouping of three peaks that lies within Golden Ears Provincial Park outside of Maple Ridge, BC, and includes the northwestern namesake high-point (5,630 feet), as well as Edge Peak (5,512 feet) and Blanshard Peak (5,085 feet) to the east. What’s more, I learned that there was a trail to the top of the northwest summit. With just these bits of information my imagination was fueled—I wanted to go. But life sometimes gets in the way—especially when you don’t plan otherwise—and a Golden Ears adventure sat on “The List” with all the other endeavors I had yet to accomplish. It was still there when, more than a year ago, I mentioned it to my friend Steve, an avid trail runner and founder/co-owner of Fairhaven Runners & Walkers. We were on a local group run to the top of Sehome Hill to watch the sun set on the longest day of the year, and the “Ears” stood out crisp on stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

Though the morning brings mostly blue sky to the lowlands, the mountains still hide under a blanket of last night’s clouds. Yet the rising sun photo by Steve Roguski seems determined to lift the gray sheets until they the horizon. Steve confessed that he, too, drift off harmlessly over the horizon; we are had looked to those mountains many times, fortunate. At the trailhead we eye several and he suggested we try for the summit to- other trekkers making last minute additions gether. A pact was made, and though that or subtractions to their large backpacks, summer passed without any further action, then glance at our own smaller hydration the deal was sealed when Steve emailed me packs: we’re on a trail run, and have opted in the dead of winter: “Golden Ears—the for “fast and light”—the bulk of our supply target: August 13, 2011.” being water. Already the humidity has risen and where the morning sun has hit the trail, Unfortunately, the late arrival of summer yesterday’s rain is a distant memory. 2011 precluded much access to the high country in August, so it looked as if head- The 12-kilometer trail starts out benignly ing up Golden Ears would remain on the enough and follows an old logging road bucket list for another year. But then a few before switching to singletrack. Steve and I unseasonably warm weeks and a window of set a pace that takes advantage of the more opportunity in the guise of a “mostly sunny” gentle grade and are soon ticking off the red day—flanked on either side by “showers”— diamond marks attached to trees that desigpresented itself in late September. Come nate the trail as well as signal half-kilometer what may, we decided to go for it. increments. We know from our research that the total elevation gain over the first 5k Golden Ears peak; photo by Paul Haskins is only 750 feet. Even so, there are sections of the trail that rise and drop sharply and slow us to a walk. With the rising humidity and no wind, I’m soon covered in sweat. Steve, though, having spent a good amount of time in the South, seems immune to the heat. “Humidity? What humidity?” After several stream crossings (one of which is particularly cool—a continued >>>

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<<< GOLDEN, continued from previous page

long cedar boardwalk that zigzags around trees and boulders strewn about in the stream bed), we reach Alder Flats, a campground that’s snuggled in next to one of the drainage basins. Here, in the confusion of willy-nilly trails to hither and yon, we briefly lose our way. But, thanks to the red diamond trail markers, we soon locate the overlooked turn and regain the trail. Now we start up—4,500 additional feet in about 4 miles—and any thoughts of running are soon dismissed. The grade and general state of the trail boggles my mind. We gotta go up there!? I think as the next marker leads us up a drainage. We must have lost the trail! when we’re caught in a patch of dense side growth, only to see the next mark through the foliage a bit further ahead. Looks like a dead-end. But then Steve points up. Yep, I think looking higher and taking a giant-step up, there’s the mark. I am dripping with sweat, but there is a little breeze as we gain Panorama Ridge and it feels so very good against my skin. The clouds that we had been climbing toward have moved off, and as we negotiate our way along the steep crest we finally catch our first look at the summit. It seems a long way off still. But it’s always like that. Things that appear far off and difficult to reach tend to be much closer and surprisingly easier than imagined. As the ridge we’re following reaches a saddle, I spot the A-frame of the emergency shelter that sits further up. It takes us another forty minutes of monster-steps before we reach the shelter. Just past this point, we come to a snowfield. The crossing from here becomes unclear. Some of the red diamonds have turned white with age and exposure to UV rays, making them harder to spot. So like moths to the light Steve and I forego the hunt for the markers, step carefully onto the hard snow, and head toward the summit. That is to say, we go the wrong way. We follow what looks to be a clearly established trail across the icy, sun-cupped snow10

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field, dirty boot tracks leading the way until the tracks diminish in the cleansing snow and all evidence of a trail is gone; the pitch increases dangerously as we near an upper ridge. Tired and reaching our angles of repose, we prudently stop and look around. There it is. Plain as day. Fifty feet up and a couple hundred feet to the left is the magic red marker hidden in the shadow of a group of trees. Though we both had researched the trails and read numerous cautions to “stay left of the knob,” we (and obviously many before us too) have failed to stay left of the correct knob that is further to the left than the knob which we are currently staying left of. We carefully backtrack and traverse over to the correct trail, which now seems obvious (plus it’s snow-free and much safer). Another round of mega-steps and … We’re there. Neither of us is expecting it, yet we are suddenly standing at the top. Off to the north is wave after wave of Coast Mountains ranges. Looking east and south are the summits of the other Ear (Edge Peak), and across the Fraser River valley are the foothills of the Cascade Range building to the crests of Mount Shuksan and Mount Baker. In between we can clearly see towns, roads, fields and forests. The skyscape of Vancouver to the west looks like a minia-

photo by Paul Haskins

ture toy-set plunked in front of the Salish Sea. We can even make out Bellingham—at least the expansive bay backdropped by our hometown Chuckanut Mountains. For all our efforts, we spend far too short a time on the top. Our window is closing; as if on cue a high layer of clouds moves in from the south, covering the sun and heralding the coming of tomorrow’s forecasted rain. We descend, careful with our steps on the steepest parts. Dropping back under the canopy of the forest, the greenhouse-like humidity engulfs us again. We negotiate our way down (down, down), and a little past Alder Flats we pause at one of the stream crossings. I’m all for full emersion and a long soak, but in the interest of time I settle for rinsing my hands and face in the cool goodness before setting out—finally back at a running pace—again. Roughly eight hours after kissing our sweeties goodbye at the trailhead, we arrive back to their welcoming cheers and a selection of celebratory IPAs and tasty treats. We’re elated. Perseverance, luck and a bit of prudence have brought us to the summit and back, and Steve and I now know what it is to look from the top of the twin peaks that have so long absorbed our imaginations.

Making of a mountain Boy or:


photo courtesy Mt. Baker Ski Area

the goodness of franz gabl story by Lawrence Goolsby

n the winter of 1965 when

I was just eleven years old, my family relocated from San Diego via Oak Harbor to a farm near Kendall along the Mt. Baker Highway. A new school, foothills snow, and living in a logging community was quite a change for me and my siblings. My parents purchased a couple of cows and pigs, and we traded our city clothes for farm duds. By the following October, my parents found that a single income was not enough to keep us afloat,

so my mother took a job as a lift operator at the Mt. Baker Ski Area. Back then, the ski hill had just one lodge, two chairlifts and four rope tows; my mother worked at the top of Panorama Dome. At that time, my entire knowledge about skiing came from “ABC Wide World

My “ski clothing” consisted of basically the same clothes I wore when I milked the cows...

of Sports,” and I hadn’t seen an episode in at least a year because our television channels were limited to fuzzy 6 and fuzzy 8. But with my mother working on the mountain, I joined her as often as possible: I was determined to learn to ski. My “ski clothing” consisted of basically the same clothes I wore when I milked the cows—everything was cotton—but I had $20 of birthday money so I used it to purchase used skis, boots and continued >>>

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<<< GABL, continued from previous page

poles. Knowing better than to ask my parents for any money (and not knowing that as a dependent of a mountain employee I was entitled to a free lift ticket), my ski days consisted of post-holing up gentle slopes before slipping into my cable bindings and pointing myself downhill. I did this all day long until my mother got off work when the lifts shut down. Because of wet snowfall or when I fell too much, I would often be soaked and cold before noon. One way I warmed up was to duck into the ski shop and browse in the warmth of the store. After a few weekends of this ritual, the store’s owner, instead of chasing me out as I expected, asked (in his thick Austrian accent) why he was seeing me there every weekend. I told him about my mom working on the mountain and that I was teaching myself to ski. He just nodded as if in approval and merely introduced himself before he went back to his tasks. His name was Franz Gabl.

That first winter, I climbed up and skied down those hills at least eight days a month. The exercise, the thrill of skiing, and the warm ski shop kept me going

... I climbed up and skied down those hills at least eight days a month. The exercise, the thrill of skiing, and the warm ski shop kept me going through the wet and cold. through the wet and cold. Franz’s added generosity helped too. He began by helping me buy (giving me a discount and allowing me to have a tab) proper ski clothing, like nylon shell pants, a nylon coat, and mitts made of leather. I felt like I could ski all day with the new gear! At the end of my first season skiing at Baker, I became the beneficiary of two extraordinary gifts: first, I was told that as a child of an employee, I could get a free lift ticket anytime I wanted; second, I received a card from Franz stating that my account

was paid in full. I was astonished. I had yet to pay him a single dime and I had done nothing to warrant such a kind gesture! When I thanked him he blew it off saying it was nothing, and returned to putting skis back into a rack. The following three winters, I returned to the mountain every weekend, happy to ride the chair. Thanks to a few summer jobs, I was able to retire my wood skis and buy a pair of used K2s, buckle-up boots, and even real goggles. I didn’t stop into the ski shop as often, but Franz’s regard for me had not ended. When my skis delaminated in their first month, Franz replaced them at no charge—despite the fact that they were used and I hadn’t bought them from him. The new skis also came with new bindings—another gift. With a long season, good clothing, and quality gear, my skills flourished so well that I was able to pass the ski patrol exam and plan for work on the hill the following winter. In between, a summer with many part-time jobs helped me save up almost

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photo courtesy Lawrence Goolsby

$150. To a 15-year-old in 1969, this was and stayed on patrol for 15 years amidst a lot of money, but it didn’t go far when many career and life changes. I hadn’t seen Franz since the early 70s; I started shopping for new ski clothes and gear. Luckily, my benefactor, Franz, sold me he’d sold both his mountain and city ski shops sometime between my accident and a new pair of Head skis for five dollars. But by winter of 1970 my goal was to my return to skiing, and I never heard his buy the best ski equipment available: the name spoken again. I’d almost forgotten all same gear that Jean Claude Killy had made about him and his generosity. But in winter famous in the 1968 Olympics. I had earned of 2001 his memory resurfaced. It was a almost $1,000 over the summer from buck- busy period for me—working full time at ing hay, picking berries and, in my spare St. Joseph’s Hospital, patrolling at Baker, time, peeling and selling Cascara bark (it and teaching part-time at Bellingham brought in ten cents a pound). The day I Technical College—when a student came walked out of Franz’s store carrying a new to me with a book bound in solid black, pair of red, white and blue K2 Competition insisting I read it. I told him I just didn’t skis and a pair of Raichle Red Hot ski boots have the time, but he went as far as to push was a proud one for me—my first time to the book into my hands. “Larry, this is a most amazing story have paid him full retail price. I was living the dream. I had my driver’s about a guy who survived four years on license and had purchased a beat-up 56’ Ford the Russian front in the worst imaginable (no more hitchhiking!). Instead of ski patrol conditions. To top that off, he won a medal that season, I took a job cleaning the ski in the first Winter Olympics following the lodge at night. For the first time in my life, war.” The spine of the book read Franzl: The I had an income through the winter months Story of Franz Gabl. I don’t know who was and was still able to ski during the day. A year later, just five months after turn- more incredulous: me, or my student when I replied, “I ing seventeen, know this my skiing dreams guy.” were shattered. I took A car accident the book left me with a and, despite severely crushed my limited lower leg and a time, I finbroken jaw. The ished it in skiing career that two days— Franz had helped Lawrence Goolsby with Franz Gabl amazed (and me to achieve efsomewhat fectively ended in ashamed) to a heartbeat. ... deep down I know that it learn so much It was anothwas just who Franz was—a I’d never known er ten years, 1981, until I tried to ski man who had experienced the about a man again. I was surworst in mankind, but a man who’d helped me prised to discover who chose to better himself. become who I am now. that I’d retained Today, whenever I run into someone 98% of my skill. I took the ski patrol exam again and was accepted back on patrol, from that era who had lived near and/or but being the owner of a busy bicycle shop skied at Baker, I ask if they’ve read Franz’s then, and a delay in sufficient snowfall until book. Invariably, most know of him, but as after Christmas, prevented me from skiing it turns out, few are familiar with his automuch, let alone patrolling. For the next biography or really knew Franz as anyone ten years I skied only occasionally until, in other than that nice man who sold skis. 1991, I took the exam once more, passed, continued >>> race | play | experience


<<< GABL, continued from previous page

I think back to the young boy I was and those winter days when I trudged, wet and freezing, to the sanctuary of Franz’s shop. During all the years that he helped me, he never once treated me like a charity case. He never told me just how cold a person could get. He acted as if it was the most natural thing in the world to offer me a warm place to dry out, and that providing an eager, but obviously poor, kid with some ski gear was his pleasure. I’d like to believe that Franz saw something in me that inspired his generosity, but deep down I know that it was just who Franz was—a man who had experienced the worst in mankind, but a man who chose to better himself. By doing so, he became a champion in his own right, as well as to others—helping to better lives such as mine.

ABOUT FRANZ GABLE: Franz X. Gabl was born in Austria in 1921 and became an avid downhill skier and mountain climber. After Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938, Gabl was drafted into the army and sent to the Russian Front from 1941 to 1945. After becoming a prisoner of war in a Russian-controlled camp, Gabl escaped and made his way back to his hometown of St. Anton in 1945. His passion for the mountains never wavered, and in 1948 at the Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, Franz Gabl won a Silver Medal for his home country in Downhill Skiing—the first ever Olympic medal won by an Austrian for the event. He later became a ski instructor in British Columbia, coaching the Canadian Olympic Ladies’ Ski Team in 1952 and the Men’s Ski Team in 1956. After settling in Washington, Gabl owned a ski shop at Mt. Baker Ski Area and one in downtown Bellingham, and he became instrumental in initiating Whatcom County’s annual Ski to Sea race. In 1995 he wrote his autobiography, Franzl: the Story of Franz Gabl, and a sequel (2000) Franzl II: From 4 Years on the Russian Front, 1941-1945, To Standing on the Olympic Podium in 1948; both books are currently out of print, but copies can often be found through used book suppliers.

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Beyond the Chuckanuts

Winter trailrunning destinations

from a newly minted ultra runner

... there are scores of alternative places perfect for trailrunning and ultra training. Let me share some of them with you, because I won’t mind a little company out there this winter.


underwent a grand transformation this year: I crossed

story & photos by Craig

Romano Cascade Trail

a threshold that I never could have imagined crossing when I first began running decades ago. I became an ultra runner! Yep—started running beyond the marathon and haven’t looked back. My transformation was both long in coming and swift. You see, I’ve been running since my 20s—including marathons—and hiking since my teens, having put many a marathon distance on the trail in my hiking boots. While researching my Backpacking Washington book which required me to put over 1,500 miles on the trail, I started thinking I should give ultra running a go. After all, it would be much easier covering great distances without a backpack. Finally, my impending 50th birthday earlier this year made me want to prove that I wasn’t old yet. So, I set a challenge for myself. How about running 50 miles for my 50th birthday? And why not the White River 50—make it a real challenge!? To get there, I ran my first 50k in April; second in May; third in June. The coveted 50 miler was in July—the White River, which entails 8,700 feet of vertical climbing and a cutoff time of 14 hours all within the shadows of Mount Rainier. I crossed that threshold and am now hooked on ultra trailrunning. continued >>>

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can get a good hill workout on this peak, which is easily accessible from just outside the town of Alger. I’ve used it for my sustained elevation runs while peaks farther east are buried in snow. The trail utilizes new and old logging roads traversing dense forest and clear cuts. Don’t complain about the cuts, though, for they offer gorgeous views of the San Juan Islands and Lake Whatcom. Skagit River Valley If you prefer your trails less vertically challenging, head for the valleys. One of my favorite flat-ish routes for a long run is

Little Mountain Park

<<< WINTER TRAILS, continued from previous page

There are two great advantages to living in Northwest Washington when it comes to year-round ultra trailrunning and training. One, winters are pretty mild (I grew up in New Hampshire, trust me on this one). And two, we are surrounded by thousands of acres of public lands traversed by miles and miles of trails. A bonus for people who live or visit outside the greater Seattle area (with its busy trailrunning destinations like Tiger Mountain, Cougar Mountain, and Mount Si), is that most of our regional trail training grounds aren’t crowded! Well, except perhaps for the Chuckanuts at times. But there are scores of alternative places perfect for trailrunning and ultra training. Let me share some of them with you, because I won’t mind a little company out there this winter. 16

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Mount Vernon Right in the city limits of Mount Vernon is Little Mountain Park; with over 500 acres it is the city’s largest park, and its 934-foot peak offers stunning views of the Skagit Valley. Thanks to an active volunteer trail building movement, there are currently over eight miles of good trails in place. Have you ever wondered what that prominent peak is rising to the north above the Skagit Valley wedged between the Chuckanuts and Lyman Mountain? It can be seen from all over the greater Mount Vernon area, yet few people know its name, never mind have ventured upon it. It’s Anderson Mountain, a 3,300-foot peak that just happens to have the Pacific Northwest Trail barreling right over it. You

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the Cascade Trail. Soft surfaced and practically level, this former rail line travels for 23 miles from Sedro-Woolley to Concrete, much of it through farmlands, forests and wetlands; a particularly scenic stretch just outside of Lyman even takes you right along the Skagit River. A few of my fellow Skagit Runners club members and I frequently do what we have dubbed the “Annie’s Pizza Run”—a one-way from Sedro-Woolley to Annie’s Pizza in Concrete, a nice place to restore 23 mile’s worth of lost calories. If you plan on doing your own version of this run, be sure to arrange for a shuttle, lest you want to run 23 miles more back continued >>>

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<<< WINTER TRAILS, continued from previous page

East Bank Trail

to your vehicle! In February, Skagit Runners hosts the low-key and unofficial Woolley Runs on the Cascade Trail—half marathon, marathon, and 50k out-and-back runs followed by a celebration with cool finisher medals and a BBQ. Upriver, if snow hasn’t yet blanketed the Skagit River valley, the East Bank Trail and Thunder Creek Trail also offer excellent valley running. The East Bank Trail in particular makes for a great adventure along Ross Lake. When the water taxi starts up again in late spring, consider taking it to Hozomeen Campground and running back to SR 20 for a one-way adventure of just over 50 kilometers. It is a classic run through some spectacular North Cascades wilds. Thunder Creek Trail is even wilder, heading through a valley of impressive oldgrowth giants. I once encountered a moose (yes, a moose this far west) trailrunning (yes, running on the trail) right toward me. He offered a better energy stimulant than any of my sports gels, beans, or bars.

Hozomeen Lake

Snohomish County Snohomish County offers some good winter running spots too. Wallace Falls State Park outside of Gold Bar is both popular and populated, so veer away from the main falls trails and head to Wallace and Jay lakes instead. Lord Hill Regional Park, accessed from the Old Snohomish-Monroe Road, is the largest Snohomish County park, with over 1,300 acres and offering miles of trails through mature second-growth forest. The park is host to several trailrunning events throughout the year. Prepare for a little mud if you plan to tackle the trails during the wetter months. >>>Race | Play | Experience note: Scores of trailrunning events throughout the year and region are listed in this issue’s calendar, beginning on page 46. These runs—and other events—are also listed in the online version at


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Orcas Island Orcas is a wonderful destination (if you’re not lucky enough to live there) for winter trailrunning, and the island’s milder weather may mean staying a little drier during your training. Both the Turtleback Mountain Preserve and Moran State Park are prime running spots with extensive trail systems covering varied terrain. Turtleback offers some invigorating hill climbing to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking West Sound and Waldron Island. Moran contains over 30 miles of well-built trails on its 5,000-plus acres. Here you can run through old growth forest, alongside cascades and lakes, and to the top of 2,409-foot Mount Constitution for supreme views of the San Juan Islands and beyond. One of the first organized trail runs I ever participated in was the Orcas Island Fat Ass 25K, held in February giving me the memorable experience of running up and over Orcas twice—in the snow! continued >>>


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Lower British Columbia When it comes to winter trailrunning in these parts, don’t forget about the great white north! British Columbia offers some fine long-distance snow-free running trails. The Campbell Valley Regional Park, in Langley, has nearly 20 miles of trails traversing rolling countryside. The park also protects several historic farm structures that harken back to a time when the Lower Mainland wasn’t a sprawling metropolitan area. Several of the trails have recently been extended for the park’s 30th anniversary. In Abbotsford, I like the Matsqui Trail, which runs for over eight miles along the Fraser River and is a part of the longer Centennial Trail, so you can run a lot farther if you’d like—out to Sumas Mountain east or Douglas Taylor Park west. Both of these destinations will add some hill work to your run. And in

Chilliwack, the Rotary Vedder River Trail is a really nice option. This wide graveled path extends nearly 10 miles along the river, passing by rapids and beneath big cottonwoods, some home to a raucous heron rookery. Now, while there certainly is a wide variety of trails to choose from in our area for ultra running training and to keep things fresh, you can still occasionally find me sprinting and slogging along trails in the Chuckanuts. After all, there’s really good terrain there— including some new trails—and lots of eye-popping viewpoints like the islanddotted one from Oyster Dome that you can never grow tired of. Okay—I’ll catch up with you later—need to get a long run in right now!

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More Fun Than Work:

Joining a Trail Crew near Baker Lake

Story & photos by

Alyson Indrunas Washington Trails Association Back Country Response Team


ooking to diversify your winter workout? Need an excuse to do some year-round hiking? Let me recommend

volunteering for the Washington Trails Association (WTA) trail crew. Sure, it’s “work,” but here are some secrets: it’s more fun than work, it adds satisfaction to your day-hike, and if I can swing a pulaski without maiming myself, you can too.


hen I showed up on my first volunteer day, I looked around at the group of 15 people who had gathered at the site. The oldest was a man whom I mistook for being in his early 60s (he was 75) and the youngest volunteers were a group of college freshmen fulfilling court-ordered community service for something that I suspect involved beer and bad judgment. There were also a few women in their 40s accompanied by their pre-teen children, and a couple around my thirtysomething age. After some quick introductions, we listened and watched as the leaders gave a mini-lesson on trail crew work and the tools of the trade. The pulaski—a tool with an adze on one side and an ax on the other—the assistant told us, is named after Ed Pulaski, a forest service ranger who saw the need for a more

... here are some secrets: it’s more fun than work, it adds satisfaction to your day-hike, and if I can swing a pulaski without maiming myself, you can too.

efficient forest fire-fighting tool at the turn of the 20th century. Also good for both cutting wood or scraping soil, the pulaski makes the perfect trail building and maintenance tool. I liked the heft and practicality of the implement right away. We also got familiar with shovels, bush trimmers and brush whips—especially how to avoid injury with them. After the leaders checked to make sure that everyone had lunch, gloves, long pants and boots, we were ready to hit the trail. In my backpack I also had water, a camera, bug spray, and some first aid. Since it was my first time on a trail crew and I enjoy a challenge, I eagerly volunteered to carry the pulaski (with the ax blade side down) and a shovel (gripped at the shovel end). What I didn’t expect was how tired my continued >>>

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So many of them passing thanked us for our time, and Tim made a point of letting them know who we were and what were doing.

Back at our meeting place the end of the day, Tim set a cooler full of sodas, juices, and cookies on the tailgate of his truck. This final gathering for snacks is one WTA way of thanking volunteers for their day’s service (and that cold juice went down nicely); but

When I first looked at the tree, I was certain that it would take serious heavy equipment to move it, and not eight people with mere hand tools.

<<<CREW, continued from previous page

arms would get from carrying two tools. Within the first mile I suffered the strain in silence and maintained chat-mode with the people around me until the pitch tilted upwards. Then I just focused on my breathing. Right when I was about to pull aside to catch my breath and rest, Tim, the leader, made us stop to listen to a bird. I don’t remember the Latin name for the bird or what else he said about it, but I appreciated the courteous way Tim gave us a break without calling attention to our fatigue. He did the same thing again when he spotted a discarded granola bar wrapper, which he pointed out as evidence of “Human ignoramus.” Forces of nature, we saw, are not the only enemy to maintained trails. When we arrived at the site, the leaders quickly put us in trios along the trail. I was assigned to work on “tread”—widening the trail and creating a 45-degree angle to help direct water erosion. Some volunteers were to collect baseball-sized rocks to fortify a small footbridge. Others were to cut back nettles and blackberry vines. For three hours we all got to work, heads mostly down focused on the task at hand, but we always stopped and looked up with a greeting when hikers came along. 22

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(I could tell that a few hikers were relieved to know we were not a convict chain gang.) At lunchtime, we hiked a quarter-mile to a cliff across from a large waterfall. Some volunteers took a quiet moment for themselves; others settled in the same circle that I did with Tim to exchange hiking stories while we ate. Having only known these people for a few hours, I still felt a kinship with them—a commonality that became a signature trait of every WTA outing since then. After the break, we resumed our posts and got to it.

for me, seeing how different the trail looked before we hiked back down relative to when we started was reward enough.


fter participating in a few more work parties, I decided to look into ways to go further with the WTA. One option is the Volunteer Vacation, where for a small fee the WTA packs in and cooks all of your food (meals that I heard go way beyond the dehydrated boil-the-bag food that I usually eat in the backcountry), and some obliging horses carry the gear. If the fee is not in your budget, you can do what I did, which is join a Back Country Response Team (BCRT). The BCRTs embark on slightly more arduous outings to Arlen, crew leader, checks a bridge near Baker Lake

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near Baker Lake

more remote worksites that require more than a day’s hike. Volunteers pack it all in themselves as anyone would on a normal multi-day backpacking trip—except in this case they’re also carrying the tools. As an experienced backpacker, I loved this extra challenge.

With a plan in place for the next day, we hiked back to camp, made a fire to cook, and got to know one another over dinner. Once the stars came out we retired to our tents and switched on headlamps to read or write or get extra sleep for the day ahead. After breakfast the next morning,

No, you don’t have to have a beard or be built like a grizzled lumberjack Like the single-day work parties, my first BCRT trip involved the tool and safety lecture before our group of eight hit the trail, in this case to Spider Gap, near Leavenworth. After a five-mile hike in, we set up camp in a spectacular meadow, found places to hang our bear bags, and then went to check out the work site where our job would be to break down a massive tree that had been pulled down in an avalanche and come to rest in a creek crossing, catching large amounts of debris and essentially redirecting water down the trail instead of across. When I first looked at the tree, I was certain that it would take serious heavy equipment to move it, and not eight people with mere hand tools. Yet our leader was undaunted and quickly described where we should, taking turns, split the tree with an ax to reroute the water. stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

we set out feeling light compared to the previous day, with just small daypacks and tools. Thus unburdened, I fought the urge to skip through the meadow. One guy broke out in a call-and-response song with a nearby squeaking marmot. (I hadn’t yet confessed my enduring love for the Hoary Marmot’s plaintive whistle, and I secretly decided that this guy was a friend.) Back at the work site, we split the work based on body type. The shorties, including me, took on the drainage and weeding. The taller folks took turns axing the very large tree. Our leader, Peter, took his turn first, effortlessly swinging the ax and demonstrating proper technique. An hour later, I asked if I could give the ax a shot. After just three swings, I felt like my shoulder blades were on fire. And try as I might, I had no aim. Splitting dry wood continued >>>

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<<<CREW, continued from previous page

for the fireplace is one thing, but trying to notch a waterlogged tree is for the Herculean. At the end of the day, dirty and exhausted, we stashed the tools in the brush and headed back to camp. Before dinner we took advantage of the sun’s last light to clean up and to rest in its warmth. The long, hard day and the nourishing meal meant an early night for all. The next day, we continued work where we had left off. After a few more hours of chopping, the tree finally came apart and the water rushed through, muddy and furious from being suddenly redirected off trail—our efforts worked! It was like pulling a plug in a bathtub. As I watched this radical change in the creek flow, I thought about all of the hikes where I’ve traveled clear trails without a thought as to who maintains them. My introspection was interrupted by a group of day-hikers who would be the first to traverse our neat path of boulders over to the other side of the creek. After they passed, I acknowledged our work with a silent nod to one of my fellow volunteers, which she returned with a small smile.


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Those hikers had no idea what a muddy boot-soaker that crossing was just two days ago. As a reward for a job well done, Peter suggested that we enact the “Have Fun” aspect of the WTA motto and hike up to Spider Gap. With just our water bottles and some snacks, we enjoyed a fast pace to the top. Nobody said a word as we contemplated the wispy clouds rolling in over the peaks. Our creek was just a tiny line in the immense valley. I noticed there were many other trees in the nearby chutes that would be slammed down in the next avalanche. Mother Nature makes sure trail crews are always needed.


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by Alyson Indrunas Need more tangible inspiration than giving something back and maintaining the places you love? After just two volunteer outings with Washington Trails Association, you can earn a Washington State Discover Pass ($30 value). After five work parties, you get your own hard hat with your name on the side! After 25 you get a fleece vest with the WTA logo, and after the 50th, you get a handsaw with your name carved on it. Getting started is easy: Read up on WTA’s website. Plan and sign up to work in an area that you are familiar with want to check out. Arrive at 8:30 a.m. sharp and meet the blue-hard-hat-wearing leader and orange-hard-hat-wearing assistant, who’ll turn you into a green-hard-hat-wearing worker for the day after giving you some general rules, but basically it’s: 1) Be Safe, 2) Have Fun, and 3) Get some work done. (I was instantly charmed because that’s how I live my life! That’s my motto!) • No, you don’t need expensive work clothes; sturdy hiking pants and other clothes you don’t mind getting dirty will do. • No, you don’t have to have a beard or be built like a grizzled lumberjack: women, the freshly shaven, the small-framed and young people make up a large part of WTA’s volunteer base. • No, you don’t need a car (WTA coordinates carpooling). • In a nutshell, if you have ever been hiking and come across a section of trail where it is obvious that somebody recently cut back weeds, fixed a bridge, rerouted a creek, or placed a sign, and you thought, “Hey, what a swell person who did that!” Well, volunteer with the WTA (or any other trail work crew for that matter) and that swell person could be you. Yes, you ANW reader!

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>>>Race | Play | Experience note: For contact info to volunteer with Washington Trails Association and other outdoor groups and agencies, see page 54 in this issue’s calendar.

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Solstice Ski: the

l o n g e s t s k i on the

story by

with Dana Ringler

shortest day

Many families with teenagers, perhaps especially those

with educator parents, feel the crescendo of the school calendar from fall into winter. We reach winter break—like reaching and crossing a finish line—gasping and spent and eager for the post-race celebration. Ours, one year, was to cross-country ski in the Methow Valley. Getting to the Methow from our corner of the northwest is a haul in winter. Highway 20 is closed, so you have to drive Stevens Pass and then head north, past Chelan. The Methow River defines the valley which begins at Pateros, where the Methow meets the Columbia, and extends almost 60 miles to Mazama. It’s dark as we navigate smaller and smaller roads in increasingly wintry conditions. When we find our rented cabin and tumble out of the car, it is to a stillness and silence we don’t get in the city. And snow. Lots of snow. Snow is one thing that we just don’t have much of in Bellingham. But I love the snow, and it certainly helps to have lots when you intend to ski. I love soft tumbling flakes glancing off my face as I turn my eyes skyward, and icicles on the cabin as tall as my dad. I love winter and its promises. By daylight, our group of eight wanders the area on an assortment of equipment. There are skate skis and classic skis and even backcountry metal-edged touring skis, but probably nothing from this decade. Outfitting teenagers’ changing feet in an activity we


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Laural Ringler

photos courtesy of Jennie Pittis

don’t do often involved some mix-and-match borrowing. Yet everyone is gliding and laughing as the snowflakes fall and we search for the river. We find the river wide and rushing, with icy swirls attached to rocks in an eddy, and a hand-crank two-person gondola spanning to an island. Our teen guy, Noah, plunges off the groomed trail to it, and has his skis off and is up in the metalwork before everyone else. His dad follows for a little safety assessment, and they decide the rusted metal, the possibility of getting stuck above a very cold river, and the question of reliable reversing to get back, make using the gondola set-up a bit dicey. We backtrack and sort out where the Methow Community Trail can be picked up. There’s a plan coming together to ski to Winthrop, a twenty-kilometer commitment round trip. We’re a reasonably fit and active bunch; the teenagers are track and cross-country runners, the adults cyclists. And the trail is marked “easy” on the map, a snakey green line to our destination, where we would eat lunch or have hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is rule one of winter expeditions and adventures. Skiing is hard work and the best thing is to have plenty of this sweet liquid to go around. Hot chocolate is even better over a game of Bananagrams at the end of the day.

The next morning energy is high as we click into our skis and start out. The snow continues to fall, tendrils of eldest teenager Lauren’s hair curl with snowflakes, and our cars are now mounds of whiteness. Which is nice, since we planned to forget about them while we were here anyway. We catch the trail a short way from the cabin and turn onto groomed corduroy for skate skiing, with a set of parallel tracks at the side for classic skiing. After skirting a meadow, we’re in the trees, which shelter us from the falling snow and create shadows even in the grey light. At a significant hill, we halt our forward progress to experience the repeated joy of skiing down. The trail wanders through meadows, over bridges, across roads, and is sometimes forested, but mostly not. Closer to Winthrop, the trail is civilized with occasional info kiosks and benches. Having grown up cross-country skiing and competed in college, my husband, Tom, skates ahead and then doubles back, over and over. I came to the sport much later, but do love the feel of skate skiing—like being on my hockey skates only going cross-country. Sometimes I can get in the flow and it feels more like flying. My daughter, Dana, and her friend Emily are giggling a lot and occasionally (purposely) falling over to sample the snow with lolling tongues. We tour conversationally, shuffling the composition of our small groupings, but staying mostly within sight of each other.

continued >>>

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<<<SKI, continued from previous page

Once we reach the town of Winthrop, we find the sidewalks more ice than snow, so we stash our skis and clomp along in our ski boots. The café for lunch is steamy with snowmelt and soup cooking. It is luxurious to sit down for sandwiches and warming soup, and we relax for longer than we should—today being the shortest day of the year. Back into our skis, muscles are more tired, and we are moving more slowly. Noah and I swap skis so he can try skating, and I classic. The landscape becomes flat, the details ahead harder to distinguish. It isn’t snowing now, but the light is leaving. Tom travels between sets of our group, telling jokes, shaking a tree to get a screech as snow cascades onto someone, and boosting the tempo of the trek. The trek itself was a new adventure with skis on my feet, full of singing, conversations about good-looking actors (brother not a participant), and mouths full of Skittles and lemon drops. Super fun winter fun with friends. And did I mention laughter? Yes, even as the night came. We cross a road into a big open section and can see Christmas lights outlining roofs and encircling small evergreens. Beautiful, but also the kick we need to realize it is past dusk. Noah and I trade skis back, and those in the classic tracks trust their feet and follow the tracks by feel. Those skating stay next to them to gauge turns in the pathway. It is full-on dark when we find ourselves at the top of the day’s early hill. The trees are hazy outlines, but we can find our way. The crisp air, well-used muscles and a world of white illuminated by tiny colored lights make me feel simultaneously a very small particle and a well connected human being. Tom and I pull over at the intersection of the trail and the road to the cabin. We start a cheering gauntlet for those a few yards behind us. Each skier adds in and we holler for those still coming, until our group is tightly bunched on the road and minutes from the cabin. We have achieved our longest ski on the shortest day, we are still laughing, and there’s hot chocolate to make.

The crisp air, well-used muscles and a world of white illuminated by tiny colored lights make me feel simultaneously a very small particle and a well connected human being. 28

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Attitude: anything goes story & photos by Mike



ead Ryan Rickerts’ facebook updates and you begin to wonder: have the Outdoor Adventure gods bestowed upon him some sort of dispensation that allows him more hours in the day, and days in the week, than the rest of us? Or has he cloned himself, perhaps several times? Ryan Rickerts Here’s a sampling of some of those updates: “Tele-skiied up and down two mountains, Ruth and Table. I hauled my skis 50 miles by bike from Bellingham.” “Rode my longest road ride ever—140 miles—followed the next day by a hard, three-hour mountain bike race.” “Played on two division champion soccer teams.” “Lead all 11 pitches of Prime Rib on Goat Wall (Mazama), the longest moderate sport climb in America.” Those are just a few from a post he titled “What I did on my Summer Vacation.” (In all, there were 12, undertaken between June and August of 2011.) Considered individually, these accomplishments are impressive, but it’s the variety that’s staggering. He bikes—road, mountain, tour, cyclocross, even BMX—he skis, he snowboards, he rock climbs, he plays soccer, he’s learning how to play the piano, and in February he’ll compete in the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom Snowboard Race. The affable, seemingly unimpressed-with-himself 35-year-old most of his trips. The previous winter, Ryan and Jacob tried riding tells me, “I’ve kind of made the decision to not be a specialist in to the top of Anderson but got turned back by snow, rain and freezjust one thing, but to be more well-rounded. It’s a better skill for ing temperatures. “I was as cold as I’ve been in a long time,” Ryan life.” Were this Bellinghamster to have a bailiwick it might be cysays. “I nearly lost control of my hands; it was all I could do to keep clocross. An expert racer himself, he heads up the Cascade Cross my bike from skidding off the road.” series which puts on half a dozen cyclocross races in Whatcom and It seems that less-than-perfect conditions are often par for the Skagit counties. course for many of Ryan and Jacob’s adventures. Whereas others Ryan is also a single dad with a 4-year-old daughter, Quincy (myself included) might take a look out the window on a day such Pearl. Already she’s following in his adventurous footsteps, picking as that and reason that the spin bikes at the Y are a more approup skiing on closing day last season at the Mt. Baker Ski Area.“We priate destination, theirs is an it’s-all-good, anything-goes attitude. did two runs off Chair 5 at the Egg Hunt,” Ryan says, sounding all “We don’t turn away from any conditions,” says Ryan. “We always proud-papa like. “She just rode between my legs and learned what go for something.” it feels like to go fast and keep ‘em straight. This year she’ll get her Ryan once told me that he and Jacob follow the Hardmanisfesto own skis and learn to jam!” of the Velominati (an irreverent cycling website ( in which toughness, both mental and physical, are its touchstones). I’d long wanted to join Ryan on one of his adventures, but “Especially Rule Five,” he adds, which reads: Harden the f**k up. waiting for him to be doing something I was capable of took some time. His weekends were stuffed with bike rides to and climbs of After driving to Alger and parking by an abandoned video the Twin Sisters, ski mountaineering assaults of Mount Shuksan, store, the four of us haul out our bikes and get pedaling. Four miles ‘cross races in Seattle, and the like. Finally, a fall mountain bike of paved road—first Butler Creek, then Cain Lake—lead to what ascent of Anderson Mountain, just east of Alger, came up on Ryan’s we are looking for: an upward-tilting gravel road at the base of docket and I jumped at the chance to tag along. Not often ridden, Anderson Mountain. Anderson is one of those unknown quantities, a 3,200-foot forested It’s damp and grey with low clouds, but with temps in the 50s, hump, crisscrossed by rough logging roads, trails of indeterminate it’s downright balmy compared to Ryan and Jacob’s previous attempt. condition, and who knows what else. After a short bit on dirt road, we duck into the deep, dark forest Joining us was my buddy Scott Young and Ryan’s pal Jacob Stewart, who for the past couple years has accompanied Ryan on continued >>> race | play | experience


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Jacob Stewart <<<ATTITUDE, continued from previous page

and begin switchbacking steeply via skinny, rock- and root-riddled singletrack. The turns are soft and muddy where they’ve been roughed-up by motorcycles, and the going is tough. Ryan, Scott and I, on our mountain bikes with fat tires and tiny gear options, grind away in our granniest of gears until our pedals will turn no more and, in my case, just sorta fall over sideways. Jacob, though, riding a ‘cross bike with tires barely wider than a road bike’s and gears not nearly as helpful as ours, spends a fair bit of time hauling his ride on his shoulder while he hikes the steeper bits. “That was the shittiest of all the shitty trails I’ve even been on,” Jacob says, after we’re all forced to hike-a-bike across a particularly overgrown, unmaintained stretch. “And that includes trying to ride in the woods where there is no trail.” It’s said not with any annoyance, but with a laugh, as if he relishes the crappy trail conditions. Jacob seems to do things his own way. He once fashioned a raft out of driftwood and paddled across Bellingham Bay from the Lummi Peninsula to Boulevard Park. Today, he wears a skateboard helmet on which he’s painted the Egyptian god Thoth, an octopus, and a woman holding a victory cup, signifying to Ryan that it’s “not just to win, but to drink heavily afterwards.” (Almost all of Ryan and Jacob’s adventures end with a few hours spent tossing back cold ones at a roadside tavern somewhere, preferably one that offers karaoke.) Up, up and up we go, backing-and-forthing between steep, oft-times overgrown and unrideable trail and rough forest road, climbing 3,000 feet in just over 6 miles. (It ends up being the longest mountain bike climb I’ve ever done.) The pace is not killer and I’m able to keep up, partly thanks to a few reasons. Ryan has a ‘cross race the next day and, thus, today’s Anderson Mountain ascent is just a take-it-easy, spin-out-the-legs ride for him. Lately too, he’s been suffering from strained ligaments in his right knee. (“It doesn’t seem to be getting any worse so I’m not going to let it stop me,” he says, but a couple weeks after our ride, a visit to a doctor would reveal a worn-out ACL that will likely require

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surgery.) Along with being hampered by riding a ‘cross bike, Jacob, for his part, has a badly sprained and heavily taped ankle that is still purple and bruised. In fact, earlier in the week, he’d cancelled on us and only the night before decided he’d give it a try. “Harden the f**k up.” Two-and-a-half hours from when we parked, the terrain flattens and there’s no ridge or clump of trees higher than us. We’ve reached the top. A grey curtain of clouds obscures much of the view, but across the Highway 9-Samish River valley, we can see the lower flanks of Lyman Hill, which rises about a thousand feet higher than Anderson. “I’d call this semi-epic,” a pleased Ryan declares while pulling on arm warmers and a vest for the ride back down. (Thirty-two hundred feet of climbing, some pretty gnarly trail, a couple falls that’ll show bruising tomorrow—that’s epic by my standards, but I won’t quibble; I’m just happy to be along for the ride.) We spot an odd, manhole-sized depression off the trail that looks dark and damp and like anything at all could be down there. Scott’s and my kneejerk reaction is to step back away from it; Jacob, however, takes one look and jumps down inside. It makes for some hilarious photos—with most of his body hidden and his hands reaching out in mock-help—and is something Scott and I would never have thought to do in a million years. That’s maybe the best thing about hanging with people who pursue the same (or similar) outdoorsy things that you do, but whom you’ve never spent time with before: You get to experience their approaches, their attitudes, and to see how and where they find their fun. As with so many of us, Ryan and Jacob find it in the shared adventure of discovery. At 31 and 35, Jacob and Ryan are a bit younger than Scott and I (45 and, gulp, 50) and so I find myself viewing them as younger

versions of ourselves. It’s similar (but completely the opposite) to how whenever my buddies and I are out on the trail and we see ultra-runners Vicki Griffiths and Barb Macklow—each well into their seventh and eighth decades—we can’t help but project ourselves into the future. And to cross our fingers in hope that we’ll be as lucky as them. I wonder: by looking at our past and imagining our future, do we gain a greater understanding of our present? For what and who we are now? That’s too deep for me, but what’s obvious is that a thirst for shared adventure and discovery can be a lifelong pursuit. That is, if you want it to be.

After snapping off some final photos toward Lyman Hill way, Ryan stuffs his camera into a back pocket. “Lyman’s the next objective, Jacob” he says, taking one last looking across the valley. “We just gotta find a way up there.” The adventures continue …

Ladies’ Night 2011

—Dec. 5th at 6:00pm

Enjoy an evening of festivities and personal shopping assistance from the Fanatik Crew! • Pictures with Santa all evening. Bikes welcome! • Wine and desserts • Prizes and specials throughout the evening, plus a 20% off coupon, good through the end of December for apparel or accessories • Atomic Fireball competition at 7:00pm • Race Santa at 7:30pm (bring a toddler bike or trike) All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Bellingham

Keep on riding

—all winter

• wet-weather riding gear • winter tires • assorted lights • tune-ups

Great holiday gift ideas!

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Snowflakes: a primer

story by

Abigail Sussman

photos by

ZACHARY treisman


very so often, my sweetie and I will see a snowflake—not a real one but a child’s drawing, a logo for a ski movie, or one of the ubiquitous cut-out decorations that appear just after Thanksgiving. Not infrequently, Zack will grumble that the “snowflake” is geometrically incorrect. The mathematician in him bridles at this distortion of the innate beauty of the natural world. At first I regarded his concern as both esoteric and endearing. After all, who hasn’t folded a piece of paper into fourths to make an eight-sided snowflake? But the more I learn about the formation of snow crystals, the more I agree that any representation of them should be based on an understanding of their process and, as a result, highlight their miraculousness. The impact of these tiny works of natural art upon the day-to-day is, at first glance, subtle. However, like most things, upon deeper inspection the significance becomes evident. There are lessons hidden in the details—these ice particles remind us not only of beauty but of instability, impermanence as well as the endless truths harnessed in nature, and that even the most minute events can be monumental. continued >>>

The impact of these tiny works of natural art upon the day-to-day is, at first glance, subtle. However, like most things, upon deeper inspection the significance becomes evident.

<<<SNOWFLAKES, continued from previous page

Let’s start from the beginning: water and dust. More specifically, water vapor cooled to the point of condensation. This is the same process that makes early morning bushwacking a wet endeavor, even after a dry night. High in the atmosphere, water vapor condenses onto dust particles. Once the water vapor clings to dust, it becomes a water droplet. This is why we can see storms approaching—partnered with dust, invisible water molecules become clouds, and we can observe their movements. In the same way that a house requires a foundation on which to build, dust provides a nucleus for snow crystal growth.

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Water molecules form chemical bonds with each other (two hydrogens for each oxygen—H2O) and align in sheets with straight sides angled at exactly 120° to each other. These are called facets. In its most basic form the snowflake is a hexagonal prism and can be columnar or plate-like, depending on which sides (which facets) grow more rapidly. The repetition of this pattern from the molecular level to something we can see with the naked eye is the basis for the snowflake’s sixfold—and never eight—symmetry.

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To freeze into an ice particle, the water droplet needs to be supercooled to between 21°F and 5°F. At this point, the water evaporates into the air before condensing into an ice crystal, moving from liquid to vapor to solid. As more water droplets evaporate and then transpire into a solid state, they are attracted like magnets to the initial ice particle and arrange themselves into the snowflake as we know it.

The way this pattern evolves is extremely sensitive to temperature and humidity. In the right conditions, branches grow from the flat surface of the facets, form new facets, which extend into new branches, and so on. As the snowflake takes shape, its six limbs act as individuals—there is no framework to follow, no encoded rules, no communication between the branches—and yet each offshoot reacts to temperature and humidity identically and simultaneously. And the result is never the same.

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continued >>>

Visit Historic If the fully formed snowflake avoids colliding with another and escapes disintegration by the wind, it falls through the sky to land on a hillside, a child’s tongue, or on the tip of a spruce needle. From here, the ice crystal continues to metamorphose, and it is at this juncture that skiers, snowball enthusiasts and fort builders take notice. In the same way that a community made up of diverse individuals can do both good and harm, a collective of snow crystals can act in unpredictable ways, especially when subjected to multiple forces. As we know, temperature and moisture play a large role in determining how a snowflake is constructed, but it also dictates how well a whole layer of these snowflakes integrates into the existing snowpack. This is part of the reason why Pacific Northwest snowpack tends to be more stable than Colorado—a much colder and drier climate. Just as instability in the atmosphere generates different shapes in nascent ice crystals, even small changes on the ground can radically influence the configuration of the snowflake, the layer it is part of, and the way in which these will react with the added weight of a skier. continued >>>

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How to make a paper snowflake Step 1: Start with a square of paper, and fold it in half to make a rectangle. Orient the rectangle so that the folded crease is at the bottom (otherwise you’ll end up with two halves of a snowflake).

Once the snowflake becomes part of a layer, its individual significance might seem smaller—we are more concerned with the larger picture. To understand the potential for an avalanche, one might dig a snow pit to look at how well the layers are consolidated, where the strength and weaknesses are in those layers, and how they are established on a particular slope. But one must not lose the details—all layers are made up of innumerable snowflakes, each with its own story. The startling complexity and beauty in the early life of a snowflake is determined by instability—the more chaotic the environment, the more elaborate the pattern becomes. As the snowflake moves through the atmosphere, it can be subjected to wild swings in temperature and humidity. The more uncertainty in the life of the snowflake, the more chance for a delicate and intricate structure. And, the instant these crystals hit the ground, they begin to metamorphose; the remaking never ends. Snow crystals are all formed in the same way initially. The balance between instability (growing delicate and ornate branches) and a persistent and slow outward growth (facets) is what directs the development of these crystals until they finally melt back into water. Like the formation of the most ornate snowflake, we bounce through our environment subjected to ever-changing conditions which we must delicately negotiate. If we’re lucky and the circumstances are right, we find a balance between complexity and simplicity until we dissolve back into the world as dust. Information and photos of snowflake formation: Lebbrecht, Kenneth and Patricia Rasmussen. The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty; Voyageur Press (2003). Avalanche Forecasting: Bruce Tremper. Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain; The Mountaineers Books (2008). McClung, David and Peter Schaerer. The Avalanche Handbook; The Mountaineers Books (2006). Northwest Weather & Avalanche Center, 36

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<<<SNOWFLAKES, continued from previous page

Step 3: Fold the right edge of your rectangle in to the middle crease, and then unfold it so that you have a crease one quarter of the way from the right edge of your rectangle.

Step 5: Fold the right side up to match the left side. The crease is on the edge that was the bottom left edge, and the bottom right edge matches with the crease from Step 4.

Step 7: Cut snowflake-like patterns into the two long edges of your folded paper. Keep those 60 degree angles in mind as you make your cuts, and your snowflake will look more like a snowflake. You’ll also want to cut off the top bit where the square’s corners are poking out.


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Step 2: Fold the rectangle in half to make a square, and then unfold it so that your rectangle has a crease in the middle.



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Step 4: (the tricky part) Fold the other side of your rectangle up along a diagonal so that the left bottom corner is touching the fold from Step 3. Be sure that this fold starts from the very middle of the bottom edge (which is the middle of your rectangle of paper). (The geometrically astute snowflake folder will note that we have created a 60 degree angle. Remember those 30-60-90 triangles?)

Step 6: Fold your paper in half one more time.

(The seasoned snowflake folder might be able to combine steps 3-6 into one step of making a paper cone and flattening it out, but this needs to be done very precisely.)



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Step 8: Unfold and enjoy!

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vs. Recreation Tense times in the Glacier Peak Wilderness

story by

John D’Onofrio

Image Lake; photo by John D’Onofrio


Green Mountain Lookout over the Glacier Peak Wilderness; photo by Norm Buckley, courtesy John D’Onofrio

Ah, wilderness! The open country, uncrossed by roads. The silence, unbroken by the clamor of machines. Here in the Great Northwest, wilderness is a cherished concept, a chance to refresh our souls and recharge our psychic batteries. But what is wilderness exactly? And what is our place in it? Philosophical questions—but also legal ones, as the Forest Service managers of the 573,000-acre Glacier Peak Wilderness, which includes areas within Skagit, Snohomish and Chelan counties, The cost of defending itself... have become painfully aware. They currently find themselves will negatively impact the Forest embroiled in not one, but two lawsuits: the first to force the Service’s ability to manage the removal of the lookout cabin perched atop Green Mountain, wilderness, diverting resources the second to halt repair efforts to the Suiattle River Road, the primary access to the west side of the wilderness. “from the mountains to the courtroom,” Complex issues? To be sure. and thus will actually result in less Heated arguments on both sides? Absolutely. protection for the wilderness area. Solutions? As yet, not so much.

On Top of Green Mountain The trail up Green Mountain has been a favorite hiking route for decades. It ascends through sub-alpine forest and climbs up beautiful meadows to the top of Green Mountain, 6,500 feet, where a fire lookout cabin has (mostly) stood since 1933. The views of the surrounding country are magnificent: mountains rising on all sides, culminating in the awe-inspiring glacier-covered dome of Glacier Peak, at 10,541 feet, Washington’s fourth highest mountain. Located on the western edge of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, the Green Mountain lookout was built at the heyday of lookout construction. The structure, like many others in the North

Cascades, housed someone who watched for forest fires. But with that duty long ago relegated to airplanes, the lookout, as with others, has faced transition. Many regional lookouts have been lost over the years to the elements, gone forever. A select few, like the ones at Park Butte, Winchester Mountain and Hidden Lake Peak, have been preserved and refurbished for overnight use by hikers and climbers through cooperative efforts by the Forest Service and volunteer groups. Fewer yet are still staffed by Forest Service backcountry rangers as a means to manage the fragile wilderness that surrounds them. continued >>>

<<<VS, continued from previous page Volunteer David Schnell at the Green Mountain lookout; Enter Wilderness For its part, the Green photo by Norm Buckley, courtesy John D’Onofrio Watch. Based in Missoula, Mountain lookout was Montana, the organization used for fire detection unwas founded in 1989 and til the mid-80s. At about has advocated for removal the same time (1984), the of lookouts in other areas, Washington Wilderness as well as such controversial Act was signed, which proinitiatives as the removal hibited structures and use of the cable system on of motorized vehicles and Yosemite’s Half Dome, in mechanized equipment. Yet, place since 1919 to assist in a distinct exception to the visitors in climbing the Act, the Forest Service was iconic monolith. directed to allow continued The crux of the issue maintenance of the various for Wilderness Watch is lookouts, including Green that the lookout—by virtue Mountain, already situated of being removed, repaired, in the wilderness areas, thus reassembled and returned allowing it to be staffed by to Green Mountain—reprangers who could respond resents “new” constructo increasing wilderness rection in the wilderness reational usage. area, something expressly In 1987 the lookprohibited under the tenout was added to the ants of the Washington National Register of Wilderness Act. In a stateHistoric Places, and in ment, Wilderness Watch 1990 a Memorandum of Executive Director George Understanding was signed Nickas says, “By building with the Friends of Green this new structure on Green Mountain for “preservation Mountain and using heliand maintenance” of the copters to transport materilookout. That same year als and workers to the site, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie The views of the surrounding the Forest Service’s actions Forest Plan was enacted have violated these fundamental teand included maintenance of the country are magnificent: nets of wilderness law. lookouts in a special wilderness almountains rising on all sides, “It is because of these violations location that “accepts the nonconculminating in the awe-inspiring of law and the need to restore the wilforming use” of the Washington glacier-covered dome derness character of the Glacier Peak Wilderness Act. Wilderness that Wilderness Watch has Over the years, repairs, necesof Glacier Peak. taken the Forest Service to court.” sitated by the furies of winter, were Leah Tyson, president of the historical society in Darrington— extensive. A catwalk was added, a new roof installed. The rocks western gateway to Glacier Peak Wilderness—wonders what’s that provided the structure’s foundation shifted over time and the behind the lawsuit. The cost of defending itself, she asserts, will building was jacked up and shimmed. A helicopter and motorized negatively impact the Forest Service’s ability to manage the wilderrock drill were permitted. ness, diverting resources “from the mountains to the courtroom,” During the winter of 2001-2002 it snowed and snowed. The and thus will actually result in less protection for the wilderness cabin’s foundation was damaged by the weight and, after consultarea. Less money means less wilderness rangers, for example, with a ing with the Washington State Historic Preservation Officer, the corresponding decline in protection of natural resources. lookout was disassembled. The pieces were numbered and removed Both sides have presented their cases to the judge and, accordby helicopter and finally, in August 2009, after countless hours by ing to Glacier Peak District Ranger Peter Forbes, “A decision is volunteers and a Washington State Recreation and Conservation expected at any time.” Until then, the fate of the Green Mountain grant for $50,000, the repaired lookout was returned in pieces to Lookout is—you should pardon the expression—up in the air. Green Mountain and rebuilt.


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The Long and Winding Road But the lookout isn’t the only problem facing the Glacier Peak Ranger District: a battle over the Suiattle River Road has also found its way into the courts. The23-mile-long road, which provides the primary access to the western side of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, has been a problem child for the district for many years. The road, originally built by miners in the early 1900s, saw heavy use by logging operations throughout the 50s and 60s. For years the road has suffered serious damage due to flooding, culminating in major wash-outs in 2003, 2006 and 2007 and the road’s closure for more than seven years (ironically, one of the many trails that the road’s closure has made inaccessible

is the trail to the Green Mountain lookout). Plans to finally repair the road were jeopardized when a suit to scuttle work was filed in April, 2011, by the Pilchuck Audubon Society, the North Cascades Conservation Council, and hiker Bill Lider. The bone of contention is what’s known as a categorical exclusion (CE); the Forest Service requestSuiattle River Road at Milepost 20.8 —damage caused by flooding in 2006; ed a CE from environphoto courtesy U.S. Forest Service mental analysis prior to the latest repair effort, and the litigants claim that a full Environmental Assessment (EA) should be conducted. As a result of the pending litigation, $1.7 million in federal emergency highway funds has been withdrawn, putting the future of the road in question.

continued >>>

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<<<VS, continued from previous page

Among many other interested individuals and organizations, Jonathan Guzzo, Advocacy Director for the Washington Trails Association, has been following developments in the case with keen interest: “The importance of the Suiattle as a western route into the Glacier Peak Wilderness has led us to advocate for reopening, especially in light of the loss of the White Chuck Road [also closed by flooding]— the only other western access.” Guzzo adds, “Some roads, even ones that are valuable to hikers, should not be rebuilt. The cost of rebuilding compared to the likelihood of future washouts, the availability of reliable reroutes, and the potential damage to the environment all play into our decision-making.”

photo by Norm Buckley, courtesy John D’Onofrio

Guzzo further points out: “Keep in mind that the Suiattle Road was the subject of a 2006 Environmental Assessment, an Access and Travel Management Plan (as yet unfinished) and analysis by the Forest Service and Federal Highways to justify the CE request. The 2006 EA did not cover damage that occurred in 2007 ... so in that sense, the EA was not complete. That said, a huge amount of time from biologists, road engineers and cultural resources specialists has been poured into the Suiattle.” The conflict largely boils down to a long-running philosophical debate on the nature of wilderness (although the road itself is

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outside the wilderness boundary)—the old preservation vs. recre- new hikers … who have never experienced the beauty of the ation argument. On the one hand, strict preservationists advocate Suiattle and the trails that it accesses.” for protection of wilderness with little regard for recreational use. In its purest form, this might mean lands that are completely offOver the years I’ve been fortunate enough to visit both the limits to us two-legged animals. The counter argument goes like Green Mountain lookout and to hike the long and beautiful trail this: When people experience wilderness they become advocates for from the end of the Suiattle River Road up along the river to the —and protectors of—wilderness. Thus by providing access to the wonderlands of Miner’s Ridge and Suiattle Pass. The country on wilderness, preservation is actually enhanced by the creation of an the west side of Glacier Peak exhausts superlatives. ever-growing group of citizens committed to preserving it. Will there be a Green Mountain lookout to visit in the future? “Hikers are an incredibly important constituency for wilWill hikers again climb the interminable switchbacks leading from derness,” Guzzo maintains. “Reverence for the natural world, a the Suiattle River to Image Lake? Only time will tell. rekindling of the capacity for wonder, and unfettered pleasure of traveling for days—or When people experience wilderness they become even a day—in wild country all lead hikers advocates for—and protectors of—wilderness. to advocate for the preservation of wildlands.” And the wilderness areas of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, of which the Glacier Peak Comments regarding both the Green Mountain Lookout and the Suiattle River Road can be directed to: Wilderness is a part, are seeing more visitors all the time. A Visitor Darrington Ranger District Use Monitoring study in 2005 counted 342,000; in 2010 it was 1405 Emens Ave., North, Darrington, WA 98241 352,000. Yet, as Guzzo laments, “There is a whole generation of or 360-436-1155

Image Lake & Glacier Peak photo by John D’Onofrio

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photo by Michael Power; courtesy Stevens Pass


a novice snowshoe racer throws his heart onto the field

story by

Craig Popelars

Half way through the Romp to Stomp snowshoe 3k sprint-race, I saw him plain as day: a woodland elf. Actually, he could have been a troll, or perhaps a dwarf. Hell, maybe he could technically have been classified as a Cascadian gnome—it’s been years since my junior high days of Dungeons & Dragons all-nighters, so I’ll admit I’m a little fuzzy with my mythical creature identification. Whatever he was, there he sat with bulbous nose, stubby fingers, and a mocking glare to boot that said, “Hey buddy, these kind of hallucinations are inevitable when you hyperextend your anaerobic threshold.” The little bastard was right. I hit a lactic acid wall face first and was bonking big time. I would have been content to just curl up in fetal position next to my little Narnian friend, and perhaps swap my Clif Bar for some of his Turkish Delight, but I couldn’t give up. It was pretty apparent from the start that the Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer is one race where no one gives up. Two months before my hallucinatory gnome encounter, I convinced my 70-year-old father to accompany me on a business trip to Washington. I told him he could knock around Seattle and play tourist while I worked, and then in the evenings we’d hit the microbreweries. Like me, he has a weakness for craft beers, and while our home state of North Carolina has a burgeoning beer scene, it still pales in comparison to the Pacific Northwest. When he agreed to the trip, I then sheepishly broke the news to him: “Oh, by the way, I’ve signed us up for a little snowshoe race while we’re out there.” The phone line went silent, but I knew he was there, and I knew he was game. The couple days prior to heading for the snowy Cascades, Dad and I spent acclimating to Washington and preparing for the race by synchronizing our BMI (Body Mass Index) with our IPA (India 44

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Pale Ale) intake. As far as I know, beer doping has yet to come under the scrutiny of sports governing bodies, so thanks to the support of Pike, Elysian, Pyramid, and Boundary Bay breweries, our bodies were peaking at the perfect time. Not only were we ready to compete, but we convinced ourselves (after a few pints) that we could actually win the damn thing. “Damn right we can!” my dad slurred at Boundary Bay Brewery the night before the race. We were the Southern dark horses, and despite never having worn snowshoes or witnessed any significant snowfall, we felt compelled to channel the likes of famous snowshoeing stars who blazed the trail before us (Bruce Jenner, Charles Nelson Riley, Marcus Camby, Dorothy Hamill, and Larry Czonka). We were hell-bent on leaving the competition in our wake, choking on a rooster tail of snow that would leave them frostbitten and in awe of our athletic prowess.

The early morning drive to Stevens Pass was sublime—just another scenic reminder why I think the Pacific Northwest is, without argument, the most stunning and picturesque region in the country. Arriving at the Romp to Stomp site, we were greeted by a Mardi Gras atmosphere. There were swarms of pink-laden participants scurrying around, adorning crazy and questionable get-ups, all the while adjusting and testing out their snowshoes (loaned for the day by the event organizers) while techno music blared over the loudspeakers. Laughter was in the air and a smile was plastered on everyone’s face.

with her at Duke University Hospital, and who shared Mom’s same fate. And I thought of my dad’s mother, yet another life in my family claimed too early by breast cancer. Of course, Dad and I didn’t need to verbally acknowledge our emotion. We were manly men after all, and we could easily see it in each other’s watery eyes. I had one of those Grinch “ah-ha!” moments, realizing that perhaps this was more of a celebration than a competition. That became even more apparent when I executed a flawless face-plant after crossing my snowshoes as I approached the starting line. Nevertheless, it quickly dawned on us that we were about to be both romped and stomped by the local competition.

We were greeted by a Mardi Gras atmosphere. There were swarms of pink-laden participants scurrying around, adorning crazy and questionable get-ups, all the while adjusting and testing out their snowshoes . . . while techno music blared over the loudspeakers. Laughter was in the air and a smile was plastered on everyone’s face.

To be honest, I was overcome by the celebratory spirit that pervaded the event. I was also blindsided by the emotion that hit me when I walked among the crowd, occasionally spotting someone who visually and proudly declared in one way or another that she was a breast cancer survivor. Everywhere I looked I was reminded of my mother who passed away from breast cancer at 48, and of my mom’s sister, who roomed

It’s like this: running in snowshoes is like having two cast-iron skillets strapped to your feet while some thug mercilessly punches you in the thighs over and over again. Dad and I are both rabid cyclists and swimmers, and in the last year I took up trailrunning, but none of that prepared us for running in snowshoes. The race continued >>>

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<<<ROMP, continued from previous page


leaders easily blew us off their backs fifty feet from the starting line. And perhaps we started off too strong trying to stay with them, because a quarter-mile into the course we were left for dead. I suddenly questioned if what I was doing could technically still be considered running. Either way, it was a race, so I left my dad to the wolves and pushed on at a pace that kept my heart perfectly lodged in my upper esophagus, and that positioned me just in front of a sprightly 13-year-old girl who I could swear was happily humming a Lady Gaga song as she ran. I was at that point when I didn’t think I could keep the pace any longer, but somehow I ignored my inner elf, and kept putting one foot in front of the other. One more step. One the author and his dad; photo courtesy Craig Popelars

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more step. One more. One more. I thought about my mom, my aunt, my grandmother, and the women gathered at today’s event in defiance of a disease that they both embraced and valiantly fought. My pain became trivial and I felt my strides lengthening. I came around the corner and saw the welcoming crowd gathered at the finish. I ran faster and faster toward their embrace, realizing that we were all running toward the same destination. A cure might still remain elusive, but inherently the cancer knows that we’re gaining ground and that someday soon we’re going to catch it—and defeat it. Just before crossing the finish line, I looked back once more, concerned for a moment about my dad lost in the woods with that maniacal elf, and then threw my hands skyward in hope. >>> Race | Play | Experience note: To participate in one of the many regional or national 2012 Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer snowshoe events (3k race, and 3k or 5k walk), see pages 49 and 50 of this issue’s calendar.


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WINTER 2011 | 2012 NOVEMBER > > > through 23 Dec DIG Razer-clamming on the Coast. Below are the WA Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) approved razor-clam digs (along with evening low tides) tentatively planned. • Fri, 25 Nov - 6:27pm (-1.9 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks • Sat, 26 Nov - 7:14pm (-1.8 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks • Sat, 10 Dec - 6:30pm (-0.5 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks • Thu, 22 Dec - 4:40pm (-0.9 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks • Fri, 23 Dec - 5:29pm (-1.4); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks Final approval of all openings will depend on results of marine toxin tests that show the clams are safe to eat. Digs for 2012 will be announced in early January. Olympic National Park, in consultation with WDFW, is still developing options for a recreational razor-clam season at Kalaloch Beach.

Thursday, 24 Nov RUN Bainbridge Island Turkey Trot—Battle Point Park, 8:30am. A 5k and 1m to benefit Helpline House. RUN Norpoint Turkey Trot— Tacoma, 9am. A 5k run or 2mi run/walk. 253-591-5504, RUN Oly Trot—Olympia, 9am. A 4mi at Heritage Park; benefits Thurston Co. Food Bank. 360-701-1604, RUN Turkey on the Run— Wenatchee, 9am. A 5k walk or a 12k run at Rotary Park.

Saturday, 26 Nov RUN Seattle Marathon 5K Race & Seattle Children’s Kids Marathon —Seattle, 8:30am & 10am. Be part of the 4th annual Seattle Marathon 5K Race! This year’s out-and-back course starts and ends at Seattle Center near 3rd and Mercer and travels through the streets of downtown Seattle. All participants will receive a Saucony technical apparel shirt and goody bag. The Kids Marathon is for children up to age 14, a fun 1.2mi loop around the Seattle Center. Make this a Thanksgiving tradition with your family and friends! 206-729-3660,

RUN/WALK Leftover Turkey Trot 5k—Yakima, 10am. 509-248-2854, RUN Christmas at the End of the Road 5k, 1k—Winthrop, 10am. Part of a weekend-long festival. 509-846-5019, RUN Ghost of Seattle Marathon —Seattle, 8am.

Fri & Sat, 25 & 26 Nov WALK/SEE Thanksgiving Holiday Festival—Bellingham, 5-9pm. Enjoy walking the Fairhaven district to see art exhibits, many featuring the natural wonders of the PNW.

Sunday, 27 Nov RUN Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon & Half Marathon— Seattle, 7:15am. Be a part of the tradition, and celebrate the Seattle Marathon Family of Events over Thanksgiving Weekend 2011! The events include the Seattle Children’s Kids Marathon and the Seattle Marathon 5K Race (11/26), a Health + Fitness EXPO (11/25 & 26), and the Seattle Marathon and Half Marathon run/walk on Sunday. The RRCA- and AIMS-certified marathon and half marathon courses consist of rolling hilly sections and scenic views of downtown Seattle and Lake WA. 206729-3660, RUN After Turkey Day Trot— Seattle, 10am. 5k, 10k,15k, kids’ dash, and relay option. RUN Hot Buttered Runs— Vancouver. 9:40am. At Pearson Air Museum, a 12k, 5k walk/run, and kids’ Kandy Kane race. CX BIKE Seattle CX Series— Monroe. At Evergreen State Fairgrounds. RUN Vancouver Historic Half, 10k, 5k—Vancouver, BC, 9am.

Wednesday, 30 Nov SEE/HEAR Snow & Spire: Flights to Winter in the North Cascade Range—Mt.Vernon, 7pm. At the Skagit Station Meeting Room, help celebrate the publication of local photographer John Scurlock’s book. Enjoy a slide show presentation and booksigning; dessert and refreshments provided. 360-854-2599,

Wed-Sun, 30 Nov - 4 Dec FILM Whistler Film Festival.

>>> ALWAYS confirm dates, times, registration requirements, deadlines and fees. >>> Thanks to event organizers who submitted their event info by deadline! For info on listing your event in Adventures NW’s calendar, visit


race | play | experience

plus Your

2012 event planner

DECEMBER > > > Friday, 2 Dec - Sunday, 29 Jan SEE/SPEC Skagit Bald Eagle Celebrations—Rockport. Enjoy interpretive talks, musical and cultural performances, tours and more through the Skagit Bald Eagle Interpretive Center. Experience the “River of Life” during the period when the bald eagles are most present.

Friday, 2 Dec BIKE Superhero Lighted Bike Parade—Bellingham, 6pm. Be a Superhero for a night: don your Superhero cape, light up your bike, and then light up the Downtown Art Walk. 360-671-BIKE, SPEC Blaine Holiday Harbor Lights—Blaine, 10am. Saturday, also. 360-332-6484, HEAR Lorraine McConaghy, New Land, North of the Columbia— Bellingham, 7pm. Ticketed event. 360671-2626, FISH Resurrection Derby—Friday Harbor. 2 days; part of the NW Salmon Derby series.

Friday & Saturday, 2 & 3 Dec BOAT Bellingham Bay Lighted Boat Parade, 5:30-7pm. Anyone may enter their sail or motor vessel to be part of this parade from Squalicum Harbor to the Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven. Register prior to “boats away.”

Saturday, 3 Dec RUN/WALK Girls on the Run 5k—Bellingham, 9:30am. Everyone (girls, boys, women, men, leashed pets and all terrain strollers included!) may take in this fun 5k that also celebrates and benefits Girls on the Run of NW WA. It’s an out-and-back along South Bay Trail, from downtown Bellingham. Day-of registration is okay. 360-733-8630,, RUN Fairhaven Frosty 5k & 10k— Bellingham, 10am. From Fairhaven Park, run on road and trail, 1 or 2 loops. Free kids 1/4 mile. NAV Orienteering North SeaTac Park—SeaTac, 10am. Explore by searching for checkpoints on a map. 206-913-3790, RUN/WALK Jingle Trail 5k Run & Walk—Coupeville, 8:30am. Enjoy scenic trails through Fort Ebey SP. 360678-5434,

VOL Snowshoe Trail Work Party —Mt. Baker area. Meet Bellingham, 8:15am or Maple Falls, 9am. Phone or email to RSVP. 360-746-8861, info@, RUN Winter Sun 10k—Moab, UT, 10am. 435-259-4525, RUN/WALK Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis—Mount Vernon, 8:30am; Port Orchard, 12pm., RUN Holiday Fun Runs—Ridgefield, 9am. Run a 5k or 10k with Santa through rolling hills of Ridgefield, near Portland. Bring cans of food for the local food bank.

Sunday, 4 Dec PADDLE Deception Pass Dash— Deception Pass State Park, 10:30am. The 6mi race through Deception Pass culminates a 2-day paddle-fest that supports Wa Water Trails & Medical Safety Net of North Whidbey. 206-9406269, RUN Toys for Tots Airport Runs —Arlington, 11am. A 5k walk/run and a 10k run near Arlington Airport. Proceeds to Marines Toys for Tots. 360359-0868, RUN California Int’l Marathon— Folsom, CA, 7am. A “fast” course from Folsom to Sacramento, finishing at the State Capitol building. TR RUN XTERRA Trail Running World Championships—Ka’a’awa, HI, 9am. 21k open to runners of all levels, plus 5k and 10k fun runs. 877983-7721, RUN/WALK Elf Chase 5k—Langley, 10am. A PTSA fundraiser run at South Whidbey Community Park.

Monday, Dec 5 SPEC Fanatik Bike Co. Ladies’ Night—Bellingham, 6pm. This season, let the Fanatik crew help with your holiday shopping while you enjoy an evening of festivities! Bring your bike (or not) and have your photo taken with Santa. Enjoy refreshments (wine and dessert), a 20% off coupon good through the end of December, prizes and specials throughout the evening, and more... like the Atomic Fireball competition at 7pm and a Tricycle Race with Santa (bring your trike) at 7:30. Proceeds from the evening will be donated to Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County. 360-756-0504,

Tuesday, 6 Dec HEAR Renee D’Aoust, Body of a Dancer—Bellingham, 7pm. 360-6712626,

race I play I experience

6 Dec 2011 (cont.) - 15 Dec 2011 SPEC Whatcom Rowing Assoc. Reception & Fundraiser— Bellingham, time tbd. 206-713-5462,

Wednesday, 7 Dec HEAR Kim Sandstrom, Women’s Health Revised—Bellingham, 7pm. 360-671-2626,

Thursday, 8 Dec HEAR Jean Layton, Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies—Bellingham, 7pm. 360-671-2626,

Friday, 9 Dec HIKE Whistle Lake—Anacortes, 10am. A casual hike for adults/seniors. Meet at the parking lot at the end of Whistle Lake Rd. HEAR Joe Upton, Bearing Sea Blues: A Crabber’s Tale of Fear in the Icy North—Bellingham, 7pm. 360-6712626,

Saturday, 10 Dec HIKE Whistle Lake—Anacortes, 10am. A beautiful, “hearty” hike for all ages. Free; no registration; Meet at the parking lot at the end of Whistle Lake Rd.

RUN Deception Pass 25k, 50k— Oak Harbor, 8am. SOLD OUT. Coastal single track through old growth forest and across the Deception Pass Bridge. 509-846-5019, RUN/WALK Rain Deer Run 1.2mi or 5k—Port Hadlock, 10am. 360-396-5227 RUN/WALK Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis—Bellingham, 8:30am. 4mi or 2mi. RUN/WALK Solstice Run— Bainbridge, 9/9:30am. A Kids’ Dash, 1mi or a 5k. A benefit for Go Run. 206-8425720, RUN Christmas Rush Fun Run & Walk—Kent, 9:50am. 10k and 5k courses at Riverbend Golf Course. RUN Birch Bay Ghost Marathon —Birch Bay, 9am.Very limited field; no day-of; 15.1mi option.

Saturday & Sunday, 10 & 11 Dec

skiers and snowboarders. All day-of lift ticket and season passholders can receive two prints (photos taken by a professional photographer), and the digital file for your personal use. (Small fee for those who do not have a pass for the day.)

Sunday, 11 Dec RUN Holualoa Tucson Marathon Events—Tucson, AZ. Run your FIRST marathon or your FASTEST marathon. Enjoy beautiful, mild Tucson winter weather and run this primarily downhill point-to-point course along the beautiful Santa Catalina mountain range. The Old West historical town of Oracle marks the starting line. The course winds through the desert on paved roads and finishes at the Coronado Middle School. Choose between the Marathon, Marathon Relay or Half-Marathon. A familyfriendly finish line area is great for spectators. 520-320-0667,

SPEC Santa at Mt. Baker Ski Area—10am-2pm. As long as it’s snowing (i.e. weather dependent), Santa and friends will be making a special stop to take photos and visit with

NAV Street Scramble at the Market—Seattle, 9:30am. On a team or solo, visit holiday-themed checkpoints. Benefits the Market Foundation. 206-291-8250, RUN/WALK Jingle Bell 5k for Arthritis—Seattle, 8am.

Wednesday, 14 Dec LEARN Marine Lecture Series— Eastsound, 7pm. Marine Rockfish, 360376-3910,

14 Dec - 5 Jan BIRD 112th Christmas Bird Count. Birders throughout the nation turn out by the hundreds to count and categorize the birds they see to benefit avian science.

Thursday, 15 Dec LEARN Map-Maker Secrets— Bellingham, 7:15pm. At Fairhaven Runners & Walkers, a foldable, pocketsized map-maker and trail enthusiast will present a slide show on Whatcom County trails. Darrell Sofield will share stories of his favorite spots, best seasons, and what it takes to create his recreation trail maps (RightMAPS).


Join Mount Baker Bicycle Club & take part in weekly group rides year-round. Have fun with others who love to cycle & get ready for a great year of riding, including the...

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Check ANW’s calendar for details.

ride for hospiCe

sunday september 16, 2012

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360-738-8877 • race | play | experience


race I play I experience

17 Dec 2011 - 12 Jan 2012 Saturday, 17 Dec

NAV Orienteering Whidbey Island—Langley, 10am-noon start. Explore the Putney Woods. 206-9133790, CX BIKE Thriller Cross— Bellingham, 10am-2pm. At Civic Fields Complex this is race #5 of 6 in the Cascade Cross Series. Three races plus a free kids’ race; hot showers, waffles and espresso, drumline! XC SKI Haywood NorAm Teck Sprint Series Multistage Tour— Rossland, BC. At Black Jack XC Ski Trails. RUN Santa Runs—Tacoma, 9am. Try a Frosty’s 5k, the Grinch’s 10k solo or relay, or Tiny Tim’s 1k.

Sunday, 18 Dec RUN/WALK The 12Ks of Christmas—Kirkland, 9:30am. 206729-9972,

Tuesday, 20 Dec RUN/GIVE Give & Glow Holiday Social—Bellingham, 6pm. Meet at Fairhaven Runners & Walkers for a special holiday-themed event. Bring some canned or non-perishable food or a check for the Bellingham Food Bank to put under the tree, and then with glow sticks (supplied), head out for a 4mi trail run ablaze in the evening ink. After, adorn the tree and enjoy refreshments. Be sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight.

BRRR Polar Bear Plunge—Birch Bay, noon (judging at 11:30). 360-3715004, BI New Year’s Biathlon—Mazama, 11am. BRRR Polar Bear Plunge—Freeland Park or Double Bluff Beach, 10am.

Monday-Sunday, 2-8 Jan FIT Free Yoga Classes—Bellingham. Free classes for new students (or current with a friend) to experience Yoga Northwest’s classes and instructors.

Saturday, 7 Jan DU Fort Steilacoom Off-Road Duathlon #1—Steilacoom, 9.30am. 425-301-7009, NAV Orienteering at Shoreview Park—Shoreline, 10am-noon start. 206-913-3790,

LEARN RESOLUTIONS— Bellingham, 11am-4pm.Various presenters. 360-671-2626,

RUN Christmas Marathon, Half, 10mi, 10k, 5k, 1mi—Littlerock, 10:30am.

Sunday, 8 Jan

Saturday, 31 Dec RUN Last Chance Marathon— Bellingham, 6am. From Fairhaven Park. NAV Annual Bog Slog—check website for location, 10am-noon start. 206-913-3790, XC SKI Ski Rodeo—Winthrop. 10k, 5k and 1k or 2.5k (for kids). XC SKI Chris Dahlie Open— Smithers, BC. Races at Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre.

race | play | experience

BRRR Resolution Run 5k & Polar Bear Dive—Seattle, 10:30am. 206729-9972,

RUN Just for Fun, Jingle Bell Run —Tacoma, 3pm. A 5k at Wright Park. 253-305-1022,

XC SKI Holiday Loppet Tour— Mazama, 10:30am. 11k or 20k noncompetitive loops.


BRRR Resolution Run & Padden Dip—Bellingham. 11am. Start the New Year off with a healthy walk/run around Lake Padden, followed by a brisk dip (optional) in the lake. Free. 360-7787000.

Saturday, 24 Dec

BI Try Biathlon—Mazama, 11am. Nordic skiing and target shooting.

Rockport, washington

Sunday, 1 Jan

SHOE Winter Trails Day— Snoqualmie Pass, WA,10am-4pm; Mt. Hood, OR, 9am-3pm. Free snowshoe tours.,

Wednesday, 28 Dec

Open dec. 2 - Jan. 29


XC SKI Ski For Health Day— Leavenworth, 12-3pm. 509-548-5477, RUN Lake Samish Runs 6.5mi & 13.1mi—Bellingham, 10am. Online registration for these popular chiptimed runs around the lake (once or twice) on paved, low-traffic roads is available until Jan. 6. LEARN Baker Beacon Rally—Mt. Baker Ski Area, 11am. At the Mountain Safety Education Center, learn basic search techniques, including beacon, shovel and probe use. Beginners and veterans welcome. Info on other classes and registration is online.

Wednesday, 11 Jan LEARN Marine Lecture Series— Eastsound, 7pm. Tracking Whales. 360376-3910,

Thursday, 12 Jan BIKE First Gear Class—Bellingham, 6pm. Learn to bike safely, be comfortable and have fun. 360-671-BIKE,

>>> See a regularly updated Race|Play|Experience calendar,

race I play I experience

14 Jan - 11 Feb 2012

Saturday, 14 Jan

Saturday, 21 Jan

Saturday, 28 Jan

MT BIKE The Stinky Spoke— Woodinville, 9am. An 18mi “stinky weather” mountain bike poker ride on a loop trail from Redhook Brewery. Beer tent at finish! 425-985-9402,

SHOE/SPEC Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer —Mt. Bachelor, OR. Help STOMP OUT BREAST CANCER on snowshoes! Choose from a 3k or 5k snowshoe walk or a 3k race! Easy, wellmarked trails along with snowshoe demos from Tubbs, top fundraiser awards and sweepstakes prizes make this a great event for all sorts of ages and abilities, even if you’ve never snowshoed before! Participate on your own, or create a team. Since its inception the Tubbs Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer Snowshoe Series®. has raised 1.8 MILLION dollars for breast cancer research and education, and inspired thousands to get out snowshoeing! Adventures NW magazine is a proud regional Romp to Stomp sponsor—for the 3rd year! other 2012 ROMP events • Mountain Creek, NJ (21 Jan) • Scenic Caves, Ontario (21 Jan) • Stratton Mountain,VT (28 Jan) • Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, MN (NEW! 28 Jan) • Stevens Pass, WA (4 Feb) • Park City, UT (11 Feb) • Mt Seymour, BC (NEW! 3 Mar) • Frisco, CO (3 Mar)

DU Fort Steilacoom Off-Road Duathlon #2—Steilacoom, 9.30am. 425-301-7009,

XC SKI Skirennen Citizen Race— Leavenworth, 8am. 10k, 2k or 1k. 509548-5477, CX BIKE Chiller Cross— Bellingham, 10am-2pm. At Cornwall Park, this is race #6 of 6 in the Cascade Cross Series—a northwest classic and spectators’ delight, with 3 races plus a free kids race. Season finale party afterwards, TBA. XC SKI Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet —Salmon Arm, BC. A 36k classic technique course at Larch Hills XC Ski Trails; shorter distances for kids and beginners. BI Try Biathlon—Mazama, 11am. Nordic skiing and target shooting. RUN Nookachamps Winter Runs — Mount Vernon, 10am. 5k fun run, certified 10k, and half marathon from Skagit Valley College with scenes of farmlands, bald eagles and the migrating Trumpeter swans.

Sunday, 15 Jan SHOE Snowshoe Demo & Relay Race—Leavenworth, 10:30am-1:30pm. 509-548-5477, XC SKI Gunnar Hagen 30k & 10k —Snoqualmie Pass. Classic technique races, with interval starts, at Cabin Creek Nordic Ski Area. RUN Chilly Chase—Langley, BC, 9am. A 15k, 10k and 5k.

Monday, 16 Jan BOARD Locals’ Qualifier / Legendary Banked Slalom— Mt. Baker Ski Area. Local snowboarders compete to qualify for a spot in the LBS (held Feb 10-12, 2012). 360-734-6771,

Wednesday, 18 Jan SEE Bike Travel Slideshow— Bellingham, 7pm. Hear about biking Bellingham to Durango in 2½ months; plus biking in Patagonia, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Tofino, BC. 360-671BIKE,

Friday, 20 Jan SEE Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Fest—Seattle, 7pm. 206-521-6000,

ULTRA Orcas Island 25k— Eastsound. Northwest Ski and Recreation Club For fun-loving adults who like outdoor activities! SKI/PLAY Whistler Ski Bus,from Bellingham, Saturday, Jan 28; Sun Peaks, BC, February 24-26; Crystal Mountain, March 3. SOCIALIZE Club Nights the 2nd Thursday of every month (various locations). INFO: Nancy at 360-961-9530,,,

Sunday, 29 Jan XC SKI/SHOE Chicks on Sticks —Leavenworth, 8am. A women’s event to benefit Breast Cancer Research. 509-548-5477, TRI RainMan Indoor Sprint— Silverdale.

Monday, 30 Jan HEAR Rick Steves, Europe through the Back Door—Bellingham, 7pm. 360-671-2626,

SKI Bakke Cup—Leavenworth, noon. Alpine, Nordic and ski jump. 509-5485477,


RUN Winter XC—Olympia. 360701-1604,

SPEC Bike to Work & School Day Planning Meeting—Bellingham, 6pm. 360-671-BIKE,

ULTRA Capitol Peak Mega-Fat Ass—Olympia, 8am. 34 or 17mi through Capitol State Forest. NAV Orienteering/Pt. Defiance— Tacoma, 10am-noon. Search (competitively or not) for checkpoints marked on a map. 206-913-3790,

Saturday & Sunday, 21 & 22 Jan XC SKI Methow Valley Pursuit— Winthrop.

Sunday, 22 Jan RUN Bridle Trails Winter Trail Running Festival—Kirkland, 3pm.

Friday, 27 Jan SKI Nissebakken Telemark Race— Leavenworth, 6pm. Giant slalom race benefitting the Junior Alpine Team. 509548-5477,

Friday-Sunday, 27 Jan- 12 Feb BOAT Seattle Boat Show—Seattle. 10 days of recreational watercraft and seminars.

in searchable PDF or Flash format, at


Wednesday, 1 Feb

Thursday-Saturday, 2-4 Feb FISH Salmon Classic Invitational— Roche Harbor/San Juan Island. 360-3785562

Saturday, 4 Feb SHOE/SPEC Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer — Stevens Pass Nordic Center, WA. Help STOMP OUT BREAST CANCER on snowshoes! Choose from a 3k or 5k snowshoe walk or a 3k race! Easy, well-marked trails along with snowshoe demos from Tubbs, top fundraiser awards and sweepstakes prizes make this a great event for all sorts of ages and abilities, even if you’ve never snowshoed before! Participate on your own, or create a team. Since its inception the Tubbs Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer Snowshoe Series®. has raised

1.8 MILLION dollars for breast cancer research and education, and inspired thousands to get out snowshoeing! Adventures NW magazine is a proud regional Romp to Stomp sponsor—for the 3rd year! other 2012 ROMP events • Mt Bachelor, OR (21 Jan) • Mountain Creek, NJ (21 Jan) • Scenic Caves, Ontario (21 Jan) • Stratton Mountain,VT (28 Jan) • Chaska, MN (NEW! 28 Jan) • Park City, UT (11 Feb) • Mt Seymour, BC (NEW! 3 Mar) • Frisco, CO (3 Mar) NAV Orienteering at Green River CC—Auburn, 10am-noon start. Search (competitively or not) for checkpoints on a map. 206-913-3790, PADDLE La Conner Open Water Race—La Conner. EDUC Sound Waters—Langley. At South Whidbey HS, take part in a “one day university for all” with more than 60 classes offered on the natural world and fragile environment, Whidbey Island history and living, wildlife, and more. ULTRA Orcas Island 50k— Eastsound.

Saturday & Sunday, 4 & 5 Feb XC SKI Bavarian Cup— Leavenworth, 8am. JR Olympic Qualifier. 509-548-5477,

Sunday 5 Feb XC SKI Tips Up Cup—Vernon, BC. At Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre.

Thursday, 9 Feb BIKE First Gear Class—Bellingham, 6pm. Learn to bike safely, be comfortable and have fun. 360-671-BIKE,

Friday-Sunday, 10-12 Feb BOARD Legendary Banked Slalom—Mt. Baker Ski Area, 10am. Amateur and professional snowboarders compete in this worldfamous showcase event. Great spectating opportunities, plus a BBQ, bonfire, product demos and more. Definitely a weekend to be on the mountain. 360734-6771, SKI Over the Hill Downhill—Silver Star, BC.

Saturday, 11 Feb SKI/PLAY Carnival Day— Leavenworth, 9am-6pm. 509-548-5477, RUN Two for the Road 5k—10am, Bellingham. Whatcom Falls Park.

race | play | experience


race I play I experience

11 Feb (cont.) - 25 Mar 2012 RUN Love ‘em or Leave ‘em Valentine’s Day Dash 5k—Seattle, 9:30am. RUN My Muddy Valentine 5k, 10k— Portland, OR.

Saturday & Sunday, 11 & 12 Feb SKI Wolf Chase Race—Winthrop, 9am. At Loup Loup Ski Bowl, a Juniors regional GS race. 866-699-5334,

Sunday, 26 Feb

Friday, 9 Mar

RUN Lord Hill Trail Run— Snohomish, 8:30am. 425-301-7009,

SEE Reel Paddling Film Festival— Abbotsford, BC, 7pm. 604-853-9320,

XC SKI Caledonia Loppet—Prince George, BC. At Otway Nordic Centre.

Saturday, 10 Mar

RD BIKE Chilly Hilly—Bainbridge Island.

Sunday, 12 Feb

TRI RainMan Indoor Sprint— Tacoma.

XC SKI Spirit of the Mountains Ski Race—Smithers, BC. At Bulkley Valley Nordic Centre.

MARCH > > >

Wednesday, 15 Feb

Saturday, 3 Mar

SHOE/SPEC Tubbs Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer —Mt. Seymour, BC—NEW VENUE! Help STOMP OUT SEE Bike Travel Slideshow— BREAST Bellingham, 7pm. Cycling Japan’s Kyushu CANCER on Island with teenagers; plus cycling snowshoes! Montana and Glacier National Park. Choose from a 360-671-BIKE, 3k or 5k snowshoe walk or a Saturday, 18 Feb 3k race! Easy, DU Fort Steilacoom Off-Road well-marked Duathlon #3—Steilacoom, 9.30am. trails along with 425-301-7009, snowshoe demos from Tubbs, top fundNAV Orienteering at Fire raiser awards and sweepstakes prizes Mountain—Mount Vernon, 10am-noon make this a great event for all sorts of start. Search for checkpoints on a map. ages and abilities, even if you’ve never 206-913-3790, snowshoed before! Participate on your own, or create a team. Since its incepSunday, 19 Feb tion the Tubbs Romp to Stomp out XC SKI Kongsberger Stampede Breast Cancer Snowshoe Series®. has Skiathlon 15k & Citizen’s 7.5k— raised 1.8 MILLION dollars for breast Snoqualmie Pass. The skiathlon is classic cancer research and education, and 1st lap (7.5k), skate the 2nd. Citizens’ is inspired thousands to get out snowone lap skate. shoeing! Adventures NW magazine is a proud regional Romp to Stomp TR RUN February Run—Seattle, sponsor—for the 3rd year! 9am. 503-515-9419, other 2012 ROMP events RUN Birch Bay Marathon, Half, • Mt Bachelor, OR (21 Jan) 10k— • Mountain Creek, NJ (21 Jan) RUN Fort Langley Historic Half, • Scenic Caves, Ontario (21 Jan) 10k, 5k—Fort Langley, BC, 8am. • Stratton Mountain,VT (28 Jan) • Chaska, MN (NEW! 28 Jan) • Stevens Pass, WA (4 Feb) Thursday-Sunday, 23-26 Feb SPEC BC Winter Games—Vernon, • Park City, UT (11 Feb) • Frisco, CO (3 Mar) BC. LEARN Marine Lecture Series— Eastsound, 7pm. Shell Games. 360-3763910,

Saturday, 25 Feb

XC SKI Sigge’s P’ayakentsut Loppet—Whistler, BC. An event Whistler Olympic Park, with competitive and recreational races for all ages and abilities,

RUN Mountain Marathon & Hillbilly Half—Olympia, 8am. 360701-1604, RUN Honeywagon Runs 4mi & 13.1mi—Everson, 10am.

BI Try Biathlon—Mazama, 11am. Nordic skiing and target shooting.

XC SKI Black Jack Loppet— Rossland, BC. At Black Jack XC Ski Trails.

XC SKI Hogloppet XC Ski Trek—Wenatchee, 7:30am. A 30k from Mission Ridge to Blewett Pass. 509-5485477,

MT BIKE Mussels in the Kettles MT Bike & Poker Ride—Coupeville.

RUN Smelt Run 5k & 10k— LaConner, 10am. FISH Smelt Derby—LaConner, 8am2pm.


race | play | experience

SKI Little Buck Slope Style Competition—Twisp, 10am. A terrain park event. 866-699-5334, SKI/SPEC Hope on the Slopes— Stevens Pass (also 4 Mar).

RUN Lake Sammamish Half Marathon—Redmond, 9am. A oneway Issaquah-to-Redmond route that is scenic, flat, fast, and chip-timed, with tech shirt and finisher medal. 425-3017009,

RUN Finaghty’s St. Patty’s Day 5k—Snoqualmie Ridge, 9am. 425-9225844, RUN Green Sock Half & Shamrock’n Race—Fort Langley, BC. Plus a 7mi & 5k. SKI/SPEC Hope on the Slopes— White Pass (also 18 Mar).

SKI/SPEC Hope on the Slopes— Crystal Mountain.

SEE Bike Travel Slideshow— Bellingham, 7pm. A bike circumnavigation of the Salish Sea. Plus La Route Verte: Cycling Trails of Eastern Canada. 360-671-BIKE,

Saturday-Sunday, 10-11 Mar

weekdays 19 Mar - 2 Jun

EXPO Seattle Bike Expo—Smith Cove Cruise Terminal.

Sunday, 11 Mar XC SKI Ozbaldy 50k—Snoqualmie Pass. “Western Washington’s only XC Ski Marathon,” with a mass start, feed stations and after party. Splits provided. TR RUN Redmond Watershed Preserve Runs—Redmond, 9:30am. 503-515-9419, TRI UBC Triathlon & Duathlon— Vancouver, BC, heat starts. Olympic, Sprint and Short.

Wednesday, 14 Mar LEARN Marine Lecture Series— Eastsound, 7pm. Animals of the Salish Sea. 360-376-3910,

Saturday, 17 Mar RUN Runnin’ O’ the Green— Bellingham, 10am. The 2mi fun run/walk and the 5mi run have a new [to be confirmed] downtown course from Depot Market Square so everyone can also enjoy the parade after. Lowcost event with a free shirt, draw prizes, and top finisher awards. Kids 8 & under free (without shirt). 360-7787000, SPEC St. Patrick’s Day Parade— Bellingham, noon. Irish dancers, pipe and marching bands, human- and greenpowered floats. Bike, walk, or take the bus and be green. BIRD Wings Over Water Birding Festival—Blaine, 10am. A day to learn about our migratory shorebirds in lectures, guided tours, workshops, kids activities and crafts. 360-332-6484, ULTRA Chuckanut 50k— Bellingham, 8am. 206-979-7219, web. RUN Canyonlands Half Marathon —Moab, UT, 10am. 435-259-4525, RUN St. Patrick’s Day Dash— Seattle. 8:30am.

SPEC Girls on the Run Spring Session—Whatcom Co. elementary schools. GOTR is an after-school character development program that combines training for a 5k run with selfesteem enhancing lessons and uplifting workouts. Culminates in a 5k on 6/2. Volunteer coaches always needed! 360-733-8630, jgallant@whatcomymca. org,

Saturday, 24 Mar TR RUN Fort Steilacoom Trail Run—Lakewood, 9am. 503-515-9419

Saturday & Sunday, 24 & 25 Mar ROW Spring 2K Novice Regatta— Lake Steven. 888-769-5772,

Sunday, 25 Mar CLIMB Big Climb benefitting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society— Seattle, 8:30am. Gear up for the climb of your life and be a part of the cure! The 69-flight climb up the Columbia Center, Seattle’s tallest skyscraper, includes 1,311 steps and 788 ft of vertical elevation. Participants can choose to climb (untimed) or race (timed). Both courses end at the 73rd floor Observatory. We’re looking for 6,000 people who are up for the challenge. 206-628-0777, NAV U- District Street Scramble —Seattle, 9:30am. 503-515-9419, RUN Mercer Island Half Marathon —7:30am. RUN Run-Ladies-Run Half Marathon & 10k—Friday Harbor, 9:30am. 360-298-0351, RUN Harry’s Spring Run-Off 8k to Fight Prostate Cancer—Vancouver, BC, 10am. RUN Gorge Waterfalls 50k— Cascade Locks, OR. TENTATIVE date.

>>> See a regularly updated Race|Play|Experience calendar,

race I play I experience

30 Mar - 21 Apr 2012 Friday-Sunday, 30 Mar-1 Apr FISH Anacortes Salmon Derby.

Saturday, 31 Mar RUN 7 Annual Birch Bay Road Race (5k, 15k, 30k)—8:30am. Spectacular runs along the shores of scenic Birch Bay and country roads for serious and recreational runners alike, with inspiring vistas and early morning rural roads. Training for your 1st marathon or half marathon? The 15k or 30k are the perfect distance for spring and summer race goals. Experience a fully supported race and go into your marathon with more confidence and excitement than you thought possible! 206-4991903, th

TR RUN Dash Point 10k & Half Marathon—Tacoma, 9:30am. 425-3017009, XC SKI Vancouver Island Loppet —Mount Washington. Choose a 15k or 30k at Raven Lodge Nordic Ski Area. RUN Yakima River Canyon Marathon—Ellensburg, 8am.

APRIL > > > Sunday, 1 Apr RUN Seahawks 12k Run at The Landing—Renton, 9am. “Show your Seahawks spirit.” TRI Seattle RainMan Sprint. RUN Race for the Roses 5k, 10k, Half—Portland, OR. RUN Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run—Gibsons, BC.

Saturday, 7 Apr SPEC Golden Egg Hunt—Mt. Baker Ski Area, 9am. All ages may be part of the main egg hunt; plus there will be separate, free hunts for kids 10 and under. What better reason to play in the snow at Mt. Baker Ski Area? 360734-6771, RUN Skagit Valley Tulip Run— Burlington, 9:30am. 2mi or 5mi course near Skagit Valley Airport.

Wednesday, 11 Apr ADV RACE BEAST #1—Seattle, 7pm. 503-515-9419,

Friday-Sunday, 13-22 Apr SPEC Telus World Ski & Snowboard Festival—Whistler, BC.

in searchable PDF or Flash format, at

Saturday, 14 Apr

Thursday - Sunday, 19-22 Apr

TR RUN Squak Mt. 12k, Half & 50k—Issaquah, 8:30am. 425-301-7009,

RD BIKE Northwest Crank— Wenatchee. Several supported rides each day.

Saturday & Sunday, 14 & 15 Apr

Friday - Sunday, 20-22 Apr

WALK Walk MS Washington —4/14 is Bainbridge Island, Bellingham, Kitsap Co., Olympia, Snohomish,Tacoma,TriCities; 4/15 is Seattle.

NAV US Interscholastic & Intercollegiate Orienteering Championships—Snohomish & Whidbey Island. 425-387-7183,

ROW NW Sculling Regatta—Lake Stevens. SKI/BOARD Raven’s Edge Dual Slalom Races—Mt Baker Ski Area. (Dates tentative at press time.) 2 days of races for skiers and snowboarders 8 to 80. 360-201-2567,

Sunday, 15 Apr MULTI Ski 2 Sea—Kelowna, BC. 6 legs, ~95 miles, team or solo. RUN Bridge to Brews 8k, 10k— Portland, OR. RUN Whidbey Island Marathon & Half—Oak Harbor. (5k on Sat.) RUN Vancouver Sun Run 10k— BC.

Saturday, 21 Apr BIKE 31st Annual Tulip Pedal—La Conner, register/ check-in 7am-noon. Ride 20 miles around the tulip fields between Mount Vernon and La Conner or ride 40 or 60 miles that also offer views of Samish and Padilla bays—all from La Conner Middle School and with fantastic supported rest stops. $30/$35 with jersey. Kids 14 and under ride free! This event is Safe Kids Skagit County’s premier fundraiser. 360-428-3236,

Wednesday, 18 Apr

RUN Wenatchee Marathon, Half, 10k, Relay.

TR RUN Ravenna Park Run #1—Seattle, 6:30pm. 503-515-9419,

RUN Yakima Skyline Rim 50k, 25k—Ellensburg. TENTATIVE date.

race | play | experience


race I play I experience

22 Apr - 18 May 2012

Sunday, 22 Apr

Friday-Sunday, 27-29 Apr

Sunday, 29 Apr

Saturday, 12 May

Earth Day. Give back to it, celebrate it, learn about it, take action. Today, every day.

EXPO Spring Recreation & Sportsman Expo—Monroe. 360805-6700,

ULTRA/TR RUN Spokane River Run—7:4510:15am starts. No matter your distance (5k, 10k 25k or 50k (all loops, no laps), this is a perfect event for hikers, families, first-timers, or as an early season endurance run. The routes are over 95% dirt trails within Riverside State Park (minutes from downtown Spokane) and wind through forests of pine trees and basalt outcroppings, and include a nice stretch alongside the raging and beautiful Spokane River. Chip-timed, well-supported, t-shirts, random prizes—and 100% of the funds raised goes to youth education and recreation programs. 509-710-7760,

Saturday, 28 Apr

RUN/WALK Heroes Half Marathon & 10k—Everett, 8am. Run or walk a half marathon or 10k, celebrating heroes from all walks of life and for St. Jude’s Research Hospital which helps to make a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The courses follow the Yellow Ribbon Highway (SR529—closed for the event) from Everett to Marysville and back. Includes a 2-day Sports Expo in Port Gardner, local entertainment, and miles of running trails. 206-499-1903,

RUN Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon—Santa Ynez, CA, 7am. This spectacular 13.1mi course runs through the Santa Ynez Valley past horse ranches, orchards, historic towns, and vineyards. Run from downtown Santa Ynez, through Los Olivos, then down Ballard Canyon into the Danish-settled town of Solvang, site of the post-race Wine & Music Festival. Held annually on the Saturday of Mothers Day weekend. Team competition (6 or more) and 2-person relay also offered. This race is limited to 3,000 runners and sells out early. Produced by Destination Races.,

RUN Race for the Cure 5k— Spokane, 9am. Run in downtown Spokane. ULTRA/RUN Mt. Si Relay & Ultras —Snoqualmie. RUN WWU Earth Day 5k & Alumni Run—Bellingham, 10am.

NAV Columbia City Street Scramble—Seattle, 9:30am. 503-5159419, RD BIKE Tour de Lopez—Lopez Island. A mostly flat bike tour of 10, 17 and 31mi routes.

Saturday-Sunday, 28-29 Apr RUN Eugene Marathon/Half/5k/ Kids Run—Eugene, OR. This premier event in ‘track town USA’ includes a 5k and Kids Run (Sat, 4/28), and the Marathon and Half-Marathon (Sun, 4/29). The full and half courses are beautiful, flat and fast—taking participants by numerous parks and miles of riverfront trails before reaching the spectacular finish on the track inside historic Hayward Field. Don’t miss one of the prettiest, flattest and most unique certified races in the country! Run in Eugene, and run in the footsteps of LEGENDS.

RUN Bellevue 5k/10k—Bellevue, 8am. TR RUN Soaring Eagle Park Runs—Sammamish, 8:30/9:30am. 503515-9419, ULTRA Capitol Peak 50mi / 55k— Olympia, 6:30am. MULTI Snow to Surf Relay— Comox, BC.



Friday-Sunday, 4-6 May BIRD Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival. See migrating shorebirds that stop to feed and rest before departing for Arctic nesting grounds. 800-3038498,

Saturday, 5 May PADDLE/ROW Lake Whatcom Classic—Bellingham, 10am. Race 12mi or 5.5mi.

RUN Day of Family Fun Run— Colville, 8am. 509-684-6037, TR RUN Sunflower Marathon & Relay—Mazama, 8:30am. SEE Youth Fitness Expo—Everett. 425-212-1919, BIKE Tour de Cure—Redmond. RUN Have a Heart Runs—Mount Vernon, 9:30am. Help fight hunger and homelessness. RUN Inspiring Hope 10k, 5k— Mukilteo. TR RUN Cougar Mt Trail Run 5mi—Newcastle, 9am. 503-515-9419, RUN Over the Dam 5k/10k/Half— Grand Coulee.

RUN Haggen to Haggen 5k— Bellingham, 8am.

RUN/WALK The Human Race 5k/10k—Bellingham, 10am. 360-7343055,

RD BIKE Ride Around Clark County—Vancouver.

Sunday, 13 May

RUN Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon & 8k—Snoqualmie, 9am. 425-922-5844, TR RUN Ft. Steilacoom 5k, 10k, Half, 50k—Lakewood, 8:30am. 425301-7009,

Saturdays, 5, 12 & 19 May WALK Arthritis Walks— Tacoma 5/05;Vancouver & Portland 5/12, Bellevue 5/19.

Sunday, 6 May RUN Lilac Bloomsday Run— Spokane, 9am. 509-838-1579, RUN Tacoma City Marathon, Half, Relay, 5k, Kids. WALK Fight for Air Walk—Seattle, 10am.

RUN Kirkland Half Marathon & 5k, 7am. 206-729-9972, RD BIKE Rhody Bike Tour, Metric & Half-Metric Century—Port Townsend.

Thursday, 17 May ADV RACE BEAST #2—Seattle, 7pm. 503-515-9419,

Thursday-Saturday, 17-20 May BIRD Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest. 509-548-5807,

Friday, 18 May BIKE National Bike to Work & School Day. Check what’s happening in your community—or make something happen! Commute alternatively.

RUN Vancouver Marathon— Vancouver, BC. 54

race | play | experience

>>> See a regularly updated Race|Play|Experience calendar,

race I play I experience

19 May - 16 Jun 2012

RUN Windermere Marathon— Spokane. RUN Seattle’s Best 15k—Seattle, 7am. JR MULTI Junior Ridge to River Relay—Wenatchee. MULTI Pole Pedal Paddle—Bend, OR. Teams, pairs, solos. SURF PNW Clean Water Classic Surf Contest—Westport, 7am. Two days of competition. 360-220-5735, RUN Sun Mountain 50mi, 50k, 25k—Winthrop. TENTATIVE date. JR MULTI Ski to Sea Jr. Relay Race —Bellingham. Three starts/divisions in this event at Lake Padden. Run, 3-legged-run, mt bike, soccer ball kick, obstacle-course.

Sunday, 20 May RUN/WALK West Seattle 5k— 9am. RUN Capital City Marathon— Olympia. RUN Rhody Run 12k—Port Townsend.

Thursday, 24 May TR RUN Ravenna Park #2—Seattle, 6:30pm.

Saturday, 26 May NAV Gig Harbor Street Scramble —Gig Harbor, 9:30am. 503-515-9419, RUN Mazama 5k & 10k Fun Runs—Mazama, 9am. MT BIKE 24 Hours Round the Clock—Spokane, noon. Riverside State Park.

Sunday, 27 May MULTI Ski to Sea—Bellingham/ Whatcom Co., 7:45am. A multi-sport relay for recreational to elite athletes, from the slopes of Mount Baker to the shores of Bellingham Bay. 7 legs, 8 racers/team—XC ski, downhill ski or board, rd run, rd bike, canoe, mt bike, and sea kayak to a finish at Fairhaven’s Marine Park. Top Gun Awards as well as divisional awards presented at the lively finish/vendor expo. (Read about Ski to Sea at!) 360-746-8861, RUN Coeur d’Alene Marathon— ID, 7am.

Monday, 28 May RD BIKE Seven Hills of Kirkland.

JUNE > > > Saturday, 2 Jun MULTI Gap2Gap Relay—Yakima, 7am. This multi-sport, 5-leg relay race utilizes the Yakima Greenway, a series of parks connected by over 10 miles of pathway along the scenic Yakima River. This relay includes a fjeld run, 12mi mountain bike, 8mi kayak, 20mi road bike and 10k run. The sport course is shorter with a fjeld run, 8mi mountain bike, 6.2mi inline skate, 20mi road bike and a 5k run. The Jr race is for kids ages 6-14. Kids run, bike, rollerblade, paddle in Reflection Pond, and navigate an obstacle course in Sarg Hubbard Park. Teams or solo. 509-4538280, RUN Race Beneath the Sun 5mi —Bellingham, 10am. BIKE 25th Annual Apple Century Bike Ride— Wenatchee, WA. 8-10am open start. Ride through Washington’s apple country! Start at Walla Walla Point Park and wind through orchards and vineyards of Monitor, Cashmere, Dryden and Peshastin en route to Leavenworth. There, 50milers return, while 100milers continue through the foothills of the eastern edge of the Cascades to their turn-around, Nason Creek Campground at Lake Wenatchee. SAG wagons, water stops along the route plus at the two turnarounds (Cascade HS, Leavenworth— 25mi; Nason Creek—50mi), and postride party with food, beverages, entertainment.

ULTRA Rainier to Ruston—Mt. Rainier.

Saturday-Sunday, 2-3 Jun BOAT Anacortes Waterfront Festival.

Sunday, 3 Jun RUN Chum Run—Langley, 10am. A 5k and free Fry Run. 360-221-5484,

Sunday, 10 Jun RUN/WALK Shore Run/Walk— Seattle, 8:15am. RUN Edge to Edge Marathon, Half, Relay—Tofino, BC. See Craig Romano’s story online. RUN Sandcastle City Classic 10k—White Rock, 9am.

RUN North Olympic Discovery Marathon, Half, 10k, 5k—Sequim.

RUN Winthrop Road Marathon & Half—Tentative.

RUN Run Duvall 5k/10k—Duvall. An education fundraiser.

RUN Longest Day 10k/5k— Vancouver, BC, 6:30pm. On the UBC Campus.

RUN San Juan Island Marathon, Half-Marathon & 10k—Friday Harbor, 8:30am. RUN Race for the Cure 5k— Seattle.

Friday, 15 Jun

Saturday, 16 Jun RUN Freedom Fun Run—Colville, 8am. 509-684-6037,

Friday, 8 Jun

TR RUN Cougar Mt 8mi— Newcastle, 9am.

RUN Fremont 5k & Briefcase Relay—Seattle, 7pm.

RUN Fall City Days 10k/5k.

Saturday, 9 Jun

BIKE Ride to Conquer Cancer— Vancouver, BC-Seattle.,

BIKE Flying Wheels Summer Century—Redmond. RUN/WALK Sound to Narrows 12k—Tacoma. SAIL Leukemia Cup Regatta— Seattle.

TRI Cottage Lake Tri & Tri Again —Woodinville. Also 9/8/12. MT BIKE Test of Endurance— Corvallis, OR.

31st Annual!


Saturday, April 21

Ride 20, 40 or 60 miles through world-famous Skagit tulip fields & along Samish & Padilla bays

WALK Spokane Bridge Walk— 9:30am. 509-625-6546, ADV Survivor Mud Run— Carnation. RUN/WALK Girls on the Run 5k—Bellingham, 9:30am. Everyone may participate in this 5k in Barkley Village that celebrates and benefits Girls on the Run of NW WA. 360-733-8630, jgallant@whatcomymca. org, TRI/RUN Issaquah Tri, 5k, 10k— Lake Sammamish. TR RUN Lord Hill Run— Snohomish, 9am. BIKE SWAN Century & Family Fun Ride—Sedro Woolley, 7:30am.

in searchable PDF or Flash format, at


kids 14 & under ride FREE!

Fully supported Great food stops Event jersey just $5 extra!

Photos: Linda Wright

Saturday, 19 May

Proceeds fund child injury prevention efforts in Skagit County! 360-428-3236 race | play | experience


Weekly / RECURRING events>>> SUNDAYS

RD BIKE Bellingham, 8:30am, Rabbit: 32mi from F’haven Park; small groups, all paces. KAYAK Bellingham, 10am, KayakPolo: at Marine Park, all weather, all welcome, some gear available. RD BIKE Edison, 10am, Edison Social: 30-40mi at 10-14mph from Edison Elem.


RUN Mt. Vernon, 6pm, Beginner: 3-6mi at 9-11min/mi; meet at Skagit Running Co. 336-2475, MEET Bellingham, 7pm. NW Straits Surfrider Meeting: 4th Mon. at Boulevard Park. MEET Environmental Conservation Book Club: 2nd Mon. at Village Books. 360-650-9470,


RD BIKE Ferndale, 10am, North Social: 30-40mi from Pioneer Park,1014mph. RUN Bellingham, 6pm, All Paces: 40-min. from Fairhaven Runners. 6764955, KAYAK Bellingham, 6pm, Kayak Polo: at Marine Park. 676-4279, RUN Bellingham, 5:30pm, Evening Track Workout: emphasis on team running and racing; meet at Sehome High.


RUN Bellingham, 6pm, Evening Epic: “strenuous,” hilly runs of 1.5-2 hours. 676-4955, RUN Mount Vernon, 6pm, Skagit Advanced: up to 7mi, 7-8 min/mi pace. 336-2475, RD/MT BIKE Bellingham, 6pm, Group Workout: Apr-Sep, Race/ Training pace. Oct-Mar, Night Trail Ride. HEAR Bellingham, noon, 1/4, 2/1, 3/7, Healthcare Brown Bag Talk, 360671-2626,


RUN Anacortes: 6pm, Trail: 3-7mi from Heart Lake. FIX Bellingham, 6pm, Fix a Flat Clinic: at Fairhaven Bike & Ski, free. 733-4433, RD BIKE Edison, 10am, South Social: 30-40mi,10-14mph from Edison Elem. RUN Bellingham, 6pm, Hit the Trail: causal ~40min trail runs around Bellingham; meet at Fairhaven Runners. 676-4955, LEARN Bellingham, 6-8:30pm, 2nd Thur, First Gear: Adults & kids under 16 w/adult learn skills for safe, fun cycling. 360-671-bike,


RD BIKE Bellingham, 10am, 2nd Sat., Recumbent: 14mi town ride from Kulshan Cycles; weather may cancel. KAYAK Bellingham, 9am, Informal Day Paddle: meet at Sehome Village. 56

race | play | experience

WALK Bellingham, 8am, Fairhaven Walking Club: all levels. 319-3350, RD BIKE Bellingham, 7am Mar-Sep; 7:30am Oct-Feb. Donut: 24-45mi, race pace. TRACK Snoqualmie, 9am-noon, 3rd Sat until 5/19, Wilderness Tracking Club: $5/session; 425-7881301,


PADDLE Seattle, Mon/Wed 6pm, Sat 8am, Sun 3pm, Dragon Boating: free intro lessons, S Lake Union. 206523-4518, SEE Newhalem, nightly at dusk, free, Ladder Creek Falls Light Show

VOLUNTEER / GET INVOLVED WA Trails Assoc Trail work every day but MON. 206-625-1367, WHIMPS Mt bike Coalition Whatcom Co. trail work Mt Vernon Trail Builders Little Mountain multi-use trail work, 10am, 2nd & 4th SATs except Aug. Nooksack Salmon Enhancement ASSOC 360-715-0283, CHUCKANUT CONSERVANCY Pnw Trail assoc Skagit/Whatcom work parties st 1 & 3rd SATs, Apr-Oct. Whatcom Land trust 360-650-9470 Volunteers for outdoor washington PEOPLE FOR PUGET SOUND 206-382-7007,

race I play I experience

17 Jun - 21 Jul 2012

Sunday, 17 Jun TR RUN Beacon Rock 25k/50k— North Bonneville. TENTATIVE date.

Thursday, 21 Jun TR RUN Ravenna Park #3—Seattle, 6:30pm. 503-515-9419

Saturday, 23 Jun TRI Padden Triathlon—Bellingham. Sprint/competitive at 8:30am (.5mi swim, 21mi rd bike, 5.2mi tr run) or supersprint/rec at 1pm (.25mi swim, 10mi bike, 2.6mi tr run). Solo or relay. 360-778-7000, RUN Walk/Run for Literacy— Bellingham, 9am. A mostly-trail 5k from Fairhaven celebrating the anniversaries of Village Books, Fairhaven Runners and Whatcom Literacy Council, with ALL proceeds going to the Literacy Council. A free kids .5mi and post event festivities on the Fairhaven Village Green., BIKE Tour de Blast—Toutle Lake/ Mt. St. Helens. RUN Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & Half—Seattle. RUN Dog Island Run 10k, 2mi— Guemes Island, 10:45am. Benefits Guemes Library.

• • • • • (Greater B’ham Running Club) • • (Mt. Baker- Snoqualmie Nat’l Forest)

• • • • (Center for Wooden Boats)

RUN/WALK Miles for Meso 5k— Federal Way, 8:30am. 253-835-6932,

Saturday, 7 Jul TRI Clear Lake Triathlon & Youth Tri— 9am/11am. A chip-timed event in the Skagit community of Clear Lake on scenic Hwy 9. A 1/3mi swim in the shallow lake (~72 degrees), a 14.8mi bike course with a few gradual inclines about 5 miles out, and a relatively flat 4mi run. Solo or relay. Also a separate Youth Tri for 14 & under. 360-336-9414, TR RUN Cougar Mt Trail Run 10mi— Newcastle, 9am. 503-5159419, RUN Women’s Moon Run 4K & Half Marathon—Olympia, 4pm. 360-701-1604, RUN Chuckanut Foot Race— Bellingham/Marine Park, 9am.

Saturday, 14 Jul

RUN Kona Marathon & Family Runs—Kailua/Kona, HI, 5:30am. “Run in Paradise”—the Big Island—marathon, half, 10k, 5k. Experience true aloha. 808-967-8240, NAV Tacoma Street Scramble— 9:30am. 503-515-9419,

RUN Vancouver Half/5k—Vancouver, BC.

Other area clubs:

Wednesday, 4 Jul

Sunday, 24 Jun

Anacortes Forest Lands

Bellingham Parks 360-778-7105,

RUN Firecracker 5000 5k—Seattle, 11:55pm. 206-729-9972,

Wednesday-Sunday, 11-15 Jul

TRI Ironman Coeur d’Alene.

Iron Goat trail

Tuesday, 3 Jul

BIKE Chelan Century Challenge.

Washington water trails

Padilla Bay Reserve 360-428-1070,

JULY > > >

Tuesday, 26 Jun BIKE/EAT Spoke & Food—Seattle, self-start. Supports FamilyWorks food bank.

Thursday, 28 Jun ADV RACE BEAST #3—Seattle, 7pm. 503-515-9419,

Friday-Monday, 29 Jun-2 Jul BIKE NW Tandem Rally “Wonders of the Willamette”— Salem, OR.

Saturday, 30 Jun TR RUN Start of Summer Run—Seattle, 8/9am. 503-515-9419, ULTRA/RUN Vashon Ultra & Trail Run.

FLY Arlington Fly In. SWIM Lake Padden Open Water Swim—Bellingham, 9am. BIKE Tour des Chutes—Bend, OR.

Saturday-Sunday, 14-15 Jul BIKE Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. TRI/DU/RUN Ocean Shores Big Weekend.

Sunday, 15 Jul TRI Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens, 6:30am.

Sunday–Friday, 15-20 Jul SAIL Whidbey Island Race Week.

Saturday, 21 Jul RUN Wind Horse Half Marathon —Bellingham, 8:30am. An outand-back run on the beautiful Interurban Trail from Fairhaven Park, and a fundraiser for the Blue Sky Education Project, which supports children in Tsetserleg, Mongolia, one of Bellingham’s sister cities. Great postrace festivities! 206-890-8694,

>>> See a regularly updated Race|Play|Experience calendar,

race I play I experience

21 Jul (cont.) - 18 Aug 2012

Saturday-Sunday, 28-29 Jul

Saturday, 4 Aug

TRI 13th Annual Bellingham Youth Triathlon—9/10/11am. At Arne Hanna Aquatic Center, (meaning an indoor swim), 3 different course distances and 3 different start times, depending on age. T-shirts, finisher medals, draw prizes, lotsa fun. 360-778-7000,

RUN Mid-Summer Fun Run— Colville, 8am. 509-684-6037,

BOAT La Conner Classic Yacht & Car Show—10am. 360-466-4778,

RUN Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon.

ULTRA Angel’s Staircase 50mi, 50k, 25k—Carlton. TENTATIVE date.

SEE Eurasia Custom Bike Show— Rexville, 11am. 360-466-4778,

and female overall. Solo or relay. 360-778-7000,

Saturday & Sunday, 21 & 22 Jul

BIKE Tour de Cure—Hillsboro, OR.

SPEC Pacific NW Polo Governor’s Cup—La Conner, 10am. 360-466-4778,

TRI Federal Escape Triathlon— Federal Way.

AUGUST > > >

NAV Night & Day Street MULTI Olympia Traverse—1:30pm. Scramble—Seattle, 3pm. 9419, TRI/RUN ChelanMan Multisport Weekend—Chelan.

Sunday, 22 Jul RUN Lacamas Lake Half Marathon & 4 Miler—Camas.

Thursday, 26 Jul BIKE RAMROD—Enumclaw. Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day.

Saturday, 28 Jul RD BIKE DU Padden Duathlon —Bellingham, 9am. A fast, fun du that won’t break your pocketbook, and at a great location, with both runs on trail around Lake Padden, and the bike out and around Lake Samish. All participants receive a t-shirt and are eligible for draw prizes; trophies for top 3 male

ULTRA White River 50mi—Crystal Mountain. BIKE Tour de Whatcom— Bellingham, 7-11:30am starts depending on distance. Do the Tour de Whatcom, a fun charity bike ride (25, 50 or 105 miles, all fairly level) with awesome views. No matter your distance, you get to see everything: Mt Baker, Lake Whatcom, valleys, rivers, lush farmland, beaches and north Puget Sound. All routes offer wellstocked reststops, bike techs/safety checks (at the start too), and a “family” rate. Starts are coordinated so riders roll in around the same time for the festivities back at the Fairhaven Village Green. FREE pictures too. 360-7399953,

Saturday-Monday, 4-6 Aug BIKE Courage Classic— Snoqualmie.

Sunday, 5 Aug TRI Troika Triathlon—Spokane.

Tuesday, 7 Aug ADV RACE BEAST #4—Seattle, 7pm. 503-515-9419,

Saturday, 11 Aug TR RUN Cougar Mt Trail Run 13mi— Newcastle, 8:30am. 503-515-9419,

Saturday, 12 Aug ULTRA Transcendence 12-hour Ultra Endurance Run—Olympia, 6am. 360-701-1604, RUN Four Lakes 10k, 3k—Pender Harbour, BC, 9am.

17-18 & 18-19 Aug BIKE Ride from Seattle to Vancouver & Party.

Saturday, 18 Aug NAV Eastside Street Scramble— Redmond, 9:30am.

Join us for Sea Kayak Orcas Island by B&B ~ Paddle-Sail-Lighthouse

“This is hands down my absolute all time favorite half marathon! I got a ten-minute PR and loved the beautiful scenery. Everyone, including other runners were extremely friendly. Such a great event, thank you!”

September 2, 2012

RD BIKE ALS DoubleDay Bike Ride & Fundraiser—Mt.Vernon. 425-656-1650,

Adult & Family Adventures Kids Day Camps School Programs marine & forest-focused programs at Deception Pass & across the PNW San Juan Islands... Inside Passage... SE Alaska

—enjoy Pacific Northwest waters aboard the m/v David B Weekend Getaways Kayak Mothership Tours Private Charters

Stoller Vineyards to Carlton, Oregon

Northwest Navigation Co. Small Ship Cruises 877-670-7863 / 360-201-8184 in searchable PDF or Flash format, at

race | play | experience


race I play I experience

18 Aug (cont.) - 22 Sep 2012

RUN Volcano Rain Forest Runs— Volcano, HI, 7am. Run (half, 10k & 5k) on an active volcano through a Big Island Hawaii native rainforest. 808-967-8240, RUN Snoqualmie Railroad Days 10k/5k.

Sunday, 19 Aug BIKE Retro Ride & Concours d’Elegance—La Conner, 10am. 360466-3365, YOUTH TRI Sammamish Splash Kids Tri.

Friday, 24 Aug RUN Hood To Coast 200mi Relay —Mt Hood, OR.

Saturday, 25 Aug PADDLE 3rd Annual Paddle Grand Prix—Bellingham, 10am. Oval-track, paddle-craft racing on Bellingham Bay with a spectatorfriend course directly in front of Boulevard Park. The race is open to ALL paddle-craft, including standup and traditional paddleboards, kayaks, surfskis, canoes—if it can be paddled, bring it


and throw down against others in your class! Official jerseys, free post-race feast (friends and family may purchase), demos, raffle, live auction and awards! Info, photos, registration, and to nominate or vote on beneficiaries: Brandon, 360-319-0696, RUN Dwight Dash 5k & 10k — Spokane, 9am., TR RUN Redmond Watershed Preserve—Redmond, 8:30/9:30am. 503-515-9419, TR RUN Cutthroat Classic— Mazama, 8am, wave starts.

Sunday, 26 Aug RUN Eugene Women’s Half Marathon—Eugene, 8am. This run is for those who like a little pampering! Ladies (Gentlemen if they wish) will be treated to a fabulous Eugene course that starts downtown and finishes at the 5th Street Market. Participants can expect a race experience unlike other typical road races. Unrivaled swag bags, mini spa services, delicious chocolate, bubbly champagne—what more could a girl want? 877-345-2230,

TRI Ironman Canada—Pentiction, BC.

SEPTEMBER > > > Saturday, 1 Sep RUN Lake Padden Relay— Bellingham, 10am. CX TRI North Bend Multicross.

Sunday, 2 Sep RUN Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon— Yamhill County, OR, 7am. This scenic course meanders through the heart of the Willamette Valley, starting at Stoller Vineyards and finishing in the town of Carlton for the popular post-race Wine & Music Festival. Evergreen Aviation Museum hosts the race expo on Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Produced by Destination Races and held on Sunday of Labor Day Weekend. Half Marathon individual and 2-person relay offered, plus team competition. Register early! 707-933-1769, run4oregonwine. com,

Monday, 3 Sep RUN Labor Day Half—Woodinville, 7am.

Tuesday-Wednesday, 4-5 Sep BOAT Deer Harbor Wooden Boat Rendezvous—Orcas Island. Tue: row race (4pm), barbecue, music. Wed: breakfast, sail race, potluck.

Friday-Sunday, 7-9 Sep BOAT Wooden Boat Festival— Port Townsend.

Saturday, 8 Sep RUN/WALK Fairhaven Runners Waterfront 15K—Bellingham, 8:30am. Whether competing or participating just for fun, running or walking, enjoy a beautiful 15k/9.3mi course along Bellingham Bay from Fairhaven to Squalicum Harbor and back. This is a wonderfully fun event, especially because of the great volunteers, postrace party with food and drink, live music, awards, and free massage/chiropractic care. All participants get a shirt and chip timing. Low pre-registration fee, no day-of registration, and the event has a cap, so don’t wait to commit to one of the best runs in the region! 360676-4955,


race | play | experience

TR RUN Middle Fork 50k & 20mi—North Bend, 8am. 503-5159419, TR RUN North Cascades PCT 100k—Mazama. TENTATIVE date.

Saturday-Sunday, 8-9 Sep RD BIKE Bike MS WA—Mt. Vernon. 206-284-4254,

Sunday, 9 Sep BIKE High Pass Challenge— Packwood. Cycle through the Gifford Pinchot Wilderness Area. TRI Seattle Escape from the Rock. RUN Skagit Flats Marathon/Half— Burlington, 8am. RUN/WALK Iron Girl 10k, 5k— Seattle, 8am.

Saturday, 15 Sep MULTI Bellingham Traverse— Bellingham. TRI Grand Columbian Super Tri— Grand Coulee. TR RUN Cle Elum Ridge 50k & 25k. TENTATIVE.

Saturday & Sunday, 15 & 16 Sep SPEC Rainier Mountain Festival— Ashford. Plus the Run/Walk at Rainier. 800-238-5756,

Sunday, 16 Sep BIKE Cycle the Wave (Women Against Violence Everywhere)— Issaquah. BIKE Chuckanut Century— Bellingham, 7am. Presented by the Mt. Baker Bike Club, this event benefits Whatcom Hospice Foundation and takes riders on some of the most scenic routes in the state—24mi, 38mi, 50mi, 62mi, 100mi, or the double metric century (124mi). The south loop offers views of the San Juan Islands while overlooking Bellingham, Samish, and Padilla Bays, skirting along and viewing Chuckanut and Blanchard mountains. The north loop, through farmland and along bays, offers views of Baker, Shuksan, the Twin Sisters, and the Canadian Cascades. Start and finish at Boundary Bay Brewery (free beverage or burger at the finish!). Regular rest stops with hearty food.

Saturday, 22 Sep RUN Puget Sound Classic 5k & 10k—Olympia, 8am. 360-701-1604,

RUN Tame the Dragon Fun Run— Colville, 8am. 509-684-6037,

ADV RACE San Juan Island Quest —Orcas Island.

BIKE GranFondo Whistler— Vancouver, BC.

BIKE Tour de Whidbey—Greenbank,

>>> See a regularly updated Race|Play|Experience calendar,

race I play I experience

23 Sep - 8 Dec 2012 Sunday, 23 Sep

Monday, 8 Oct

NAV Octoberfest Street Scramble—Fremont, 10am. 503-5159419,

RUN Granville Island Turkey Trot 10k Walk, Run, Stroll—Vancouver, BC, 8:30am.

weekdays 24 Sep-1 Dec

Saturday, 13 Oct

SPEC Girls on the Run Fall Session—Whatcom Co. elementary schools. GOTR is an after school character development program that combines training for a 5k run with selfesteem enhancing lessons and uplifting workouts; culminates in a 5k 12/1/2012. 360-733-8630,

RUN Sekani Trail Run 5k & 10k— Spokane, 10am. 509-625-6546, active. com,

Sunday, 30 Sep RUN Bellingham Bay Marathon, Half Marathon & 5k—Bellingham, 7:30 am. The marathon (Boston qualifier) and half marathon courses are relatively flat, well-supported and along picturesque and expansive Bellingham Bay waterfront with country and urban landscapes, mountain vistas and exceptional seascapes. The point-to-point marathon is from Lummi Peninsula to downtown Bellingham (free shuttle to start). The half marathon loop course starts at Bellingham’s Depot Market Square. The fast, friendly 5k is along downtown streets and trails.

TR RUN Harvest Half Marathon & 10k—Kenmore, 9am. 503-515-9419,

Sunday, 14 Oct MTB DU Klicks Mountain Bike Duathlon—Bellingham, 11am. A solo or relay off-road event on the trails of Lake Padden Park: run 2.6mi around the lake, mt bike 6mi on the technical trails above the lake, then run the lake again. (Free Y Youth Du after—see below.) 360-778-7000,

Sunday, 18 Nov

ADV Fall BEAST Race—Seattle, 9am. 503-515-9419,

Thursday, 22 Nov

TR RUN Thanksgiving Gobbler Gallop—Seattle, 9am.

Saturday, 24 Nov

RUN Seattle Marathon 5K Race & Seattle Children’s Kids Marathon —Seattle, 8:30am & 10am. Be a part of the Seattle Marathon 5K Race! The out-and-back course starts and ends at Seattle Center and travels through the streets of downtown Seattle. All participants receive a Saucony technical shirt and a goody bag. The Kids Marathon is for children up to age 14; a fun 1.2mi loop around the Seattle Center is the final length of the full 26.2mi marathon that the children complete beforehand at a healthy pace—one mile at a time. Make this a Thanksgiving tradition! 206-729-3660,

Sunday, 25 Nov

RUN Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon & Half Marathon— Seattle, 7:15am. Be a part of the tradition, and celebrate the Seattle Marathon Family of Events over Thanksgiving Weekend 2012! The events include the Seattle Children’s Kids Marathon and the Seattle Marathon 5K (see 11/24), a 2-day Health + Fitness EXPO, and the Seattle Marathon and Half Marathon run/walk. The RRCA- and AIMScertified marathon and half marathon courses consist of rolling hilly sections and scenic views of downtown Seattle and Lake Washington. 206-729-3660,

Saturday, 8 Dec

YOUTH DU YMCA Youth RUN Fairhaven Frosty 5k & 10k— Duathlon—Bellingham, 1pm. At Lake Bellingham, 10am. Run on road and Padden Ball Fields, kids can choose trail, 1 or 2 loops from Fairhaven Park. from 3 different Free kids 1/4 mile. distances and NAV Street Scramble at the start times (1pm Market—Seattle, 9:30am. 503-515short, 1:30pm 9419, medium and 2pm long). This free >>> SEE YOUR 2012 EVENT IN ANW’s CALENDAR, PRINT & ONLINE. event2011 isn’t timed, Overnight Cruises Visit for information. but all finishers get great goodies. Daybooked before of-race registration only. tbennett@ May 15,

10% OFF

Saturday, 20 Oct BIKE Kitsap Color Classic. Three loop options. RUN Great Columbia Crossing 10k—Dismal Nitch, WA to Astoria, OR, 9am.



Saturday, 6 Oct RUN/WALK Race for Education— Bellingham, 9am/kids race 8:30am. A fundraising 5k starting and ending at Civic Field. RUN WWU XC Classic— Bellingham, 10am. RUN Silver Lake XC Runs—Maple Falls, 9am. RUN/WALK Run Like a Girl 1/2 Marathon—Bellingham, 9am.

RUN 2nd Annual Lake Padden Trail Classic 13.1—Bellingham, 9am. The half marathon makes its way up and through the forested and steep single track trails above Lake Padden.

Sunday, 21 Oct

Not Your Average Sailing Charter...

RUN The Other Half—Moab, UT, 8:30am. 435-259-4525,

Saturday, 27 Oct RUN/WALK Pumpkin Push 5k for Seattle’s Homeless—Seattle, 10am. 206-548-3266, RUN Freaky 5k—Federal Way, 9am. 253-835-6932. RUN Carkeek 12hour—Seattle, 6am.

Sunday, 28 Oct

Sunset Cruises & Day Sails

BOOK NOW for your 2012 ADVENTURES!

TR RUN Cougar Mt Trail Run 50k —Newcastle, 8:30am.

TR RUN Baker Lake 50k—Baker Lake, 8am.

RUN/WALK Run Scared 5k— Seattle, 9am. Benefits Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

RUN Mount Spokane 50k, 25k— TENTATIVE.

Saturday, 4 Nov

Sunday, 7 Oct

RUN Padden Mudfest 7mi— Bellingham, 10am.

RUN Victoria Marathon.

RUN Turkey Trot 5k—Bellingham/ Barkley Village, 9am.

RUN Portland Marathon.

Sunday, 11 Nov

TR RUN Carkeek 5k/10k—Seattle, 9:30am. 503-515-9419,

in searchable PDF or Flash format, at

Environmental Stewardship & “Positive Impact” Learning

Multi-day Adventures for up to 9 people

360-220-3215 •

Embarking from Bellingham’s Historic Fairhaven —just 90 minutes north of Seattle & 60 minutes south of Vancouver, BC

race | play | experience





sailing bright photo by

Chris gordon

See your Spring â&#x20AC;&#x153;Next Adventureâ&#x20AC;? photo on this page. For consideration, email your image by February 1 to 60

race | play | experience

6th Annual Event

September 30, 2012 6th Annual Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K Fun Run

Bellingham, WA

Adventures NW Winter 2011/12  

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