La Ni単a: Will this be a year of record-breaking snow?
lts u s re d n sa o t ho P : 42 5 L A V I T FES
Going fast, going loud,
GOING GOING RACE RACE KARTING KARTING Great Autumn hikes
2 Mount Baker Experience â€˘ Fall 2010
Zoom! Claudio Valiante had a dream. A dream to build a race kart track where we could all go fast. Really, really, really fast.
Shrooms... It’s fall so that means it’s time to hit the woods to search for mushrooms. You know what we’re talking about. That’s right, Chanterelles.
Artful living Linda Dorsett has a funny idea about houses. Not only should they be functional, they should also be beautiful. She’s collected a group of craftspeople and customers who feel the same way.
10 Get a hike on! Get your jacket, your boots and trail mix and go for a hike. Here are some of our favorite trails.
16 Festival 542 Sure, we got a little rain. That didn’t dampen the spirits or the determination of competitors who shook it off and had a great time.
19 Regional Map
On the cover Ride 542 by Tim Chandonnet Sun breaking through at Silver Lake Park. Photo by Pat Grubb
This is where it all HAPPENS...
e perience Printed in Canada Vol XXIV No. 4
Address: 225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 Tel: 360/332-1777, Fax: 360/332-2777 Email: email@example.com Web: www.mountbakerexperience.com Next edition: December Ads due: November 5 Publisher/Managing Editor/Layout Pat Grubb Associate Publisher/Advertising Manager Louise Mugar Advertising Design Charlie Hagan Contributors Tim Chandonnet, David Inscho, Grady McCombs, Tara Nelson, Jeremy Schwartz Advertising Sales Molly Ernst, Janet McCall Office Manager Heidi Holmes
Welcome to the Mount Baker Experience, the quarterly recreation guide for and about the Mt. Baker area, published by Point Roberts Press, Inc. Locally owned and operated, the company also publishes The Northern Light, All Point Bulletin, Pacific Coast Weddings and Waterside in Blaine, Washington. Point Roberts Press is a member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, chambers of commerce in Whatcom County and the Bellingham/Mt. Baker Convention and Visitors Bureau. The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and are offered for the general interest of readers. We welcome your letters; however, the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor. For circulation and rate information, or to send your letters, please address to: Mount Baker Experience, 225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230, fax them to 360/332-2777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
find it online www.mountbakerexperience.com: Read the current issue of Mount Baker Experience here, and find all the archives as well. www.mtbaker.us: Find the latest information about the Mt. Baker Ski Area, including snow amounts, events and trails. www.mtbakerchamber.org: Discover the area’s businesses. www.weather.com: Get all the weather you need. www.wsdot.wa.gov/regions/northwest/traffic/bordercams: Need to know about border delays? Find out here. www.facebook.com/MountBakerExperience Mount Baker Experience • Fall 2010 3
Art rafted C ly cal m ou n t
& Gifts in a Ga
By Jeremy Schwartz rden S
Zoom. ainsidegardens.co m
6900 Mt. Baker Hwy. • 360/599-2890 Mile Post 24 • 1 mile East of Kendall Open Friday - Monday, 10 - 5
Craft & Garden Workshops Plants & Bulbs for Fall Planting!
What flies 100 mph just inches off the ground, wails like a banshee, and can make jelly out of a grown man’s knees? Uh-huh. Go karts. And anyone who visits the recently opened Sumas International Motorsports Academy (SIMA) in Sumas has the chance to find out why. SIMA, which held its grand opening on July 31, is one of North America’s largest go-kart racing tracks, SIMA owner Claudio Valiante said. Both beginners and racing veterans can take advantage of the threequarter mile track to gain experience and skills at throwing a 200-pound collection of metal, rubber and excitement around its cor-
ners and straight-aways. Kart racing is usually just for fun and thrills, but it can lead to a career in professional racecar driving, Valiante said. Many Formula 1 drivers got their start in kart racing and continue to race karts to keep their driving skills razor sharp. For those who want to experience the thrill of driving a racing kart, the facility rents Category A karts with a top speed of 40 mph. A 15-minute session in a Cat A costs $35. A half an hour of driving can be had for $60. SIMA provides the helmet and race wear. Want more speed? Rent a faster Cat B kart for $125 per half-hour session and $225 for one hour. However, before renting one of these rockets at least two hours of track
time in a Cat A kart is required. Cat B karts can achieve speeds up to 80 mph. The speed can be ramped up even more in a Cat C kart but, again, you need at least two hours’ experience in a Cat B kart. These carts cost $150 for a half-hour session and $250 for a full hour. These karts have shifters requiring more skill and providing greater challenges. Top speed in these monsters is around 100 mph. Want the thrills but don’t want to drive? Take a four-lap spin with a professional kart-racing driver in a specially designed two-seater kart. This experience will cost $50. No charge for the sweaty palms and the pounding pulse. Caught the bug and want to pursue kart racing as a hobby? SIMA
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4 Mount Baker Experience • Fall 2010
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of speed. Non-shifter karts do not offer a gear box that can be changed manually. SIMA offers driving schools suited for the beginner up to the advanced level racer. Full-day classes include instruction on accelerating, braking, and the best line to get around the track. Prices range from $550 to $595 for adults and $295 to $495 for those under 16. SIMA is also the home of Italian Motors USA (IMUSA), a racing kart parts retailer that began in Vancouver, B.C. IMUSA sells everything a burgeoning kart driver needs to get started in the world of kart racing. For more information on kart rentals, the driving school, and event schedules, visit www.simaracing.com.
s The owner of Sumas International Motorsport Academy (SIMA), Claudio Valiante, and his daughter, Claudia Carpentier, in front of one of Italian Motors’ transport trailers. S Kart racers from Washington state and Canada participate in the Westwood Club Race on Sunday, September 12 at the Sumas International Motorsport Academy. The event was the inaugural race at the track. Top middle: radiator-cooled cart undergoing assembly in SIMA’s well-equipped shop. Photos by Jeremy Schwartz
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has the karts, the advice and tools to help in this area, too. Racing karts in general are relatively simple racing machines with no suspension, no roll bars and no seatbelt systems. The cost of frames and engines start at $1,500 each and go up from there. Kart engines come in two types: two-stroke and four-stroke. Four stroke engines are generally quieter, more powerful and more environmentally friendly. Most kart-racing engines are still two stroke. Racing karts also come in shifter and non-shifter versions. Shifter karts, such as the Cat C karts available for rent, comprise the faster category of racing karts. Shifters allow the drivers to manually change gears, allowing for greater control
Mount Baker Experience • Fall 2010 5
Shrooms Hunting the elusive Chanterelle and other forest delectables... By Grady McCombs
Photos by Grady McCombs
Avalanche Courses These ccourses could save your life! 3-day 3day programs pr Nov-Feb Backcount ski and snowboard clinics also Backcountry aavailable vailable â€“ call or visit our website for details.
A American A Alpine Institute tXXXBBJDD s Oh, beautiful Chanterelles
As we settle into a typically wet fall here in the Mt. Baker foothills, mushroom hunters are delighted with the seasonâ€™s moisture. Although mushrooms fruit year-round, in our area they are most prevalent in the spring and fall months due to the high amounts of precipitation and humidity. Renowned as a healthy food source, mushrooms are one of our most important local resources. Mushrooms are heralded as the the great recyclers in our forest ecosystems. Fungi are the primary actors in the decomposition of the enormous amount of debris created by our forests. The cellulose in the wood and leafy material shed by trees is one of the hardest substances in nature to break down, and no organism is more adept at the job than fungi. In addition, many species grow in symbiosis with trees and plants, using their vast networks (called mycelium) to extend the root systems of their partners. Through
this shared network plants gain access to more nutrients and water, while the fungi receive some of the carbohydrates produced by the plantâ€™s photosynthesis. Without this partnership, it is doubtful that our grand northwest forests would be as healthy and successful as they are. The above-ground mushrooms are the fruit-bodies of these important underground mycelial networks. There are many mushroom species that are collected for food, medicine and other uses. Mt. Bakerâ€™s foothills are home to quite a few of these species and include some highly sought after gourmet mushrooms. The most popular of our edible species is the Golden Chanterelle mushroom, which starts showing itself towards the end of August, and continues on until the frost comes sometime in late October. Other species include the Morels, Boletus species (known to the culinary world as Porcini), Oyster mushrooms, Honey mushrooms, Coral mushrooms, Angel Wings, and Puffballs.
s Fine dining tonight â€“ Shrimp Scampi with Chanterelles Shrimp Scampi with Chanterelle Mushrooms SautĂŠ sliced Chanterelles in medium sized pan with olive oil Once Chanterelles begin to release their moisture add lightly floured shrimp Cook until shrimp turn pink Add garlic and sautĂŠ in oil another 2 minutes Add a splash of white wine to deglaze Add 1-2 cups of seafood or chicken stock/broth and 1-2 tablespoons of butter Cook until sauce is thickened to preference Serve over pasta with minced parsley and parmesan
6 Mount Baker Experience â€˘ Fall 2010
In the medicinal category, the fairly common Turkey Tail mushroom has been shown to have anticancer properties. There has also been a lot of activity lately studying the medicinal properties of some rare mushrooms found in our old growth forests due to their extremely resilient properties. Each of these mushrooms have their own specific niche in the ecosystem and will thus grow in different areas at different times of the year. The autumn season’s most popular edibles are the Chanterelle and Boletus species. Both species are mycorrhizal, meaning they form a symbiotic relationship with plants via their root systems. This trait makes both species nearly impossible to cultivate, making them solely available in the wild. Boletus are generally found in the higher sub-alpine elevations, whereas the Chanterelle occur anywhere from sea-level to mid-elevations. While mushroom hunting can be dangerous because of the number of poisonous species out there, these two species are great edibles to begin mushroom hunting because of their unique physical makeups. Both species have unique gill structures, which is the area under the cap of the mushroom. Chanterelles has a smooth, wavy, crest and trough structure that is easily distinguished from the typical separated gills of most mushrooms. Once you are shown the underside of a few Chanterelles it will be hard to mistake it for anything else. Boletus species (commonly referred to as Boletes), on the other hand, have a yellow spongy underside that is also very distinguishing. This yellow sponge is made up of tiny spore tubes that easily detach from the cap of the mushroom. As with the Chanterelle, this structure
is one that is hard to confuse with any other species. There are a variety of Boletes that grow in our area, and not all species are choice edibles. Although none are poisonous it is best to try them in small quantities at first to make sure they don’t cause any gastrointestinal problems. The most popular Bolete is the King Bolete, which has a smooth tan colored cap. Mushroom hunting can sometimes be a frustrating activity – like fishing you need to be in the right place at the right time, but with experience and some foreknowledge, it can be very rewarding. The first step to finding mushrooms is to know what type of environment you are seeking. For instance, Chanterelles, being a mycohorrizal species with conifer trees, are only found in or at the edge of forests. They prefer mildly wet soils and occur in medium to young-aged forests containing Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees. These variables are not always guarantees, but are generally good indicators. You may find that a forest that seems homogenous will contain a flush of Chanterelles in one area but will be depleted in others with seemingly no ecological change taking place. It’s important to remember that there is a lot going on under the soil that we might not be able to detect immediately. It is best to use the mushrooms as an indicator. Meaning, if you have found a Chanterelle keep scouring the immediate area, whereas if you haven’t seen a Chanterelle in a while don’t waste too much time searching an area that is unsuitable. There are some etiquette guidelines to follow when picking mushrooms. With the growing popularity of wild mushrooms, it is important not to over-pick areas so that the fungi have a chance to
spread. It is also a good idea to hang a mature mushroom up in a tree every once in a while to help spread the mushrooms spores. One basic rule is to not pick the mushrooms too young. For most species, the mushroom caps should be at least the size of a quarter, or larger in areas where there is a high amount of mushrooms available. Mushrooms grow so fast that waiting a day or two for them to reach a bigger size is much more efficient than picking them too early. Another rule of etiquette over which there is a lot of debate, is whether mushrooms should be picked from the base or cut off leaving a stump. There is no conclusive evidence that either method will effect the health of the fungus adversely, or inhibit its ability to regrow mushrooms in the same spot. However, leaving behind a stump to rot will invite mold into the area. For this reason, I believe you should pick mushrooms from the base to avoid spreading mold onto mushrooms that may be growing nearby. Chanterelle mushrooms are known for their distinctive earthy flavor. They go well in pasta dishes, on pizzas, and in sandwiches. When sautéing, it is best to cook the mushrooms by themselves until the majority of the moisture has been cooked out, then add oil or butter to finish. A great recipe for Chanterelles is to make them an addition to a Shrimp Scampi. As with any new food, if you haven’t tried Chanterelles before, it is best to eat a small amount first to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. Northwest Mushroomers 21st Annual Wild Mushroom Show Sunday, October 17, 12 – 5 p.m. Bloedel Donovan 2214 Electric Ave, Bellingham
aple Falls is the perfect stop along the Mt. Baker Hwy 542.
Plan on having a bite to eat, pick up some groceries, and even fill
up the gas tank. Maps of the area are available free at the Mt. Baker
Foothills Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, located on the northeast
corner of the highway and Silver Lake Rd.
Harvest Moon Bakery Serving breakfast & lunch everyday
Offering the freshest ingredients as the seasons change! We support local farmers! Serving: Fresh baked goods daily • Moka Joe Coffee • Gourmet sandwiches & wraps • Betsy’s famous biscuits & gravy • Homestyle empanadas • Homemade Soups • Fresh baked artisan bread
7466 Mt. Baker Hwy, Maple Falls • 599-1347 Let us make that special cake
Open everyday 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. for any occasion! (24 hours notice)
Local grass-fed beef from Bennett Farms
Organic Milk & Belgian Beers
• Fresh organic produce • Best beer & wine selection east of Bellingham • Gluten free products • Vitamins & Herbal Supplements • International foods • Bulk Foods • Over 1,600 DVDs • USFS Recreation Passes here NEW
Over 200 kinds of
WIC Checks, EBT & Quesst Accepted
to choose from! Open 7am-10pm Everyday • www.crossroadsgrocery.com At the crossroads of Mt. Baker Highway & Silver Lake Rd. 7802 Silver Lake Road in Maple Falls 360-599-9657
New digs! Baker Accommodations, in business since 2002, has a new office in beautiful downtown Maple Falls. The business, owned by Kai and Catherine Janson, acts as a central vacation booking agent for renters and owners. “We offer a wide range of accommodations for visitors and our emphasis is on making it easy for owners to rent their properties,” Kai says. “Most vacation rental places don’t have offices, just lockboxes. We’re available 24/7 for renters.” Kai says the company focuses on providing hassle-free vacations. Plus, they only use environmentally friendly products for cleaning the properties. The new office will also house the office of another growing Janson family business, Mt. Baker Coffee Roasters (www.mtbakercoffee.com). Beans are grown on the Janson family plantation in Panama and roasted in the Foothills (renters get a complimentary supply). Soon, the office will house work by local artists. “We want the office to become a local hub for people.” Located at 7425 Mt. Baker Hwy, Maple Falls. Hours are 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, or by appointment. Call 360/599-1017 or go to www.bakeraccommodations.com. Have a great vacation and a terrific cup of coffee!
S Kai Janson.
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Mount Baker Experience • Fall 2010 7
It’s Cider Time Again By Tara Nelson Whatcom County produces several million pounds of apples each year. As autumn arrives, a trip to one of the county’s apple farms can be a great way to get out and enjoy the cool, fall air while getting to know your local growers. The following are a few great places to get delicious apples: BelleWood Acres 231 Ten Mile Road Lynden 360/398-9187 Nestled in the northwest corner of Whatcom County, BelleWood Acres is home to more than 25,000 apple trees in 16 varieties, not the least of which is their much-celebrated variety of Honey Crisp. Other varieties include Jonagold, Tsugara, Jonamac, MacIntosh, Bel-
la de Boskoop, Fuji, Sonata, Orin, Red Clap, Comice, Gala, Sansa, Zestar, Gravenstein, Sunrise and Golden Supreme. John and Dorie Belisle started the orchard in 1996 with 30 acres and the idea of growing “the best apples in Whatcom County” for wholesale. By 2000, however, the Belisles realized they needed to diversify to stay afloat. “By 2000, 25 percent of all orchards in Washington state had gone under,” Dorie Belisle said. “Everyone seemed to be going out of business and we decided we needed to expand if we were going to survive. What happened, though, is we realized we really enjoyed working closely with our customers. This is probably the funnest thing we’ve ever done in our lives.” Since then, the Wisconsin natives
s Dorie and John Belisle.
have added more land and now own 46 acres producing more than 1.4 million pounds of fruit each year. In 2002, the Belisles added a farm store to showcase their handcrafted ciders , apple pies, apple chips, apple cider vinegars, apple syrups, peanut butters, caramel dips, candies and specialty jams. The farm store also offers local arts, crafts and food items such as Backyard Bees honey from Bow; Holmquist Orchard hazelnuts, Ferndale; and Aldrich Farms syrups, Lynden, as well as specialty cheeses carefully selected to pair with their fruit. Education is one component to encourage customers to come back, she said, and the farm offers regular guided tours on their fleet of golf carts. “When people come to our farm, we want them to see this is a real, working farm and understand what it takes to do business and make a living in the agriculture industry,” she said. Although the farm is not certified organic, the couple use minimal non-organic controls and an integrated pest control management system that provides the least toxic solution to pest problems. Belisle added that the farm is Food Alliance and Salmon Safe certified, which indicates the farm grows produce in a way that does not harm ground or surface water. Belisle said it was easy to get certification since the farm was already complying with the standards put forth by those certification programs. The couple, who previously owned a six-bay mechanic shop in Florida, learned about the Pacific Northwest while traveling around the country in their Volkswagen van and looking for backpacking trails.
“We came to Seattle and just loved it,” Dorie said. “We always wanted to come back, so when we heard they needed growers in Whatcom County we thought, ‘Hey, we can do that,’ and that’s what we did.” The BelleWood Acres farm store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until December 31. Cloud Mountain Farm 6906 Goodwin Road Everson 360/966-5859 Cloud Mountain Farm grows more than 250 varieties of fruits – including heirloom varieties of coolweather melons – as well as some vegetables, herbs, tree nuts and grape varietals. Owners Cheryl and Tom Thornton started the farm on 20 acres of land in 1978 with the idea of growing apples for retail sale. Eventually, they began selling wholesale and to grocery stores and restaurants but have switched back to focusing on local retail sales. “We’ve really diversified over the years,” Tom said. “Some people know us as fruit growers, some people know us for our apples and others know us for our nursery plants. It’s fun to see people say, ‘I never knew you grew this.’” Some of their produce is rare. For example, the aronia berry, a dark antioxidant-rich berry with blueberry and boysenberry flavors, or the hardy kiwi, a smooth-skinned version of its New Zealand cousin that can be eaten without peeling. The Thorntons will hold their annual Fall Fruit Festival on October 2 and 3, offering visitors a taste of more than 200 varieties of fruit and fruit products. There will be live music and pumpkin picking. For more information, or to view
their catalog, visit cloudmountainfarm.com. Their farm store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Other apple farms: Apple Creek Orchards 5367 Barr Road Ferndale 360/384-0915 www.applecreekorchard.com Apple Creek Orchards sells upick Jonagold, Melrose and Mutsu apples at 40 cents per pound or $9 for a 5-gallon bucket. Eggs, honey and organic local garlic are also available. Hours: Open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily until October 1. F.A. Farm 5890 Barr Road Ferndale 360/312-0335 www.fafarm.org All-organic potatoes, beans, squash, beets, apples and pears using low-carbon inputs. Produce sales by appointment only. Kibbe Acres 3770 Aldergrove Road Ferndale 360/366-9925 Kibbe Acres sells Jonagold, Akane, Spartan apple varieties as well as Bosc and Comice pears and sweet corn. Their self-service farm stand is open from noon to 8 p.m. September through early October. Stoney Ridge Farm 2092 Van Dyk Farm Everson 360/966-3919 www.stoneyridgefarm.com Stoney Ridge Farm offers four varieties of u-pick apples and fresh pasteurized cider as well as squashes, gourds and pumpkins. Stoney Ridge Farms store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays in October.
AUCTION MARKET MONDAY SALE: Slaughter Cattle Approx. 3pm Small Animals - 12:30pm
GENERAL LIVESTOCK SALE: Every Wed. - 1pm
FEEDER SALE: Second Sat. of Month - 12:30pm
360/966-3271 7291 Everson Goshen Rd. Everson, WA 8 Mount Baker Experience • Fall 2010
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s Cloud Mountain’s Fall Fruit Festival will be held October 2 and 3.
Art with purpose By Jeremy Schwartz Linda Dorsett started the design firm Finishing Elements with one thought in mind: marketing experts should handle the marketing so craftspeople could focus on their craft. A few years have passed since Dorsett first organized the group of people with whom she currently works, and business is expanding. Throughout, Dorsett has maintained her focus on allowing experts to do quality work without having to worry about marketing themselves. Dorsett, who lives near Maple Falls, was originally approached by a few craftspeople living in the foothills area interested in having her market their skills. Dorsett said she took this as an opportunity to reach those customers who wanted more than an everyday take on their living spaces but sought artistic solutions to the functional requirements of single family residences. Dorsett started the firm with five craftspeople and currently works with eight. She said she is particular about the people with whom she works and seldom has craftspeople with the same specialty. “I am constantly bringing in new skills and variety,” Dorsett said. The list of skills at the firm’s disposal is extensive. Dorsett works with woodworkers, metal artists, stonemasons and stained glass artisans. She said she particularly enjoys it when the crafters get the chance to work together on a project. “Together they’re marvelously creative,” Dorsett said. Finishing Elements is able to leverage the expertise and range of services represented by the various craftspeople, and facilitates communication with potential customers. In return for the marketing, the firm takes a percentage of
the craftspeoples’ project costs. This frees the artisans to focus on their art and still gain exposure in the foothills area, she said. The craftspeople work with the customers to to design architectural elements that will enhance their homes while still serving a purpose. Quite often a customer has only the most basic idea and the artisan will be given free rein to design, Dorsett said. This can result in the homeowner benefiting from more than the designer’s ingenuity. One homeowner received a discount on a custom-made stone chimney because the stonemason involved was allowed to use a design that had been in his head for years. So far, most of Finishing Elements’ work has been residential and centered around the foothills area, Dorsett said. Some smaller pieces, such as furniture, have also been sold through local art galleries. The one-off artwork produced by Finishing Elements craftspeople has even found its way into Dorsett’s home. She said she has always been interested in architecture and the energy of something that has been hand made. “I designed my home to be a work of art in its own right,” Dorsett said. “I couldn’t imagine anything better than living in art.” Dorsett said part of the joy of running Finishing Elements is being able to share the kind of artistic architecture she has in her own home with others. She said both she and her husband still have the “wow” reaction to the pieces in her home and wants more people to have that feeling. “I want more people coming home to artistic touches that thrill them every time they see it,” Dorsett said. “I want to have an impact on their hearts.” For info, call 360/599-1493 or visit www.finishingelements.com.
Rick Gates designed and built the chimney, left, Joe Clark designed the fire pit and built the benches, top; as well as the fabricated metal handrails on the stairs, above.
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From Mountain Chalets to Waterfront Lodges, Luxury Getaways offers overnight accommodations in newly built homes located at the heart of the Mt. Baker Recreational Area. Whether you’re here to relax and unwind or are gearing up for a weekend of hitting the slopes, our homes are equipped with all of the amenities you could wish for.
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s Gary Gehling designed and built this kitchen.
Just Because You Are In The Wilderness Doesn’t Mean that you Have to Rough It! Mount Baker Experience • Fall 2010 9
Take a hike! Story and photos by Tara Nelson
Fall is the perfect time to explore the North Cascades as the cooler temperatures, changing colors and fewer visitors can make hiking a much more pleasant experience. The following are a few favorite day hikes ranging from easy to more difficult in Whatcom and Skagit counties: Winchester Mountain Length: 1.9 miles, one-way. Elevation gain: 300 feet. Difficulty: More difficult One trail with spectacular views is Winchester Mountain, a short but difficult trail that winds through beautiful meadows to a well-maintained fire lookout with perfect panoramic views of Mt. Baker, Shuksan, American Border peak and the rugged peaks of the North Cascades. The two-mile trail starts between Twin Lakes and switchbacks through sub-alpine forests and meadows with constant views of the North Cascades before curving around the mountain to the fire lookout at 6,500 feet. Alpine flowers and wild blueberries are abundant along the trail and ripe for picking. The lookout, which is maintained by the Mt. Baker Club, is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and provides sleeping room for three. Note of caution - The Forest Service reports that steep snow slopes below the lookout can hold snow well into summer and recommends individuals check with the ranger station for conditions before hiking. Also, use caution when crossing the rock wall midway on the trail, as it is steep and partially eroded. Directions: Take State Route 542 east past Glacier approximately 13.5 miles. Turn left on Forest Service Road 3065. Look for a sign that reads “Tomyhoi Trail 5, Twin Lakes 7”. The road is steep and
10 Mount Baker Experience • Fall 2010
rough for 4.5 miles to the trailhead of Yellow Aster Butte and becomes incredibly bumpy the last two miles to Twin Lakes as it becomes a section of unmaintained road with no room to pass. Four-wheel drive may be required past the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead and many individuals park and walk up the steep road. Camping and fires are permitted. A toilet is located at the lookout. Sauk Mountain Location: 32 miles east of Interstate 5 on State Route 20. Length: 4.2 miles round-trip. Hike time: Approximately 2.5 hours. Difficulty: Easy Although the drive from Whatcom County to Sauk Mountain is long, the vibrant alpine meadows and spectacular views of the Cascade mountain range make this hike well worth the travel time. The first 1.5 miles of trail switchbacks 26 times through wildflower meadows, providing constant views of the Skagit and Sauk river tributaries to the west and Whitehorse Mountain to the south. Although the meadows are incredibly steep (you’ll feel as though you are walking on the side of a cliff ) the slope of the switchback trail ranges from moderate to easy. Following the trail to the left at the end of the switchbacks takes a turn around to the east side of the mountain for another half mile to the rocky summit (elevation 5,330 feet). Taking a right turn, however, leads 1.5 miles down (descending 1,000 feet) the east side of the mountain to Sauk Lake. The east side of the mountain is usually covered in snow year-round, which can provide cooling re-
freshment on hot days. The top of the ridge provides a 360-degree panorama of the North Cascades to the east, Mount Baker, and the Three Sisters mountain range to the north. Keep an eye out for marmots, or large rodents resembling ground hogs that are abundant near the top of the mountain. Directions: From Bellingham, take I-5 south to Cook Road exit. Take a left at Cook Road. At the State Route 20 junction in SedroWoolley, take a left and travel east for approximately 32 miles. At milepost 96 (just past Sauk Mountain Pottery) take another left on Sauk Mountain Drive. Follow the gravel road for 7.5 miles to the trailhead parking lot. The road is narrow and steep with several blind corners so caution is recommended. Four-wheel drive is helpful, but not necessary. Goat Mountain Location: 31 miles east of I-5 on Mt. Baker Highway (SR542). Length: 8 miles round-trip. Elevation gain: 2,000 feet. Hike time: Approximately 4.5. Difficulty: Moderate This moderately difficult hike rewards hikers with views of the upper Nooksack River valley, waterfalls, wildflower meadows and vistas. The view from the first summit at 5,000 feet boasts spectacular south-facing views of Mt. Baker, Mt. Shucksan and other Cascade peaks on a clear day. The trail begins in heavy forest and switchbacks several dozen times before reaching sub-alpine forest and wildflower meadows and continuing until approximately 5,400 feet elevation on the shoulder of Goat Mountain where hikers can enjoy panoramic views of Price Lake at the bottom of Price Glacier on Mt. Shuksan. A few campsites are available in the summer after the snow melts. The trail is in good condition but the road has been closed since June for repair so hikers should add another 1.5 to 2 hours to the total trip time. Church Mountain Location: 38 miles east of I-5 on State Route 542. Length: 8.4 mile, Elevation gain: 4,100 feet. Hike time: 5 to 6 hours. Difficulty: More difficult Located approximately one mile east of the Glacier public service center, Church Mountain offers a challenging hike with rewarding views for those who are willing to suffer wobbly legs and possible blisters to get there. The trail begins through dense forest and continues for three miles with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet per mile before it levels out. The first clearing is at 6,100 feet and opens out into vast wildflower meadows for a half-mile before it begins to switchback up a rocky ridge. An abandoned fire lookout at the top provides panoramic views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan. The ridge is part of the High
Divide, a valley of meadows that continues for 10 miles, according to Ken Wilcox’s book, Hiking Whatcom County. During the late summer, flies tend to be a nuisance so be sure to wear plenty of insect repellant. Extra water is also recommended, although there is a creek near the top of the trail. Directions: From Bellingham, take I-5 exit 255 for SR 542 and follow east approximately 38 miles. Turn left on USFS Road #3040. Follow approximately three miles. The trailhead is at the end of the road. Parking is also available at the creek approximately one mile south. Trail closed until September 30. Heather Meadows Location: 24 miles east of Glacier on State Route 542. Length: 1.5 to 9 miles. Hiking time: 2 to 6 hours. Difficulty: Easy Heather Meadows recreational area is a mecca of scenic vistas and hiking trails, ranging from easy to moderate. Two popular hikes are the leisurely Bagley Lake trail (1.5 miles with little elevation gain) and the more difficult Chain Lakes trail. To access the Bagley Lakes trail from the Heather Meadows trailhead near the ski area, follow the trail down toward the dam but turn left before crossing the bridge (the path on the other side of the dam is not suitable for hiking). Although flat and unchallenging, the Bagley Lakes trail offers consistent and stunning views of Table Mountain and the various lakes and streams. Such spectacular views were filmed in the movie Call of the Wild. For a leisurely stroll, follow the trail a half-mile around Bagley Lakes to a bridge and take a left to connect to Wild Goose trail, which loops back to the parking lot. Following the trail across the bridge, on the other hand, leads to Chain Lakes (4 miles) with an elevation gain of 1,100 feet and a descent of 500 feet on the other side of Herman Mountain. The upper-most portion of Heather Meadows is Artist Point (elevation 5,140 feet), which offers 360-degree views of Mt. Baker, Table Mountain and Mt. Shuksan. Most people drive the 2.5 miles past the trail head parking lot to Artist Point, although the rocky ridge – usually covered in snow year-round – is also accessible by following the Chain Lakes trail approximately two miles past Chain Lakes. The area is so popular among tourists it could very well be dubbed the Disneyland of Mt. Baker. Likewise, those looking for more wilderness and less people may opt for another hike. Be sure also to check out Picture Lake just below the ski area. Directions: From Bellingham, take I-5 exit 255, and follow east on Mount Baker Highway for 58 miles. Artist Point at Heather Meadows is the end of the highway. For updates on road closures and pass reports, call the DOT at 800/695-7623. State Route 542 (commonly referred to as “Mt. Baker Highway”) is also designated as a National Forest Scenic Byway by the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT).
More trails to try Access
Fire and Ice #684.2 Lake Ann #600 Picture Lake Path Ptarmigan Ridge #682.1 Table Mountain #681 Wild Goose #684.3
SR 542 SR 542 SR 542 SR 542 SR 542 SR 542
Hiking, Barrier Free, Family Use, Interp Hiking Hiking, Barrier free, Family Use, Interp Hiking Hiking Hiking
0.5 Loop 4.1 0.5 4.0 1.0 2.5
Easiest More Difficult Easiest More Difficult More Difficult More Difficult
Sources: Hiking Whatcom County by Ken Wilcox, Pacific Northwest Hiking by Ron C. Judd and Dan A. Nelson (Foghorn Press), Day Hike North Cascades by Mike McQuaide (Sasquatch Books), Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Ranger District web site: www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs
Important things to remember: Always check trail conditions (www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs) before you head out. Sudden, unexpected changes in weather conditions could result in hikers being stranded or separated from vehicles. Always carry the 10 essentials: map of the area, compass, first aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries and bulb, water and extra food, extra clothing, including rain gear, pocket knife, sunglasses and sunscreen, matches in a waterproof container, and candle or other fire starter. Always be sure to let someone know where you are going hiking and when you plan to return home. Do not expect to rely upon cellphones or GPS devices. Be sure to purchase a recreation pass.
North Fork Nooksack River
Mt. Baker / Heather Meadows Trail Name
Heliotrope Ridge Location: 1 mile east of Glacier on State Route 542. Length: 6 to 8 miles. Elevation gain: 1,400 feet. Hiking time: 4 to 6 hours. Difficulty: More difficult Heliotrope Ridge offers the closest view of Coleman Glacier within the Mt. Baker wilderness – and all from the safety of a well-maintained trail. This popular hike starts in old growth forest and continues for two miles before reaching open meadows with lots of wildflowers, streams and waterfalls. Taking a right at the fork in the trail approximately two miles in leads to the Coleman Glacier climbers’ route to Mt. Baker’s 10,781-foot summit. Unless you packed rope, ice axes and crampons, however, you should follow the trail left, leading to a glacial valley (called a lateral moraine) to the top of the Heliotrope Ridge crest, where you can enjoy 360-degree views of Cascadia and an arm’s-reach view of the glacier. Be sure to wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet, as getting to the top requires crossing several streams, the flow of which is heavily weather and seasonally dependent. Directions: From Bellingham, take I-5 exit 255, and follow east on Mt. Baker Highway for 31 miles, about one mile past the town of Glacier. Turn right on Glacier Springs Road (USFS Road 39). Follow about eight miles to the trailhead parking lot.
Heavy Heavy Extra Heavy Extra Heavy Extra Heavy Heavy
4400 4700 4100 5100 5100 4400
Boundary Way #688 FS RD 31 & TR 635 Canyon Ridge #689 FS RD 3140 Damfino Lakes #625 FS RD 31 Hannegan Pass #674 FS RD 32 Hannegan Peak #674.1 TR 674 High Divide #630 FS RD 3060 & SR 542 High Pass #676 FS RD 3065 Horseshoe Bend #687 SR 542 Nooksack Cirque #750 FS RD 32 Silesia Creek #672 FS RD 3065 Skyline Divide #678 FS RD 37 Tomyhoi Lake #686 FS RD 3065 Yellow Aster Butte #686.1 FS RD 3065
Hiking Hiking, Bikes Hiking Hiking Hiking Hiking Hiking Hiking, Family Use Hiking Hiking Hiking Hiking Hiking
4.1 s 10.3 3.0 4.0 1.0 2.5 4.0 1.5 4.5 4.5 3.5 4.0 2.1
More Difficult More Difficult More Difficult More Difficult More Difficult More Difficult More Difficult Easiest More Difficult More Difficult More Difficult More Difficult More Difficult
Low Low Heavy Extra Heavy Heavy Heavy Medium Extra Heavy Heavy Low Extra Heavy Heavy Heavy
4200 4200 4200 3100 3100 1800 5200 1200 2200 5200 4400 4200 3600
Mount Baker Experience • Fall 2010 11
Winchester Lookout a room with a view
By Tara Nelson Mist before the peak – the dream goes on The sound of silence is all the instruction You’ll get – Jack Kerouac For Bellingham resident David Inscho, the Winchester Mountain Lookout is like having a bed in the sky. With 72 panes of glass and located at 6,400 feet on Winchester Mountain near the Twin Lakes, the lookout provides a glorious panoramic
view of the Northern Picket range, Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan and Canadian and American peaks, as well as protection from the elements – all at no charge to overnight visitors. But for Inscho, who heads the Mt. Baker Club’s Winchester Lookout restoration committee, it’s just a great place to take it all in. “How many places can you sleep on public land or on a mountain summit without having to worry about being snowed on, blown off a cliff or struck by lightning,” he said. “That and as a photographer, all you have to do is sit at the desk
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and watch the light change until you have the right moment.” Originally built in 1935 and staffed until 1966, it was slated for demolition until the Mt. Baker Hiking Club, led by Gary Haufle, worked out a deal with the U.S. Forest Service in 1982 to restore the building. The USFS provided materials and the club – later known as the Mt. Baker Club, to reflect the group’s ever-expansive outdoor activities – provided the labor. Since then, the club has continued to maintain the lookout on a budget of about $200 a year, stocking it with dishes, propane, pots and pans, a stove, a desk, chairs, a bed and maps. “It represents great dedication by the club,” said Inscho. “It’s their crown jewel, a tangible achievement they can point toward and say, ‘We did this,’ and without their involvement, the work would not have been done.” Winchester Lookout is a 14 by 14-foot single room building and one of 58 fire lookouts in Washington state, according to the Nation-
al Historic Lookout Register. Located less than two miles from the Winchester Mountain trailhead (#685), the hike is steep and rated “more difficult” by the U.S. Forest Service with nearly 1,300 feet in elevation gain. The trail starts at theTwin Lakes and switchbacks through subalpine forests and meadows with constant views of the North Cascades before curving around the
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mountain to the fire lookout at 6,500 feet. Alpine flowers and wild blueberries are abundant along the trail and ripe for picking. The lookout is generally inaccessible from early October until mid summer because of snow. If you are planning on spending the night in the lookout be aware the lookout may be occupied when you arrive. The lookout is available on
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Snow far, so good By Jeremy Schwartz Could this be another recordbreaking snow year? There are some people who say this year’s La Niña weather pattern looks suspiciously similar to the big one in 1998. During the 1998-99 snow season, Mt. Baker established a new world record with 1,140 inches of snowfall. The previous record was set in the 1971-72 season with 1,122 inches of snow at Mt Rainer. “This La Niña has strengthened for the past four months, is strong now and is still building,” says climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “It will surely impact this coming winter’s weather and climate.” Photos left and above by David Inscho
s Starry, starry night...
In September, the Northwest can expect above average precipitation followed by below normal temperatures beginning in November. That has local snowsport enthusiasts salivating at the prospects. Dylan Rees, manager of Yeager’s ski and snowboard shop, says, “We are hoping for a shellacking.” Thierry Werderits, ski buyer at Fairhaven Bike & Ski and an instructor up at Mt. Baker, said “Rumor has it it’s going to snow a lot. Hopefully, sooner than later.” Gwyn Howat, ski area operations manager, said staff first figured the ’99 season might be big when serious snow came in midNovember, all at once. Commenting on this year, she said, “Hang on, it’s going to be a wild ride.”
La Niña Projections Precipitation: A = above normal
a first-come, first-served basis. However, there are areas outside the lookout to pitch a tent. Although the lookout sleeps three, there is a limit of 12 overnight visitors. The Mt. Baker Club organizes regular group excursions for hiking, biking, snow-shoeing, crosscountry skiing, canoeing, and kayaking, as well as monthly social activities in the Mount Baker area. For more information about the club, visit www.mountbakerclub.org or call 360/392-1015. Note: In the summer of 1956, writer Jack Kerouac spent 53 days in a lookout on Desolation Peak, hoping the absence of drugs, alcohol and other distractions would allow him to write. In this he was mistaken: according to David Wilma at www.historylink.org, he wrote only a letter to his mother, some haiku and entries in his journal.
Getting There Take State Route 542 east past Glacier approximately 13.5 miles. Turn left on Forest Service Road 3065. Look for a sign that reads Tomyhoi Trail 5, Twin Lakes 7. The road is steep and rough for 4.5 miles to the trailhead of Yellow Aster Butte. The last two miles to Twin Lakes are unmaintained with no room to pass and is extremely rough. This portion of road is often washed out in the early part of the season and is only fixed up by the miners at the Lone Jack Mine, if they decide to operate the mine that year based on the price of gold. Four-wheel drive may be required past the Yellow Aster Butte trailhead so many individuals park and walk up the steep road. Campers should bring food and water and be prepared to carry out their own waste.
October – December
January – March
Temperature: A = below normal
Note of caution The Forest Service recommends indivuduals check with the ranger station for conditions before hiking. Also, use caution when crossing the rock wall mid-way on the trail, as it is steep and partially eroded. The Forestry and Fire Lookout Association maintains an online database of fire lookouts in the United States. Their website is located at www.firelookout.org.
October – December
January – March
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From the Chandelier to Chair 9
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By Jeremy Schwartz Ever since the famous Chandelier restaurant and bar burned down in 2000, Peter Cook said he felt Glacier needed a new hangout where people could get a bite to eat, socialize and just relax. That’s what inspired him to build Chair 9. “I think it’s every guy’s dream to own a restaurant,” Cook said. Chair 9 Woodstone Pizza and Bar on the Mt. Baker Highway celebrated its grand opening on July 17. Since then, Cook and his team of employees have been working to fine-tune Glacier’s newest restaurant. Cook said the empty lot on which Chair 9 sits was bought with the help of his parents and he has kept the restaurant a family affair by involving his sister and brotherin-law as well as his parents in its development. Since the beginning, the keyword for Cook has been local. The kitchen stocks as much locally sourced food as possible, such as buffalo meat from the Twisted S Ranch in Ferndale. Everything from rolls to pizza crust is made in-house. Head chef and Maple Falls resident Jeremy Moxley said the emphasis on using local ingredients is one of the things he likes most about the place. Moxley was involved in the restaurant from the beginning. His experience at Milano’s Restaurant (right down the road from Chair 9) helped him get the job as head chef. Cook said 17 years living in the foothills area made him believe he knew what would work in terms of a restaurant and bar. Before this, his first foray into the restaurant business, Cook was a home builder until the housing bubble burst. His experience as a contractor came in handy when he decided to do most of the construction on the Chair 9 building. The personal touches to the restaurant and the focus on local food seem to be working. Cook said he is planning on buying a second
Woodstone oven to handle the demand for pizzas. “Business has been slamming,” Cook said, happily. Cook already has his eyes set on expansion. He is planning to begin construction next spring on a twostory, six-room lodge on land adjacent to the restaurant. Glacier lost its largest place to stay when the state bought up the Glacier Creek Lodge for construction of the bridge, Cook said. He said the lodge he’s planning to build would fill another niche in town. Cook said he hopes the restaurant and the lodge will become a sort of common area for the residents of Glacier. A place where parents can bring their children was one of the main aims Cook said he wanted to convey with Chair 9.
Though Cook started with the plan to put something missing back into Glacier, he said he hopes Chair 9 will also provide the town with something it has in spades: a sense of community. “As long as [the customers] are happy, I’m happy,” Cook said. Chair 9 is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to last call on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call 360/5992511 or visit www.chair9.com. Why the name Chair 9? Mt. Baker has eight numbered chairlifts. On 18-hole golf courses, “the 19th hole” is where golfers go for a drink and a bite to eat. After skiing the eight chairs up at Baker, where would you go but Chair 9?
s Patrons enjoying a drink, a game and a pizza or two.
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Out & About WHAT’S HAPPENING VANCOUVER SNOW SHOW: Saturday, September 25, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday, September 26, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Features great new ski and snowboard products, mountain resort destinations, travel and tour operators and key services. Winter Extreme Swap, pick up great deals on ski and ‘board equipment. Vancouver Convention Centre, Canada Place. For info: www.vancouversnowshow.com. PANCAKE BREAKFAST AND FLEA MARKET: Saturday, September 25, 8 – 11 a.m. Everyone welcome. Free. Sponsored by the Mt. Baker Lions Club. Flea Market, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Kendall elementary school. PAULA GRAHAM TEXTILE EXHIBIT: September 27 – October 24. Features quilts, wall hangings and other textile art. Deming Public Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Highway, 592-2422. FLU SHOT CLINIC: Tuesday September 28, 3 – 4:30 p.m. Sponsored by Visiting Nurse Home Care. Cost covered by Medicare or $25. Deming Public Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Highway, 592-2422. SILVER LAKE CROSS COUNTRY RUN: Saturday, October 2, 9 a.m. Take part in an open cross country 3.1 mile run in beautiful Silver Lake Park, Maple Falls. For info: www.gbrc.net.
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CLOUD MOUNTAIN FALL FRUIT FESTIVAL: October 2 & 3. Enjoy tastings of more than 200 varieties of fruit and fruit products. 6906 Goodwin Rd., Everson. Info: 360/966-5859. WHATCOM ARTIST STUDIO TOUR: October 2 & 3, 9 & 10, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Over 40 artists exhibit in studios around the area. From well-known to secluded artisan, glassworkers, jewelers, painters, carvers, potters and weavers. Free. Info: www.studiotour.net. ROME GRANGE COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: First Sunday of the month, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Pancakes, French toast, biscuits and gravy, sausage, scrambled eggs, juice and coffee. Adults $5; Kids 6 –10 $2; Kids 5 & under free. 2821 Mt. Baker Highway.
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HARVEST FESTIVAL: Saturday, October 9, afternoon at the VanZandt Hall. Market day, demonstrations, create scarecrows, music and potluck. ROCTOBERFEST GEM AND MINERAL SHOW: Saturday & Sunday, October 9 & 10, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Exhibits, demonstrators, dealers and more. Totem middle school, 7th Street & State Avenue, Marysville. Info: Bill at 425/238-8222. For more info: http://bit.ly/ayxcs1. WASHINGTON KAYAK CLUB NOOKSACK WHITEWATER RACES: Saturday & Sunday, October 9 – 10. Nooksack River Slalom and Downriver Races. North Fork of the Nooksack River, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Douglas Fir Campground. For more info: www.nwwhitewater.org. CRAFT AND ANTIQUE SHOW: October 14 – 16. Northwest Washington Fairgrounds, 1775 Front Street, Lynden. Admission, $5. For info: www.lyndencraftantiqueshow.com. WILD MUSHROOM SHOW: Sunday, October 17, noon – 5 p.m. Live displays of mushrooms, all locally collected and labeled, Chanterelle tasting. Information on poisonous and edible mushrooms and more. $5 adults, $3 students and seniors, under 12, free. 2214 Electric Avenue, Bellingham. SKI AND SNOWBOARD TUNING BASICS WORKSHOP: Monday & Wednesday, October 18 & 20, 6 – 7:30 p.m. Learn how to clean, tune edges, do minor base repairs and wax your skis or snowboard. Free. REI, 400 36th Street, Bellingham. Info: 360/647-8955. MOUNTAIN FITNESS CLASS: Tuesday and Thursdays, October 19 – November 11 & November 23 – December 21. 7 – 8 p.m. Circuit class designed to promote fitness for skiers and snowboarders. YMCA. $35/Y members, $45/program members. 1256 N. State Street, Bellingham. Info: 360/733-8630.
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SNOWSHOEING BASICS WORKSHOP: Wednesday, October 20, 6 – 7:30 p.m. Learn about snowshoe design, backcountry equipment, clothing, places to go and instructional foundations to get you started and enjoying this amazing recreation. Free. REI, 400 36th Street, Bellingham. Info: 360/647-8955. MT. BAKER FILM FESTIVAL & PRE-WINTER PARTY: Thursday, October 28. Festival highlights independent filmmakers filming locally and internationally. Vendor expo begins at 6 p.m., movies start at 7:30 p.m. at the Mt. Baker Theater, 104 N. Commercial Street, Bellingham followed by after-party at Wild Buffalo, 208 W. Holly Street, Bellingham. KOMO KULSHAN SKI CLUB SKI SWAP: Friday October 22, 4 – 9:30 p.m., Saturday, October 23, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Buy or sell your used gear. Bloedel Donovan Park Gym, Bellingham. Drop off: October 9, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Mt. Baker Business office or October 21, 4 – 9 p.m., sale site. Info: www.komokulshanskiclub.org. WARREN MILLER’S WINTERVENTION: Thursday, November 4, 7:30 p.m., Lincoln Theater, Mt. Vernon; Friday November 5, 6:30 – 8 p.m., 9:30 – 11 p.m. Mt. Baker Theatre, Bellingham. $21 per ticket. www.mountbakertheatre.com. A 40-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE OF UNTOLD VALLEY STORIES: November 13, 7:30. A benefit performance by Jeff Margolis for the South Fork Valley Community Association. Van Zandt community hall, 4106 Highway 9. Info: Jeff Margolis 360/592-2297.
ONGOING MEETINGS/EVENTS EVERSON/NOOKSACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEETING: Fourth Tuesday, noon, Everson Senior Center. For more info, call 360/966-3407 or www.eversonnooksackchamber.org. FRIENDS OF THE DEMING LIBRARY MEETING: Fourth Tuesday, 7p.m., Deming Library. Info: 592-2422. GLACIER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEETING: Third Tuesday, 7 p.m., Glacier Visitor Center, 9973 Mt. Baker Hwy. www.glacierchamber.org. Email: email@example.com. MT. BAKER FOOTHILLS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEETING: Second Monday of every month, 6:30 p.m. Call 360/599-1518 for location or www.mtbakerchamber.org. MT. BAKER FOOTHILLS VISITOR CENTER: Wednesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., 7802 N. Silver Lake Rd., Maple Falls. For info, call 360/599-1518 or www.mtbakerchamber.org. MT. BAKER HIKING CLUB ACTIVITIES: Participate in hiking and other activities. For info and costs, call 360/734-4461 or visit their website at www.mountbakerclub.org.
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Race Results Ride 542 Competitive Category 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Age M20-29 M20-29 M20-29 M30-39 M50-59 M16-19 M16-19 M50-59 M30-39 M20-29 M30-39 M16-19 M30-39 M20-29 M20-29 M30-39 M40-49 M50-59 M40-49 M50-59
Name Adrian Hegyvary Morgan Schmitt David Stephens Daniel MacDonald Kerry Farrell Shannon Maris Davis Shepherd Olav Stana Noah Bloom Ben Rathkamp Matthew Karre Joel Johnson Andy Traslin Michael Finley Richard Machhein Marty Heck Joel Blatt David Gordon Peter Avolio Martin Rand
Time 1:11:52 1:12:42 1:12:52 1:13:37 1:13:38 1:13:38 1:13:39 1:13:41 1:14:23 1:14:26 1:14:35 1:17:48 1:19:15 1:19:18 1:19:38 1:20:06 1:20:47 1:20:53 1:21:08 1:21:56
Speed 18.1 mph 17.9 mph 17.9 mph 17.7 mph 17.7 mph 17.7 mph 17.7 mph 17.7 mph 17.5 mph 17.5 mph 17.5 mph 16.7 mph 16.4 mph 16.4 mph 16.4 mph 16.3 mph 16.1 mph 16.1 mph 16.0 mph 15.9 mph
Recreational Fast! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Age M40-49 M40-49 M20-29 M40-49 M20-29 M30-39 M40-49 M40-49 M30-39 M20-29
Name Bruce Blatchley Peter Krautwald HarrisonBush Ron Singler Bill Booth Andrew Fisher Craig Johnson Scott Hill Eric Garcia Hansen Joel Sellinger
Time 1:13:49 1:15:29 1:16:06 1:23:26 1:27:30 1:27:42 1:29:39 1:30:57 1:30:59 1:31:03
Speed 17.6 mph 17.2 mph 17.1 mph 15.6 mph 14.9 mph 14.8 mph 14.5 mph 14.3 mph 14.3 mph 14.3 mph
Recreational 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Age Name Time Speed M20-29 Justin Dahl 1:39:34 13.1 mph M30-39 Liam Price 1:45:39 12.3 mph M40-49 Andrew Nielsen 1:46:08 12.3 mph M30-39 Steve Bloom 1:46:19 12.2 mph M30-39 John Pyle 1:47:39 12.1 mph M40-49 James Rial 1:49:30 11.9 mph M50-59 Scott Newell 1:49:52 11.9 mph M20-29 Spencer Livermoore 1:50:04 11.8 mph n/a n/a 1:50:06 11.8 mph M40-49 Kurt Denadel 1:50:47 11.8 mph For more info, www.Festival542.com
By Jeremy Schwartz Buckets of rain falling from the sky did not stop Festival 542 participants and organizers from reveling in the unique atmosphere the event has provided since its inception eight years ago. Once simply a grueling bike climb up Mt. Baker Highway, Festival 542 has developed into a two-day event that includes a cyclocross, crosscountry run, a century bike race, food from local restaurants and live music. Sure, the rain shortened the main Mt. Baker summit ride on Sunday, September 12, by almost three miles and canceled the Down Up Down Mt. Baker (DUMB) race earlier in
the day, but event organizer Charlie Heggem said the downpour gave organizers an opportunity to learn how to deal with the unexpected. “We took advantage of the things that didn’t go according to plan and made them work,” Heggem said. Sunday may have presented “Deadliest Catch-type” weather conditions, as Heggem put it, but Saturday, September 11, provided nothing but sunshine for Cross 542 at Silver Lake Park and the 8.5-mile Run 542. Runners started at the White Salmon Lodge, traversed the winding trails in the foothills area near Glacier, and ended up 1,500 feet higher at Artist Point. “It’s one of the most amazing
16 Mount Baker Experience • Fall 2010
Photo by Pat Grubb runs in North America,” Heggem said. The run had 40 total competitors with 21 in the recreational category and 23 in the competitive category. Sam Alexander of Bellingham set a course record with 1:09:59 in the competitive race, while Julia Janicki of Victoria, B.C., made the top of the recreational pack with 1:36:57. Saturday evening brought the first of the rain. Heggem said he and a small group of organizers stayed up into the wee hours of Sunday morning moving the Ride 542 finish line three miles down the mountain. “It was just a torrential downpour,” he said, describing the conditions during the reset. The unexpected course alteration
will most likely make the organizing team better prepared to deal with last-minute changes to the course next year if needed, Heggem explained. Despite the inclement weather, 407 total riders showed up on Sunday to ride up the mountain. Heggem said he was surprised and pleased with the attendance. Riders also showed a great deal of understanding about the rain forcing the course to be shortened, he said. “I had the smallest number of complaints I’ve ever had,” Heggem pointed out. “In fact, I had none.” Adrian Hegyvary took first place in the competition grouping with a time of 1:11:52 and an average speed of 18.1 mph, Bruce Blatchley
led the recreational fast group with a time of 1:13:49 and an average speed of 17.6 mph while Justin Dahl topped the recreation ride list with a time of 1:39:34 and an average speed of 13.1 mph. The climb this year was approximately 21 miles long with a vertical gain of 4,000plus feet. Heggem said he was genuinely impressed with the sense of community Festival 542 inspires in people. From the individual participants to the local business who donated their time, everyone expressed the desire to do whatever was necessary to make the event run smoothly, he said. Even if everyone did get a little wet at times.
Photo by Tim Chandonnet Photo by Tim Chandonnet
Festival 542 on September 11 & 12 included a cyclocross, cross-country run and a bike race up Mt. Baker highway. Photo by Pat Grubb
Photo by Pat Grubb
Photo by Tim Chandonnet
Photo by Pat Grubb
Photo by Tim Chandonnet
Mount Baker Experience â€˘ Fall 2010 17
“Adventure is not outside man, it is within” – David Grayson All that talk about LaNiña and the seemingly instantaneous disappearance of summer has everyone here at the Mount Baker Experience thinking about snow and getting on it. We talked to two local experts on gear and asked them what they recommend for this season.
Dylan Rees is the ski & paddle shop manager at Yeager’s Sporting Goods in Bellingham. Thierry Werderits is the Alpine ski and back country buyer for Fairhaven Bike & Ski in Fairhaven. Both stores carry a terrific selection of various makes and brands of ski and snowboards. Here’s what they had to say:
Dylan: Fischer Watea 98 $699
Thierry: Dynafit Stoke $795
Thierry: Fischer Progressor 120 $599
“The Watea series of skis are very versatile, off-piste with great edge control. 98 is a fatter twin tip style more for the freerider. These are forgiving, playful skis.”
“What we like about these boots is the slight pigeon-heeled angle. Fischer’s patented design allows the knees to track straighter when bending.”
“I saw these in Europe. A super-light backcountry ski, pretty wide underfoot (105mm), excellent for Baker backside or longer tours.”
Dylan: Dalbello Axiom 8 $350
Thierry: Fischer Motive 74 $599 “This system ski includes bindings and is the perfect mountain ski. It’s a Watea in disguise.”
T “A high performance boot for a good price. Adjustable flex with a thermal molding liner. Equal to boots in the $400$500 range.”
Dylan: Ansai Banff Technical T Jacket $269 “Three layer waterproof, breathable jacket with fully taped seams comparable to $400-$600 jackets. Ansai is the first Chinese company to design & market directly to U.S. retailers. A quality technical garment at a drastically reduced price.”
Thierry: Pieps Transceiver $199 T
“What’s really nice is the low price. It’s about the size of a cellphone. When Baker gets a heavy snowfall, sometimes the only way you can get on Chair 1 or 6 is if you have a transceiver.”
Dylan: Salomon Shogun $699 “This is just great quality construction with a partial bamboo core for lots of strength and spring to it.”
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18 SCOTT’S SKI SERVICE 9935 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-WAXX 18 MT. BAKER HOMES & LAND 9937 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier 599-1900 or 599-1135
19 MT. BAKER VIEW GUESTHOUSE 6920 Central Ave., Glacier • 599-2155 20 WAKE ’N BAKERY Forest St., Glacier • 599-1568 21 MILANO’S RESTAURANT 9990 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-2863 22 GRAHAM’S STORE 9989 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-2665 22 GRAHAM’S RESTAURANT 9989 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-1964 23 CHAIR 9 WOODSTONE PIZZA & PUB 10459 Mt. Baker Hwy, Glacier • 599-2511 24 LUXURY GETAWAYS www.stayatmtbaker.com, Glacier • 877-90-BAKER
Mt. Baker Highway mile posts Mile 1: Junction of I-5 and Mt. Baker Hwy., Sunset Drive. Mile 3: View of Coast Mountain Range in Canada (left). Mile 8: Whatcom County Parks & Recreation Dept. (Right). The headquarters offers a rest area with picnic tables, restrooms and a view of Mt. Baker, elevation 10,778 feet. 360/7332900. Mile 9: Deming Logging Show – second weekend in June. Two-day show: log rolling, tree climbing and axe throwing. Nooksack River Bridge – great fishing spots can be found. Mile 10: Community of Nugent's Corner. Groceries, gas, bank (ATM), bakery, cafe, crafts and other services. Mile 11: U-pick berry farms (right and left). Strawberries in June, raspberries in July and blueberries in August. Christmas tree farms (right and left). Mount Baker Vineyards (left). Tasting room/gift shop open Wednesday – Sunday. Grape Stomp Festival in September. Mile 12: Community of Deming. Stewart Mountain – elev. 3,087 feet (right). Sumas Mountain – elev. 3,430 feet (left). Mile 14: Highway 9 South Junction (right). South to Van Zandt, Acme, Wickersham and Skagit Valley. Attractions: B&B, general store, mushroom farm, and train ride. Nooksack River Forks (right). Nooksack River forks into three segments: the North Fork, which Mt. Baker Highway parallels; the Middle Fork, which heads southeast to the southern face of Mt. Baker; and the South Fork, which heads south into the Skagit Valley. Hwy. 9 follows the South Fork.
Mile 16: Mosquito Lake Road – Bald Eagle Viewing Spot (right). Dec. – Feb. Turn right onto Mosquito Lake Road, drive to the first bridge that crosses the North Fork Nooksack. Park on left shoulder of Mosquito Lake Road Look for eagles. Mile 18: Community of Welcome (left). Grocery store, fire station, senior center and other services. Mile 21: Kendall Creek Hatchery (right). Turn right onto Fish Hatchery Road. The hatchery raises chinook, coho and chum salmon as well as steelhead, rainbow and cutthroat trout. Mile 22: Slide Mountain – elevation 4,884 feet (right). Named for a landslide on its north face that may have dammed up the Nooksack River in ancient times. Highway 547 North Junction/Kendall Road (left). North to Kendall, peaceful Valley, Paradise Lakes, Columbia and Sumas. Gas, groceries, golf, tavern. Mile 23: Community of Kendall. Grocery store and gas (left). Mile 25: Community of Maple Falls, post office, pay phones, cabin rentals, lodging, restaurants, gas, groceries, liquor, library. Silver Lake Park, Silver Lake Road, 3.5 miles north (left). Park sits on 411 acres around Silver Lake. Mile 27: Farm stand (right). Fresh produce, gourmet foodstuffs. Mile 29: View of Nooksack River (right). Highway ascends a ledge overlooking the North Fork of the Nooksack River. Mile 30: Mt. Baker Scenic Turnout (right). Mile 33: Glacier – elev. 932 feet. Last community along the highway. Fire department, post office, library, general store, restaurants, snowboard shop, lodging, phones. Mile 34: Gallup Creek Picnic Area (right). Picnic tables and
trash cans; no restroom. Glacier Public Service Center (right). Open Memorial Day to October. Rangers assist with hikes and camp planning, and issues permits. Restrooms , picnic area. 360/599-2714, www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs. Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Boundary National Forest Scenic Byway. Glacier Creek Road (Rd. #39) to Mt. Baker Vista (right). Mostly paved, 9.5 mile road leads to Mt. Baker view. Mile 36: Douglas Fir Campground (left). National forest camp built by the CCC in the 1930s. Fees charged. Reservations accepted: 1-877-444-6777 or at www.recreation.gov. Horseshoe Bend Trail (right). Access for guided river rafting tours. Washington State Sno-Park (left). Permit required for snow mobiling or cross-country skiing. Mile 37: Church Mountain – elevation 6,245 feet (left). High elevation trails on the southern slope are often the first in the area to open for summer hiking. Turnouts to view North Fork Nooksack River (right). Mile 40: Excelsior Group Camp (right). National Forest Campground. No water. Fee charged. Reservations only:1-877-4446777 or at www.recreation.gov. Nooksack Falls, Wells Creek Road Road #33 (right). Take Wells Creek Road a half mile down to parking area and fenced viewpoint. Fall plummets 100 feet. Mile 41: Excelsior Pass Trail (left). Mile 43: North Fork Nooksack Research Natural Area (left). Established in 1937, this is a 1,400-acre preserve of old-growth
Douglas Fir, Hemlock and Western Red Cedar. Mile 44: Nooksack River Viewpoint (right). Mile 46: Twin Lakes Road (Road #3065) at Shuksan Highway Maintenance Sheds (left). Twin Lakes is not accessible until early to mid-August. Hannegan Pass Road (Road #32) (left). Popular cross-country skiing area in winter. Shuksan Picnic Area – Hannegan Pass Road (left). Tables, a restroom, Nooksack River views. Mining cabin nearby. Silver Fir Campground (right). Fees charged. Reservations accepted: 1-877-444-6777 or at www.recreation.gov. Mile 47: Goat Mountain – elevation 6,891 feet. (N.E.). Summer grazing range for one of four bands of mountain goats. Mile 49: View Mt. Shuksan – elevation 9,038 feet. (East). Mile 50: View Mt. Sefrit – elevation 6,015 feet. (Southeast). Mile 52: Mt. Baker Ski area White Salmon Day Lodge (left). Mile 53: Entrance to Heather Meadows. Mile 55: Picture Lake (road forks – stay to the right). Picture Lake – elevation 4,100 feet, provides a postcard view of Mt. Shuksan – elev. 9,038 feet. Vista picnic area (right). Picnic area; no restrooms. Mile 56: Austin Pass Picnic Area (right). CCC-built area sits in a bowl-shaped valley with glorious views. Heather Meadows Visitor Center (right). Open mid-July to September. Mile 58: Artist Point – elev. 5,140 feet. (End of highway). Parking lot surrounded by Mt. Baker’s peak (south), Mt. Shuksan (east) and Table Mountain – elev. 5,628 feet.
Mount Baker Experience • Fall 2010 19
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