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Hike/Climb

Doppelgänger on Mount Baker!

Whether you climb up the mountain or go down the hill to the valley, whether you journey to the end of the world or merely walk around your house, none but yourself shall you meet. –   Maurice Maeterlinck, La sagesse et las destinée (Wisdom and Destiny) 1898   Early this year I got a call from a long-time climbing buddy: how …

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Tapto Lakes: A Long Awaited Journey to the Heart of the North Cascades

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

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A Walk in the Park: Hidden Lake Peaks

North Cascades National Park is home to some of North America’s most awe-inspiring hiking trails. It’s truly a hiker’s park, sharing it’s most transcendent charms only with those willing to meet it on its own terms. The trail to Hidden Lake Peaks epitomizes this pay-to-play scenario, although in this case, the payment in sweat equity is moderate. In truth, you …

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Discovering Your Inner Climber: Via Ferrata in the Bugaboos

You may have arrived at mid-life and realized you never got around to becoming an expert mountaineer. You meant to. Really. The notion of one day standing atop some rocky spire was the only thing that kept you going as you toiled away in your cubicle at age 24. But one day you came home from work to find you …

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The Best Hikes in North Cascades National Park

Ten Trails That You’ll Never Forget… Stunning views, towering summits, prolific wildlife, primeval forests, glistening glaciers, resplendent wildflowers, and one of the largest wilderness areas in the Lower 48; celebrate the North Cascades National Park’s 50th anniversary with a hike. Here are ten of my absolute favorites—from easy day hikes to challenging backpacking trips in the North Cascades National Park …

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Top Ten Winter Hikes in Whatcom County

Winter has descended upon us. Skyline Divide, Yellow Aster Butte, and all of your other favorite high country romps are now— thanks to a thick shroud of snow—pretty much off limits until next summer. But there’s no need to put away your hiking shoes. There are scores of low country hikes that for the most part remain snow-free all year …

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New Beginnings at Kukutali

Thanks to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and the Washington State Parks Department, we have new public access to a beautiful coastal forest and shoreline beside the Salish Sea. The Kukutali Preserve, located on Swinomish Tribal lands in Skagit County, was opened to the public just three years ago, the result of a ground-breaking alliance of Tribe and State. An …

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Above & Beyond: The End is Just the Beginning

The North Cascades are a hiker’s paradise. The trail system that we enjoy in these northern mountains provides access to spectacular places and ranks among the world’s supreme networks of footpaths. Two of the finest routes in the Mt. Baker area are the Ptarmigan Ridge and Yellow Aster Butte trails. Both transport boot-clad acolytes across landscapes of unforgettable grandeur. Both …

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Mountain Stewards: Angels of the Backcountry

On a bright summer day in the North Cascades, a father is hiking along with his two sons, their mother trailing far behind sporting flip-flops. The uneven terrain makes her feet look painful, and a passing man offers that flip-flops probably aren’t the best footwear for the trail. “Oh I know, my husband—that idiot— said we were going to the …

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