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Graduation Day

I am inescapably and resoundingly middle-aged. I have been a college student for three years now, liquidating savings and borrowing heavily against presumed future earnings. Recently—remarkably—I graduated: thirty years almost to the day since I finished high school. Early that morning I drove to the mountains for a celebratory ski in the Mt. Baker backcountry, my excuse being that I …

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Cross Country Skiing Nirvana in Washington’s Methow Valley

Imagine a valley where cross country skiing is its life force and the dominant driver of the economy. Imagine a place with no stoplights for sixty miles in any direction, but night time skies with stars as far as you can see. Imagine waking up in a cabin with 225 kilometers of freshly groomed ski trails out your front door. …

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Dangerous Powder: The Deadly Pitfalls of Tree Wells

It was June and we were just outside the Mt. Baker Ski Area near the Bagley Lake Parking Lot. My children—who have grown up skiing and climbing—were horsing around in the snow. They were sledding, throwing snowballs, rolling around and pretty much doing everything that they could to get soaking wet in spring isothermal snow. I wasn’t paying super close …

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Silver Star: BC’s World-Class Nordic Ski Destination

You might not know it, but a world-class Nordic skiing destination is just a few hours away from Western Washington. You’ll find Canada’s largest groomed trail system at Silver Star Provincial Park near Vernon, British Columbia. And if you visit before the end of the year, you’ll have a bonus: Olympic athletes training for the PyeongChang 2018 Games in South …

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Skiing the Sno-Parks at Snoqualmie Pass

Located 50 miles east of Seattle on Interstate 90, Snoqualmie Pass is a popular jumping-off point for cross-country skiers.  The three Washington State Parks-administered Sno-Parks found along Interstate 90 just east of the pass offer up access to some of the best nordic ski trails in the Northwest. Whether you’re seeking groomed skate tracks or backcountry bliss, Snoqualmie Pass delivers …

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Between Storms: Meditations on Winter from the Hager Mountain Lookout

My relationship with winter is complicated. I want to delight in it, I want to feel its sting, I want to fear its ruthlessness, and ultimately I want to wish it on its way. Having played hard in New York’s frozen Adirondacks much of my early adult life, mild Bellingham winters leave me wanting. I discovered that renting lookout cabins …

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The Quiet Joys of Huntoon Point

The journey to Huntoon Point on a winter’s day, when measured in miles, is very short. A mere three miles separate you from the clamor and bustle of the parking lot and the spirit-lifting hush of this magical destination. And it’s easy too. You’ll climb a scant 1200 feet along the way with only a few short steep bits, and …

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Explore Our National Parks on Snowshoes

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are fortunate to have some of the nation’s most beautiful National Parks. They are all popular – and busy – in summer but the winter season offers its own unique pleasures. If you are looking for a great outdoor experience in the Pacific Northwest, consider snowshoeing through the silent, pristine landscapes of one of …

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Finding Gold on Mt. Shuksan

Minutes are just the tick of a clock, all-encompassing and then gone forever. The accumulation of these moments defines our lives and who we are; they are the ingredients that make up our story. Wherever I stand in the world, from the streets of Berlin to the peaks of New Zealand or with the Indian Ocean washing upon my feet …

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