Hike/Climb

Finding my way on the Pacific Northwest Trail

It has been five years since my thru-hike on the Pacific Northwest Trail  and I’m still trying to figure out how to talk about it. People say things like, “wow, that must have been fun” or “I wish I had time to do that.” They look confused when I can’t give them a simple explanation of what it was like. …

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Reverence, Respect, Reciprocity: A Sustainable Future for Recreation

  Recreate [ rek-ree-eyt ]: verb: to give new life or freshness to, refresh. To restore physically or mentally.   On a trip across the North Cascades Highway this past autumn I witnessed something that I’d never seen before in my lifetime: 700 cars parked at Rainy Pass. The perfect fall day drew larch lovers from near and far to the …

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The Cold Shoulder

The gold Grand Marquis in the ditch was probably a sign. But that was a mile or so back now. Driving up Forest Road 39 has become a death-defying experience. The higher we go, the more the road surface devolves, glazed over in a sheen of glare ice. The first snow of the season has turned against us. I’m joined …

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An Autumn Stroll Around Bagley Lakes

Easily overlooked among the Mt. Baker area’s wealth of great hiking trails, the Bagley Lakes Loop is an autumnal delight. This short, easy trail that traces the shores of the sweet little lakes offers a chance for the whole family to savor the luminous colors of fall in a sub-alpine setting. One could complete the loop in an hour, or …

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Traversing the Pickets with General Weakness

Images stick with me. I’ll often plan a trip around a specific place that I’ve seen either on a screen, a print, a slide, or just in my mind’s eye after looking at a map. Frenzel Camp is such a spot, its draw powerful enough to compel a seven-day traverse from Goodell Creek to the Big Beaver Valley just to …

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The Health Benefits Of Hiking

Contrary to popular belief, hiking is not just about basking in the great outdoors with your friends and family. This activity should be part of your daily routine because it can actually provide countless health benefits. When done regularly, hiking can become your ticket to improving and maintaining your overall wellness. If you have friends or family who usually hike …

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A Beautiful Bad Idea

 I was sprawled out yard-sale style on the Coleman Glacier, high on the slopes of Mt. Baker. One ski was broken. Blood was splattered across the snow. A quick check revealed a perfect circular puncture wound in my thigh from where I’d impaled myself with a broken pole. I was shocked and embarrassed. But mostly, I was crushed. Could I …

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A Mt. Baker Circumnavigation

As I stumbled down the rocky Swift Creek Trail in the dark, every side creek, ravine, and small gully was simply gushing—all tumbling into Swift Creek in the valley bottom below.  Soon I would have to ford this creek at a notorious crossing, and my apprehension was on the rise—was it my imagination or did Swift Creek sound louder every …

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Inspiring Passion: A Conversation with David Guterson

David Guterson’s writing is well-known to readers in the Pacific Northwest. His 1994 novel, Snow Falling on Cedars, which won the PEN/Faulkner and the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award, sold four million copies and was adapted for the screen. He has written 10 other books, including novels, non-fiction, short stories and poetry, and has published numerous articles …

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Why Hiking is Good for the Soul

Whether you’re taking in some stunningly beautiful brown bears or watching the sun come up on a mountain range, hiking can be a magical experience. It certainly isn’t for everyone, although many people have absolutely no idea what they’re missing out on. To some, the idea of trekking up a hill doesn’t hold much appeal but the view from the …

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