Tag Archives: Mt. Shuksan

The Paycheck of a Lookout Janitor

To be at work and at play at the same time is to know inspiration. To labor with passionate commitment on something you believe in is to know fulfillment. But to simply awaken at 6521 feet to a dazzling sunrise is to experience the exalted treasure of one of Washington’s remaining fire lookouts. I became lookout chairman 14 years ago, …

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Searching for Phantoms: Wolverines in the North Cascades

 Inhospitable.  That’s it, in a word. Inhospitable. The word for today—and for this landscape. The three of us were working our way across the terrain of the North Cascades, ostensibly out here recreating but more accurately, persevering. Here in the shadows of the White Salmon Basin, the sun will not crest the north face of Mt. Shuksan for some hours …

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Old Friends and Falling Snow: Winter at White Salmon Creek

The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of only one thing and one thing only. – Joseph Wood Krutch   I am old enough to have experienced the profound benefit of long friendships. The arc of a lifetime, when shared with folks who are special to …

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Winter Splendor in the North Cascades

The jet stream of moisture-laden clouds has pummeled the Pacific Northwest for days. The winds begin to shift from the southwest to the northeast, bringing cold, dry air from Canada driven by an encroaching high pressure system. The stage is set and the curtain of grey slowly rises, revealing the stars of the show: the jagged peaks of the North …

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Finding the Flow: A Trail Runner’s Journey

  What calls? What beckons? What primeval invitation is answered when the comforts of modernity are exchanged for dirt, rain, and rocks?  A better body? A more enviable digital platform? A belt buckle? Bar room bragging rights? For sure each of those things have their appeal:  the ego is a force to be reckoned with. Yet, stripped of pretense, weathered, …

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Winter Bliss at Artist Point

The mood of a Pacific Northwest winter is defined by monochromatic clouds and a never-ending somber grayness. The dampness that muffles sound also softens the edges of the scenery. There seems little depth to the view as layers of fog and mist create a two dimensional portrait of the world. Shadows hardly exist.   But luckily, the Mt. Baker Highway …

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The Finest Kind of Madness

Origin — a beginning. We all start somewhere. This is where the Madness begins, I suppose; In random passing, a glancing blow. Driving the sinuous byway of Washington State’s North Cascades Highway, some three hours after turning east from the high-test thrum of the Interstate corridor and onto the only road to cleave the wilderness of the North Cascades National …

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Autumn in the North Cascades

In 1976 I planned my first trip to the Pacific Northwest.  With two friends, I hitchhiked from Eastern Pennsylvania to Cascade Locks in Oregon and hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) south to Crater Lake.  I borrowed a friend’s Nikkormat camera for the trip and tried hard to capture the look and feel of what I saw.  Since that first …

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Redemption on Mt. Shuksan: Lessons Learned on the Northwest Rib

  In 2017, I experienced a failure that I did not expect. I have been working as a mountain guide for the last twenty years. I’ve guided throughout the Western United States and have also spent time working in both Alaska and in South America. I was an American Mountain Guides Association Certified Rock Guide, a guide trainer at the …

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Sarah Finger: A Deeply Etched Love for Local Landscapes

After a quick burn on Galbraith or hike up in the North Cascades, Sarah Finger is likely to be the one across the bar from you slinging your après trail beer. But she also has a strong connection to that magnificent landscape you can’t stop staring at on the can of IPA you’re slugging down. She’s the artist who created …

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