Tag Archives: Ross Lake

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder: Terra Incognita in the North Cascades

It was August 2020, mid-pandemic in peak backcountry camping season. As many outdoor enthusiasts remember, all mountain trailheads were jammed with eager hikers. Ironically, as we were all trying to avoid crowds and get some fresh air, we created crowding on popular trails (at least in the first few miles). My response was to get more creative with my route …

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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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Thin Air and Rich Light: The Mountain Photography of Jason Griffith

Although I grew up on the west side of the Cascade Range, I didn’t really start getting serious about the mountains until I was at the University of Washington in the mid-90’s. As I started hiking, then scrambling, then climbing, I was (and still am) drawn north. The North Cascades have probably the best mountaineering in the lower 48, but …

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Summer Cruising on Diablo Lake: History, Poetry and Mountains Majesty

Unique in the National Park system, the partnership between Seattle City Light, North Cascades National Park, and the North Cascades Institute offers visitors a plethora of recreational delights. Among them, a tour on Diablo Lake aboard the Alice Ross IV provides a relaxing—and inspiring—way to while away a summer’s day. There are two options for visitors: the three-hour lunch tour …

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A Journey Home: The Skagit from Source to Sea

A large drop of rain fell on my leg. Then another. A deep boom of thunder reverberated through the mountain peaks. It began to pour. The rain dripped from the trees and shrubs, cascading onto the ground in rivulets and feeding, right there at our feet, the tiny creek that was the source of the Skagit River. These particular drops …

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Luna Peak…er…Creek!

In the wood there are paths, mostly overgrown, that come to an abrupt stop where the wood is untrodden. – Martin Heidegger, Off the Beaten Track (1950) Having been away from the Picket Range for more than 40 years, I was eager to try my hand at the much vaunted bushwhacks for which it is famous. The managers of the …

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