Upcoming events and highlights from around The Mountaineers
Welcome to Routefinder, our monthly guide to the best offerings from around The Mountaineers.
Sleeping while standing on a 2-foot wide ledge. Crossing the Gobi Desert on foot. Reaching the summit of the world's tallest mountain, realizing you're the first American to do so. Witnessing the ongoing struggle to protect a vast and fertile wilderness area. These accomplishments and experiences are featured this month as The Mountaineers hosts a series of speakers that are inspirational, amusing and thought-provoking. See the Special Events section below for a list of shows.
As summer begins its slow decline, many thoughts are turning towards our upcoming classes. In the next few months we'll see enrollment for offerings in climbing, scrambling, first aid (see Seattle and Tacoma sections), navigation, skiing and snowshoeing (c'mon snow!). Taking a class, course or seminar helps you discover new sports, polish those rusty skills and in general expand your horizons. And as a Mountaineers member, you have access to a wealth of experience that non-members don't. Many classes are only available to members, and at a very reasonable cost.
So if you're looking for a new adventure, or looking to rediscover an old favorite, keep your eyes open over the next few months for your opportunity.
We'd like to hear your comments about Routefinder, so use the e-mail addresses located in the Contact Us section to tell us what you think.
Special Events | Branch-By-Branch | Member Photo
Mountaineers Books | Contact Us
You have to check out the amazing lineup of speakers we've put together for the month of September. Climbers, explorers, educators, conservationists - it's all here! For all the shows listed below, where applicable, tickets may be purchased over the phone (206-284-6310), at the Seattle office, or at the door on the night of the show.
Wednesday, September 7 @ 7 p.m.
First Congregational Church, 2624 Rockafeller Ave., Everett
The Everett Branch of the Mountaineers presents noted climber and guidebook author, Jim Yoder. Jim's talk will be a vitual tour of Western States climbing areas. Come learn about some great places to climb. He'll have slides of Vantage, Skaha, Banks Lake, Beacon Rock, Tieton, and many other areas you may or may not have even heard of. It's a great way to find new and exciting places to climb.
The event is free and refreshments will be served. For questions or directions, e-mail Brian Hench at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Walls and Pigtails: Yosemite Climbing with Holly Beck
Thursday, September 8 @ 7p.m.
The Mountaineers, 300 Third Ave W., Seattle
To reach the great heights, majestic views and isolation found on big walls, sometimes you have to suffer. Holly Beck, a seasoned Yosemite climber, is no stranger to the perils and challenges that come with the territory.
On El Capitan's Tangerine Trip route, Beck lost her sleeping ledge. She kept climbing, finding small one- and two-foot ledges to sleep on - standing up.
Using still images and video footage of Tangerine Trip and other routes, including a nine-day ascent of El Capitan's Lost in America, Holly Beck gives us a unique look into daily life thousands of feet in the air. Come to this free presentation for the upsides (good climbing, awe-inspiring views) and downsides (sleeping on narrow ledges, bad weather) of big wall climbing.
Jon Waterman: Where the Mountains are Nameless
Wednesday, September 14 @ 7 p.m.
Tickets: $5 Mountaineers members / $7 non-members
The Mountaineers, 300 Third Ave W., Seattle
Jon Waterman is a well-known climber, author, kayaker and all-around explorer. In the past twenty-plus years, he's mande numerous journeys to the Far North. From these travels, he's gained a unique perspective of Alaska and the impact of human encroachment.
In his new book, "Where Mountains are Nameless," Waterman makes his aims clear: to honor the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), its people, its history and its wildlife, and to take a powerful stand for its protection against the development of the oil industry.
Waterman mixes past and present to bring the audience into close contact with caribou, wolves, polar bears, grizzlies, mosquitoes and warblers. He blends historical narrative with vivid tales of his journeys into the Arctic, creating tension between past and present, science and politics, reflection and investigation.
Jim Whittaker: A Benefit for Snoqualmie Lodge
Thursday, September 15 @ 7 p.m.
Tickets: $8 Mountaineers members/$10 non-members
The Mountaineers Building, 300 Third Ave W., Seattle
In 1963, Jim Whittaker stood on the summit of the world's highest mountain, Everest, the first American climber to reach that lofty peak. A Washington native, Whittaker drew upon his experience in our rugged backcountry and on our Cascade peaks to help him get there.
After this remarkable achievement, Whittaker went on to take a small, local, co-operative gear retailer called Recreational Equipment, Inc. - commonly known as REI - and turn it into a national juggernaut. He had started his career there as the sole full-time employee.
Ever the adventurer, Whittaker helped place the first Americans on K2, as well as leading the 1990 Everest Peace Climb which was comprised of climbers from China, the former U.S.S.R and the U.S.
Join The Mountaineers in welcoming "Big Jim" as he shares the experiences and insights that have carried him to great heights and faraway places. Proceeds from the evening will go towards the restoration of the Snoqualmie Lodge, recently placed on the Washington State Register of Historic Places.
Helen Thayer: Three Among the Wolves
Thursday, September 22 @ 7 p.m.
Tickets: $8 Mountaineers members, $10 non-members
The Mountaineers Building, Seattle
In 2002, Helen Thayer was hailed as "one of the 20th Century's greatest explorers" by National Geographic. No small honor, Helen earned this recognition for her extensive travels around the globe, challenging nature and herself.
In 1988, Helen became the first woman to solo walk to the magnetic North Pole. She's crossed the Gobi Desert and the Sahara Desert on foot. And to celebrate her 60th birthday, she set off on a solo walk of 550 miles across Antarctica.
The purpose of these fantastic voyages was not to claim fame, but to support her educational program Adventure Classroom. When not travelling to the far reaches of the planet, Helen visits schools to share her tales with children in the hope of inspiring and motivating them.
To that end, Helen, her husband Bill and their part-wolf dog Charlie set out to spend a year of their lives living among the wolves in Canada's Yukon Territory. Following three separate packs, the group was able to establish themselves in close proximity with Charlie's help. Their curiosity was rewarded with a wealth of information on the social structures that occur within wolf packs.
On September 22, Helen will share what life is like among the wolves. She will share pictures and stories of her year with these remarkable and often misunderstood animals, and will be signing copies of her books.
Bellingham | Everett | Kitsap | Olympia | Seattle | Snoqualmie Foothills | Tacoma
Sept. 13, Wed. - 7 p.m. in the downstairs meeting room of the Bellingham Library. Come find out more about the activities in and around Northern Washington.
Sept. 10, Sat. - Goat Mtn. (E/M) Find out more about this hike in the Activity Search area of our website or contact leader, Lee Conrad, email@example.com.
Sept. 18, Sun. - Skyline Divide (M) (USGS Mt. Baker, GT Mt. Baker #13) 7 mi., 2,100' gain. Check with leader for details. Leader: Ken Small, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 25, Sun. - Chain Lakes Loop (M) (USGS Shuksan Arm, GT Mt. Shuksan #14) 6 mi.,1850' gain. Check with leader for details. Leader: Ken Small, email@example.com.
Sept. 7, Wed. - 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in downtown Everett, 2624 Rockefeller. See the paragraph on Jim Yoder in the Special Events section above.
Sept. 9-11, Fri.-Sun. - Queets River (E/M) (GT: Kloochman Rock; Other: Custom Correct: Queets #65) 14 mi., 600' gain. Incredible old growth temperate rainforest. One of the world's finest. Huge old moss-covered big leaf maples, fir, spruce. Possibly elk and other critters. We'll cross the Queets River, possibly knee deep. Leave 10 a.m. Fri. morning. Car camp Fri. night. Limit 6. Leader: Roy Holman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 17, Sat. - Blue Lake. (E/M) (GT Washington Pass) 4.5 mi., 1100' gain. Nice mountain lake about 20 mi. west of Winthrop. Watch the mountain climbers on nearby Liberty Bell & Early Winters spires. Bring your swimsuit for swimming. Leader: Penny Barker, email@example.com.
Sept. 24, Sat. - Hurricane Hill. (M) (GT Mt. Angeles, Mt. Olympus) 6 mi. 1700' gain. This hike is located on the Olympic Penninsula on Hurricane Ridge. Offers Stunning views of Mt. Olympus, Mt. Currie, Mt. Baker, and Victoria to the north. Social pace. Leader: Penny Barker, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 8, Thu. - 7 p.m. at the Kitsap Cabin, see the Kitsap website for directions. This month, Michael Fagin, lead forecaster for Washington Online Weather, will speak on the topic of Mountain Weather Forecasting for the Olympics and Cascades. Some of the topics covered will be secrets to forecasting in the Olympics, when and where to find the Olympic rain shadow, where to expect snow in the lowlands, the fall and winter long-term forecasts, and how to make your own mountain forecast. Besides forecasting for the Olympics and Cascades, Fagin forecasts for expedition groups climbing Mt Everest and other major peaks around the world. Michael has also written a book, "Best Rain Shadow Hikes: Western Washington," and has recreational content posted on many websites.
Sept. 22, Thu. - Dungeness Spit (E) (2) (USGS Dungeness) 10 mi. RT, 120' gain out, $2 family fee. An easy hike with very little elevation gain. Meet 7:30 a.m. at Poulsbo Church of the Nazarene for ride sharing. Registration required. Charlie Morgan: email@example.com
National Public Lands Day Work Party
Sept. 24, Sat. - National Public Lands Day 2005 - Church Creek Trail. Backcountry trail maintenance at Olympia National Forest on Forest Service Trail #871, Church Creek Trail. This is a beautiful trail, and we still haven't seen the whole three-plus miles. Work will include trail clearing, removing fallen trees, brushing and some tread repair to areas damaged by erosion. This short connector trail provides a diversity of terrain, including an old growth forest with huge trees, a surprise overlook of an interesting gorge, waterfalls, lakes and who knows what else. The trail has been without maintenance for several years and connects the Skokomish watershed with the Wynoochee watershed, so it may involve climbing to the drainage divide (800 ft. gain).
Backcountry trail maintenance requires your ten essentials, water, lunch, work boots (hiking boots are great) and work gloves (leather or other durable material). Meet at Mud Bay P&R off SR-101 at 7:45 a.m. Carpool to Church Creek; return around 5:30 p.m. Interested parties please contact trip leader one week in advance. Contact Jim French, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following two hikes comprise a car camp Sept. 17-18. Combine the two hikes below with an overnight stay at Beacon Rock State Park on the Columbia River. State park fees apply ($15 per site). We will have a Sat. night potluck, optional hike up Beacon Rock, and of course, a campfire with all the trimmings. Come for 1 or 2 hikes, dinner, overnight, or combination. Approximately a 2.5 hr. drive from Olympia or 30 min. from Portland. No back road. Contact leader for details. Darlene Dickinson, DarleneDickinson@hotmail.com.
Sept. 17, Sat. - Eagle Creek to Tunnel Falls (M) (USFS Trails of the Columbia River Gorge) 12 mi. Gain, 1200'. Hike to Tunnel Falls and walk through the cliff with the water cascading outside.
Sept. 18, Sun. - Hamilton Mountain (M) (USFS Trails of the Columbia River Gorge) 9 mi. Gain, 2017'. A steep hike to the top of Hamilton Mountain passing Hardy and Rodney Falls. See views of the Columbia River and Beacon Rock.
Sept. 24-25, Sat.-Sun. - Sheep Lake (E) 6 mi., 500' gain. Limit 8. Easy walk to Sheep Lake. Day hike along PCT Leader: Dave Purdon, 253-852-0255, email@example.com. (s9/19-9/22).
Beginner Hiking Seminar
Sept. 22, Thu. - 6:30-9 p.m. Where: Seattle club headquarters. No registration and there is no charge for this seminar. Learn what to put in your pack, how to dress for comfort and safety, and what to expect on hikes. We will discuss clothing, boots and packs, the ten essentials, seasonal trail hazards, how to shop for equipment (and save money), and how to research your trips. This seminar is designed to answer questions you, as a beginning hiker, may have about how to get started. We will show samples of our equipment and talk about some of our favorite places to hike. Informational handouts are included. You do not need to be a Mountaineers member to attend. Contact Kelly Cleman, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Sept. 17 Sat. - Picnic in the Park. 45 mi., moderate pace, some hills. Start riding at 9:30 a.m. from Seattle Water Park. (Take Exit 17 from I-90, drive through Issaquah and Hobart to Landsburg.) Park next to Cedar River. Joint ride with Seattle Bike Club. Pedal into Black Diamond and the Green River Gorge to a picnic in the park. Bring lunch and snacks. Jean Henderson.
Sept. 25, Sun. - Gasworks Park, Lake Forest for coffee. Leisurely-social paced ride 20 mi., rolling terrain with lovely downhill on N.E. Perkins Way to Lake Forest Park shopping mall, coffee break, and return on Burke-Gilman Trail. Meet 9 a.m. at Gasworks Park. Loretta Goetsch.
Mountaineering Oriented First Aid (MOFA) is a 21-hour first aid course that is a must if you're a backcountry traveler. You don't need to be a climber (or a Mountaineer, for that matter) to take the course - it's chock full of good skills that may come in handy. It pays to be prepared, so consider taking the MOFA course, which meets the American Red Cross first aid requirements. For more information and fees, go to the Activity Search page and search for MOFA.
Oct. 4 - 27, Tue./Thu., 6-9 p.m. at the Bitterlake Community Center. Registration opens Sept. 6.
Oct. 11 - 11/8, Tue./Thu., 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Bastyr University in Kenmore. Registration opens Sept. 6.
Oct. 1, Oct. 14-16, times vary at Mountaineers Building and Meany Lodge. Registration opens Aug. 30
Sept. 7, Wed. - After Hours Hike: Annette Lake (M) (GT Snoqualmie Pass), NWFP, 7.5 mi., 1700' gain. Steady moderate pace. Leave by 4:30 p.m., S. side I-90, Exit 20, at stop sign. Sign up via club headquarters or online; no formal carpool. Headlamp required. 3/4 hrs. Sheryl Lamberton, email@example.com. (s8/30-9/6)
Sept. 10, Sat. - Skyscraper Mtn. (M) (GT Mt Rainier E), NWPF, 7.5 mi., 1200' gain in, 300' out. Moderate pace. Meet 9 a.m. just inside White River toll booth to MRNP. 1-3/4 hrs. Jon Neher, firstname.lastname@example.org. (s8/25-9/8)
Sept. 25, Sun. - Nisqually Delta National Wildlife Refuge (E) 5.5 mi. no gain. Bird watch along McAllister Creek, S. Puget Sound and the Nisqually River. Bring binoculars and lunch. Bird books are helpful. Wear water-resistant footwear. Meet at 8 a.m. in the refuge parking lot. Take Exit #114 off I-5 just N. of Olympia and follow signs to refuge (1-1/2 hrs.). Small entrance fee. Register online starting September 13.(s9/13-9/22)
Help with Wolf Wetlands Preserve
Snoqualmie Foothills Branch has become official stewards of the Hazel Wolf Wetlands Preserve in Sammamish under the auspices of the Cascade Land Conservancy (CLC). One work party per month is needed to control noxious and invasive weeds and to monitor trail condition. Projects are being developed for a kiosk and a visitor register. If interested in helping with this site, please contact Katlin Hanson at email@example.com.
Special August Meeting
Sept. 16, Fri., 7 p.m. - The monthly meeting and new member orientation slideshow will feature a program on hiking the Grand Canyon sans trail. "Hiking the Grand Canyon Backcountry," by Tom Shimko, will begin at 8 p.m. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hike in the Grand Canyon, exploring it from top to bottom but not on a trail? Then come see and hear from a wonderful storyteller and photographer. With him, you will be amazed what 22 days in the canyon is like and how when difficulties arose they were overcome with resourcefulness. Starting at the South Rim and ending at Nankoweap, Tom experienced much of what the Grand Canyon backcountry has to offer.
You will visit old Anasazi villages, swim in the cold Colorado River, hear what it is like to be stuck by cacti and other pointy flora, experience getting cliffed-out, find out what he did when he ran out of water, watch the mating rituals of swallows and lizards, and much more. It was hot, it was cold (four inches of snow one morning), it was beautiful. Would he do it again? In a heartbeat, he says. Come and enjoy Tom's stories and the Grand Canyon. You won't be disappointed.
Sport Climbing Class
An exciting new class is being offered this year! Sport Climbing is open to anyone wishing to learn how to safely enjoy the sport, as well as those who are already accomplished climbers looking to expand and refine their skills. There are no prerequisites for the class except enthusiasm! We will be working on bolted routes and exploring the many climbing areas in the Pacific Northwest.
Topics of instruction include climbing sport routes on top rope, leading sport routes using bolts and quick-draws, setting anchors on bolts and chains, clipping bolts, belay and rappel technique, knots and the safe use of equipment. The class is intended to be flexible and lectures will be tailored to students' interests and abilities. There will be an emphasis on safety.
Sept. 28, Wed. and Oct. 10, Mon. - 7 to 9 p.m. at the Tacoma clubhouse
Field Trips (dates TBD)
- Gym climbing at local gym.
- Two weekend field trips during late October and early November to Vantage, Leavenworth, and elsewhere
- Several more weekend outings will be organized to various sport climbing routes in the Pacific Northwest.
Fee: Cost of the course is $100. There are no prerequisites.
The course is open to non-members and is limited to 20 students. Gym climbing fees not included. Register online or by contacting the chair, Gordon Wiggerhaus, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Required equipment: Helmet, harness, rock shoes, personal anchor system, several carabineers and slings. Optional but recommended equipment: rope, chalk bag, quick draws
Sept. 22, Thu. - Klahane Ridge via Sunrise Ridge (EM) (GT-135 Mt. Angeles) 8 mi., 1200' gain. Limit 12. We'll hike as a group at a moderate pace with lots of stops to enjoy the views and fresh mountain air on this first day of autumn! It's a long drive, so we'll stop for dinner on the way home. Leader's permission required. Leader: Amy Mann, email@example.com. (s9/12-9/15)
Navigation for hikers class
Sept. 21, Wed., 6:30-9 p.m. - Navigation for Hikers, Tacoma Clubhouse. Want to learn how to use topographic maps? How about picking up a couple of basic compass skills? Then come to this hands-on lecture/workshop, where you'll get plenty of individualized help. This is an introduction to basic navigation skills for trail users. We will NOT be discussing GPS use in this session. No prerequisites. However, you can get a broad overview and a head start by reading the Navigation Chapter in "Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills," or read the Burns and Burns book, "Wilderness Navigation." (Skip sections on "Taking/Plotting Bearings with a compass," both on the map and in the field.)
If you have a compass bring it. If you're considering getting a compass or upgrading, please visit the Navigation Course website for recommendations. The most important feature is Item #1, "adjustable declination." Read this section carefully.
Course cost: $15 per person, payable at the door, exact change or check please. Pre-registration is advised, which will greatly assist in course planning. Contact Darin Brekke, firstname.lastname@example.org. Darin can also answer questions for you. Instructor for the evening will be Kevin Welton.
Note: This session does not meet the Navigation Card requirements for courses such as Basic Mountaineering, Alpine Scrambles, or Winter Travel.
In anticipation of the upcoming winter (we're crossing our fingers for snow, arent' we?), here's a picture of some members on Mt. Howard. Photo by Curt Baxstrom.
Submit your photo! To see your photo here, send your image in jpg format to email@example.com with "routefinder photo" in the subject line. Please include a short description of the image, as well as your full name, and a website URL if you have one.
Hopefully, everyone knows that in addition to all the great activities and advocacy, The Mountaineers is also a publisher of outdoor-related books. And one of the finest in the world, we might add with just a wee bit of humility. Browsing their catalog shows an amazing depth of topics: hiking guides, photo essays, histories, narratives and outdoor skills. It's fair to say that no other publisher can approach our quality and variety of outdoor books.
This month we're highlighting two recent publications that you shouldn't miss: Digital Photography Outdoors and Best Desert Hikes: Washington. And don't forget that members are entitled to a 20% discount on all titles published by Mountaineers Books. For more information or to place an order, contact the Mountaineers Bookstore at 206-284-6310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digital Photography Outdoors: A Field Guide for Adventure & Travel Photographers
By: James Martin
Price: $16.95 (member price: $13.56)
· Instruction on composing the shot and editing it digitally, keyed to outdoor subjects and outdoor conditions
· Selecting equipment for use in the field
· Illustrated in full color
A professional writer and photographer who has long chronicled his adventures as a mountaineer and wilderness traveler, James Martin is uniquely positioned to help others "gain the most from swapping chemicals for silicon." In Digital Photography Outdoors, he begins with the basics: how a digital camera works, special considerations for use in the field, and selecting the best equipment and most useful accessories for capturing outdoor action.
Martin presents the new rules of digital photography (why overexpose?) and reminds us of old rules that still apply (light and good composition remain key). He covers the fundamentals of digital editing, including selecting software tools, applying filters, creating the illusion of movement, and stitching photos together to create panoramas. It's about exploiting the advantages of digital, as well as meeting its challenges ("storing images safely becomes an obsession.") Martin also offers tips on care and maintenance of digital equipment in field conditions.
James Martin has written for Outdoor Photographer magazine and has seventeen books to his credit, most illustrated with his photos. He is represented by Getty Images and ImageState.
Best Desert Hikes: Washington
By: Alan Bauer, Dan Nelson
Price: $16.95 (member price: $13.56)
· Prime hiking for fall, winter, and spring
· Organized by quick access from Spokane, the TriCities, Yakima-Ellensburg, and Wenatchee-Chelan
· 100 hikes, from short half-day trips (1-5 miles) to overnighters
If you're used to tight, tree-lined trails through (often-dripping) evergreens, it's time to enter an entirely different world: the high desert of central and eastern Washington. It's desert, yes-but not the Lawrence of Arabia kind. This landscape of sagebrush and rimrock canyons is starkly beautiful and rich in plant and animal life. It offers mild temperatures in fall, prime wildlife viewing in winter, and an explosion of wildflowers in spring.
Best Desert Hikes: Washington is a great way to extend your hiking through three-seasons-a Hikes at a Glance chart in the front of the book lists best time to go for each trail. Some of these hikes follow designated trails; others guide you along the contours of the land for a more individual experience. There are tips on hiking in desert conditions, too.
Alan L. Bauer and Dan A. Nelson first teamed together to write Best Loop Hikes: Washington. Bauer is a freelance photographer whose work has been published in Backpacker, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and many other publications. Nelson is a contributor to The Seattle Times and Backpacker magazine, specializing in Northwest destinations and outdoor gear reviews.
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