Upcoming events and highlights from around The Mountaineers
Welcome to Routefinder
, our monthly guide to the best offerings from around The Mountaineers.
As tough as it is for some of us to get back to the daily grind after the holidays, there is still the promise of weekend getaways into the mountains, onto the ski slopes, or (if you're brave enough) into the water for a brisk winter paddle. And if you were lucky, maybe you were given new toys to help you enjoy the outdoors (check out our GPS workshop in Seattle).
Want to know another way to enjoy the outdoors? As an advocate for Northwest wilderness and the environment. This month, the Snoqualmie Foothills Branch is offering two lecture series, titled Earth and Water. Each series is one lecture a month in January, February and March. Each lecture features two local experts and helps you understand the complex environmental issues that affect our region. For more information on these series, check out the branch listings below.
In addition to the two lecture series mentioned above, the Northwest Environmental Issues Course (NWEIC) starts February 1. This extensive ten week course covers Northwest environmental issues and gives you the tools to become an effective advocate. Wednesday nights from February 1 through April 5, the NWEIC is a well-respected introduction to issues of climate change, water, forests, simpler lifestyles, wildlife, green economics and more.
For all three lecture series, you can attend the entire offering or individual sessions. For more information on the NWEIC, visit our conservation page.
As we enter 2006, we are once again offered the chance to make a fresh start. So try something new, go somewhere you've never been and make your voice heard in a way that's never been heard before.
Wishing you all the best of the new year,
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.
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Winter Trails Day
Saturday, January 7
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Each year The Mountaineers host Winter Trails Day, bringing together snowshoe manufacturers, retail outlets and snowshoe leaders at our Snoqualmie Lodge for a day of fun in the snow. It's a fun day out in the snow, you get to try on all the new models of snowshoes and Mountaineers leaders are there to take you out on short tours around our private mountainside.
You don't have to be a member to participate, and the event is free. When you arrive, we give you a pass that allows you to go from vendor to vendor to check out their snowshoes and snow equipment. This year's vendors include Atlas, Tubbs, MSR, REI and Marmot Mountain Works.
Once you've grabbed a pair of snowshoes, Mountaineers snowshoe trip leaders will be available to take groups out into the forest, up the slope and over the snow for a quick hike. There's no better way to decide which snowshoes are best for you. Between the snowshoe leaders and the experts from the snowshoe companies, you'll benefit from a wealth of information and experience to help you choose the right snowshoe.
Directions to Snoqualmie Lodge:
Take I-90 east over Snoqualmie Pass to Exit 53. Turn right, and then immediately left at the intersection. Follow the road about 300 yards, where you'll see a Mountaineers sign high in the trees on your right. Park along the road and follow the signs up to the lodge.
Bellingham | Everett | Kitsap | Olympia | Seattle | Snoqualmie Foothills | Tacoma
Annual Banquet to host Mike Gauthier
The annual banquet of the Bellingham Branch of The Mountaineers will be Fri., Jan. 27, beginning at 6 p.m. Join Mike Gauthier, author, photographer and chief climbing ranger for Mt. Rainier National Park, as he shares breathtaking images and stories from Mt. Rainier, Mt. Foraker and the Grand Teton in his presentation entitled "Mountain Adventures: Climbing, Rescue and Being Struck by Lightning."
As a director of climbing and rescue operations on Rainier, Mike has seen sides of Washingtons premier peak that few others ever will. Mike will review some climbing adventures and dangerous rescues in which he has participated. You will not want to miss this entertaining and informative show. Tickets for the banquet are $25 per person. To purchase tickets, contact Ken Small, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wed., Jan. 4: Ben Jones set a record as the quickest to reach the highest points in all 50 states this year after reaching the summit of Denali with his father, Dennis, in the spring of 2005. Ben took Everett's Intermediate Climbing Course along with his father and is currently a student at Biola College in California. He will show slides of his high point adventures.
Membership meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Everett, 2624 Rockefeller Ave.
2006 Alpine Scrambling Course
The Everett branch Alpine Scrambling Course provides instruction on how to travel safely off-trail to mountain summits. Most Northwest mountain summits are accessible by scramble routes. Scrambles are typically strenuous, and usually involve off-trail travel over rock, snow, or brush. The scramble course provides a three-month program of instruction about proper equipment, clothing, navigation and route-finding, avalanche avoidance, weather awareness, rock and off-trail scrambling, wilderness ethics, snow travel, ice ax arrest, and glissade techniques. The course goal is to teach the skills necessary to scramble enjoyably and safely, and with respect for the mountains, but does not teach technical or roped climbing technique, glacier travel, or the use of crampons.
Course Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites. However, scrambling requires good physical condition, a positive mental attitude, a significant commitment of time and effort, and a complement of outdoor equipment.
Course Schedule: See the online listing for lecture and field trip dates.
Eligibility: The course is open to Mountaineers and to the general public, age 16 and over.
Course Registration and Enrollment: Enrollment opens Nov. 1. Enrollment in the scrambling course is on a first-apply, first-accepted basis. The course is limited to 50 students. You can register for the class online, or by using the form in the Go Guide. If you need a form, contact Member Services at 206-284-8484 or 800-573-8484. Applicants who are 16-17 years of age must have parent or guardian permission and complete a supplemental application form (you may request a copy of the supplemental application form from club headquarters). Enrollment in the scrambling course will close when the course fills or on March 2, whichever occurs first.
Course Fees and Refunds: Tuition is $140 for Mountaineers members and $180 for non-members. This tuition cost does not include the scrambling course textbook, membership dues for The Mountaineers, equipment and clothing cost, or tuition for the MOFA course. Refunds are available no later than the end of the orientation, March 2, 2006.
2006 Basic Climbing Course
This is a comprehensive introduction to alpine mountaineering. Graduates will develop the fundamental skills necessary to climb alpine peaks in the Northwest. We will cover climbing knots, navigation, anchors, belaying, rappelling, rock climbing, glacier travel, the fundamentals of self-rescue, and crevasse rescue. This course runs approximately four months, meeting weekly with several field trips. All lectures and field trips are required. Participants should be in good cardiovascular shape and be comfortable with basic camping skills. Everett offers an intimate learning experience with a high instructor to student ratio. This is perhaps the best reason to select this course. The registration cutoff for this course is Jan. 16 and the fee is $300 for Mountaineers members. Register online, or through club headquarters at 800-573-8484. See www.everettmountaineers.org/climbing/climbing_courses.cfm for more info.
Jan. 28, Sat. - Spruce Railroad (E) (GT: Lake Cresent) 8 mi., 1 gain. Minimum gain. Easy walk along the N. side of Crescent Lake. Beautiful views , a couple tunnels and railroad artifacts. Well catch the 7:55 a.m. Edmonds ferry. Prefers e-mail registration. Meeting place TBD. Leader: Cathie MacDonald, email@example.com.
Introductory Snowshoe Course
The mountain world turning totally white makes snowshoeing an absolutely unforgettable experience. Whether your aim is enjoying the winter wonderland or simple aerobic exercise, this course is for you. This course is designed to provide basic knowledge, with no prior experience necessary. We will cover the basics in two evening lectures and one field trip. Our instructors are experienced snowshoers and mountaineers. The course also explains what to expect on a Mountaineers snowshoe trip, and how to sign up for trips. Successful completion of this course will qualify you to participate in all Everett branch snowshoe trips.
Registration: You may sign up for this course online or by mail, using the registration form in this month's Go Guide. Registration ends Jan. 6.
For more details: contact Hal Watrous, firstname.lastname@example.org. Class size: 5-40.
Jan. 10, Lecture, 7 p.m., Cascade Crags
Jan. 17, Lecture 7 p.m., Cascade Crags
Jan. 29, see Everett Branch website for more details.
Jan. 7, Sat. - Miller River (E) (GT: Skykomish) 6 mi., 500' gain. Register with the leader: Rick Proctor, RandC_Proctor@msn.com.
The next meeting will be Thu., Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. January program: Steve Cain will describe and show photos from his 10-day backpack last summer through the Bailey Range and Skyline Trail. Glorious photos and entertaining commentary are sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Jan. 28, Sat. - Spruce Railroad Trail (E) (2) (CC Lake Crescent-Happy Ridge, USGS Lake Crescent) 8.2 mi. RT. 60 gain. This hike is so easy that it is really a walk an easy, level trail along the N. side of Lake Crescent on the abandoned railroad grade within a few feet of the water level. Meet 7:30 a.m. at the Poulsbo Church of the Nazarene. Bill Evans: email@example.com. (OPDH #48)
Orientation Night, Jan. 23
The Winter Activities Fair has been replaced by a greatly expanded Orientation Night. Find out more about the new modular Basic Climbing and Scrambling Courses, and all the other Olympia Mountaineers activities, including hiking, backpacking, snowshoe, Nordic skiing and kayaking. The Orientation Night will be held on Mon., Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. at the Columbian Hall, 6794 Martin May in Lacey.
This orientation to the branch's activities will be greatly expanded compared to other similar events in prior years, with presentations and gear demonstrations for many activities. This is a great opportunity for members to become reacquainted with all the branch has to offer, and for your non-member friends to learn what the club is all about. You can register for the Wilderness Skills Course, Basic Climbing and Scrambling Course modules, as well as MOFA. Mountaineers membership applications will also be accepted.
NEW: modules for climbing, scrambling
In response to the more demanding personal schedules of today's outdoor enthusiast, the Olympia Branch has redesigned the Basic Climbing and Alpine Scrambling Courses. The branch will also be adding a new Wilderness Skills entry-level course that provides a foundation for the traditional climbing and scrambling courses. The Wilderness Skills module will also be of interest to hikers and backpackers. The redesign will offer shorter, topical courses via modules to provide students with greater flexibility to meet their personal schedules and interests. The Basic Climbing and Alpine Scrambling Courses, and their component modules, are discussed in more detail in this month's Go Guide.
Jan. 14, Sat. - Capitol Lake (E) Approx. 5 mi. Walk along the lake, then on to Tumwater Falls Park. We will then enter the park and walk the trail along the river to view the falls. Nice outing for a day in January. For meeting information and to sign up, contact leader Teresa Wiggerhaus, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Travel Course
The 2006 Winter Travel Course covers Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. It consists of four lectures and one field trip. The lecture sessions are Tuesday, Jan. 3, Wed., Jan. 4, Mon., Jan. 9, and Tue., Jan. 10. Each lecture is from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Olympia Community Center. The lectures cover orientation, registration, avalanche awareness and safety, the Ten Essentials, backcountry winter travel etiquette, cold weather ailments, clothing and equipment. The ski field trip will be on Jan. 14 and the snowshoe field trip will be on Jan. 15.
Students may take the Snowshoeing Course or the Nordic Ski Course separately, or together. The course fee for either one of the courses is $25 for Mountaineers members and $35 for non-members. To take both courses (requiring both field trips) would be an extra $15 for Mountaineers or non-members. Class size is limited to 35 for each course.
For more information on the Nordic Ski Course, contact Judson Lang, email@example.com. For more information about the Snowshoe Course, contact Tom Keller, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nordic Ski Tour
Jan. 21, Sat. - Huckleberry Creek (E) 9.5 mi. RT. Gain, 700. (GT #238, Greenwater) Mixed cross-country ski and snowshoe. Follow a gentle, broad road along the creek and through old growth timber. Relaxed pace for those working on technique, fitness or completing classes. E-mail hike leader Eric Quinn by Jan. 18, email@example.com.
Jan. 4, Wed. - 7:30 p.m. Join us at this informational meeting to find out more about The Mountaineers in Seattle. New and prospective members are welcome to attend. We have many activities represented each month, and the volunteers are ready to answer as many questions as you can throw at them.
GPS Workshop for new users
Jan 16, 7-9 pm @ The Mountaineers Building, Seattle.
Did you get a GPS for the holidays? Or do you have a GPS sitting in a dark corner somewhere, still waiting to be used? The Seattle Navigation Comittee is offering a one-evening workshop to get you started using GPS and to let you know what a GPS unit can (and can not) do for you. Cost $15 for members. $25 for non-members.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan. 17, Tue. - The basics of snow shelter design, from caves to quinzhees, igloos to tents, tips to comfortable cooking and living in the snow. 7 p.m. at club headquarters. Class fee is $15, register online or through Member Services at 206-284-8484. Limit 50 students. For more information contact Jim Heber at email@example.com.
Introduction to Nordic Ski Course
This course is designed for new skiers or skiers who have beginner skiing skills who want to ski on logging roads, skier-packed trails and track systems. Completion of the course prepares you to confidently ski on basic Mountaineers trips rated as N1. The course includes instruction on conditioning; winter clothing and gear; winter health hazards such as hypothermia and frostbite; terrain and snow hazards; basic avalanche awareness; three cross-country ski lessons from PSIA instructors, and four guided Nordic touring field trips providing instruction in backcountry touring skills.
The course fee is $140. Limit is 20 students. Register online or through Member Services at 206-284-8484
Lectures: 1/10, 12, 17
Wax Clinic: 12/7, 1/18, 2/15
Ski Lessons Kick-and-Glide: 1/14, 21, 28 (morning lessons)
Field Trips: 1/14, 21, 28 (afternoon sessions)
Field Trip: 2/4 (all-day excursion to Meany Lodge - lunch included)
Nordic Ski Tours
Jan 8, Sun. - John Wayne Trail (N1) (Snoqualmie Pass 207GT) 100 gain. Meet at Issaquah P&R at 8:30 a.m. for final carpooling. Groomed parking pass needed by drivers. Limit 12. Leader: Fletcher Richardson, firstname.lastname@example.org. (s12/19-1/5)
Jan. 14, Sat. - Meany Lodge (N1) (GT Snoqualmie Pass) 4 mi. There is a new XC trail through the woods which avoids the steep road. Meet at 9:45 a.m. at Crystal Springs Sno-Park lot. Leader: Patti Polinsky, MeanySports@aol.com. (s1/3-1/12)
Jan 28, Sat. - Twin Falls State Park (E) (GT Bandera), SP, 4 mi., 700 gain. Good beginners hike. Enjoy a great forest walk and a truly amazing waterfall. Contact leader via e-mail for tips if you are new to Mountaineers hiking. Meet 9 a.m. at S. end of Issaquah P&R at SR-900 (Exit 15 on I-90). Matt Cleman, email@example.com. (s1/18-1/16)
Jan 29, Sun. - Boulder River (EM) (USGS Granite Falls/Oso), NWFP, 8 mi., 700 gain. Great opportunity to do some winter hiking. Come prepared for winter hiking conditions. We will pass two waterfalls and hike through some virgin forest. Meet 7:30 a.m. at S. end of Houghton P&R, I-405 & 70th Pl. 1/2 hr. Blair Busenbark, firstname.lastname@example.org. (s1/18-1/16)
Jan. 15, Sun. - Double Bluff. (E) 4 mi. Walk the beach beside towering cliffs formed during the last Ice Age. Observe winter water fowl and soaring eagles. A nice January beach walk. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the N. side of the 65th St. and I-5 P&R. Sign up online or via club headquarters. Leader: Pat Zeisler, email@example.com. (s1/4-1/12)
Lightweight Hiking/Backpacking Course
Whether your goal is to relieve stress on your knees and back, to travel farther and faster, to prepare for a through-hike, or to carve out some room for that camp chair and a special treat, this class is for you.
This course applies the principles, strategies and product knowledge of ultra-light backpacking to fit your goals, backpacking style, personal needs, and trip conditions. Lose five pounds or 25 (from your pack)!
Rather than taking a one-gear-list-fits-all approach, in this course well provide extensive coverage of the latest clothing, gear and food, so that you can design a system tailored to your individual needs. Well include innovative products from home-based gear designers, and resources for making your own gear. Demonstrations, recipes and an extensive resource list included.
Enrollment Process: Open to the public and Mountaineers members, the enrollment is limited to 40 people. Register online, by calling member services at 206-284-8484 or by mailing the course registration form (class #6855) in the back of the Seattle Branch section of the Go Guide to The Mountaineers along with a check or credit card payment. You will receive a confirmation letter with room location, updated syllabus, etc.
Course Fee: $49 members, $59 non-members.
Course Structure and Schedule: The class consists of three lectures on consecutive Tuesdays at The Mountaineers Bldg., 300 Third Ave. W., Seattle:
- March 7, 7-9:30 p.m.. Course introduction, general principles and strategies - defining your goals, style, and needs. The Big Three: Shelter, Sleep Systems, and Packs.
- March 14, 7-9:30 p.m. Ten Essentials and other gear, clothing, making your own gear.
- March 21, 7-9:30 p.m. Food, cooking, and individual pack analysis.
For more information: Julie Busse, firstname.lastname@example.org or Tab Wilkins, email@example.com.
Snowshoe Lite Course
Registration is open and will close when course is full or after the lecture. The Snowshoe Lite Course offers an introduction to safe and enjoyable winter travel for the beginner. It is designed for people who want to get a taste of snowshoeing and pick up a few good skills without the commitment of a full course. Topics of instruction will include selection and use of proper equipment, conditioning, where to go, what to rent, winter travel, safety, and choosing an outing. Students will be eligible to participate in easy snowshoe tours with the confidence of having a foundation in winter travel.
Lecture: Jan. 11, Wed., 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Pinnacle Room
Field Trip: Jan. 21, Sat., and Jan 22, Sun., if needed for overflow.
Location: Mountaineers Snoqualmie Lodge
Price: $49 members, $59 for non-members
Contact: Larry Metzger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Education Lecture Series
The Snoqualmie Foothills Branch of The Mountaineers, in partnership with Skyline High School in Sammamish, will offer two environmental lecture series in January and March. Both consist of three separate evening sessions, and each session consists of two different but related topics.
Take a walk on the wild side as we explore the animals of the Pacific Northwest.
Tue., Jan. 24: Bears with Chris Morgan of Insight Wildlife. Salmon with Karen Kane of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.
Tue., Feb. 28: Orca with Susan Berta of the Orca Network. Mountain lion with Duane Damen of the Cougar Mountain Zoo
Tue., March 28: Elk/ Deer (speaker being finalized). I-90 wildlife corridor with Jen Watkins of the I-90 Wildlife Coalition, Conservation Northwest.
Come and dig into a variety of topics of interest to gardeners and landowners alike.
Tue., Jan. 10: Forests with Amy Grotta of the WSU Extension Office. Land conservation with Kelly Kirkland of the Mountains to Sound Greenway.
Wed., Feb. 15: Soils and composting (speaker being finalized). Organic Gardening with Paul Mallary, Eastside resident.
Wed., March 15: Taylor Mountain Forest with Kristi McClelland of King County. Hazel Wolf Wetlands with Clark Summers of Skyline High School.
All sessions will be held at Skyline High School in Sammamish. Map and room location are available on the Snoqualmie Foothills website. Be sure to check for possible time or date changes. Doors open at 6 p.m. for registration. Sessions start promptly at 6:30 p.m. with the welcome, introductions and announcements. First presentations will be at 6:45 p.m. A break is set for 7:45 p.m. and at 8 p.m., participants will mingle with speakers and fellow participants. The second presentations will start at 9 p.m.
Fee: $30 per person, per series; $12 per session; $100 per series for family of four. Registration is non-refundable, transferable with prior arrangements.
Registration: See the website, www.sfbmountaineers.org/SFB-EnvironmentalED.html. Speaker biographies and literature will be available there.
Monthly meeting and slide show
Jan. 20. All new and perspective members, friends and families are urged to attend.
6:30 p.m. - New member information slide show.
7:30 p.m. - Dessert potluck. Bring a potluck dessert to share. This is a chance to visit with committee people in the activities of interest to you.
8 p.m. - Program: "The Enchantment Lakes," by Gary Peniston. They didn?t get this name for nothing. Gary shows photos from several excursions to this much-loved area in different seasons. If you?ve never been there, now you can see what all the fuss is about, and if you have been there, maybe you haven?t seen them in snow.
Mountain Bike Tour
Jan. 29, Sun. - Lake Wilderness to Landsburg Park. 16 mi.RT. Great beginner mountain bike ride for all terrain bikes. Trail is flat and in suburban King County (Maple Valley). Pace is social 8-12 mph. No need to be a hard-core mountain biker to sign up for this ride. Contact leader, Catherine Kwon Walters, email@example.com.
Jan. 14, Sat. - Gold Basin Moonlight Trip (E) (GT 207 Snoqualmie), 3-5 mi. RT, 100 gain. This is an evening trip. Snowshoe to the Full Wolf moon. Limit 12. Leader: Catherine Kwon Walters, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snowshoe Lite Course
This course offers an introduction to safe enjoyable travel for the beginner. This is not a full course, but a chance for those who want a taste of snowshoeing and pick up a few good skills without the commitment of a full course or learning ice axe use, building snow caves, etc. Topics of instruction include: selection and use of proper equipment, conditioning, what to rent or buy, where to go, winter travel and safely choosing an outing. Students will be eligible to participate in easy snowshoe trips with the confidence of having a foundation in winter travel.
Dec. 12, Thu., 7-9 p.m. - Lecture at Tacoma Clubhouse. Doors open 6.30 p.m.
Jan. 7, Sat. - field trip. Depending upon snow levels, this will most likely be at Paradise, MRNP.
Course Fee: Mountaineers members $45; non-members, $55. Participation in the fi eld trip will involve additional gear rental and expenses such as shared automobile gas and entrance pass for Mt Rainier. All students must have a current waiver on file with The Mountaineers. This can be found on the branch website: www.tacomamountaineers.org.
Note: Non-members can be guests on two Mountaineers-led snowshoe trips before joining.
Registration: Register online or call Member Services at 800-573-8484.
Taken from Three Fingers Lookout during a scheduled Everett branch maintenance trip September 24-25, 2005.
Photo taken by Norm Buckley, early morning of the 25th, looking SE.
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.
If you take a look at some of the latest titles from Mountaineers Books, you'll see the words "Outdoor books by the experts" on the cover. This isn't just fancy marketing-speak. They mean it. Mountaineers Books seeks out authors who know their subject inside and out, and who usually have years of experience.
Take Steve Hindman, author of the new book Cross-Country Skiing: Building Skills for Fun & Fitness. Steve has taught cross-country skiing since 1980, and was a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) National Nordic Demo Team from 1992-2004. He has written instruction articles for various magazines, contributed to ski instruction manuals, and has been the instructional editor at Cross-Country Skier magazine since 2002.
He's had his own cross-country ski rental shop near Mt. Baker, a backcountry guide service, and taught touring and telemark skiing through his shop. Currently, he is the manager of adult programs at the Ski and Snowboard School at Stevens Pass and teaches throughout the Northwest at various clinics and ski camps.
Steve will be visiting Leavenworth and Spokane this month, to talk about cross country skiing and the new book. He's a personable guy who thoroughly enjoys and deeply understands his sport. If you're in either of these areas, drop in and gain some insight into this fast-growing sport.
Cross-Country Skiing: Building Skills for Fun & Fitness
Date: Sunday, January 8
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Kristalls Restaurant, Highway 2, Leavenworth, WA
Event: Dinner and slide show presentation
Admission: $12:00 includes dinner, tax, & gratuity
For reservations, please call A Book for All Seasons, (509) 548-1451
Cross-Country Skiing: Building Skills for Fun & Fitness
Date: Tuesday, January 10
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Mountain Gear, 2002 N. Division, Spokane, WA
Event: Slide show followed by Q&A and book signing
We would like to hear from you! Tell us what you like and don't like, what types of programs you would like to see and let us know what types of interesting adventures you're having out there.
General inquiries, program suggestions, rants and raves can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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