Awesome vistas during day 3 on the Wonderland Trail
Backcountry travel

Wonderland Trail 3 of 3: White River to Longmire

This is the third of a three-part series about doing a 3-day trail run/hike on the Wonderland Trail. It’s typically done as a week-long backpacking trip, or at the fast end of the spectrum, as a fast ultra run in under 1.5 days. To understand what is involved in a …

Backcountry travel

Larch Season Hike: Maple Pass Loop

Among the most popular fall hikes in the Cascades are those with abundant larch trees. The Maple Pass Loop near Rainy Pass on Highway 20 (aka “The North Cascades Highway”) offers a great mix of larches, views, meadows, and lakes. Larches are an unusual “deciduous conifer” whose needles change a …

Approaching the Carbon River
Backcountry travel

Wonderland Trail 2 of 3: Mowich Lake to White River

This is the second of a three-part series about doing a 3-day trail run/hike on the Wonderland Trail. It’s typically done as a week-long backpacking trip, or at the fast end of the spectrum, as a fast ultra run in under 1.5 days. To understand what is involved in a …

Backcountry travel

Jessica Kelley: Solitude and Longing in the Yukon

I first got to know Coach Jessica Kelley in 2013 when she was a Cycle University coach. At the time she considered herself a triathlete and was training for the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, an Ironman-scale competition with the ocean swim in a Fjord, and the run including a long mountain …

Indian Henrys Camp
Backcountry travel

Wonderland Trail 1 of 3: Longmire to Mowich Lake

Mt. Rainer is visible from the Idaho border and from space. It’s an icon of the Pacific Northwest: 14,410’ of rock and ice rising up from the sea in an immense display of majestic beauty. Less obvious is the thin ribbon of trail circling the mountain, the Wonderland. The trail …

All smiles above treeline on the Church Mountain trail; Mt. Baker in the background
Backcountry travel

Trail Running in the North Cascades: Festival 542

Highway 542, the Mt Baker Scenic Byway, runs east-west from Bellingham to Artist Point. It is the access point to some of the Northwest’s best mountain terrain: fantastic trails, North Cascades National Park, mountaineering, skiing at Mt. Baker Ski Area, and some of the best backcountry skiing in North America …

Adventure racing

Tyler Farrar Sighting at Lake Sammamish Half

You never know who are might see at our local running (or bicycle) races. 33-year old Tyler Farrar is a Wenatchee-born bike racer who ascended to the highest levels of the sport. His accomplishments include stage wins at the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Tour de France, Three Days of …

Adventure racing

Richard Kresser Running Toward Joy

Beaming with exuberance and emanating positivity, Richard Kresser is a prominent activist expanding the boundaries of running and multisport endurance adventures in the Northwest and beyond. Richard grew up in Iowa, where he felt challenged by an older brother who demonstrated abundant athletic talent. “Growing up, I was always undersized …

Backcountry travel

Ras & Kathy Vaughan: Just Ordinary Human Beings

Within the progression of ultra running, Ras & Kathy Vaughan are rather unlikely activists. Ras’ first backpacking trip at age 11 ended with his Boy Scout troop being rescued by helicopter. When Ras and Kathy met in 1996 neither had any formal athletic experience, and Ras in particular was doing …

Backcountry travel

A Lexicon for Ultra: Running | Mountaineering | Hiking | Walking

Like all athletic disciplines, ultra running has its own unique vocabulary which can be off-putting at first. For starters, the term “ultra running” is a bit of a misnomer. A major misconception is that “ultra (and trail) running” involves running at all times. Yes, depending on the route, the very …