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 …

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 …

Kendall Katwalk August 18, 2018
Cycling

Smoke Season Weather Window

I’m surprised to see how many folks have been out running and cycling during the recent smoky weather. It’s as if the rest of us need to HTFU. Current AQI: Exercising in unhealthy air isn’t like lifting weights: it’s not going to make your lungs “stronger.” And, just because you …

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 …

Humpback Creek near the start of the Annette Lake trail.
Destinations

Annette Lake Trail

Sad to say, as far as area hikes go, I tend to replay my “greatest hits” list over and over. I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1994 and only just got around to the Annette Lake Trail last weekend. Last Saturday I volunteered to help at the mile 10.4 …

The 2017 Tour de France peloton climbing just as a fierce downpour begins.
Cycling

Experience Tour de France Alps Stages 12 & 13

Francesca Carmichael, owner, brain, and sole “woman power” behind a Seattle-area Italy-focused business, has come up with an exciting last-minute itinerary for a trip to France and Italy planned around viewing stages 12 (Bourg-Saint-Maurice Les Arcs/Alpe d’Huez) and 13 (Bourg d’Oisans/Valence) of this year’s Tour de France. Those Tour stages …

Community

UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge 2018

Ultra running events (events longer than a marathon distance) are up 1,000% in the last decade according to The Guardian. Although racing events have the most visible presence, here in the Pacific Northwest there are a couple intriguing variations on the ultra running theme. Aspire Adventure Running, one of Northwest …

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 …