Fireside

Whatcom Pass – A Journey for a Glimpse

Whatcom Pass – A Journey for a Glimpse

It smelled amazing. A certain alpine freshness. I found the campground and a spot on which to toss my pack before heading up the last couple hundred feet and quarter-mile through heather to the pass for a bit of a break. I crested it with views east into the Little Beaver Valley and Whatcom, enormous, rising from the rocky ridge that led south. Challenger was blocked from view. I’d climb higher in a bit to see it. And then Luna – the loneliest mountain – from even higher.

by January 3, 2012 0 comments Fireside, Trails
Joys of Climbing – My Vertical Environment

Joys of Climbing – My Vertical Environment

My attention was rudely diverted back to the highway in front of me, I had a run in with a cattle guard on the way to the Buttermilks earlier that year that had almost set Champ on fire. The worn out shocks rattled over the cattle guard and the engine sputtered a few times and then finally died out.

by December 13, 2011 0 comments Fireside
Along the Way

Along the Way

I walk down the cobblestone street and note the clock tower: 6:35am. My Canadian friend and I begin the climb to the crest of the Pyrenees, inexorably approaching the famed fountain of Roland…

by November 14, 2011 0 comments Fireside
“Goof Off” and the Mailbox Trail‏

“Goof Off” and the Mailbox Trail‏

Apparently Mailbox does nothing to facilitate improvement in the arts: all remaining graffiti was of the male persuasion with the exception of one pair of breasts which I assumed was an effort to have minority representation. The quality of the pictorial representations was consistently poor – no budding artists here.

by November 11, 2011 0 comments Fireside
Cherish the Silence of Nature

Cherish the Silence of Nature

It is early in the morning and my ears are numb. The wind smells cold. I love the mountains in fall just before the leaves begin to give up their life and fall to the earth. You can sense the change in the spirit of the mountains.

by October 29, 2011 0 comments Fireside
We Have Issues: A Hiker’s Guide of Sorts

We Have Issues: A Hiker’s Guide of Sorts

Staying Warm. Always remember the mantra: “Nothing keeps you warm like hypothermia.” If you are feeling a bit nippy one of the best things to do is to find a nice, frigid alpine like, throw off your pack and jump in with all of your driest clothes on. Although this might make you a little colder initially, after a few minutes you’ll be basking in the heat of hypothermia. Aaaaah, toasty.

by October 18, 2011 0 comments Fireside
Bailey Range Traverse – Part 2

Bailey Range Traverse – Part 2

Fortunately, the pain of slidehilling was temporarily interrupted when we came across a lone bear about halfway down the hill. We were downwind so he didn’t spot us right away. Mel had a desire to get up close and maybe pet the bears, but I wan’t sure they were that tame. We got very near before it ran off.

by October 18, 2011 0 comments Fireside
Bailey Range Traverse Part 1

Bailey Range Traverse Part 1

For seven months I read and researched the Baileys. It sounded like it could be an adventure of a lifetime. Slowly researching routes became the drug of the day. I was addicted; I had to do this trip. Finally the day came to leave.

by October 11, 2011 0 comments Fireside
Hiking Wonderland, Part 2

Hiking Wonderland, Part 2

The weather was clear and warm as I started up the trail that would take me through Panhandle Gap, a saddle between two rocky rises, and the highest point along the Wonderland Trail. I crossed steep snowfields, and one exposed area had my full attention as I picked my way across it, but I reached the other side without mishap. Views of distant mountains were breathtaking. Beyond the gap, numerous switchbacks led steeply downward to Indian Bar.

by October 4, 2011 0 comments Fireside
Hiking Wonderland

Hiking Wonderland

As the weather warms, melting snowfields flow into waterfalls, some hundreds of feet high, and make way for knee-deep wildflower displays. The first to appear, avalanche lilies, poke up through the snow as it melts. Other early blooming flowers, such as marsh marigold, rocket-shaped Jeffrey’s shooting stars, scarlet paintbrush, and lupine, in shades of blue and purple, soon follow. By the time the wildflower bloom is at its showy best, the varieties are seemingly endless.

by September 27, 2011 0 comments Fireside, Trails