Cascade Mountain Tech News
Situated between the east cape and the Pacific Ocean in Baja California Sur is a sanctuary that, in contrast to the stark desert, is a perfect oasis to escape the dry heat. Baja has become a second home for me – a winter escape from the snow in Teton Valley, Idaho. Void of rain during these months, the southeast corner of Baja is a dry landscape where cactus and other desert-dwelling plants hold on to their reserves of water until the rainy season comes again.
Known as Colorado’s Grand Canyon, the 30,950 acres that make up Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park do no less than wow visitors who venture to its edges or into its depths. 2,700-foot sheer-walled cliffs tower over the Gunnison River below – two million years of rushing waters carved out the formidable canyon, exposing metamorphic rock from Earth’s Precambrian era (more than 540 million years ago). Today, the more than 300,000 visitors per year can hike along the rim and in the canyon, raft and fish the Gunnison River, and enjoy scenic drives along both the North and South Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
I want my children to value the awesome memories they will create in the outdoors over the latest toy or electronic device. Obviously, that’s easier said than done, but if you are regularly planning camping trips and outdoor adventures, eventually those wish lists will start turning into outdoor adventures and an overflowing storage closet of gear. My kids have gained so much confidence and pride because of the crazy adventures we regularly take them on. Here are my top tips for keeping your sanity with kids in the outdoors… or getting kids excited about the outdoors – whichever way you choose to look at it.
Not too many years ago, skiing an envy-inducing number of days was easy—I lived near a small-but-entertaining ski hill, had an industry deal with most of the Northeast’s major resorts, was surrounded by people stoked to ski tour, and had a job that didn’t mind if I turned up with my ski boots on, so long as I was on time (or at least close to it). In fact, I could even find a few minutes to give my skis a quick tune at work if I hustled. In recent years, though, life hasn’t allowed triple-digit ski days, ski boots don’t cut it as appropriate workwear, and dull edges and dry bases are more common than I’d like to admit. But one thing that’s remained true through the passage of time is that skiing is still as pleasurable and addictive as ever.
Mondays are for the mountains…
As my wife and I make the transition back to life in the Pacific Northwest after a handful of years in Nashville, we made the decision to dedicate our Mondays to the mountains. After all, the Cascade Mountain Range was the leading reason for us to move back to Washington State. It only took a few years away from these great mountains to realize exactly how much they really meant to us, so this time around we are committed to spending even more time in and around these majestic peaks.
“Hey, are you taking walking sticks?”
Big Cat’s voice purred over the telephone, his Great Smoky Mountains diction like a good fiddle to my ears. We were planning to hike from Mexico to Canada along the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The famed National Scenic Trail climbs into six national parks, 48 federal wilderness areas, and some of the country’s most scenic and beautiful mountain ranges in California, Oregon, and Washington state.
Still half asleep, we sipped our warm coffees watching the fluorescent rainbow expand over the mountains. It was a chilly, cloudy morning, but Kaitlin and I were determined to get an early start on our day. This easily may have been the most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen. I enjoyed that it took patience; though we arrived just before sunrise, we had to wait for the sun to move up over the adjacent ridgeline before it began illuminating the mountains around Lake Louise.
Welcome to the first installment of our new ”Ranger Notes” series. In this post, US Forest Service Ranger Jess Trimble shares some tips for staying safe when encountering wildlife. Disclaimer: his is not foolproof advice. Always follow local rules and regulations and consult local ranger stations about how to handle wildlife in the area.
For the past two summers, the Pacific Northwest has been inundated by smoke from ever-increasing wildfires, shrouding this scenic region with a thick, choking haze. Living in a constant smokescreen is not only unhealthy, it also saps motivation to get outside and enjoy summer. While we did take this into consideration, we weren’t going to let the smoke ruin our trip to Sucia Island.
I can remember once staring at the vast beauty of Glacier Peak from high in the North Cascades, thinking how phenomenal it would be to see it from up close. Fast-forward to the present day. I returned home to Seattle after traveling in Southeast Asia for almost two years. I was dying to get back into the forests of the Pacific Northwest and my longing for an adventure to Glacier Peak had only gotten stronger.
In my latest quest to explore more national parks, I recently had a weekend adventure in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. I frequently visit Joshua Tree, and I had visited Zion National Park a few weeks prior, so I was looking forward to heading somewhere that was a little more mountainous and that offered some bouldering and steep hikes with a good amount of elevation gain. These parks delivered.
Thick forest fire smoke hung amongst the ponderosa pines in the late August air as the five of us prepared to launch our boats on the banks of the Yakima River. Danny, Pat, Mike, Josh and myself had been eagerly awaiting this moment for weeks. Camping overnight on a river while shooting photos/video and fly fishing requires a LOT of planning. It didn’t help that we were bringing a pile of gear worthy of a Nat Geo shoot. Cameras, tripods, a drone, camping equipment, gas fireplace, hammocks, 12 rods, Paco the dog, chairs, lanterns, a cooler – the list went on and on. Everything needed to find its place and be waterproofed in case we flipped.
Love is in the air this month, and it was spotted at nearly 8,000 feet up at the summit of Cima de Zita. We are always impressed by where our trekking poles travel with people throughout the world, but they have officially outdone themselves this month!
At Cascade Mountain Tech, we now have over 10 different trekking pole options. Choices range to offer varying grip options, shaft materials, and overall construction methods. Our new favorite trekking pole is the premium 3K Carbon Fiber Quick Lock with Cork Grip.