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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dumbell Mountain - South Face, June 2013

Rising at the head of Phelps Creek Valley, Dumbell Mountain along with Buck, Fortress, Chiwawa, Maude, Seven Fingered Jack and Fernow is one of the more prominent peaks accessible from the Chiwawa River Road. Approached via the well-used Phelps Creek Trail, Dumbell is a worthy objective featuring minimal route finding challenges and a short but somewhat loose and exposed scramble along its South Face ramps and ledges. Combined with a camp at scenic Spider Meadow, the peak makes for a pleasant 1.5 day solo outing for those desiring some early-season solitude and a satisfying mosquito-free alpine experience.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rat Pack MTB, June 2013

Not much to report here other than my having spent an afternoon riding the newly restored downhill classic near Roslyn known as Rat Pack. Despite some difficulty locating the proper start on my first pass, I found it to be an enjoyable descent on smooth and twisty machine-built singletrack. The ride is littered with well-signed technical features, gap jumps and woodwork, most of which can be avoided by taking short bypass trails (sorry no photos). Perhaps the most noteworthy of the features are the countless steep roll-overs or ?gravity wells? where a dropper seatpost comes particularly handy! The ride ends abruptly at what appears to be a small BMX jump park in Cle Elum. From there, only about two miles along the Coal Mines Trail completes the loop and where a visit to the Roslyn Brewery seems all but mandatory.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Discovery Island kayaking, May 2013

With other plans for a long weekend on Vancouver Island shelved due to the weather forecast, we decided to take advantage of the situation by spending an afternoon exploring the coastal waters near Victoria (BC). As a small marine Provincial Park just off the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island, Discovery Island and nearby Chatham Islands make for an excellent kayaking destination with abundant wildlife and expansive views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Mountains. We encountered some rough seas on the ~2 mile crossing to West Chatham and fought a strong current paddling around the south shore of Discovery Island. But otherwise it was a relatively casual affair and well worth the effort especially if one happens to be in the area.

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