Monday, October 8, 2012

Another day, another run

 We have been having amazing fall weather. Although the peak of the changing colors passed, there is a crispness to the air that only an autumn day can bring. I love the area off of Twisp River Road, but living in Mazama makes for a long drive to get to an area that, as the crow flies, is quite close. I decided to explore some maps and realized I could get over there from Bridge creek, where the PCT goes south from Hwy 20. I've only ever done an out and back on that section and haven't been terribly impressed with as I am with the section heading north.

I was glad I took a map, as I still managed to go up a wrong trail for about a mile before realizing it wasn't doing what it was supposed to do. It was fun to explore a totally new part of the mountains. I'd been to Copper Pass once before and remembered liking it, but yesterday's run proved to be one of the best loops I've done since being here. I accidentally took a climbing trail back, which plopped me at the highway a mile sooner than I wanted; that explained the less maintained trail I followed, but also meant I had the pleasure of ending a 21 mile run with a mile of road running. I did see several people I knew driving back to Mazama, though, so that was fun.

I simply loved this run. The pictures, despite my photography skills, will have to convey what my words cannot.
Lots of green on the way up to Twisp Pass
Out of the trees, after a couple of hours of lovely forest running
I wasn't expecting those peaks. From here on out I had to remind myself to keep going, and that one picture every several miles is ok: I don't need 400 pictures of one run.
Heading up the steep trail up to Copper Pass from Twisp River
Almost to the pass
Several mountain goats. I would have liked to get closer, but have heard too many stories of gored dogs or dogs being chased off of cliffs. No thank you.
Heading back to the PCT
Looking across the valley

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Maple Pass

Maple pass is one of my all time favorite places. Nestled in the North Cascades right at Rainy pass, it's easy to get to, you get up to the alpine really quickly, and the views are amazing. Going clockwise around the loop you ascend quite steeply, then enjoy a lovely downhill through beautiful open ledges and cedar forest. Sam wanted to go counterclockwise, which I had never done, making the loop a completely new run. It made for a longer uphill but the views were astounding in a slightly different way.

Before we know it the snow will start falling, and we can come here to ski before the highway closes. Until then, the mountains are in their prime. Get out there!

Family picture!

Looking north, toward Cutthroat

Rainy lake, way down there