The Adventure Guys

The inside story on outside recreation for South Puget Sound and beyond

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Archives: May 2009


Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest condition update

Too late for this week’s Adventure section, we got this news release from the staff at Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Here is the release:

Despite snow, all campgrounds on the forest will be open except for Denny Creek, Middle Fork and Tinkham in the Snoqualmie Ranger District, and Miller River Group in the Skykomish Ranger District. Low elevation areas such as Denny Creek and trails along the Mountain Loop are still under snow.

"Deep snow is still found at many popular recreation sites, roads and trails around the forest," said Gary Paull, trails and wilderness

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Chinook Pass will open Friday

The Washington State Department of Transportation has announced that Highway 410 over Chinook Pass will open Friay at noon.

Efforts to reopen the road, which began April 20, have been hampered by new snowfall and the increased avalanche danger brought on by the new snow.

Washington State Department of Transportation

An early May storm dropped 21 inches of snow in seven days slowing efforts to clear Highway 410 over Chinook Pass.

Opening of the pass, at 5,430 feet, opens access to the park’s east side from the north and south.

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Tall ship Adventuress offering free tours, $40 cruises on Sunday

Sure, it’s pretty cool being the captain of a tall ship.

But for Josh Berger it’s not enough. He also wants to teach people about the environment.

"That’s what I like about the Adventuress," Berger said. "I get to do both. It’s perfect."

The Adventuress, a 133-foot, two-masted schooner, bills itself as "Puget Sound’s Environmental Tall Ship."

The 96-year-old ship arrived in Tacoma on Wednesday afternoon and will stay in Commencement Bay until May 27 so its 15-member crew can teach youth about sailing, the history of the ship and Puget Sound.

On Sunday the ship will be open to the public for free tours from 9 a.m. to noon. At 1 p.m. the Adventuress will set sail for a 3-hour cruise. Tickets for the public sail are $40 for adults and $20 for those 18 and younger.

As Berger piloted the Adventuress out of Bainbridge Island’s Eagle Harbor for a public sail on May 17 he described the ship as a microcosm of Puget Sound.

"When we are all on board it’s easy to see how our actions impact each other and the ship," Berger said. "… Living here our actions impact the sound."

Berger, a graduate of The Evergreen State College, and his crew use the comparison to teach environmental responsibility to kids.

In a small compartment on the port side of the ship the crew keeps several living sea creatures including a sea star and a sea anemone. As the Adventuress sails the sound the crew give kids a hands-on lesson about what’s living in the waters below them.

The Adventuress isn’t just a classroom it’s one of 24 National Historic Monuments in Washington.

"It is sailing history," said Wendy Sonnemann, a volunteer spokeswoman for Sound Experience.

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Mount Rainier opens some areas for holiday weekend

Here is the latest update from Mount Rainier National Park regarding facility openings in time for Memorial Day weekend:

OHANAPECOSH CAMPGROUND: Loops A, B, and C at will open to the public at noon Friday. If maintenance crews are able to get the remainder of more than 100 trees that fell in the campground during the winter cleaned up, Loop D may open as well, said acting superintendent Randy King. If Loop D opens it will not have restrooms or water available.


COUGAR ROCK CAMPGROUND: Will not be open in

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Mount Rainier greenhouse overflows with plants

It seems that the greenhouse staff at Mount Rainier National Park has a plethora of plants this spring.

John Titland, volunteer coordinator for Mount Rainier National Park Associates, sent an e-mail regarding the group’s July 18 work party.

Volunteers had originally been scheduled to remove exotic plants under the direction of the park’s restoration staff. However, Titland said, they have been asked to do planting at Paradise instead.

Apparently because of construction work and early snowfall last fall, the restoration staff was unable to use all the plants raised at the greenhouse as planned at

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Local guide service puts 15 on top of Everest

International Mountain Guides placed 15 people on the top of Mount Everest last night. The group include astronaut Scott Parazynski and Spokane resident Dawes Eddy, 66, who is believed to be the oldest American to climb the 29,035-foot peak. Here’s a link to a Spokesman Review article on Eddy.

The Discovery Channel is documenting IMG’s season on Everest. A second IMG team is heading to the summit right now.

Here’s a list of the summiters I pulled from the IMG website:

1. Mr. Scott Edward Parazynski (USA)

2. Mr. E Dawes Eddy III

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Chinook Pass status for Memorial Day weekend uncertain

I just checked the WSDOT Web page for an update on Chinook Pass.

The update, posted just a few minutes ago, says Highway 410 remains closed as crews try to clear snow from the roadway.

“Our traditional goal has been to open the pass for Memorial Day Weekend, but since we just started clearing the pass, it is still too early to predict an opening date. Updates will be provided as conditions change,” the posting said.


46 years later another Whittaker reaches the top of the world

For a few minutes Monday night America’s history on the 29,035-foot summit of Mount Everest was bookended by one family.

Peter Whittaker, co-owner of Ashford-based Rainier Mountaineering, Inc., reached the top of the world’s highest peak at 7:15 p.m. (PDT) becoming the second member of his famous climbing family to accomplish the feat. His uncle, Jim Whittaker, was the first American to summit Everest in 1963.

At 8:05 p.m. Ed Viesturs, also climbing with the RMI group, reached the summit for the seventh time. Viesturs is the only American to climb every 8,000-meter peak in the world.

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