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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Washington Wild Winter Events Recap

2013 is off to an enthusiastic start for Washington Wild staff, board, and volunteers! 

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January kicked off with the Backcountry Film Festival hosted by the Mountaineers and sponsored by the Winter Wildlands Alliance.  This beautifully filmed compilation of videos highlighted the great variety of human-powered backcountry winter travel and recreation.  According to the Backcountry Film Festival website:

"The films come from renowned filmmakers who search and explore backcountry corners across the globe to submit their best work, as well as from grassroots filmmakers who take a video camera out on their weekend excursions and submit their best film short. The entries are juried by a panel of judges and the top selections are assembled into a 90 minute program.

The festival was created eight years ago to highlight Winter Wildlands Alliance's efforts to preserve and promote winter landscapes for human-powered users.”

The Mountaineers auditorium was filled to capacity with movie-goers, many enjoying Dante’s Inferno Dogs and New Belgium brews.  It was wonderful to see Washington Wild volunteers and supporters in the crowd!


To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day of Caring, Washington Wild teamed up with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and United Way of King County to build a new mountain bike trail on Tiger Mountain. 

Although mountain biking is not permitted in designated Wilderness areas, Washington Wild and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance have collaborated on several proposals that combine the need to preserve mountain bike access and permanently protect wild places.  As a result of this collaboration, Evergreen has actively supported two current Wilderness bills -- the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Protection Act and the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act – after key mountain bike trails were excluded from wilderness designation to ensure their continued access and enjoyment.  

Photo: Interim Executive Director, Nancy,(with blonde ponytail) taking a break from standing in the stream

This work party was a fantastic way for Washington Wild staff and volunteers to work alongside Evergreen supporters to create a noticeable, tangible difference in the landscape over the course of six hours.  Nancy, Washington Wild’s Interim Executive Director, was able to spend considerable time wallowing in a stream, moving rocks around to minimize erosion due to cyclists’ tires.  Tom, Washington Wild’s Conservation Director had the opportunity to roll a car tire-sized boulder down a hill in order to contour and stabilize the side-slope of the trail.  All of us left dirty, slightly giddy due to the beautiful weather, and satisfied with the noticeable difference in trail conditions.

Tiger Mt is a fun and challenging place for mountain biking for bikers of all ages and skill levels.  The trail that the Washington Wild crew worked on, Silent Swamp, will eventually link several existing trails together and eliminate the need for to bikers to use potentially dangerous (and less fun) access roads.


Out of the Mist, a movie about the experiences of four individuals on the Olympic Peninsula, brought out standing-room only crowds for the showing at the Seattle branch of the Mountaineers.  Out of the Mist features stunning peninsula scenery and long-time Washington Wild supporter, Tim McNulty.  The phenomenal turn-out demonstrated the great support for the Wild Olympics Campaign in our community. 


Washington Wild’s second annual Cheers to Volunteers! celebration took place last week at the Present Sense Gallery in Wallingford/Fremont.  This event honored the 72 volunteer who donated 2,259.5 hours of their time to Washington Wild in 2012. 

Past volunteers, those interested in volunteering in the future, board members (who are also volunteers!), supporters, and staff enjoyed a smorgasbord of soft drinks, beer, wine, and snacks.  

Photo:  Jack Mountain from Devil's Dome, Paysayten Wilderness.  By Andy Porter


We were tremendously lucky to have Andy Porter, a Sedro-Woolley based volunteer, show some of his gorgeous nature photography during the party.  Andy’s photography has graced our newsletters, website, and print media and his work truly demonstrates the beauty and diversity of Washington’s wild places.


And just like last year, party attendees contributed to the sparkly Washington Wild cairn (Cairn (n): a heap of stones set up as a landmark, monument, tombstone, etc.) to commemorate the occasion. 

Coming soon is a blog 100% devoted to the Washington Wild/El Sendero Ski and Snowshoe Club outing on February 10, 2013, written by Washington Wild volunteer Alexia Lee!  Stay tuned for photos full of smiling people, sunshine, snowy mountains, and happy dogs.

Photo:  Alexia enjoying her snowshoe outing.  Photo by Hamed Ahmadi

1 comment:

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