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April 2022 Newsletter

Overall we had 14 students and three mentors join 8 SAC volunteers to experience rock climbing. After the first event, students heard how much fun it was and even more signed up this time around!

I personally got to see one or two students who were somewhat scared the first time, grow through their experience and learn their figure 8 knots, and push farther than they thought they could. It was fun to see that spark in a few students who realized how much fun it could be and how much farther they could go if they tried!

The group is interested in doing another event if at all possible, and I told them I would be in touch if we could manage to coordinate a group of volunteers large enough to have another session outside the BMC group.

Learn more about what Vamos Outdoors Project is all about from their website.

Next Meeting:

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 6, 2022, at 7:00 p.m at Burlington Library

- April SAC meeting is the annual gear swap. Got a bunch of unused gear clogging up your garage or closet? Craving a new look on the mountain at a good price? It's that time of year where SAC folk can bring their seldom-used, surplus, or second-hand gear, clothes, and accessories to trade or barter. If you don't have any items to bring to the table, don't worry, regular cash will be accepted to score some deals. Come on down to the Burlington library to hawk your goods and come away with some finds.

- A second successful Vamos Outdoors outing was held at Riverstone where SAC members acted as mentors and belayers for Skagit youths. We hope to partner more with this organization in the future.

- The BMC is almost here! We are excited to kick off the 2022 BMC with its first class outing, the Navigation and Fitness Hike.

- *Include info on the May SAC meeting topic if we have that figured out by the time you send the newsletter out*

- Thank you to all who have paid their annual dues. If it keeps eluding you, please take a moment and pay them now. Here is a link to the PayPal. Checks are also accepted and can be mailed to our post office box. PO Box 1054 Mount Vernon, WA 98273.

Trip Reports:

Ruby Mountain Ski Trip

Claire (photo by Juliet) of our attempt at Ruby Mountain. Weird snow conditions, runnels and a later start meant it was a no summit day, but a beautiful view for lunch.

Circumnavigation of Table Mountain.

The mountain weather forecast called for 40 degree temperatures and blue skies. There hasn't been any recent snow- so it was going to be a beautiful day in the mountains but not a beautiful day to ski. Miyabi planted the idea and four of us jumped on the stoke wagon. Where does one ski to when the skiing isn't going to be great- around Table Mountain. Basically a skiing objective where you only actually have to turn your skis a few times or if you're really creative not at all. We left the parking lot and trudged up towards Artist's Point slapping our skis on ice, slightly cursing the conditions and building some more character. Juliet made the mistake of asking me what was new and got to hear all about potty training and my grout lines in our bathroom project. Within a hour the snow had softened up a little bit and no one else asked me what was new- things were looking much better.

Ski Yoga

Can't beat the views

We were cruising effortlessly like pros through the south side of table mountain's avalanche debris. Just before lunch, we rounded the corner towards Iceberg Lake. It was so incredibly hot, instead of taking out lunches, most of the group took off pants ( most of the group was also wearing long underwear). After Juliet stopped being so sassy, and everyone stopped picking on Claire- and everyone's pants were back on- we headed towards Herman's saddle. There were hoards of other day trippers on the saddle but there were also some paragliders taking off and landing nearby. It was super cool to watch and I was jealous that they were skiing some sick first tracks in they sky. A friend of the group grows hazelnuts and gave us all large sacks of his nuts last week. I feel like the trip report would be incomplete without mentioning that most of the day was spent making horrible nut sack jokes which really never got old.

Fred's nutsack and Mount Shuksan.

Over 2,200 feet of elevation gain and 7 miles we earned approximately three mediocre turns before turns before getting back to the trailhead. I received a message from Brandon that things were going "really well" for them. We finished off the day with some beers and snacks, happy to have pulled a ski tour off.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Objective: Tunnel Beach Cliffs in Oceanside, Oregon

Total Distance Round Trip: 1.16mi Tide: End of slack, beginning to flood

We pulled into the parking lot around 11am and made picnic sandwiches in our royal vacation home, the infamous John and Leslie Parks' Fleurette adventure van. We hiked the approximate 1,140ft at sea level to the entrance of the man-made tunnel that connects Oceanside Beach and Tunnel beach through the cliffside by a mere 125ft passageway. Sherman immediately noticed the sign warning us about rockfall from the precarious cliffs above, so he promptly swooped up Kaylee and ran towards the entrance. After about 50ft into the tunnel, we realized the rock and log hazards were challenging enough that we accessed our handy cell phone flashlights and proceeded toward the light at the end of the tunnel. In true Sherman form, the rocks were the main attraction, and Kaylee was right at his heels. After navigating the sloping barnacle-covered approach to a feature that looked much like Pride Rock, they decided to re-enact the opening scene of The Lion King, Pacific Northwest style.

Continuing along the beach, we found a really awesome cave with a fun boulder problem. Kaylee offered to spot Sherman as he attempted the sequence, though she mostly spent the time staring up in awe and amazement at how strong her dad is.

Then we realized that the tide was coming in faster than we expected. After a near miss of Sherman’s approach shoes smelling like seaweed, we ventured onto higher shore with a new climbing objective. After a final family portrait (those two rarely stop to smile at the camera), we enjoyed a family picnic on our “Pride Rock” and watched the tide come in.

During lunch, we discovered how lucky we were on timing as the tide began closing off access to the bouldering cave while we ate. Although our time at Tunnel Beach was short, I think we all agreed that it was a highlight of the trip for a climbing family seeking respite on the Oregon Coast.

Dusty (photo by Juliet) setting up part of the navigation course for the first Basic Mountaineering Course outing starting soon! Students will practice finding points with their map and compass.

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