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December 2020 Newsletter

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” – Anonymous

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: With sunny skies and no rain in the forecast, it doesn’t feel like the PNW. But the bright snow on Mt. Cultus doesn’t lie. I’m sad I won’t get to see everyone jockeying for the best white elephant gift at our annual holiday party, but look forward to seeing all your faces like the Brady Bunch Wednesday night.


Ellis helping to sort the rack before our last day of climbing in Red Rocks, NV. (Photo: John Parks)

December Meeting:

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: It's virtual, to maintain community health and safety! You can join with any device by simply clicking the Zoom meeting here:

Program: SAC Elections, holiday hangout and virtual potluck! We’ll be voting on the following people for the Executive Committee:

President – Claire Kamak

Vice President – Dusty Caseria

Secretary – Cameron Bigge

Treasurer – Tony Hu

Skagit Alpine Club Meeting Notes: Nov 2020

We attempted to vote on the new executive committee, but the nominating committee (including me) had a hard time finding volunteers this year (yea, 2020 just won’t quit kicking my ass). Juliet previewed the SAC Charity Auction, which has started! Raymond gave a great presentation about an incident he was involved in that required a helicopter rescue.

Who said life ends when you have a baby? Oh yea, everyone. But they were wrong (kinda)! Leslie and Ellis enjoying some scrambling on a rest day in Red Rocks. (Photo: John Parks)

New Business:

December silent auction has started!

To bid on the awesome gear and services, click this link:

All proceeds will help cover SAC’s annual operating expenses and set us up for a great 2021.

SAC Monthly Social Outing

Social outings will take place monthly on the weekend after the club meeting and are open to anyone. There is no sign-up or registration required, but it is a good idea to email the outing planner to let them know you intend on joining. Planners and participants will follow all COVID guidelines for group size, distancing and mask wearing. Please contact the outing planner if you have any questions or concerns about the outing.

Outing Date: Saturday, December 5

Outing Planners: Jonathan Frostad (, Phil Wilson (

Outing Location: Fidalgo Island Double Header

1. Washington Park loop hike including secret glacial carving rock formation

2. Sharpe Park loop hike to Sare's Head

You are welcome to join either hike, or both!

Trailhead/Meeting location:

1. Washington Park Parking lot:

Planned departure time: 9:00 AM

Estimated Trailhead return time: 11:00 AM

2. Sharpe Park parking lot:

Planned departure time: 11:30 AM

Estimated trailhead return time: 1:00 PM

Hike description:

1. Washington Park loop

Approximately 2.5 mile loop with 300 feet of elevation gain. We will hike in clockwise direction, hiking along the road for the first bit, then follow the (sometimes primitive) perimeter trail along the water and along cliff tops. We'll hike to a very unusual glacial ice carving in the basalt bedrock, then finish the loop along Burrows Channel and return to the parking lot for snacks/lunch at the Washington Park beach.

*A short drive down Marine Dr along Burrows Bay will then take us to our next trailhead...

2. Sharpe Park loop

Aproximately 2.1 mile loop with 400 feet of elevation gain. We will do another counterclockwise loop in this lesser-known Skagit County park that is home to many eagles, owls and is also a place of frequent porpoise sightings. The hike will start out skirting a large wetland, then will pass through a rare Madrona grove, then curve southward along some of the most rugged, wave-slammed cliff tops in the region. The trail will continue south to Sare's Head where we'll take in the views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria BC, Port Angeles and the Olympic Mountain Range. The hike finishes where it began, along a pristine marshland /fire swamp teeming with wetland birds and probably some R.O.U.S.s.

Gear: Bring layers, food, water, and an interest in exploring some of Fidalgo Island's hidden gems.

Old Business:

Basic Mountaineering Course 2021

After consideration about the current Safe Start plan and pandemic statistics in Whatcom and Skagit County, the steering group decided that it was best to pare down the course this year and provide shorter, "A La Carte" style instruction, mainly focused on basic rock climbing and basic snow travel (typically the first two weeks of the course), with one additional weekend to increase skills in both rock and snow travel. We are looking to offer 6-8 outings in total, with weekday classroom sessions and weekend day trips. All courses will have small enrollment numbers and strict safety measures to ensure the safety and health for all students and instructors alike. Juliet will reach out to those instructors that participated last year to schedule an initial virtual meeting and overview on Thursday, November 12th. If you were not part of last year's instructors, and would like to participate, please contact

Notice the theme yet? The editor, in the pre-baby days, about to whip off the ultra-classic Fear and Loathing 5.12a (Photo: Leslie Parks)

SAC 60th Anniversary!

Help us celebrate 60 years of SAC by climbing mountains! The club is attempting to summit all the Skagit 60 peaks in 2020 to commemorate the 60th anniversary. The website used to track our progress is

Help the Mount Vernon Parks Foundation!

The Mount Vernon Parks Foundation needs your help – become a member, donate directly or volunteer your time. This year, due to the Covid Virus, the MVPF was unable to do the annual “Trail-a-Thon” fund raiser. Also because of Covid, the City of Mount Vernon Parks budget has been significantly cut. The Foundation wishes to continue supporting the Mount Vernon Parks, which I know many of us use, perhaps more than ever this year! Check out their website to see everything they’re doing to support our parks.

A final thank you to the current SAC Leadership:


President – Andrea Bachman

Vice President: Phil Wilson

Treasurer – Jenna Price

Secretary – Leslie Parks


Program – Jonathan Frostad Newsletter – John Parks Social - Karen Howard

Conservation - Miyabi GladsteinWebmaster - Raymond DeVries

Leslie, Miyabi, Ellis, Jonathan, Syd, Zara: The Duchess of Starbird, and Andrea on the first ever SAC Monthly Social Outing to the North Butte of Mount Blanchard. (Photo: Phil Wilson)

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