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March 2020 Newsletter

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Daffies are blooming in my yard (without any help from me, thank God…) and with the sun shining and the wood ducks pairing up in the pond, spring appears to be here! It might be early, but corn skiing might be just around the corner!


March Meeting:

Date/Time: Tuesday, Mar 10, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

Location: The Burlington Public Library, located at 820 East Washington Avenue, one block south of Fairhaven at the corner of Washington Avenue and Holly Street.

Program: Mallorie Estenson is a few things: 26 years old, a Skagit Valley native, a graduate of the SAC Basic Mountaineering Course and an obsessive climber. In this talk, she will recount the last five years of a climbing progression beginning 15 feet off the ground at Mount Erie and culminating to 20,500 feet on Chimborazo in Ecuador. Expect stories, laughs and a lens into the mind of someone who can’t stop climbing.

Mallorie sending at a former sorta-secret crag in western Washington (Photo Courtesy: Mallorie Estenson)
Mallorie sending at a former sorta-secret crag in western Washington (Photo Courtesy: Mallorie Estenson)

Skagit Alpine Club Meeting Notes: Feb 11, 2020

We discussed old business, including the BMC, Wilderness First Aid course, Park Butte Stewardship and Raymond gave a great tutorial on how to use the Skagit 60 website. For details, see Old Business section below.

Jason Speer gave a great and very truncated presentation on good decision making in the mountains. As an apprentice AMGA certified split board guide and AIARE instructor, he drew on his vast knowledge of the backcountry to impart the importance of making good decision in order to enjoy another season.

New Business:

Deception Pass 5K

At the meeting Dave mentioned the inaugural Swing the Gate 5k. If you need an excuse to get into shape for the climbing season (like me…) maybe this race is it! For details please see this link.

Park Butte Stewardship

Travis and Eniko are now proud parents, and as a result are looking to pass on the Park Butte Stewardship. The job mostly entails organizing the annual work party. For more details, please see the description Travis wrote in the last newsletter or reach out directly to him at

Right: When it’s dry, the steep climbing is great in western Washington. (Photo Courtesy: Mallorie Estenson.)

Wilderness First Aid

The Wilderness First Aid Course will be offered April 4-5. The course price is $230. SAC members are eligible for a 10% discount that is valid through the end of February. Location is Fire Station 18 on Chuckanut Dr. with skill labs in Larrabee State Park. If you are volunteering with BMC outings, the club has budgeted to contribute $100 to the cost of this course.

Code to enter at checkout: SAC2020

SAC 60th Anniversary!

Help us celebrate 60 years of SAC by climbing mountains! The club will attempt to summit all of the Skagit 60 peaks in 2020 to commemorate the formation of the club in 1960. Details on trip planning and progress will appear on the website and will be discussed at monthly meetings. There is a mountain on the list for every ability and every season, so get out there and climb in 2020! And when you send big (or small) please spray about it, using Trip Report tool Raymond built. And pictures! Cause I know most of you have some form of ADD when it comes to reading vs looking at climbing porn pictures!

The website used to track our progress is now live at You will also be able to find a link on

Please go to and sign up with the email you are receiving this newsletter with. After you sign up for an account you will be able to the following:

· Tick peaks

· Add interest in climbing peaks so others can contact you when they go to climb the peak

· Submit trip reports

There will be a live leader board on the site. This will be a great way to have a centralized tracking system for this awesome goal.

If you have any issues please contact our amazing webmaster, Raymond Devries, at

As of now, there are still 54 peaks left to tick!

Amazing ice to climb in the Canadian Rockies. (Photo: Jarek Kotlarczyk)

Basic Mountaineering Course:

The class is full! Thank you to everyone who helped recruit new victims, err students!!!

If you’ve volunteered to help with the class, thank you and please plan on being at the next volunteer meeting Thursday, March 19th at Brandon and Lisa's House (3600 3rd St, Anacortes, WA) at 6:30pm. We’ll discuss the requirements for all lead instructors, instructors and safetys so be there!

Skagit 60 Trip Report:

Trip Report: Sourdough Mountain

Date: Feb. 9, 2020

Party: Cac and Alex

Elevation gain: Approx. 6000 feet

Car to car: 10 hours

A promising weather window was coming up and both of us (Cac and Alex) were dying to get out and ski something in the Skagit 60 list. We settled on Sourdough mountain because we had tried it a few years back and failed to reach top. We also really wanted to kick our own asses because we haven’t been out in a while.

With over a vertical mile of elevation from the parking lot we had our work cut out for us. We hit the trailhead at 7 o’clock and climbed at a steady pace of about 1000 feet an hour. Encountered snow at 1500 feet but, kept walking because we weren’t breaking through. At about 2000 feet we started skinning. The snow conditions were very good. With powdery snow over breakable crust and a pretty stable snow pack.

We broke out of the trees a couple hours later and were able to see the majority of our route ahead. We stayed on the ridge instead of the summer trail and encountered a couple steeps in the ridge that required taking skis off and crawling up. We reached the summit at about 1 o’clock and with a quick bite and some gear changes we headed down on wobbly legs. We dropped down to the valley below the summit to the south with the idea of meeting our track coming up. This was a mistake. We ended up having to traverse steep side hill without being able to drop too low because we didn’t want to miss our track. We did finally meet our track and we had many blissful turns in open trees until it was time for survival skiing down low. The rest of the trip was uneventful and mostly spent in our own little pain caves. Overall this was a great trip but, took a lot of effort for the turns we made. It always feels good to get back from a trip not having hurt ourselves and achieving our goal.

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