October 18, 2009 in Outdoors

Out & About

 
Photo by Donna Larsen photo

Prusik Peak looms above golden alpine larch during early October in the Enchantment Lakes.Photo by Donna Larsen
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Luck of the draw in Alpine Lakes

OUTLAST – For the first time in seven years, Donna Larsen did not draw a coveted permit to camp in the Enchantment Lakes area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness during the first week of October.

There’s no place more beautiful than the Enchantments when the alpine larch are turning yellow against the Cascades granite, she said, noting that it’s also a steep, rocky, high-altitude area that’s dicey with fall weather.

“I needed a rescue in 2003 when a storm buried us with 4 feet of snow in 36 hours,” she said.

However, a cold but clear weather forecast two weeks ago prompted the Spokane hiker/photographer to take a chance on drawing one of the five daily permits offered in a morning lottery at the Leavenworth Ranger Station.

“We got there at 7:30 a.m. and the parking lot was already full!” she said. “At least 25 people were standing in line.”

She and her partner, Aaron Lowe, got their names in the hat, but they were not selected.

But they didn’t give up hope, noting that another drawing was to be held after 9 a.m. for any slots opening if permit holders did not show up.

Score!

Minutes later, Larsen and Lowe were happily schlepping a total of 140 pounds of camping and camera gear up the 10-mile route that gains 5,400 feet in elevation.

A trip to die for.

Hang out with big wall climber

OUTRAGEOUS – Scaling any towering rock face is enough to make brave people whimper, but a big wall climber is coming to Spokane this week with video proof that some people are born with nerves of steel.

What: “Year of the Ram Expeditions: Queen Maud Land, Antarctica,” a free movie introduced by the featured climber, Mike Libecki, 36, a 20-year rock climbing veteran from Salt Lake City.

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Mountain Gear retail store, 2002 N. Division.

Details: See what it’s like to climb big-wall first ascents on unique rock wall landscapes in temperatures colder than your home freezer. The 24-hour daylight, sinister winds and no possibility of rescue add to the challenge.

Waterfowling success isn’t blind luck

OUTHUNT – Duck and goose hunters can bag a ton of knowledge about waterfowling next weekend at the Waterfowl Classic at Cabela’s in Post Falls.

Free seminar topics include hunting dogs, apparel, shotguns and choke tubes, waders, good tactics, blinds, decoys and rigging. A kid’s calling contest will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

Info: (208) 777-6300.


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