Issaquah Alps Trails Club joins Trailsfest

July 14, 2009

By Laura Geggel

Washington Trail Association’s Field Director Alan Carter Mortimer (left) demonstrates trail maintenance sawing at Trailsfest. By Ed Grenfell

Washington Trail Association’s Field Director Alan Carter Mortimer (left) demonstrates trail maintenance sawing at Trailsfest. By Ed Grenfell

Outdoor enthusiasts headed to Trailsfest are in for a treat this weekend. Where else can people go bird watching, learn about mountain weather forecasting and take notes on ice climbing basics?

“We like to think of Trailsfest as the coolest outdoors expo in Washington,” Trailsfest coordinator Lace Thornberg said. “It just kind of takes everything that’s great about getting outside and brings it all to one place.”

Trailsfest has spent eight of its 16 years at Rattlesnake Lake in North Bend. Last year, about 3,000 people of all ages showed up for the free event. Thornberg threw in an incentive for all people arriving by bicycle: Those people are eligible to receive a free raffle ticket for a cycling prize.

Bikers can take a six-mile ride on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail from the lot at Tanner Road and North Bend Way. People who are driving can find Rattlesnake Lake by taking exit 32 off Interstate 90 and turning south on 436th Avenue Southeast.

The Issaquah Alps Trails Club will join other exhibitors, such as Issaquah’s REI, at the event to sell hiking guides of Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains. Experienced hikers will man the booth and answer questions about hiking in the area.“Trailsfest and WTA (Washington Trails Association) pretty much got their kick start from the Alps Trails Club,” Issaquah Alps Trails Club President Steve Williams said. “We provided the inspiration and literature that got people motivated to do things like Trailsfest.”

North Bend’s Pro Guiding Service & Pro Ski Service will present two workshops at the Trailsfest Skills Camps: “Tips and Tricks from a Mountain Guide” at 12:30 p.m. and “A Look Inside a Mountain Guide’s Pack,” at 2:30 p.m.

“Basically, we’re going to bring along a pack we would take out for an overnighter,” said the service’s general manager Caley George. “We’re going to show how some gear can be used for multiple things.”

Other workshops include “Backcountry First Aid for Dogs,” “Backcountry Parenting” and “Find Your Way with Map & Compass.”

Trailsfest is presented by the Washington Trails Association and has several sponsors, including REI, Hilleberg the Tentmaker, Green Trails Maps and The Alpine Experience.

All of the events except two are free. Climbing wall trips cost $3 per person. A kayak adventure on Rattlesnake Lake is priced at $3 per person or $5 per family.

Thornberg advised anyone participating in the 10 a.m. Seattle Audubon bird watch to bring their own binoculars.

The event will be held rain or shine. Participants may bring a sack lunch or cash for food vendors like Rhodies BBQ, which will serve barbecue, veggie dogs, soda and water at the food court.

If you go

Trailsfest

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. July 18

Rattlesnake Lake, North Bend

Get involved

See a complete schedule or volunteer at www.wta.org. Click on “More About Trailsfest.”

The first 750 people to arrive at Trailsfest will receive a Nature’s Path Organic Foods bag with goods from select sponsors.

Reach Reporter Laura Geggel at 392-6434, ext. 221, or lgeggel@snovalleystar.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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