Stained glass isn’t the usual décor of climbing gyms, though, at Brimstone Boulders in Hood River, it’s a hallmark feature of the space.
Community

From Church Pews to Crimpers Hood River's Asbury Church is Born Again as a Bouldering Gym

Anyone who rolls into Hood River, Oregon with a kiteboard, bike, kayak, or pair of skis can attest that when Mother Nature set out to craft the Columbia River Gorge, she was feeling extra creative.

She called in her most powerful and transformative tools to help with the job—volcanoes bursting and thrusting upward into the skyline, creeping lava rolling over the landscape that hardened into dark basalt and a succession of ancient...

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 John Scurlock holds a cherry wood propeller made by his friend Ted Hendrickson. "I saw it one day in his shop and thought it was a work of art, he sold it to me for $300 and it's been hanging on my living room wall ever since," John says.
Profile

Above Alpine John Scurlock's Aerial Pursuit of the North Cascades

There are some 15,000 rivets in John Scurlock’s bright yellow RV-6 experimental airplane.

He might not know this number off the top of his head, but he certainly knows the significance of it, seeing as he installed every single one himself. Homebuilt planes are a bit of a novelty in the already niche world of aviation, most likely because the process is not easy—nor quick.

“It took me nine years to build it, which seems like...

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At more than 1,000 acres, the Hyla Woods experimental forestry in northwest Oregon seeks to illuminate ways in which people and forests can coexist sustainably.
Community

Middle Paths How Hyla Woods and Swift Industries Are Changing the Way We Think About Forests

The cascading calls of Swainson’s thrushes and other birds are all that pierce an otherwise quiet forest when Peter and Pam Hayes walk the pathways of their property in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range on any given summer evening.

Late on a Saturday in June, the voices of 20 cyclists blend with the usual chorus of birds as the riders sit in a semicircle near the bubbling murmur of Lousignont Creek, sipping beer in a sweaty...

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After moving to Vancouver from Hermosillo, Mexico, Norma Ibarra embraced the city’s vibrant skate and mountain bike scenes. Through her photography, Norma documents and explores the subcultures of two vastly different sports. Photo: Kimberly Ronning
Profile

A Place For You The Life and Lens of Vancouver Photographer, Norma Ibarra

“Do you want to see my beaver? Jah, jah, jah!”

Norma Ibarra says, laughing as she points to her tattoo of a plaid-shirt-wearing, famously Canadian rodent. Designs weave a tapestry around her arms and legs. The images map her journey from the Sonoran Desert in Mexico to North Vancouver’s forests and now to concrete structures throughout the world.

At one time, Norma was heavily engaged in her local mountain bike community as a...

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Todd Zimmerman and his daughter Mabel took advantage of closed schools and more time at home last year to bond over building trails together.

Mabel's Monkey Wrench Todd and Mabel Zimmerman's Quest to Slay Trail Building Dragons

Picture this. The Hulk and a hobbit have a love child.

He comes out built like a brick shithouse, wears cut off shorts, has knuckle tattoos that say, “Dig Trail,” and a has a full sleeve on his left arm. Locals call him a legend. Kids call him Mr. Z.

Todd Zimmerman is an amalgamation of many personas: Sixth grade math teacher, lone wolf trail builder, a father and a dude with a lifelong man crush on Burt Reynolds. Today, we...

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Jack Lamb, CEO of Aslan Brewing, takes a break from the busy work day.
Profile

Brewing Community Aslan Owner Jack Lamb on the Business of Organic Beer

Jack Lamb’s ambitions run deeper than producing innovative beers.

As CEO and an owner of Aslan Brewing Company, Jack leads a team focused on brewing beer with a conscience. The Bellingham brewery is a Certified B Corporation, sources an increasing amount of its ingredients from northwest Washington and brews all organic beer. Read on for a conversation between Jack and Craft MTN:

This interview has been edited for length...
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Artist Kyler Martz, with his dog Penny, on his custom 333fab bike.
Community

Constant Evolution The winding career path of artist Kyler Martz

The 500-pound cephalopod’s tentacles stretch out, reaching into every corner across a three-story space.

Normally hidden in remote underwater locations, this brown-and-tan speckled specimen made its home in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood—in a PCC Community Markets to be exact.

An elderly man passes beneath the gargantuan octopus and exclaims, “I’ve never noticed that before!”

Nearby, Kyler Martz laughs. This is his...

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Artist and athlete Brooklyn Bell holds one of her original illustrations made in partnership with RockShox and Ground Keeper Custom.
Community

Community Expansions Improving Bellingham's Trailhead Access

Nowhere else in Bellingham is mountain biking’s surging popularity more evident than on Samish Way near Galbraith Lane.

There, on any given day, throngs of riders, hikers and dog walkers vie for just 30 coveted parking spots in an old lot originally made to serve a fraction of those who now come to enjoy the trails of nearby Galbraith Mountain and Lake Padden Park. Once the lot is full, the only option is to park along the narrow...

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Morris Vasser speaks at a Sweetlines mountain bike coaching clinic at Duthie Hill Park in Issaquah, Washington. Photo: Cole Gregg
Diversity

Where Are We Now? Inside the Effort to Diversify Cycling

Last summer, the bike industry went into a frenzy.

Like someone noticing an open wound they’d been oblivious to, companies were having “oh shit” moments right and left. To me, it seemed as if many were finally realizing how underserved and misrepresented people of color are in outdoor spaces.

The brutal killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, a Black man, by former police officer Derek Chauvin struck a nerve even among...

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The waterways of the Skagit River estuary.
Environment

Donut Hole Debacle A River's Health in Flux

An old friend once posed a provocative idea: that geographic borders be determined by watershed boundaries and not by arbitrary lines drawn on maps, such as the one that marks the 49th parallel between the United States and Canada.

They argued that this method of demarcation would make for less controversial water policies and fewer water wars. Management practices would be, as a result, designed with the entire watershed in mind. If...

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A handful of Michael Jaross’ honeybee colonies live behind the Dollar Lot, off Galbraith Lane, and thrive on the Himalayan blackberries and fireweed flowers nearby.
Environment

Pleas for the Bees Michael Jaross, Bellingham, WA’s Beekeeping Guru, is Helping Local Colonies Adapt

Between April 2019 and April 2020, more than 40 percent of honeybee colonies within the United States died off,

according a survey published by the Bee Informed Partnership. Additionally, that annual loss number has been hovering between 30 and 45 percent for the past decade.

For Bellingham, WA-based beekeeper Michael Jaross, this is a fact he drops relatively nonchalantly as he gives a tour of one of his hive clusters—yet it...

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Danielle Schön in her Squamish, BC shop with the bike she built for the 2019 Philly Bike Expo behind her. The hardtail mullet-style bike is the perfect amalgamation of Schön’s artistic skills and Squamish’s burly riding style.
Profile

A Mover and a Maker Danielle Schön is Leaving Labels Behind

The adrenaline that comes from weaving in and out of traffic, dodging cars and racing through the gridlocked streets of Toronto isn’t for everybody.

But for Danielle Schön, a rider, racer and fabricator who now lives in Squamish, BC, it was this exact rush that sparked her love of bicycles. She’s equally comfortable coated in dirt riding coastal singletrack, chasing cars on a road bike or holding a torch in a  garage. In a class all...

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Ethan Keruger digging his wheels into the tacky dirt of the Spine Trail.
Culture

This is Freedom The Fast-Paced Progression of Adaptive Mountain Biking

The air is rich with the thick scent of dirt.

Trail-side blackberries accompany beautiful vistas at each stop. The muffled sound of tires cutting turns through deep loam is etched into the mind. A weekend of riding equates to mountain lakes, remote towns and warm nights drinking beer around a campfire with your friends. This is life at its best for a mountain biker. Yet these experiences are something we often take for granted, and...

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Gray-day vibes in Port Renfrew, BC and early morning surf checks—the perfect conditions for some locally roasted coffee. Photos: John Rathwell
Coffee

One Good Cup Deserves Another The Origins of Beach Camp Coffee Co.

Maybe it was the mist rolling off the Pacific Ocean, or the Douglas-fir-scented air,

or maybe it was the flames licking the sides of the cast iron pan in which a handful of green coffee beans were toasting—but the aroma that surrounded John Rathwell was exciting. The campfire roasted the beans to dark brown, and the steaming brew that was produced wasn’t half bad. But when the campfire died down, a spark remained in Rathwell’s mind...

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Scott Veach maintaining Dark Crystal— the product of a previous unemployment stint and recently revamped thanks to CERB.
Culture

The 2020 Canadian Extreme Recreation Boom Whistler, BC's Workforce of Unemployed Trailbuilders

When the coronavirus pandemic hit Whistler in March 2020, it was like a cross-check to the teeth.

Overnight, the town’s economic lifeblood of destination tourism screeched to a halt, and paychecks disappeared soon after. The ski resort closed two months early. Nonessential businesses were shuttered. Hundreds of people picked up and left. It went from full-on harvest season to ghost town, real quick.

The Canadian government...

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Profile

Metallic Musings Aaron Loveitt’s Explorations of Art and Earth

A thicket of bronze vines lays on the ground in Aaron Loveitt’s studio, branches weaving through each other in a methodical and ornate layout.

This installment, which will eventually be a driveway gate for a client, has been his focal endeavor for the past four months, a suitably solo activity that’s kept him busy during the coronavirus lockdown.

As the sole proprietor of Canopy Art and Iron, Loveitt’s Bellingham, WA-based...

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Environment

A River Runs Free Restoring Access to Long-Lost Habitat on The Nooksack River

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”—Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It, 1976

Between the banks and along the meanders of the Nooksack River in northwest Washington are endless confluences where snowmelt flows atop lava deposits from historic eruptions on Mount Baker. Braided channels weave together like age-old stories of the Nooksack Indian Tribe and Lummi Nation, carrying centuries of...

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Culture

The Cycle Capital Washington State's Celebrated Passion of Cycling

Whether you’re cruising a Seattle neighborhood greenway or pedaling singletrack to the top of a mountain, it’s undeniable that Washington state is good to cyclists.

In fact, the state has owned the number one spot on the League of American Bicyclists’ bicycle-friendly state list every year since the organization began ranking in 2008.

The roots of this cycle culture run deep—more than 140 years deep. The first bicycle arrived...

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High humidity makes for perfect dirt and the Northwest has no shortage of either. Skye Schillhammer tunes up a berm on North Mountain.
Culture

Trails of Change Recreation and Recovery in Darrington, WA

Whenever someone asks me where I’m from, my answer, “Darrington, WA,” tends to generate a puzzled look and the response, “Where’s that?”

Nestled against the western slope of the Cascade Mountains, 75 miles north of Seattle, Darrington is a small logging town home to some 1,500 people.

It saw its heyday at the peak of logging in the 1970s and suffered the same fate many industry towns did in the ’80s. Falling timber prices left...

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Every descent in the Chilcotins is hard-earned, but totally worth it. Frankie Devlin drops into Lick Creek Trail with Carpenter Lake in the distance.
Environment

The Blueprint Conflict and Revolution in BC's South Chilcotin Park

In 2016, when BC Parks needed a strategy to guide their planning for the South Chilcotin Mountains, Tom Barratt put his hand up.

It’s not every award-winning landscape architect’s idea of a dream project, but it was different. The final product would help BC Parks navigate the conflicting passions that were at play in the park—preserving wilderness, supporting recreationalists and honoring the place as traditional territory for...

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Profile

Subtle Shapes Maddy Marshall and the Various States of Flow

The first surfboard Maddy Marshall ever shaped, he miscalculated the amount of resin needed for the fiberglassing process.

To work around the slight shortage, he opted out of placing a leash plug, which meant when it was finished, there would be no way to connect himself to the board.

“I wasn’t that great of a surfer at the time, so I remember I got my first wave, [then] lost the board and had to swim in to get it,” he says. “...

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A business built by the community will be supported by the community—that’s the idea behind Flying Bike. Being in the business of beer certainly helps, too.
Fermentation & Spirits

Beerocracy Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery is By the People, For the People

When I first heard about the not-yet-realized vision of Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery, I was cynical.

It seemed nothing more than an exercise in creative financing, just another scheme to start a brewery using other people’s money. Almost instantly, some 300 people joined the co-op, exerting their will as owners, influencing the brewery’s direction and proving me wrong.

In most respects, the taproom looks much like any other...

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Late nights, long hours and a lot of paint make Gretchen's murals come to life. Photo: Paul Kelly
Profile

Mountain Shrines Gretchen Leggitt's Church of Creativity

It’s 1:00 a.m. in November. Gretchen Leggitt’s breath hangs in the cool, dark night like slowly billowing smoke against a black abyss.

Twenty-five feet above the nearly frozen ground, she’s perched upon metal scaffolding and intimately close to a stucco wall. Shadowy figures lurk in the alleyway nearby. She moves methodically against a pre-imagined grid that, when finished, will reveal an astronaut whipping its bike in a wonderland...

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With five flats in the span of fewer miles, this shortcut was anything but. When the crew finally made it back onto the highway, the detour had cost them an additional two hours. But after bombing the loose descent into Clinton the way only mountain bikers would, drifting through corners, nobody seemed to care. Photo: Graeme Meiklejohn
Adventure

The Ride of Your Life Eight Friends, 11 Days and 1,600 Miles

In the late afternoon during the 10th consecutive day of riding, about 60 miles north of the British Columbia/Northwest Territories border somewhere along the Liard Highway, Huw and I were lying on the mossy floor of a sparse pine forest.

We had been fading in and out of sleep for an hour, the stunted trees providing us with just enough shelter to cut the harsh westerly wind, while still letting the sun sneak through the canopy to...

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McPherson dials in the details of a mural in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Leandro Olgiati

Made With Intention Connor McPherson's Art Pairs Well With Any Beer

While every beer has its own taste and aroma, these attributes are rarely conveyed at first glance.

It’s impossible to judge a beer through the walls of a dark glass bottle or an aluminum can. With regard to its characteristics, craft beer needs visual representation, and art is the perfect means to achieve that.

This relationship comes alive through the cans and bottles of Bellingham’s Aslan Brewing Co. The company emphasizes...

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