Museum seeks old climbing gear

The Yakima Valley Museum is looking for pre-1970 clothing and equipment for use in its upcoming “Mountaineering in the Central Cascades” exhibit.

Several Washington climbers — Dave Mahre, Gene Prater, Marcel Chuster, Mike McGuire and many others — will be featured in the exhibit designed to showcase the challenging, dangerous pursuit of mountaineering in the nearby Cascade Mountains. Any gear used by those climbers would be especially welcomed, along with photos, videos or human interest stories with the featured climbers from that era, before modern equipment and guidebooks existed.

If you’d like to contribute to the exhibit or learn more about it, email Peter Arnold at or Mike Siebol at, or call 509-248-0747.


Birders visited the Yakima Training Center this week and were rewarded with over 20 bird species. The best bird finds included 30 gray-crowned rosy finches spotted along the ridge of Hog Ranch Buttes and two birds that seemed out of place: a pine grosbeak, a large, plump finch of the boreal forest, heard calling repeatedly as it flew over the crest, and a varied thrush singing from the rimrock on the crest of the ridge. They also noted a second pine grosbeak snipping at the willow buds near Greely Pond.

Other birds of note included chukar, rough-legged hawk, merlin, both loggerhead and northern shrike and a Townsend’s solitaire. Most noteworthy, though, was the absolute absence of the usually plentiful northern harriers.

A trip to the Wenas-Ellensburg Pass area turned up a few really nice finds for a couple of Yakima birders. The best bird was a northern pygmy owl, a tiny owl that is one of the smallest in North America, that landed near them and posed for several photos. They also found golden-crowned kinglet, red-breasted nuthatch, white-breasted nuthatch and pygmy nuthatch.

A resident has seen some interesting birds in his yard southwest of the Yakima airport in the past 17 years. This week he was visited by a new yard bird, a hermit thrush that he spotted under his hazelnut trees.


MONDAY: The Cascadian Camera Club will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. at the Alliance Church, 902 S. 36th Ave. Please go to the upstairs entrance on the south side of the building and bring five photos illustrating the theme “Shapes” plus 20 others for a total of 25 digital images on disc or thumb drive to share, or just come to enjoy great photography.

TUESDAY: The Yakima Climbing Scene will host its monthly meetup from 6-8 p.m. at Single Hill Brewing Company.


THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will walk 5 to 6 miles and view the fall colors of the historic Barge-Chestnut neighborhood, ending with hot cider and cookies. Call Donna at 509-452-3961 for meeting time and place.

TUESDAY: The Cascadian Free Spirits will hike 11 miles with 2,500 feet of elevation gain along Forest Road 1809 to Miners Ridge and the Trekkers will hike at a location to be determined based on weather and group consensus. Departure for both groups will be at 8 a.m. from the Chesterley Park parking lot. Those wanting to join the Free Spirits should call Mic Powell at 509-833-6955 and drivers will need a Northwest Forest Pass or a Senior Pass. For the Trekkers’ outing, be sure to bring traction for your boots in case they end up in snowy terrain.

THURSDAY, NOV. 14: The Pathfinders will meet the Prosser group for a walkabout around downtown, making stops along the way with lunch at Jade’s British Girl Treats. Call Libby at 509-837-3609 or Linda at 509-965-4275 for meeting time and place.

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Reach Luke Thompson at and on Twitter: @luketscribe