First American to summit K2 visiting Yakima

The Yakima Valley Museum plans to host a presentation from Jim Wickwire at 7:30 on June 29.

In 1978, Wickwire joined Louis Reichardt and became the first American to summit K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, located on the Pakistan-China border. They made an extremely risky descent from the top of the 28,251-foot peak, enduring temperatures approaching -35 degrees F.

Wickwire plans to give a comprehensive account for the first time of his four climbs of the Willis Wall, perhaps the most dangerous and difficult route on Mount Rainier. He’s also climbed Denali in Alaska and made four attempts on Mount Everest’s north side.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at

Bird Alert

A couple of bird aficionados spent a morning in pursuit of those elusive feathered creatures that haunt Bethel Ridge and were rewarded with an impressive list of birds for the trip. They spotted a good assortment of flycatchers, including four dusky flycatchers, one of which was on an occupied nest, as well as olive-sided flycatcher, western wood-pewee and Hammond’s flycatcher. Warblers were also abundant as they noted Nashville warbler, MacGillivray’s warbler, yellow-rumped warbler and Townsend’s warbler.

Best bird of the day was a pair of flammulated owls or “flammie”, one of the smallest owls in North America, about the size of an American Robin. These owls were giving a duet at their nest. As far as larger species go, they did note turkey vulture, northern goshawk and red-tailed hawk.

Woodpeckers were spotty but they did manage to find pileated woodpecker, Williamson’s sapsucker, hairy woodpecker and northern flicker. Some of the more dainty birds were also observed, including Cassin’s and warbling vireo, mountain chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch and house wren making itself known with its effervescent, warbling song. The thrushes were well represented with mountain bluebird, Townsend’s solitaire, hermit thrush and American robin all noted.

Other birds of interest were Cassin’s finch, red crossbill, pine siskin, chipping sparrow, brown-headed cowbird, western tanager and black-headed grosbeak.

Email bird sightings to and be sure to like The Yakima Valley Audubon Society on its Facebook page or visit

— Kerry Turley


SATURDAY: The Hard Core Runners Club will host its weekend fun run of three to six miles with all paces and abilities welcome. Meet at 9 a.m. in Chesterley Park’s west parking lot, between the YMCA/Rotary Aquatics Center and North 40th Avenue in Yakima.

ALSO SATURDAY: The Central Washington Ag Museum will host the inaugural Father’s Day 3.2K (two miles) at 9 a.m. on a course starting at the disc golf course, looping around the museum and back. Registration is $15 or $25 with a T-shirt and runners can sign up at

SUNDAY: Day visitors to lands managed by state agencies won’t need a Discover Pass to park this Sunday in celebration of Juneteenth. Overnight fees remain in effect.

MONDAY: The Cascadian Camera Club will host its monthly meeting on Zoom from 7-9 p.m. with the these “Circular.” Participants can join at the link Cascadians Camera Club Zoom, meeting ID 899 4856 7669.

WEDNESDAY: The Hard Core Runners Club will meet for its weekly fun run at 6 p.m. at Franklin Park, where they run either on the track or on the street.

GETTING OUTDOORSWEDNESDAY: All riders are welcome for a weekly community group mountain bike ride at 6:30 p.m. at the Rocky Top trails on Rocky Top Road in Yakima. The rides will continue as long as daylight and weather permit. All riders must have a helmet, bike and tire repair kit. For more information, contact

THURSDAY: The Cascadian Pathfinders will hike 3.4 miles with 1,328 feet of elevation gain up to Edgar Rock off of State Route 410. Call Alison at 509-961-5432 or Marianne at 509-969-3490 for meeting time and place.

NEXT WEDNESDAY: The Cascadians will host will host Golf 4 Fun, a relaxed and enjoyable outing at River Ridge Golf Course in Selah. Call or text Sharon at 610-703-6750 at least three days before the scheduled date to RSVP.

Reach Luke Thompson at

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