Weekend reading: Stunning photos, N. Cascades tour

Have you heard the weather forecast? I heard something about dogs and cats. If your outdoor pursuits sound too soggy for your tastes, how about some virtual exploration instead?

Let’s start with the Washington Climber Weather Forecast. This nifty little site makes it easy to see weather forecasts for the most popular areas for climbers and hikers. This weekend, for example, there is a lot of rain and snowflakes. You can filter the site to show you forecasts for different areas, such as mountains or passes.

Stevens Pass Bike Park just opened a new trail. Check out this video of riders trying it out. The overhead view on a lot of these shots is really fun. The fall colors are starting to show.

I’m a big fan of Jimmy Chin’s work. His photographs of outdoor adventurers show me scenes I’m not brave enough to see myself — climbers scaling cliffs in Yosemite without ropes, for example. Turns out you can also follow him on Instagram. And you really should. Because then you can see photos like this one of what he considers an easy, rest-day scramble.

Explore the North Cascades with this gorgeous video of the park. Turn up the volume, the soundtrack of birds and natural sounds is excellent. This video has a peaceful, calm feeling. It’s soothing to watch.

Take a visual tour of the night sky with these vibrant photos. The colors are breathtaking. Also, you should check out the photographer’s website. He sells his prints for reasonable prices.

Plan your next grand adventure. National Geographic has rounded up the favorite trails of 20 outdoor luminaries, such as Sally Jewel, who chose a trail near to home for us.

And go it alone. Craig Hill at The News Tribune makes a case for the value of hiking solo. And tells you how to do it safely.

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