A full day hike to open the mountains to practice.
Join us for a meditation hike ascending Excelsior Divide - our first mindful foray of the season into the high mountains to perform our Opening the Mountains ritual for our hiking season. This hike is inspired by traditions on Tibetan sacred mountains where the first ritual circuit of the season was performed by priests waking up the mountain deities. We will perform a ceremony to wake up the mountain energies for the year, and to divide our ritual Salish Sea water into separate vials for the remainder of our seasonal rituals.
We hike this year up to Excelsior Divide because access to our traditional hike, Skyline Divide, is blocked from a road wash out. Also, the late season snow this year will restrict our early access above a certain elevation.
The hike is steeper than the Skyline hike. Departing from the trailhead right at Mount Baker Highway, it switch-backs up the ridge quickly. We plan to ascend to about the 3,900' level, where we will be looking find a hanging meadow on Excelsior's south facing slope. This slope will certainly be melted out, and we may even be able to gain elevation on this side of the ridge which we would not be able to achieve elsewhere. The 3,900' level is at about 2-1/2 miles with 2,100' of elevation gain, giving us a five mile up-and -down round trip.
Because of the south-facing aspect we expect this trial to be snow free at this time, despite the late snow season. Bringing a light pair of gaiters might be advised for mud or snow in the tree covered shadows. Dress for the trail and the weather, bring two liters of water, trail snacks, and a lunch.
An early start is essential to complete this hike in good time.
Meeting: You can join the caravan (and carpool) by meeting at Bellingham Food Coop at 8:30am, or at the grocery store at Nugent's Corner at 9:00am. However you travel, we will ALL meet up at Nugent's Corner and travel together from there.
Carpooling is highly recommended! Parking is limited. Per our Covid policy, those carpooling must be fully vaccinated and wear an N95 mask while in the vehicles.
Registration: Please register so we have an idea of how many are coming, and who is carpooling (needing a ride or offering a ride).
Costs: In the spirit of generosity, we offer this event free of charge so that all who wish may attend. We also invite generosity on the part of participants (who are able) by making a donation to Red Cedar Zen Community to cover our organizational expenses in making this event possible. You can do so while completing the registration form.
In that same spirit, the teachers/leaders are freely giving their time in organizing and leading this event. If you feel moved to, you may express your gratitude with a donation to the teacher/leader on the Donate to a Teacher page.
More information: Please contact Wilderness Programs Coordinator Bob Penny at email@example.com with questions and see our Wilderness Dharma Program webpage for an overview of this program.