Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ira Spring Trail Hill Run

Tag Bandera Mountain followed by Mount Defiance for a fierce hill workout in a relatively short day out.
Good evening or morning run on perfect Summer or Fall day (for views). Close to home: Exit 45 off I-90.

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Out and Back: ~12 miles
Running time: 3-4 hours
Starting elevation: 2200 feet
High point: 5240 feet for Bandera Mtn and 5584 feet for Mt Defiance
Elevation gain: 4500 feet
Best time of year: mid-June to late Fall (to avoid snow)
Maps: Green Trails 206 (above map is more current)
Permits: self-register at trailhead, Forest Pass

Only one trail leads from the trailhead. It switchbacks gently for 2.8 miles before the Bandera Mountain intersection shown below. Elevation: 4180 feet.
Bandera Mountain is a 2.4 mile out and back from this point (1.2 miles each way - steep blocky trail but well worth it).
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From the top of Bandera Mountain you'll have this view to the Northwest of your second objective, Mount Defiance. That's Mason Lake in the foreground below. The final scramble to the Mount Defiance summit is in the open ground on the left skyline in the picture.
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This is the reverse view of Bandera Mountain taken from Mount Defiance. The Bandera trail follows the open ground on the right skyline in the picture.(click on image for hi-res)

Jamie Keizer took this photo at Mason Lake earlier in the same week.
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This is what the intersection after Mason Lake looks like. Left to Mount Defiance. 1.2 miles from here to the turn onto the summit track. Elevation: 4280 feet
The trail from the Bandera Mountain intersection and past this one to the final summit track for Mount Defiance is in great condition and very runnable.
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After a cool traverse run the rest of the ridge past Dirty Harry toward Mailbox Peak will come into view. Round about here is a cairn (visible in the center of this picture) marking a well worn track to the right which leads to the Mount Defiance summit. Elevation: 5140 feet.
The summit track is steep but well used (don't prematurely choose an erosion gully, you'll know it when you see it).
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This is definitely a blue sky day run. Early or late for best lighting for the pictures.
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McLellan Butte looks tiny from the summit of Mount Defiance.
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Looking West past Bellevue and Seattle to the Olympics.
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Looking North you get a good view of both Glacier Peak and Mount Baker. This picture shows Glacier Peak.
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Looking East, past the Alpental ridge in the foreground to Mount Stuart in the distance.
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Mount Adams visible left of Rainier. St Helens is supposed to be visible from here as well but it was too hazy this day.
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday September 19th - 8:00am
50K and 25K Course


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blanchard Mountain Ultra

Where the Cascades Meet the Sea
50K, Marathon and Fun Run ~ Saturday, June 5th, 2010
Join us for the 7th edition of the Blanchard Mountain Ultra. The event will be held on June 5, 2010. Experience the largest remaining mature coastal mainland forest, including old growth, between Vancouver B.C. and Olympia: the only coastal Marbled Murrelet nesting area remaining in the Greater Puget Sound Region.

New website:

Online signup. T-shirts.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


1st time ultra runner Tim Jaureguy on the Big Dabrowski 50K

On Sunday September 20th, 2009, under partially sunny skies and perfect temperatures ran the first official Big Dabrowski 50K. Runners hit the trail in two fields with a 7:00am and 8:00am start from Tiger Summit and began making their way across the first 16 miles towards Issaquah. Early reports came in from the first aid station that a couple of veteran runners Van Phan and David Coates might have veered off course. Chris Fagan was confused as to why she made it to the first aid station ahead of Phan and Coates since Fagan knew they had passed her earlier in the race. Later it was discovered that it was Chris Fagan who zoned out and got ahead of Van Phan and David Coates by missing a turn and cutting out about a mile of trail. Chris just kept running straight ahead at one turn and fortuitously found herself back on course at the TMT turn between summit 2 and 3. One other incident on the Tiger section of the run involved Roger Riffle who claims that he “fell” through a section of trail and twisted his ankle badly around mile 14. He made it to the first aid station in a respectable 3hrs and decided to push on. This guy is as tough as nails and finished the run in just under 7 hours with a nasty looking high ankle sprain.

Squak Mountain proved to be a surprise in terms of the elevation it doled out after the first 16 miles were behind the runners. Not a very well known area for most, its’ deeply held secrets were revealed to the uninitiated and proved a bit exhausting for a few. As he was heading off to tackle Squak, Bruce Hoff accidentally exited the aid station and headed up hill into the Sycamore neighborhood for a few extra credit miles before realizing he was on the wrong route. Jess Mullen graciously stepped forward and took the blame but who could hold a grudge against her? Some route finding issues occurred near the Central Peak Summit where it seems a trail marker went missing but most runners consulted their maps and were quick to figure out the course from this point. The leaders dispatched this hill quite quickly and reached the second aid station in approximately 1.5 hours. Aid Station #2 was positioned at the end of the Squak Mountain section and was the site where all of the four runners who dropped did so.

In an exciting finish Andrew Lingbloom decided to leave the lead pack of Terry Sentinella and Alvin Crain some table scraps as he poured on the veggie power. He gained good ground until a navigation error put him off course and out into an adjacent neighborhood. Terry never gave up the fight and used Lingbloom's error to his advantage, continuing to push to the end and giving himself the honor of being the first in and setting a course record of 5:53. Crain followed up with a minute under 6 hours and then once back on track Andrew Lingbloom posted a 6:22 finish.

Special mention and congratulations goes to Heather Mar and Tim Jaureguy, both first time ultra marathoners and both who predicted their run times with great accuracy. Heather was 4 minutes off her estimated time and Tim was just over by 10 minutes. An exceptional run you two and big kudos for your first ultra. Welcome to the 50K and over club!

Thanks to all the volunteers that helped make this run a great success, to King County Parks, WA State Parks and the WA State DNR for their work in providing access to these public lands, to the runners who took part and to my sponsors MSR, Nuun Hydration, Outdoor Research, Platypus and Seal Line.

I look forward to seeing you out there next year and very much enjoyed spending the day with you all.

Warmest Regards,

Christopher "BIG" Dabrowski
Run Director

Run Results

More photos here: LINK
and here: LINK 2

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Big Dabrowski 50K Ultra

September 20th, 2009
7:00AM & 8:00AM Starts

It's official, the 2009 Big Dabrowski 50K is on! After lengthy discussions with the Washington State DNR, King County Parks and Washington State Parks, I've secured permission for running an ultra marathon from Tiger Mountain to Cougar Mountain.

The 2009
Big Dabrowski 50K is a point-to-point ultra running from the east side of Tiger Mountain and finishing at Cougar Mountain’s Red Town Trail Head. The route runs through varied terrain but is 95% on dirt trail and involves over 6000 feet of elevation gain and 7000 feet of elevation loss. This year the course runs to the top of the three mountain complexes and is an offering of the best of the Issaquah Alps. Space is very limited so if you want in make sure you sign up early.

Date: Sunday September 20th, 2009

Time: 7:00am & 8:00am Starts
You will be notified of your start time but if you have a preference please indicate.

Start: Tiger Mountain East Trail Head - Tiger Summit off of Hwy 18 Map Link

End: Cougar Mountain Red Town Trail Head Map Link

Fee: $30 ($5 insurance discount if you have already participated in a NWUltras event this year) checks can be made out to Christopher Dabrowski and mailed with your entry form.

Event Information: PDF download

Entry Form: PDF download
Please email me when you mail in your entry form to ensure receipt. You will receive confirmation upon receipt.

Volunteers: I'm also looking for a few volunteers if you are not up for running that day.
Please contact me below.

Christopher Dabrowski

Friday, June 12, 2009

20th Century Trail Ultra - Car Pooling

Start details:
  • 100K early start in Easton at 5am
  • 100K and 100K Relay start in Easton at 7am
  • 50K start at Garcia (Exit 38) at 12 noon
We'll use comments at the bottom of this blog post to arrange car pooling to the starts.

Thursday, June 11, 2009