This is a challenging and beautiful course. It is all run on trail, and most of the climbing is in the first half. On the approach to Windy Pass, a panorama of the entire Cle Elum Valley and the Yakima River emerges.
In the distance are the Cascade Mountains, particularly Mount Stuart, the largest non-volcanic mountain in the Washington Cascades. Heading east again, the crest of Mount Rainier appears above the closer peaks. The ridge can be cold and windy. Carry a jacket and gloves. Motorbikes keep the trail clear, so expect to see a few. They are very loud and easy to avoid.
© Cheri Pompeo Gillis/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.