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Know the West

Guidebook with attitude

  After traipsing around Washington state's wildlands for the past 50 years, Ira Spring and Harvey Manning have put together an eccentric and entertaining guidebook, 100 Classic Hikes in Washington, covering the North Cascades, Olympics, Mount Rainier and South Cascades, Alpine Lakes and Glacier Peak. Unlike other guidebooks, in which environmentalism goes unmentioned, 100 Classic Hikes in Washington is prefaced by a statement about the green constituency that can evolve from hiking. Spring and Manning want their book to serve as a catalyst for "green-bonding' - developing emotional ties with wildlands. So don't be surprised to find a half-page tirade against off-road vehicles, or wilderness areas casually referred to as "insultingly small." The authors pride themselves on their minimalist approach to backpacking, and scorn backcountry travelers "gaudily resplendent in boutique fashions, nibbling freeze-dried strawberries and shrimp, pinpointing their location by satellite and chatting on the cell phone with Aunt Nelly." The hike selections offer practical information about some of the finest wild country in North America, including some great maps, Spring's excellent color photography, anecdotes and histories of local conservation struggles.


100 Classic Hikes in Washington, by Ira Spring and Harvey Manning, The Mountaineers, 1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134; [email protected] Paperback: $19.95. 256 pages.


*Stanley Yung