Club Alpino Italiano – Pacific Northwest

Our mission is to promote the knowledge, study, protection and enjoyment
of the mountains, the natural environment and cultures
especially of the Pacific Northwest and Italy

July 2020 edition

Keep on hiking on!

Join a CAI-PNW team for the Washington Trails Hike-a-Thon!  (Details below.)

To Members and Friends:

From Beverly Riter, President CAI-PNW

This has been a trying time with COVID-19 impacting all of our lives.  Fortunately, we’ve been able to get outside, but not with our CAI-PNW friends. We plan to safely resume our CAI-PNW hikes and other activities in accordance with Washington State requirements and recommendations.  In Phase 2, groups of mixed households are allowed, with a maximum of 8 households and a maximum of 12 individuals in a group.  Phase 3 states that 50 individuals can participate in all activities.  When we feel it is safe to do so, we will begin offering mid-week activities since fewer individuals are on the trails during that time. Our CAI-PNW Council met on Monday, June 29 via Zoom. Council minutes will be available on our members’ only section of the website at a later date.  Please note the following:

  • No one with COVID-19 symptoms or reason to be quarantined shall participate in CAI-PNW activities
  • Individuals who are considered to be high-risk as defined by the CDC are strongly encouraged to stay home until Phase 4.
  • Know Before You Go:  Check the parking and trail status before you go. Set a meeting time at the trailhead.  
  • Plan Ahead:  Prepare for facilities to be closed. Take a face covering. Take hand sanitizer.
  • Stay Close to Home:  Choose places within a close destination.
  • Practice Physical Distancing: Maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. Cover your face and nose if you are closer than 6 feet from others. 
  • Carpool with only your household members.  All other members must drive by themselves to the trailhead.

You can find additional information at:

The Mountaineers:

NOTE:  Festa Italia is postponed this year;  Ferragosto is still on hold.

At this time each year hikers from all over the state come together to share their hiking stories and raise funds for trails through WTA’s Hike-a-Thon!

This year, registration is free  and it’s open now!


Look for our announcements about our upcoming activities once we start up again.  Above all, keep your distance and stay healthy!

Here’s how to participate in WTA’s 17th Annual Hike-a-Thon:

  • Register here. This year, registration is free. Everyone who registers will receive a Hike-a-Thon 2020 sticker. Once you raise $20, we’ll also send you this year’s official Hike-a-Thon T-shirt.* 
  • Join as an individual or create a team. Teams of 2-10 people are welcome. If you’d like to create or join a team, please sign up as an individual first. After you’ve registered as an individual, click on ‘become a fundraiser’ and create or join a team!
  • Get some friends together, join as a family or recruit your coworkers!
  • Manage your webpage. When you register, you’ll be given a customizable webpage. Your webpage is the perfect place to explain why trails are important to you and to set your fundraising goal. 
  • The more time you put into your webpage, the more likely you’ll hit your fundraising goal. See our Hike-a-Thon toolkit to learn more about creating a successful webpage. I’ve already made my page, take a look for some ideas and inspiration!
  • Share your webpage and accomplish your goal. Send your webpage to friends, family and anyone else who wants to support trails. We’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you share your page with your network.
  • Throughout August, hike for trails. Don your Hike-a-Thon shirt and hike anywhere in support of trails and WTA. As you hike, update your webpage with stories and pictures to help you reach your goal. Log the number of miles you’ve hiked and submit trip reports to win prizes! 
  • There are plenty of prizes to go around — both for incredible fundraising and for things like “most trip reports” and “most miles hiked.” The prizes will be announced in mid-July. We’ve updated a few categories this year. Check them out!
  • Jump into the Hike-a-Thon community. Every year, hikers connect through Hike-a-Thon based on a shared appreciation for the outdoors. Join the Hike-a-Thon Facebook page and say hello!

Still have questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or send me an email at I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.


This is our first hiking event of the COVID season. What a fun way to hike solo or with your hiking partner- as many of us are doing these days- while being part of a team of CAI-PNW members and friends!  And it supports an organization that builds and maintains the trails we use. We have started a team called CAI-PNW.  Once we have the limit of ten members on our team, we plan to start a second team.  The goal for our team is to raise a total of $500 and hike, walk or bike 500 miles. There is an initial contribution of $20 to get started with a shirt. If you don’t want to be on the team, you can still go online and contribute to our team’s fundraising goal. (Incidentally this all will be publicity for our organization.)

You will need a way to count steps or miles to add to the CAI miles count. I have an Omron Pedometer that clamps to your waist that I used before I started using my iPhone. Let me,Cam, know if you want it.

To interact with the WTA website is a little tricky. Here are the steps that have worked to sign up or to contribute:

Go to WTA Hike-a-Thon. Click on “Register Today”. Click on “Become a Fundraiser”. Click “Join a Team”. Type in CAI-PNW. Click on our team, then on “Donate”.


Update from CAI-Pisa President Allessio Piccioli

Dear Bev, dear CAI-PNW members,

We were looking forward to meeting you in Val Serenaia for the inauguration of the renewed Trail 181 dedicated to our Francesco and later in Pisa, where we were  hoping to show you our new headquarters. As you know, since the month of February everything is blocked: the Council could not been renovated in March as established by our rules, trail maintenance could not be started, the new building was not bought.

At the beginning of COVID 19 pandemic we hoped that the viral attack could be terminated within a few months. At this point  September is close, the forecasts indicate that the pandemic could be still ongoing, even if on a reduced scale. Therefore it seems  incautious to maintain the established program which includes social dinners, commemoration, gatherings, hospitality.

Thus, not without much regret, it is prudent to postpone the whole event to next year in terms to be agreed between Seattle and Pisa.

Thank you very much for your collaboration for organizing this event and for the fund raising in honour of Francesco.

We wish the best for you, for both our countries and for the whole world. Alessio


In the last newsletter Italian Organizations Liaison, Joel Patience, wrote about the dedication in Seattle of this Piazza as part of the Seattle Perugia Sister City Association. Joel and his wife, Dale, pictured, attended the ceremony.

The tree ring is decorated with the beautiful intricate hand painted tile work done by Deruta and still operated by the Moretti family.  This new park is located at the SE corner of East Harrison and Martin Luther King East.

Let’s do a CAI-PNW hike in that area one day to see it.


experience and photo shared by Glen Strachan

I headed to Tasmania, Australia for a trekking and hiking adventure in February, barely in advance of the travel restrictions due to the coronavirus. My Tasmania Adventure was in two phases.  In the first I trekked the Overland Track for six days in pristine wilderness of Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park while staying in private huts. Tasmania, known for foul and nasty weather, was sunny with mild temperatures for most of the trip with no rain or snow trekking the Overland Track. We had spectacular views of Cradle Mountain, Barn Bluff, Mt. Oakleigh, and Mt. Ossa (Tasmania’s highest peak) before reaching stunning Lake St. Clair to catch a boat back to civilization.

The second phase was circuiting Tasmania by vehicle from Hobart and day hiking in Mt. Field National Park, Tarkine Rain Forest, Cradle Valley/Dove Lake area, Launceston Cataract Gorge, Freycinet National Park, and Maria Island National Park. During this phase, I stayed two nights in the town of Strahan and participated in the local theatre play, “The Ship that Never Was”, which had been playing there for many years. I then explored the beach of the beautiful Bay of Fires. Here bonfires made by the aborigines were on the beach when the British arrived a few centuries ago.

Tasmania has unique flora and geology. It was reported that the vegetation has not changed much since the Jurassic period and that the dolerite rock sills across the island and comprising the peaks is only found in Tasmania and Antarctica. Wildlife I observed included kangaroos, wallabies, pademelons, echidnas, wombats, and poisonous tiger snakes. Unfortunately, the nocturnal Tasmania devil was hiding. I was frequently in touch with our CAI/Brisbane Bushies for planning this trip, including Rosemary Niehus, Jenny Cobden, and Greg Neill. Rosemary and her husband came close to joining me in Tasmania, but at the last minute had to change plans. However, I appreciated their advice.


Editor Note: Here is a bit of Italian history with some relevance to our struggles with our US history today. It is written by CAI-PNW Italian Organizations Liaison, Joel Patience. He is an independent writer and watercolor artist drawing inspirations from travels with his wife Dale Bonn.

Many of us have heard of the bon fire of the vanities in reference to modern plays and movies. But did you know the real event took place in Florence Italy in 1497?

A monk by the name of Girolamo Savonarola had become frustrated with the excesses of the Church. Savonarola was particularly frustrated by the of selling guarantees against worldly sins to gain access to heaven; a practice known as indulgences.  Given the human propensity for always being one up on the Jones’, just about any member of the Church could buy an indulgence.  While the practice was originally reserved for those giving themselves to practices of good, the matter became out of hand. They were assured that no matter how lecherous their life they had a ticket to the clouds.  This was after all the Renaissance and the social norm had turned to social and artistic excesses.

Savonarola was not impressed as buying penance was contrary to the idea of being humble, not to mention that most of the known planet at the time was in poverty. He started what was an annual event about the time Carnival usually was scheduled. He attracted those seeing life as a humble process and started burning items of luxury. By 1495 his preaching was so popular that he was seen as ruler of Florence and had soldiers to protect him. 

In 1497 he had amassed a following that took to the streets. They burned everything that was unnecessary to basic existence including many works of art, make up, ancient manuscripts, furniture and even rare tapestries.

Church officials condemned his activities as a critic and sensor, which they saw was excess and contrary to their efforts to raise money.  In particular he attracted the wrath of Pope Alexander VI – himself a Borgia. 

Savonarola was excommunicated.  About a year later he was executed by being hung from a cross and burned to death in the very square his destruction of vanities had happened.  The populous was given a decree to produce any of the monk’s illegal works within a day of his death to be burned in an act of public censorship. 

NOTE: I was unable to locate a book or contiguous writing on this event and so present you with a historical note so the real event and the reasons leading to it will not be overshadowed by its recent modern commercial interpretation.


Last Newsletter’s CAI-PNW memory challenge was solved by Clarence Elstad (front center). He pegged it as “the exchange with Perugia. Was a great trip which included walking through the olive groves on the hillsides.”

CAI-PNW was there in 2006, hosted by Spoleto CAI. The Cascata delle Marmore or Marmore Falls viewed through the arch is being photographed by Steve Johnson while the rest of us are smiling at John Burnett’s camera. The Marmore  is a man-made waterfall created by the ancient Romans in 271 BC. Its total height is 165 m, making it the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. The source is a portion of the waters of the river Velino (the rest of the river flows into a hydroelectric power plant). The falls is turned on and off according to a published schedule, to satisfy the needs of tourists and the power company alike.


Send your best guess with details to <>. Answer in next Newsletter.

FROM THE EDITOR: Please send any hike or photos that you share on our HIKE-A-THON team web site, as well as your answer to the CHALLENGE and any other materials  to me for the next newsletter. Send material in the body of your email (not PDF) to Cam Bradley, Communications at