• Kelley Bayern

June is the best month and here's why

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

Let's cut to the chase. June is the best month ever because of the weather. If you're in Portland though, you might think I'm crazy because we just received two days of record-shattering heat. But even so, you know you enjoyed that little taste of summer... And that was pretty fun for me to forecast through. I'd like to point out, however, that the average high temp at PDX in June is a comfy 74°. There has also NEVER been a sub-freezing morning recorded in Portland. Cheers to that. June also takes 4th place in sunniest months out of the year. For rainfall, June is the start of the dry season and receives a modest 1.7" on average. If you like the smell of rain showers, aka "petrichor", there's a pretty good chance you'll smell it in June. A dry period follow by rain can produce this wonderful earthy smell, and we tend to get that set up a lot in June.

Here are a couple more random June perks:

  • Suns out tongues out! It's prime dog park season. Check out Pepper (above) enjoying some evening sun rays. I don't think it's possible to be in a bad mood at the dog park. 

  • The mountaineering season for the Cascades officially starts May 1st, but June is a solid month for mountain summits. I have capped both Mt. Rainier (2013) and Mt. Baker (2017) in the month of June.

  • Strawberries are in season! Go pick em', it's worth it.

  • The full moon is the Strawberry Moon on June 17th. It's my favorite full moon!

  • Father's Day is also in June and I love my dad more than anything. He deserves a celebration every day for raising me the way he did.

  • Summer officially starts June 21st which means that school is out! It's been five years since I graduated college. I feel so young.

My June started off, of course, with another oudoor adventure. The PNW entered June with a gorgeous and dry stretch of weather. It was the perfect cue to plan a trip into the mountains. The route we chose was a popular alpine ascent up a spire in the Washington Cascades. Blue skies showed off as we started up the trail. The two mile approach is split into two sections - lush forests and steep, slushy snow fields. In the winter time, the route is fully covered in snow and makes for a popular backcountry tour to Pineapple Pass. But we only had the use of boots and trekking poles, which added an extra hour or two to the journey. As we scrambled up the snowfields, it felt like I was a mountaineer again. It seems like the time in between my snow excursions has lengthened over the years as I've transitions more to free climbing.

As expected, we arrived at the base of The Tooth to a line of climbing groups. The sun warmed my legs as I lounged back to crystal clear views of Mt. Rainier. Soon enough, Derek and I tied in to start the first of three pitches. The climbing was so simple that it likely could have been done rope-free, but we popped in our cams and headed up, trading leads along the way. There was still a lot of waiting at each belay station. On the last pitch, I picked my own path to the top instead of waiting for the distinct route everyone else was following up. I guess that's the benefit to trad climbing. If you see a route with cracks for your gear, you can just go for it. We made some friends at the top and simul-rappelled back down with the help of the other crew's rope. Around 4pm, we landed at the base and headed back down the snowfields.

There's something about the last leg of an adventure that brings me the most pleasure. We had a slushy haul back to the car as the golden sun continued to beat down on the valley. The air was silent except for our crunchy footsteps and the occasional laugh. I felt like a bear. And I realized how happy I was at that moment. I didn't want to be anywhere else in the world.

The rest of our weekend continued to be active. We hit Exit 38, a local climbing crag off I-90 in the morning for a couple of quick sends. I returned to work on Monday feeling like I was hit by a train. And of course, I had to polish up, throw on some heels, and hit the green screen with a smile. The expedition took a lot out of me, but I think it was exactly what my heart and soul needed. I'm always up for a demanding workout through the woods. And if it's ever in June, you can always count me in.


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Follow my thoughts, ideas, and adventures as I prepare to summit the tallest peaks in the Pacific Northwest.

Hello. I'm Kelley and I'm a bear.
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