Saturday, November 12, 2005

Banya 5 Announces Regular Monthly Co-Ed Naturist Nights

Banya 5 is an elemental experience of heat and water. You enter the heavy wooden door of the banya and immediately feel the heat of 20 tons of Cascade Granite which have been heating for over a month. You wonder if your body can tolerate the 190 degree to 200 degree heat. You sit down and slow your breath. You feel your blood circulating, drops of sweat forming on your face, your arms. You breathe. Muscles soften. Your eyes close and the heat sinks further into your core. It is hot but the wise part of you knows you can tolerate it, you want to be this hot. More sweat, more even measured breath. (From the Banya 5 website)

An email from the Banya 5 subscription list:
Subject: Banya 5 Announces Regular Monthly Co-Ed Naturist Nights

Banya 5, Seattle's only Russian style spa, is pleased to announce our fall and winter season of Co-ed Naturist nights. We are opening our doors on Monday evenings from 5:00 PM until 11:00 PM on the following dates:

14 November, 2005
12 December, 2005
16 January, 2006

Additional dates will be added if this event is popular.

These events are private, and open to nudist and naturist organizations here in the Pacific Northwest. These events are governed by accepted naturist and nudist etiquette and behavior.

Please check out our website for information about our facility.

Thank you and we'll look forward to seeing you.

(A description of the experience from James)
If you have ever been to Banya 5 you know . If not, let me give you an idea . There are no less than six bathing opportunities which include a Russian style "banya" (which I'll describe below), a most excellent steam room, a salt water dip, a cold plunge, deluge showers, and of course a hot tub. There is also a large lounging area on the top floor where one can sip Russian tea while relaxing nude.

What is a "banya"? It's similar to a sauna but with a very important difference. While a sauna has a stove that runs constantly, a banya has an oven which is used to heat the interior of the space and then shut off. The super heated walls, floor and ceiling provide a very pleasant "soaking heat" much different than the convection currents produced by a sauna. Air temperatures can be much higher and still enjoyed. If one desires, a cluster of leaves can be used to create air currents for an individual or even used on the skin for still more stimulating experiences. Following a warming session in the banya, one may opt to cool by dipping in the warmish salt water, standing under a drenching shower, or even take a quick plunge in the
cold fresh water. Or perhaps just relaxing at room temperature is for you. In any case, you'll find just the right combination of warming and cooling methods to suit you.

The facility is open to naturist sessions for six hours. This is important because you won't want the experience to be rushed. It is to be savored like a six course meal at a fine restaurant. Come as early as you can so that you can take your time, relax, enjoy chatting with friends, try something new. Leave feeling refreshed and renewed. Those of us who have been are really excited about these naturist/nudist nights. It's how banya as was meant to be
enjoyed. Don't miss this opportunity!

BTW, Keep in mind that these events are unusual in that they are wholly sponsored by the business itself and do not have outside club or individual sponsorship. The SLUGS heartily endorse the naturist/nudist nights but Banya 5 is assuming all of the risk and responsibilities. What a concept! A real business actually seeking out our patronage instead of us going begging to them! Let's encourage and support this behavior!
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Friday, November 11, 2005

Merrily Enjoying the Snow at Scenic Hot Springs

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lot's of Snow up at the Springs

Snow level is way down to 1,500 to 2,000 ft with this latest series of storms . . . and a lot of heavy snow has been deposited up on the hot springs slope.

The latest attempt by George and Matt and Mike with 4-wheel drive and chained off-roaders got them no further than the first BPA Tower. The access road is a no-go! We are doing a yo-yo with the temps as well, forming a slick heavy layer that makes footing treacherous.

Because of the trail clean-up, it's unlikely anyone will get lost up there again (the route is obvious), but the snow is deep in places. Snowshoes are still overkill except in the gentle areas. I'm more inclined to carry crampons to deal with the re-frozen ice layer beneath the snow.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Snow at Scenic

National Weather Service Forecast
For the West Slopes Northern Cascades and Passes

Tonight (Thursday) ... Snow... Heavy at times. Snow accumulation around 6 inches. Snow level 3500 feet. Southwest wind in the passes 10 to 20 mph.

Friday... Snow... Heavy at times. Snow accumulation around 6 inches. Isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Snow level 3000 feet. Afternoon pass temperatures in the lower to mid 30s. Southwest wind in the passes 10 to 20 mph.

Friday night... Snow showers. Snow accumulation up to 6 inches. Isolated evening thunderstorms. Snow level 3000 feet. Southwest wind in the passes 10 to 20 mph.

Saturday... Snow and rain. Breezy. Snow level 3000 feet. Afternoon pass temperatures in the lower to mid 30s. Southeast wind in the passes 15 to 25 mph.

The snow level is down around 3,000 ft. Things to keep in mind:
  • The gate is at 2,400 ft. Snow is not predicted this low but if we get any the shade will keep it around. Parking and turning around can be trecherous.
  • So far the lower stretch of SR2 has been slush or bare but given snow accumulations the plows may create a large snow berm across the entrance to FS820, trapping you behind it. Carry a shovel in your vehicle.
  • The lower BPA Easement clearcut is at 2,840 ft and expected to have light snow
  • The trailhead is at 3,000 ft and you can expect the heavier snow to be near this level and up.
  • The springs are at 3,500 ft. As of right now there is 22 inches of snow at the Stevens Highway crest and they are expecting up to 36 inches by Saturday. Scenic faces north and is shaded. Expect a lot of snow up there; possibly snowshoe weather.
  • The overnight temperatures are hovering around 27 F with stiff breezes at times. That's below freezing so dress appropriately and make sure someone knows where you are going.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

A few more images of the Tower Views over Wreck Beach

The towers sit above the bluffs at an elevation of 84 metres. The towers are 53 metres high so setting the 'eye-level' to 137 metres and sighting on Wreck Beach, I drew a line where the sands of the beach are first visible in the image. The line was clamped to the elevation of the terrain it was drawn on . . . in this case, the elevation of the beach.
Rotating the Google Earth image to vertical, you can see where this line depicts on the beach. That behind it is not visible from the tower; that beyond it IS VISIBLE from the upper floors of the tower.
Looking at it in profile (from the side), the exposed and visible portion of the beach is graphically shown.

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