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Remembering Bill Stark

Posted by Andrew Engelson at Sep 21, 2006 05:00 PM |
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This weekend, a memorial service will be held in Leavenworth for Bill Stark, who passed away in Port Townsend at the age of 94.

Lower EnchantmentsThose who've enjoyed the Enchantments region of the Alpine Lakes have Bill and Peg Stark to thank, in many different ways.

The couple first visited the high basin in 1959, and returned each year for 35 years. They were passionate about the region, and during their early travels attached names from Norse mythology to many of the features here, from Valhalla Cirque to Brisngamen Necklace. They led many trips into the Enchantments, building an intense following among hikers. The Starks were instrumental in helping secure its protection within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in 1976.

Bill and Peg also ran Scottish Lakes High Camp for many years, providing hikers and cross-country skiers with a civilized and relaxing outpost for explorations in the Chiwaukum Mountains.

As Joan Burton wrote in her profile of the Starks in the "Hiking Legends" feature in the October 2005 issue of Washington Trails magazine,

They are a couple with unusual courage, imagination and a passion that have made an indelible contribution to Northwest hiking.

Bill will be missed, but his spirit will always remain in the clouds lingering on Merlin's Tower and in the crystalline waters of Gnome Tarn.

Photo of Lower Enchantments by Lily L. Lo.