Combining mountains and music: Performance duo take their passion to DNR’s Manastash Ridge

Two musicians based in the greater Seattle area are celebrating their love of the outdoors in a rather surprising way – by playing their instruments in the mountains.

As one of the state’s largest public land stewards, we’ve heard of visitors connecting with our state’s working forests and conservation areas in a lot of ways. With over 1,200 miles of trail and 70 campgrounds statewide, it’s no surprise that DNR-managed lands offer some of the most diverse ways to experience the outdoors. You can cross-country ski in the shadow of Mount Rainier, enjoy one of over 25 beachfront campsites in the San Juan Islands, test out your skills on one of our expert-only downhill-only mountain bike trails or rock climb at some of the state’s most brag-worthy destinations.

While some take a trail map or summit snack with them into the outdoors, Anastasia Allison and Rose Freeman, of the Musical Mountaineers, carry a violin and a carefully packed keyboard along with them for sunrise performances in the outdoors, intended to celebrate both their love of music and their love of the outdoors. The early morning performances are aimed at respecting leave no trace principles and finding time so their enjoyment of the outdoors doesn’t impact other visitors.

“Our intent is to share this beautiful combination of music and the wilderness with the world, but we would never do that at the expense of somebody who didn’t want to hear our music live,” Anastasia said.

The duo has performed in the North Cascades National Park, Mount Rainier National Park and this spring stopped by our Manastash Ridge near Ellensburg, which overlooks Kittitas Valley and provides a breathtaking view of the Stuart Mountain Range.

DNR manages Manastash Ridge in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is coordinating a trails planning process to guide recreation development and management for the system for the next 10 to 15 years.

Anastasia and Rose realized early on the impact their music was having – people from all over the world were deeply touched by the combination of music in the mountains.

“[The Manastash performance] meant a lot to the communities that saw those videos online,” Anastasia said.

As you’re out visiting one of DNR’s 160+ recreation sites this summer, you may find Anastasia and Rose celebrating one of your favorite trails. The Musical Mountaineers aren’t super easy to find though – they keep their performances brief, at sunrise and don’t promote them broadly so they don’t draw too much of a crowd.

To watch all of their wilderness concerts, you can visit their YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/themusicalmountaineers

For more information about getting outdoors in DNR working forestland and conservation areas statewide, visit dnr.wa.gov/go.

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