OUTGOING – Transitions are underway for nordic skiers and snowshoers at Mount Spokane State Park.
Grooming is set to begin this week on the nordic trails as snow allows and the Selkirk Lodge has been opened for the winter season.
The biggest change involves the Discover Pass and Sno-Park pass requirements.
Starting today through March 31, visitors will need a Washington Sno-Park permit to park a vehicle anywhere in the park except at the downhill ski area concession when it’s open for business, said Steve Christensen, park manager.
“We’ll no longer allow people to park in pull-outs along the roads with a Discover Pass. They’ll have to have a Sno-Park permit,” he said, noting that the two state programs are different and the Sno-Park program pays the bills for plowing and grooming.
The exception is one-day users, who will need to buy a one-day Sno-Park permit and display a Discover Pass, too.
“I know the one-day thing is confusing, but that’s the way the law came out of the legislature,” he said. “In most cases, you’re better off buying a season Sno-Park permit.”
Customers of the Mount Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park will not need a vehicle permit when the lifts are operating. However, when the downhill ski area is closed, vehicles parked in those lots will need a Sno-Park permit.
State Park staff recently cleared about 50 trees that had blown down on the cross-country trails system. A new 8-kilometer section of road that loops into Idaho brings the cross-country ski park to about 60 kilometers.
“We have not got all the blowdowns cleared off the snowshoeing trails yet,” Christensen said.
However, snowshoers will notice bridges over creeks above the Mount Kit Carson Loop Road. The bridges were built this fall by volunteers organized by the Washington Trails Association.
• Spokane Nordic is organizing a nordic potluck, adult ski lessons, youth nordic skiing programs and a youth online ski swap. Check out the club’s activities: tinyurl.com/spo-nor.
Adaptive climbing at Mountain Gear
OUTREACH – Two climbers promoting adaptive equipment to inspire adventures for the disabled will present a free program Thursday, 5:30 p.m. at Mountain Gear, 2002 N. Division:
• Timmy O’Neill, known for his record speed ascent on The Nose route of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, and co-founder of Paradox Sports.
• Chad Dukes, a Utah climber who excels at the sport despite being an amputee.
The program will be webcast at tinyurl.com/onweb.
State maps revised
OUTFIELD – The Washington Department of Natural Resources recently updated four of the 50 maps in its series that show public land ownership statewide.
Updated color maps titled Banks Lake, Snoqualmie Pass, Chelan, Klickitat and Skamania can be ordered for $9 online at dnr.wa.gov.
Most recent column
In November, my friend Walt called asking for advice on getting a bird dog. “I’m in the market for a hunting dog and I’m wondering,” he asked: “Has getting older changed your preference for big-running dogs?”
Recent blog posts
HUNTING -- Soaking wet, heading into a brisk wind with two pounds of Palouse mud on each boot -- today could have been a miserable hunting experience until this "double ...
WINTERSPORTS -- Finally -- enough snow fell on the higher elevations of Mount Spokane in the past 24 hours to allow the state park to groom cross-country ski trails today. ...