Outdoors

Out & About: 5 more outdoor challenges

Langlauf is a classic ski event. (Rich Landers)
Langlauf is a classic ski event. (Rich Landers)

Our winter challenge: 5 more ways to stay cool

OUTDO – Last Sunday, outdoors editor Rich Landers challenged readers to live large this winter, encouraging you to try at least one of 15 outdoor winter activities that could open doors to the joy of coldness.

Here are five organized events to add to the list:

Shoot trap: Breaking flying clay targets with a shotgun requires skill, but even the hot shots are challenged when the wind chill is extreme and their fingers are numb. Check out the 96th annual Spokesman-Review Trapshoot, which starts Jan. 5 and runs eight weeks. Organize a team and shoot at an established club, such as the Spokane Gun Club, 926-6505.

Ski Langlauf: The biggest and oldest cross-country skiing event attracts speedsters and slow pokes alike to give their best to a 10-kilometer course at Mount Spokane. Everyone who finishes has a shot at prizes totaling thousands of dollars. The 36th annual Langlauf is set for Feb. 9; spokanelanglauf.org.

Ski and shoot: Biathlon, the Olympic sport combining cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship, is an odd coupling of sports born from Nordic military training. Just when your heart rate soars from skiing up and down hills, you must try to calm it down and zero in on a 2-inch target at 50 meters. Spokane doesn’t have a biathlon course, but three events within a day’s drive offer the opportunity for newbies to give the sport a try: Jan. 1 and Feb. 15 near Winthrop ( methowvalleybiathlon.org); Jan. 4 at West Yellowstone, Mont., ( rendezvousskitrails.com); and Jan. 11-12 at Stevens Pass ( abiathlon.org).

Ski 24 Hours: The 24 Hours of Schweitzer, March 21-22, challenges downhill skiers and boarders, solo or in teams, to raise pledges to fight cystinosis and then make as many runs as possible through the night, when the competitors own the mountain; 24hoursforhank.org.

Go sled dogging: The Priest Lake Sled Dog Races, Feb. 1-2, have novice divisions for events with one to eight dogs, plus skijoring events; iesda.org. If you simply want to watch and rub fur with the best sled dog teams in the region, check out the Eagle Cap Extreme race, Jan. 22-25, based out of Joseph, Ore.; eaglecapextreme.com.


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Rich Landers

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