News wintersports archive

SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015


Technology improves avalanche gear for backcountry skiers

SALT LAKE CITY – As outdoor recreation companies increasingly cater to skiers and snowboarders who like to venture beyond the groomed slopes at ski resorts and tackle backcountry terrain, they’ve put a special emphasis on gear and equipment to keep people safe in case of avalanches. At this winter’s Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City – which draws an estimated 22,000 people – the latest in rescue beacons, air bags and snow probes were on display.

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THURSDAY, FEB. 26, 2015

Bill Jennings: Shift in omega block weather pattern presents hope for area ski conditions 

Scarce powder days have left me with recreational space to fill. Unseasonable cycling opportunities have made riding a special treat. Yet I can’t help thinking as we mountain bikers enjoy firm, tacky terrain in February, will we be eating July-flavored dust in April? Things could be about to change. Recently a friend of mine turned me on to the Cliff Mass Weather Blog ( Mass, a University of Washington atmospheric scientist, provides a running commentary on climate, with clear explanations about why we’ve experienced spring in the middle of winter.

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THURSDAY, FEB. 19, 2015

A couple of feet of air has once again become a challenge on the slopes, as Wacey Loe rides over a giant plastic water tank. (Jesse Tinsley)

Snowskating sparks binding-free revolution, a roots revival

Silhouettes emerge in the periphery of the fog, take shape only long enough to be passed by. A small snow hill appears, and Boyd Hill snowskater Wacey Loe takes it in stride. Loe lands and steers toward another feature. Snow hums underneath his ski. A couple of more feet of suspended air provide an interlude to this downhill anthem. Loe adds another jump to the sequence, then finally pulls off a pop shove-it without ever breaking rhythm.

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THURSDAY, FEB. 12, 2015

Jennings: Bode Miller’s do-or-crash attitude would be missed

After days of looking at mountain webcam images of slush, mist and mud, I decided to get my skiing thrills vicariously last week. I looked forward to following the FIS Alpine World Skiing Championships – which ends its two-week run Sunday – held in Beaver Creek, Colorado. I eagerly awaited the return to racing of Bode Miller, America’s skiing iconoclast. Miller hadn’t competed since hurting his back in a crash during a downhill training run at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, last March. After struggling through pain to get ready for this season, he relented to the surgeon’s knife in November to repair a herniated disc.

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THURSDAY, FEB. 5, 2015

THURSDAY, JAN. 29, 2015

In brief: Epic cross-country skiing event at Mount Spokane

The region’s biggest cross-country skiing event of the season – a race or a tour, depending on how you want to ski it – is set for 11 a.m. on Feb. 8 at Mount Spokane State Park. The Spokane Langlauf 10-kilometer cross-country citizens race is led by elite skiers, but it also celebrates a Woollies Division for skiers donned in nonsynthetic clothing, and a Woodies Award for the top male and female finishers on wood skis.

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Mushers, skijorers converge on Priest Lake for sled dog race

Mushers and malamutes from all over the Pacific Northwest and Canada will tackle the trails Feb. 7-8 at the Priest Lake Sled Dog Race near Nordman, Idaho. Part of the Pacific Northwest Championships, the event consists of sled dog racing and skijoring, where two dogs pull a cross-country skier. For the first time in several years, the races will include the 8-Dog Mid-Distance class.

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Skating rink for dummies: step-by-step guide 

The day after Christmas, my kids discovered the small water hole I’d dug into the hillside to attract doves had frozen over. Amazingly enough, it kept them occupied for more than 3 hours. I marveled at how a 4-by-6 foot section of ice could do what no parent could, and thought, what might something larger do? Would it free them from their cell phones and video games? Would it free me from listening to proclamations of boredom, or requests for transportation to the mall?

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THURSDAY, JAN. 22, 2015

Before the age of personal injury lawsuits, neighborhood streets were blocked off after a good snow. (Kathy Plonka)

Sledding benefits spirit, body of all ages

One grueling step at a time, 8-year-old Gunnar Moffitt strides his way back up Cherry Hill, his blue plastic sled in tow. Sure, he could go all the way to the top again, but that’s a lot of work after a long day of sledding. So, three-quarters of the way, he stops and turns around, and after a natural pause, he fearlessly hops into his sled and takes off down the hill … swoosh!

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SUNDAY, JAN. 11, 2015

Out & About: TV series features state wildlife police

OUTPATROL – Rugged Justice, a six-episode Animal Planet network series featuring Washington Fish and Wildlife police officers, will debut on TV on Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. Filmed last fall, the show follows wildlife officers as they patrol “unforgiving mountain terrains, twisted rainforest back roads and densely populated coastal areas … more than 42 million acres of rugged terrain, half of it heavily forested and filled with wild animals – and often-dangerous people,” according to a press release from the cable channel.

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MONDAY, JAN. 5, 2015

SUNDAY, JAN. 4, 2015

Snow-goers boosted by services, clinics

OUTGOING – Support is on its way for getting into the growing winter sports of snowshoeing and skijoring. Following is a list of area services and clinics geared to getting you out on the snow. • Mount Spokane rentals – Through the winter season, a new snowshoe and nordic ski rental service is available at Mount Spokane State Park nordic ski area next to Selkirk Lodge and the Mount Spokane nordic ski trails.

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THURSDAY, DEC. 25, 2014

Peet Shoe Dryer provides double benefit to Benewah County 

A family-owned company in North Idaho has a product that’s making the great outdoors more enjoyable in more ways than one. The Peet Shoe Dryer has been comforting the feet of skiers, hunters, loggers, snowmobilers, hikers, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts since 1968, when it was created by Gene Peet of St. Maries.

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THURSDAY, DEC. 4, 2014

Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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