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Field reports: Local clubs offer Nordic ski lessons

WINTERSPORTS – Spokane-area Nordic ski clubs are planning group and private ski classes, including some for children.

The Spokane Nordic Ski Association will offer its annual Nordic Kids program starting Jan. 6 and running through February. The classes will be held on Saturdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. or 1-3 p.m. Cost is $75 for all eight lessons.

“The emphasis is really on fun,” said Brad Thiessen, the club’s director of engagement. “It’s all structured around games and stuff like that.”

Adult classes run December through February and cost $25 per each two hour lesson. Days and times vary. Adult classes are open to beginners and intermediates. For information and registration: spokanenordic.org.

In North Idaho, the Panhandle Nordic Club plans to offer free ski lessons. When there is enough snow on the ground those lessons are offered at Avondale Gold Club in Hayden, Idaho. Or, lessons are offered at Fourth of July pass. In December a schedule will be available online. Info: panhandlenordicclub.com.

Avalanche class geared

to snowmobilers

WINTERSPORTS – A Level 1 Avalanche Class specific to snowmobilers will be offered in Spokane by the certified instructors of the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center on Jan. 31 through Feb. 3 at the Spokane REI Store.

The class teaches how to recognize avalanches, how to avoid them, the factors that result in each type, and how snowmobilers can become avalanche forecasters.

Avalanche rescue also will be covered.

A similar class for nonmotorized winter backcountry travelers will be offered in Sandpont on Jan. 17-20.

The center also offers Avalanche Fundamentals presentations and “beacon checks” for backcountry skiers at Schweitzer Mountain Ski Area.

In addition to offering avalanche awareness courses, the Avalanche Center also forecasts avalanche conditions in Idaho Panhandle National Forests. For more information, contact the Sandpoint Ranger District at (208) 263-5111.

Info: idahopanhandleavalanche.org or REI, 328-9900. Cost: $350.

Goats, fishing rules

on commission agenda

WILDLIFE – Options for removing mountain goats from Olympic National Park and planning for shooting ranges on state land will be discussed at a Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting Friday and Saturday in Olympia.

The commission also will discuss Fish and Wildlife Department budget proposals, an update on wolf management, a status review of sharp-tailed grouse and present refined proposals for simplifying Washington’s sport fishing rules.

Whitefishing season

closed in lower Methow

FISHING – Even though the whitefish season continues in other stretches, the lower Methow River from Gold Creek to the Twisp River closed Friday until March 31 to protect wild steelhead, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has announced.

21-pound rainbow tops

Pend Oreille Derby

FISHING –A rainbow weighing 21.36 pounds caught by John Cosolito won the $2,000 top prize in the Thanksgiving Challenge Derby on Lake Pend Oreille that ended last Sunday, sponsored by the Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club.

Jim Brewer caught the top mackinaw, weighing 25.22 pounds.


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