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Lookout Pass Ski Patrol tops — again

WINTER SPORTS — The Lookout Pass Ski Patrol has been named the 2012-2013 “Outstanding Patrol of the Year” for the Inland Empire Region by from the National Ski Patrol – for the third consecutive season.

“These dedicated men and women provide an outstanding service for our skiing guests and we greatly appreciate their commitment and contribution to Lookout Pass,” said Phil Edholm, ski area president.

Other ski patrols in the National Ski Patrol's Inland Empire region include:

Mount Spokane, Silver Mountain, 49 Degrees North, Echo Valley, Loup Loup, Mission Ridge, Cottonwood Butte, Snowhaven, Bald Mountain and Ski Bluewood.

Pucci retires from Schweitzer Ski Patrol after 45 years

WINTER SPORTS — “The end of an era is upon us,” says the announcement from Schweitzer Mountain Resort.

As the resort shuts down for the 2011-2012 season, Ski Patrol Director John Pucci will be retiring after 45 years as a patroller  and 38 years as the director at Schweitzer.

Are You Ready To Ski?

Ski Patrol members Dick Zollars and Dallas Ward, center, unload merchandise on Thursday at Kootenai County Fairgrounds in preparation for the 13th annual Winter Swap hosted by Lookout Pass Ski Patrol and Silver Mountain Ski Patrol. The event happened Saturday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Are you ready for ski season?

Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol gearing up for Ski Swap


SKIING — Start taking inventory on what you need to acquire and swap for the ski season: The 47th annual Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol Ski SWAP is set for Oct. 28-30.

The swap is set to expand into another bay at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center to offer more room.

Read on for more details.

Mountain bikers: plan now for Tour de Rock

MOUNTAIN BIKING — Eager riders are using this summer to tone up for the Tour de Rock Mountain Bike Ride & second annual Rough Ride 4000' at Chewelah and 49 Degrees North Ski Area.

The Oct. 1 event — which benefits the Ski Patrol — includes two events:

The “Rough Ride” starts at 10 a.m. in Chewelah and runs 10.2 miles on pavement up  to the ski area. From there, riders ride the ski area trails to the summit, gaining a total of 4,000 feet of elevation on a variety of surfaces.

The citizen's mountan bike tour starts 11 a.m. at the ski resort and climbs up through the Sunrise Basin, traverses across the face of the mountain and concludes with an enjoyable downhill run back to the lodge.

Both rides conclude with a barbecue and live music.

Sign up early for $20 entry fee, $30 with a t-shirt.

Info: Call or email Doug (509) 937-4922, doug@shirewood.com.

Afghanistan soldier mourned by 49 Degrees North Ski Patrol

SKIING — He was far more than a soldier, of course.

Among other things, Staff Sgt. Wyatt A. Goldsmith of Colville was a Green Beret and a ski patroller at 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort.

Goldsmith, a medical sergeant with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne),  was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack by insurgents in Helman province, Afghanistan, according to The Spokesman-Review's front page story today. 

A longtime member of the 49 Degrees North Ski Patrol, Goldsmith is remembered as someone who was always happy to be in the mountains when not serving his country. 

“Whenever Wyatt was on leave, he would be up here on the mountain.” said Brad Northrup, resort spokesman. “Every time I saw him on the slopes, he had a huge grin on his face.  He really loved skiing.”

His military awards include Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal with one campaign star, Iraqi Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Parachutist Badge, Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, Special Forces Tab and Combat Infantryman Badge.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

And he loved to ski.