Latest from The Spokesman-Review
WINTER SPORTS — Several special nordic skiing activities are gearing up this week, according to Spokane Nordic. Time to dig in:
Hands-on Waxing Clinic
Friday, Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. — A two-hour class on base prep to finish waxing on your own gear at Fitness Fanatics in Spokane Valley. $35 a person/set of skis. Pre-register, (509) 922-6080.
Kids' Telemark clinic this weekend
Cross-Country Skiing Basics Class
Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. — Session at the Spokane REI store covers fundamental differences between backcountry, telemarking, and touring ski styles, plus clothing choices and where to get started. Pre-register here.
Coming up Jan. 19: WinterFest, presented by Spokane Nordic.
Here's what to think about now:
Register for Donut Dash
The Donut Dash Sprint Race during WinterFest Jan. 19th is geared to all ages and abilities. Enter the lighthearted or competitive bracket. Learn more and register.
> Backcountry Clinic and Free lessons
A few spots are still available for the FREE Backcountry Ski Clinic at WinterFest. There are also free lessons slots available throughout the morning.
> Sign up for soup and cider
Two “folk ski” routes to free soup and cider at the Nova Hut will be featured on Jan. 19. Learn more and register.
WINTER SPORTS — This is transition time for nordic skiers and snowshoers at Mount Spokane State Park.
This week: State Park staff was out recently to clear about 50 trees that had blown down on the 60-kilometer cross-country trails system after two feet of snow followed the storm and buried them well. Taking the snowcat out for that job helped pack some of the trails, and Park Manager Steve Christensen went out on his own with the snowmobile groomer to smooth out the trails, although it was too hard-packed to set tracks. The Selkirk Lodge will be opened on Thanksgiving Day, he said. “I've been trying to save a little money on heating it — it costs about $1,000 a month — since there's not that many people up here yet,” he said.
Starting Dec. 1: Official grooming will begin if snow conditions allow. The biggest change this year mostly affects snowshoers. Dec. 1 marks the day that Discover Passes will no longer be valid for parking during the winter season at Mount Spokane, where all vehicles will need a Sno Park Permit in their vehicles EXCEPT at the Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park official parking when the resort is operating. No parking will be allowed along the roads without a Sno-Park Permit this season.
Lots of other things are gearing up. A good way to stay informed is to Join or Renew a membership with Spokane Nordic and get the club's regular newsletters and email updates. A sampling of this week's updates:
Snowball potluck, Dec. 7
Celebrate the first Saturday of grooming at the Mt. Spokane Cross-Country Ski Park with the Snowball potluck on Dec. 7, assuming conditions cooperate. If it has to be moved later for lack of grooming conditions, we'll let you know through email and Facebook. This is open to ALL skiers. Get to know your fellow skiers and start the season with a full belly. Bring a dish to share for lunch at noon at the Selkirk Lodge. What to bring: Names starting with A-P bring a main Dish; Q-Z bring Dessert.
WinterFest early registration prizes
Even better than Black Friday… register for WinterFest by Dec. 1 and you'll be automatically entered to win an REI backpack. WinterFest is a new event the club is organizing to celebrate muscle-powered winter sports at Mount Spokane.
Kids' skis available
The online ski swap lists a collection of used small kids' gear available at Mountain Gear's retail store in Spokane. You can also find a set of barely-used ski waxes and some booties for your skijoring dog.
Nordic Kids and Youth Rangers
Register for Nordic Kids and the new Youth Rangers program before Dec. 15 to avoid late fees. And invite a friend to get their kid going in lessons!
Adult nordic skiing lessons
Adult lessons are scheduled for all experience levels, skate or classic on Saturdays and Sundays starting Dec. 7. Tweak those skills, and invite that friend or co-worker who's never skied to try out a beginner lesson.
Contact Spokane Nordic by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
STATE PARKS — Spokane Nordic members are recruiting helpers to spruce up the Selkirk Lodge and brush out the miles of trail in preparation for the 2013-14 cross-country skiing season at Mount Spokane State Park.
The second Trail Day of the summer at the Mt. Spokane Cross-Country Ski Park is Saturday, Aug.10. Projects include wood and brush cutting. It looks to be a gorgeous mid-summer day, and families are welcome.
Meet at the Selkirk Lodge at 9 a.m. dressed in work clothes and bring gloves and your lunch. Also bring a small chainsaw or limb/branch loppers if you have them.
RSVP: Brian Hawkins at email@example.com.
Over the past month, volunteers have power-washed and caulked the outside of the Selkirk Lodge, and it's ready for stain. Spokane Nordic needs helpers willing to spray new stain on the logs and brush it in. Sprayer, brushes and stain will be provided.
Contact Brian Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org to work out a date.
WINTER SPORTS — The annual Langlauf cross-country ski race at Mount Spokane has equal parts of waxing anxiety, sweat, cheering, food — and a lot of hope for placing high in an age group or winning one of the many drawings for thousands of dollars worth of prizes.
It's a colorful event that attracts participants spaning 80 years of age.
Check it out in this gallery of photos I shot today while skiing the race with 244 other participants.
WINTER SPORTS — While many skiers were enjoying the new layer of light snow and 25-degree temperatures at Mount Spokane State Park today, a group of volunteers was helping nordic skiers stay on course in the expanded cross-country trail system.
Pictured above from left, Drew Schlieder, Sam Schlieder and George Momany from Spokane Nordic Ski Association were taking down old signs on the north half of the trail system and replacing them with signs that included more than 12 kilometers of new groom trails added this season. The total groomed trails system at Mount Spokane Cross-Country Ski Park is more than 42 kilometers.
“I'd like to be giving my skis a workout instead of riding this snowmobile,” said Momany, ” but I'm glad to be doing this (to help keep skiers stay oriented).
The new trails will be added temporarily to the old signs with a laminate since this season is a test with Inland Empire Paper Company to see how the program works to expand grooming from the state park onto private timber lands.
“We don't want to invest $1,500 in new signs until we're sure the program will continue,” Momany said.
The group, as usual, is organizing a series of trail maintenace days to get things pruned and groomed and ready for snow.
The first Trail Days effort of the season is July 21 followed by other work days on Aug. 12, Sept. 8, Sept. 16, Oct 6. and Oct. 21.
Meet at the Selkirk Lodge at 9 a.m. Be dressed in work clothes and bring gloves and your lunch. Also bring hammers, sledge hammers and long-handled shovels if you have them.
Even the kids can have fun lopping alder and exploring the park in the summer!
Info: Art Bookstrom at (509) 624-9667.
NORDIC SKIING — Two great ways to meet up with the area's cross-country skiing community are coming up:
- Snow Ball Potluck and Moonlight Ski Tour, Jan. 15, starting at 5 p.m. at Selkirk Lodge on Mount Spokane. Bring potluck item and headlamp for the skiing, which will start about 6:30. Sponsored by Spokane Nordic. RSVP: Jack Benedetto email@example.com
- Spokane Langlauf 10-kilometer classic style citizens race, the largest nordic skiing event in the region, Feb. 13, at Mount Spokane. Pre-register at Fitness Fanatics or online.