Grooming ended at Mount Spokane’s Cross Country ski park, Saturday.
“The season had its challenges in terms of trail conditions but plans are in place to make a smoother season in 2018-19,” said Brad Thiessen, the director of engagement for the Spokane Nordic Ski Association.
Those challenges were offset by increasing interest and membership in Nordic skiing, Thiesen said.
“The Nordic ski community continues to grow with new skiers all the time, the expansion of adaptive skiing programs, and the growth of skijoring. Nordic Kids had one of its strongest years yet, meaning young skiers (and their parents) are getting active in winter, making new friends and learning to ski,” he said, in an email.
Ninety people ranging in age from eight to 89 took part in the Spokane Nordic Challenge race on March 11.
As for concerns about grooming consistency and quality Mount Spokane State Park area manager Diana Dupuis responded to those concerns in a public letter. The issues, she wrote, ranged from staff turnover to mechanical issues. Several groomers, who are seasonal employees, quit unexpectedly and a broken part in the groomer slowed work.
Mount Spokane State Park handles all grooming at the park.
“I realize that this was not an ideal year,” she said in the letter. “We had significant problems from the beginning in both grooming and the road maintenance equipment and never really got our feet under us.”
Dupuis addressed the issues and laid out a plan for next season.
Additionally, as of Saturday visitors to Mount Spokane no longer need a Sno-Park permit. Visitors must no have a Discover Pass.
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