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Tuesday, July 14, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

September snow sends Spokane powder hounds to the hills

Landon Crecelius skis at 49 Degrees North on Sunday Sept. 29, 2019 after a rare September snow storm. (Landon Crecelius / COURTESY)
Landon Crecelius skis at 49 Degrees North on Sunday Sept. 29, 2019 after a rare September snow storm. (Landon Crecelius / COURTESY)

Snow in September?

Not welcome news for many. But for dedicated powder hounds, a late-September snowstorm that deposited nearly 2 inches in Spokane meant powder turns up high.

So a group of local skiers headed to 49 Degrees North last Sunday. Landon Crecelius, an avid skier who runs the Back Country Ski Friends website, organized the early morning ski.

“Skiing at 49 on Silver Ridge, when it’s low tide, is the way to go,” Crecelius said in an email. “Mostly shrubs (there) and they mow it down to 3 to 4 inches. Even without a base you are pretty set for safe sliding. No core shots.”

Crecelius estimated there were 6 inches of snow at the lodge and about 10 inches at the summit. Skiing in September, that close to Spokane, is a unique experience. The most similar experience Crecelius has had was when he was a kid skiing with his dad at Lookout Pass in early October.

According to the National Weather Service, Saturday’s snow was the first measurable September snowfall in Spokane since 1926.

The weekend storm dumped the white stuff throughout the western United States, with places in Montana getting as much as 4 feet. The unexpected snow wreaked havoc in some places, cutting power and closing roads.

But for skiers and snowboarders anxious for the season to start, it was an enjoyable tease.

On Wednesday, Mike Brede and Jason Keen headed back to 49 Degrees North. It wasn’t as good as Sunday’s turns, Brede said, but coverage was still good. Brede has skied the past 26 months in a row without driving more than two hours, while Keen hit month 12 on Wednesday. Brede thanked 49 Degrees North for allowing them to ski on the resort prior to its opening.

“What a treat to be skiing full on, this early,” Brede said.

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