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Francis H. Cook, a key name in Spokane’s history, died at age 69 after a long bout with cancer.
Near-perfect conditions greeted cross-country skiers at the 40th running of the 10-kilometer race Sunday. Many participants have become regular competitors in the race, which they said brings out the best in Spokane’s outdoors enthusiasts.
Last Sunday in Spokane couldn’t have been more splendid. The leisurely day started with a drive to Mount Spokane State Park, my first time, with two friends. The area reminded me of my upbringing in Montana. It was an unexpected and sentimental trip down memory lane.
A load of heavy snow slid off the metal roof of Selkirk Lodge and rumbled under a large picnic tent Sunday afternoon, leaving several people with minor injuries.
Opponents of expanding downhill skiing at Mount Spokane State Park have appealed to Gov. Jay Inslee to overturn approval for a chairlift and seven runs on the mountain’s northwest face.
OLYMPIA – Projects in Spokane County ranging from improvements at Mount Spokane to updates at Eastern Washington University would get a total of $95 million from the state under a plan approved this week by the House of Representatives.
POACHING – Two Anatone, Washington, men have been charged in the November illegal killing of two trophy-class bull elk in Asotin County. Richard Kramer, 39, and his son, Jonathan Kramer, 22, face multiple charges in the cases, which were made with the help of tips from the public, according to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife police.
The Washington Parks and Recreation Commission voted Thursday to allow an expansion of downhill skiing at Mount Spokane State Park. Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard plans to build a new chairlift and carve seven new runs on the mountain’s northwest face. The 5-2 commission vote followed 3 1/2 hours of passionate testimony Wednesday night from skiers, snowmobilers and ski patrol members who support expanding the terrain at the nonprofit ski resort.
The fastest Inland Northwest skiers and snowboarders who’ve collected the most medals are no match in hero status to the founders and perpetuators of the Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol’s annual Ski Swap. Without the Swap, many families could not afford regular upgrades in equipment – if they could afford to be in the sports at all.
After 15 years of meetings, proposals, appeals and enough red tape to harness a PistenBully, the latest plans for expanding the downhill ski area at Mount Spokane State Park are entering final stages for approval, maybe. Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park wants to offer more intermediate ski runs to remain competitive with other ski areas in the region while reducing fire hazard.
Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park is willing to do additional environmental studies in pursuit of a long-running effort to expand the ski hill, General Manager Brad McQuarrie said Wednesday. “We will do whatever the state parks commission asks of us,” he said.
A state appeals court has halted a major expansion at Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park, saying that the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission erred by not requiring a detailed study of how a new chairlift and runs would impact old-growth forest, meadows and wetlands. Tuesday’s ruling was hailed by The Lands Council, which appealed an earlier court ruling on the issue. The Spokane-based environmental group opposes the nonprofit ski area’s expansion into 279 acres on the mountain’s northwest face, which is recognized as having one of the largest unbroken tracts of subalpine habitat left in Spokane County.
New efforts to accommodate mountain biking are included in a Mount Spokane State Park revised trails plan recently released for public comment. The plan identifies 76 miles of multi-use trails in the 14,000-acre park.
Balloon-tired fat bikes are breaking trail into new Inland Northwest terrain this winter, including nordic skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling routes. Schweitzer Mountain Resort, which has opened its nordic trails on a limited basis to snow biking, offers fat bike rentals and even staged its first race for over-snow cyclists in January. About eight riders participated.
Brad Bauer of Seattle, middle, bides his time behind James Rucker of Whitefish, Mont., in the first few minutes of the 35th annnual Spokane Langlauf 10-kilometer cross-country ski race at Mount Spokane State Park. Bauer, 39, soon broke away to win the 10-kilometer classic event in 26:19, four minutes ahead of second-place Rucker and the field of 244 racers. Deb Bauer of Spokane led the women in 32:20, beating runner-up Grace Ford of Spokane.
Starting in brilliant sunshine and finishing in a shroud of fog, 244 racers in age groups spanning 80 years finished the 35th annual Spokane Langlauf 10-kilometer cross-country ski race at Mount Spokane State Park on Feb. 10, 2013. Brad Bauer of Seattle and his aunt, Deb Bauer of Spokane, stood on the familiar ground of the championship podium during the awards ceremony. Brad Bauer, 39, has won Langlauf 10 times since he began entering the event in 2000. Deb Bauer, 47, has won the women’s division 20 times. However, many participants, especially the youngsters, were equally thrilled with simply shaving minutes off their personal best. Langlauf also puts all skiers on equal ground with its tradition of giving thousands of dollars in prizes away in a lottery during the awards ceremony. Outdoors editor Rich Landers, one of the few skiers to have finished in all of the Langlauf events, skied the course with his camera to capture this gallery of images.
Next Sunday, hundreds of nordic skiers and spectators will converge on Mount Spokane State Park for the 35th annual Langlauf 10k Cross Country Ski Race – a highlight of the park’s busiest season. Steve Christensen will be there, making sure everything goes smoothly, and selling Sno-Park permits to the many motorists sure to arrive without one.