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Methow Valley

WINTER 2009-10

A supplement to the Methow Valley News


Methow Valley Olympic Festival


IU I  



Jan. 16 & 17

















Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

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As the mountain snow slowly makes its way down the hillsides, folks here in the Methow Valley are getting ready. For many of us, this is the season that drew us here. The season of “the beautiful,” the season of snow, the season of play, the season of quiet. If we want to play hard, we can do so. If we want to watch others play hard, there will be ample opportunity to do that as well. If we want to snuggle up in front a fire with a good Kindle... er, book, well, that’s always an option. Winter is a season with something for everyone. So get out – or stay in – and enjoy it! – John Hanron

Photo by Tricia M. Cook

Methow Valley 2009/2010

Paul Butler, publisher John Hanron, editor Marilyn Bardin, office manager Robin Doggett, ad sales manager Callie Fink, ad sales Dana Sphar,ad design Janet Mehus, office assistant

Contributors Bill Biddle, Joyce Campbell, Doc Cook, Tricia M. Cook, Larry Goldie, Patrick Hannigan, Scott Johnston, Mary Kiesau, Ashley Lodato, Dale Longanecker, Mike Maltais, Sue Misao, Bev Schultz, Bob Spiwak, Marcy Stamper, Amy Stork, Lillian Tucker, Scott Wicklund A publication of the

Methow Valley News

P.O. Box 97 101 N. Glover St. Twisp, WA 98856 509.997.7011 fax 509.997.3277

On the cover: “Citizen’s pursuit,” oil on board by Mary Powell. Powell is an impressionist painter specializing in paintings of the contemporary West. She lives and paints in Winthrop. To view more of her work, visit her website at

Six months of drama...........................4 The hallmark of the trail system ........ 6 Valley scores with SuperTour...............8 Sights set on the rings ..................... 10 The place to be for the Games .......... 12 The little club that does.................... 14 Hidden gems of the Loup .................. 16 Still kicking on Little Buck ............... 18 A rider’s paradise ............................ 20 The ultimate snowmobile map .......... 21 On the web – no, not that web .......... 22 Tips for off-piste travel ....................... 24 It’s happening on the ice .................. 26 Frozen fish....................................... 28 Looking for warm and cozy?............. 30 Stories in the snow .......................... 32 Winter resources .............................. 34 Shoveling – the new sport................. 35 Eating local during the dark days .... 36 Photo gallery .................................... 38 Winter calendar ............................... 40 Directory of advertisers .................... 42

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Bill Biddle Cold night the sound of a water jar cracking on this icy night as I lie awake atsuo Basho, the 17thcentury Japanese Zen Buddhist poet, wrote this haiku to introduce winter to his summer-loving friends. We in the Methow Valley know summer: the Fourth of July. Winter is the rest of the year. This year, we had snow at Harts Pass in mid-August; snow in mid-October in the valley. In January 1935, Ray Walters at the Azurite Mine near Harts Pass wrote to his wife about the weather at the mine: “It turned warm (after 29 below) and started to snow. I never saw anything like it – seven feet fell in two days. It then started to rain and poured down for three days. Snowslides started popping... our mine building was demolished... the roof on our

and on. Winter 2009-2010 will be no exception. In fact, it will have a new set of superlatives. In March 2010, people will still be talking about water jars cracking in the kitchen or the rain that made snowmobiling or skiing just miserable. This valley is going to be warmer and wetter for years to come. Below-zero days will happen, but so will big snowstorms and rainstorms.



Opening date

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991

April 24 May 1 April 26 May 1 March 10 April 8 April 14 May 7 March 22 March 30 May 5 April 2 May 7 April 24 April 28 April 7 March 24 April 9 May 2

Closing date ? Dec. 11 Dec. 4 Nov. 13 Nov. 4 (temp.) Nov. 7 Dec. 8 (temp.); Dec. 13 Oct. 17 flooding Dec. 14(temp.) Dec. 16 Nov. 14 (temp.) Nov. 19 Nov. 26 (temp.) Nov. 27 Dec. 6 Nov. 20 (temp.) Nov. 24 Dec. 16 (temp) Dec. 22 Nov. 19 Nov. 6 Oct. 31 (temp.) Nov. 11 Dec. 8 (temp.) Dec. 10 Dec. 8 (temp.) Dec. 11 Nov. 18 (temp.) Nov. 25

Photo by Sue Misao

When you live outside in the Methow in winter, you must be prepared for all kinds of weather.

sawmill caved in.” Winter in the Methow is six months of drama. From October to March, each winter has its list of superlatives: below zero for a week; snow every other


Opening date

1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 1977 1976 1975 1974 1973 1972

April 18 April 21 April 20 April 15 April 11 April 12 April 4 April 20 May 6 April 24 April 18 April 10 April 21 not closed May 21 May 16 June 14 April 27 Sept. 2

day for a month; 60-inch-plus snowstorms; rain that melts all the snow in mid-January; cross country skiing only available at Washington Pass in midFebruary. The list could go on

Closing date Nov. 9 (temp.) Nov. 28 Jan. 3, 90 (temp.) Jan. 9, ‘90 Nov. 20 (temp.) Nov. 23 Dec. 9 Nov. 18 (temp) Nov. 26 Nov. 15 Nov. 2 (temp.) Nov. 19 Nov. 24 (temp.) Dec. 5 Dec. 2 (temp.) Dec. 15 Nov. 30 (temp.) Dec. 6 Nov. 27 (temp.) Dec. 2 Dec. 15 Nov. 11 (temp.) Dec. 15 Nov. 23 not closed Nov. 22 Nov. 21 Nov. 21 Nov. 21


Matsuo Basho started us off with his observation about an icy night. Robert Frost will give us his take on the second month of winter, November. The first stanza of “My November Guest” is as follows: My Sorrow, when she’s here with me, Thinks these dark days of autumn rain Are beautiful as days can be;

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

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She loves the bare, the withered tree; She walks the sodden pasture lane. Light snow and icy cold will adorn the valley the week before Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving week will have rain that will melt all the snow, followed by a faux Indian Summer that will usher in December. Early December will see a transformation in the landscape of the valley. Cold air will slide down from the North Cascades and snow will begin to blanket the valley. Six inches... 10 inches... 16 inches. By mid-month, two to three feet will provide marvelous skiing and snowmobiling.

Far through the forest His wild hooves crash and thunder Till many a mighty branch Is torn asunder. February will replicate January except for a thaw about mid-month with rain around Presidents’ Day. Ugh! Some of the three feet of snow will disappear, but a foot will fall at the end of the month. Hurrah! Winter has returned! March will wake nature from its winter sleep and prod us into spring-like action. Felicia Hemans will be our guide in her poem written in the early 1800s Photo by Paul Butler entitled “The Wakening.” The first Clearing storm. stanza is all we need to bring us the month! into spring and away from water January will be cold and snowy. No jars cracking in the kitchen: Robert Frost will again provide the scene January thaw this year. Winter will stride for those who venture out on these long, through the month as a huntsman might, How many thousands are wakening now! hooves beating a path through the deep dark, cold nights: Some to the songs from the forest bough, Whose woods these are I think I know. snow and along icy roads as Osbert Sitwell To the rustling of leaves at the lattice describes it in the beginning of “Winter the His house is in the village though; pane, Huntsman”: He will not see me stopping here To the chiming fall of the early rain. Through his iron glades To watch his woods fill up with snow. Rides Winter the Huntsman. Six months of a Methow winter will end. All colour fades “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Some will cheer, others will head for the As his horn is heard sighing. Evening” will set the tone for the rest of hills where snow will stay until June.


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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

to everyone, said Lucas. “I’d rather put on fewer races with more people.” He said it’s as he quiet, rhythmic swish of Nordic skis much work to put on a race for 50 people as on groomed trails breaks through the 200 people and they couldn’t do it without snow-muffled silence of the Methow volunteers from the community. Valley in winter. “More people want to ski, rather than Beginners and Olympic athletes will be watch skiing,” he said. There is bigger taking to the short rolling loops in Mazama participation in events like the Tour of and the long climbs of the steepest trails the Methow, an annual non-competitive in the Rendezvous event sponsored by this year. Methow Valley Nordic The Methow ValClub. Participants of ley Sport Trails Asall ages and abilities sociation’s 120 miles may choose to ski of g roomed tra ils 10K, 20K, 30K, 50K will welcome both or 80K in an event beginner skiers and that is not a race, but Oly mpic compet ia celebration of skitors in 2010, when ing and the MVSTA the Olympic Winter ski trail system. The Games come to the seventh annual tour Pacific Northwest. is on Saturday Feb. Olympic skiers of all 13 and is part of the ages are expected Methow Valley Olymto visit the valley on pic Festival. Jan 16 – 17 for the “This is a very Methow Valley Suunique year. We’ve Photo by Ashley Lodato perTour and Junior raised the bar at In the Methow, kids are raised on the Nordic trail system. Here, a gang of moms and kids gets MVSTA,” said Kristen Olympic qualifier. Two longtime fa- ready for an outing on the Winthrop Trail. Smith, co-director of By Joyce Campbell


vorite events, the Nordic Pursuit and Rendezvous Mountain Tour were cancelled this year due to conflicting dates with regional race schedules for the SuperTour. “The Pursuit will definitely come back,” said Jay Lucas, executive director of the MVSTA. He’s not so sure about the Rendezvous race. The latter is a 30-kilometer race with a lot of vertical and that doesn’t appeal

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

events for the organization. “This is an incredible opportunity for the valley with the highest level of Nordic athletes competing in a full-on Olympic experience.” “The Methow Valley is known as the best cross country in the world,” said Smith. She said the MVSTA system is the second longest in distance in the United States behind Royal City, Calif., where the trails loop around a geographically smaller area.” “I’ve never skied on Nordic trails like this anywhere in the United States,” said Katharine Bill, Methow Valley Nordic Team board member and ski patroller. “There is an unlimited variety in types of trails, all surrounded by natural beauty. “This is a community that encourages skiing together in groups and having fun on the trails,” said Bill. She likes to ski three or four times a week and said, “The trails are a huge benefit for all ages.” The MVSTA trails are more user-friendly this year, with newly painted signs and distances calculated by GPS, said James DeSalvo, trails manager. There are new maps, with more accurate GPS distances. “All our improvements are coming together in time for the Olympic Festival,”

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said DeSalvo. Two new only. Cougar Bait, the bridges were built to Cedar Creek Loop, Gunn replace the 25-year-old Ranch and Rendezvous Community Trail bridges Basin are all dog-friendly near Winthrop and there trails. New this year is a has been more focus on $35 voluntary trail pass brushing and mowing to for dogs. improve the consistency Trail passes are reof snow conditions. quired on most, but not TheMVSTA’sgroomed all of the MVSTA ski trails connect the towns trails. No trail pass is of Winthrop and Mazama needed for skiers or dogs via the Community Trail, on Lunachick (accessed and skiers of all ages at the Edelweiss campcan enjoy skate skiing ground) or the Big Valley or classic kick and glide Trail loops. suited to their skill and Snowshoes are welability. come on selected trails Trails are rated easithroughout the system. est, more difficult and Consult a trail map for Photo by Joyce Campbell most difficult according The well-mapped and well-marked snowshoe-friendly trails to the technical nature 170-kilometer MVSTA trail system on the valley floor, at Sun of the trail, said DeSalvo. will see improvements to its signage Mountain Lodge or the He said steep grades and this year. Rendezvous area. A $5 sharp turns make trails trail pass is required for technically difficult to negotiate, not neces- snowshoers who don’t have a ski pass. sarily physically difficult. Darkness adds another dimension to From the Community Trail, skiers trail skiing whether by moonlight or headcan access more than 50K of trails at Sun lamps. It’s also the best time for grooming Mountain Lodge, where trails like the trails, and skiers will hear and see the Sunnyside and Little Wolf Creek grooming machines a half-mile away, said are geared to family skiing and DeSalvo. He sees the most skiers at night Thompson Ridge and Meadow on the Rendezvous trails when they arrive Lark attract advanced skiers. late in the evening to go to the ski huts. For ambitious Nordic skiers, An illuminated night ski is scheduled the Rendezvous trail system offers for Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14. The event is nearly 50K of more difficult (and hosted by Methow Arts and MVSTA and will most difficult) terrain, but the feature luminaries along a trail from the ice views from 4,000 feet make it a rink in Winthrop to Wolf Creek Road. popular day or overnite tour with “Bring the snow on,” said Lucas, who hut-to-hut skiing accommoda- was getting ready for the ski trails season tions available. that traditionally starts in December. “The Dogs are welcome on the Ren- trails are so good and groomed so well, it’s dezvous trails between Cub Creek sort of a treat to ski.” and the Goat Creek cut-off with For more i n for m at ion v isit entry from the Cub Creek side or call (509) 996-3287.

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Photo by Patrick Hannigan

The Methow Valley has no shortage of competitive skinny skiers, as this mass start shows. Citizen racers can mix it up with student athletes, semi-pro skiers and professionals during the SuperTour.

“I am happy to announce the Methow Valley has entered the fray as a USSA SuperTour host.... They are excited to show off their incredible snow conditions and their freshly homologated trails.” – United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) press release, August 2009

earn a shot at making the PNW Junior Olympic team and competing at the JO championships in Maine. Also pounding the corduroy will be Senior, Collegiate and Master racers.

By Paul Butler


Photo by Patrick Hannigan

All of the races in the SuperTour will be held on the FIS-approved trails near Liberty Bell High School, where spectators can see all the action.

he SuperTour is coming! The SuperTour is coming! “The Super-what?” You may ask. Well, here’s the skinny on the most prestigious Nordic race competition to ever set ski in the Methow. Over the MLK holiday weekend, Jan. 16-17, 2010, the USSA’s SuperTour Nordic racing series will be coming to the valley for two days of spirited contests featuring some of the best skiers around. Series race points, cash prizes, points for international rankings and sheer glory await all comers. The races are also one of four Junior Olympic qualifying competitions in the Pacific Northwest. Regional youth skiers will mix it up with older, more experienced racers while trying to improve their finish time percentages to

Photo by John Hanron

The Rendezvous Mountain Tour has been usurped by the SuperTour this year, and may have seen its last running.

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

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Anyone can enter the competition and many skiers will have a shot at the prize money being awarded to the top six male and female racers in the sprint and distance events. The fastest male and female sprint racers also win an additional $250 in cash. “Gathering this elite group of Nordic skiers in the valley to compete for the weekend – this has never happened before. It will be so exciting to watch,” said chief of competition and Methow Valley Ski Team head coach Chris “Flash” Clark. “All the kids in the valley will get to see all these great skiers on their home course.” The races will take place on specialized trails near the Liberty Bell High School stadium. Spectators can catch the action from ringside or up high in the bleachers. On Saturday of race weekend, athletes will dash through a windy 1.3-kilometer skate sprint loop while Sunday’s distance lineup includes a men’s 15K classic race and a women’s/juniors’ 10K classic race. The sprint course has been utilized the Photo by Patrick Hannigan past few years while the distance course While citizen races are exciting to watch, expect the drama to kick up a notch for the SuperTour. is a new 5K loop. Both are the only homogulated courses in the state, meaning they excited and positive response, according to Farra. “It requires a big commitment from have been officially deemed worthy by the MVSTA events co-director Kristen Smith, the organizers to be able to raise enough FIS (International Ski Federation) concern- self-described “chief of hype.” funds to cover the prize money to pay these ing difficulty and elevation requirements “We are raising the bar, giving the valley great athletes. The folks from Methow were (length of climb, angle of climb, etc.). great exposure and taking us to the highest very persistent in their desire to bring high With the Sulevel,” said Smith. level racing to Winthrop, and we are thrilled perTour coming She listed three to give them a date in the calendar.” to the valley one ma i n requ i re High spectator turnout is expected for mont h before ments necessary the races on what is already a normally the start of the to host the race very busy holiday weekend. The courses at Olympic Games series here: ho- the school are being touted as one similar i n Va n c o u v e r, mogulated race to that for the Olympic games in the Calcombined with a trails, funding for laghan Valley outside Whistler, British slew of activities the cash prizes Columbia. and events over a nd e n l i st i n g Prior to coming to Winthrop, the race two weeks as part high-level race series will be in Anchorage, Alaska, for a of the MVSTA’s timing services. week as part of the U.S. Championships. Methow Olympic All three param- The two stops before that are West YellowFestival during eters were met stone, Mont. (Nov. 25-28) and Bozeman, the games themand Winthrop be- Mont. (Dec. 5-6). selves, this winter came the fourth Apparently, the seven athletes for the promises to be a stop on the race U.S Olympic Nordic team will have been bonanza of winter series’ 10-venue selected just prior to the SuperTour races fun and celebratour. in Winthrop. The build-up to that decision tion for Methow “ T he US S A will be just part of all the excitement surdenizens and visiSuperTour pro- rounding Nordic skiing, the Methow and tors alike. vides racers from the Olympic games this winter. T he M VS TA around the counWhich athletes actually show up for first approached try the opportu- the SuperTour here remains to be seen. USSA Nordic nity to race for Fans will be able to follow online as racers Program director cash prizes and sign up. Expect the drama to be building John Farra earlier to ea r n World considerably as the race weekend draws this summer as Cup start rights, nearer. Will the favored skiers rise to the to the possibilas well as Olym- occasion? Or perhaps a dark horse, or a ity of hosting the pic a nd World local skier – the cagey veteran, the upstart SuperTour race Championship youth – will emerge victorious. Photo by Patrick Hannigan series. The idea qua lif y ing op The SuperTour is coming. Be part of The SuperTour will also be a Junior Olympic qualwas met with an portunities,” said it. ifying race for hundreds of high school athletes.

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Joyce Campbell

helps with recovery, according to Sadie. ow do three young Recover y dur i ng people from a reworkouts and directly mote rural valley after workouts is fueled all end up in the 2009 by sports drinks that proOlympic Nordic skiing vide proteins, glutamines qualifying competitions? and hydration, according Growing up in the to Erik. About an hour Methow Valley with worldafter a workout he likes to class ski trails, a commuget a protein-based meal nity of skiers and coaches that is filling. He restores and the confidence it his body in between worktakes to win helps, but outs most importantly by support for the elite trio’s staying hydrated. After a bid for Oly mpic gold hot workout, sitting in the has been buoyed by the cold water of a mountain launching of the Methow stream helps recovery Olympic Development and feels good. Elevatproject. ing your legs and sports Nordic skiing is not massage are also helpful a high-profile Olympic recovery tools. sport, and the MOD proj“Sleep is perhaps the Photo courtesy of Brockit. Inc. ect was started to create most important recover Sadie Bjornsen leads a pack of competitiors on her way to another top-10 finish in and sustain the financial aid in my arsenal,” wrote the 2008 Senior National Championships. and in-kind contributions Erik on the team’s blog. that are key to the success members have a basic understanding of Deep, high quality sleep of athletes while in training. The athletes how muscle shortening and lengthening, produces the most growth hormones and could have chosen to move to one of five stretch reflex, and kinesthetic awareness helps him adapt to the stress of training and centers in Idaho, Oregon, Vermont, Maine or body awareness works for optimum get stronger and more fit. “When possible, or Wisconsin for training. performance. Skiers learn what it means I also try to take a nap; it makes me feel Instead, the team decided to stay in the to maximize their power combined with refreshed for the afternoon workout.” valley to train in their own community with the most economical use of their limited Daily training includes speed, endurtheir coach, Scott Johnston. “The familiar- energy. ance and strength workouts and average ity, knowledge and positive rapport that “I strongly believe that you need to be between four and five hours a day. Summer Scott has with each athlete is essential to smart, knowledgeable and clever in the and fall training includes roller skiing, their success,” posted MOD team member application of these things if you are go- running and strength workouts to prepare Sam Naney on the team’s blog. ing to be the best, wrote Johnston. “Just for a six-month racing season. Naney, Sadie Bjornsen and Erik Bjorn- following the crowd will only get you the “This year all they do is train, eat and sen grew up skiing the Methow Valley’s same results as the crowd.” sleep,” said Mary Bjornsen, Erik and Sadie’s Nordic trails and were launched by their High performance clothing is helping mother. She said they both love the outcompetitive edge over their peers to the the team members, who must endure doors, were good swimmers, bicyclists, runlevel of Olympic racing. intensive, muscle fatiguing workouts and ners and alpine skiers. “Here in Mazama, Success is also linked to knowledge wake up the next morning with achy legs. they could cross country ski out the back about the science of exercise, according to Compression clothing made by 2XU and door. They both love the competition.” coach Johnston on the team’s blog. Team donated by Winthrop Mountain Sports The MOD Squad and their coach enter


The Valley’s friendly sports shop in the heart of Winthrop

Methow Winter Fun! Ski and snowshoe rentals Trail passes, maps and local info Hats, gloves and warm winter wear The Valley’s nutritional center Winter Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Thursday - Tuesday 29 Highway 20 • 996-3645 •

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

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Photo by Patrick Hannigan

After having raced for four years for Dartmouth College, Sam Naney returned to the Methow in 2007 to race and train.

Central Reservations for the Methow Valley

the Olympic arena well qualified. Coach Johnston competed in World Cups for the U.S. Ski Team and was selected as a coach for the February 20 09 A mer ic a n U23/World Junior Championships in France. Naney posted six podium finishes at Junior National Championships and went on to four years of skiing Photo courtesy of Mary Bjornsen at Dartmouth ColErik Bjornsen posted the top U.S. finish in the sprints at the lege, where he skied 2009 World Junior Championships. as team captain. Following college, he began racing on Washington Pass on Oct. 28 this year, the national circuit and returned to skiing laps on a quickly set 2K trail. the Methow in 2007 to train under Sadie’s enthusiasm for the sport was Johnston. The 25-year-old ranked 14th revealed on the team’s blog, “For the on the U.S. SuperTour in sprinting first few times on snow, even if I was skiing back and forth on a 100-meter during the 2008/2009 season. Sadie Bjornsen has competed four trail, I would still be having a blast.” Betsy Devin-Smith and her brother, times on the World Junior Championship team and is a four-time national Steve Devin, both trained for the Olymchampion. The 19-year-old skier had pic alpine team during the 1970s. The several top-10 finishes at the 2008 U.S. training was a lot different then, said Senior National Championships. She Devin-Smith, who knows what it’s like also won third place in the women’s to have the goal of achieving the highest 5K classic at the National Collegiate levels of fitness and skill. “There’s so Athletic Association Championships much more science propelling athletes’ and eighth in the same event at the U.S. fitness to higher levels.” “In the Olympic spirit, it doesn’t Distance National Championships. Erik Bjornsen, a Junior National matter where you’re from, anybody has Champion, is the youngest member a chance of making it, even if you’re of the MOD team at 18 years old. He from Winthrop,” said Devin-Smith. qualified for the U.S. World Junior “It’s an unbelievable opportunity to Championships team in 2009 and travel and meet people from all over posted the top American finish in the world. It will mold your character the sprint, earning him his Interna- for life.” tional Ski Federation ranking of first To follow the Methow Olympic 17-year-old in the world in the sprint Development team, visit www.methow competition. The team had an early season ski on

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Patrick Hannigan


or most of us, the Olympics are something we watch on TV rather than an event in which we participate. The idea behind the Methow Olympic Festival is to offer folks in the valley the chance to do both. The slogan for the Methow Olympic Festival (Feb. 12-28) is, “The best place to be during the 2010 Winter Games for Olympic enthusiasts who want to do more than just watch!” The goal of the festival is to offer Methow residents and visitors an interactive Olympic experience that is potentially less stressful or costly than making the trek to Vancouver, B.C. Not that there’s anything wrong with just watching the Winter Olympics. In fact, sitting in a warm venue and watching the broadcast of our favorite Olympic events with hot chocolate or hot toddy in hand sound pretty darn nice. To that end, the Methow Olympic Festival has partnered with a variety of indoor and outdoor valley venues that will feature constant Olympic coverage to satisfy the spectator in each of us. The Winthrop Barn, the Winthrop Ice

live TV commentators for many ski races, Hall and McCabe will also be running a Nordic classic and skate ski camp. And while many festival activities revolve around doing and watching traditional Olympic events such as Nordic skiing, ice skating and hockey, there are also a bunch of family-friendly festival events that will never be Olympic sports. For example, nobody will ever win an Olympic gold medal in snowshoe softball, but that is one of the events in the Methow Photo by John Hanron festival. Watching a bunch of cold people Former Olympian Laura McCabe will be offering trying to hit, throw, catch and field in live commentary during some of the Olympic clothes and conditions ill-suited for grace broadcasts in the Methow. is certainly more hilarious to watch than Rink and the Twisp River Pub are among curling, which is an Olympic sport. the locations hosting special Olympic-viewThe Doggie Dash is another Methow ing events. The skating rink in Winthrop tradition that features costumed adults in particular will be bustling with activity, and kids trying to negotiate a ski course including free skating lessons, clinics and while leashed to their costumed canine hockey exhibitions. For those who don’t companions. The year there is an Olympic want to miss anything, the rink will have costume theme and there are sure to be big screen TVs inside the warming hut and some good ones. also outside, so people can watch the games The Olympic committee probably never while they skate or warm themselves by considered an event combining skiing and outdoor fires. cattle roping, but that is just one element of But what makes the Olympic Festival the Winthrop Winter Cowboy race. Besides unique is the opportunity to take a par- trying to rope cattle while skiing, there’s ticipatory role in the spirit of the also a three-legged ski race with a cowboy games. Perhaps the event that best theme. typifies that aspect of the festival “Not everybody has enough money in is the 30K timed freestyle ski race their bank accounts to go to Vancouver, but from Mazama to Winthrop. the Methow Festival is a great alternative After the race the skiers (and for people who want to do more than just others) will gather at the Winthrop watch the games,” said Danica Kaufman of Barn to watch Olympic athletes do MVSTA. “There’s something special going the same 30K race. Methow locals on just about every day.” and former Olympians Leslie Hall and Laura McCabe will provide live commentary, insight and analysis of the Olympic race and hand out prizes to everyone who finished the local 30K race faster than the slowest Olympian participant. Learning is a big theme of the festival. In Friday, Feb. 12 addition to free skat• Torchlight ski parade around the Winthrop ing lessons at the rink, Town Trailhead Oval, 5 p.m. there are free Nordic ski • Watch the Vancouver Opening Ceremony at lessons for kids at the the Winthrop Ice Rink, 5:30 p.m. nearby town trailhead. For no charge, anyone Saturday, Feb. 13 can also try biathlon • Wenatchee Wilds Hockey exhibition and at the Mazama range. autograph signing at the Winthrop Ice Rink Biathlon is an Olympic • Tour of the Methow, a non-competitive ski of sport that involves al- the Methow Valley trails where skiers may choose to ternate rounds of skiing ski 20K to 80K, presented by Methow Nordic Club and target shooting. In • Snowshoe Softball Tournament at the Winaddition to their roles as throp ballfield

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

• Watch the Winter Olympic Games all day at the Winthrop Ice Rink • Guided snowshoe hikes at Sun Mountain and in Mazama

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Wednesday, Feb. 24

Sunday, Feb. 14

• Taped rebroadcast of the Nordic 4 x 10K relay at the Twisp River Pub with Commentary provided by ex-Olympic athletes and coaches.

Monday, Feb. 15 – Friday, Feb. 19

• 30K timed freestyle skate ski from Mazama to Winthrop (registration info at • Watch the Winter Olympic Games all day at the Winthrop Ice Rink • Watch the 30K mass start at the Winthrop Barn with commentary

• Doggie Dash, a six-legged ski race for humans and their best friends, all with an Olympic theme, presented by Methow Nordic. • Watch the Winter Olympic Games all day at the Winthrop Ice Rink • Guided snowshoe hikes at Sun Mountain and in Mazama • Winthrop Ski Art Walk • Watch the Winter Olympic Games each day at the Winthrop Ice Rink • Seattle Admirals Ice Hockey skills clinic at the Winthrop Ice Rink • Free cross country ski Lessons for youth at the Winthrop Town Trailhead • Free Ice Skating Lessons for youth at the Winthrop Ice Rink • Try biathlon at the Mazama Biathlon range • Evening ski groomer tours leaving from Mazama • Guided snowshoe hikes at Sun Mountain and in Mazama

Wednesday, Feb. 17

• Taped rebroadcast of the Nordic Individual Sprint Classic at the Twisp River Pub with commentary provided by former Olympic athletes and coaches.

Friday, Feb. 19

• Taped Rebroadcast of the Alpine skiing superG at the Twisp River Pub with live commentary.

Saturday, Feb. 20

• Winthrop Winter Cowboy Races, rope cattle on skis and three legged ski races • Watch the Winter Olympic Games all day at the Winthrop Ice Rink • Wanderlust Circus, a family-friendly acrobatic performance at the Winthrop Barn presented by Methow Arts • Guided snowshoe hikes at Sun Mountain and in Mazama

Sunday, Feb. 21

• Watch the men’s Olympic hockey game, USA vs. Canada at the Winthrop Ice Rink, 9 p.m. • Guided snowshoe hikes at Sun Mountain and in Mazama

Monday, Feb. 22 – Friday, Feb. 26

• Nordic classic and skate ski camp with former Olympians Laura McCabe and Leslie Hall (see www. for registration details) • Watch the Winter Olympic Games all day at the Winthrop Ice Rink • Guided snowshoe hikes at Sun Mountain and in Mazama

Saturday, Feb. 27

provided by ex-Olympian athletes and coaches. 4 p.m. • Sean McCabe benefit dinner, catered by Claudia Webber, at the Winthrop Barn, 6 p.m. • Guided snowshoe hikes at Sun Mountain and in Mazama

Sunday, Feb. 28

• Watch the Winter Olympic Games all day at the Winthrop Ice Rink • Watch the men’s gold medal hockey game at the Winthrop Ice Rink For a complete, updated schedule of events, read the Methow Valley News.

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Photo by Paul Butler

Wool and wood are the fashion of the day during the MV Nordic Club’s Wooden Ski Race.

By Ashley Lodato


ou may not know who they are, but you’ve seen them. Racing on wooden skis while wearing woolen knickers; or clad in neon Lycra hauling their dogs around the loop at the Winthrop Trailhead; or ghosting around the Mazama Meadows under the light of a full moon. They’re the members of the Methow Valley Nordic Club (MVNC or the club) and they’re in search of one thing: good times on Nordic skis. With so many Nordic-oriented groups in the valley, it’s tough to figure out who is who. The MVNC is one of four branches of the Methow Valley Nordic Ski Educational Association (the others being the MV Nordic Team, the MV Biathlon Association, and the Methow Olympic Development Project). Founded in 1995 with the goal of developing, supporting, and promoting Nordic skiing and related activities, the club’s mission is to provide opportunities for skill improvement for skiers of all levels in a casual, friendly environment. In many ways the MVNC is an intermediary between all the different ski groups in the valley. It provides fi-

nancial support for some of the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association projects, it makes it possible for a wide range of kids to participate on the junior ski team, and it offers events that draw skiers to the Methow. The club hosts events as first-rate as the annual three-day December Ski Camp, which attracts skiers from all over the country; as wacky as the Doggie Dash, which pairs canines and their human companions in a frenzied race against other duos; and as comprehensive as the Tour of the Methow, which allows skiers of all abilities to complete one to three sections of an 80-kilometer tour of the MVSTA trail system. It also provides a series of weekly clinics where participants receive coaching in technique and strength training. All these events and no races? It’s true. Although the Doggie Dash and the Wooden Ski Race are ostensibly competitive, they’re more spirited rivalries than cutthroat contests. And the rest of the events are truly non-competitive: no bibs, no timing, no judges. The non-competitive atmosphere of the MVNC attracts many skiers who shy away from traditional racing events. Such skiers enjoy skiing with others and are often inspired to push themselves hard during club events, but they’re not interested in organized competition. But it also draws many of the valley’s and region’s top skiers and racers, who enjoy the camaraderie shared by club members and have fun participating in some of the unique events the MVNC offers. With about two hundred household memberships, the MVNC is not particularly large. Its influence, however, is substantial. MVNC directs all of the proceeds from its events toward promoting Nordic skiing and related activities in the valley, including supporting special projects, sponsoring youth skiing, and aiding promising young racers in attending ski camps and international races. For some valley kids, the MVNC financial assistance provides access to a sport they wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in. Even the proceeds generated by the Doggie Dash each year go back into the community, in the form of donations to local veterinary services.

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Page 15

Methow Valley Nordic Club-sponsored projects include: • $7,000 to the Winthrop Town Trailhead • $1,800 to MVSTA toward purchasing the timing bus • $10,000 earmarked for new signs along the MVSTA trail system • $3,500 annually toward ski team scholarships, equipment rental assistance, and Junior Olympics support • $350 annually for veterinary services in the valley

Photo by Patrick Hannigan

Canines rule during the popular and colorful Doggie Dash.

Unlike most non-profit organizations, the club does not fund-raise; at least, not in the traditional sense. There are no pledge drives, no auctions, no annual campaigns. Revenue is generated in two ways: annual membership dues and exceptional (yet remarkably affordable) camps and clinics. This model is sustainable and keeps the organization in a stable position, because it allows club board members to focus on improving club offerings and finding worthy projects to support, rather than on an endless cycle of traditional fundraising. Although somewhat modest, the profits from events are consistent, allowing the board to offer consistent – and frequently increasing – support to the projects it is committed to, as well as taking on ambitious new ones. Take the Tour of the Methow, for example. Six years ago, Brian Sweet (now club

Photo by Paul Butler

A young Nord settles into his comfort zone.

vice president) was inspired by the Canadian Ski Marathon to start a similar event in the Methow. He approached the club board with his proposal for the tour and they immediately responded: “Let’s do it!” Six years later the day-long, 80K tour has grown from 30 skiers to over 200, grunting up over the Rendezvous, gliding to the far western reaches of the trail system in Mazama, and finally making their way downriver to a potluck in Winthrop. There is even a kids’ 10k course now and more youngsters are turning out each year. Although the logistics of the tour are time-consuming and complex, the event itself unfolds seemingly effortlessly, with skiers of all abilities out enjoying the day together, weaving in and out of the Mazama Community Center for endless food and hot drinks between legs of the tour. The tour is both ambitious and possible, exhausting and rejuvenating. It’s also a light at the end of the tunnel during the cold, dark days of January. Knowing you’re doing the tour in February forces you outside on the trails, gives you a reason to get out and ski. And for the Methow Valley Nordic Club, this is what their work is really all about: giving people good reasons to get out and ski. For more information about MVNC, visit

Page 16

By Joyce Campbell

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

ganecker. He said there are tracks of deer, moose ordic trails on the and tons of coyote. Loup Loup summit “I’ ve seen er mine, offer skiers 73 kilogrouse, snowshoe hare meters of groomed trails, and snowy owls,” said Nora few telemark thrills dic ski instructor Ray Robhigh above the valley floor ertson. “I like it because and in the far reaches of it’s remote, surrounded by the South Summit trails, national forest and there’s a sense of a wilderness more wildlife to see.” experience. Trails to the west, toward Twisp, are snowshoeNorth Summit Nordic friendly and dog friendly, Trails said Longanecker. He said “We have great chalthe Lower Powerline, Uplenging terrain for anyone per Powerline, Canine and bored with the valley Lower Canine ski trails floor,” said Sharla Lynn, may be recognizable as manager of the Loup Loup Forest Service roads in the Ski Bowl. She said most of summertime. the North Summit trails Seasonal or daily perPhoto by Dale Longanecker are intermediate and admits need to be purchased A family skis on a path of South Summit corduroy. You can hit both the alpine hill vanced and groomed for before traveling to the and the Nordic trails in the same day without moving your car. skating and classic skiing. South Summit area. A “There’s a vertical thousand “We have something for Lindsey Swope, who used to $31 seasonal or $11 daily Snofeet up around the top of Bear everyone all at once,” said ski downhill ski and remembers Park permit is available online Mountain and Gabion is pretty school director Carlene Anders. spending half the time skiing at steep. When conditions are firm, She sees a lot of groups of and half the time sitting on the permits or at the Loup Loup I side-step down.” families or friends, some who lifts. “Trail skiing is so much Ski Bowl, the Mazama Store, “My favorite trail is the don’t ski. “Here, there are lots better exercise.” The Bike Shop in Okanogan, Telemarker Trail,” said Dale of different people doing differ“I like seeing different scen- Hank’s Harvest Foods in Twisp Longanecker, who when he ent things all out of the same ery and the traveling aspect,” and Pardner’s Mini Market and isn’t grooming trails at the ski parking lot.” said Swope. “I can go far enough Winthrop Mountain Sports in hill is a smokejumper at the Parking is free. Day and half- in two hours that it feels like Winthrop. The permit fees proNorth Cascades Smokejumper day passes are available at the I’ve seen a lot of terrain and vide funding for both grooming Base near Winthrop. The trail ticket office. From the parking ecosystems. She likes the rolling the South Summit ski trails is marked, but not groomed. “I lot at the ski hill, a multi-use terrain of the South Summit and plowing the Sno-Park, a climb up Nexus to the top and (snowmobiles, skiers, snowsho- trail system. It starts at the top, program administered by Washtake any fall line.” ers and pedestrians) trail con- with views to the Sawtooths and ington State Parks. The North Summit trails nects to the South Summit trail into the Chiliwist. “It feels like To get to the Loup Loup complement the facility’s down- system across Highway 20. you’re way out there in the back summit trail systems and the hill ski area, where downhill country. Exciting.” ski bowl travel 12 miles east skiers, snowboarders and tub- South Summit Nordic Trails “You can definitely lose of Twisp on Highway 20 to the ing enthusiasts enjoy snow as “I go mainly to skate ski,” yourself out there. It goes on and Loup Loup summit. Follow the many ways as possible. said Carlton-area resident on and on and on,” said Lon- Loup Loup Ski Area signs left


Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Page 17

North Summit XC ski trails

about two miles to the North Summit Nordic trails and downhill ski area. To reach the South Summit trails, turn right off Highway 20 onto Forest Road 41 to reach the Sno-Park area. Trail passes for the North Summit trails are free for kids under six, $5 for seniors and kids up to 12, $10 for students and $15 for adults. Half-day passes are available. South Summit trails are free to use with your Sno-Park permit. More i n for mat ion about the Loup’s Nordic system, including updated grooming reports, is available at

South Summit XC ski trails

Page 18

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Amy Stork

bankruptcy proceedings. A handful of local individuavesdrop on any conversation about als banded together to form “the Loupâ€? – local shorthand for the the non-profit foundation, small ski area that straddles the hill and negotiated a loan to between the Methow and Okanogan valleys keep the ski area going. – and you’re bound to hear the word “comToday, the non-profit munityâ€? sooner or later. Loup Loup Ski EducaThat one word lends longtime support- tion Foundation operates ers plenty of confidence that the ski area the Loup Loup Ski Bowl, will persist despite tough financial times. employing16 full and part Last winter, meager snowfall eclipsed the time employees and around lucrative week between Christmas and New 35 ski instructors. The ski Year’s. The Loup opened for just 14 days, patrol is made up of about most of them at the end of the season. 40 volunteers. Dozens of “It’s been going for 50 years, and its other community members fail-safe is the people on both sides,â€? said serve on the foundation’s Kurt Oakley, a Loup Loup Ski Education Board of Directors, help Foundation board member and director of with maintenance and run the all-volunteer ski patrol. “It’s like agri- events and fundraisers. culture. You dip into your rainy day fund “There’s been so many and bank on it not happening again. We’ve people involved it’d be never had two bad years in a row.â€? impossible to name them all, back to the late ‘40s Major projects on hold when the Loup started,â€? The Loup has been through hard times said Duey Hadfield, a Twisp before. General manager Sharla Lynn resident who grew up skisays the ski hill nearly died in the early ing at the Loup, then later 1980s when its for-profit owner went into managed the area in the 1980s. Now in his 70s, Hadfield is still a ski patrol volunteer. T he L oup’s one quad chairlift services 10 downhill r uns, a nd a Poma platter Photo by Lillian Tucker pull and beginner What’s for lunch? Serving it up at the Loup’s terrain park. rope tow take beginners partway up. Lessons and equipment rent als are available at the site, and  Loup Loup Ski Bowl the ski area also maintains 23  • Base elevation: 4,020 kilometers of groomed, track-set  • Vertical rise: 1,240 feet Nordic trails. 6NLLQWRWKHZLOGÂł 6NLLQWRWKHZLOGÂłRYHUPLOHVRIFURVVFRXQWU\VNLWUDLOVIRU • Lifts: One fixed-grip quad chairlift, junior Poma Day-to-day operations at the DOO VNLOO OHYHOV LQ DQG DURXQG 6XQ 0RXQWDLQ /RGJH :DVKLQJ :DVKLQJ platter pull, beginner rope tow WRQ¡VILQHVWGHVWLQDWLRQUHVRUW3HUFKHGRQRXURZQPRXQWDLQ WRQ¡VILQHVWGHVWLQDWLRQUHVRUW3HUFKHGRQRXURZQPRXQWDLQ Loup are typically covered by lift • Runs: 10 major runs with assorted glade WRSRYHUORRNLQJWKH1RUWK&DVFDGHZLOGHUQHVVDQGWKHPDJQLIL WRSRYHUORRNLQJWKH1RUWK&DVFDGHZLOGHUQHVVDQGWKHPDJQLIL ticket sales and about 500 season skiing FHQW 0HWKRZ 9DOOH\ 6XQ 0RXQWDLQ /RGJH RIIHUV WKH SHUIHFW passes. Foundation board member • Terrain park PRXQWDLQ FURVV FRXQWU\ H[SHULHQFH ZLWK LQWHUQDWLRQDO DZDUG DZDUG Jay Kehne says the hill needs to • Day lodge with full food service ZLQQLQJFXLVLQHKRWWXEVJDPHURRPOLEUDU\IXOO VLQHKRWWXEVJDPHURRPOLEUDU\IXOOVHUYLFHVSD ZLQQLQJFXL VLQHKRWWXEVJDPHURRPOLEUDU\IXOO • Rental/retail shop sell an average of 80 tickets a day DQG RXU ZRQGHUIXOO\ DSSRLQWHG URRPV ZLWK VWXQQLQJ YLHZV • 73K of groomed cross country trails to break even. 2XUIXOO 2XUIXOOVHUYLFHVNLVKRSKDVWRSTXDOLW\UHQWDODQGUHWDLOJHDU VHUYLFHVNLVKRSKDVWRSTXDOLW\UHQWDODQGUHWDLOJHDU • Tubing hill Kehne, who ran the foundaDQG D VWDII RI QDWLRQDOO\ UHFRJQL]HG SURV IRU DOO OHYHOV RI LQ LQ • Hours of operation: Wednesdays (January and VWUXF WLRQ$VNDERXWRXUWKUHHRUPRUHQLJKWV6NLGDGGOH3DFN VWUXFWLRQ$VNDERXWRXUWKUHHRUPRUHQLJKWV6NLGDGGOH3DFN tion’s major annual fundraising February), Fridays, weekends and holidays, DJHV DJHV auction in October, says the from 9:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Open all of Presi $42,348 raised at the event will dents Day week and the Christmas/New Year’s  probably be used to shore up last holiday weeks (except Christmas Day). 32%R[Âł:LQWKURS:$Âł • Website: year’s losses and keep the moun• Snow conditions: (509) 557-3405 tain operating for the early part of • Office: (509) 557-3401 this season. That’s a change after ZZZVXQPRXQWDLQORGJHFRP • Toll free: (866) 699-5334 several fat years of good snow and



Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

high ticket sales. “Typically [the auction] pays for some kind of capital improvement. One year we built indoor bathrooms, which was a big thing up there. It has also helped pay for the ski lift and the new administration building.” The Loup’s four-passenger chairlift is one of the foundation’s biggest success stories. In 1999, the foundation raised $750,000 in community donations and volunteer labor and materials to purchase and install a five-year-old lift that was being dismantled by Crystal Mountain. The additional $250,000 the foundation had to borrow was paid off in less than five years.

Page 19

lodging and golf courses, has helped to keep it low-key and, organizers say, accessible to all different kinds of people. “Back in the ’70s, my wife and I both worked there, and our kids were pretty much raised up there,” said Hadfield. “A family could come up there and you didn’t have to worry about the kids, and it’s still that way.” “It’s a wonderful cross-section,” said Oakley. “You see insurance salesmen skiing with orchardists, and you can’t tell who is who. You see someone in a $500 ski suit riding the chair lift with someone in Carhartts. There is nothing pretentious about this place.” A one-day adult ticket at the Loup runs $38, compared to $47.50 at Mt. Baker, $54 at Mission Ridge ski area near Wenatchee, and $60 at Stevens Pass and other Washington resorts. Duey Hadfield says the ski area was Photo courtesy of Loup Loup Ski Bowl founded on that kind Little Buck Mountain and the Methow beyond. of affordability. “It was all farmbecause it’s like a private playground,” ers a nd orcha rdists added Oakley. “There is never a lift line. and ranchers, and they At the end of the day your legs are like Photo courtesy of Kurt Oakley/Loup Loup Ski Patrol put the time and effort blubber.” The Ski Patrol built its top shack with volunteer labor, donated into it,” he said. materials and, apparently, contributions from many garages. “Way back in the charter, we had an FHA loan “When somebody gets an idea and they for the original Poma lift, and that spearhead it, just one individual or a couple was the basic idea of it – to keep it of individuals, that’s how things get done accessible to the community.” up there,” said Hadfield. “I love to ski, and when we Once things are back on track finan- moved here I joined the Loup Loup cially, the foundation has plans for more board. It’s more fun than I could improvements, including increasing the use imagine,” Jay Kehne says. “It’s a of the Loup year-round. The North Cen- lot of work, and you don’t get a tral Washington Community Foundation lot, but the satisfaction of keeprecently gave the group a grant to study ing the hill open. We are always the feasibility of developing mountain bike looking for good board members, trails on the land the Loup leases from the or volunteers for any of our comU.S. Forest Service. mittees.” That project may go forward in the next “You almost hate to tell people, few years, but “putting in a new lodge is on the back burner,” said Oakley. “We have to tighten belts here and there, or maybe not dive into new projects. But we’ve had major improvements in the last 10 years so we’ve got ourselves a pretty good base.” The great mixing bowl The non-profit nature of the Loup, and its location away from other tourist amenities like

Page 20

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Paul Butler


s winter draws near, snowmobile enthusiasts are ramping up for another season of riding the almost endless terrain available surrounding the Methow Valley. As much as this winter paradise has become renowned for cross country skiing, it has long been an exceptional area for “sledders” of all abilities to enjoy. Like many recreational activities happening in this region, nearly all snowmobiling takes place on Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Locally, the grooming and maintenance of established snowmobile trails – all 175 miles of them – is overseen by the Methow Valley Snowmobile Association and its grooming arm, the Mountain Trails Grooming Association. This formidable task is accomplished by a hardy and dedicated group of volunteers who have been hitting the trails around here for decades. The club posts a grooming schedule, hosts weekly rides, including the popular Bucket Run on Presidents Weekend and is also involved in many off-snow civic and charity events. The club was instrumental in convincing county officials Photo courtesy of Bev Schultz last year to continue snow removal services at It’s grilled hot dogs, good riding and camaraderie every weekend on Methow Valley the numerous Sno-Parks throughout the valley, Snowmobile Association club rides, which are open to all. a notable success given the importance of these parking areas for snowmobile access. Speaking with the MVSA’s Bev Schultz about the upcoming winter season, not much is new aside from continuing the excellent grooming of the valley trails. All trails are maintained with one grooming machine that moves from zone to zone throughout each week. As many local and visiting riders know, these trails are not only a hoot to ride on, but lead to a huge amount of off-piste terrain. One new addition this year that riders will enjoy is the new signage at many of the trails’ intersections that will help clarify any navigational challenges. “The signs will help people in knowing where they Trade-Ins Welcome are,” said Schultz. She also said that all Sno-Parks have maps available as well. When you’re dealing with this much territory,

keeping track of your whereabouts is only one piece of the puzzle. Carrying adequate supplies and repair equipment are, of course, another part, especially avalanche safety gear if you are riding in or near avalanche terrain. With so many places to choose from, one problem is often deciding where to go. Not only are there the Methow trails to consider, but also hundreds of miles of trails, many connected to the valley system, that exist around the Okanogan and Chelan areas. Here are a few just to whet the appetite: • The Boulder Creek run just outside Winthrop heads toward the snowmobiling nirvana of Conconully. This is one of those “endless” zones that include highlight

Page 21

areas like Parachute Meadows and Lone Frank Pass where the MVSA’s grooming responsibilities end and the Okanogan side takes over. • Adventures up Eightmile Creek also beckon and rarely disappoint with fun riding and panoramic views awaiting sledders on Sweetgrass Butte. This section also hooks up with, via Banker Pass, the large Goat Creek drainage and its multiple off-trail options and the Goat Creek Sno-Park. • From Goat Creek, and the nearby Yellowjacket Sno-Park, more exciting terrain exists for the taking, especially on a powder day, as well as the club’s cozy Black Pine warming shelter – a fine place to take a break. The Yellowjacket lot also gives

access to the splendors of the Harts Pass area, not usually groomed in the winter, but worth the effort of getting there. • Other highly recommended places to go are: the Highway 20 corridor west of Mazama (not groomed); the fine corduroy and terrain on both sides of the Loup Loup Pass; and the gems to be discovered up the Twisp River as well as down south on Gold Creek. All those possibilities can be daunting. Hooking up with a club ride outing is a good option. The main solution though is to just get out there and ride. The MVSA’s informational website is: www.methow. com/groomer/index.htm

Map by Doc Cook

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Page 22

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Bob Spiwak


hile snowshoe advocates are still trying to get snowshoe racing on the docket for the winter Olympics, you don’t have to be an Olympian to enjoy snowshoeing here. Miles of places to go just to get out and see the scenery, the wildlife, their tracks and the fresh, fresh air. Many people still envision snowshoes as clunky oversized tennis racquets, but as with everything else in this high-tech era, snowshoes have come a long way. The frames are now made of aluminum and aluminum alloys, cheap plastic or esoteric carbon fiber compounds – combinations of materials and, most recently, a variety of appurtenances to attach to your boots, mukluks or moccasins. The competitive consumer market has any number of variations of shape throughout a dozen or more manufacturers, all of whom can be located on Google, and within these makers are a host of different models. It used to be that one could not get traditional wooden webbed snowshoes (hence the generic name “webs,”) without any gripping surface on the bottom. I own a pair of Korean War vintage bearpaws

Photo by Bob Spiwak

Whether you are using classic wooden webs or lightweight, high-tech snowshoes, the principle is the same: Spread your weight over a larger footprint and you don’t sink in so much.

that have rudimentary crampons built on. Bearpaws are short in length and quite

wide with webbing made of leather or nylon. Crampons are pointed, toothy devices used

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

for getting traction on ice or going up – or down – hills. I still use these shoes on occasion. They came with a binding harness of leather that is laced up like a pair of shoes and were a real pain to lace up, especially with mittens or gloves on. Most crampons are only placed under the ball of the foot, though some have them near the heel as well. At least one manufacturer has “grousers” built on the shoes, the name coming from bulldozer lingo and made to minimize slippage to the side. Another maker has a half circle cut out of the inside rear of each shoe, ostensibly to keep from stepping on the back of the other shoes as the wearer steps forward. To me it is a gimmick, but could be of use to a novice showshoer. I am reticent to name companies, but L.L. Bean deserves credit for coming up with the first bindings that work like cross country skis do. They are sold as a package with a pair of specially designed boots (like ski boots) where all you do is step into the toe piece and clip them shut. A far cry from the lace-ups. The laced models were followed with a wide leather strap that buckled across the instep of the foot. This was succeeded with metal-framed shoes and a composite decking on the bottom with friction fit or Fastex buckles to snug them down. Currently there are some with

Page 23

ratchet fasteners. The hardest thing for many, especially those with out-of-shape or aged bodies, is fastening the bindings. The new models are certainly simpler and require less physical agility and stamina. Many are also heavier than their wood and web counterparts and offer less flotation in deep and/or fresh snow. I am happy with two strips of rubber cut from an auto inner tube, and from this fashion a secure, easy to get out of binding in conjunction with a toe strap. The Methow has trails designed for snowshoeing. Some are so well-packed you don’t need the webs, but they should be taken along for the times you might want to follow a set of tracks off the groomed trail into virgin snow. If you are planning to be out for more than an hour or so, a daypack should be part of your regalia. There are guided nature tours on snowshoes offered weekly once winter gets underway, and the pack is handy for binoculars, extra clothing, and of course “The Ten Essentials” of survival as well as pleasure. These can be enumerated in any backpacking or hiking book. Add to this a large piece of Ensolite or other solid-foam core material (ounces in weight) to sit on, or place an object. Chemical hand-warmers ought be taken along for hands and or feet, but keep them away from cameras or

binocs as in cold weather they will create frost in and outside the implement. Include a handful of fire starters (like tiny flat PrestoLogs) to get a fire going whether to cook a hot dog, heat water, or build a survival or rescue fire in case you are injured or lost. (Be certain before you go out on the jaunt to let people know where you are planning to go. Mark it on a topo map and leave it at home or in your vehicle.) Wear layered clothing (again, see hiking books) because although the temperature may be near zero when you begin your trek, you’ll soon be sweating. If you are a total novice, ask around and find an experienced snowshoer. The tendency is to make the effort a lot harder than it need be. My one tip in this space is to drag, not lift, the rear shoe as you are progressing. There are shoes available for everyone from little kids to old folks. Get them large enough to accommodate your gross (with pack) weight. Bring a long ski pole (cheap in thrift stores). There are shoes designed for running, backcountry, trails, hiking and, most prevalent, all-around recreation. Prices start under $100 and can run into the hundreds. Be safe and have a great time in our wondrous valley.

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Hunker down in a sheltered place; have quick ver t he ye a r s drink while de-skinning we have had the and save the longer lunch opportunity to stop for the bottom of the experience the good, the run when you are likely bad and the ugly when to be out of the wind. You it comes to ski touring have the added benefit conditions. Little tips of being able to admire can go a long way toward your turns while eating making the whole expelunch and enjoying the rience much easier and camaraderie of your tour more enjoyable. partners. Here are some simple • Carry a Thermos ideas gleaned from years with your favorite hot of touring that you may drink. Small lightweight find useful for some of Thermoses can turn a your outings. cold windy stop to skin up Blisters are a comor de-skin into a pleasant • mon problem, especially break. Water needs to be on warm spring tours. All in some sort of insulated the moleskin in the world container. We have found can’t help you out in bladders w ith hoses Photo by Scott Wicklund certain circumstances. Follow the natural contours of the terrain, making long, sweeping curves. almost always freeze in Here is a little-known winter, so a foolproof secret of mine that has worked Rub this block on your skins as fast as the trailbreaker. On system is a must if you choose almost every time we have used and they’ll make your skins steep tracks, the folks following to use one. Hydration is crucial or recommended it. Buy some glide better and keep them from have almost as hard a time as for long tours: Hydrate or die! cheap knee high stockings and picking up snow when the skins the first person. This higher • Don’t wear your ski pole wear them under your normal become wet and you chance into energy cost will catch up with straps. On the climbs you’ll consocks. They dramatically reduce cold powder. The alpine wax can the group on a big day out. If you stantly be side hilling to some blisters and can even eliminate also be used on your ski bases are planning to lap the slope, degree. You’ll need to choke up then a gradual track will mean on the uphill pole. If at each the dreaded shin bang of stiff when your bases are dry. boots (don’t worry, you’ll know • When skinning uphill try that on subsequent climbs your change of side hill you have what this is when you get it). to follow the natural contours skins will continue to grip well, to take the pole strap on and They weigh nothing and take up of the terrain, making long thereby assuring an easy climb off, you’ll slow your pace and almost no pack space, so take sweeping curves. The aesthetic as the track becomes slicker everyone behind you. In trees, a few pair along on multi-day appeal of this is obvious but with multiple uses. especially thick stands, skiing Steep up-tracks often ne- with pole straps is asking for a tours. You will feel so smug and more importantly is the time helpful when you lay them on and energy savings. Using the cessitate the use of kick turns. shoulder or elbow injury should contours and taking a more These should be avoided if at all you ever hook a basket in a tree. some hapless touring mate. gradual up-track will actually possible. When each skier in line At the very least, it can make you The fancy glop that is sold • to combat climbing skin ice-up save you a bunch of energy over makes a kick turn, all the skiers come to a very sudden and unworks well, but even easier to the steep line, which at first behind must stop and wait till graceful stop. In an avalanche, that person’s turn is complete poles can inhibit your ability to carry and apply is a small block glance looks more direct. Here’s why: The steep track and they have moved out of the swim and stay close to the top of soft (i.e. yellow) alpine ski wax. will require corner. With rounded corners of the moving snow. you to shift no one has to slow down and • A small repair kit is into a lower the whole group can ascend at worth its weight in gold when gear, espe- the same speed. At a moderate a backcountry repair is necescially when all-day touring pace, all but the sary. The following are the most brea k i ng strongest skiers will find that commonly used items in our t r a i l i n they gain elevation faster on repair kits: deep snow. a lower grade up-track than a – Leatherman with the This then steeper one. phillips head ground down to causes 6QRZPRELOH5HSDLUV 0RUH • Stop below the top of a posi-drive. You can also use ridges to switch into downhill a dedicated “binding buddyâ€? e v e r y one   RU behind to mode. Avoid standing on ridge but a Leatherman works for VFKPLGWV#PHWKRZFRP ([SHULHQFHG/LFHQVHG ,QVXUHG slow way crests if at all possible. You’ll everything including cutting d o w n a s undoubtedly be a bit sweaty your block of cheese. well. You from the climb and you can chill – Homemade pole splint: All can only go off really fast on a breezy ridge. you need is an old ski pole, hose By Scott Johnston



Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

clamps, hacksaw and some sand paper. Cut out a five- to six-inch section of the pole. Cut that section in half lengthwise. Round the sharp corners and you are ready to go. – Duct tape: Self-explanatory. – Small headlamp: Days are short and it’s hard to turn around early when the skiing is good. – Rubberized ski strap: Similar to duct tape in its ability to fix a wide range of problems. – Extra batteries: For your headlamp and beacon (make sure both items use the same batteries). – Knotted accessory cord: Three to four millimeters wide, seven to eight meters long.

Page 25

Used for cutting cornices and Rutsch blocks. • Save the Gore-Tex for the chairlift. Touring uphill generates a lot of heat and you’ll create your own private sauna on the uphills. There isn’t a laminated H2O-proof fabric made that breathes well enough for uphill touring. Besides, these garments are usually much bulkier and heavier than their soft shell counterparts, and take a lot of room in what ideally should be as small a pack as possible. Studies have shown hard shell jackets breathe best when they are in your pack! With the water repellency of modern soft shells, these are the ideal winter ski touring jackets and pants.

Photo by Paul Butler

Touring efficiently means saving your energy for the good stuff – coming down. Here, a powderhog works it near Harts Pass.

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Paul Butler

giving this year, but the temperature needs to be consistently cold ho would have guessed enough. He said they need a week that in just two years the or so of days in the 15- to upperWinthrop Ice and Sports 20-degree temperature range, Rink would have become such nothing over 30 degrees, in order a big hit? Build it and they will to lay down the ice. come, right? New this year at the WISR will Well, maybe it isn’t that surbe the absence of cross country prising, given what an excellent ski equipment. Taking its place facility and thriving epicenter of will be a larger and more varied activity has been constructed at line-up of rental skates. (Rental the Winthrop Town Trailhead. ski gear in Winthrop can be found Ice skating and hockey have at either Winthrop Mountain come a long way in the Methow Sports or the Methow Cycle and from the mini-boards and someSport building). The number of times-marginal ice conditions rental skates will be doubled, said experienced at the previous WinColvin, plus a new line of figure throp Park location. Though that skates as well as speed skates will venue served its purpose for many Photo by Paul Butler be available. years, the new rink facility was an The Methow Youth Hockey program helps youngsters develop Yes – speed skates. While folks enormous leap in quality. may be used to seeing figure skattheir skating skills while they learn the game of hockey. Last winter, conditions were ers twirling across the ice under nearly ideal for the rink. The weather was from Dec. 18 to the last week of February. a winter-blue sky or hockey enthusiasts always cold enough to support good ice and The rink has become an indicator of the – young and old – chasing down a puck legendary valley mid-winter thaws were, current winter weather: If the ice is open or the classic scene with skaters circling by and large, avoided. According to rink and the skating good, surely it has been about to some rock and roll in the crisp manager Tim Colvin, the rink was only nice and cold. air, short-track speed skating (think Apollo Colvin hopes to open the ice by Thanks- Ohno) could be the new craze in town. Colvin closed a few days last season, which went


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Photo by Patrick Hannigan

The Seattle Admirals will be coming to the Winthrop rink again this year for clinics and games.

Winthrop, Wa.

said a short track speed skating program for youths and adults is in the works, perhaps a club, and he hopes to see support for the new sport. And don’t forget about the possibilities of broomball either. The already much-enjoyed sport of hockey will continue to see plenty of ice time at the rink and will be highlighted w ith some notable events. Methow youth hockey is growPhoto by Joyce Campbell ing and expanding this year There is plenty of time for family skating at the Winto allow boys and girls of all throp rink. abilities up to the age of 15. There is an effort to schedule some be available. Skating under the open sky on games with other youth teams in conditioned ice is a rarity in the Northwest, the region. Adults who want to and Winthrop just might have statewide partake of some full-gear action exclusivity in this department. will have a few time slots through Other plans in the works at the rink, the week, and the sport’s bare- according to Colvin, are a web cam, food knuckled roots are well represented and concessions, and a large television in the rink’s always-fun Sticks & screen, possibly an outside setup that would Pucks sessions. broadcast notable Olympic Winter Games As part of the Methow Olympic events like the opening ceremony on Feb. Festival, the North American Hockey 12 and the U.S. hockey team versus the League’s Wenatchee Wild team is host country on Feb. 21. scheduled to scrimmage at the rink on Feb. 13 and mingle with fans afIt’s all part of the excitement that will terward. Also, the Seattle Admirals be buzzing away at the town trailhead. will be repeating their lively and Although there will always be opportunities entertaining visit of skills clinics to catch a slow moment at the rink, and and scrimmaging that they made have the ice to yourself and a few fellow last year. skaters, the place promises to continue To balance things out on the to grow as an epicenter for activity – 12 blades, figure skating lessons, as months a year at that. well as the Learn to Skate program And the chance to skate outside, the for beginners and intermediates sky as your roof, well, that is something with instructor Ann Sprague, will always special.

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Photo by Patrick Hannigan

Intimidated by the fast pace and full contact of full-gear adult hockey? The userfriendly Sticks & Pucks sessions make the game accessible to mere mortals.

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Patrick Hannigan


hen most of us think of fishing, chances are we imagine lazy summer days spent on the lake or river. But for many fishheads in the Methow, piscatorial pursuits don’t end when the snow falls and the lakes freeze over. Winter offers anglers a variety of opportunities in the Methow. From ice fishing for trout or perch to chasing steelhead or whitefish in the river, there’s something fishy out there for everyone. Or at least everyone who doesn’t mind numb feet, frozen fingers and snotsicles in their beards. Ice fishing is usually a social occasion. Many folks will bring whole sleds of food, drink, blankets and toys out onto the lake. Patterson Lake is perhaps the most popular ice fishing venue in the valley, although some folks also fish Davis Lake. Patterson is busy because besides

Photo by Patrick Hannigan

From the river to your freezer: Methow steelhead.

the occasional trout, anglers are allowed to keep as many yellow perch as they can catch. Yellow perch are valued in particular for their tender, flaky white meat. Following an afternoon of perch catching, anglers often have enough perch to feed a party. Fish tacos, casseroles and fried perch are just a few of the many culinary options

for turning a mess of fish into a mass of dinner. Last year conditions were such that a smooth coating of ice at least 18 inches thick formed on Patterson Lake. During the sunny days of January, ice skaters often outnumbered ice fishermen and a few dual-sport athletes came prepared with gear for both sports.

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The nice thing about ice fishing for Patterson perch is that it doesn’t take a great deal of skill. Just drop some bait down near the bottom and wait a bit for a bite. Since perch often move in schools, one on the hook means others often follow in rapid succession. Whitefish fishing is a bit of a niche sport. Whitefish are a native bottom feeding fish that inhabit the Methow River and can grow to 18 or 20 inches. And while not known as a particularly sexy sportfish, the anglers that do target whitefish are generally interested in smoking the soft-fleshed, oily meat. Whitefish have small mouths and generally hang out on the bottom of the river waiting for food to float by, so local anglers target them by drifting small nymph-like flies along under an indicator. While some whitefish will hang out in deep, slow pools, often anglers have the best luck in relatively shallow (two to three

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Page 29

than 25,000 steelhead had As of the beginning of November, anglers topped Wells Dam, just below were required to keep the first four hatchery the confluence of the Methow fish over 20 inches they caught and then and Columbia rivers. According stop fishing for the day. While last year the to fish biologists, the majority of season for fishing for hatchery steelhead those fish will eventually make went into March, there is no guarantee how their way up the Methow. long this season will last. If the October steelhead fishBut one thing is for certain: if you’ve ing in the Methow is any indica- been fortunate to catch a steelhead or two tion, anglers may have a long in the Methow, it lasted long enough. winter of good steelhead fishing ahead. Still, as temperature in To stay on top of the rules and seasons the valley fall far below freez- for steelhead and other winter game fish ing, there are fewer anglers and in the Methow, visit as water temps drop, the fish fishing/regs_seasons.html or call one of themselves are not as active. But our local fishing guides. those with warm waders and patience can still hook up with one of the hardest-fighting fish around. Most steelhead in the Methow are not huge, with the majority running somewhere between 24 and 28 inches. Anglers use a variety of techniques to catch them: some fly fish and swing wet flies or drifty nymphs Photo by Joyce Campbell patterns, some use Throughout the winter, the Methow delivers steelhead spinning gear to toss and whitefish. bobbers and jigs or feet) runs of water moving about as fast as pull spinners. What a person can walk. matters most when the water is Warning: Although whitefish season cold is finding the fish and then on the Methow River usually opens Dec. 1, putting something right in front bait is usually not allowed during whitefish of them. season and all anglers must use selective The rules regarding steelhead gear rules to catch whitefish, which means fishing in the Methow are many only artificial lures with a single barbless and enforcement is strict, so once hook are allowed. As with any fishing, it is again it is up to you to know them. your responsibility to know the rules. In general, all anglers must use This year, a record run of steelhead in artificial lures with single barbless the upper Columbia has winter fisherman hooks and release all wild steelsalivating at the possibility of landing one head (fish with an intact adipose Photo by Patrick Hannigan of the most sought-after game fish of all. fin) they catch without removing Patterson Lake offers up trout and perch all winter. As of the beginning of November, more them from the water.

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Ashley Lodato for information about rink hours, pick-up hockey and ice skating lessons. 2) Story hour: Young children love the interactive story hours at the Winthrop and Twisp libraries. With weekly themes, art projects, and songs or finger plays, the volunteer hosts keep even the squir miest youngsters engaged. Call the libraries (Winthrop 996-2685, Twisp 997-4681) for winter schedules.


t’s cold outside and you are not falling for the old “you’ll get warm while you’re skiing” ploy. Let’s face it – you’re looking for indoor entertainment and your only question now is “where can I go?” Although the Methow Valley is indisputably an outdoor recreation mecca, it’s also filled with inviting ways to stay warm and cozy inside. Stave off cabin fever with some of these local winter escapes. Fuel your metabolic engine (aka “eat for heat”): Take a book or Winter in the Methow offers opportunities for community dancing. meet a friend at one of the bakeries scattered along the valley: sweet and savory treats while sipping a the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery in Twisp, the java or a chai. Rocking Horse in Winthrop, or the Mazama Store at the western end of the line. Sample Burn, baby, burn: Burning calories is the best way to stay warm. A yoga or strength class will keep you warm as well as fit. The Winthrop Barn is also open to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for any type of indoor exercise. :KHQ,W·V7LPHWR&RPH,Q  )URP7KH&ROG«25 Spectator sports: 1) Winthrop Ice Rink viewing 6WDUW<RXU'D\2II5LJKW« room: Pick up a pizza at East 20, settle yourself in to the viewing :H+DYH:KDW<RX1HHG« :H+DYH:KDW<RX1HHG« room above the rink and spend (VSUHVVR«/DWWHV«0RFKDV&RIIHH (VSUHVVR«/DWWHV«0RFKDV&RIIHH some pleasant hours playing ping-pong and watching the skat+RW&KRFRODWH &LGHU ers. Don’t be surprised if you’re )UHVK+RPHPDGH%DNHG*RRGV'DLO\ tempted to join them. Visit www.







Party/potluck: Want to go big? Rent the MazaPhoto by Sue Misao ma Community Center or the Twisp Grange for a party, potluck, or dance. Both venues are cozy and inexpensive and just the right size to comfortably host a gathering that has grown too big for your house. Book a band or bring a sound system and dance away the winter blues. Or simply host a community potluck. Music, arts and education: Cultural opportunities are a delightful excuse for staying inside and the Methow is rich in theatrical performances, concerts, galleries, educational talks and interesting guest speakers. Tour the galleries, attend events, or take music lessons. Check the weekly “What’s Happening” calendar in the Methow Valley News or at for events. When the going gets tough… the tough go shopping. It’s never too cold to spend money, and dropping a little cash for locally crafted gifts will warm the hearts of your recipients. All your holiday shopping needs can be met in the cheery atmosphere of the two Methow Valley Christmas bazaars. 1) Twisp Community Center, Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 2) Winthrop Barn, Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

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Photo by Sean Sullivan

Sometimes, you have to go inside. While things may be frigid outside, stay warm in your cozy shelter with food, games, music and company.

Heat up the huts: 1) If you can force yourself outside, onto your skis, and up into the Rendezvous, the Rendezvous hut system provides toasty places to rest and relax, or spend the night. The climb into the huts on groomed trails will warm you up, and then you can kick back in cozy and rustically luxurious comfort. ( 2) Similarly, the warming huts along the River Run trail and the one at Chickadee are very cozy and inviting. Bring a Thermos of hot drinks and a picnic lunch. Shelter from the storm: Many of the local hotels and inns have incredible slow season, off-season and weekday rates. Take shelter from the storm and treat yourself to a relaxing night in the lap of local luxury. There’s no place like home: Turn your home into a cozy mini-retreat for you and some friends using one of the following ideas to give the party some structure: • Afternoon games – Set up three or four of your favorite board and card games around the house, then invite guests to bring a potluck appetizer and spend the afternoon circulating among the games. • Arts and crafts – Everybody has projects they’re working on, so capture

all that creative energy in one place to gain inspiration and motivation. (There’s also a weekly Stitch-n-Bitch meeting on Tuesday afternoons at the Winthrop Barn; all are welcome.) • Bonfire – Heat up cocoa, spiced cider, and mulled wine, then toast sausages, tater tots, and marshmallows on sticks around the blaze. • Cooking lesson – Secure a local chef or caterer to provide a cooking lesson for you and eight or 10 guests, then eat the dinner you’ve just prepared. Invite an oenophile to provide a wine lesson and your party is complete. • Discussion group – Use the “This I Believe” series aired on NPR to stimulate conversation; wine and hors d’ oeuvres will further fuel thoughtful dialogue. • Sing-along session – Bring guitars, drums, and a copy of Rise Up Singing and spend an evening belting out old favorites. • Soup night – Organize a weekly soup dinner for three or four families, hosted on a rotating basis. • Travel slide show – A lot of people around here have had some great trips and adventures; find someone to show you their pictures from a recent trip. If none of the ideas above appeal to you, well, it must not be all that cold outside after all. Put on your skis and hit the trail!

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Amy Stork


Photo by Joyce Campbell

Once you take the time to look at animal tracks, you learn to see the story that the tracks reveal. Here, the tale of a turkey....

ow often have you encountered the print of a paw or hoof in dirt or snow and wondered “What creature passed by here? Where was it going? And why?” The Methow Valley in winter is an ideal place and season to begin learning how to answer those questions, says Gabe Spence, a tracking instructor and wildlife biologist who recently founded a tracking and wilderness skills school in Twisp. “So many things that are happening become clear to you once you start studying tracking,” he said. “When someone who knows how to track walks through a backyard, they can see where a mouse came by and ate from a birdfeeder, where the deer are bedding down, where a weasel came out to hunt the mouse. You see the story of what happened. It helps you understand what is going on in the world around you and what your place is all about.” The valley’s public lands offer endless opportunities for wildlife tracking. In winter, many animals will stay at lower elevations where the snow is not as deep, and more food is available. Spence recommends the public ski and snowshoe trail at Big Valley as a particularly fruitful place to try tracking. The trail, located between Winthrop and Mazama just off Highway 20, is free and open to snowshoers, walkers, skiers and dogs.

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

An even more convenient place to learn tracking is in your own backyard. “Right around houses is a prime area to find tracks, especially if you live down in the valley,” Spence said. “Bird feeders are likely to attract things that eat birdseed, and things that eat things that eat birdseed. Old outbuildings where rodents might hang out will bring in predators.” One of the obvious benefits of tracking in the winter is that the snow is like a blank slate for animal tracks. The ideal tracking conditions occur when there is a light layer of fresh snow on the ground or on top of a crust of old snow. Many animals will hunker down while it snows, then emerge to look for food as soon as the storm has passed. Deer tracks are ubiquitous throughout the Methow, and coyotes and cougars often

What to bring when you go out • Notebook and a pencil that can fit in your pocket or backpack • Small measuring tape or ruler • Simple field guide such as Peterson’s Field Guide to Animal Tracks • Warm clothes and boots to stay comfortable while examining tracks

Page 33

descend to lower elevations in the winter. The tracks of light-footed mice, squirrels and birds will also be easier to see on the snow. Once you start looking, you’ll quickly find the distinctive large rear and small front tracks of a snowshoe hare, or the long streak of a weasel’s belly where it dragged across the snow. Mary Kiesau, who has coordinated tracking classes for the Methow Conservancy for several years, says people really love the experience of learning more about what’s happening around them. “There is something about the fact that all these animals are here around us, and it’s sort of a secret peek into their lives,” she said. “Anyone can do it – you don’t have to be super physically fit.” Kiesau isn’t sure what classes the Conservancy will offer this winter, but recommends the “Nature of Winter” snowshoe tours sponsored by the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association as a brief introduction to tracking. Trained volunteer guides lead the tours, heading out from Sun Mountain Lodge or the Mazama Store. Sp ence’s Met how Photo by Mary Kiesau Wilderness School offers Gabe Spence looks at the details of a set of cougar a variety of seminars and tracks during a tracking workshop. longer courses for amateur to experienced trackers. learning stuff.” Even kids as young as six or seven years old can get a lot out of When heading out to look for tracks, looking for and identifying tracks, bring along a ruler or tape measure and a he says. pencil and notebook where you can make “When kids are younger it’s a quick sketch of what you see. Note the often more exciting to follow tracks length and width of the tracks, how far and try to figure it out, rather apart they are spaced, and the pattern of than getting really analytical. the trail. A field guide can be handy, but Pretending to be the animal can be Spence says taking notes and looking up a really good activity. It’s amazing the tracks when you get home will help how (kids) absorb the information you learn to remember what features to without even realizing they are look for.


Local tracking resources Methow Conservancy: occasional tracking seminars, natural history lectures and spring naturalist training


Methow Naturalist: natural history resources including a guide to local mammal tracks Methow Valley Sport Trails Association: Nature of Winter snowshoe tours Methow Wilderness School: tracking classes from beginner to advanced

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Paul Butler

Page 35

tasks, though this doesn’t mean there isn’t hardship, uring the winterfrustration and expense time in the Methow involved in that department Valley, a good deal – there usually is. But often of focus is dedicated in one there are situations where way or another to recreonly the shovel will do: digational pursuits. Much of ging out the mailbox the the content of this guide plow just took out (Bonus: covers this notable abunyou may find some old dance of energy dedicated mail from the last time this toward some snowy sport happened); shoveling the like: cross country skiing, four feet of snow that has alpine skiing, backcoununbelievably adhered to the try skiing, snowshoeing, steeply-pitched shed roof snowmobiling, sledding, that looks a bit bowed; digice skating, hockey, fishing, ging in various spots in the snowman building, snowyard where you are certain ball fights and, of course, you left something on the the many activities that ground that you now vitally involves dogs. need. And then, of course, Photo by John Hanron If you haven’t figured there are the walkways, the it out yet, dogs are quite It may not look like it, but this guy is having fun (and getting a workout). endless walkways…. popular in this area. You But, perhaps this attiare basically required to own and energy: shoveling snow. tude of shoveling as drudgery is people are willing to move large one (though you would never the wrong approach, the wrong What makes this distinctive amounts of snow around these describe your relationship with from being sporting in nature is parts is always impressive. attitude. Maybe shoveling snow your dog as one of ownership; primarily the drudgery involved. Overachievers are reputedly should be seen as yet another companion or soul mate would Yes, no one would necessarily numerous here in the Methow winter snow sport. There are be more like it). In fact, the call snow removal fun, unless and can be found in any disci- many similar aspects involved: Methow is the only place in the perhaps they are a beginner. pline. When it comes to snow exertion, endurance, fatigue, world that has dog-only groomed A h, the often- Oly mpic- removal, this mainly involves mental challenges…. trails. That’s right, you the hu- sized chore of shoveling snow. individuals who plan on – for Removing snow can even be man waits at the trailhead for Regardless of where you live in whatever reason, usually to competitive. It is you against your dog to romp down the trail, the valley, at some point, you’re save money – to shovel out sig- the clock (“I’m going to do the pee and poop all over the place going to be moving snow from nificantly large areas around walkway in under 30 minutes and then come back once they one spot to another. It doesn’t their home, say, their entire this time.”) or going up against got their workout in. matter if you have a plow or driveway or an absurdly long your neighbor (“Done before the But I digress. This article blower – that equipment can walkway. Ironically, the savings lout is even out of his bed.”). isn’t about dogs – I’m sure there make a huge difference – but made by just going at it with a That’s it – it’s all in one’s is a dog story in this guide unless you pay someone to do shovel, are often negated at the head. Shoveling snow isn’t much somewhere, or at least a photo it or force your kids to, at some chiropractor’s office or visits to different than hitting the Nordic of one – but about that other point you will be scooping the the massage therapist. trail for a hearty ski. outdoor activity that is far less white, fluffy stuff that often isn’t Then again, it may be easier For many of us mortals recreational in pursuit, but cer- white or fluffy at all. to convince yourself you can around here, we let machines do tainly requires plenty of effort teach your dog to shovel. The degree to which some the majority of the snow-removal


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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

By Amy Stork


K, you’re getting this local eating thing down. You gloried in the weird shapes of heirloom tomatoes. You became an expert on the many varieties of stone fruit available in our pretty little corner of the world. You even got your kids to eat eggplant. And then, the darkness set in. But wait: You don’t have to go back to eating produce from California just because summer’s over. Methow Valley stores and farmers are doing their best to get you locally grown food all year long. Add to your neighbors’ coffers and balance your own carbon budget by buying and preparing delicious Methow Valley vittles year-round. Grow salad in your own kitchen Break out the Grateful Dead tapes and put on your favorite loose cotton top. It’s time to grow sprouts! Perennial winter gardener Dana Visalli (whose website includes many tips for growing food yearround) recommends this method: “The sunflower seed sold as bird seed can be easily sprouted in a tray of potting

Photo by Joyce Campbell

Stocking up for winter often means planning ahead and buying winter veggies during the October farmers markets.

soil and grown to about four inches tall, then snipped off with scissors. The resulting large sprouts are nutritious and a great addition to salads.” Then again, you don’t even need the dirt. Start with seeds – anything from alfalfa or clover to beans, nuts, grains or peas. Rinse the seeds, then soak them in water. (Different seeds require different soak times. As usual, the Internet is your best source for specifics, with hundreds of sites dedicated to sprouting and its derivatives.) Then rinse the soaked seed and place it in a jar or other screened container, tilted at an angle to drain. There are lots of specialized

sprouting containers available online, or you can use a Mason jar with cheesecloth or plastic screen stretched across the top. Re-rinse the seed two or three times a day until the sprouts are big enough to eat. If you keep them in the fridge, rinse them every day to keep bacteria from developing. Cold weather veggies The instinct to eat lots of sugars and fats in the winter harks back to a time when our bodies had to work harder to stay warm. Before the age of cheap fuel, northern peoples around the world made it through winter on stored crops like beets, carrots, squash and potatoes along with dried or cured meats. Cloudbird Bonin, a nutritional therapy practitioner who teaches and consults here

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

in the Methow Valley, says our region is still a good place to find local foods that sustain optimal health. “There are about 15 different veggies you can store in a root cellar or cold basement throughout the winter. You can get all the nutrients you require from those as long as you are eating at least part of that raw,” she advises. “In a cold northern climate, raw foods provide a lot of enzymes and nutrients we need for daily functioning, while cooked foods are more nourishing.” Twisp farmer Lexi Koch, who grows medicinal herbs and root crops with her husband, Chris Doree, at Ancestree Herbals, enhances her sprouts with grated raw beets and carrots from the root cellar for an all-local raw winter salad. Susie Kowalczyk, co-owner of Glover Street Market in Twisp, expects the store will have locally grown potatoes, garlic and shallots throughout the winter, and squash, carrots and onions “until they’re gone” – usually through January or so. Local farmers may also have storage vegetables to sell throughout the winter, so check the electronic bulletin board at for up-to-date offers. The beef? It’s right here “One of the misconceptions is that a northern diet needs to be heavy protein,” Cloudbird says. “We need moderate protein, but really healthy fats.” She recommends pasture-raised meats and cold water fishes, rich in omega-3 acids. Local meat is available year-round in the valley. Look for pasture-finished organic meats from Crown S Ranch in grocery store freezers in Twisp and Winthrop. In Twisp, Thomson’s Custom Meats’ retail store sells regionally and locally-raised pork, lamb, chicken, cured and smoked meats and seafood. Odds & ends To round out your local winter fare, check out Bluebird Grain Farms’ whole grains and flours, as well as goat’s-milk cheese and yogurt from Sunny Pine Farm. Both farms sell their products at most local stores. Happy eating!

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Chuck Roast in Red Wine Sauce Courtesy of Crown S Ranch This recipe produces a tender, moist, and flavorful pot roast from the least expensive cut of beef. Feel free to substitute a rump roast or round roast. 1 chuck roast, about 3 lbs. 1 bottle of red wine 4 oz. thick-cut bacon ends 2 chopped onions 2 chopped celery ribs 2 chopped carrots 1 Tbsp. tomato paste 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1 15-oz. can of tomatoes 1 small bunch of parsley 1 sprig of thyme 1 sprig of rosemary Heat oven to 300F. Dry the roast and season it with salt and pepper. Cook bacon to a brown crisp on stovetop in Dutch oven large enough to accommodate the roast. Remove and reserve the bacon. Brown the roast on all sides in the Dutch oven. Remove and reserve the roast. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft and beginning to brown. Add the wine, tomatoes, and reserved bacon, stirring to loosen any brown bits on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Now add the herbs and finally the roast. Bring back to a boil. Cover the Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven. The roast is done when a fork easily slips into the meat, about three hours. When done, remove the roast and let it rest while you finish the sauce. Skim any excess fat in the pot and remove the woody herb stems. Strain the juices and vegetables through a strainer, or puree with an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice the roast and serve it with the sauce.

Baked Winter Squash with Corn & Onion Courtesy of Cloudbird 1 large winter squash 1 onion, diced 2-4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil frozen corn thyme salt and pepper 1/4 to 1/2 cup water 1-1½ cups Sunny Pine Farms goat yogurt or other yogurt 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or hazelnuts Preheat oven to 350F. Peel and cube squash: approximately 4 cups. Lightly sauté onion and garlic in butter or coconut oil. Add a bag of frozen corn kernels to onion mixture and season to taste with salt, pepper and thyme. Mix squash and onion/corn mixture together in a baking dish, add water, cover and bake until squash is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in yogurt, and sprinkle the nuts on top. Bake another 10-15 minutes and serve.

Snowtime S Removal R formerly Snowtime Services

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Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Photo by Paul Butler

Photo by Scott Wicklund




Photo by Sue Misao

Own the meadow...

Photo by Paul Butler

Photo by Larry Goldie

Go up...

Photo by Paul Butler

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Sell it...

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Photo by Ashley Lodato



Leave tracks...

Photo by Larry Goldie

Photo by Scott Wicklund

Photo by Mary Kiesau


Find grace...

Photo by Joyce Campbell

Photo by Patrick Hannigan

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14: CHILDREN’S ART CLASS: Create jewelry for holiday gifts at Confluence Gallery, Twisp. $40. 997-2787. 1-3:30pm 14: BELLY DANCE GRAND OPENING: New dance studio opens with artists’ reception at The Studio, 102 N. Glover, Twisp. 9970211. 1-5pm 14: HOLIDAY GIFT SHOW: Opening day of “Our Winter World” at Confluence Gallery, Twisp. Runs through Jan. 2. 997-2787. 14: SKI BALL: MV Nordic Team fundraiser at the Winthrop Barn with live music, dancing and dinner. $35. 996-9874. 5:30pm 14: HARVEST DINNER: Potluck and live music at Twisp Valley Grange. 997-0775. 5:30pm 14: REGGAE: The Higher Vibes perform at Twisp River Pub. $5. 997-6822. 9pm

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

21: ROCK & SOUL: Luc & The Lovingtons perform at Twisp River Pub. $5. 997-6822. 9pm 27: DANCE MUSIC: Vicci Martinez perfroms at Twisp River Pub. $7. 997-6822. 9:30pm 27-DEC. 6: CHRISTMAS AT THE END OF THE ROAD: Stories, balloon glow, Santa Claus, tree decorating, caroling, town lighting, hay rides, chili feed, fireworks and more in Winthrop. 28: ACOUSTIC MUSIC: Jake Shaw and Lydia Ramsey perform piano, guitar and mandolin at Twisp River Pub. Free. 9976822. 7:30pm


17: CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Special performance of Cascadia’s annual holiday concert for families and children in the MV Community Center gym. Free. 997-4601. 5pm

17-20: X-COUNTRY SKI CAMP: For ages 16 and up at Sun Mountain Lodge. $360. 4-20: THEATER: Frank Capra’s It’s a Won996-3287. derful Life performed at the Merc Playhouse, Twisp. $5-$15. 997-PLAY. Sundays 2pm; 18: JAZZ: Harmony Junction performs at Twisp River Pub. Free. 997-6822. Fridays, Saturdays 7pm 5: CHRISTMAS BAZAAR: Local vendors and 6:30pm crafters sell holiday gifts in the MV Commu- 19: COFFEE CUPPING: Taste and compare coffees at Blue Star Roasting, Twisp. Free. nity Center, Twisp. 997-2926. 9am-3pm 5: PRINT ARTS: One-year anniversary cake 997-2583. 11am party for Door No. 3 Print & Book Arts Studio, 19: ORCHESTRA/CHORUS: Okanogan ValMV Community Center, Twisp. 997-2044. ley Orchestra and Chorus perform at Omak PAC. (509) 322-5854. 7pm Noon-3pm 5: DINNER: “Warm Winter Nights” holiday 19: REGGAE: Yogoman Burning Band benefit dinner for Confluence Gallery at performs at Twisp River Pub. $5. 997the Winthrop Barn. $55. Reservations 997- 6822. 9pm 2787. 5-9pm 26&27: BIATHLON SAFETY CLINICS: For 5: FUNK: Five Alarm Funk performs at Twisp ages 9 and older at Mazama Ranch House chicken coop. 996-3287. River Pub. $10. 997-6822. 9pm 15: COOKING: “Cooking with Local Foods – Side Dishes for the Thanksgiving Table” 8: SKI MOVIE: Loup Loup Ski Movie and 27: SKI RODEO: 1k, 2.5k, 5k, 10k races at Local 98856, Twisp. $15. Reservations Pasta Feed at Twisp River Pub. $20. 9976822. 6pm 997-0978. 3-4:30pm 20: JAZZ: Harmony Junction performs at 8: NATURE WRITER: Desserts, beverages and conversation with nature writer Rick Twisp River Pub. Free. 6:30pm Bass at the Winthrop Barn. 997-2870. 20: OPEN MIC: Perform at the Old School7pm house Brewery, Winthrop. Free. 996-3183. 11: DRAGAPELLA: The Kinsey Sicks, a 7pm beautyshop dragapella quartet from San 21: CHRISTMAS BAZAAR: Local vendors Francisco, performs at the Winthrop Barn. and crafters sell holiday gifts in the MV $25-$30. 997-4004. 7:30pm Community Center, Twisp. 997-2926. 9am15&16: CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Cascadia’s 3pm annual holiday concert in the MV Community 21: COFFEE CUPPING: Taste and compare Center gym. Free. 997-4601. 7pm coffees at Blue Star Roasting, Twisp. Free. 17: MUSICAL/OPERA: Theseus and the on Mazama ski trails. 996-3287. 997-2583. 11am Minotaur performed by Community School 28: WINTER BIATHLON: Skiing and rifle 21: THEATER: Missoula Children’s Theater students at the Winthrop Barn. Doors open marksmanship at Mazama Biathlon Range. performs Pinocchio at MV Elementary at 4:30pm for a pre-show reception and des- 996-3287. School. $5-$7. 997-4004. 3pm & 7pm sert auction. Free. 996-4447. 5:30pm

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Studio, Winthrop. $100. 997-2787. 1: METHOW CONSERVATION COURSE: Course begins at Twisp River Pub. 9965: WILDLIFE TRACKING: The Art of Wildlife 2870. 6pm Tracking with Gabe Spence at Twisp River 6: ART CLASS: Fearless Painting with Kathy Pub. 997-2870. 7pm Meyers begins at Confluence Gallery, 9: ART CLASS: Winter Landscapes with Twisp. $100. 997-2787. 11am-1:30pm Kathy Meyers at the Methow River. 9976: ORCHESTRA/CHORUS: Okanogan Valley 2787. $75. 11am-2pm Orchestra and Chorus perform at Omak 9: ART CLASS: Painting the Expressive Sky PAC. (509) 322-5854. 7pm with Kathy Meyers begins at Confluence Gallery, Twisp. 997-2787. $100. 11am- 8: ART CLASS: Stained Glass Patchwork Hearts with Laura Ruud begins at Stained 1:30pm Glass Dreams Studio, Winthrop. $100. 997-2787. 11am-1:30pm 10: VALENTINES: Round 2 of Secret Valentine Making with Laura Gunnip at Door No. 3 Print & Book Arts Studio, MV Community Center, Twisp. 997-2044. Noon-4pm 11: ART CLASS: Glassblowing with Garth Mudge at Glassworks, Winthrop. $120. 997-2787. 10am-4pm 12: METHOW OLYMPIC FESTIVAL: Torchlight parade around Winthrop Trailhead opens Methow Olympic Festival. 9963287. 9: ARTISTS’ RECEPTION: Opening night of 13: TOUR OF THE METHOW: Non-com“Elements” with Dennis Kirkland and Trish petitive 20-80k ski and snowshoe softball Harding at Confluence Gallery, Twisp. 997- in Winthrop. 996-3287. 2787. 4-8pm 13-19: METHOW OLYMPIC FESTIVAL: 9: PERFORMANCE: Miss Rose and the Hockey, skiing, ice skating, biathlon and Rhythm Percolators at the Winthrop Barn. snowshoe hikes. 996-3287. 997-4004. 14: DOGGIE DASH: Ski race for dogs and 15: MUSICIANS OF THE METHOW: Local humans at Winthrop trailhead. 996-3287. composers, singers and instrumentalists perform at the Merc Playhouse, Twisp. $15. 997-4601. 7pm 16: COFFEE CUPPING: Taste and compare coffees at Blue Star Roasting, Twisp. Free. 997-2583. 11am 16&17: SKI RACE: MV SuperTour & Junior Qualifier at LBHS ski trails. 996-3287. 23: SCREEN PRINTING: Workshop with Laura Gunnip at Door No. 3 Print & Book Arts Studio, MV Community Center, Twisp. $50. 997-2044. Noon-4pm 30: ART CLASS: Stone and Silver WireWrapped Earrings with Jennifer Tissell at Confluence Gallery, Twisp. 997-2787. 14: ART CLASS: The ABCs of Painting with $65. 1-3pm Trish Harding begins at Confluence Gallery, Twisp. $150. 997-2787. 17: VIDEO: Taped rebroadcast of Nordic 1: ART CLASS: Valentine Mosaics with Laura Individual Sprint Classic at Twisp River Ruud begins at Stained Glass Dreams Pub. 996-3287.



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19: VIDEO: Taped rebroadcast of Alpine Super-G at Twisp River Pub. 996-3287. 20: COWBOY RACES: Rope cattle on skis and three-legged races. 996-3287. 20: PERFORMANCE: Wanderlust Circus at the Winthrop Barn. 997-4004.

26-28: WOMEN’S SKI & YOGA: Recreation and relaxation at Sun Mountain Lodge. $350. 996-8234. 27: SKATE SKI: 30k timed skate ski from Mazama to Winthrop. 996-3287. 27: ART CLASS: Fabulous Felt with River Jones at Confluence Gallery, Twisp. $100. 997-2787. 10am-3pm 27: ART CLASS: Scarf Weaving for Young People with Cathie Lewis begins at MV Spinners and Weavers, 137 Old Twisp Highway, Twisp. $75. 997-2787. 1-2:30pm 27: ARTISTS’ RECEPTION: “Fragments of Color” opens at Confluence Gallery, Twisp. 997-2787. 4-8pm 27: BENEFIT DINNER: Sean McCabe benefit dinner at the Winthrop Barn. 9963287. 6pm


5-21: THEATER: Ernest Thompson’s On Golden Pond performed at the Merc Playhouse, Twisp. $5-$15. 997-PLAY. Sundays 2pm; Fridays, Saturdays 7pm 6: WINTER TRIATHLON: Skiing, running and biking starts at Winthrop Trailhead. 996-3287. 13: ORCHESTRA/CHORUS: Okanogan Valley Orchestra and Chorus perform at Omak PAC. (509) 322-5854. 7pm 20: ART CLASS: How to Draw Horses with Kathy Meyers begins at Confluence Gallery, Twisp. $45. 997-2787. 10-11:30am

Page 42

Methow Valley Winter 2009/10

Photo by Marcy Stamper

Architects Johnston Architects ...................... 5 Artists Paula Christen Watercolors ........... 7 Peligro .......................................... 5 Automotive/Gasoline King’s Car Wash ......................... 23 Pardner’s Mini-Market ................ 33 Bakeries Cinnamon Twisp Bakery ............. 26 Sweet River Bakery ..................... 31 Builders & Contractors Common Sense Custom Homes ..... 6 Doug Haase Excavating .............. 29 Hall Construction ....................... 30 Palm Construction ........................ 7 WSA Construction ...................... 26 Building Supply All Valley Insulation .................... 32 Bear Creek Lumber..................... 44 Cafes/Dining/Espresso/Spirits Blue Star Coffee Roasters ............. 3 Boulder Creek Deli ....................... 6 Branding Iron Cafe & Saloon ....... 16 Breadline Café ............................ 37 Cinnamon Twisp Bakery ............. 26 East 20 Pizza. ............................... 4 Freestone Inn ............................. 36 Hank’s Harvest Foods ................. 20 Hometown Pizza ......................... 15 Mazama Country Inn .................. 28 Mazama Store ............................. 19 Old Schoolhouse Brewery ........... 10

Cafes/Dining/Espresso/Spirits, Cont. Sun Mountain Lodge................... 18 Sweet River Bakery ..................... 31 The Valley Hub ........................... 30 Twisp River Pub ............................ 2 Winthrop Red Apple .................... 28 Car Washes King’s Car Wash ......................... 23 Concrete Services Cascade Concrete ....................... 23 Dog Boarding Rover’s Ranch ............................. 32 Entertainment Branding Iron Cafe & Saloon ....... 16 Breadline Cafe ............................ 37 Old Schoolhouse Brewery ........... 10 The Merc Playhouse Theater ....... 11 Twisp River Pub ............................ 2 Excavators Doug Hasse Excavating............... 29 Furniture Webster Furniture ...................... 27 Galleries/Arts Events Confluence Gallery & Art Center ... 17 Peligro .......................................... 5 The Merc Playhouse Theater ....... 11 Health/Medical Facilities The Country Clinic...................... 16 MV Family Practice ..................... 31

Lodging Blue Spruce Motel ..................... 32 Central Reservations ................... 11 Cottonwood Cottage .................... 15 Freestone Inn ............................. 36 Mazama Country Inn .................. 28 Methow River Cabins .................. 27 River Run Inn ............................. 17 Sportsman Motel ....................... 16 Sun Mountain Lodge................... 18 Timberline Meadows ................... 26 Winthrop Mountain View Chalets ... 6 Wolf Ridge Resort ........................ 34

Recreation Loup Loup Ski Bowl ...................... 3 Methow Valley Ski School ........... 29 Methow Valley Snowmobile Assoc ................... 7 Methow Valley Sport Trails Assoc. .................. 2 Methow Wilderness School............ 7 Mission Ridge ............................... 4 Morning Glory Balloon Tours ...... 12 North Cascade Heli ..................... 25 North Cascades Mountain Guides ................... 35

Massage Practitioners Green Lotus Massage .................. 36

Rental Equipment & Sales Northwest Snowplow................... 20

Organizations Aero Methow Rescue Service ....... 26 Confluence Gallery & Art Center ... 17 Loup Loup Ski Education Foundation ............ 3 Merc Playhouse Theater .............. 11 Methow Conservancy .................. 25 Methow Valley Snowmobile Assoc. ... 7 Methow Valley Sport Trails Assoc. ... 2 Omak Chamber .......................... 22 Pateros Chamber ........................ 43 Twisp Chamber........................... 43 Winthrop Barn.............................. 6 Winthrop Chamber ....................... 2

Retail Hank’s Harvest Foods ................. 20 Mazama Store ............................. 19 Methow Cycle and Sport ............. 10 Pardners Mini Market ................. 33 The Red Hen ............................... 12 Rawson’s .................................... 13 Winthrop Ace Hardware .............. 28 Winthrop Mountain Sports ......... 34 Winthrop Red Apple .................... 28 Xtreme Power Sports .................. 19

Real Estate Adventureland ............................ 11 Blue Sky Real Estate................... 14 Coldwell Banker, Methow Valley........................ 20 Windermere, Methow Valley .......... 5 Windermere, Sequim .................. 15

Snow Removal Cascade Concrete ....................... 23 Northwest Snowplow................... 20 Snowtime Removal...................... 37 Snowmobile Repair/Rental/Sales Highmark Repair ........................ 24 Omak Marine .............................. 33 Xtreme Power Sports .................. 19

BEAR CREEK LUMBER B e a r C r e e k L u m b e r. c o m

(800) 597-7191

(509) 997-3110

Featured Project: This unique custom waterfront home was built, by WSA Construction (2006), exclusively with Bear Creek Lumber products. Shown above are; Western Red Cedar Siding, Ipe decking and Pickets, Hemlock Boards and Beams, Alaskan Yellow Cedar Rail Caps, Sapele, Douglas Fir Timbers and Beams, Spruce Car Decking, Western Red Cedar Timbers and Trim, and Port Orford Cedar Paneling. This home is currently For Sale in the Methow Valley. Contact Kristin @ or (509) 996-4400

Methow Valley Winter Guide 2009-10  

Methow Valley News Winter Guide special section

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