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Dirtbag diaries ARTIFACTS:




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Days A W ee



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Great Outdoors & Bike Expo

Exploring the Outdoors Indoors‌

Spokane Convention Center

Discount Tickets

February 18-19, 2017

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Outdoor gear giveaways

AS MUCH OUTDOOR FUN AS YOU CAN HAVE INSIDE Don’t let the indoor setting fool you. Discover fun, entertaining and engaging activities throughout the show. A bike demo area; product samples and interactive displays; contests and giveaways; and free clinics, demonstrations, and speakers all weekend long! A two-day celebration of all the awesome outdoor recreation and travel opportunities and the amazing lifestyle we enjoy here in the Inland Pacific Northwest. In partnership with the Spokane Golf Show, the two shows will be connected, allowing ticket holders to freely move through both shows.

every hour! Great deals on outdoor gear! Beer garden! Bike demos!

Mountain Bikes // Hiking Gear // Paddleboards // Road Bikes // Kayaks // Canoes // Fat Bikes// Travel Destinations // Ski & Snowboard Gear // Health & Fitness Products // Outfitters & Guides // Outdoor Experiences // Family Bikes // Camping Gear // Rock Climbing // Outdoor Clubs // Slacklining // and more

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22 | Local Holiday Gift Guide

22 Special Sections 26 | On the Mountain

departments 15 | Health & Fitness 16 | Food & Fuel 19 | Out There Spotlight

224 S Howard St. - Spokane 509-838-8580

20 | Outdoor Living 21 | Biking

columns 13 | Everyday Cyclist

11 in every issue 7

| From the Editor


| Out There News & Events

10 | Hike of the Month 14 | Out There Kids 17 | Urban Outdoors 18 | Gear Room

10 13

36 | Outdoor Calendar 38 | Last Page We’ve been operating Coffee Roboto for a couple of years. We’re a mobile coffee company, so we started with pop-ups in cafes when they’re closed. A few times a month, we would pop up and serve coffee from their equipment.

Christmas Clearance Sale Friday-Saturday December 2-3

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Spokane’s full-service non-profit bicycle shop

refurbishing used bicycles and offering hope to youth who are homeless december 2016 /


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December 2016 Publishers

Shallan & Derrick Knowles Editor-in-chief

Derrick Knowles Managing Editor

$15 (Canadian) off a one-day adult lift ticket at RED Mountain Resort all season (rate based on exchange rate on day of purchase)

Ski & stay at Whitefish Mountain Resort for $90 (per person, per night based on double occupancy and a 2 night stay–excluding holidays)

2 for 1 lift tickets at Brundage Mountain NOW CARYING Sundays-Fridays all season (excluding holidays)

and $20 off on Saturdays

Janelle McCabe Associate editor

Elena Gardner Kids/family section editor

Amy Silbernagel McCaffree Copy Editor

Andrew Butler Contributing Writers:

Crystal Atamian Elena Gardner Hank Greer Summer Hess Jon Jonckers Derrick Knowles Amy Silbernagel McCaffree Ammi Midstokke Brad Northrup Skye Schillhammer Erika Prins Simonds Aaron Theisen Holly Weiler Contributing photographers:

(starting March 5)

Shallan Knowles Aaron Theisen

2 for 1 lift tickets at Lookout Pass all season

Art Director - Shallan Knowles Design Intern - Olivia Vaclavek

Art + Production

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Intern/Online contributor

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2 for 1 night skiing at Mt. Spokane (Wednesday-Friday)

$10 off lift tickets on Mondays & Tuesdays at 49 Degrees North (excluding holidays)



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50% off on ski/board tunes or hot wax at Mountain Gear

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Derrick Knowles: 509 / 822 / 0123 Out There Monthly

Mailing Address: PO Box #5 Spokane, WA 99210, 509 / 822 / 0123 FIND US ON FACEBOOK Out There Monthly is published once a month by Out There Monthly, LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. ©Copyright 2016 Out There Monthly, LLC. The views expressed in this magazine reflect those of the writers and advertisers and not necessarily Out There Monthly, LLC. Disclaimer: Many of the activities depicted in this magazine carry a significant risk of personal injury or death. Rock climbing, river rafting, snow sports, kayaking, cycling, canoeing and backcountry activities are inherently dangerous. The owners and contributors to Out There Monthly do not recommend that anyone participate in these activities unless they are experts or seek qualified professional instruction and/or guidance, and are knowledgeable about the risks, and are personally willing to assume all responsibility associated with those risks.

Printed on 50% recycled paper with soy based inks in the Spokane Valley PROUD MEMBER Of PRINT & USE COUPONS THE SAME DAY

On The Cover: Cranbrook skier Steve Blake airs it out at Kimberley Alpine Resort in Kimberley, British Columbia. Long known as a family ski resort, Kimberley has plenty of thrills for grown ups too. Steve would know: he’s been skiing Kimberley, his local hill, since he was a child.

Photo: Aaron Theisen 6 / december 2016

FromTheEditor: Standing up for the Great Outdoors No matter who you voted for or how you view the election results, there’s no denying that the United States is more divided now than at any time in recent history. Family members and long-time friends are feuding on Facebook and politicians and pundits are attacking each other like never before. It’s enough to make just about anyone want to take a long walk in the woods. Out There Monthly is a non-partisan, small family business with writers, readers and advertisers from diverse political backgrounds, and we thoughtfully choose to respect that diversity by keeping politics out of the publication as much as possible. But when it comes to our public lands, trails, waterways, wildlife and quality of our air and water, we draw a line and stand on the side of the vast majority of Republican, Democrat and independent Americans in support of common sense protections

that take care of the natural world we all depend on. We have the power to trash the outdoors or leave it better for future generations, and it takes all of us getting involved to influence which way our future will trend. With the changing of the guard that will take place with the new president-elect come January, many hikers, bikers, skiers, boaters, anglers, hunters, bird watchers and other nature advocates and recreationists are rightfully concerned about what may happen to our natural resources under a Trump administration. It’s reasonable to give the new administration a chance to do the right thing and stand behind the majority of Americans when it comes to environmental stewardship, but the warnings from many conservation and outdoor recreation leaders about what a Trump presidency and Republicancontrolled Congress may mean to the outdoor sports

and wild places we love raises alarms: “Trump openly mocks science, believes that climate change is a hoax, and endorses policies that would devastate our environment,” reads a statement by the Natural Resource Defense Council on its website. And the more conservative-leaning conservation group Backcountry Hunters & Anglers also warns that “Some misguided members of Congress have wasted no time post-election in pushing bad public land seizure legislation. These bills are aimed at transferring ownership and selling off the lands and waters that American sportsmen and our families have been enjoying this fall.” There are many more warnings like this from all sorts of politically diverse conservation and recreation organizations. We have too much at stake to let political differences divide us from coming together to support and defend

the gifts of nature that sustain our lives and bring us such joy and fulfillment. A clean, healthy environment with thriving natural areas, intact trails, unspoiled rivers and lakes, and wild critters is an American birthright that no political candidate or party can take away from us. In the coming years, we urge all outdoor sports enthusiasts and nature lovers from across the political spectrum to step up and get more involved in making sure that no elected officials sell out our public lands, trails and natural environment. Support your favorite conservation and recreation organizations; pay attention to how politics are affecting the places and outdoor activities you care about; and get involved to make sure that the Inland Northwest is better off when we pass it on to future generations. // Derrick Knowles, Editor



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OutThereNews&Events Local Climbers Unite for Safer Climbing Spokane area climber Andrew Bower slipped

and fell from the top of Dishman on November 6, 2015 while preparing to replace rusted bolts. In the months before his death, Bower initiated a personal mission to replace the corroded anchors on many of the popular cliffs around Spokane. In honor of Bower and his anchor-updating mission, the Bower Climbing Coalition was born after several climbers at Dishman Hills started talking about the horrible condition of the bolts and climbing anchors. As background, it is important to note that the majority of the sport climbing development in our area initially happened in the mid-90s. Most of it was not bolted with stainless steel, or it’s a mix of stainless and galvanized steel, which actually causes faster corrosion. Also, young people with tight budgets did most of the bolting, and there are lots of various construction grade anchors around Spokane that do not meet modern standards. Beginning this December, the short-term goals for the Bower Climbing Coalition include replacing corroded anchors on several climbs beginning with the oldest or most suspicious anchors. Dishman Hills will be one of the first projects since the bolts are in horrible shape there. They also plan on doing a couple of crag cleanups each year on a rotating basis, most often with a barbecue afterwards. “The most important thing for me is that the Bower

Climbing Coalition becomes a force for unifying our climbing community,” says Board Chair, Scott Coldiron. “As I talked to others I found a real desire to honor Andrew’s legacy by continuing his work. I also found that many in the community thought this coalition was long overdue and wanted to be a part of it.” Andrew’s life demonstrated a genuine passion for outdoor adventure and commitment to community service. In addition to working as an Emergency Medical Technician, Andrew taught climbing classes at Wild Walls Climbing Gym and guided disadvantaged youth on hundreds of wilderness excursions for Peak 7 Adventures. The Bower Climbing Coalition testifies to his enormous outreach, and aims to honor his legacy by making Spokane climbing safer. If you want to get involved and help support the Bower Climbing Coalition’s efforts to continue to replace outdated anchors at Inland NW climbing areas and bring local climbers together to strengthen the community, the first BCC Fundraiser Party is set for Saturday, December 3 at Wild Walls from 6-10 p.m. Show up to support the cause and enjoy local microbrew pints for $5, food from Qdoba Mexican Grill, raffles, a silent auction, and climber games. Learn more about the BCC at (Jon Jonckers)

Heli Skiing Comes to the Idaho Selkirks


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Sandpoint, Idaho’s Selkirk Powder Company, which offers popular backcountry cat skiing tours near Schweitzer, recently announced that the company is expanding its operations this winter in the “rugged and untapped American Selkirk Range of Northern Idaho.” Building on the success of their highly acclaimed cat skiing operation, Selkirk Powder Company will now add heli skiing to its portfolio of guided skiing experiences. “We’re proud to take this step forward to provide a skiing experience that has been long-sought after in the Selkirks of the Idaho Panhandle,” says Ken Barrett, President and Chief Guide. Selkirk Powder Company will host skiers and riders during its inaugural heli skiing season from March 3 through the March 19, 2017, in nearly 200,000 acres of the American Selkirk Range. Each outing will be guided and the company promises that the trips will center not just on the world-class skiing but also on taking in the amazing beauty of one of the last truly wild areas in the Lower 48. “Why travel so far when

you can have it all right here in the U.S. and still be home for dinner if you want?” says Barrett. “We believe our heli skiing service will appeal to folks who want to experience awesome and exclusive skiing in a way that fits well with people’s busy schedules.” Selkirk Powder Company is a licensed Alpine Level II guide service based in Idaho, accredited with an operations permit covering nearly 200,000 acres in the American Selkirk Mountains. Selkirk Powder has been a successful ski guide service for more than a dozen years, introducing thousands of clients to backcountry cat skiing and the plentiful cold smoke the Selkirks are world-renowned for. The addition of heli-skiing that won’t entail week-long stays at lodges or long car rides is a great fit. The company bases its operations directly adjacent to Schweitzer Mountain Resort, so guests have access to all the amenities of a resort, yet are free to branch out into the wilderness with Selkirk’s guides. More info at (OTM)

Rock Lake/John Wayne Trail Story Correction In the September 2016 issue of Out There Monthly, we published an article titled “Biking the Rock Lake Loop” that described a loop bike ride in the channeled scablands south of Cheney. Unfortunately, the loop described included a section of trail that is not legally open to the public. Part of the route described in the article included a section of the John Wayne Trail along Rock Lake that is currently closed to public access without a permit from Washington State Parks; that same section of the John Wayne Trail described in the article also crosses a section of private property that cannot be crossed without permission from the land owner. We urge OTM readers who may have been contemplating exploring the area to respect private property and the legal process for accessing

the JWT, which means securing the proper permit and permission first. The Washington State Parks Department manages the John Wayne Trail and processes permits for those who are interested in accessing permitonly sections of the trail. More info regarding the permit process can be found at www.Parks.state. OTM regrets the error and encourages anyone interested in the John Wayne Trail, especially the permit-only section along Rock Lake that crosses private land and also has several safety issues, to contact Washington State Parks or visit the website of the non-profit group Friends of the John Wayne Trail at to learn more and get involved to support future improvements of this amazing trail.

New Outdoors and Bike Expo Planned for Spokane The Spokane Great Outdoors & Bike Expo,

February 18-19, 2017, which will be connected to and in partnership with the Spokane Golf Show, is a two-day celebration of all the awesome outdoor recreation and travel opportunities and the amazing lifestyle we enjoy here in the Inland Pacific Northwest. Come check out bike deals from local shops; outdoor gear; tourism destinations; kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards; outdoor retailers; national and regional outdoor gear brands; ski resorts and bike parks; outdoor recreation clubs and organizations; fly fishing outfitters; healthcare and nutrition providers; race and outdoor

event organizers and more. Don’t let the indoor setting fool you. The Spokane Great Outdoors & Bike Expo will inspire attendees to show up and stick around with fun, entertaining and engaging activities throughout the show. A bike demo area inside (and outside if weather permits) will be available; product samples and interactive displays will be on hand; and free clinics, demonstrations, speakers, and outdoor gear prize giveaways will be happening all weekend long. And, of course, attendees will also have access to the Golf Show Beer Garden. Look for more details coming soon at (OTM)

2017 Toyota Free Ski Fridays Schedule Set Every year, skiing and snowboarding Toyota

drivers are rewarded with free skiing for a day at several local and regional resorts just for showing up driving a Toyota. It doesn’t matter if you’re behind the wheel of a brand new 2017 Tacoma or a 1985 rusted out 4x4 pickup. No vouchers or passes are required. Just drive your Toyota to the mountain on the designated Toyota ski free day and collect your free lift ticket. Toyota representatives will be in the parking lot at each resort under a tent and will be handing out the free ticket to the driver of each Toyota. Showing up in someone else’s vehicle with proof that you own a Toyota

yourself doesn’t count, so plan to drive your own rig if you want the free lift ticket. Here’s the schedule for the Inland Northwest this season, and you can find more info at • • • • • • •

January 13: Brundage January 20: Bluewood January 27: Schweitzer February 3: 49 Degrees North February 10: Lookout Pass February 17: Mt. Spokane February 24: Silver Mountain

december 2016 /


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HikeOfTheMonth Liberty Lake & Split Creek Loop Plus Falls // By Holly Weiler

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Liberty Lake is a winter hiking Shangri-la. // Photo: Holly Weiler

December is a fickle month for hiking. Time it right and you may be able to soak up a little sunshine;

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other times you may just end up soaked. Some favorite local trails can start the day as a skating rink and end in a muddy mess. Required footwear runs the gamut from Gore-Tex hikers to boots to micro spikes to snowshoes. Required gear almost always includes a headlamp, as the sun drops low on the horizon long before it’s reasonable to head inside for dinner. Hiking in the Inland Northwest during the shortest days of the year isn’t easy. Despite all the potential trouble, I always find the trip is worth the effort. That’s why it’s great to have so many local trails that are close to town, where it’s possible to squeeze in a hike in the afternoon on a weekday, or devote extra time exploring on a weekend. One of these great close-in hikes can be found at Liberty Lake, where no special passes and permits are required for access, and several routes and distances are possible. The requisite winter footgear is always the most difficult decision to make. Deciding if snowshoes will be necessary requires checking weather reports and snowfall depth ahead of time. Wearing micro spikes can be a tougher call, and I find it works best if I just keep some in my pack. Conditions at the trailhead are not always the same as conditions a mile or two up trail, and spikes are light enough to warrant the effort of carrying them, even if they don’t end up being necessary. I recommend starting any trip at Liberty Lake by hiking the main trail to the Split Creek intersection, bearing left and staying on the Split Creek Trail until it rejoins the main trail. Along the way you’ll see the rusted remains of a 1930s-era car that was discovered by the volunteer crew that built the trail and chained to a tree by park employees after someone attempted to carry it out. It has been a long time since a road stretched all the way to such interesting trailside features as Moonshine Meadows, so the car should remain a permanent fixture. Rocky outcroppings along the way are sometimes encased in icicles, and the Split Creek Trail offers the best trailside views of Liberty Creek. If you’re interested in a shorter hike, create a loop out by returning on the main trail for roughly 4 miles roundtrip. Make it about a mile longer by continuing to the cedar grove. If the snow is not too deep and the trail is not too icy, the waterfall is at its best in winter when surrounded by snow and icicles, a hike of roughly 7 miles. To extend the hike the most, proceed beyond the waterfall and past Camp Hughes Cabin to return via the Edith Hansen Trail for nearly 9 miles of hiking and the best justification for a few extra pieces of fudge. Roundtrip distance: Between 4-9 miles, depending upon the route. Getting there: Take I-90 eastbound to Liberty Lake, taking exit 296. Take N. Liberty Lake Road south to Sprague, then travel east past the golf course. Sprague turns into S. Neyland Ave., then joins S. Lakeside Road. Watch for the signs for Liberty Lake Regional Park and S. Zephyr Road to the main parking lot. //

Holly Weiler is an avid trail runner, backpacker, and hiker. She is the race director for the Foothills Scenic Five fun run every June that supports a scholarship fund and community events.

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HOLIDAY GIFT SHOP LOTS OF NEW ITEMS! Hwy 3 • 7.5 miles south of St. Maries Gift Shop (208) 245 – 2440 Coffee on wheels courtesy of Coffee Roboto. // Photo: S. Michal Bennett

When Michal and Young Bennett decided to

open a mobile coffee shop in Coeur d’Alene, they searched worldwide for a rig that could haul themselves and their stuff — and transform into a storefront wherever they went. Naturally, they bought a tricycle. You can find the husband-andwife duo serving piping hot pour-over coffee from their trike weekends at Coeur d’Alene Bike Co., Vertical Earth, and the Bluebird in Coeur d’Alene. The couple uses locally roasted DOMA Coffee and makes their own syrups and sauces for flavored drinks. Those who prefer not to drink their beans can enjoy handmade soda and chai tea. (Michal, for full disclosure, is a regular contributor to this publication.) OTM: Where did the idea of a mobile coffee company originate? Young: Kind of the environment, the community, that we live in. [DOMA co-founder] Terry Patano and I started talking about different things we wanted to see in the community. One thing that we saw in other cities was more trike-oriented or bike-oriented businesses: coffee businesses or ice cream or street cleaners. What if we had a trike so that we could do pour-over at farmer’s markets? Michal: We’re also cyclists. Young: We don’t even own a car. OTM: You just recently got your trike, but Coffee Roboto has been around for a while, right? Michal: We’ve been operating Coffee Roboto for a couple of years. We’re a mobile coffee company, so we started with pop-ups in cafes when they’re closed. A few times a month, we would pop up and serve coffee from their equipment. We’ve worked with both DOMA and another company to use their spaces. We did have a truck fall into our laps a few years ago, but it didn’t pan out for us, so we went back to our tricycle. We also have great relationships with bike shops. Both Coeur d’Alene Bike Co. and Vertical Earth approached us about setting up shop and serving coffee at their shops. OTM: How did you find your perfect trike? Young: We started researching two years ago. I’m meticulous when it comes to things like this, and we spent a lot of time developing what we wanted it to be. We researched the trike scene in the U.S. as far as who was developing, who was building, and so forth. The front box trike was definitely the way we wanted to go. We settled on Haley Trikes

out of Philadelphia. They’re pretty much the same elevation in Philadelphia that we are in Spokane. They get a lot of the same weather that we do: ice, snow, rain, and slush. And this dude would post videos of how the trike would track during the winter. That spoke to us, making the whole trike thing viable. I spent three days in Philadelphia, including an eight-hour day downtown riding around on this trike, which was similar to the one that we bought.

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OTM: Do you plan to keep operating year-round, even in inclement weather? Michal: We ordered the trike in April. There were quite a few delays and we didn’t get it until the end of August, so we kind of missed our season. But we still wanted to get going, so that’s what we’re doing now. Young: In the summertime we’re hitting around 100,000 people, [which drops] to 40,000 during the winter, when everybody goes inside. So a lot of the brick-and-mortars are stuck with a building in one location. We saw that the trike afforded us the opportunity that if we were in a location that wasn’t feasible for us, then we could up and move. OTM: I don’t associate Coeur d’Alene with bikefriendly culture. Are people just [expletive]s on the street when you’re out riding your trike? Young: Yeah. Michal: Yeah, but it’s getting better. OTM: You’ve mentioned the name was inspired by the Styx song “Mr. Roboto”. What does it mean to you? Young: There are so many different companies that are just going through the motions and just doing it. But at the same time, there’s this heart beating — there’s this human beating heart — inside the robot. Michal: He’s got a quirky personality, the robot. He’s very sarcastic. He’s angsty. He doesn’t like anyone telling him what to do. But he’s very devoted. Young: It’s almost like we were on acid when we came up with it. Find more information at or // Erika Prins Simonds bicycles as her primary mode of transportation. You can find more of her writing at

berry, cherry, chocolate

// By Erika Prins Simonds


at the farm

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Spokane artist Chris Bovey has a style completly his own that is both vintage and modern. See more of Chris’ art at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. Exhibit runs from November 12 - January 8. december 2016 /



Five Must-Have Items // amy silbernagel mccaffree

How much gear does an outdoor family need to have fun and stay comfortable outside all year long without breaking the bank and focusing too much on flashy things? These five items top our list.

1. Dedicated play clothes: Equip children with a stash of used clothing for rugged outdoor playtime, including stained shirts, worn-knee jeans, handme-downs or thrift store clothing items for those

14 / december 2016

days when it’s warm enough to play outside without heavy coats or snow gear. This motivates children to feel carefree and adventurous as they explore nature and pursue opportunities for healthy, reasonable physical risks and challenges, without parents or other caregivers worrying about clothes getting “ruined.” 2. Loose parts for backyard playtime: Children can use plastic buckets, shovels and empty jugs, old tires, logs, rocks, rope, and other supplies for

self-directed, open-ended, imaginative play, recommends Angela Hanscom, a renowned pediatric occupational therapist based in New Hampshire and author of “Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children.” This mom also founded TimberNook, a year-round program that facilitates outdoor play and nature-based sensory development as a form of “preventative health care for children,” according to When children use loose parts to create a fort or “rocket,” they’re learning problem-solving, spatial, motor, and collaborative-social skills. What may look like junk to adults can be tools for kids to create something new and wonderful. 3. Weatherproof gear: An essential clothing list for playing outside in cold, wet conditions begins with a weatherproof jacket that protects from rain showers or snow, wind, and cold. Waterproof jackets are also good, just not as warm; however, a fleece under-layer – such as a half-zip pullover, jacket, or vest – can be worn underneath to create a more weatherproof combination. Avoid outerwear labeled “water-resistant,” as it can’t withstand sustained exposure to rain or snow. Next, a breathable base layer made of merino wool or polyester, such as fleece, will help kids stay comfortable as they work up a sweat. Provide waterproof snow or rain pants, depending on the weather, that have elastic ankle cuffs to keep pant legs snug over waterproof boots. Avoid cotton clothing – it doesn’t insulate when it gets wet, whether from snow or sweat,

which is why socks made with merino wool are the best choice. Last, add a hat and gloves as needed. This gear is interchangeable for variable conditions during winter, spring, and fall – whatever works best to help a child stay comfortable for hours. For example, my kids wear Paradox® long-sleeve, quarter-zip fleece pullovers while alpine skiing and also under their team jerseys when playing soccer on cold days during fall and spring. It takes some trial-and-error experience to figure out the best combination for each child, based on his or her activity, play intensity, and temperature preference. 4. Boot dryer: If your kids enjoy stomping in puddles or playing in snow for hours, you need one. My family uses our Pacific Outdoors® boot dryers year-round, whether it’s for snow boots, athletic shoes and even gloves. 5. State parks pass: Having a year-round admission and parking pass will motivate and inspire more frequent visits to regional state parks for dayuse recreation such as hiking, biking, boating, or fishing, or for overnight camping trips. Washington state has more than 140 state parks, water access sites, and trailheads that require a Discover Pass (, and Idaho has more than 25 ( // Amy Silbernagel McCaffree has been backpacking and skiing Inland Northwest mountains since 2003. Amy wrote about the Spokane Parks & Recreation’s Therapeutic Recreation Services ski program in October.

Health&Fitness Preserving Mental Health During the Dark, Cold Months // By Erika Prins Simonds

FAT BIKE Season is on!


Cats and tea can ward off depression. // Illustration by Erika Prins Simonds

When the characters on “Game of Thrones”

speak their ominous mantra, “Winter is coming,” Spokanites totally get it. Local anxiety over the shortening days slips its way into weather talk each year well before the first crimson leaf hits the ground. This year, before the winter-weary even had a chance to shop sales on light boxes and vitamin D supplements, a group of psychologists from Auburn University at Montgomery released a study questioning the very existence of Seasonal Affective Disorder, aptly abbreviated as SAD. No matter how the researchers analyzed annual survey data from the Centers for Disease Control, they couldn’t find any link between shorter days and increases in self-reported symptoms of serious depression. Seasonal depression due to lack of sunlight sure seems real to those suffering from depression during the wintertime. And of course, depression remains real regardless of the season, so get medical help if it feels like it’s time. Those simply anxious about how the early sunsets may affect their mood might feel less stressed knowing that the season isn’t cursed. Perhaps simply losing that anxiety will do the trick to stave off sadness. Virtually all home remedies for the winter blues double as routine mental health maintenance, so they’re worth keeping around whether or not the winter blues come calling. GET YOUR VITAMIN D

Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression, and the body produces less vitamin D when exposed to less sunlight. Take a daily supplement to protect against deficiency. The National Institutes of Health’s daily recommendation for vitamin D intake assumes low sun exposure, so just the normal dose should do. Don’t just leave it to the Gummy-Vites, though. It’s still worth getting outdoors during the daytime to get fresh air and remember what natural light looks like, especially if driving or riding home from work in the dark grinds your gears. GET MOVING

In case of mood emergency, go for a run. Exercise may be the fastest way to improve a crappy

mood — and it’s shown to help alleviate longterm depression. Though it’s not totally clear why exercise works so well to manage mood disorders, it has been shown to alter brain chemistry. If running in the snow or biking through slush feels too awful to bear, move the party indoors with a living room yoga session or quick trip to the gym. BASK IN (FAKE) SUNLIGHT

Light therapy, often recommended for sufferers of SAD and increasingly for nonseasonal depression, entails sitting near a bright light for half an hour per day. Light boxes made for this purpose shine a hundred times brighter than normal indoor lighting. A 2015 Canadian study of 122 patients showed light therapy to be more effective than Prozac for treating depression. Light therapy lamps range greatly in price and aren’t regulated by the FDA, so talk to a doctor if you’re considering buying one to deal with depression. EAT NORMAL THINGS

Holidays may be a great excuse to eat more junk food and drink more alcohol, but those choices impact more than the waistline. Alcohol and caffeine both lower serotonin levels and increase anxiety. Sugar, in particular, is thought to exacerbate mood disorder symptoms. It’s possible that those holiday celebrations are leaving you less jolly because of science. Instead of eating mostly healthy with the occasional indulgent slice of pie, it’s just all pie, all the time. Rather than make a doomed attempt at the healthiest holiday season ever, aim for something in the ballpark of balance.

1st BCC Annual



PARTY Local Microbrew Pints $5 / Food by Qdoba Mexican Grill

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3RD / 6-10PM At Wild Walls Climbing Gym.

Help us carry on the legacy of Andrew Bower: to Maintain, Expand and Preserve Spokane Climbing.


Make a mental list of people who rock at acknowledging your feelings. If you’re not sure you’re okay — or you know you’re not — a good friend can help you figure out the next step to take, whether it’s schlepping yourself to the gym or getting medical help. // Erika Prins Simonds writes our Everyday Cyclist column. She also wrote about in-town ideas for staying active during the winter months in October. Find more of her writing at

Like us on Facebook at

to Maintain, Expand and Preserve Spokane Climbing.

Creative services donated by 2Dudes Digital Design.

december 2016 /


Food&Fuel Nutrition wars //

What is the Best Source of Protein? By Ammi Midstokke Before I start receiving threatening letters,

Get active and fight hunger all at the same time!

Saturday, April 1, 2017 5K and 10K run/walk begins at 9 a.m. Plante’s Ferry Park

Registration, packet pickup and race information available online:

A collaborative effort of Second Harvest and Union Gospel Mission to feed the hungry.

Presented by

Second Annual International

Marmot Beer Festival

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door

Ticket gets you:

(9) 2oz samples of various Marmots, (1) 16oz pour of your choosing, and a custom 13oz Marmot Beer Festival glass (while supplies last)

The beer is first come, first serve with limited servings of some styles. 16 / december 2016

I would like to start this piece by making the following statement: The ethical reasons for being a vegetarian or vegan are noble and only a human with karmic moral autonomy would ever attempt to challenge this truth. And since they’d be arguing the arrogance of human superiority or some such nonsense, they’d be a classifiable wanker. I’m not writing about morals but about science. Regardless of where our diet falls on the spectrum of meat values (somewhere between cannibalism and those people who only eat fruit that has already fallen off trees), I endeavor to provide information that helps us make healthier choices. So what protein source is “best” for us? Are we supposed to load up on protein shakes and egg whites? How much steak does it take to get a good set of guns? The science of measuring protein quality is complicated. Even scientists agree that the measurements depend on many variables, such as intestinal health, that protein quality is difficult to qualify. To understand why, first we must understand the basics of protein. Essential versus nonessential: We see these terms often in regard to things like “essential fatty acids,” which our bodies cannot manufacture and therefore must obtain from food sources. How much protein is essential? Most peer-reviewed medical research comes to the same conclusion: Athletes require more protein to support performance than those who are not athletic. Beyond that, there is no consensus. Vegetarian and vegan literature will typically recommend 47 grams or more per day, while the CrossFit coach will recommend 1 gram per pound of body weight. How much we need depends on our individual goals and lifestyle. Regardless of the goals and lifestyle, however, we should strive to consume quality proteins. Here’s a hint: if it involves industrial meat sources, we are not contributing to our health but rather global warming, colorectal cancer, and extensive evidence of animal cruelty. Before we complain about the inflated price of a pack of grass-fed organic beef, we should review our cable TV bills and consider our priorities. A compilation of scientific research using various methods of quality measurement, from Protein Efficiency Rate (PER) or the widely accepted though somewhat inaccurate Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS), provides the following order:

1. Casein and whey isolate: For those of us drinking protein shakes, this is great news. For those of us allergic to milk, we’re not thrilled. While whey isolate removes most lactose, the process of isolating or “denaturing” the proteins also removes some peptides that make the protein so valuable. 2. Soy: Really. As a protein source, soy has not only a complete amino acid profile, but it gets to tout the unparalleled argument of being a dense source of plant protein that also has lipid-lowering effects. Concerns of frequent and high soy consumption have been raised in recent literature in regard to its content of phytoestrogens (hormonemimicking compounds) and GMO contamination. As far as absorbable protein goes, however, soy is a high-quality source. 3. Eggs: While eggs offer complete proteins, many athletes supplementing with egg whites (to achieve protein content but avoid excess calories and fat) will find it hard to get a clean source of egg whites. 4. Beef: Much like other lean meats, beef scores slightly lower than the perfect 1.0 PDCAAS score of whey, soy, and eggs. It comes in at a .92 for its bio-availability and a high PER (which tells us how well it gets converted into muscle tissue). 5. Plant protein isolates: We see a lot of these in our protein shakes, and like whey, they are commonly denatured. However, the proliferation of these amino acids in ingredient lists means that most companies are excelling at creating effective, high-quality proteins in shake form. That said, these are not whole foods, and most of your nutritionists will argue that whole foods are always preferred. Conclusion: Whatever our preferred protein source, we should endeavor to achieve variety while considering the other health benefits or risks when consuming protein. If you are a carnivore who eats a lot of protein, be sure to include some plant sources and don’t bother with industrial processed meats. If you are a vegetarian, get some eggs and dairy in there. And if you are a vegan, don’t live on just soy products. // Ammi Midstokke lives in Sandpoint, where she raises her daughter on a deeply ingrained fear of gluten and has an arguably dangerous appetite for adventure. To read more of Ammi’s writing, visit


221 N. Wall St. 509.624.7654

10208 N. Division 509-468-1786

UrbanOutdoors The Ice is changing //

Riverfront Park Ice Palace’s Past and Future By Crystal Atamian

EACH CHRISTMAS WE TALK ABOUT GIVING NEW BIKES FOR THE FAMILY Let’s do it this year for the fun and health of it!

2016 Fuji Nevada 1.7 29er

MSRP: $549.99 Sale Price: $449.99

2015 Fuji 1.8D 27.5” MSRP: $479.99 Sale Price: $339.99

Take home a new bike and we’ll buy your lunch with a $20 gift card good at any Mustard Seed or Noodle Express. Stop by any of the Three Wheel Sport stores and pick out the right bikes for the family. Layaways available and we can hold your purchase until Christmas. Limited to stock on hand. Sale ends 12.31.16 Ice skating downtown Spokane is about to get a lot cooler.

The first time my daughter and I strapped on a pair of ice skates, all I could think of was my husband as a small boy when he fell and sliced his inner thigh open with one of his skates. That’s an image to make you want to strap on eight-inch long blades, isn’t it? This is not one of those stories. There were no stiches involved in this outing. I did my best to get my glide going across the ice rink and to avoid the falling part. My daughter took to the ice with the happy coordinated athleticism she always seems to demonstrate, taking off like a born skater and putting her tentative and uncoordinated mom to shame. According to my 9-year-old, it reminded her more of skate skiing than it did roller skating. “Can we do this again?” she asked as soon as we stepped off the ice. Yes, we can. But if you want to join us you’ll find that the ice in Spokane is changing. This will be the last season under the pavilion for the Ice Palace at Riverfront Park. After this winter the ice rink will close permanently. However, a new place to skate is currently under construction as part of the Riverfront Park Redevelopment Project. The new facility, a refrigerated path of ice called an ice ribbon, will open next winter. The Ice Palace offers beginner skating lessons, group skating, and a homeschool skating program. It also hosts a local curling group and facilitates the Gonzaga PE class and several sanctioned youth hockey leagues. S’mores Night and a few other family activities are in the works, which provides the perfect motivation to get the kids out to skate in this final year. This year the Ice Palace is open from Oct. 26 to Feb. 26. Admission is $5 per adult (13+) and $3.50 for skate rentals. If you are under 13, over 55, or have a military ID, admission is only $3.50. The Ice Palace owes its existence to Expo ’74 and the facelift given to the Spokane riverfront in the years following the World’s Fair. It took four years of work to transform the Expo site into Riverfront Park in its current form, and what was originally the U.S. Pavilion became the covered ice rink we now know. The park — ice rink, petting zoo, amusement park, arcade, IMAX theater and all — was dedicated May 5, 1978, by then-President Jimmy Carter.

More than 33,000 people skate at the Ice Palace each year according to Jeff Bailey, Assistant Director of Riverfront Park. Bailey noted that this figure does not include the few thousand people who come for hockey, curling, and group lessons. Riverfront Park’s new skating facility will offer something completely different than the classic rink setup. The ribbon promises some slight up and down terrain, and the “pond,” as the small area adjoining the ribbon is called, will allow beginners and parents with small kids to practice in a more protected setting. At 16 feet wide and 650 feet long, the ribbon will be on the corner of Post Street and Spokane Falls Boulevard. Spokane will be one of the first cities to offer a skating experience like this on the West Coast. The design firm Stantec designed a similar but larger facility in Chicago, as well as ones in Indiana, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C. Adjoining the ribbon will be a joint facility that houses the tickets and concessions for the ice ribbon and the SkyRide gondola that takes passengers across the Spokane Falls. Outside the building, potentially in the middle of the ribbon, will be outdoor fire pits and a place to kick up your heels when you’re out of breath from skating. Project designers are landscaping with yearround use in mind, with the intention of keeping the flow of the park attractive in the summer months. While there are no final plans in place for the facility’s summer use, possibilities include making it pedestrian-friendly for outdoor festivals and concerts. The $2.2 million ice ribbon project has faced a few obstacles, but ultimately it promises to provide a unique urban outdoor opportunity for the community. Riverfront Park is changing and this will be the last year to enjoy the Ice Palace. So find time to experience the ice rink before its rebirth in ribbon form. // Crystal Atamian grew up in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Her first loves are hiking and lemon ice cream. After spending summer 2016 in the Alps, she is convinced that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. Crystal wrote about birding tips for families and newbies in our June issue.

VALLEY 606 N. SULLIVAN 509.921.7729 MON-SAT 9-6

SOUTH 3020 S. GRAND 509.747.4187

CENTRAL 1711 N. DIVISION 509.326.3977



3011 S. GRAND BLVD. | (509)279-2671 11AM -11PM SUN.- THURS. | 11AM - MIDNIGHT FRI. & SAT.

december 2016 /


GearRoom gear for the holidays // By Derrick Knowles

Redington Fly Fishing Gear

The Palix River Pant are the perfect option for staying dry while maintaining good freedom of movement while you fish shallow streams and rivers like the Spokane that don’t require deep wading. These waterproof/breathable DWR coated pants come with neoprene booties and tough seams that stand up to rough conditions. A wading belt helps keep your pants up where they belong, and an elastic, gripping “gravel guard” system at the pant legs helps keep river debris from creeping into your boots. MSRP: $139.95. Pair the Palix River Pant with the premier wading boot from Redington, the Prowler Boot, which offers great, lightweight stability, large toe box, modern looking design, and your choice of felt or sticky rubber soles for river gripping power. MSRP: $149.95. Swrve CORDURA Slim Jeans

If you’re looking for an everyday jean in a trim fit and cool design that you can wear on an urban hike along Spokane’s Centennial Trail or City Beach in Coeur d’Alene or fooling around at the crag before hitting the brew pub, this is the pair of jeans for you. These mid-skinny jeans are made from Cordura denim so they flex and stand up to wear like no other jeans you own, yet they look like a regular pair of stylin’ cotton denims. MSRP: $100. Scrubba Wash Bag

Down under-based Scrubba bills itself as the world’s smallest washing machine. At less than 5 oz., this ultra-portable clothes washing bag is packable enough to take on any of your multi-day camping, hiking or biking trip stinky gear and is a dream on trips overseas where doing laundry is sometimes a challenge. My Scrubba traveled a surf trip to Costa Rica recently, and kept our board shorts, rash guards, and other essential clothing

clean and smelling astoundingly better than usual. MSRP: $55. Crazy Creek HEX 2.0 Original Chair

These super light, highly packable camp chairs are great for backpacking and even day hikes or mountain bike rides where you want a comfy place to sit for lunch. The HEX 2.0 rolls up tight and includes a built-in strap for easy packing. I took the HEX 2.0 camping on the beach in Costa Rica and in addition to having a comfy place to plant myself with morning coffee and end-of-the-day libations, I used the rolled-out chair as part of my sleeping pad system since space in my checked luggage was limited. It also served as a light pack frame tucked inside my 35 liter Black Diamond pack that accompanied me on the plane. With carbon-fiber stays and tight-knit nylon webbing, this improved Crazy Creek classic chair seems virtually indestructible. At just under 22-ounces, the HEX 2.0 will be joining me on many backcountry adventures this year. MSRP: $53.50.

Female cyclists rock at finding ways to bike in comfort and style. For the most part, bicycling-specific products aren’t even necessary. One OTM reader suggested cutting off the feet of tall socks to make cozy legwarmers. Another just throws standard-issue leggings under everything for warmth and coverage. Our favorite suggestion was bringing back the fanny pack to transport essentials like bike tools, phone, and chapstick. “Riding while female” isn’t that different from cycling as a guy — you don’t need much more than bright lights and a snug helmet to reach your destination safely on a bike. Most products work well for riders of either gender, like a cozy merino wool balaclava. For the holdouts, those issues that don’t have an easy DIY fix, we’ve found some woman-specific products that solve the problem creatively.

Tepui Gear Bags

Pedal Panties

The Tepui Expedition Series Gear Bag is a rugged, duffle bag-style gear hauler designed to be used and stand up to the abuse that outdoor adventures dish out. The large compartment holds a ton of gear and clothing and is water and abrasion resistant. Tough enough for strapping to the roof of the car, piling in the back of a truck, or traveling as checked-luggage to the wildest corners of the planet. MSRP: $120. The Tepui Expedition Series Tool Case sports the same burly construction as the gear bag but in a smaller size (17” x 10” x 7”) and with several compartments for easy storage of tools, maps, camping gear and other adventure equipment that you don’t want getting lost in the bottom of a bigger bag. MSRP: $70.

Ingenious Products for Lady Cyclists By Erika Prins Simonds

It takes a special kind of human to feel sexy (or even just not like a total weirdo) in padded bike shorts. If that’s you, awesome. If that’s not you, Pedal Panties have your back[side]. These boy-cut undies look no different from regular skivvies, yet their moisture-wicking material and thin padding mean you can ride to work in comfort and still feel fresh when you get where you’re going. $36. Find a retailer at or get them at Levi’s Commuter Line

Nobody will even know you’re in your cycling gear in the Levi’s commuter line, which features subtle, practical, bike-friendly features. The skinny jean rocks a high-cut back, stretch, reinforcement in the spots where body meets bike and—get this — reflective cuff seams. The pockets are deep enough to actually hold stuff. Crazy, right? The line also includes stretchy, moisture-wicking tanks and buttonups that don’t look like athletic wear, and equally urban chic water-repellent jackets with reflective details, vents, and dropped rear hems. $40-$250 at Terry Saddles

Women-specific saddles come standard with most lady bikes, but if you still don’t feel comfortable on long rides, your seat may be to blame. Options include ultra-cushy tour seats, sleeker race bike styles, and everything in between. $40-$200 at Smartwool Arm Warmers

Nobody wants to drag a pile of riding gear to the office, then to a coffee date or night out before riding home. In mild weather just a bit too chilly for a bare-armed ride, arm warmers do the trick — and roll up small enough to tuck into a bag for the rest of the day. $25 at Specialized Aspire Ponytail-Friendly Helmet

Ladies don’t always wear ponytails, but when they do, it’s kind of awkward with the helmet situation. If preserving your ‘do gets in the way of your decision to ride, consider a ponytail-friendly helmet. Specialized offers a sporty, affordable version, but a quick online search offers a variety of styles. $43$46 at Terry Bicycling Skort

The skort is back in fashion — or at least, you’re welcome to pretend it is long enough to buy one. We support you wearing whatever you like while you ride, and bicycling certainly doesn’t come with a dress code. But if you like to wear short skirts and feel concerned about revealing a bit too much, it’s worth giving the skort a second look. $89 at // 18 / december 2016

OutThereSpotlight Retired Olympic Athlete Serves Team USA Paralympic Community Well // By Janelle McCabe

Redman flying the stars and stripes at the Rio Paralympic Games. Photo courtesy of Jamie Redman.

What do you do when the fire alarm goes off in your several-story building in Rio de Janerio, which is filled with hundreds of Paralympic athletes, many of whom are wheelchair-bound? This scenario wasn’t hypothetical for Spokane physical therapist and former Olympic rower Jamie Redman, who for five weeks in August and September filled the role of Athlete Services Coordinator for the Team USA Paralympic athletes. The Rio Paralympic Games took place twoand-a-half weeks after the able-bodied games ended. “By the time the Paralympic athletes arrived, most of the kinks had been worked out,” says Redman. “But several issues still came up for us, often involving accessibility for impaired athletes, so it was a big deal when the electricity went

out in the elevators.” And as at every games, petty theft was an issue in the Olympic village, so Team USA employed its own housekeeping and security staff. “Because the USOC staff had planned ahead,” Redman says, “our team was able to adapt pretty quickly and seamlessly to most situations.” While the U.S. Olympic Committee had contingency plans for many potential situations, it would have been hard to foresee the effect that Ryan Lochte’s actions had on both the able-bodied and Paralympic games. “Our staff and athletes were incredibly frustrated, not only about how certain athletes conducted themselves, but also about how it was portrayed in the media. It was frustrating to watch all the goodwill that Americans had built in the months leading up to the games crumble in a

single second because of one person. Of course,” she continues, “the Paralympic athletes celebrated and had a good time on the town too, but their discipline was a big success.” Redman reveled in her up-close interactions with the athletes during training, competition, and down time. “One of the most intimidating moments for me was at the gym on the day before the opening ceremony. Everyone was in there, amped up, in the best shape of their life, and they were sortof looking over their shoulders, checking out the competition. I went to the gym for a workout and looked around and thought, ‘I am NOT athletic enough to be here!’ On one side of me was an athlete doing 90 pullups, and on the other side of me was an athlete lifting hundreds of pounds with one leg. I was like, ‘I’m going to go do my little ab workout in the corner.’” Redman was one of the first staff members who athletes would see the morning after their events, and when athletes had turned in disappointing performances, Redman had to rely on her intuition. “These athletes were clearly grieving, humiliated, discouraged. Even after having been an Olympic athlete, it was hard for me to know what to do some of the time. I’ve experienced the thrill of success and the despair of failure. These athletes are superhuman, but they are still human, and they experience the same feelings the rest of us do.” During down time, athletes from different sports would engage in spirited Jenga tournaments. Other athletes would just sit down, pop in their earbuds, and tune out, but it was an opportunity they took to be among their people more passively. And then there were the budding romances among young

athletes. “They’d actually come to me and say, ‘Does she like me? I don’t know. We have this incredible connection, but I just met her three days ago.’ My advice was always to sympathetically say, ‘Maybe wait until after the games.’” Redman was consistently impressed with the athletes and coaches, both on and off the field. “The athletes were the epitome of good role models: skilled at their craft, gracious, and well-spoken about their disability or their story or how they came to find their sport. Because everyone had a disability, I think the coaches were aware of everyone’s differences, and there was a level of patience that you wouldn’t necessarily find at other events.” Since retiring from competitive athletics after the London 2012 games, Redman has completed graduate school and become a physical therapist. “I have a different goal now, a different job now. And I’ve gone after other athletic endeavors that, while not as competitive, have allowed me scratch that athletic itch.” While she admits that it took her three years to “be okay with not training and racing,” she’s immersed herself in the supportive Team USA community. “My skills are moving toward the professional side as I get older, but I would love to be on the medical staff of Team USA in LA 2024 (if we get the bid). I’d go back in any capacity that they’d take me. I just really embrace and love the games atmosphere.” // Janelle McCabe is a Jill-of-some-trades, masterof-none who writes about the Inland Northwest outdoor and active community. She wrote about climbing Mount St. Helens in July.

december 2016 /


OutdoorLiving the ecology of home // By Summer Hess

Sustainable home improvement may mean more fixing and less throwing away. // Photo: Summer Hess

Anyone who has just bought a house, as I have,

soon learns that the decisions to be made are more complicated than which shade of beige to paint the living room walls. A home requires more than a commitment to style — French country or Tuscan villa, clean modern or country rustic. It connects us to the tangle of power lines that infuse our kitchens with light, the snaking lines that feed gas to our furnaces and keep us warm, and the bowels that deliver our waste to the treatment plant. As a tenant, I tried to limit my personal consumption by turning off lights when I wasn’t in the room and not running the water while I brushed my teeth. But now that the title is in my name, I realize that home ownership represents a civic duty — not just to pay my property taxes, but also to consider my home as part of the greater ecology of the planet. Surprisingly, the Catholic faith has inspired me to hope that this shift in consciousness is possible on a broader scale. I was raised thoroughly Protestant, and I never heard a direct call to action for environmental stewardship like that of Pope Francis in his Encyclical letter “On Care for Our Common Home”: “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.” Science has long studied and provided compelling evidence for the relationship between human consumption and the degradation of the planet. But if the voices of influential religious leaders join the chorus, then scalable, effective change may be possible. For me, care for our common home begins now with my tiny swath of earth. Just before signing the final paperwork and acquiring the deed, I read a book that suggested creating a personal sustainability plan. It made me think about why I wanted to own a home and helped me compose this objective: To inhabit my home in a way that is respectful to the earth and a blessing to my friends and community; to engage in home ownership as a form of land management and stewardship by carefully tracking my resource footprint so that I can reduce consumption and localize my resource base wherever possible. I was then inspired to make a list of improvements along with a timeline for when I could complete them. Things like purchasing a high-efficiency washing machine were done within the first month. Low-water landscaping will go in this spring, along with a vegetable garden. The windows I hope to replace next year.

This objective also guides what I don’t do and what I don’t purchase. I decided not to invest in a dryer and installed a clothesline and drying racks instead. The old cabinets won’t be ripped out, despite the fact they are awkwardly situated between contemporary and vintage and look out of style. Instead, I accept them as part of the quirks of an old house and paint the kitchen bright yellow and blue, attempting to turn cheap into charming. Some things, like the old gas furnace and water heater, I won’t replace until they’re broken, which will hopefully give me years to save up and consider what technologies I might like to replace them with some day. Finally, I try to banish the tendency to measure my house to some artificial standard and kick away comparison on the back stoop with my mud boots and the welcome mat. It’s easier to love my home when I view it through the lens of my personal sustainability plan rather than the consumption-centered pages of glossy home improvement magazines. Home ownership has long been a symbol of prosperity and independence in America; it is also a tool for economic mobility and a rite of passage for those hoping to enter the middle class. What if our definition of prosperity meant harmony with

I try to banish the tendency to measure my house to some artificial standard, and kick away comparison on the back stoop with my mud boots and the welcome mat.

20 / december 2016

the natural world, and our definition of independence included weaning ourselves off fossil fuels? In so many ways our homes are more than shelters from the elements; they are our signature on the earth and the place where we most live into our values. When I look out my window at my neighbors’ houses, I think about the scalable impact we could have if we all looked at our physical structures as part of the ecology of the planet, our common home. // Summer Hess started climbing and open water swimming when she moved to Spokane and is ever thankful for the chance to explore the mountains, lakes, and rivers of the Northwest. She wrote about the Sustainable Summits Conference in October.

Biking Spokane’s historic “cycling wall” unveiled at Wheel Sport // By Elena Gardner

A blast from the past uncovered at Wheel Sport on Division. Photo: Elena Gardner

“I quit $3.75 an hour to work here,” reads a

message scrawled on the recently unveiled historic cycling wall at Wheel Sport Bicycles on Division Street in Spokane. The quote, along with the many other messages and signatures, serves as a reminder of the many riders who traveled across the country by bike, touring the U.S. several decades ago. In the early 70s, a national trend inspired cyclists from all over to set off on tours around North America and the world. Spokane was a stopping place for many of these riders, including some who left their names and stories on a wall at Wheel Sport’s downtown location. The wall was later covered up behind wood paneling. Many of the messages give stopping and starting points of the riders, as well as the occasional funny quip or motivational line. A rider quitting their $3.75 an hour job might seem unimpressive nowadays, but, keep in mind, the minimum wage at that time was around just $1.60 to $1.80 an hour. Some riders left everything behind in pursuit of their goals and adventure. Other signatures give an idea of just how far some riders had come: “Brussels—Amsterdam— Frankfurt, and all paths between, summer of ’74,” one signature reads. “Scotland—Germany— Madrid—and where the mood strikes me,” reads another. Some are “on the road to find out,” while others are “experiencing the magic of the wind.” Wherever they had been, wherever they were going, and for whatever the reason, these cyclists left their messages and found camaraderie in the journeys of others in a shared space on a bike shop wall here in Spokane. As Wheel Sport owner Terry Solinsky says, “it is invigorating to read the comments of all who signed the wall and imagine their joy of the journey.” Despite the popularity of the wall, it was covered up in the mid-80s as part of a decision to update

the store’s showroom. The wall remained hidden for over 30 years. “The decision to uncover the wall was partly a result of curiosity, but mostly to view the history of that era,” says Solinsky, who has been in the bicycle business for over 40 years. Solinsky got his start in the industry as a wholesale rep for Peugeot bikes, covering the Northwest all the way up to Alaska before buying the Wheel Sport store on Division, where the wall was hidden, in 1985. In addition to the signatures and messages, large black and red lettering gives a bold shout out to Peugeot as “Europe’s Number 1 Bike,” reflecting the company’s prominent place in cycling history. The Peugeot family, makers of Peugeot bikes, backed their first Tour de France winner in 1905, and later went on to back winners of the race 10 times. Peugeot bikes were famous in the racing and touring world. In a fitting honor to the company, Solinsky and his team fixed up a few old Peugeot touring bikes to put on display above the wall. The wall also displays pictures of old Tour de France racers, some smoking cigarettes as they bike, others with a beer in hand at the end of the race, which is not something you are likely to see today. “Riders used to believe that smoking helped to open up your lungs,” explains Solinsky. Solinsky hopes the wall serves to inspire aspiring touring cyclists and educate people on the part Wheel Sport and Spokane played in the golden era of bike touring. “It is a warm and gratifying feeling that Wheel Sport shared a small part of the joy and struggles of those adventurers as they crossed our nation,” adds Solinsky. “We invite you all into Wheel Sport to view the wall and perhaps reminisce about your own extended tour.” // Elena Gardner is Out There Monthly’s Associate Editor. She wrote about local sports medicine innovations and hiking at Bead Lake in the October issue.

2017 Trail Runs Idaho / E. Washington 4/1/17 Season kick off party 4/29/17 5th annual Liberty Lake Trail run 5/20/17 SPS #1 Farragut 6/17/17 SPS #2 Heyburn 7/8/17 Up Chuck Challenge 7/22/17 SPS #3 Mt. Spokane 8/5/17 7-Summits MTB vs Trail Runners 8/19/17 Jackass Hill Climb 9/9/17 SPS #4 Riverside 9/22 to 9/24/17 Trail Maniac Ad 10/28/17 SPS #5 Halloween at Hell's Gate december 2016 /



Contributing Writers: Amy Silbernagel McCaffree, Derrick Knowles, Elena Gardner and Jon Jonckers This holiday season, OTM makes your shopping easy with our Local Holiday Gift Guide. There’s no need to search far and wide for gifts for your fellow outdoorsy folk and other loved ones who appreciate unique, locally-procured gifts. There are so many good reasons to shop locally for the holidays. We’ve compiled a wide range of unique and useful gifts that just might cover every name on your list. Thank you for shopping locally and for supporting the Out There Monthly advertisers who make each issue possible! (EG)


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FAMILY Children’s picture books (1)

Outdoor-recreation themed children’s picture books, such as “Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee,” by Chris Van Dusen ($15.99 hardcover), or “Fred and Ted Go Camping,” by Peter Eastman ($9.99 hardcover), will delight and inspire kids for their next family adventure. Available from Auntie’s Bookstore. (ASM) Gear Compression Cube Sets

You can’t go wrong with anything from Eagle Creek, which makes durable travel bags, packs and accessories. Pack-It Specter and Original Compression Cube Sets ($36.95-$39.95) simplify and improve packing your family’s clothing and gear, whether for a day-trip to the ski mountain or week-long camping adventure. Available from REI and Mountain Gear. (ASM) Outdoor-themed Games (2)

Classic indoor games with outdoor themes like Monopoly National Parks Edition ($39.95) or Yahtzee National Parks travel edition ($16.95) can be the solution for those who say “I don’t need anything.” Available from REI. (ASM) Outdoor Pass

An annual Washington State Discover Pass ($31.99) or Idaho State Parks Passport ($10/vehicle for Idaho residents; $40 for non-resident Motor Vehicle Entry Free permit) provides unlimited access to state parks, water-access sites, trails and more (use may vary by state). Available for purchase at local recreational license vendors, select retail locations (such as Mountain Gear and Fitness Fanatics in Spokane), and when you renew your vehicle license. More info:; (ASM)

HIKING Capra Venture Shoe

Merrell’s new men and women’s Capra Venture Mid Gore-Tex Surround shoe provides the security and support you need for those long mountain treks. The shoe is waterproof and breathable, and has a megagrip for traction, allowing you to feel secure when climbing slippery surfaces. Available at Tri-State Outfitters for $229.99. (EG) Urban Hiking Jacket (3)

For a snowy stroll to the neighborhood pub or park or as a post-workout warmer, the Pseudio Jacket from The North Face is a slim-fitting, sleek-hooded jacket with a feminine feel and warmth without the bulk ($150). Available at The North Face downtown Spokane. (DK) GSI Outdoors Microlite 720 Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle

This is the lightest and most compact stainless steel vacuum bottle on the market. The ultra-thin 2mm walls are actually thinner than a standard single wall Nalgene bottle. Although they claim it keeps beverages hot (or cold) for 8 hours, my coffee was still steaming hot after 10 hours in my pack. Unlike a traditional thermos, the locking flip-top lid means I don’t have to take my gloves off to unscrew it. Even better, the thermos fits most cup holders. (JJ) Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

Backpacking can take you through a variety of terrain – and it’s always best to be prepared. At Mountain Gear, you can get the Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles for $119.95. Lightweight but durable, the poles have a cork construction angled grip that are comfortable and wick away moisture. The carbide Tech-Tips can be swapped for rubber Tech-Tips depending on the terrain. (EG) Patagonia Ascensionist 35L Pack (4)

The Patagonia Ascensionist 35L Pack from REI is the perfect versatile daypack. It’s lightweight and easy to carry on shorter hikes but is able to expand when you need to cram in all your gear. With adjustable padding and a removable hip belt, the lightweight pack is one you’ll want to use again. And again. And again. (EG) 22 / december 2016

Inlan Local H Gift G



UNIQUE GIFTS Vintage Spokane Calendar

Spokane native Chris Bovey’s Vintage Spokane Calendar, (only available at Boo Radley’s and Atticus Coffee and Gifts), captures the heart of Spokane with prints of iconic places that we have all come to know and love. Perfect for those who were born and raised here, or for those who have only recently come to call Spokane home ($14.99). (EG) Makala Ukuleles (5)

For the music lover in your life, try a ukulele. Perfect for playing around the campfire or on the patio, Makala Ukuleles from Wollnick’s are perfect for those just starting out. With a fantastic sound and classic look, they are a fun way to get started playing. $49.95- $139.95 depending on style, size, and finish. (EG) Map Art (6)

Lakebound maps capture exactly what it is that you love about your favorite lake, whether it be Lake Coeur d’Alene, Priest Lake, Pend Oreille Lake, or Hayden Lake. The maps have a vintage, old-timey feel, and are sold as framed prints, wood or metal signs, and barrel ends. Don’t see your favorite lake in the mix? Just ask. They do custom orders. Prices range from $25 to $112. (EG) Sweater/Jacket (Swacket)

Figuring out how to layer in the fall/winter without looking bulky can be a challenge. The Swacket from Title 9 makes it easy. With the warmth and easy layerability of a sweater, the Swacket’s dense knit construction hits thigh length, and has all the easy style of an urban jacket. Complete with a lined snap collar and hand warmer pockets, it will keep you toasty and fashionable. Available in two colors for $159. (EG) Pacific NW Pride Apparel

Founded by accomplished artist Joel Barbour, The Great PNW might be one of the fastest-growing lifestyle brands in the area. His creative genius sparks a dozen iconic t-shirt designs every season, and this holiday season is no exception. Check out the Roskelley tee named after world famous climbers John and Jess Roskelley. The All Good tee is a crowd pleaser for guys and girls. They also offer hoodies and jackets. (JJ) Ninja Hoodies

Local Knit’s Ninja Hoodies allow you to skate, snowboard, and stroll the urban wilds in style. The unique hoodies feature a fully detachable ninja face mask with a native print, and a matching fabric pocket. Custom options are available. Hoodies range from $65-$70. (EG) Spokane River Soy Candles

Kizuri, which sells Fair-Trade gifts and clothing, is having a fundraiser in collaboration with female refugees who will pour environmentally friendly soy candles in tins with pictures of the Spokane River. A portion of the funds raised will be donated to the Spokane Riverkeeper. Stop by Kizuri on Main Street downtown Spokane to check them out. (EG) Local Coffee (7)

Share the love of your favorite local roaster with a pound of whole bean coffee and a branded mug, java travel container, and/or t-shirt. Roast House in Spokane, DOMA in Post Falls and Evans Brothers in Sandpoint top our list of roasters that bag up delicious beans and represent and support the outdoor lifestyle we love. (DK) Outdoor Advocacy

We need the trails, wildlife and public lands that fuel our outdoor pursuits to thrive and survive. Help kick start a surge in advocacy for the great outdoors by giving a gift membership to a regional or national non-profit. Here are a few recommendations: Washington Trails Association, Conservation Northwest, Inland Northwest Land Conservancy, Friends of the Centennial Trail, The Lands Council, Evergreen East Mountain Bike Alliance, Dishman Hills Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, The Wilderness Society, Natural Resource Defense Council, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. (DK)

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nd NW Holiday Guide





Electric Assist Mountain Bike

If you want to put epic under the Christmas tree this year, park one of these next to the old holiday fir. Trek’s new full suspension, electric-assist mountain bike the Powerfly 8 FS lets you go farther and makes mountain biking more fun according to staff at North Division Bicycle Shop where you can pick one up for $5,000. “One of the guy’s at the shop rode three laps on Beacon, then up the South Hill for a ride back down the Bluff trails to town and back for one more Beacon lap with juice still left in the battery.” (DK) Co2 Tire Repair Kit

Safety is a must when it comes to long bike trips. Serfas’ CK-4 Co2 Combo Kit comes with everything you need to patch and fill a punctured tube: C02 canisters, an inflator head, tire levers, patches, and mini tools. The kit comes in a convenient, small saddle bag. An inner tube of your choice completes the package. Available at Wheel Sport locations for $49.99. (EG) Serfas Bike Lights

Another must-have when it comes to bike safety is lights. It’s that time of year when you need to be seen by vehicles, especially when commuting. Serfas’ lights, ranging anywhere from $29.99 for 200 lumen, and $139.99 for 1500 lumen, illuminate both yourself and the path ahead of you. Most lights will mount to a helmet or handlebar. The lights come with a rechargeable battery. Available at Wheel Sport. (EG) Specialized Headlight & Taillight

Winter riding and commuting means daylight biking is hard to come by. 2 Wheeler Dealer’s got you covered with the Specialized Stix Sport Headlight and Taillight. The 70-lumen headlight and 14-lumen taillight both feature six modes from steady to flashing. Wide beams allow you to handle any situation and let you be seen from all around. They also have USB charging capacity. (EG) Bike Fenders

For winter and shoulder-season riders, a fender that keeps rain, slush and mud from turning an otherwise pleasant ride into a two-wheeled Tough Mudder is essential. This Bike Life carries Planet Bike fenders in the $45 range along with Origami-style foldable/packable Portland Design Works fat bike fenders that apparently sell like hot cakes. (DK) Vuvuzelas and Cowbells

Sometimes, you just have to get a little rowdy. If your voice isn’t enough for cheering your friends on at their bike races, or if you know someone who loves to cheer at yours, pick up a cowbell ($5), or vuvuzela ($10) at Coolwater Bikes to make sure you’re the loudest in the bunch. (EG) Daylight Visible Flashing Light (8)

The Bontrager Flare R Tail Light makes every ride safer with the first tail light designed for daylight visibility. The powerful LED can be seen from over 2 kilometers day or night. 65 lumens and 270 degrees of visibility make sure you’ll be seen when riding in road traffic. North Division Bicycle Shop has them for $50. (DK) Tune-up Gift Card

Give the gift that every bike lover will need and use—bike maintenance. A tune-up gift card ($70) from The Bike Hub will definitely be appreciated. And it works for every type of biker. ( (EG) Cold Weather Riding Mitts (9)

Bar mitts (found at Greasy Fingers Bikes & Repair), do it all. They keep your fingers toasty in the cold, can be taken on and off your bike, and still allow for the necessary dexterity to operate the gears and handlebars. (EG) New Wheels

Custom wheels for any bicycle, especially those that get put to the test on trails or pavement by serious riders and frequent commuters, make a world of difference in how a bike rolls, corners and handles. New custom wheels from Spokane’s Matthew Larsen Wheelbuilding will put a huge smile on the face of any regular rider on your list. (Call Matt to discuss options at 775-997-5634). (DK)


Avalanche Beacon

Give the gift of practicality with an avalanche beacon. Avalanche transceivers are essential for backcountry snow travel and help ease your mind about your loved one’s safety. Choose from several different models with varying features and prices ranging from under $200 to $300 and up at Mountain Gear and Tri-State Outfitters. (EG) Snowshoes

Snowshoeing is a great way to get outside and enjoy the winter scenery while being active. Whether you’re a pro, or are just getting started, Mountain Gear and Tri-State Outfitters have set-ups for beginners in the $100 range and sets for more adventurous trail-blazing in the $200-300 range. (EG) Kids Goggles (10)

Kids need to be protected when skiing or snowboarding, and that includes having a good pair of goggles. The Uvex Speedy Pro Jr Goggle from Traverse Ski and Bike ($24.99) does the trick. Available in six stylish colors, the goggles are wide enough to see the whole slope and are scratch free. Reliable infrared and UV protection seal the deal. (EG) U.S.A-Made Snowboard

When Spokane’s Wintersport ski and board shop recently closed its doors forever, Division Street neighbor Sports Outlet stepped up to take on the shop’s Lib Tech snowboard stock. This is great news if you’re looking to buy a board made in the U.S. (Seattle to be exact) with environmentally responsible materials and technologies. Lib Tech also makes surfboards, skateboards and skis. (DK) Adventure Belts

The last thing you want to worry about when skiing or hiking is your clothes bunching or getting uncomfortable. The Adventure Belt, available at Spokane Alpine Haus allows you to get out there, whether it be hiking, skating, or snowboarding, and maintain comfort. The belt features a low profile design and highgrade weatherproof materials ($26). (EG) Ultimate Ski Bum Flannel

Combining the easy-wearing comfort of a flannel on one side with the warmth and water-resistance of a jacket when it’s turned inside out, the Fort Point Flannel from The North Face will brave mild winter weather and look stylish doing it. The reversible, lightly-insulated, water-resistant men’s jacket has a relaxed fit that leaves room for baselayers, and the adjustable hem is plenty cinchable. Pick one up for $99 at The North Face headquarters downtown Spokane. (DK) Swix Alpine Glide Wax Kit (11)

If you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you! The Swix Alpine Glide Wax Kit will help keep the life in your skis. This kit, from Spokane Alpine Haus, is perfect for beginners or experts. Sport waxing iron, three bars of wax for any condition, stiff nylon brush, and scraper are included. (EG) Lift Ticket Packs

All five local ski resorts (Mt. Spokane, 49 Degrees North, Silver Mountain, Lookout Pass and Schweitzer) offer lift ticket deals that make great gifts and will save skiers and riders cash from not having to pay the ticket window price. For the ultimate gift, introduce someone new to skiing or snowboarding with a learn-to-ski package that includes lift tickets, gear rentals and lessons. (DK) Kids Ski Package

If you missed the gear lease program this year at your local shop, you can still buy an kids’ Elan ski and binding package for your little shredder from Sports Outlet for only $199, and the set-up is yours to keep, sell or pass along at the end of the season. Sizes for ages 3-12 range from 70-130. (DK) Ski/Snowshoe Hybrid (12)

The Hok ski/snowshoe hybrid from Curlew, Washington-based Altai Skis, is designed as an easy to use ski for the backcountry with an integrated climbing skin that makes climbing easy and sliding downhill fun. Bridging cross-country skis and snowshoes, Hok skis combine the maneuverability and ease of use found in snowshoes with the ski’s efficiency of sliding forward. Find a pair of Hoks with improved design and new graphics at Mountain Gear. ($219-$337) (DK) december 2016 /



hangover helper Dehydration is one of the main causes of hangover symptoms. Lyte Balance helps maintain electrolyte and hydration levels. Lyte Balance 100% U R T is 100% natural / 0% nonsense, A A N L so you can add it to any e s ein ie ff lor a beverage. Try it tonight and c a o c er ero z • z feel the difference tomorrow. rs s • ne e te tiv ee va sw ser ro re ze o p r ze

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Non-toxic Dog Toys (13)

West Paw Design, based in Bozeman, Montana, makes a variety of non-toxic dog toys ($15.99-$17.99) here in the U.S. from recycled materials. Available from Urban Canine. (ASM) Throw Toys

Chuck-It is the classic throw toy for the backyard or off-leash dog park ($10.99-$14.99, various sizes) that makes it easier for dog owners of all ages to launch long throws again and again. (ASM) All-natural Dog Treats

Whether it’s for grandma’s little dog or their own pet at home, children will enjoy selecting all-natural dog treats from the bulk bins at Urban Canine. Sold by the ounce ($.39) for smaller items or individually ($2.99-6.99) for larger ones. (ASM)

Runners are no strangers to shoulder and back pain. Why not ease the aching muscles with a massager. The Addaday Boomerang Massager ($48) from Fleet Feet Sports does the trick. Surface Skin Technology allows it to get hard-to-reach areas and give Cross Fiber Friction Massages. (EG) Garmin GPS Watch

The perfect gift for the triathlete or dedicated runner, the Garmin Forerunner 735XT is a customizable, do-it-all GPS runner watch, available at Fitness Fanatics. It measures heart rate at the wrist so you can optimize your training. It is also lightweight, waterproof, and comfortable to wear ($450). (EG) Hyperrite Strobe Running Lights (15)

These compact, clip-on LED lights by Nathan are weather resistant, highly visible (up to 2,400 feet), and have four modes (steady light and several blinking options). Runner’s Soul at two locations in Spokane carries these potentially life-saving flashers in several colors ($15). (DK)



Ruffwear canine backpacks ($79.95, XS-L) and leashes ($29.99-36.99) are perfect practical gifts for families who enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, running and other outdoor adventures with their dogs. Available from REI and Urban Canine. (ASM)

Muscle Massager (14)

LYTE BALANCE electrolyte Huckleberry’s | Main Market Pilgrim’s Market | Winter Ridge

Canine Backpacks


Scotty’s doghouse offers The Lyte Balance hangover helper shot




Made in Liberty Lake, WA

Local Custom Tees (16)

Show off your local pride by purchasing a Run Spo or Run WA custom tee from Fleet Feet Sports, which make for great locally branded gifts. (EG) U.S.A.-Made Running Shirts

Western Washington-based Pettet Endurance Project has roots in Spokane and sells quality merino wool running shirts that are made here in the U.S.A. For dudes, try the Freemont, a 3/4 sleeve that provides just enough warmth for chilly winter and shoulder season runs. For ladies, the Milo with full-length sleeves with enough extra fabric to tuck hands up in a warm wool ball is a great chilly-season choice. Check out all of PEP’s shirts online. (DK) Expanding Running Pack

The Mirage Pak by Nathan is a compact, lightweight running pack that looks like a stretchy nylon belt but in reality is a bounce-free, reflective pack that fits snug around your waist. It has the capacity to hold phones, keys, snacks, water, extra clothing or whatever else you want to stash but not feel as you run. Pick one up at Runner’s Soul for $20. (DK)

CAMPING Rooftop Tents

Spokane-based Adventure Sole’s rooftop tents combine the perks of car camping and tent camping, without the price of an RV. The tents, which are easy to set up off the side or back of your vehicle, come with a high-density foam mattress, a rainfly, travel cover, and side windows. Choose between the BRAVO RT ($894.99–$1,449.99), or the ECHO RT ($1,049.99–$1,549.99), which is designed for even more space. (EG) Fire Starter

Way more than a flint and steel, the Selkirk FireStarter proves that Buck Knives continues to be among the most innovative outdoor brands. From building fires to signaling for help, this unit features a whistle, a striker notch, bottle opener, straight-bit screwdriver, line tensioner and a 2” ferrocerium striker ($25). It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Selkirks or the Cascades, every outdoor enthusiast should add this to their list of backcountry essentials. (JJ) ENO Hammock

What better way to spend a backpacking trip than a night out under the stars? Eagles Nest Outfitters (aka ENO) hammocks, available at Mountain Gear, range from $60-$95, and can fit single or multiple people. The hammocks are lightweight and can be condensed to the size of a grapefruit. Constructed of durable material and hung on nautical grade line, these hammocks are an easy alternative to your normal tent and sleeping bag combo and are great to have around camp or your backyard for relaxing. (EG) Camp Beer Kit

Sometimes a beer just tastes better outdoors. This beer kit from GSI Outdoors lets you entertain your friends in style on camping trips. The $99.95 kit comes with a stainless steel growler, four stainless steel pint glasses, and a horseshoe set. (EG) Lightweight Camp Knife

The new Vertex knife from Buck Knives weighs less than 2 ounces, yet it features a 3-inch blade. The unique, scooped handle design reduces weight and makes it easier to grip while applying pressure with the blade. The serrated edge is especially useful cutting line, and the blade hole facilitates one-hand opening. Best of all, this remarkable knife costs less than $50, and it’s proudly made at the Buck Knives headquarters in Post Falls, Idaho. (JJ) 24 / december 2016


13 17




Omega Pacific Vulcan and Tephra Carabiners

Omega Pacific’s hot-forged Vulcan quickdraws and carabiners are perfect for anyone on the sharp end because they’re so light, and their shape is easy to clip. Tephras carabiners are available with the Trapwire keeper, to assist in proper orientation, or without, for greater versatility. Omega Pacific makes its home in Airway Heights. (JJ) Climbing Passes

Wild Walls indoor climbing gym is a fun way to stay active all winter long, for kids and adults, whether you’re a serious climber or not – especially for those who don’t enjoy traditional winter sports. Wild Walls offers a variety of climbing pass and lesson package gift cards online and at the gym downtown Spokane. (DK)

WATERSPORTS Huroic S-216 Dry Bags

This burly dry bag from Huroic (think heroic) features a roll-top closure, a stout handle and heavy duty, adjustable pack straps ($65). It’s 100% waterproof, which means it’s great for rafting or boating, and a great option for protecting expensive cameras or tablets in the backcountry. Huroic is based in Spokane, and the S-216 comes in three colors, is easy to clean, and features a 30-liter capacity. (JJ) Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard

Make your next trip to the lake or river a non-stop riot of fun with a lightweight and durable inflatable stand-up paddleboard from Spokane-based Stillwater Outdoors. The SUP, paddle, pump, repair kit and carrying bag are all included so you’ll be ready to hit the water. Choose from three sizes/styles online ($495-$1,095). (DK) Multi-Function Paddle

Western Washington-based Switchblade Multi-Purpose Paddles has created an innovative, four-piece paddle that converts from a SUP paddle to a kayak or canoe paddle in seconds. Ideal for stand-up paddleboarding in potentially windy conditions, the Switchblade allows paddlers to sit on their boards and turn their SUP paddle into a kayak paddle for safer and easier boating ($149-349). It’s also great if you own kayaks and paddleboards and want one paddle that works for all craft. (DK)


Here are three reason’s to slip a bottle of Spokane-made Kronic Tonic cannabis tincture into your lovedone’s stocking: 1. The Indica is an amazing, natural sleep aid; 2. The CBD option won’t get you high but has pain relief properties, even for pets; and 3. The Sativa tonic energizes and can add a kick to a ride, run or day on the slopes. Find all three Kronic Tonic varieties, which can be discreetly added to any beverage or consumed all by itself, at many local cannabis retailers for around $35. (DK) Darn Tough Socks

You can’t go wrong with a good pair of Darn Tough Socks from Wollnick’s. The socks, which come with an unconditional lifetime guarantee, are made to endure any type of weather. Manufactured in Vermont, the socks are perfect for work, bike, hike, and play ($13.95). (EG) Cookie Packs

Downtown Spokane’s Main Market Co-op makes delicious cookies from scratch starting at $6.99. Perfect as a small gift or stocking stuffer, the cookie packages come with a ribbon and gift tag, and include tasty delights such as Russian tea cookies, persimmon, gluten-free Florentines, almond madeleines, and double-chocolate, salted world peace cookies. (EG) Natural Electrolyte Concentrate

Grab a bottle of Lyte Balance electrolytes for yourself and a few as gifts and never suffer from cramps, fatigue or other ill effects of dehydration again. This pure, sugar-and-additive-free electrolyte concentrate can be added to any beverage ($40 for a 2-pack). Find it at Main Market, Huckleberry’s, Pilgrims Market and Winter Ridge Natural Foods. (DK)


fair trade

Blue Fir & Spice Chai Vanilla Oakwood Chamomile Sage 10% of proceeds are donated to the Spokane River Keeper to protect and preserve our Spokane Riverbecause a river runs through us!

Essential Oil Kits

The winter season brings dry, itchy skin. The Now Essential Oil Kits: Seasonal Changes, help to soothe skin and protect against the elements and help you unwind. The kits contain a set of four oils ($22.99) at Main Market Co-op. (EG) LED Flying Disc

Night Ize LED flying disc ($25) is a novelty gift and fun way to liven up any nighttime gathering. Available from REI. (ASM) Park Tool Pizza Cutter (17) 35 west Main, Spokane Mon-Sat: 10 am - 5:30 pm Sundays in Dec: 10 am - 4 pm

Looking for a fun biker-friendly gift? Try a pizza cutter from Park Tool, available at The Bike Hub. This fun, bike-shaped pizza cutter makes pizza even more exciting than before ($18). (EG) // december 2016 /


on the mountain Learn to Ski

Left: Ski lessons aren’t just for kids. Telemark skiers circle up at Whitewater’s Coldsmoke Powder Festival. Photo: Derrick Knowles. Right: The author learning to ski around and not into trees. // Photo courtesy of Aaron Theisen.

It’s Never Too Late

Learning to Ski as an Adult is a Life-Changing Adventure By Aaron Theisen

The first time I clicked in to skis, I didn’t know how to turn, how to weight my legs, where to put my hands. A guy with snow in his beard pointed me straight down the hill and I took off, letting my natural balance and my inability to know any better keep me afloat until it was time to stop or change direction, at which point I fell over. In other words, I skied like a kid. I was 32. I grew up in the scrubby second-growth forests of southwest Washington, where the best sliding surface around was mud, in great abundance. Mountain biking was a year-round sport, winter only bringing colder rain than the other months of the year; I only visited Mt. Hood, the nearest ski area, for downhill mountain bike races. However, as an adult living in Spokane, I realized that skiing is an essential component to a healthy social life: skiers often say “there are no friends on a powder day,” but if you’re young and active and a non-skier, it’s closer to “no friends in the winter.” I tired of friends asking me when I was going to learn to ski, just as they tired of my constantly evolving excuses for why now wasn’t a good time to dive in. So, several seasons back, I buckled under the peer pressure and bought an all-around touring setup, this despite the protests of even the ski shop salespeople: “You really should rent a few times to see if you even like skiing.” Like skiing? No, I knew I was going to hate it for a while before I enjoyed it. But I knew that being $2,000 dollars on the hook for it was going to be great motivation to stick with it, that pair of Black Diamond skis by the front door an unavoidable reminder of my investment. The conventional wisdom is that learning to ski

Section Sponsored in part By: 26 / december 2016

is easier as a child than an adult. Children have a natural fearlessness, sense of balance and muscle memory that allows the “skiing bug” to imprint itself more quickly and deeply. Adults, with fully formed skeletal systems and knowledge of their own mortality, tend to “ride the brakes” down the ski hill and, consequently, toward any sort of ski mastery. But I realized that, as an adult, I have several advantages when it comes to ski instruction. I know the right questions to ask of an instructor and can make quick mental adjustments to my technique. I also have the ability to set long-term goals and the patience to understand that, even if I’m cold and miserable and flailing today, there’s a long-term payoff. Also, I can drink. The flipside to making mental adjustments to one’s technique is “analysis paralysis,” which in skiing can lead to “spinal paralysis.” I’d take an hour lesson or get a pointer from a friend and fixate on that one new trick –“this is finally going to be the key that unlocks my skiing potential!” – and not on the gestalt of skiing as a fluid activity. (Also, I’ve

learned that shouting any sort of skiing affirmation, whether in my head or out loud, is an express ticket to a tree well.) For a season or two I tottered toward some sense of skiing ability, balancing the occasional private lesson with maddening backcountry forays. I enjoyed skiing but never had that gaper-grin sense of abandon that I saw on friends and in ski movies. Rather, I was skiing to stop, rather than skiing to go. I was always “looking for the exit,” so to speak: mentally and physically preparing to turn into the hill and stop, which inevitably led to getting too far into the backseat of the ski and falling. Finally, this fall, I had an epiphany, far from any snow. Jogging down a mountain trail, miming mountain bike handlebars in my hands – a vestige of downhill race course scouting – I realized that skiing is quite literally like riding a bike. Momentum is your friend. Bend your knees; get in a fighting stance. Look where you want to go, not where you don’t; your body knows how to get down the hill if you’d just get your mind out of its way. So, the next week, on an early-season back-

January Is Learn to Ski/Snowboard Month!

Every January, resorts around North America, including here in the Inland Northwest, celebrate Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month with excellent deals. Affordable packages include lessons, rentals and lift tickets for adults and kids who want to get outside and learn to ski or snowboard. Local resorts, including Mt. Spokane, 49 Degrees North, Silver Mountain and Lookout Pass offer great package deals for beginners all season long, but come January, the savings are even better. Plan ahead and don’t miss Learn to Ski/Snowboard month this year and let another winter of fun pass you by. To learn more about learn-to-ski programs for kids and adults at your favorite resort, visit

country touring trip high in the Whitefish Range of western Montana, I drank a cup or two of wine and I told myself, “you may as well fall skiing assertively rather than fall skiing passively.” I then linked the best sequence of flowing powder turns I’d ever done, juking around subalpine saplings and riding out the early-season lumps of barely buried stumps. I even launched myself off a rock kicker, completely heedless of my ability to land upright. (This time, I saved my celebration for after the powder face plant.) And I grinned stupidly the entire time. Because, as much as adults have the ability to focus on skill building and delay gratification, any kid will tell you that skiing is supposed to be fun. Despite the “no friends on a powder day” adage, I’ve had plenty of friends patiently sacrifice powder stashes to give me pointers or indulge my profanityladen mutterings as I search for a ski under a snowbank. They may not remember the first or last time they spear-tackled a subalpine fir when both bindings simultaneously released mid-turn, but they can laugh with me about mine. Also, they can drink too. And if I can repay their patience with a beer –and, hopefully, handicap their skiing ability in the process – then we all get down the hill so much better. After all, there may be no friends on a powder day, but everyone – skier and snowboarder, first-timer and old-timer alike – is friends in the ski lodge. // Aaron Theisen is a Spokane-based outdoors writer and photographer. He is co-author of the book Day Hiking Mount St. Helens.

on the mountain travel

Stoked on Revelstoke

Left: steep, deep and untracked. Photo: Ian Houghton // The Rockford has views to drink to. Photo: Grant Gunderson. Photos courtesy of Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Head North Now for Early-Season Powder By Derrick Knowles In some corners of the modern snow sports

world, the hype, unfortunately, seems to outweigh the powder on the ground. This thought crossed my mind as we drove in darkness on slick winter roads from Kelowna, B.C., north towards the widely acclaimed Mecca of North American resort powder skiing. Once a community ski hill tucked away in a remote and astoundingly beautiful corner of British Columbia 8 hours north of Spokane, Revelstoke Mountain Resort has captured the imaginations of skiers and snowboarders around the world in recent years with its 5,000 plus feet of lift-accessed vertical (the most in North America); 30-45 feet of annual snowfall; and epic terrain that includes expert level bowls, chutes and adjacent backcountry wilderness. As my buddy Phil and I slurped down a complimentary glass of wine in the lobby of the Sutton Place Hotel as we checked in for the night, I wondered, cynically, if the builtup legend of Revelstoke would stack up next to the actual experience come morning. We woke, not surprisingly, to fresh, shin-deep powder. Certainly not the depth of many of the regular dumps that frequent this northern reach of the Selkirk Mountains, but it was mid-week in

early December and everyone was plenty stoked. Breakfast was brief and utilitarian. Within minutes of waking from a solid night’s sleep in a room so comfortable that I could live there, we stepped out the backside of the hotel and walked a few yards in our boots to the Revelation Gondola for the 5,600 foot ride to the summit. The lift line was virtually non-existent, but there was a quiet quickness and anxious energy behind the movements of the riders climbing on board. It was, after all, a powder day. The gondola climbed nearly 4,000 feet up to the Stoke Chair which we then rode until it topped out in a sea of white at 7,300 feet. Fog clung to the peaks and seemed to emanate from the thick bands of firs below us. We were left filling in the blank spots with images from our imaginations. Our first runs on the Frontside, chosen because they seemed to be more straightforward black runs with fewer cliffs, rocks and other obstacles, were steep, powder-filled gallops down the mountain with only an occasional skier or snowboarder in sight. It was the closest thing to a backcountry experience I’ve ever had at a resort. Occasional whoops of joy from locals able to reap the pristine powder in the foggy woods at the edge of the runs – thanks to memorized lines – was

the only sound to be heard over the subtle whoosh of our skis floating through cold, light snow. As the visibility improved and the runs we’d been frequenting began to look more and more like frantic Etch A Sketch sessions from increasing skier traffic, we moved on to the North Bowl. After cutting left at the top of the Stoke Chair and traversing our way over for our first run on the other side, we hopped the Ripper Chair and watched riders dropping into bowls and chutes above us into what looked like familiar backcountry terrain but was, in fact, part of the resort that’s accessible via a short bootpack from the top of the Stoke Chair. Honoring our relatively conservative, intermediate abilities, we refrained from wandering too far off the beaten path (and by that I mean lightly-carvedup late morning powder fields) to avoid taking an unintended plunge into potentially sketchy terrain we could barely see. Yet we still managed to stray into a fast, fun dash below a cliff band and down a steep creek bottom that skied like a well-used backcountry ski out, requiring quick turns to navigate the maze of trees, rocks and creek-carved holes in the snow to get back to more well-traveled runs. Skiing or riding at Revelstoke, we learned, is always

an adventure. Our final run of the day (we had to do it), was a 5,600 foot leg burner all the way to the bottom where, after losing so much elevation, the early season powder had turned to slush and the sticks poking through the snow outnumbered other skiers 100 to one. By that point we were beat and ready to kick back and chill with a beverage at the Rockford, a bright and energetic bar and grill in the Village Base, but the rowdy crowd of Albertans next to us were still so visibly stoked from slaying powder in the resort and adjacent sidecountry that it was impossible not to join them. Raising our voices, we laughed along with their tales of waist-deep powder and hucking cliffs into a white abyss, reveling all the while in the fact that unlike so many snow-inspired things that are marketed to us in over-hyped language and imagery these days, Revelstoke is the real deal. // Derrick Knowles is the co-publisher of Out There Monthly. His first story for OTM, an article about the Imnaha Store and Tavern’s once-upon-a-time bear and rattlesnake feed, was published in the first issue back in 2004.

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december 2016 /


on the mountain Backcountry

Skiing Uphill

Rules to Follow if you Plan to Ski or Snowshoe up Mt. Spokane this Winter

By Skye Schillhammer and Derrick Knowles As we head into winter in the Inland

Northwest, many of us are gearing up for winter activities, and for many seasoned and aspiring backcountry skiers and snowboarders, that means getting in shape and practicing with their gear. For those in the Spokane area, we have a great, sanctioned resource at our local ski hill that only a few communities have in their backyards in the form of a designated uphill travel route at Mt. Spokane. It allows snowgoers to use human power to ascend the mountain in designated places and at specific times. At some resorts, a lift ticket is required to be on the slopes, and uphill traffic is prohibited; however, a growing number of ski areas, including Mt. Spokane, have responded to the surging interest in backcountry skiing and riding and interest in uphill travel at resorts by incorporating uphill travel and sidecountry opportunities into their winter sports offerings. The accompanying rules specifying when, where and how skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers can ascend the mountain are in place for the safety of all recreationists, resort guests and ski resort employees. When it comes to limited powder resources, there’s also an issue of fairness to the lift ticket and season pass holding riders looking for lift service to shred as many laps and carve as many turns as their legs can handle. Mt. Spokane’s uphill policy serves many regular lift riders but also others who may only occasionally ski or snowboard in the downhill ski area. Many of the people who climb up Mt. Spokane in the winter from the snowmobile/Lower Selkirk parking lot are groups and families on snowshoes who stay outside of the ski area boundary on State Park trails, while the bulk of those skiers and splitboarders taking advantage of the designated in-bounds uphill route 28 / december 2016

at Lodge 1 are usually geared up with climbing skins and backcountry gear and are there for one or more reasons: to get in shape, to practice with their backcountry gear in a safe environment, or to sneak in a few free powder runs. Fitness Fanatics

A number of the regular uphill travelers disappearing up the mountain above Lodge 1 on any given morning are there to crank out as much climbing as they can as part of a personal fitness regimen often intended to keep their bodies tuned for future backcountry forays. These individuals typically have their highly breathable clothing dialed to limit sweating on the way up and some of them may time their ascents, trying to best personal records. With its proximity to downtown Spokane and the Valley, Mt. Spokane is the most convenient place for backcountry riders to build up their backcountry lungs and legs and possibly score a powder run or two before work on weekdays. Practice Makes Perfect

Having a place where it’s legal and safe for people to gain experience with their backcountry ski or splitboard gear before heading out on backcountry riding adventures in more remote, consequential places is essential. Such practice is necessary to gain confidence and strength and to work the bugs out of touring gear and learn how to properly use avalanche safety gear that is standard for backcountry excursions. Heading up with a group of friends to get your backcountry gear and bodies tuned up also provides a great opportunity to socialize with and get to know the strengths, quirks and potential liabilities of future backcoun-

Top Left: Please follow the uphill rules and stay on the designated route. Courtesy of Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard park // Top right: skiing uphill. // Bottom: Above the clouds. // Photos: Skye Schillhammer

try touring partners. Whether it’s a small group of friends or a large organized group of enthusiasts, climbing to the top offers quality social time with the chance to learn from others. Powder Hounds

Some skiers and riders ski up Mt. Spokane with the main goal being to get in an extra untracked powder run or two before the lifts start running. Don’t expect to see these folks, usually flying solo or in small groups, lollygagging or chit-chatting much along the up-track, as they push to get as many powder runs in as possible while the uphill route is open. Mt. Spokane Uphill Travel Policy Rules

Because the route designated by the Uphill Travel Policy resides within the Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park concession area, there are some rules to follow. During the week, guests must park at Lodge 1 between the two driveways on the lodge side of the road. On weekends, parking is moved to the employee space just uphill from Lodge 1. If guests will be parking before operational hours or on a non-operational day, they will need to display their Sno-Park permit. The designated B-29 ascent route begins at the base of Lodge 1 and travels uphill, on the far left side (looking uphill), to the junction with B-29, following the outside edge of the groomed trail to the uphill junction with Tea Kettle. The uphill route then follows the outside edge of Tea Kettle adjacent to the ski area boundary to the summit. Uphill travelers must stay on the trail edge closest to the ski area boundary (left when travelling uphill). The uphill route is available from 6:30-9:10 a.m. on days when the resort is operating, with some excep-

tions several weekends a year when ski race events are scheduled (check Mt. Spokane’s uphill policy website for updates). At 9:10 a.m., skinners must be transitioned to downhill skiers regardless of where they are on the trail. Prior to 9:10 a.m., the descent route is limited to Tea Kettle/B29 only. After 9:10 a.m., any open run can be skied. Uphill travel according to the policy is also allowed on nonoperational days, including from 6:30 a.m. until dusk on Mondays; 6:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesdays (except Holidays); and on Sunday evenings after the ski area has closed and the runs have been swept and cleared (usually 4:30 p.m. until the park closes at dusk). Uphill travelers are also required to be visible (by wearing headlamps during hours of darkness) and yield to all downhill traffic (person or machine). Pets are not allowed in the ski area. Remember, it is a privilege to be granted this access, and we must be respectful to keep this good relationship. All uphill travelers in the patrolled ski area boundary are considered skiers and are required to familiarize themselves with the uphill ski policy as well as Mt. Spokane’s Skier’s Responsibility Code (found online). A designated and sanctioned uphill route at Mt. Spokane is a relatively new privilege, and, hopefully, such access will continue to expand at Mt. Spokane and at more resorts in the coming years. To read the full Mt. Spokane Uphill Travel Policy, visit // Skye Schillhammer is a freelance photographer and bike shop employee at the Bike Hub in downtown Spokane. He wrote about paddleboarding in the Idaho backcountry in August.

december 2016 /


on the mountain Profiles

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When not adventuring, Mark Beattie can be found knee deep in the boot section at Mountain Gear.// Photo Shallan Knowles

Mountain Mugs

Mountain Gear’s Mark Beattie Explains Why There is No Bad Ski Day By Derrick Knowles

Last March I walked up to the counter at

Mountain Gear with a few pieces of backpacking gear and chatted briefly with the store’s assistant manager, Mark Beattie, about our outdoor plans for the weekend. Since a warm front had moved through and nuked the powder I had originally hoped to be skiing, I explained that I had shifted gears and was headed down to Hells Canyon for a three-day hike in the desert. Beattie shrugged off my glum assessment of the snowpack and noted that he would be skiing up at Lookout over the weekend. He made it clear that it wasn’t even a question; he’d rather be skiing no matter what the conditions were like. I knew then that Beattie wasn’t your typical skier but a true-blue fan of sliding on all sorts of snow, in all types of weather. In other words, a rare breed of snow rider these days. “Many of my friends look at me and say ‘dude, it hasn’t snowed in a week,’ or ‘it’s really icy,’” he says. “I say, yeah, okay. It just means you get to ski more diverse conditions.” After skiing for nearly 50 years, Beattie has a personal and varied history with skiing that spans well beyond his 8 years selling skis and other outdoor gear at Mountain Gear. Growing up in Wallace, Idaho, in the 60s, he says his mom figured out that she could put him on a bus to the free ski school at Lookout Pass when he was 7, and that’s pretty much what he did every weekend for years after that first season. Beattie went on to ski all over the West and at many other resorts and backcountry spots around the world, but he says Lookout Pass, where he currently teaches telemark lessons, still feels like home. He started teaching alpine skiing at Lookout Pass in 1972, and after getting into tele, he says he had a hard time convincing anyone that there were people who wanted to learn the trademark knee drop of the telemark turn. Eventually he got a gig teaching tele at Squaw Valley in 1983. “Back then the equipment sucked,” he admits. “I look back and think, ‘why did I do that?’ The first sets of skis were double camber and were really hard to turn.”

Beattie worked as a ski instructor at various ski hills, from Taos and Squaw Valley to Copper Mountain, among other places. Eventually he returned to the Inland Northwest and opened Vertical Earth in Coeur d’Alene, selling bikes and telemark, cross-country and AT equipment. After 12 years he sold the shop and moved on, eventually landing at Spokane’s Mountain Gear. With Beattie’s extensive outdoor industry resume and commitment to the ski bum lifestyle, it’s hard to fathom how many amazing powder days on renowned slopes he’s racked up. But what I find most interesting and inspirational is the fact that this guy seems stoked to ski in any conditions, anytime, anyplace. I eventually ask him straight up what keeps him so motivated to ski even on crappy days. “I’m skiing,” he says matter-of-factly. “That’s all it takes. I have boards on my feet and can turn left or turn right. It’s a challenge to get down whatever slope no matter what the conditions are. I want to be able to negotiate whatever. What more could you want?” It’s worth noting that Beattie isn’t just out there banging out 54 ski days (that’s his tally from last year) on alpine equipment but on more challenging and physically taxing tele gear. His current go-to set-up is a pair of Scarpa TX Pro NTN tele boots, 22 Designs Outlaw bindings and Dynastar Cham 2.0 boards. For those of you who have never freed your heels, you may be wondering why a person would intentionally make skiing more challenging than it already is by choosing to tele. “I think it’s the range of motion,” says Beattie. “You can go through a much greater range of movement than you can on alpine gear. It allows my body to go through big cycles, almost like pedaling a bike. I like the fact that it’s a little more sensitive and takes a little more effort.” I have seen the bumper sticker on water bottles and various ski bum rigs loaded with boards, but when Beattie concludes our conversation with these words, I know he means it: “Skiing is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.” //

on the mountain deals

Save on powder days with a Mountain Sports Club membership. // Photo: Aaron Theisen

Resort Hook-Up

Save at Local and Regional Resorts with a Mountain Sports Club Membership Whether you have a season pass or not, a

Mountain Sports Club membership gives you more options to ski and ride around the Inland Northwest, British Columbia and at resorts around North America without ever paying full price. Save with 2 for 1 lift tickets, other lift ticket discounts, and ski and stay deals at local and regional resorts. The slogan for Coloradobased Mountain Sports Club is “use it once and it’s paid for. Use it often and save hundreds!” The membership-based, online discount service offers skiers and snowboarders unlimited printable discount coupons (redeemable by the member who prints them out only) to save on lift tickets, resort lodging and other outdoor recreation-oriented services like ski and board waxing. Various restrictions apply and only one resort coupon can

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be used per member per day. Through December 31, 2016, you can become a Mountain Sports Club member for only $29.95 using this special Out There Monthly membership discount code (OTM1216). That’s over $15 off the normal early-winter pricing, and the cost of membership will go up later in the winter as more regional and national resort deals are added. All you need to do is use your membership once to get a 2 for 1 lift ticket and membership more than pays for itself. Here are some of the deals Mountain Sports Club membership will hook you up with so far this season, with more lift ticket discounts and ski and stay deals coming soon: • $15 (Canadian) off a one-day adult lift ticket at



RED Mountain Resort all season (rate based on exchange rate on day of purchase).

• $10 off lift tickets on Mondays & Tuesdays at 49 Degrees North (excluding holidays).

• Ski & stay at Whitefish Mountain Resort for $90 (per person, per night based on double occupancy and a 2 night stay–excluding holidays).

• $10 off lift tickets and 40% off lodging at Grand Targhee (with early booking).

• 2 for 1 lift tickets at Brundage Mountain SundaysFridays all season (excluding holidays) and $20 off on Saturdays (starting March 5). • 2 for 1 lift tickets at Lookout Pass all season (excluding holidays). • 2 for 1 night skiing at Mt. Spokane (WednesdaysFridays).

• 50% off on ski/board tunes or hot wax at Mountain Gear. Like a ski pass, the price of Mountain Sports Club membership is cheaper earlier in the season, so sign up before December 31, 2016, to lock in the $29.95 discount price using the discount code (OTM1216). Check out all of the available deals from around North America and become a member at Or call the Out There Monthly office with questions (509-822-0123). //

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32 / december 2016

on the mountain Mountain culture

them. Thankfully, I have a significant other who has taught me how to patiently enjoy the time on the mountain. So I have taken it all in over the past few years and have discovered that there are five people you will likely share a table with in the lodge this season. THE LODGE MOM

Her kids are either in all-day lessons or are ski racers, and she wants absolutely nothing to do with going out into the cold white yonder. Armed with an iPad, laptop, and at least two Patricia Cornwell novels, the Lodge Mom has no trouble killing time while the kids are on the hill. In fact, she seems to enjoy it. When you ask if you can have a seat, she smiles and says “of course dear,” somehow knowing how tired your legs are. You become a little more jealous every time you see her. ANGRY DAD

Imagine trying to keep tabs on four kids under the age of 10. This poor guy probably lost it about five minutes before you walked in, likely due to little Billy stuffing his half-eaten tuna fish sandwich into his sister’s helmet and then mashing the helmet on her head. In case you were not aware, getting the smell of tuna fish out of helmets and hair is nearly impossible. As you sit down, you notice the guy has a funny eye twitch and keeps repeating “I told you to knock it off!” in a soft voice. You eat quickly and leave.

sometimes you can find a sunny spot on the deck. // Photos: Shallan Knowles

Ski Bum Advice

Five People You Might Share a Table With in the Lodge By Brad Northrup

the moment you sit down. You eat quietly, keeping your focus on the cheeseburger and fries in front of you, and attempt to avoid staring at them. The people at the next table can only glance at you in pity. MR. LIQUID LUNCH

The two pitchers of beer (one empty) and only one glass say it all. Sure, everyone refuels at lunch in their own way, but this dude is diligent about rehydrating with barley pop. PBR should seriously consider sponsoring him. He mumbles something like “why not?” when you inquire if you can take a seat. He does not offer you a glass, no matter how thirsty you try to look. CAPTAIN EGO

As you approach this guy’s table, the conversation gets your attention right away. Captain Ego is lecturing his girlfriend on the finer points of skiing, and he appears to take a great deal of pleasure in pointing out her deficiencies while alluding to his own superiority. She must feel truly blessed to have him as her skiing savior. You resist the urge to vomit in your mouth as he begins his dissertation on why keeping your feet glued together and leaning back is crucial to making pretty turns. // Brad Northrup is a former ski racer, coach, and ski bum. He secretly looks forward to his lunch breaks in the lodge.


As I get older and slower, I find that taking

more breaks is essential to making it through a day on the mountain. Not really sure when this happened, either. I used to be able to jump on the first chair and tear it up (or at least I thought

so) until noon, then do a burner to the lodge for a quick bite. I never stayed long, and I always looked in pity at those poor souls who were trying to enjoy lunch amongst the steaming, exhausted hordes that packed the lodge. Now I am one of

If sucking face were a sport, these two would be gold medal winners. Ah, to be young and in love. I’d take young at this point. Anyway, they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other, despite the fact that they are in the middle of a massive room with 300 other people. You feel awkward

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december 2016 /


on the mountain Artifacts

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Breaking out the “rock skis” for bony early and late season snowpacks is an annual tradition for many diehard skiers.// Photo: Scott Knowles

Rock Skis

An Ode to Early-Season Sticks By Brad Northrup


34 / december 2016


Maybe you’ve seen this movie before. You have a brand new set of sticks that were just mounted and tuned, and they’ve been calling for you to take them on their maiden voyage. The local resorts just opened, and the coverage is thin at best. Not able to control yourself, you head to the hill with your “babies,” where you promptly take a core shot and nearly blow out an edge. The guys at your local ski shop just shake their heads when you take your skis in for repair. It happens to the best of us, and it’s a hard lesson to learn, but once this does happen to you, you may be the owner of a set of rock skis. Calling them “rock skis” does not necessarily mean you are skiing on rocks, though depending on where you ski, you might be. No, a set of skis to use when conditions are less than optimal is a must-have for those who choose to ski from opening day to closing day. Sure, it would be great if every season opened and closed with four feet of consolidated snow pack, but the reality is that our local mountains typically will open with coverage that is around a foot deep and sometimes less. When spring comes early and warm, the end of the season can have similar snow conditions. Hang on to your last set of skis and use them when things are a little lean in the mountains. If brand new skis are all you have in the garage and you would like to add a set of rock skis to your arsenal, hit up any one of the fall ski swaps. Don’t

hesitate to also check out Craigslist for used gear or one of the many online shops for demos from last year. A couple hundred bucks will get you a decent pair and you won’t feel horrible if you wind up hitting a few things. Sure beats trashing your new ones that cost over a grand, doesn’t it? The biggest reason to have rock skis is that you will end up getting more life out of your “good” skis, which saves you money in the long run. Once you take a shot to your edges or bases, those new skis never perform the same again. Sure, they will still turn left and right, but you’ll notice the difference after taking some damage to what were once unblemished skis. Rock skis are a great way to protect the rest of your fleet, and they give you another tool to use based on the conditions. Once you have a pair of rock skis, get them tuned when needed and keep them waxed. Just because they are not your primary skis does not mean you don’t want them to ski well. Early- and late-season snow can be hard and granular, so having edges that operate efficiently will make the days you do spend on them that much more fun. // Brad Northrup is an avid skier, fly fisher, and mountain climber. A graduate of Eastern Washington University, he is the author of numerous outdoor and historical articles. Brad wrote about winter weather predictions in October.

on the mountain Mountain Culture

Piste Off Liftie Keeping it Real By Brad Northrup confused. I thought this was totally okay. Shoot, some of them like it. “If asked by a guest how your day is going, replying that it sucks or is poopy, for lack of a better word, is not acceptable.” But what if that actually is how my day is going? Just being honest. Thought folks might appreciate that. Guess not. “While loading the lifts, polling guests about whether they prefer the band Slayer over the band Anthrax is not an effective means of engaging with the public.” Hey, this a serious question, man, and it should not be taken lightly. “On Employee Costume Day, showing up for your shift dressed as Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Caitlyn Jenner is not in the best interests of our organization.” Yeah, maybe not, but

damn, it sure makes folks chuckle. “If approached by an intoxicated guest inquiring as to the location of the restroom, do not direct them to the General Manager’s office.” Sorry about that one. Couldn’t resist. “During early season operations when overall coverage is limited, when asked by a guest how the snow is, responding by asking them how they like to ski on polished concrete with huckleberry bushes poking through is not a positive way to describe the product we are delivering.” Okay, the part about huckleberry bushes was a stretch. “Refrain from asking every female guest that you load on the chair to hit you up with their digits when they cycle around.” C’mon bro, this is a numbers game that has to pay off eventually.

“When asked by guests or fellow employees how you like your job, replying that it sure beats working for a living should be avoided.” Yeah, but it does, and I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world. Maybe my responses to the situational questions were a little off the mark, but you can’t hack on a guy for being himself. Yeah, I know there are a few things I need to work on, but you can count on one thing. I am the guy with the huge crap-eating grin who will greet you first thing every morning this season, and that grin is as real as it gets. // Piste Off Liftie depicts oft exaggerated and sometimes fictional accounts of mountain exploits and is penned by Brad Northrup, a former ski industry professional and mountain man.


Photo : ryan f l et t

A new ski season is upon us, and man am I stoked. Took a new gig this off-season working at a local pot shop, mainly because it pays better than the one I had at the casino last year. The shop was a pretty chill way to pass the days until the snow flies, but now it’s go time. Thought working retail off the mountain might give me some better people skills that would translate to my role on the hill, but we just wrapped up some pre-season customer service and employee training that involved a lot of role playing and hypothetical situations, and I failed in epic fashion. Check out the comments my supervisor made on my evaluation. “When entering the lodge or employee break room, giving your fellow team members the finger is not an appropriate method of greeting.” I’m

The calm sense of oneness and belonging, once considered extinct in shred circles, combined with a laid-back approach to life. Meeting a RED local on the chairlift, being shown a secret powder stash, and then invited to demolish a pitcher of beer après at Rafters with your new BFF, laughing like lunatics from first chair to last call.

We might be makin’ up words, but there’s nothing makebelieve about this place. Just 8 miles north of the border, RED Mountain Resort feels like an entirely different world. It may be difficult to find the words to describe it yourself. Explore more weird words and killer vacation packages this winter at:

r ed reso rt.c o m / r e d i c t i o n a ry

december 2016 /


Enjoy Winter Your WayDiscretely INDICA: RESTFUL SLEEP CBD: PAIN RELIEF without the “high” SATIVA: UPLIFTING ENERGY








ELIEF FOR / december 2016


SKI TIP Relax & Unwind Discreetly Powder Skiing

OutdoorCalendar BIKING

(November 26) This Bike Life Chili Ride.

Where: South Hill shop. When: 1 p.m. Join the TBL South crew and ride for a 10-mile mountain bike ride and after-ride chili and tasty beverages. Info:

(December 4) Global Fat Bike Day +1. Where: Schweitzer Roundabout, Sandpoint. In its 5th year, Global Fat Bike Day is just like it sounds, a day to celebrate and ride fat bikes. Free Surly and Salsa fat bike demos from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Group fat bike rides leave at 1:30 p.m. Maps provided and pre-arranged rentals are available for $20. Sponsored by Greasy Fingers Bikes N Repair and Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Info: 208.255.4496.

(December 4) Fatbike Festivus Demo Rides. Where: Blue Creek Bay Trails, Coeur d’Alene. When: Noon to 4 p.m. Coeur d’Alene area bike shops are providing a free demo day for trying fat bikes on the trails at Blue Creek Bay. Sign-up and signing out bikes will be located at the east side of the Blue Creek Bay Trailhead next to the vehicle parking. Info: Call Kent at 208-667-8969

RUNNING (November 24) BRRC Turkey Trot.

Where: Manito Park duck pond, Spokane. The run is free but food donations to Second Harvest Food Bank are accepted.

(December 31) Resolution Run.

Where: Riverfront Park, Spokane. When: 6:45 p.m. Free 5K run/walk through the park that’s part of the downtown Spokane First Night celebration. Info:

(November 24) Opening Day at Big White.

(December 9-10) Big Reds at Big White.

Where: Big White Ski Resort, Kelowna, B.C. Always one of the first resorts in the Northwest to open. Info:

(November 24) Opening Day at Silver Star Mountain Resort (tentative). Where: Silver Star, Vernon, B.C. British Columbia’s 3rd largest ski area opens early and serves up the deep, dry snow the Okanagan is famous for. Info:

(November 25) Opening Day at Silver Mountain Resort (scheduled). Where: Silver Mountain, Kellogg, Idaho. Check online for current info and details. Info:

(November 26) Kellogg Christmas Lighting Festival. Where: Silver Mountain Resort, Kellogg. When: 5-9 p.m. A lighted parade begins in uptown Kellogg and ends in the Silver Mountain Village. After the parade join a tree lighting, cookies, hot drinks, caroling by the Sweet Adeline’s, raffles, and pictures with Santa. Stick around for the premier of the ski film “Lifted: A Ski Film for the Rest of Us” from 7-9 p.m. Info:

(December 10) Reindeer Run.

(December 2) Winter Wildlands Backcountry Film Festival. Where: Panida Theater, Sandpoint.

Wash. When: 2-3 p.m. Come celebrate Christmas with a 5k fun run/walk. Prizes will be awarded for the ugliest sweater, best stockings, and best costume. Info:

(December 3) Mt Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park Opening Day (scheduled). Where: Mt. Spokane. Check online for current info and details. Info.

(December 2) Schweitzer Mountain Resort’s Opening Day (scheduled). Where: Sandpoint,

(December 10) Stocking Stuffer 5K Fun Run/ Walk. Where: Coney Island Park, Medical Lake,

Where: Fernie, B.C. Info:


(December 3) Jingle Bell Run/Walk. Where: Riverfront Park, Spokane. 5K with a holiday costume contest that benefits the arthritis research. Info: Where: McEuen Park, Coeur d’Alene. Christmas themed 5K loop. Cost: $22 Info: 208-765-7604.

Day (scheduled).

Idaho. Info:

When: 6-9 p.m. Proceeds help Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education (SOLE) get over 450 local youth on the snow to explore and learn in their local winter wildlands. Tickets are $12, with $10 discount tickets available at Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters. Info:

(December 2) Fernie Alpine Resort Opening

Where: Big White Ski Resort, Kelowna, B.C. Enjoy hand crafted, amazing Okanagan wines in an intimate atmosphere while interacting with the winemakers. Pair the wines with the incredible early season powder at Big White. Info:

(December 9) Whitewater Ski Resort Opening Day (scheduled). Where: Nelson, B.C. Lift tickets will be 20% off as not all of the terrain will be open. Info:

(December 10) RED Mountain Resort Opening Day (scheduled). Where: Rossland, B.C. Check online for current info and details. Info: Redresort. com

(December 10) Kimberley Alpine Resort Opening Day (scheduled). Where: Kimberley, B.C. Info:

(December 17) Local Brewfest and Live Music. Where: 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort, Chewelah, Wash. Powder intermingles with the finest local craft breweries. Join 49’s thirstiest powder hounds for a Saturday of hops and fun. Meet local brewers and talk beer from 10 2 p.m. Ray Vasquez will be playing solo acoustic tunes from 12-4 p.m. Info:

(December 23) Ski with Santa.

Where: Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint. When: 1-3 p.m. Come take a run with Santa over the holidays. Info:

(December 25) Annual Christmas Day Buffet. Where: Lookout Pass, Mullan, ID. When: 11 a.m. Looking for somewhere to go Christmas day? Stop by the base lodge at Lookout Pass for a warm meal served 11-2. Info:


from 50k to 5k. Info:

(April 2) Hauser Lake 10K Icebreaker Run.

(May 7) Lilac Bloomsday Run. Where: Downtown Spokane. Spokane’s most famous 12K fun run. Info:

B.C. A festival for skiers, snowboarders, splitboarders and tele skiers. Clinics, competitions, parties and more. Info:

(May 20) Troika Triathlon. Where: Medical Lake. Options include Olympic course, long course and sprint course. Info:

(February 12) Langlauf 10k Nordic Race. Where: Mount Spokane State Park. Info:


(March 5) Spokane Nordic Challenge 20/30/50k Loppet. Where: Mount Spokane State Park. The

Where: Hauser Lake, Idaho. The Ice Breaker run is an annual 10k race the first Sunday in April. It is an official Bloomsday Second Seed race benefiting special needs dogs at the Double J Dog Ranch. Info:

(April 23) Spokane River Run. Where: Riverside State Park. Annual trail run held through beautiful pine forest along the Spokane River. Courses range

Have an Event You Would Like to List? Please visit and click “Add Event” under the “Outdoor Calendar” tab to get your events listed online and considered for the monthly print magazine calendar. To be considered for the print calendar, events MUST be entered by the 20th of the month to be listed in the following month’s issue. Please follow the instructions for submitting an event using the web form.

Powder - It’s what every skier dreams about and once they’ve had it they want more. For all its dreamy attributes it can also knock the wind out of even the best of skiers. Here are a couple of quick pointers to make sure that your next powder skiing story has a happy ending. 1) Start with a good stance. You might have heard that you need to lean back in the powder, this is not the case. Try to feel the entire length of the bottom of your foot in your ski boot with your shins just lightly touching the tongues of your boots; this will help keep you in the middle of your skis. A narrower stance is good too, it helps create one big platform with both of your skis instead of two skinny ones that are wide apart, this “platform” will be easier to turn. 2) The hardest turns in powder are the �irst couple so it’s important to get a good rhythm going. Start by heading down the slope and bouncing a little bit, this will help your skis rise to the surface of the snow much like a dolphin breaking the surface of the water to take a breath. When your skis break or get close to the surface that’s when you want to turn them. Big White Ski Resort is a powder paradise with over 24 feet of world renowned dry Champagne Powder falling annually. Josh Foster

Director of Snow Sports Big White Ski Resort

Josh Foster

(February 24-26) Kootenay Coldsmoke Powder Festival. Where: Whitewater Ski Resort, Nelson,

sponsored by

Spokane Nordic Challenge Loppet has options for 20, 30 or 50 kilometer distances. “Loppet” is the traditional term for a long-distance cross country ski event that can be either recreational or competitive. Info:

december 2016 /


LastPage A Duct tape then beer odyssey // By Jon Jonckers

Artwork courtesy of the Dirtbag Diaries.

Back in 2007, Fitz Cahall used his tiny bedroom

closet in Seattle as a studio to begin recording what would eventually become The Dirtbag Diaries. Over 3 million downloads later, his humble Northwest adventure narratives have grown into one of the most popular outdoor podcasts on iTunes. Recently, Outside Magazine named it one of the 8 Best Outdoorsy Podcasts, writing that the podcast is “made by insiders and obsessives who pipe the culture of adventure straight into your ears.” Telling stories around the campfire or while sitting on the tailgate at a trailhead, these are the hilarious and epic stories that never appear in

most magazines. The narratives that sprout from the Dirtbag Diaries are not sponsored or promoted by Nike, Burton, or Red Bull champions. They are the weekend warriors who report their biking or paddling failures along with their successes. The podcast hooks listeners with epic climbs, absurd routes, funny coincidences, and a healthy dose of sarcastic wit to temper anyone’s ego. They always focus on the story instead of slick marketing or high production costs. Cahall might have easily rested on the success of the Dirtbag Diaries, but he didn’t want to be known for just one thing. After all, he’s just as daring as his podcast subjects, but he never boasts about climb-

ing 5.13 climbs, onsighting 5.12 trad climbs, or climbing The Nose in a day. Instead, he founded a storytelling agency, Duct Tape Then Beer, and began producing award-winning films like The Road From Karakol (Best in Fest Award, 5 Point Film Festival and Best Mountain Adventure Film, Kendal Mountain Film Festival) and 35 (Best Short Film, 2013 Banff Film Festival). With a video camera, Fitz began collaborating with more storytellers than he could have with only a microphone. He worked alongside Mikey Schaefer, Austin Siadak, and Bryan Smith to bring dramatic stories to life including amputees climbing El Cap, activists in the Utah desert, and an angler in search of the most impossible fish story. These stories gradually encouraged more and more people, propelling Fitz to some of his biggest projects to date. He eventually landed projects with National Geographic, Arcteryx, Outdoor Research, and REI. In summer 2016, Fitz blended a Dirtbag Diaries podcast into a short, inspirational movie, and it launched October 10. The title is simply “Paul’s Boots,” and the arc of the story brings together a widow in Australia, some size 13 boots, and a huge tribe of hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Fitz wrote, “Think of this as a nonlinear Olympic torch relay. We had three sets of boots and, throughout the summer, they were all on the trail at different points. Together, the boots and those that carried them, covered the length of the Appalachian Trail. 2,189 miles.” If you enjoyed the podcast, you’re going to love the movie. Ultimately, 40 hikers between the ages of 8 and 70 were selected to carry a pair of Paul’s boots over every section of the Appalachian Trail. USA Today caught wind of the project and added a small dose

of media attention. The podcaster-turned-moviemaker packed decades of Northwest adventures into the dream of sharing the richness of outdoor experiences, and the horizon is still unlimited in every direction. The 2017 production goals for Duct Tape Then Beer are equally ambitious, and there’s no doubt that they will accumulate more film festival awards in the near future. Even now, the Dirtbag Diaries podcast remains Fitz’s original passion project. He says, “Don’t let anyone fool you. Character, tension, and heart make a great story, not helicopters and fancy cameras.” While the stories do flow from all over the world, the majority center on the Pacific Northwest. Admittedly, some are better than others strictly because interests vary or attitudes change. But until you hear about it, you may never know that someone built their own sailboat in their garage and sailed the length of Mexico solo. Each diary episode is simply amazing. Fitz once wrote, “Story is the currency of outdoor culture. That’s not a belief. It’s a fact.” If you agree with this statement, like most people, then you must also agree that Fitz is among the wealthiest adventurers in the Pacific Northwest outdoor community. Sign up for the Dirtbag Diaries on iTunes or check out to watch their movies and see what’s coming around the bend. // Jon Jonckers serves on the board for the Friends of the Centennial Trail and is also an Assistant Cross Country Coach at Shadle Park High School. He enjoys shooting photos across the Northwest, and his pictures have been published in several national running and climbing magazines. Jon wrote about the Riblet Tramways in October.

Travel smart. Get vaccinated. Travel Vaccinations & Routine Immunizations by Appointment If you’re making international travel plans, ensure that you stay healthy by updating all routine vaccines as well as any recommended travel vaccinations. Reliant LifeWorks offers a full spectrum of immunizations as well as travel-specific vaccines such as Japanese Encephalitis, Typhoid and Yellow Fever. OUR TRAVEL VACCINATION & ROUTINE IMMUNIZATION SERVICES INCLUDE:

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38 / december 2016




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oo USD

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Altai Skis Hok w/ Xtrace Binding $312.95

2002 N Division, Spokane • 509.325.9000 • Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am-8 pm, Sat 10 am-6 pm, Sun 11 am-5 pm

Black Diamond Orbit Lantern Reg $29.95 SALE $19.98 Osprey Men’s Talon 22 Women’s Tempest 20 $99.95 SmartWool Men’s & Women’s Light Hiker $17.95 The North Face Guardian Etip Glove $50.00

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 18oz $29.95

Swix Ski & Snowboard T75 Consumer Wax Iron $39.95

Black Diamond Big Air Package $27.95

Patagonia Women’s Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T $99.00

Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Cork Trekking Poles Reg $149.95 SALE $99.98

Atlas 9 Series Elektra Snowshoe Kit Reg $209.95 SALE $149.98

Oakley Airbrake Goggles Reg $220.00 SALE $119.98

The North Face Men’s Chilkat II Women’s Chilkat III $110.00

Smith Aspect Helmet $99.95

40 / december 2016

Patagonia Men’s & Women’s Down Sweater $229.00

La Sportiva Men’s & Women’s Tarantulace $79.95

Sherman Peak loop trail near Republic WA

Photo: Jim Rueckel

Out There Monthly December 2016  

Local Holiday Gift Guide Women's Hiking Gear Dirtbag Diaries Artifacts: Rock Skis Exploring Local Sidecountry Learn to Ski or Snowboard

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