ON THE MOUNTAIN SKI/SNOWBOARD SPECIAL SECTION OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 // FREE
THE INLAND NW GUIDE TO OUTDOOR ADVENTURE, TRAVEL AND THE OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE
HIKES in Wine Country Family WINTER SPORTS GUIDE PG. 25 NATURE CANADA LyNX RIDE THE FERrY COUNTY RAIL TRAIL
SINGLE-TRACK LOCAL RIDERS' TOP TRAILS
WINTER SEASON KICKOFF: SEASON'S PREDICTIONS // EVENTS, FILMS & PARTIES // RESORT NEWS & DEALS // GETTING IN SHAPE TO SHRED // SKI BUM ADVICE // SKI & SNOWBOARD GEAR & MORE
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19 | Close to Town Fall Hikes 22 | Hikes in WA Wine Country
22 SPECIAL SECTIONS 26 | Family Winter Sports Guide 32 | On The Mountain Ski/Snowboard Section
DEPARTMENTS 13 | Running 14 | Biking 15 | Nature 16 | Gear Room 17 | Biking
12 | Everyday Cyclist
IN EVERY ISSUE
27 | Out There Kids
21 | Eatology
10 | Hike of the Month 20 | Provisions 28 | Outdoor Calendar 30 | Last Page
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Photo: Aaron Theisen 6
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
Intro: Off the Map WHEN I SAW the 2003 film “Off the Map” that
explores the life of an eccentric family that lives an extremely remote, back-to-the-land existence far away from the clamor of urban American, I couldn’t help but think of northeast Washington’s Ferry County. Butted up against the Canadian border, Ferry County is a vast and sparsely-populated wild place of unfathomable beauty that has its share of eccentric, modern-day homesteaders. It also happens to be chock-full of mind-blowing outdoor recreation opportunities: hiking, road biking, camping, mountain biking, fishing, floating, cross-country and backcountry skiing, rock climbing, hunting, back road touring, and more. I own a chunk of remote, feral land there and am a bit biased, but the place is fantastically bursting with
outdoor adventure potential. Yet, somehow, it’s still, for the most part, off the radar of the forces that have pushed more and more soulful chasers of undiscovered mountainous places out of other more wellknown and down-right crowded outdoor adventure destinations. With all of the incredible outdoor activities at your doorstep in Ferry County and its biggest town, Republic, one piece of evolving, super accessible recreational infrastructure stands out as having the potential for giving the region at least some of the tourism destination notoriety it deserves: the 28-mile Ferry County Rail Trail, a hiking, biking, and equestrian pathway that connects from Republic (via the multiuse 5-mile Golden Tiger Pathway) north to Curlew along the Kettle River all the way to Canada. Local trail advocates organized under the banner
of the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners have waged a hardscrabble grassroots effort to secure non-motorized status and funding for the trail in recent years, and their dedication has slowly attracted the attention of rail trail fans and funders and seems to have paid off. Recently, a nearly $500,000 Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office grant to finish the trail was ranked #1 in the state. That grant, if all goes as planned, means that funding should soon be flowing to complete resurfacing of the entire trail, making the full length accessible to everyone from day hikers and packs of kids on Striders to bike packers doing the whole thing with the option to connect to additional rail trails north of the border. “This project was made possible because of the volunteers,” says Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which admin-
isters some of the grants going to the trail project. “The volunteers have developed and maintained the trail, cutting the costs to a fraction of other trails in the region. The dedicated, unwavering effort of the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners is an example of a small community doing really, really, big things for recreation in Washington State.” One of the priorities is to equitably distribute grants across the state, to both large and small, urban and rural communities, says Cottingham. “This project in Ferry County is a great of example of just that. An enthusiastic community that came together with a top-notch project.” Check out the article on page 17 to begin planning your own fall trip on the Ferry County Rail Trail. // DERRICK KNOWLES, PUBLISHER
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Dispatches RENOWNED CLIMBER & SPEAKER COMES TO SPOKANE IN 2002, Craig DeMartino was climbing with a
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friend in Colorado when he fell over 100 feet to the ground. Miraculously, he wasn’t killed on impact, but suffered a broken back, broken neck, compound fractures of both legs, shattered feet, broken ribs, and a punctured lung. After months of recovery and multiple surgeries, his right leg was amputated below the knee. Since his accident, DeMartino refused to be defined by his injury and instead set his sights on returning to the mountains. Since then, his impressive accomplishments include a world-record ascent of El Capitan (the 3,000 foot granite monolith in Yosemite National Park), becoming the first amputee to climb the Nose route in an impressive 12 hours. He is a twotime National Champion and a two time bronze
SPLITBOARD FILM TO BENEFIT IPAC JUST OVER THREE YEARS AGO, a young split-
boarder, Rafeal Pease, reached out about sponsors for a film idea. This would not be a-typical bro-brah flick headlining pros. Instead it would be a splitboard mountaineering movie highlighting people and cultures that make their lives in the mountains around the world as well as how mountaineers connect with the mountains. After traveling from Chile (his home country), Japan to Kyrgyzstan, and beyond, Pease’s film “Yugen” has come to fruition. PanhandleBackcountry.com is partnering with Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center (IPAC) to show Pease’s film “Yugen” at 7 p.m. on October 18 at the Garland Theater in Spokane. The event is a benefit to raise funds for IPAC, a non-profit organization which conducts avalanche clinics and level I avalanche courses and provides critical avalanche forecasting for three regions covering North Idaho and northwest Montana.
OUT THERE OUTDOORS is hosting an early-season
ski and snowboard trip to Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna, British Columbia, (4.5 hours north of Spokane) December 14-16. Slopeside lodging and lift tickets for two people start at $135 USD per night and you can extend your stay for several days on either end of those dates for the same discount price. Big White is Canada’s largest ski-in-ski-out village. It’s also the best place in the Northwest to experience early-season skiing and snowboarding and enjoy a happening resort village scene with over a dozen excellent restaurants and fun and friendly pubs and bars. While this is an Out There-sponsored trip, you are responsible for getting yourself up to Big White and once you’re there you can choose to join other
For more information call 625-6580 or go to spokanecountysolidwaste.org POWDER MORNING AT BIG WHITE. PHOTO: SHALLAN KNOWLES
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
IPAC works with a limited budget, so fundraisers like this are a huge boost. “We rely on both funding from the Forest Service as well as the public; without it we couldn’t provide the services we do,” says IPAC director Jeff Thompson. “Last year we were able to go from one avalanche bulletin on Friday to a Tuesday/Friday bulletin split,” Thompson added. The eventual goal is to post daily avalanche reports. None of this can happen without the support of the community. The Inland Northwest has a very diverse snow sports community, from backcountry skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, and snowmobilers, all of which use the services provided by IPAC. Show your support while watching an inspiring film with some fun raffle items and adult beverages. Tickets are $10 and available at Eventbrite.com. Find the promo link for more info and tickets at Panhandlebackcountry.com. (Larry Banks)
OUT THERE SKI/SNOWBOARD TRIP TO BIG WHITE
Spokane County Residents who complete the activities receive one free compost bin per household. *Proof of residency required for free bin. Bins provided by the Spokane County Regional Solid Waste System FREE* Please arrive no later than 1:30pm.
medalist for Team USA at the Paraclimbing World Championships. DeMartino is also a renowned climbing instructor and sought-after motivational speaker. DeMartino will be speaking at the EWU Center, Riverpoint Auditorium (668 N. Riverpoint Blvd in Spokane), on Oct 26, 2018 from 7-8:30 p.m. He will speak about overcoming adversity, redefining goals, and empowering leadership in times of crisis and will be a great event for athletes and non-athletes of all ages and abilities. The event is free but donations will be accepted to support the INW Adaptive Climbing Initiative’s equipment needs. Email INWAdaptiveClimbing@gmail.com for more info. (Robin Redman)
Out There readers for a free après welcome party to make some new friends or head out on your own to explore the mountain all weekend long with your own crew. All abilities are welcome and there are plenty of other activities if someone in your group isn’t too keen on skiing or snowboarding (snowshoeing, ice skating, tubing, Nordic, eating/drinking, music, and more). Kids are totally welcome on this trip (Big White is super family friendly and has daycare and lessons available). Check out all the details for what’s going to be an amazing start to the 2018/19 ski and snowboard season at Bigwhite.com/outthere-outdoors or give us a call at the Out There office (509) 822-0123 with questions. (OTO)
KELOWNA, B.C.’S NEW OK ANAGAN RAIL TRAIL THE NEWLY-OPENED 50k Okanagan Rail Trail
runs from the center of Okanagan Lake in Kelowna, British Columbia, the largest city in the Okanagan region, north to Kalamalka Lake near Vernon. The trail repurposes the old Kelowna branch of the Canadian Northern Railway, which once connected that community and its produce to the transit hub of Kamloops to the north. Quiet for over 50 years, today the old CN Line connects communities up and down the Okanagan Valley as it passes along city parks and hidden shoreline beaches on a scenic non-motorized trail. From the bustling Waterfront Park in downtown Kelowna, the route heads along leaf-lined avenues before
leaving the urban and commercial districts behind for wineries and waterfront pedaling through Okanagan’s Lake Country and its half dozen sun-drenched lakes. Although the route proceeds at a steam-engine-friendly maximum grade of 1.3%, cyclists should take advantage of the plentiful opportunities to stop on this nearly level lakeside ride, from winery tasting rooms to roadside fruit markets. After all, the railroads allowed this region to flourish; the rail trail allows visitors to take advantage of Kelowna’s claims to fame. More info at Outthereoutdoors. com/sip-and-cycle-on-the-okanagans-newestrail-trail. (Aaron Theisen)
WARREN MILLER’S FACE OF WINTER Warren Miller’s 69th annual winter sports action film “Face of Winter” presented by Volkswagen celebrates the late, great Warren Miller who built his legacy capturing the essence of winter magic, and today that legacy launches the start of the ski and snowboard season for many snow sliders every year. This year, new and veteran athletes come together to pay tribute to the man who started it all, including Jonny Moseley, Marcus Caston, Seth Wescott, Forrest Jillson, Kaylin Richardson, Dash Longe, Anna Segal, and Twisp, Wash. native Michael “Bird” Shaffer. Watch as they visit some of Warren’s favorite places from Engleberg to Chamonix, British Columbia to Alaska, Chile,
Iceland, New Zealand and more. “The film is for anyone whose life (whether they realize it or not) was impacted by Warren Miller,” says WME Managing Director Andy Hawk. “We are all the face of winter—from the athletes to the audience to the locals in far-off destinations or even at our home mountain. Warren recognized this, and this year’s film celebrates that.” Film attendees will enjoy a ton of lift ticket deals for local resorts and the chance to win amazing prizes. Catch one of two film showings at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane October 27 (6 and 9 p.m.) or the Sandpoint show November 10 at the Panida Theatre (7 p.m.). Warrenmiller.com. (OTO)
NEW WASHINGTON STATE E-BIKE POLICY JUST AS ELECTRIC-ASSIST BIKES became more
widely available through bike-sharing companies, the Washington State Legislature passed SB 6434, establishing a legal framework consistent with national standards that gives the electric-assist bike (e-bike) industry greater confidence that e-bikes belong on paths and trails. However, electric-assist mountain bikes face additional challenges. By default, all single-track trails are closed to e-MTBs, unless signed and specifically permitted by the land manager. Electric-assist mountain bike owners can use all motorized single track
trails in Washington (and of course on all paved motorized trails and on surface street bike lanes). E-MTBs are also permitted on long distance, nonmotorized trails with an improved surface, like the Iron Horse/John Wayne Trail. But knowing where you can and can’t ride can be confusing, so the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance created a special e-MTB reference on its website that identifies legal trails. Visit Evergreenmtb.org/blog/wa-state-adopted-an-e-bikepolicy-what-does-it-mean-for-you. (Jon Jonckers)
SPOKANE RUNNERS SHINE AT A RACE FOR THE AGES WITH A ONE-MILE LOOP COURSE, A Race For
The Ages (ARFTA) is designed to favor older runners. In a nutshell, the older you are, the more time you’re given to accumulate miles. Those 40 and under get 40 hours. Those 41 and older get as many hours as their age in years. Whoever runs the most miles in their allotted time wins. This year, Northwest runners Gunhild Swanson, Sylvia Quinn, and Mary Ann Clute inspired a number of runners with their performances. Swanson, age 74, finished in 2nd place female with an incred-
ible 163 miles in 74 hours. Quinn, age 81, completed 150 miles for 5th place. Clute, age 65, completed 140 miles for 6th place. The race takes place every Labor Day weekend in Fred Deadman Park in Manchester, Tennessee. Quinn planned to run 82 miles in order to surpass her age by one mile, but in the first day, she completed 50 miles. Since she still felt good, she decided to keep going as far as she could. Without a doubt, they are among the toughest Northwest runners out there. (Jon Jonckers)
3RD ANNUAL SPOKANE GREAT OUTDOORS & BIKE EXPO THIS TWO-DAY EVENT is a celebration of the
incredible outdoor recreation and travel opportunities here in the Inland Northwest. Held at the Spokane Convention Center February 23-24, 2019, the event will feature plenty of kids’ and family activities, including a climbing wall, games, Strider bike demos, marshmallow roasting and gear testing in the REI Campground area, and more. Plus, the expo is the place to come check out the latest bikes from local bike shops and even give some models an indoor test ride. Over 60
biking, outdoor gear, adventure travel, tourism, and outdoor organization exhibitors will be there to get you stoked and ready to start planning your spring and summer adventures. Looking to win free gear, trips, and swag? Sign up for giveaways at many exhibitor booths and for hourly Great Gear Giveaway outdoor prize drawings. Ticket holders also get access to the Spokane Golf Show the same weekend. Presented by Out There Outdoors, this event is the most outdoor fun you’ll have indoors all year! Info: Spokaneoutdoorexpo.com. (OTO) OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
HikeOfTheMonth BLOSSOM LAKE
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BLOSSOM LAKES TRAIL receives the majority of
its hiker and backpacker attention in the summer months, but those seeking a little solitude on the Idaho/Montana Divide will be well-served to wait until fall. The crowds, as well as the mosquitoes, will be long-gone, and the forested trail to the lake is at its best when the surrounding western larch turn golden and the low shrubs lining the trail turn shades of crimson. Located about two hours east of Spokane, Blossom Lakes can serve as either a day hike or a backpack trip. Fall visitors need to check both weather and mountain pass conditions before planning an outing here, as Thompson Pass closes once the snow begins to stick. However, when timed correctly, a fall visit to Lower Blossom can be spectacular. The hike starts in Idaho, from the large parking lot at the top of Thompson Pass, but immediately crosses the state line and enters Montana. The forested trail climbs slowly and steadily for approximately three miles to the lake. Day hikers can enjoy lunch along the shore before retracing their steps back to the Pass. Backpackers will find several potential campsites at the lake, and can consider additional hikes to nearby Upper Blossom and Pear lakes. For those
lucky enough to time their visit with a dusting of snow, know that the trail beyond Lower Blossom and leading to Pear Lake is faint and difficult to follow when obscured by fresh snowfall, but the improved view of the surrounding hillsides invites hikers to linger by the lake anyway. With fewer human visitors tramping along the trail, be sure to watch for animal tracks if there is fresh snowfall. RT DISTANCE: 6 miles, with 1,350 feet of eleva-
RATING: Moderate MAP: USGS Thompson Pass GETTING THERE: Travel I-90 eastbound to exit
43 at Kingston, Idaho. Turn left, crossing I-90, then right, following the Coeur d’Alene River. At 23 miles, turn right onto Prichard Creek Road to Thompson Pass. Park in the large lot on the right.
GIVE BACK TO YOUR TRAILS: Join Washington
Trails Association for a work party on October 28 at Mica Peak Conservation Area near Spokane Valley. // Holly Weiler is a hiker, backpacker, trail runner, and skier. She writes the Hike of the Month column for every issue of Out There.
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best cities in the U.S. for riding a bicycle, peopleforbikes.org placed Spokane at the bottom of page 8. Its rating was of 1.6 out of 5, in the seemingly unsavory company of such underachieving cycling cities as Reno, Nevada; Casper, Wyoming; and Little Rock, Arkansas. The categories for evaluation included Ridership, Safety, Network, Reach, and Acceleration—the latter referring to the rate at which each city is improving its cycling infrastructure. Acceleration may be the way Spokane achieves the level of bike-friendliness of four-season leaders like Madison, Wisconsin, and Fort Collins, Colorado, which scored 3.5, the highest overall ranking given to a U.S. city. Several local projects are poised to impress fair-weather and whiteout riders alike and to increase ridership by making streets feel safer for cycling. “We are going to grow—we need to focus on all kinds of transportation to accommodate that growth. I’m trying to get [the city] to do innovative things,” noted Councilwoman Kate Burke regarding her advocacy of such potentially polarizing ideas as protected, or “Dutch” intersections. These types of automobile/bicycle traffic crossings would be among the first of their kind in the U.S. Protected intersections incorporate refuge islands, road markings allowing cyclists to stop ahead of cars, and traffic light prioritization for cyclists. Proposals to rework intersections alongside physically buffered bike lanes on Riverside Avenue from Howard Street to Bernard Street, are being evaluated by the city now, along with more conventional options such as incorporating bike lanes and markings painted on the street. Bold proposals like these are one avenue toward a safer, more inviting cycling cityscape, but as Burke points out, “What are our 10-year plans if they’re not connecting existing infrastructure?” As if in response to her rhetorical query, the Cincinnati Greenway, a project of three Gonzaga School of Engineering students and their professor, will connect plenty of existing infrastructure and surely prove another cycling showcase for the Lilac City. Spokane’s inaugural greenway, mostly-funded and breaking ground next year, will connect the Centennial and Ben Burr trails with existing bike lanes on North Addison Street to the Downtown
Bike Network. The project will utilize vehicle speed mitigation measures like bump-outs, small traffic circles, and lights at arterial crossings. Additionally, bicycle advisory lanes wide enough for only one car, which must yield to bikes, will line up to 40% of the 1.7-mile corridor, prioritizing people-powered travel and providing the requisite disincentives that keep most car traffic relegated to arterials. Evidence of the city’s commitment to quadrupling bicycle ridership and tripling its mode share by 2036, goals outlined in its Bicycle Master Plan, comes in forms aside from concrete and paint: a partnership between the City of Spokane and Lime, a trial bike and scooter sharing program that has been underway since Sept. 4 and will run through October and possibly into November depending on weather. Silicon Valley-based Lime has participated in similar programs in San Francisco and Portland, garnering mixed reviews. In just over a week of operation in Spokane, Lime’s electric-assist bikes and scooters were ridden 5,000 miles in 10,000 trips, according to KXLY.com and seem to be positively received by residents and users for the most part. However, a recent article in the Spokesman-Review cited the concern that Spokane’s new e-bikes “don’t face the same watery fate” as the lilac bikes of the late 90s, many of which ended up at the bottom of the river. Lime bikes cost $1 per half hour, and can be left anywhere in town that is accessible to other users. The City of Spokane has also alluded to a highly desirable connection between the Fish Lake and Centennial trails. A feasibility study in 2019 will rate several potential alignments, and public comment will be invited. If you’ve ever wondered why two such complementary trail assets in Spokane’s burgeoning bike scene haven’t been brought together yet, or you missed a chance to weigh in on the radical Riverside design options, next year you can vote with your voice. Your input is essential to the design process, welcomed by your councilperson, and appreciated by cyclists throughout the city and region who share your desire for safe, supportive, connected, and convenient bikeways. // Justin Skay doesn’t ride every day, but when he does, it’s invariably in an everyday fashion. His last column was about the potential of bike fitting to improve your performance.
Running VARSITY SEVEN
New Book Shines Spotlight on Spokane Cross-Country Lore // By Jon Jonckers
RUNNER AND WRITER PETER HAWKINS. // PHOTO: JON JONCKERS
DYNASTIES IN ANY SPORT come and go, but the
Hawkins family holds a special place in Spokane high school running lore. The family’s journey is chronicled in Peter Hawkins book, Varsity Seven, and it shines a spotlight on the magic of high school cross-country in Spokane. Hawkins writes, “Since 1979, Spokane has sent male or female distance runners to 24 of the 38 Foot Locker National Championships: that is over 60% of the time one town has been represented on a National level. There are over 266,000 male high school distance runners and 226,000 female high school runners comprising over 29,000 teams in the United States. The GSL [Greater Spokane League] is a statistical outlier in every respect.” From 1993 to 2010, the Hawkins siblings raced at Ferris High School, and competed in one of the most competitive leagues in the country. Peter is the fifth of seven kids, and he raced within a string of state championship teams starting in 2003. Many of his brothers and sisters also landed on the podium at the state meet, and his older brother Isaac is now an assistant coach at Ferris. Admittedly, the “Varsity Seven” story rolls along with a Hawkinsfamily bias; however, the author invested a solid portion of the book to emphasize many of the trailblazers and iconic Eastern Washington runners who paved the way for high school cross-country. The book contains unique interviews and special stories featuring Gerry Lindgren, Rick Riley, Don Kardong, Pat Tyson, and Jon Knight. In the forward, legendary Mead High School Coach Pat Tyson writes, “The beauty of this book is that Peter Hawkins has crafted an accurate and detail rich story. All who are within these pages have been amazed at how this book rings true to the tenor of the time. Just as Spokane seems to be a city locked in time, like “The Wonder Years,” so too are these vignettes snapshots into an era. And Peter has done what he has seen other athletes and coaches do in Spokane; he has made this accessible to everyone.” Even if you aren’t a runner, this is a great book. The tensions between various schools, and the rollercoaster rides for different siblings, and the struggles that coaches had to endure are woven together to make a fascinating story about running and family. At the heart of the book, the title, the story, and the family are all connected. Decade after decade, Spokane proves it’s a run-
ner’s town, thanks to Bloomsday, the Centennial Trail, running clubs like the Flying Irish, and forward-thinking programs like Active 4 Youth. Some say it’s because the legacy of past high school cross-country runners investing in their community. Others say it’s the current crop of high school cross-country runners and coaches that plant the seeds for the rest of the runners. Most likely, it’s a mix of all of the above. Hawkins readily admits that the book is not a complete encyclopedia of Spokane running. There are “other families not mentioned in this book that were also bit by the running bug.” He also emphasizes there were lots of runners on the junior varsity squads that gave everything in practices and races, and made those varsity runners earn their place. This is just one small view of the Inland Northwest running landscape. Lastly, the book succeeds on an emotional level, too. Where other running books serve as a catalog of fast times and top teams, “Varsity Seven” reveals some of the greatest successes and biggest heartbreaks that any runner could ever experience.
THE TENSIONS BETWEEN VARIOUS SCHOOLS, AND THE ROLLERCOASTER RIDES FOR DIFFERENT SIBLINGS, AND THE STRUGGLES THAT COACHES HAD TO ENDURE ARE WOVEN TOGETHER TO MAKE A FASCINATING STORY ABOUT RUNNING AND FAMILY. Because sometimes the finish line is not the end of the race. Because sometimes runners endure more than miles. Because sometimes Spokane produces some of the toughest runners in the USA. // Jon Jonckers is a Senior Editor at Out There Outdoors and an Assistant Cross Country Coach at Shadle Park High School.
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Biking FAVORITE FALL SINGLETRACK
Local Riders Top Trail Picks // By Bradley Bleck
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FALL’S COOLER TEMPERATURES and the colors
of the changing season make it a great time to mountain bike. Here are several recommended trails for experiencing the seasonal glories of the Inland Northwest.
The Beauty Bay Loop near Coeur d’Alene leaves from near the Beauty Bay Campground. Trails 257 and 257C join the Carlin Connector to form a nearly 20-mile loop. Penny Schwyn, Education Director at Evergreen East Mountain Bike Alliance, says, “Trail 257 is fantastic in the fall.” Evergreen East board member Dan Wilson echoes Schwyn, saying the trail is “doable by a wider range of riders and is a great day trail. It has stands of cedars and fir trees—lots of color in the fall with maple and other deciduous trees and perennial shrubs with golden and red colors.” Stop by one of the Coeur d’Alene or Hayden bike shops for trail betta and directions from a knowledgeable local rider. BONNERS FERRY
Brian Anderson of Greasy Fingers Bike Shop in Sandpoint suggests going further afield, about 34 miles further. He says, “Several of the rides around Bonners Ferry offer great fall colors. The trails in the high country, above tree line, are where you can see the dramatic contrasts. Colors start getting good typically mid-September and well into October.” One such trail is the Ruby Ridge Trail 35. Anderson says, “The trail offers challenging
climbs and lots of rocks. After that, a close to a 3,200-foot descent” into the Moyie River Valley. This trail is also open to ORVs, so you may have some motorized company. This ride is more suited to advanced and expert riders, and bear spray is recommended since this is grizzly country. SPOKANE
Mount Spokane State Park has over 80 miles of trails, with many of them in the intermediate level. Among the easier routes are the Kit Carson Loop Road, Lower Trail 110, and the Day Road. Mount Spokane’s Nordic ski area provides 37 miles of mostly double-track trail options for all skill levels, with each trail marked by difficulty level, though those levels pertain to Nordic skiers. Because the canopy is primarily evergreen, the fall colors won’t dominate, although perennials such as Indian paintbrush and blazing red huckleberry bushes brighten the ground cover. Dan Wilson, of the Evergreen East recommends a bit more challenging relatively new singletrack descent that ends near the park boundary. “The Goods Trail, aka trail 290, is simply stunning in the fall” This three-mile section of the Mt. Spokane Loop is rated as a black diamond. Prepare for a challenge. // Bradley Bleck teaches English at Spokane Falls Community College and just finished another season of road bike racing with marginal results. He wrote about the state of road bike racing in the Inland Northwest in the April issue of Out There.
MORE LOCAL MTB RIDES The greater Spokane area offers plenty of fall riding. While Beacon Hill/Camp Sekani is open following this summer’s fire, if ever there was a time to stay on the trails, that time is now at Beacon. Other choices include: Riverside State Park, Mount Spokane State Park, the South Hill Bluff/High Drive, and Liberty Lake. For more regional riding suggestions, info, and maps, check out the MTB Project. This free, crowdsourced trail guide provided by REI has a mobile app for both iOS and Android phones that works without cell service. The app provides route descriptions and rates trails so riders know the sort of challenges to expect. Whatever you do, don’t put off fall mountain biking as the temperatures will be falling further, and the snow will soon be flying. 14
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
Nature CANADA LYNX // Wizened Cat of the Woods
By Adam Gebauer
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I HAVE SEEN a fair amount of wildlife in my time as a field ecologist and wilderness trip leader, but I have only caught one fleeting glimpse of this elusive forest cat. The lynx loped across the road on its huge paws, taking high graceful steps with overly long legs. The cat briefly turned its head to acknowledge our visitation, looking us over with its beard-like mane and large, tasseled ears before walking off into the wilderness. This lynx appeared and disappeared so easily in the vast boreal forest of Alaska—making no sound and taking no heed of intruders—that it left me with a sense that I had been visited by a mythical creature out of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel. Ever since that encounter I have kept an eye out for Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) in the mountains and forests of northeast Washington. The north Cascades, Kettle Range, and Selkirk Mountains are the southern range for this woodland cat, where there are between 20 and 100 resident lynx. Canada lynx play an important ecological role in their boreal (northern) forests. These midsized forest hunters target smaller prey species that reproduce quickly: voles, mice, grouse, and red squirrels. But the Canada lynx’s preferred prey is the snowshoe hare. The hare is so important to a lynx’s diet that lynx population numbers closely follow the population cycles of snowshoe hare. These cats are perfectly suited to live and hunt in northern conifer forests where deep snow accumulated in the winter. They have large, furry paws and long hind legs to aid them in bounding through the snow after their hopping prey. Their large ear tufts and keen eyesight help them locate a white snowshoe hare against the snow. Lynx utilize a variety of habitats in cool sprucefir forests. Lynx hunt where snowshoe hare are the most abundant— in young forests with dense understory. They have their kittens in mature forests where downed logs and large root systems create ready-made dens. In 2000 the Canada lynx was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the lower 48 states due to low population and lack of regulation on public lands to protect the species’ habitat. This spurred an increase in the understanding of lynx biology, including population numbers and their need for both young and mature forests.
The listing of Canada Lynx has spurred federal land managers and private land owners to take actions to conserve both lynx and hare habitat. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Rocky Mountain region put conservation measures in place. In Maine, woodland landowners identified 2.5 million acres of forest for the benefit of lynx habitat. Here in Washington, logging and road building projects have been directed to protect critical habitat on federal lands. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Washington State University (WSU), non-profit conservation group Conservation Northwest, and other organizations have been working to reduce mortality from fur trappers and increase data on lynx population numbers, including using game cameras to document sightings in Northeast Washington. As of this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW), along with recent changes to the Endangered Species Act, is now proposing to delist the Canada lynx. Even though populations are still low, the USFW has deemed that conservation efforts are sufficient to protect this species’ habitat. The USFW report also states that climate change will not reduce lynx habitat and availability of snowshoe hare. Some scientists and wildlife advocates do not agree and believe that changes to forest structure and reductions to snowfall brought on by climate change will threaten population numbers. This data on how climate changes affects northern forests was used to keep another snow-loving species, the wolverine, on the ESA list. Regardless of the Canada lynx status with the Endangered Species Act, Canada lynx have been a great example of how the ESA spurred federal, tribal, state, and private landowners to work together to protect habitat. This listing has also benefited the snowshoe hare and other species that utilize a mosaic of young and mature northern forests in the lower 48. I for one will keep an eye out for these mysterious cats walking silently through our northern forests and hope their population continues to grow. // When Adam Gebauer is not teaching skiing or summiting a mountain, he is wrangling his herd of goats and running Syringa Ecological Consulting. He wrote about the aerial courtship of osprey in May.
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Light, simple, and super-warm, this hooded down jacket with a windproof and waterresistant shell fabric is pure foul-weather genius. From final fall incursions into the high country, where nasty weather can and often does happen, to backcountry ski tours, snowshoe treks, or fat bike missions into a winter wonderland, you’ll want the Frostline jacket at the
top of your pack. Narrow baffles filled with 700 fill down pack extreme warmth for the weight in a trim, stylish package. And the helmet-compatible hood will make the world seem right again while peeling skins on frozen, wind-punished peaks. Men’s and women’s styles available. MSRP: $200. Mountainequipment.com (Derrick Knowles)
CHACO FRONTIER BOOT
Chaco is the well-known purveyor of some of the world’s hardiest, most versatile, and highly repairable sandals—proven mainstays of amphibious recreation. Boasting the same cushy footbed that makes those sandals a standard, their Frontier waterproof boots are equally adaptable to shoulder-season urban or forest forays where wet, cold feet might
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make you moody. Full-grain leather uppers and sealed seams keep your feet warm and dry in wind and rain. With equally sticky grip on roots, rocks, and off-kilter sidewalks, their skid-resistant outsole and supportive suede collar will keep you sure-footed in anything you’ll face this fall. MSRP: $170. Chacos.com (Justin Skay)
GARMONT KARAKUM GTX HIKING BOOTS
Garmont asserts the Karakum is made to be extremely versatile, and after an afternoon tromping around high-desert BLM lands west of Spokane (fitting for a shoe named after a Central Asian desert), I’m sold. My desert ramble included 40+ pounds of toddler, pack, and snacks on my back, a bit of an unusual load for a day hike over some basaltriddled terrain, but none of that fazed my mid-cut pair of Karakum boots. I gravitate toward lightweight hiking boots that fit and feel more like trail running shoes, and the Karakum delivered in this regard. My test outing covered a wide range of “trail”
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conditions under the aforementioned hefty load: dusty double-track, newly-cut singletrack, meandering cow trails, and a few stretches of crosscountry route-finding that elicited loud and passionate scolding from my 3-yearold (dada, you’re going the wrong way!). I have large yet narrow feet and have found few hiking boots over the years that fit as dreamily as these do. Everything else about this well-built, do-it-all boot is gravy: excellent Vibram traction, breathable Gore-Tex lining, and extended lacing for a tight fit. Also available in a low-cut option. MSRP: $160. Garmontnorthamerica.com (Derrick Knowles)
MIDLAND X-TALKER TWO-WAY RADIO
Incredibly useful for wide-ranging hunters, especially those who prefer wild gated backcountry or wilderness terrain, the X-TALKER T71 two-way radio is also a handy family communication tool while out camping or hiking. The radios also make for a fun tech-twist on traditional games of hide-and-seek out in the woods.
With a wicked-long battery life (up to 15 hours), extensive range (up to 38 miles), 36 channels including 121 privacy codes, channel scan, and Midland’s signature NOAA Weather Alert and Weather Scan technology. MSRP: $79.99. Midlandusa.com (Wil Wheaton)
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Fusion makes for some killer eats in the culinary world, and when it comes to technical socks that are tough enough to take the abuse your outdoor adventuring inevitably throws at them, Bridgedale’s Fusion Technology sets its socks apart from other brands. Fusion Tech is the result of 25 years of sock design and manufacturing at the Bridgedale factory in Ireland and it shows. Perfect for fall and early winter hiking and skiing, these socks STAG SPORTS RACK
Born here in the Pacific Northwest, STAG hopes to transform the way we haul our various outdoor toys around on our vehicles. With a Kickstarter campaign set to launch October 16, 2018, if you’re the kind of person who may snowboard on Saturday and break out the fat bike on Sunday, you’ll want to get in on this revolutionary rack system from the get-go. The STAG rack system was created for multi-sport adventurers who need to carry skis, snowboards, and road and mountain bikes and want one simple rack system to do it all that works on just about any vehicle (even small cars). While their initial Kickstarter product launch includes attachments for two bikes, four skis, or four snowboards, STAG plans to follow up with additional attachments that could accommodate
are a fusion of up to 15 different yarns to balance durability, comfort, and moisture-wicking. Depending on the sock, Bridgedale Fusion Tech socks include a combination of Merino, nylon, Elastane, Isowool, Endurofil, and other highquality materials. These yarns are blended using the latest knitting technologies to provide targeted cushioning and mesh panels that amplify comfort and ventilation. MSRP: $18.95-$25.95. Bridgedale.com (Derrick Knowles) kayaks, surf boards, and a gear storage box. The other major innovation with STAG racks is the easy-release, crazy-strong vacuum cup roof attachments. No nuts, bolts, or screws required. Each vacuum-cup is 6 inches in diameter with a rated pull strength of 200+ pounds, or 1,600+ pounds for a full eight vacuum-cup rack base set up. The beauty of this system is the rapid ease with which you can attach and remove the rack and swap out gear attachments on all types of vehicles. This also makes it easy to improve your vehicle’s MPG by simply not driving around with your rack on all the time since it’s so simple to remove. Follow STAG Sports Rack’s Kickstarter campaign after its launch October 16, 2018 at Kickstarter.com or find more info at Stagrack.com. (OTO)
Biking NORTHEAST WASHINGTONâ€™S FERRY COUNTY RAIL TRAIL // By Jacque Warner
PHOTO: FOSTER FANNING // BELOW: RAIL TRESTLE BUILT BY SUPPORTING VOLUNTEERS. PHOTO: JACQUE WARNER
FALL CAN BE A HARD TIME of year for some out-
door enthusiasts. As many summer activities wind down, we begin the great switch over to winter. With colder temperatures and snow in the higher elevations, it can be difficult to find adventurous and accessible trails to explore. I usually end up rehiking or riding the same local trails over and over to keep in shape for ski season, but this year we heard about the Ferry County Rail Trail in northeast Washingtonâ€™s Ferry County and had to go. The rail trail is still under development, with the local community and the all-volunteer Ferry County Rail Trail Partners working hard to improve the trail, which stretches 25 miles from near the town of Republic north toward the Canadian border. It has taken an enormous volunteer effort to get the trail this far with plenty of political and funding ups and downs along the way. Many improvements have been made so far, and portions of this trail are very suitable for small children and families looking for shorter, smooth sections to hike or bike. And the less-improved portions beg to be ridden by mountain bikes, fat bikes, and horses. There are also several camping options along the trail at either end and towards the middle, as well as lodging options in Republic, making the trail optimal for day trips, including with small kids. The trail runs mostly near Highway 21 connecting the towns of Republic and Curlew, with the exception of the Curlew Lake portion, which follows the west side of the lake (away from the highway) and boasts a brand new trestle over the water. The other major highlight is a tunnel north of Curlew. The trail is mainly flat as it winds its way through the valley, with views of forested mountains and sagebrush-covered hills. The northern stretch of the trail near Curlew follows the scenic Kettle River. Though not 100% complete, the trail is free
to access, and the open and improved segments are worth a hiking or biking trip (see sidebar for details). The Ferry County Rail Trail is a great recreational asset for the region and the local towns of Republic, Curlew, and Danville. Besides the fact that it will increase tourism, it gives local communities a close outlet for year-round outdoor recreation. Ferrycountyrailtrail.com. // Jacque is an active hiker, biker, and skier. This is her first article for Out There.
PLANNING A DAY HIKE OR RIDE ON THE FERRY COUNTY RAIL TRAIL THE 25-MILE TRAIL is open year round, so while the fall biking and hiking are great, winter opens up the opportunity for fat bike, snowshoe, and Nordic ski adventures once the snow flies. When planning a trip, in addition to weather considerations, be sure to have the latest trail info, including which sections have been surfaced and if there are any public closures. (As of September 2018, there are three washouts that have closed sections of the trail.) As of fall 2018, two 6+ mile segments of the trail are surfaced and are prime for day hiking and biking outings. The Curlew Lake section, accessed from one of three trailheads, is the best bet for exploring a 5.6-mile section of the trail along the lake that includes a scenic trestle crossing. Volunteers are working on the other improved section of trail along the Kettle River near Curlew to fix a washout there in hopes of having that stretch open in time for fall colors. Longer rides on the full 25-mile-long trail (on a mountain bike or fat bike that can handle the ballast railroad rock sections) will have to wait until the washout-damaged sections have been re-opened to the public. However, right now riders can start in Republic on the 5.5-mile Golden Tiger Pathway (mix of asphalt and gravel also open to ATVs) and pedal to the junction with the Ferry County Rail Trail and then all the way to the north end of Curlew Lake and back to town (Republic Brewing Company anyone?). This makes a 25+ mile adventure ride with a section of ballast rock that will be best on the right bike with fat tires and/or suspension. To plan your trip, and make a donation to this volunteer-led rail-trail effort, visit the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners (FCRTP) website at Ferrycountyrailtrail.com. The map on the FCRTP site highlights the improved sections, trailheads, campgrounds, and other facilities along the trail and is a great tripplanning resource. For up-to-date trail information, follow the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners on Facebook. (Derrick Knowles) OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
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C L O S E T O T O W N FA L L H I K E S - B Y A A R O N T H E I S E N AUTUMN IS SO FLEETING, and the opportunities
for soaking up fall foliage so few, that it’s good to have a handful of quick-hit hiking ideas in your back pocket—and backyard. The five hikes below make for great after-work or foul-weather treks. Each showcases the diversity of fall color on display in the Inland Northwest, from streamside trees to Palouse wheat. And while they may not invoke the “wow” factor of expansive alpine larch parkland, they’ll provide a much-needed fall color fix. Spokane – Iller Creek When it comes to fall color, aspen and larch are the stars of the show. The 5-mile Iller Creek loop, at the heart of Iller Creek Conservation Area, boasts both, but it’s the opportunity to walk the halls of hardwoods that make Iller Creek the best fall-colors hike in the Spokane area. Climb through dry ponderosa pine parkland on the west side of Iller Creek to reach the Rocks of Sharon, from where you’ll view the Palouse at its fall-harvest best. Then, descend the east side of the loop through birch and currant to open viewpoints over the Iller Creek drainage. Hike this one in the morning for fog-filtered light over the fall colors.
Coeur d’Alene – Cougar Bay Preserve Riparian areas, with their big-limbed cottonwood trees and shrubby understories, tend to provide a riot of river—or lakeside—color. Owing to their shoreline locations, which are prized for development, riparian areas have also become increasingly hard to find close to town. But the Cougar Bay Preserve, an 88-acre nature conservancy holding on the northwest shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene, protects an important habitat—and hosts some nice fall color, too. The two-mile loop hike here begins in marshland topped by aspen and larch before climbing to a wooden observation platform. From here, just over the tops of a copse of larch, hikers have a hawk’s-eye view of Coeur d’Alene. Sandpoint – Gold Hill Thanks to far-off larch and a thick birch forest overhead, the 7-mile hike up Gold Hill, near Bottle Bay just south of Sandpoint, is aptly named. Beginning in a pretty forest of Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and birch, the route curls around rock formations, which are relics of Lake Pend Oreille’s Ice Age past. After winding through a dense hardwood forest that brings to mind both the North Atlantic and North
Idaho, hikers reach the first of several open granite outcroppings with far-reaching views over the Long Bridge to the head of the Pend Oreille River and beyond. Gold Hill is a great place to watch storms funnel up the Pend Oreille River and fan out over the lake. The storm’s leading-edge clouds seem close enough to touch and provide dramatic skies reflected in the lake. Missoula – Sawmill-Curry loop Before the Forest Service acquired the land that now comprises the Sawmill-Curry portion of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area in a land exchange with a private landowner in 1986, a century of ranchers and ax-swingers made their homes and livelihoods here. Connecting old timber skid roads and livestock driveways, the 6-mile Sawmill/Curry loop visits moldering homesteads and fallow meadows, which mingle with old-growth ponderosa pines spared the saw. It’s a hike rife with colorful history, but there’s fall color here too, thanks to ancient orchard trees and colonies of aspen. Be sure to pick up a brochure at the trailhead; the seventy or so miles of trail in the Rattlesnake can bewilder newcomers, nowhere more so than this portion of the recreation area.
Whitefish – Whitefish Trail to Smith Lake Comprising nearly 40 miles of nonmotorized trail accessed from 10 trailheads around Whitefish Lake, the Whitefish Trail is truly a community effort—funded by donors and planned by citizens. Valuable because it protects a low-elevation forested landscape in a rapidly growing area for public use, the Whitefish Trail is worthwhile on its own merits. From the Swift Creek trailhead on the northeast end of Whitefish Lake, the 5.5-mile hike to Smith Lake follows the steep streamcut of Swift Creek through colorful huckleberry and secondgrowth larch. It begins on an ADA-accessible path and then on narrow singletrack (watch for bikes here). An 18-acre lake occupying state trust lands, Smith is a quiet spot for a picnic amongst russetcolored shrubs. Shoreline access is limited, but this small pond is best enjoyed from underneath the shade of an evergreen anyway. // Aaron Theisen is the author of “Day Hiking Glacier National Park and Western Montana.” He wrote about hikes in the Cabinets in the July issue.
FALL COLOR AT ILLER CREEK // PHOTO: AARON THEISEN
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
(n.) food, drink, or equipment, especially for a journey.
SAM MACE HARVESTING SUMMER BERRIES. // PHOTO: SHALLAN KNOWLES
APERITIF: TAKE PART IN THE HARVEST BY S. MICHAL BENNETT
COOKIES AND BEER. // PHOTO: LISA LAUGHLIN
THE INLAND NORTHWEST is abundant in veg-
BEER AND BREAD AT THE GRAIN SHED
etable, grain, fruit, herb, and berry farms, as well as ranches. Throughout the spring and summer, we find much of this produce and meat at farmers’ markets, local grocers, and farm stands. But there are also many opportunities to pick your own from the farm abundance—especially in autumn. Fall is the perfect time to take part in local harvests. First, it’s cooler. Second, farms often have seasonal activities to accompany the end of the growing year, such as corn mazes, fall foods, harvest festivals, apple pressing, and pumpkin carving. If you’re just out to pick, here’s what you’ll find: apples, pears, squash, pumpkins, potatoes, and some vegetables. Imagine transforming a boxful of apples that you picked into luscious applesauce for the winter. The most concentrated place to find u-pick opportunities is at Green Bluff in Spokane County. With 30 farms, two breweries, a meadery, a cidery, two wineries, petting zoos, corn mazes, and some of the best pumpkin donuts you’ll ever taste (at Beck’s Harvest House), there is no shortage of things to do for the whole family. The Green Bluff Grange, Community United Methodist Church, and Trading Post also host their own harvest festivals on October weekends. Other fall u-pick spots include Carver Farms in Newman Lake, Prairie Home Farm in Coeur d’Alene, and Promised Land Family Farm, also in Coeur d’Alene. Experience further aspects of the harvest season at the Kootenai County Farmers’ Market Harvest Festival Downtown on Oct. 28 or enter Pilgrim’s Market’s Pumpkin Carving Contest, Oct. 29-30, to win a $50 gift card. The Spokane Farmers’ Market is also open on Wednesdays and Saturdays through October. Don’t hibernate too early. Get out there this fall and bring home something delicious. // 20
PUMPKIN APPLE SOUP. // PHOTO: S. MICHAL BENNETT
CURRIED PUMPKIN APPLE SOUP
This fall harvest soup is great by the bowl at home or as a flask meal on the slopes or trails. Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 3 garlic cloves, chopped 4 cups cubed and peeled fresh pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 pound) 1 large tart apple, cut into cubes 1 tablespoon curry powder 1/2 teaspoon garam masala 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 3 cups unsalted vegetable stock 2 tablespoons sweet/salty roasted pumpkin seeds or 1/4 cup popcorn (for garnish) Directions: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pumpkin, apples, spices, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until pumpkin and apples are tender. Place half of pumpkin mixture in a blender. Keep the opening in the lid open, place a clean towel over opening, and blend until smooth. Repeat procedure with remaining pumpkin mixture, or stir in the rest without blending, for a chunky soup. Add apple cider, and reheat in pan, if needed. Divide soup evenly among eight bowls. Sprinkle evenly with pumpkin seeds or popcorn. (S. Michal Bennett)
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
The Grain Shed is where it’s at in the Perry District these days. The simple yet beautifully-designed store that opened this summer houses both a bakery (Culture Breads) and brewery (The Grain Shed Brewery). The head baker, Shaun, and his bakery crew arrive before sunup to bake modest and masterful loaves; Teddy and the brewery crew roll in around noon, checking on fermenting beer and beer levels. The brewery, bakery, and a Palouse farmer named Don form the Grain Shed Co-op. Together they use ancient grains that have higher-than-usual proteins to create flavorful and nutrient-dense goods. Sharing work space and grains between a brewery and bakery naturally led to crossover: the beer masters tinker with a beer called “The ‘Wasted’ Loaf,” their take on a Kvass-style beer, brewed with the leftover bread ends from the bakery. The beers are small batch, so favorites such as the Scot’s Bere will be in and out of availability as the crew works to craft the next barrel. Due to the unique grains they’re sourced from, these beers have a relatively low alcohol content. The grains are not large, plump, or sugary, but mineral and nutrient-dense, making for a good post-exercise pint. The Grain Shed serves a limited menu throughout the day, from breakfast toast to grilled cheese sandwiches, made in the bakery’s hand-built, woodfired oven. It’s a place that experiments, with pizzas on Mondays and the occasional Purple Egyptian malt pretzel. They offer spreads like Kefir-cultured fresh butter, made-from-scratch strawberry jam, and schug—a Middle Eastern herb sauce with a bit of spice. With a dog-friendly outdoor patio, The Grain Shed is the perfect place to refuel after an autumn run, hike, or ride. Follow them on Facebook to see all of their latest creations. (Lisa Laughlin)
PLAYING GAMES // PHOTO: JON JONCKERS
GO BERSERK WITH VINTAGE PINBALL & BOOZE
No kidding, go Berserk. You won’t be disappointed. This one-of-a-kind watering hole amplifies the spirit of the outdoor enthusiast. They specialize in bucking trends, and they are laser focused on serving drinks that meet your tastes. The beer selection specializes in quality instead of quantity, and they make a genius Bloody Mary. More importantly, the Asian-inspired Bloody Mary bar is featured every Sunday. And, it’s located on South 125 Stevens, about four blocks from Wild Walls climbing gym or six blocks from the Centennial Trail, making it a great post-ride or post-climb stop. Whereas other bars boast about their collection of obnoxious TVs, Berserk features a remarkable collection of vintage pinball machines. Even better, the owners have plans for some upcoming pinball competitions, so definitely follow Berserk on Facebook. Happy hour bumps $1 off wells and drafts, and it goes from 4 to 6 every day and all day Sunday. Expect good music, local art, and staff that goes out of their way to greet you, learn your tastes, and deliver drinks that ensure you will return—they know beer and spirits better than most pub owners, and Berserk always serves up something extra special. You won’t be disappointed. (Jon Jonckers)
SOUPER FOODS // By Ammi Midstokke
Get your fall veggies! Every Saturday and Wednesday
Through october 31
PRETTY MUCH EVERY season that rolls around, I think, “This is my favorite season because it is salad season!” Or margarita season. Or fruit bowl season. But the season I love most is soup season. Soup season officially begins when I have enough old vegetables in my fridge that I need some way to disguise their mushiness. What better way than boiling them into further mush? Soups have so many roles in our kitchens and our health, but they are a greatly overlooked food— especially for those of us looking for ‘convenient but healthy’ food options. Also, soup is inexpensive, nutrient dense, hydrating, and of course solves some of those borderline funky vegetable issues from the back of the crisper drawer. Single pot soup is the way to go for simplicity. Start with a large pot, some good oil (butter, olive, coconut) and your base of onions, garlic, or both. Sauté those until clear, add meat if you’re a carnivore, then add your veggies. If you want something on the leaner side, use your green veggies: zucchini, spinach, kale, celery, okra, cabbage, peppers, etc. If you want something a little denser, think about adding some good carbohydrate sources: sweet potato, butternut squash, beets, carrots, parsnip, kohlrabi. There are a few secrets to a good soup, but what is most important is using a good broth. Traditional bone broth has a lot of hype around it for its health benefits. It is loaded with collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, minerals, and protein. For those of us with gastrointestinal discomfort or joint issues, bone broth is a fantastic way to get a lot of key materials for health into the body. Vegetarians can get many of the same benefits from a traditional vegetable broth made from vegetable skins and peels. These broths carry a lot of flavor as well, so
sometimes just the broth and your vegetable drawer leftovers are going to make a delightful combination. If you’re feeling exotic, throw a can of coconut cream in there with some curry spices and blend that baby up. Coconut curried butternut squash soup is one of my favorite. Or ginger, coconut, and carrot bisque. Soups are diverse and meet any dietary need or restriction you may have. But watch those bouillon cubes and jars, which are often full of MSG or other forms of gluten. Vegan? No problem. Throw some Brussel sprouts and beans in there for added protein. Pescetarian? Use a fish broth and make something with shrimp and scallions. Omnivore? Clean out that old pack of sausage that’s been in the freezer for six months. Perhaps best of all, soups are better the next day, or so they say. Reheat it, throw it in your thermos, and pack yourself a bitchin’ lunch with all the nourishing food your body needs midday. Sandwiches don’t even come close to a steaming bowl of hot soup. Soup is not just limited to a lunch and dinner food either. While many of us are used to sweet breakfasts—arguably a detrimental way to start the day— a quickly-heated bowl of stew or sausage and kale soup will start your day off right. Also, sitting down to eat your morning meal is a perfect way to remind your body that you care about it. Keep that up, and it might just continue taking you on adventures. //
·veggies ·eggs ·meats ·breads ·honey ·bedding plants
8a.m. to 1p.m. 5th Avenue between Division and Browne
www.spokanefarmersmarket.org We accept: Visa/Mastercard, Food Stamps (EBT), WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Coupons
Ammi Midstokke ran several unplanned ultra marathons this summer while pursuing epic mountain views in the great Northwest. Last month, she wrote about simplifying health with easy food solutions.
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OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
IN WASHINGTON WINE COUNTRY BY LISA LAUGHLIN
WASHINGTON HAS SOME OF THE BEST HIKING TRAILS AND WINERIES IN THE NORTHWEST. PAIR THE TWO TOGETHER WITH ONE OF THESE FIVE HIKING AND WINE COUNTRY TOUR OPTIONS FOR A FALL ADVENTURE THAT WILL ENGAGE ALL OF YOUR SENSES.
The Palouse: Kamiak Butte, Moscow Mountain, and Merry Cellars
The Hike: The Palouse is beautiful any time of year, but it shines in autumn when the fields have been cut and the rolling hills go for miles under a late-summer sun. Throughout these hills are stands of pine trees, and in those pines there are often trails, as with Kamiak Butte just outside of Pullman, Wash. Named after Chief Kamiakin of the Yakama Tribe, this area is recognized as a National Natural Landmark and is worth the trek. It’s an easy walk to the top, as the main trail is a well-maintained path with a few switchbacks. When you reach the butte, you’ll be able to choose from several trails, such Pine Ridge Trail, to weave your way along open vistas. You can visit whitmancounty.org for a self-guiding nature walk brochure to learn about how this seemingly random group of pines came about. For a more challenging hike, trail run, or mountain bike session, drive 25 miles west and hit Headwaters Trail on Moscow Mountain. This hike will have fewer Palouse peeka-boo viewpoints, but you’ll get a breath of fresh autumn air in the old growth cedars and soft singletrack trail making a 3.7-mile loop. Moose, bear, and cougar can be spotted here, so take appropriate precautions. The Wine: Merry Cellars Winery is tucked up behind the Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman. Housed in similar warehouse-style digs, the tasting room is a warmly-lit place with an expansive deck. Enjoy a glass of syrah, malbec, or Crimson, the winery’s Coug-themed red wine blend consisting primarily of Cabernet Franc. With a variety of red and white wines on tap and in bottles, you’ll be able to sample the gamut for a $10 tasting fee. From the tasting room, head to the outdoor patio to sip your glass among a small row of grapes tucked into the rolling hills.
Columbia Valley: Ancient Lakes Trail System and Chris Daniel Winery
The Hike: In central Washington, you can bank on sagebrush, basalt, and open, breezy views of the clouds rolling across the horizon. This primarily treeless location still has brush that flushes with the colors of fall, and the open expanse makes it easy to spot groups of white-tailed deer. The Missoula floods carved this area, so you can enjoy poking along basins and plateaus, and hunting for quartz, flint, jasper, or agates. While there are a small series of lakes and a desert waterfall, you should carry your own drinking water on this hike. The Ancient Lakes Loop connects with Potholes Trail, Dusty Lake Trail, and the Gorge Amphitheatre Trail, which offer stunning views of the Columbia River. Also in the area: rock climbing or hiking in the Frenchman Coulee near Vantage, mountain biking on Beezley Hill, and hiking on Monument Hill or in the Lenore Caves area. The Wine: Chris Daniel Winery is kid- and dog-friendly. With a dry, French-style viognier, a rosé blend of Bordeaux grapes, and other beautifully bold Columbia Valley wines like a petit sirah/syrah, Chris Daniel will continue the adventure via your taste buds. There’s indoor and outdoor seating at this rural winery that abuts the flat farmland of central Washington. You’ll want to bring your own picnic-style foods to wineries in this area. There’s a network of great wineries here, including Beaumont Cellars (another rural gem tucked along an apple orchard), Cave B, Jones Winery, and wineries to the south of Vantage bridge that lead toward the Wahluke Slope.
Central Cascades: Mission Ridge, Palisades, and Chateau Faire le Pont
The Hike: A well-known ski area in winter, Mission Ridge has some great fall hiking options. You’ll find plenty of singletrack and elevation through the pines, made special this time of year when the western larch turn gold. You can clock miles on Devil’s Gulch trail, which includes various creek crossings and switchbacks up the side of Mission Ridge, or make a four-mile loop on Squilchuck Trail #1200 and stopover at Clara Lake. Visit Pybus Public Market before your hike to snag some fresh apples and artisan meats and cheeses to take on the trail. Consider walking through the public spaces of the nearby Palisades canyon for an away-from-it-all feeling among towering basalt plateaus. The Wine: Chateau Faire le Pont has full-varietal grenache, carménère, and petit verdot, along with some tantalizing white wines and red wine blends. The quaint tasting room houses a restaurant with full lunch and dinner menus, making it a great post-hike stop. You can find anything from a locally-sourced tenderloin salad to a Columbia River steelhead entrée. After a chilly fall hike, try a cup of the French Onion soup with a glass of tempranillo. Make it a day by visiting nearby Martin Scott Winery, which has a great view of the surrounding Wenatchee hills and river.
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
North Cascades: Chelan Butte, Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness, and Local Wineries
The Hike: For a hike that’s close to town and looks over Lake Chelan, check out Chelan Butte. It’s a little over 7 miles round-trip, and you’ll gain 2,500 feet over this exposed terrain. If you’re searching for trees and alpine lakes, there’s plenty of neighboring backcountry options to explore in the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness. You can even ride the Lady of the Lake passenger ferry up Lake Chelan, where it will drop you off at various hike-in trails, like Prince Creek; or, visit Stehekin, a community accessible only by water, float plane, or mountain trails. Hike the backcountry, then catch the ferry back and explore the wineries. Take note that the high-elevation destinations (think 7,000 feet plus) will feel more like winter than fall this time of year. Check Ladyofthelake. com for ferry schedules in the off-season.
OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: FIELD HILLS WINERY IN CHELAN. // BOTTOM LEFT: EXPLORING THE LENORE CAVES. // BOTTOM RIGHT: WEST OVAL LAKE, LAKE CHELANSAWTOOTH WILDERNESS. // PHOTOS LISA LAUGHLIN. TOP: THE VIEW FROM TERRA BLANCA’S PATIO. // RIGHT: ON THE WAY TO CLARA LAKE // BOTTOM: A GLASS OF RED, DOWNTOWN. // PHOTOS LISA LAUGHLIN.
The Wine: You’ll have many wineries and tasting rooms to choose from in the Lake Chelan area. Visit Karma Vineyards, Nefarious Cellars, and Fielding Hills Winery tasting rooms for lakeside views. Lakechelanwinevalley.com will have a full list. Near Manson, a small town along Lake Chelan with eight tasting rooms, there is the fun and notable Winegirl Wines.
Central Washington: Richland, Red Mountain, and Horse Heaven Hills
The Hike: If you know your Washington wines, you’ll know that Horse Heaven Hills is a popular AVA (American Viticultural Area). Turns out, it’s also a nice place to hike. You can go nearly 7 miles on this open-vista plateau just south of Benton City. It’s only one of several hikes in the expansive scrub brush around the greater Tri-Cities area. Check out the Rattlesnake Slope Wildlife Area, Badger Mountain, or the Juniper Dunes Wilderness for hiking with a view of local wine country. The Wine: If you’re in western Richland, be sure to visit Tulip Lane—it’s home to three wineries within walking distance, including the awardwinning Barnard Griffin Winery (try their rosé of sangiovese). If you hike on Badger Mountain, you’ll have easy access to Badger Mountain Vineyard & Powers Winery, with a chill tasting room that will let you peruse the vineyard rows. Goose Ridge Estate is another must-try with its notable wines, seasonal ciders, and rural-feeling outdoor seating area. Be sure to spend an afternoon exploring the many wineries on nearby Red Mountain to sample wines from one of the most unique AVAs in the state. // Lisa Laughlin is a runner and backpacker. She grew up on a wheat farm in central Washington and loves Washington wines. She wrote about Rollerblading in the August issue of Out There.
SPOKANE WINERY TOUR
If you live in the Spokane area, you’re likely familiar with the various local hiking options. After you’ve hit your favorite trail, visit these Spokane wineries for a taste of wines from around the region.
1) Barrister Winery—This Spokane-based winery has two tasting locations, including one located downtown. Author’s Pick: 2015 Sangiovese.
4) Va Piano Vineyards—Located inside the historical Davenport hotel, Va Piano has beautiful wines from Walla Walla and beyond. Author’s Pick: 2015 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.
5) Maryhill Winery—This tasting room has a stellar view of downtown Spokane and the Spokane River. Author’s Pick: 2017 Rosé of Sangiovese.
coffee, letter pressed brew
6) Craftsman Cellars—Located in Kendall Yards, this winemaker is also a woodworker. A craftsman of wood and wine. Author’s Pick: 2014 Pinot Noir.
mix & match or roasters
2) Terra Blanca—Located in the historical Chronicle Building, this tasting room has a nice outdoor patio to relax on after a hike. Author’s Pick: 2014 Block 8 Syrah. 3) Helix Wines—This tasting room with modern décor is located across from the Peacock Lounge. Author’s Pick: 2014 SoRhô, a blend of Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Grenache.
7) Arbor Crest Wine Cellars—This historical site and wedding venue has a live summer concert series and view of the Spokane Valley. Author’s Pick: 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon. 8) The list goes on—visit the Cork District map online at Visit Spokane’s website for a complete list of Spokane wine tasting rooms. You can also try a wine bar, such as Nectar or Vino, to sample wines from a wider area.
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Kids Learn to ski
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LOOKING AHEAD FOR MORE TURNS // PHOTO: AARON THEISEN
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
LESSONSLEARNED TEACHING YOUR KIDS TO SKI OR SNOWBOARD
“PIZZA!” “FRENCH FRIES!” It’s not what’s for lunch on the bunny hill; parents are calling out instructions to their little skiers, teaching how to snowplow to control speed and stop (pizza), and how to initiate downhill movement with parallelpositioned skis (fries). Once kids have mastered these and S-turns, it’s time for parallel turns and hockey stops. My two children were each about 2½ years old when my husband and I first took them on the bunny hill. Which means they sucked on pacifiers and dozed on chairlifts. Most stressful for me was helping them off the chairlift. But training gear made it easier. Along with using an “Edgie Wedgie” (ski tip connector), they each wore a CoPilot LIFT Multi-Sport Halter (made by Snowcraft), which is a back harness for hoisting kids on and off chairlifts, picking them up after falls or boosting them forward on flat sections. My family also had success with the CoPilot Ski Trainer. Though there are other styles and brands of ski-training accessories, this version really teaches forward balance and prevents kids from relying on parents to hold them up when they slouch like sacks of potatoes. Unfortunately, there is nothing to ease the thigh pain from snowplowing behind your kid for hours. EXPERT ADVICE ON TEACHING YOUR KIDS TO SKI
PHOTO: BOB LEGASA COURTESY OF SKI THE NW ROCKIES
LESSONS VS. TEACHING YOUR CHILD ON YOUR OWN OUR SON SLID DOWN the bunny hill for the first time a few months shy of his 2nd birthday, which was too young for lessons, but a great chance to get him acquainted with skiing at an early age. After a couple days on the slopes that first season and a half dozen more last winter, we were able to teach him to get on and off the lift without falling, snowplow down the mountain, speed up and slow down a little, and ski in one direction or another with plenty of advanced warning and coaxing. This year we will do our best to build on those skills and start working on turning and stopping. While teaching our son to ski has been one of the most memorable parenting experiences so far, at age 3 1/2, this season he will be old enough for a professional lesson from someone other than mom and dad. If, like me, you are nowhere near a professional ski instructor, getting your child in lessons as early as possible will help them learn the basics faster and have more fun when you do ski together as a family. A professional instructor may also trigger less drama in your little one when they are challenged or get tired. All four of the Ski the Northwest Rockies association-affiliated resorts (49 Degrees North, Lookout Pass, Mt. Spokane, and Silver Mountain) have their own group and private lesson programs for different ages and abilities of skiers and snowboarders. (Derrick Knowles) 49 DEGREES NORTH CHILD/YOUTH LESSON PROGRAMS
Here is a sample of the types of youth lessons to choose from at 49 Degrees North. Visit your favorite local resort for details about similar group and private lesson offerings. • EZ Ski/Ride 1-2-3: This complete package for beginners focuses on building a strong foundation of skiing or snowboarding includes three lift tickets, three group lessons, and three rentals (youth and adult options). • 49er Youth Camp: Three full days of instruction, fun, and games with coaching for skiers and snowboarders at all levels (ages 5-6). • Little Nugget Signature Private Lesson: Personalized coaching and a lot of attention for the young skier or snowboarder (ages 2-6, hourly rates). • Mommy & Me/Daddy & Me Lesson: This program teaches kids to have a good time while they learn and teaches mom and dad the skills they will need to continue skiing or riding with their child after the lesson (ages 2 and up, hourly rates). • Lil Cub Package: A great package for the little ones that don’t want to ski all day. This all-day package includes daycare, lessons, rental equipment, and lift ticket (ages 2-6). • Scout Half or Full Day Lesson: Explore the mountain and build new ski or snowboard skills (all levels, ages 5-6). • Explorer Multi-Week Lesson Program: Four days of personal lessons from the same coach in small classes grouped by ability will help build your child’s confidence and skills (ages 5-6). Participants receive a free season pass at the end of this program! • More 49 Degrees North lesson info at Ski49n.com.
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
Mt. Spokane Ski Instructor Katrin Pardue has “seen kids go from ‘Never-evers’ to shredding it down Two Face,” she says. Starting kids on skis at age 3-6 is best, even if it’s only minimal experience to “get them familiar with the mountain and how it operates,” Pardue says. “Be patient. Sometimes they need a full day to just understand how to stop. Everyone learns at a different pace…. For that first day I wouldn’t ski more than 3 hours.” Here are a few more tips from Pardue to help you help your kids learn to ski faster and have more fun in the process. • Creative ways to teach ski posture: “Tell the kids that they have two cups of hot cocoa in their hands and they don’t want to spill them,” she says. “Along with that, they pretend to have a $100 bill in each boot, right in front of their shins. The only way to keep it safe is to push on the front of their boots. It works every time. Both of these will help keep your kids forward on their skis.” • Chairlift loading and unloading: First, observe with your child how others are doing it; tell him/her “to look at their partner on the chair and grab the pole, and keep ski tips up during the whole ride.” For assisting off the chairlift, especially those littlest ones who can’t even touch the off-ramp, Pardue says to snugly wrap one arm around the child’s arms and upper body to slowly guide off. “For older kiddos, they need to keep their tips up, and once their feet are flat on the ramp, they need to stand up and shoot their arms forward like they are superheroes,” she says. • Making it magical: Pardue uses whimsical scenarios to motivate young students: “I like to make the mountain a fairy tale. [I tell them] that a unicorn lives in the woods…squirrels run the chairlifts, by running on hamster wheels. Bunnies live underneath the snow on the bunny hill,” she says. “It makes it fun for me and the children eat it up.” • Making it fun for all: “Parents, give yourself time to ski as well, even if that means slashing a turn through the fresh on the side of the bunny hill.” //
K K K
K K LEARN TO SPONSORED BY
TO SKI PROGRAMS FOR KIDS & FAMILIES
BY AMY S. MCCAFFREE
PHOTO: AARON THEISEN COURTESY OF SKI THE NW ROCKIES
IF YOUR CHILDREN, or perhaps your entire fam-
ily, are brand new to the world of alpine winter sports, then this article is especially for you. Local resort learn-to-ski programs and ski schools can help you reach your goal of becoming a ski or snowboard family who has fun together on the mountain.
SKI & SNOWBOARD LESSONS
According to Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park’s Mountain Sports Director Garry Zimmerman, choosing a lesson program depends on what a family can afford, “but the most effective lesson to a complete novice would be a twohour private one,” he says. This applies to parents and teenagers as well as young children. A private lesson is the best and quickest way for a beginner to begin skiing or snowboarding independently. Zimmerman says 2-hour group lessons are also effective, though students don’t receive as much personalized instruction or one-on-one attention. Zimmerman recommends contacting a local ski school to discuss your family’s needs and goals. Most local ski schools offer a series of multi-week lessons for small children, even for children as young as 3-years-old. A common instructional program that many parents find useful is a group class for kids that includes six to eight lessons on consecutive weekends, with a choice of meeting on either Saturdays or Sundays. “Kids are assigned a coach who will stay with them for the duration of the series, which is a wonderful opportunity to build a great learning partnership with each person,” says Zimmerman. This program is also offered as an adults-only version. Each ski mountain’s website has detailed infor-
mation on the lesson and learn to ski/snowboard programs available. Often it comes down to choosing which mountain your family wants to commit to based on proximity to home or where other friends and family have season passes. LEARN TO SKI OR SNOWBOARD PROGRAMS
There are many different programs for kids and beginner parents to learn to ski or snowboard at local Inland Northwest resorts. Here are a few of the most popular programs, but be sure to check with your favorite mountain to see what other unique offerings they might have. EZ Ski/Ride 1-2-3: The four Spokane-area Ski the Northwest Rockies association affiliated resorts (49 Degrees North, Lookout Pass, Mt. Spokane, and Silver Mountain) have a very affordable 3-visit “learn to” ski or snowboard package called EZ Ski/Ride 1-2-3. Each mountain’s specific package differs slightly in terms of specific details (e.g., times, amenities, age requirements), and fees ($99-$149). Lookout Pass calls its program Learn to Ski or Ride in 3. But all of the programs include the essentials: 3 days of lessons, gear rentals, and chairlift tickets. To enroll, new skiers or snowboarders must be at least 7-years-old, except for at 49° North, which offers this package for skiers as young as 5. Each mountain also provides bonus perks for participants, such as reducedprice or free season passes for the 2018-19 season. Skinwrockies.com. Lookout Pass Learn to Ski or Ride in 3 Program: Lookout’s three day learn to ski package is similar to the EZ Ski/Ride 1-2-3 program offered at other
local resorts and include three days of lift tickets, rental equipment, and lessons for ages 7-adult. The first and second day of lift tickets and lessons take place on the Success Beginner Lift, and the third day’s lift ticket allows access to the whole mountain. Lookout’s program also includes a graduation bonus offer for first-time students who complete all three beginner sessions: a free season pass good for the remainder of the season! Skilookout.com. 5th Graders Ski or Snowboard for Free: The Ski the Northwest Rockies association also offers a “5th Grade Ski or Ride Free Passport” at the four affiliated resorts (49 Degrees North, Lookout Pass, Mt. Spokane, and Silver Mountain) that allows 5th graders to ski or snowboard three days free at each participating ski area. Details at skinwrockies.com. Lookout Pass Free Ski School: For 78 seasons, Lookout Pass has been offering an annual Free Ski School program, with ski instruction for children age 6-17 and snowboarding lessons for ages 7-17. Equipment and lift tickets are not provided with this program—just top-notch free instruction! Details at Skilookout.com. SKI P.E. at Lookout Pass: Turn your child’s physical education class loose in the great white outdoors this winter with the Lookout Pass SKI P.E. program for a wide range of school groups, from public to private in Idaho, Montana, or Washington. Ski P.E. provides an exciting and affordable introduction to skiing and riding for kids grades K-12. The program includes a 1 hour lesson for all ability
levels with a professional instructor, quality rental equipment, and a lift ticket good for the whole day. Chaperones and drivers may be eligible for complimentary lift tickets (Lookout recommends one chaperone per 20 students). Transportation to and from the mountain and coordinating and scheduling gear and lessons with the resort is the responsibility of the school. The cost ranges from $20-$32 per student. Contact Lookout’s Director of Skier Services Michele Carver at michele@ skilookout.com to learn more about the program. Build Skiing and Racing Skills: The Mt. Spokane Ski Race Team (formerly the Spokane Ski Racing Association) is a non-profit ski team operating out of Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park with programs for kids (ages 5 and up) and adults who want to become expert, all-mountain skiers and learn to compete in the Olympic disciplines of alpine ski racing. Learn more about getting into ski racing and the association’s programs and camps at Gossra.org. Schweitzer Mountain Resort: If you live in Sandpoint or Schweitzer is your preferred resort, the mountain offers many different learn-to-ski programs for all ages, including a beginner package called “Ski 4 Free in 3” that includes three days of instruction, equipment rentals, and lift tickets for $165 per child. Visit Schweitzer.com for more info. //
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
TO SKI & RIDE ON A BUDGET
2018 INLAND NW
SKI SWAP CALENDAR
THERE ARE MANY WAYS to get your family up on the mountain skiing or snowboarding in style without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to get the equipment and apparel you need on a budget. STAYING WARM & DRY WITH THE RIGHT CLOTHING
A mix of layers that keep kids warm and dry while out on the slopes is essential. The chairlift ride is the coldest part of winter sports, so make sure your kids have the right winter gear. • Base layer tops and bottoms made of polyester- or woolblend fabrics and calf-length socks. • Mid-layer fleece jacket or wool sweater on cold days. • Waterproof or water resistant jacket and pants with cuffs that fit snug over boots as an outer layer. • A warm hat and helmet with a soft lining and adjustable chin-strap. • Ski goggles for shielding eyes from wind, snow, and injury. • Weatherproof gloves or mittens with fleece liners and a cinch-closure to secure them around the wrist. • On super cold days, a face gaiter is a good idea too. FINDING QUALITY SKI & SNOWBOARD EQUIPMENT
ADJUSTING THE HELMET AND GOGGLES TO ENSURE A SNUG, PROPER FIT. PHOTO: AMY MCCAFFREE // BELOW: SKI HELMET IS AN ESSENTIAL GEAR ITEM. PHOTO: JAMI OSTBY-MARSH
Getting your child or yourself the right equipment for skiing or snowboarding means you will need to buy or lease skis or a board, bindings, boots, and poles. Whether you choose new or used gear, it’s best to purchase or lease quality, safe equipment from a local shop with knowledgeable staff who can make sure you get fitted with the right gear. Some shops like Spokane Alpine Haus will even buy back your child’s new ski or snowboard equipment after a couple seasons and apply that toward store credit for new gear. Lease Programs: Kids can grow like weeds, so thankfully several local shops offer leased ski and snowboard equipment for kids so that you won’t need to buy new gear every year. Spokane Alpine Haus offers leased ski equipment and a buyback program for kids, and Spokane’s Shred Sports Outlet and the Alpine Shop in Sandpoint also lease kids ski gear. And the Ski Shack in Hayden has both youth ski and snowboard equipment for lease. Used Equipment: Buying quality used equipment is another alternative to new gear that can save money. Sports Creel in Spokane Valley sells used gear and will buy back your old equipment in some cases. Spokane’s outdoor gear consignment store, Northwest Outdoors, is also a great place to find used ski and snowboard equipment and winter sports apparel for adults and kids. There are also several ski swaps around the Inland Northwest where you can find the largest selection of youth and adult gear and apparel in one spot (see sidebar). Renting: If your child or teenager is only planning on skiing or snowboarding a couple times this season, renting gear at the ski resort or from a local shop may be the least expensive and easiest way to go. // (OTO)
Kids Growing too fast?
FIND EVERYTHING you will need to outfit the whole family on a
budget at local ski swaps. These annual gear swaps are the best place to find quality used and sometimes new alpine skiing, snowboarding, Nordic ski gear, and winter apparel all in one place. The small fee to get into swaps (typically $5/person, free for children age 12 and younger) and consignment fees also help regional ski patrol and ski racing organizations raise funds. Mark your calendar and get in line early for the best deals! Oct. 20: 49 Degrees North Ski Patrol Swap typically held at NE Washington Fairgrounds, Colville, Wash. Ski49n.com Oct. 27-28: Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol Ski Swap at Spokane Fair & Expo Center, Spokane, Wash. Skipatrolskiswap.com Nov. 3: Winter Swap at Kootenai County Fairgrounds, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Winterswap.com Nov. 10: SARS (Schweitzer Alpine Racing School) Annual Ski Swap at Bonner County Fairgrounds, Sandpoint, Idaho. Sars. snowproportal.com/fundraising/ski-swap.
Inland Northwest Leaders in our Junior Ski/Snowboard Program. Ask us how you can save BIG with our Season Lease or Junior Buy Back Program. We make skiing/boarding affordable for families.
WWW.TheSpokaneAlpineHaus.COM 2925 S Regal - Spokane, Wa 99223
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Jr. Ski/Snowboard Season Lease
HEY 5TH GRADERS!!
If you’re in the 5th grade, no matter where you live, you can ski or ride for FREE at participating ski areas with the 5th Grade Ski or Ride Free Passport Program. The Ski or Ride Free Passport Program is the best way for you to experience winter recreation with your family and friends.
HOW THE PASSPORT WORKS:
The passport allows you to ski or ride for FREE* three days at each participating ski area. Some ski areas include special deals on equipment rentals, lessons and other activities in the passport! Just present your passport at the ticket window, it’s that easy! *$20 processing fee.
Visit 5thGradeSkiPassport.com to apply online! THE 5TH GRADE PASSPORT IS ACCEPTED AT ANY OF THESE LOCATIONS:
� 49 Degrees North Chewelah, WA
� Silver Mountain Kellogg, ID
� Lookout Pass ID/MT Border 1-90
� Brundage McCall, ID
� Mt Spokane Spokane, WA
� Loup Loup Okanogan, WA OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
CLAN BY AMY S. MCCAFFREE
ASK MOST ANYONE at Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park and they know Seth and Gloria Fletcher, who have been regulars at the mountain since the 1960s. Seth, age 79, and Gloria, 68, both learned how to ski at Mt. Spokane during their 20s. “I was in the JCPenney Ski School,” says Seth. “There used to be a rope-tow at Mt. Spokane where the tubing hill is now.” Married now for 35 years, their blended generational ski family includes four adult children and seven grandchildren, ages 12-21. All became skiers at a very young age and still ski—though the lone grandson now snowboards. Once Mt. Spokane’s ski season opens, Seth and Gloria, now retired, are at the mountain every week, Wednesday through Sunday, until closing day. The Fletchers first taught their kids how to ski, and also enrolled them in lessons. Same for their grandbabies. “Grammy and Poppy taught them how to ski,” says Seth, “and their parents helped out too.” For the Fletchers, winter break is a big deal. While only two grandchildren, and their parents, live in Spokane, the rest of the clan travels here for
THE FLETCHER CLAN AT MT SPOKANE - SETH AND GLORIA (LEFT) AND THEIR ADULT KIDS AND GRANDCHILDREN. // PHOTO COURTESY OF GLORIA FLETCHER
Christmas time. “So we ski non-stop,” Gloria says. All stay overnight at their two Snowblaze condo units, located on the mountain close to the ski park. “We had to buy a second condo because we had too many grandkids.” As the grandkids’ skills improved, it became tradition to conquer the checklist of skiing terrain together off all five chairlifts while skiing with Grammy and Poppy. They love those runs where they’re all together, swooshing through fresh snow near their grandchildren, wide smiles on everyone’s faces. Meeting up at the bottom of each chairlift and riding up two by two to do it again and again, no matter the weather—from powder days to bluebird days and everything in between. “Even it’s crappy, we still go up for a few runs. The only time we don’t
COME TRAIN WITH THE
go is if it’s raining,” says Gloria. But mountain living includes more than flying down the mountain and seeking powder. “Our grandkids go sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing—we have all that equipment. So when the ski day was done, the day was never done,” Gloria says. “Some of older grandkids are now telemark and backcountry skiing.” Impressively, through the 40+ years of skiing, no one in the family has sustained any major injuries. “The nice thing about skiing together is that it’s probably the only sport that you do together” year after year. “You only watch kids at soccer or baseball games. But skiing is the one sport that is a family sport, no matter how old or how little” they say. “Everyone in our family can ski any terrain, any
mountain…once you learn (how to ski), you have it—not something you ever forget,” says Seth. The Fletchers are also a ski patrol family, since Seth joined Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol the 1973-74 season. The perk of discounted lift tickets helped make skiing more affordable for their family. Additionally, the patrol’s annual ski swap is where they still find gear for everyone. They’re also part of the local ski racing scene. Starting in the late 1970s, three of their children, when each was 7-8 years old, joined the team based at Mt. Spokane, and raced until age 14. Their son, Kevin, was even a ski racer at the University of Idaho. Their two local grandkids also joined the team, and their 12-year-old granddaughter—skiing with her grandparents since she was 2—is still a member of the Mt. Spokane Ski Racing Team (MSSRT), formerly known as the Spokane Ski Racing Association. Gloria volunteers as a certified level 4 “timing and calc official,” and Seth used to officiate races. As a devoted ski family, from the beginning the Fletchers skied with their children every weekend, from opening day to closing day, as well as occasional nights. Though Seth “retired” from patrol six years ago, after 39 years of volunteer service, both still volunteer. In fact, because of the thousands of hours Gloria has given to supporting MSSP, a new service award was established three years ago to honor her example. Called the “Gloria Fletcher Distinguished Service Award,” it’s given annually to an outstanding non-patrol volunteer. “This is going to be an exciting ski year, because of the new runs on Mt. Spokane’s backside. Our kids and grandkids can’t wait to come,” says Gloria. “It’s going to be so much fun. It gives us a new reason to be excited for skiing.” //
Is your child ready to take their skiing to the next level? We will introduce your athlete to ski racing and help them become great all mountain skiers. The Mt Spokane Ski Race Team offers a variety of youth programs designed for 6 to 11 year old athletes.
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
10 TIPS FOR
KIDS HAPPY ON THE
MAKE SURE your kids have a positive experience skiing or snowboarding from the very beginning, which
increases the odds that they will keep after it and enjoy the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of winter sports for years to come. These tips will go a long way toward reaching that goal! 1. Don’t push beginners too hard or take them on lifts or runs that might scare them or create a negative experience. 2. Rely on the expertise of professional instructors and don’t try to teach your child all by yourself. 3. Choose high-quality, cold-weather clothing. Not staying warm and dry is a deal-breaker. Small hand warmer packets can instantly help a child feel better. 4. Create goals and a plan of action as a family so kids know what to expect for the day; for example, aim to complete X amount of runs before lunch and hot cocoa, then X amount more afterwards. 5. Enjoy snacks and stay hydrated. Stash water bottles and food in a backpack. Bring a special treat, such as chocolate, for a chairlift ride surprise. 6. Let children choose the next run (within reason) or chairlift to ride. Make it a fun chooseyour-own-adventure type of day.
7. Ski and ride with your kids’ friends and their parents. Kids motivate each other in ways their parents cannot. 8. Bring two-way handheld radios and stay in communication with each other even if you don’t have cell service. 9. Take plenty of breaks to warm up with hot snacks and drinks in the lodge or another fun, cozy spot like Cy’s Café at 49 Degrees North, which is in a yurt at the bottom of the Sunrise Basin. 10. Upgrade your family ski or snowboard outing into a ski and stay vacation at Silver Mountain’s Morning Star Lodge located in the heart of the resort’s Gondola Village in Kellogg. Your stay includes access to Idaho’s largest indoor water park. (OTO) //
A TRUE WEEKEND WARRIOR, 11-year-old Vance Lazarus gets up with his dad at 5:30 a.m. on winter
mornings. This early wake up call is the weekend routine for the local Silver Mountain snowboarder. They need to leave their hometown of Coeur d’Alene to open the Mountain Café, which his dad Matt Lazarus owns. Located in the heart of the Gondola Village at Silver Mountain, the Mountain Café serves up coffee and pastries. While his dad gets to work, Vance has a small cubby in the cafe were he sleeps until his father is finished and it’s time to ride. (Matt mentions his son has just about grown out of his morning resting spot.) Waiting for the gondola to open, a cinnamon roll fills Vance’s stomach as his mind drifts to thoughts of riding untouched powder and ripping big smooth turns on his favorite run, Centennial. You can also catch Vance hiking and earning his turns, carrying his Flow board to the 6,205-foot summit of Wardner Peak. When asked to describe what it’s like to ride powder, Vance replied, “It’s like riding and jumping on pillows, like a soft bed.” Most of Vance’s riding is hunting for fresh powder. When not in search of pow, he’s going off jumps, trying to make his method grab better. This upcoming season he’s hoping to land front flips. During the summer months, Vance spends time in his backyard skating the family mini pipe and mountain biking at Silver Mountain. This Silver Valley local will be one to watch in the years to come. (T. Ghezzi)
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 BING CROSBY THEATRE
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We can trust Lisa Brown
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WINTER DREAMIN’ By Derrick Knowles
Long before the first leaves turn and geese start heading back south, I invariably have my first skiing dream of the season. This year’s came early, sometime in the middle of July when it was too scorching hot to enjoy a midday hike, let alone go skiing. Later that week, I found myself reading ski reviews without making the connection between the dream and a seemingly premature gear obsession. A week or two later, with temps still in the 90s, I was one step closer to that new pair of skis though, with a collection of older gear delivered to Northwest Outdoors, Spokane’s used outdoor gear consignment shop. Is the middle of summer or even right now too early to start thinking and scheming about winter adventures? If you’re reading this, then you probably agree the answer is no. The weeks and months leading up to a new season and its complimentary outdoor pursuits, if we fill them with transitional and preparatory rituals (like planning gear upgrades), make the actual moments when the season has changed and we are committed completely to the act (like bombing down the season’s first run) all that more magical. Winter is well on its way, and we hope you’ll find plenty of inspiration in the following pages to make this season one of your best ever. If you’re thinking about planning an out-of-town ski or snowboard trip this year, Out There is hosting our first ever trip to Big White Ski Resort just north of us near Kelowna, B.C., December 14-16. It’s an amazing price and an incredible destination—look for the ad with more info on page 43. Until the first snow falls, here’s to more sweet dreams of winter. //
ON THE MOUNTAIN
sponsored in part by
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
ON THE MOUNTAIN LOCAL RESORTS
HOW FOUR LOCAL RESORTS ARE EVOLVING IN THE 21ST CENTURY BY LISA LAUGHLIN
MT. SPOKANE SKI & SNOWBOARD PARK, MEAD, WASH.
Spokane’s closest resort has seen its fair share of growing over the last few decades, but a surprising part of that growth has been in how the mountain is used. Mt. Spokane’s Brenda McQuarrie says that folks are using the mountain more diversely now, with interest in activities like tubing and snowshoeing growing. “I had a preschool call the other day asking about tiny snowshoes to rent,” says McQuarrie. “So all ages can enjoy it, and as long as there is snow and the area continues to grow, more people are getting out and enjoying winter as much as they can.” From the beginning Mt. Spokane has been community centric. The resort’s close access to the City of Spokane has always made it an appealing choice, but it has also continued to add facilities such as the new-this-season Mountain Sports Learning Center and a surface lift for beginners. One major change to that community in recent years has been access to the internet, which has its pros and cons. While the internet has made it more accessible for people to get into the sport (simply YouTube “How to Ski”) and provides online access to used gear, mapping, coupons, pictures, and more, there is also a thirst to be entertained and not kept waiting. “20 years ago, you’d take a picture and it would take a week to get developed or you’d pay big bucks for have it developed in an hour. Now, young and old alike have the bar set higher for their expectations,” says McQuarrie. “Our products and staff need to be more interesting, more knowledgeable, and more skilled than the competition to keep peoples’ attention. People have so many more choices on where they can spend their time and money.” Perhaps as a result of this lust for the next entertaining thing, McQuarrie sees a growing desire for people to try a little bit of everything, “experience over mastery” being a popular mindset. “We will need to adapt to the idea that our guests may evolve from season pass holders to seekers of fun who want to try a myriad of winter activities for a smaller investment of time and money,” she says. One evolution on Mount Spokane this year will be Chair 6, a new triple chairlift that’s part of a large expansion on the backside of the mountain that includes seven professionally-designed runs. As far as the future of the industry, McQuarrie says that climate change is on everyone’s mind, which was one of many reasons they chose to put a lift on the northwest-facing side of the mountain for greater snow retention.
49 DEGREES NORTH CHEWELAH, WASH.
When John Eminger bought 49 Degrees North ski area in June of 1996, things were a bit different. There was a schism between skiers and snowboarders. There was only one paved road into the mountain from the nearby town of Chewelah. The ski area had just four lifts on 890 acres. Today 49 boasts 2,350 acres and seven lifts, with access to two peaks and three basins. The divide between skiers and snowboarders isn’t so stark. The ski area now has miles of Nordic skiing and a network of snowshoe trails. As Eminger puts it, it’s been incremental growth over time, but they add up to major changes in the last two decades. “This year we’re replacing the rope [cable] on lift 4, which, to me, is an iconic lift in the Pacific Northwest,” says Eminger. “It has access to some of the best tree skiing maybe beyond the Northwest. So for us to put a new rope on, it’s laying claim to a great part of the mountain for the next 30 years. It’s super exciting for us, but no one will really notice. It’s a lot like putting a new roof on the lodge—it doesn’t sound very exciting, but the roof of the lodge is a quarter acre. And it’s an all-encompassing project.” These small-detail, long-term investments will help 49 prepare for an expanding outdoor community in the greater Spokane region. “I believe that people who choose to move to Spokane are outdoor-oriented people,” says Eminger. “People enjoy the mountain biking and the season change. When I look at Spokane as truly one of the great ski towns in the United States, it’s because we’re an outdoor-oriented community.” Many of the changes catering to the outdoor community are also in service of what Eminger refers to as “the quest for the perfect turn.” This has been Eminger’s personal mission since buying the ski area—to give others the opportunity to pursue perfect turns, which has resulted in expanded terrain, more tree skiing, more lifts, and improved rental gear. “I think of us as a skiers and riders mountain first,” says Eminger. “It’s just where the pure rider and skier comes up and has the ability to access one of the largest mountains around.” While he admittedly sees more skiers than snowboarders on the mountain, Eminger came to an important realization when he bought the ski area and was burning some old rental equipment: “I went back the next day with a rake to rake up all the metal that was left, and you couldn’t tell the difference between a ski and snowboard. The metal edges were the exact same. And I was like, I get it: everyone rides a metal edge. I don’t want to hear about the schism ever again.” So, even though 49 Degrees North has adapted to a growing recreational industry, the resort has kept the search for the perfect turn at the heart of its mountain vibe, whether you ski or board.
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LEFT: SKIERS ON ANGEL PEAK LOOKING AT CHEWELAH PEAK. PHOTO COURTESY OF 49* NORTH. // THREE COLLEGE STUDENTS RIPPING IT UP ON GOLD TRAIL. PHOTO BY MATT SAWYER FOR LOOKOUT PASS SKI AREA
SILVER MOUNTAIN RESORT, KELLOGG, IDAHO
Many years ago, Silver Mountain was not Silver Mountain. It began as Jackass Ski Bowl in the late 60s, converted to Silverhorn for a stint, and came to its current incarnation under the ownership of JELD-WEN, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of windows and doors. The area faced a major challenge with its long, winding road but was buoyed by the faith of the town when the community voted to install a highspeed gondola and expand the ski area. Those changes transformed Silver Mountain into a fourseason resort with a ski village at the gondola base, lodging, Idaho’s largest indoor water park, mountain biking, and golf. One reason for the current design is that the modern skier or snowboarder is typically looking for “the whole mountain experience” instead of just the riding, says Silver Mountain’s General Manager Jeff Colburn. “In the world of phones and tablets, I think part of what people want from skiing is a fun social group of likeminded outdoor enthusiasts,” says Colburn. “Just as fun runs have evolved into color runs or mudders to keep people interested, we’ve needed to keep things fresh and add more music, events, and parties. Gone are the days of chili dogs and burgers; today’s guests are looking for better and more interesting restaurant offerings. They’re looking for an overall experience, where 20 years ago it was more just about the skiing.” Part of that overall experience has been made possible with accelerated gear: Wider powder skis make it easier for newbies to get out on the powder. Touring gear provides easier access to the backcountry. Helmet use is hovering near 90 percent, which may keep people coming back injury-free. Clothing advances make it easier to stay warm and dry, even in challenging weather. This increased access extends to a want for access off the mountain for the general population: “People want instant and easy information. Webcams, weather forecast online, and Facebook Live all help to let people know what to expect on the hill,” says Colburn. In response to this culture of quick access, Silver Mountain has pushed to make online booking a breeze. They’ve also responded to a changing climate, developing more summer programming and expanding their snowmaking. “We all have to do our part to conserve and be aware of the changes that are happening,” says Colburn. “Last year was off-the-charts-good on the weather front, but we know that will not happen every year.” This year, Silver has new owners who are working on creating the master plan for the next version of Silver Mountain.
LOOKOUT PASS SKI & RECREATION AREA, IDAHO/ MONTANA STATE LINE
As a cultural interest in the ski and snowboard industry grows, areas that are family-friendly, accessible, and affordable like Lookout remain popular. Lookout has historically had fantastic snow and access (it’s a mere 200-yards off Interstate-90), and, with the longest-running FREE ski school in the country, Lookout has a history of getting people to the mountain to fall in love with winter recreation. “We had a number of families come out to learn to ski together and even a few grandmothers/fathers come out with their grandkids to learn to ski,” says Lookout’s Matt Sawyer about last season. “We’re still seeing the general age of the regular guests getting older though, and this is something the industry has to deal with. In general, we need to do a better job at attracting more youngsters and millennials to the slopes.” One big change Sawyer’s seen with the years of newbies is a change in gear: wider and more shapely skis, quality waterproof and warm clothing, gloves and goggles that don’t fog. It’s an industry that’s becoming increasingly newbie-friendly, which is one reason Lookout has upped their grooming game. More people favor the well-groomed trails. Where a skier used to need to be hardy and athletically adept to hit the slopes, new tech has made it easier to learn and people are becoming proficient and increasingly skilled at a quicker rate. “Enhancements to equipment have made the sports easier,” says Sawyer. It’s one thing that’s added energy around the industry. “Add to that the incredible publicity and energy that TV, the X-Games, and the Olympics have provided to the winter sports. And video—specifically, the GoPro, which allows those participating to shoot their own videos and post them on social media where their friends can watch their exploits.” Nowadays, there’s plenty of room for exploits on Lookout—in the last 20 years, the ski area has added three chairs, glades, and grown their slopes count to 35. They are continuing with expansion and have made progress this fall with the Eagle Peak expansion, which will include a new mountain peak, 14 slopes, two chairlifts, expanded parking, and a bigger lodge. As the ski area grows, Lookout also has climate on the mind. The staff is keeping a close eye on the climate patterns and working to connect skiers and snowboarders with POW (Protect Our Winters) so newbies and families can learn to ski for generations to come. With better lifts, gear, and sustainable choices, more of the public is able to get out and up into the mountain where they can enjoy the “fresh air, incredible scenery, and get the feeling of sliding that makes these awesome winter sports rock,” adds Sawyer. //
SEASON PASS ON THE MOUNTAIN
LEFT: JASON GRAHAM WITH HIS KIDS AT 49 DEGREES NORTH. PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON GRAHAM. // MIDDLE: THE HESTON FAMILY AT SILVER MOUNTAIN. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARY HESTON. // KELLI CHRISTOPHERSON ON AN EPIC POWDER DAY AT LOOKOUT IN FEBRUARY. PHOTO: BOB LEGASA
PASSHOLDER PROFILES BY SARAH HAUGE
MARY HESTON, SILVER MOUNTAIN RESORT
For Mary Heston and her family, Silver Mountain Resort is home base. It started two decades ago, when she and her husband, Tom, moved to Idaho’s Silver Valley with their young kids. “It was pretty funny. As a young family, with four kids, we outfitted all of them first,” she remembers. “Then Tom would go skiing in his fishing gear! They could spot him a mile away in his yellow fishing pants.” Living a few minutes away from the mountain and with Tom working on Ski Patrol, they became passholders in 1998. They’ve continued ever since, giving their kids season passes for Christmas gifts. “Pretty soon [our kids] decided, all four of them, that our family tradition should be opening presents on Christmas Eve so we could get up early on Christmas morning and go skiing together,” Mary
says. “It’s always fun to see the other families up there on Christmas Day.” The four children, three boys and a girl, grew up skiing and snowboarding, and have since branched out from home. Tom travels more for work these days, too. But Silver Mountain always brings the Hestons back together. “Our family is starting to spread out,” says Mary. The kids are now in their 20s and early 30s, with some in college; there’s even a grandchild. But as other things change “we still call that home,” she says of Silver. They spend not just Christmases there, but love other traditions like spring skiing (the resort staff “fire up the barbecues—and you can ski in your shorts,” Mary says) and picking huckleberries in the summer. Using their passholder discount, they’ve often booked visiting friends and family in rooms at the Morning Star Lodge. “We call that the family annex,” Mary says with a laugh.
LOCAL RESORT FALL SEASON PASS SALES A sale-priced season pass from one of the Ski the NW Rockies association-affiliated resorts costs less than skiers and riders in other parts of the country pay for a handful of lift tickets. Don’t miss these deadlines to make sure you get the best deal and the most out of the coming ski and snowboard season. 49 DEGREES NORTH (FALL PASS SALE DEADLINE OCT 15)
Adults $429/youth $329 (7-17)/masters $249 (70+)/college and military $349/6 and under $25/ Nordic $49. Pass bonus deals: 25% off tickets to Big White, RED, SilverStar, and Whitewater; plus free tickets to Loup Loup, Bluewood, White Pass, Mission Ridge, and other ski areas. MT. SPOKANE (PASS SALE DEADLINE NOV 10)
Adults $429/youth $329 (7-17)/senior $299 (62-69)/college & military $319/super senior $209 (70+)/ mid week $239/child (under 6) $25. Pass bonus deals: 25% off tickets to RED, Whitewater, SilverStar, Manning Park, and Big White; free tickets to Mission Ridge, White Pass, Loup Loup, and Sunlight Mountain Resort; and $5 off tickets at Schweitzer, Silver, Lookout, and 49. SILVER MOUNTAIN RESORT (PASS SALE DEADLINE NOV 4)
Adults $419 (24-61)/youth $299 (7-17)/young adult $319 (18-23)/senior $269 (62-69)/ police, fire, military, EMS $349/super senior $189 (70+)/mid-week $279/family $1,239 (two adults, up to three youth)/college $249. Pass bonus deals: day passes to Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark or discount lift tickets for friends; two free lift tickets to Tamarack Resort; five $19 lift tickets to Mission Ridge; 10% off lodging at Morning Star Lodge; $5 off lift tickets at any other Idaho ski resort; 25% off day lift ticket to Big White; and more. LOOKOUT PASS (PASS SALE DEADLINE OCT 31)
Adults $239 (18-61)/youth $179 (7-17)/family $609 (two adults & one youth)/college $99/senior $169 (62-69)/military, firefighter, police $209/super senior $139 (70+)/mid-week $179/child (under 6) $30. Pass bonus deals expected to be same as last season: 15% off at the Lookout Gift Shop; three free days at Brundage and Mission Ridge; two free days at Bluewood; one free day at Stevens Pass; and more. (OTO)
“We love everything about it,” she says of Silver. “That’s the crux of it—lots of good family memories and traditions, and it brings us back together.” DOUG BURKE, MT. SNOWBOARD PARK
For the past 15 years, Doug Burke has been volunteering on the slopes at Mt. Spokane, working with the Powderhounds Ski Program. This multiweek lesson group is for individuals with developmental disabilities and is run at Mt. Spokane with the support of the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department. In addition to his wife and daughters, Doug first got involved with his son, Kyle, who has Down syndrome. In the beginning, Kyle was 13 years old and had never been on skis. “His first year or so, he didn’t want to ski really, he just wanted to lay in the snow and eat the snow,” Doug says. But “once he saw others having fun, he started on his way.” “It’s a wonderful program,” Doug says. The Powderhounds primarily consists of people with cognitive delays, from children up through adults. Trained volunteers are partnered with participants, and ski and snowboard together on consecutive Saturdays through the winter. Alice Busch, Therapeutic Recreations Director for the City of Spokane, has seen the Powderhounds help participants increase their physical and social skills as they get outside and do something nonelectronic, all the while developing independence. “One thing that happens continually is the growth we see in students when they accomplish goals,” she says. “The volunteers are amazing instructors, friends, and advocates.” “We have an absolute blast,” says Doug, who has recruited many friends over the years to volunteer and help grow the program. On those Saturdays between January and February that they’re on the mountain, he sees a change in the program’s participants. On the slopes, “they don’t have a disability, they’re just skiers or snowboarders,” Doug says. “It’s a fun, fun program and you can see it in their faces.” JASON GRAHAM, 49 DEGREES NORTH
Growing up with a parent in the Air Force, Jason Graham first learned to ski in Germany. Then “at 15 or 16 I got a snowboard and never looked back,” he says. After moving to Spokane he continued snowboarding, with a season pass that brought him to 49 Degrees North every weekend. After high school, though, it wasn’t so easy to get to the mountain. When Jason started college he found himself “slowing down a little bit” with the sport; it was no longer an every-weekend thing. “I really missed it,” he says. He wanted that to change, and thought about how to find “purposeful involvement” that would get him back on the slopes regularly. After looking into both teaching and ski patrol, Jason became a snowboard instructor at 49. Jason now teaches snowboarding every weekend during the winter season. “I love sharing the
passion for it,” he says of working with new snowboarders, sometimes one-on-one and sometimes in small groups. “I love the ‘a-ha’ moments when kids learn. I love seeing the variety of people.” Sometimes someone very athletic will struggle to get their balance, while someone else with zero sports experience will unexpectedly excel. The surprises make it fun. “Someone you’d never expect to just picks it up out of nowhere,” he says. His own young children have started snowboarding, something he hopes they’ll continue to grow and develop in as they get older. Getting re-engaged with snowboarding has changed the shape of Jason’s weekends and given him a way to pass something he loves on to others. “Like everything else, it’s easy for life to take over and not have time for things,” he says. Instructing has changed all that. It’s good to be back up at 49 “every weekend, making it a regular part of my life.” KELLI CHRISTOPHERSON, LOOKOUT PASS
“We’ve been skiing there since it was just the one chair, so I would guess 2003,” says skier Kelli Christopherson, who, along with her husband, Josh, calls Lookout Pass her home mountain. Josh taught Kelli how to ski, and years ago they got into racing—competing as masters—and visiting all sorts of mountains and resorts. “Through racing, we kind of got to shop around [different mountains] and we kept going back to Lookout because of the people,” Kelli says. Back when she was a newer skier, Josh advised that she always ski with a buddy. “It was one of the big rules, that I would never ski by myself,” she says. “Over the years obviously I got better, and he actually started being an instructor, and when we would go ski he would be busy.” It was never difficult to find a new friend at Lookout. “It’s fun to ski by yourself, but the locals, the guys who ski there, it was just kind of like a family. They were like, ‘Oh, you should go ski with us,’” Kelli says. “I like the small mountain feel.” She also loves the quality of the conditions— “They’ve always got good, soft snow,”—and the fact that, somehow, Lookout always seems to be about the first mountain to open and the last to close. Last year, it opened on November 4. You’ll find her skiing off of Chair 3, where they leave the bump runs up all year. She likes Big Dipper, Hercules, and Purgatory. “It’s definitely steep and fun,” she says. “I like to challenge myself. That’s where I like to hang out.” Kelli is considering becoming a ski instructor herself, another way she can plug more into the community at the mountain. “They’re trying to rope me into it,” she says with a laugh. “It’s the people there,” says Kelli. “It’s the community that makes the difference.”//
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
ON THE MOUNTAIN PRE-SEASON EVENTS
sion $5) at the Spokane Fair & Expo Center. Skipatrolskiswap.com
NOVEMBER 10: VOLKSWAGEN PRESENTS WARREN MILLER’S “FACE OF WINTER”
7 p.m. at Sandpoint’s Warrenmiller.com
NOVEMBER 3: WINTER SWAP
North Idaho’s biggest ski and snowboard gear swap at Kootenai County Fairgrounds, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Register your gear to sell Friday, November 2 from 3-8 p.m. or shop starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. Winterswap.com
GET READY FOR WINTER With fall in the Inland Northwest packed with awesome pre-season winter sports events, it’s time to get out there and hit the gear swaps, ski and snowboard films, winter kickoff parties and events, and skills clinics. Be stoked and ready when the snow flies! OCTOBER 10: THE ESSENTIALS OF BACKCOUNTRY SKIING
Learn about ski, boot, and skin options for the backcountry, along with info on basic safety tools. 7 p.m. at Mountain Gear (2002 N. Division, Spokane). Facebook.com/mountaingearfanpage OCTOBER 11: FAR OUT—A FILM BY TETON GRAVITY RESEARCH
This year’s TGR ski and snowboard film with prizes and swag, sponsored by REI. 7:30 p.m. at Spokane’s Bing Crosby Theater. Tetongravity.com/ films/far-out OCTOBER 18: THE CONNECTIONS MOVEMENT BACKCOUNTRY SNOWBOARDING FILM “YUGEN”
A fundraiser for Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center (IPAC) sponsored by PanhandleBackcountry. com. 7 p.m. at the Garland Theater, Spokane. PanhandleBackcountry.com OCTOBER 20: 49 DEGREES NORTH SKI PATROL SWAP
Find great deals on ski and snowboard equipment
OCTOBER 27: VOLKSWAGEN PRESENTS WARREN MILLER’S “FACE OF WINTER”
With this year’s 69th installment, new and veteran athletes alike pay tribute to the man who started it all—the late, great Warren Miller. 6 and 9 p.m. showings at the Bing Crosby Theater, downtown Spokane. Warrenmiller.com OCTOBER 27: 49 DEGREES NORTH JOB FAIR
Work where you ski or snowboard this season or during the holidays at family-friendly 49 and score a discounted season pass and ticket deals at other mountains. 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Calispell Creek Lodge up at the mountain. Info: (509) 935-6649 x601. OCTOBER 26-28: MT. SPOKANE SKI PATROL SKI SWAP
The biggest swap around, with over 25,000 new and used ski and snowboard gear items for sale, including backcountry and Nordic equipment, benefitting the Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol. Friday drop-off of gear to sell, 3-8 p.m.; swap sale runs 9-5 Saturday and 9-noon Sunday (admis-
E C N A H LAST C
Sandpoint’s local swap is also the place to go if you didn’t find what you were looking for at other ski swaps around the region. Proceeds benefit the SARS’s ski racing and freeride programs. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Bonner County Fairgrounds in Sandpoint. Sars.snowproportal.com/fundraising/ski-swap
Bring a resume if you have one and head up to Mt. Spokane to find your winter job working where you already plan to spend most of your winter skiing or snowboarding. 8 a.m.-noon. at Lodge 2. Mtspokane.com/employment
NOVEMBER 11: PRAY FOR SNOW BASH AT REI
Rally for snow with a retro ski outfit fashion show; live music; free pizza, cocoa, and roasted Twinkies; vintage ski films; prizes and more. 5-8 p.m. at the Spokane REI store. Sign up at Rei.com/events.
NOVEMBER 8: UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT SALE & SWAP
This 44th annual sale put on by the Outdoor Program and UI Vandal Ski Team features all types of used winter and summer outdoor gear. Admission is free and a table to sell your gear is only $5. 6 p.m. at the UI Student Recreation Center’s MAC court in Moscow, Idaho. (208) 885-6810.
NOVEMBER 22-DECEMBER 2: WINTER KICKOFF IN NELSON, B.C.
Experience 10 days of events to get you stoked for winter in Nelson, B.C., North America’s best ski town! The Nelson/Kootenay region is nestled in the southeastern corner of British Columbia in a valley surrounded by epic mountain ranges, a magnificent expanse of lakeshore, steep evergreen valleys, and glacial snowfields. See how the Kootenay locals get ready for winter with local craft brewery crawls, food tours, live music, arts and culture, workshops, craft fairs, film screenings, and more. Winterkickoff.com
NOVEMBER 8: 5TH ANNUAL PRAY FOR SNOW PARTY AT PERRY STREET BREWING
Beer specials, prizes for the best retro ski attire, raffle drawings, giveaways and swag, and a highenergy crowd stoked to celebrate another winter together. A benefit for T.E.A.M. Grant. Facebook. com/PerryStreetBrewing.
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER (ANYTIME): FALL GETAWAY AT SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN RESORT
Can’t wait until opening day to get up to Schweitzer? Book a room with a hot tub, have lunch or an early dinner at Chimney Rock Grill, and watch the mountain slowly shift from fall to winter. Schweitzer.com. (OTO) //
NOVEMBER 9-10: SNOWLANDER EXPO & INLANDER WINTER PARTY
Winter sports exhibitors, live music, brew festival, giveaways, and ski and snowboard gear sale. Snowlanderexpo.com
Last chance to get these great prices on
mt spokane season passes! SALE PRICE Thru Nov 10 Adult (18-61) College/Military* Youth (7-17) Senior (62-70) Super Senior (70+) Midweek Age 80+
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OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
$ $ $ $ $ $
429 319 329 299 209 259
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E L SA
NOVEMBER 10: SARS (SCHWEITZER ALPINE RACING SCHOOL) SKI SWAP
NOVEMBER 3: MT. SPOKANE SKI & SNOWBOARD PARK JOB FAIR
at northeast Washington’s annual swap, typically held at NE Washington Fairgrounds in Colville, Wash., and support 49’s volunteer ski patrol. Ski49n.com
TICKETS TO MISSION RIDGE, WHITE PASS, SUNLIGHT MTN RESORT & LOUP LOUP INCLUDED
W W W. MT S P O K A N E .CO M
FITNESS ON THE MOUNTAIN
fans of the bunny hill; the 1-year-old isn’t quite up on skis—yet. Yoga, of course, is great for increasing flexibility and keeping the body loose. “Skiers are used to being so tense,” Vimont says. She remembers how her husband, a contractor and longtime skier, couldn’t sit on his knees until he’d begun practicing yoga. Seeing that transformation in him has “been kind of fun,” she says. “If you’re more flexible, I think you have a lot more leeway in movement in your skiing,” she adds. The flexibility and balance help if and when you lose your footing. A strong and flexible body makes it more likely that “you’re not tensing up when falling,” Vimont says. As she puts it, you’ll be “more loosey-goosey.” Leg strength and core strength, both of which are frequently called upon in a yoga practice, are essential to any snowboarder or skier. Yoga helps not only to build these muscles, but to strengthen the entire body, including the little stabilizer muscles that are often overlooked, and that protect joints and the spine. Another benefit for snowboarders and skiers is the way it encourages and increases focus—a helpful skill whether you’re trying to stay on your feet while hurtling down a mountain or keep your balance in Tree Pose (or avoid getting distracted during a long meeting at work). Practicing yoga first thing gives snow bunnies the chance to get “loose and warm” before they hit the slopes, Vimont says; either try a home practice,
GET IN SHAPE FOR THE SLOPES WITH YOGA BY SARAH HAUGE
DOWNHILL SNOW SPORTS demand a lot from
the body: stamina, balance, leg and core strength, concentration. By the end of the season’s first day of skiing or snowboarding, cheeks are chapped and hair is wind-whipped, legs are burning, and bodies are happily exhausted. Cross-training with yoga can help you to have a stronger, more flexible, and (hopefully) injury-free season on the mountain.
One of the main ways yoga helps skiers and snowboarders is by “keeping your legs conditioned,” says Mimi Vimont, who owns Beyoutiful Hot Yoga’s multiple Spokane and Wenatchee locations along with her husband, Wes. The entire Vimont family, parents and children, spend many of their free winter moments at Silver Mountain (they also love heading to White Pass), where they ski and snowboard. Their 6 and 3-year-olds are big
or sign up for a class. Some studios open quite early and can accommodate a pre-ski day session. It can also be beneficial to cap off a ski or snowboarding day with evening yoga to wind down and stretch the many muscles that have spent the day tensed. And remember, regardless of whether you can regularly make it to an official class, yoga has an unbeatable convenience factor. All it truly requires is time, some basic knowledge, and, possibly, a yoga mat. A yoga practice (even if yours is just an occasional handful of postures) is just as doable on the road—or the base of the ski hill—as at a yoga studio. The Vimonts typically warm up at the mountain, boots on, going through a series of stretches and forward folds before hopping on the chair lift. If you want to give yoga a try, sign up for a class at a local studio, or ease in gradually at home by checking out a video online. One good resource is Yoga with Adriene, which offers a gentle approach for all levels of experience: www.yogawithadriene. com. When looking into classes, Vimont recommends hot yoga (the norm for Beyoutiful’s studios) and yin yoga, which is a slow-paced style of yoga that emphasizes relaxing in restorative postures. However you incorporate yoga into your winter sports season, it will be good for both your mind and body. // Sarah Hauge lives in Spokane with her husband and two daughters. She wrote the Run Wild column in the September issue.
YOGA POSES FOR SKIERS & SNOWBOARDERS
Beyoutiful Hot Yoga owner Mimi Vimont recommends the following yoga poses to help get skiers and snowboarders ready for this season. • Chair Pose and Warrior Poses (for leg strengthening) • Eagle Pose (for joint flexibility) • Tree Pose and Dancer Pose (for balance) • Boat Pose (for core strength)
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ON THE MOUNTAIN MOUNTAIN STATS
Commitment to powder days. WHITEF ISH MOUNTAIN RESORT
RESORTS AROUND THE INLAND NW LOOKOUT PASS SKI & RECREATION AREA
Location: Mullan, ID (Bitterroot Mountains) Summit: 5,650’ Base: 4,500’ Terrain: 540 skiable acres/4 lifts/34 runs/2 terrain parks Tickets: $34-49 Lodge: Historic lodge straddling the Idaho/Montana border is the second oldest lodge in the Northwest. What’s New: Lookout’s Phase 1 expansion was approved in 2017, and work started last fall on cutting trails. Expansion work continues and when it’s all said and done will include two new chairlifts to the summit of Eagle Peak that will access 14 runs and gladed areas. An additional base lodge and more parking are also part of the plan.
MT. SPOKANE SKI & SNOWBOARD PARK
Location: Spokane, Wash. (Selkirk Mountains) Summit: 5,889’ Base: 4,200’ Terrain: 1,704 acres/7 lifts/52 designated runs/2 terrain parks & progression park Tickets: $20-55/free for 6 and younger Lodges: Main lodge (Lodge 2) near bunny hill/Lodge 1 near base of Chair 1 Tubing: 90-minute session, $8-$15 depending on age Nordic: Over 60 k of trails within Mt. Spokane Cross-Country Ski Park (Discover Pass, seasonal SnoPark permit, and seasonal Groomed Area permit required). Snowshoeing: Trail descriptions and map are available from Friends of Mt. Spokane (Discover Pass and seasonal SnoPark permit required). What’s New: 7 new runs and 279 acres of new terrain are ready for skiing and riding on the backside and work continues to get the new lift running for the 2018/19 season. As of September, the 17 new lift towers had been installed and construction on the lift terminal operator building and ski patrol bump “shack” were underway. Mt. Spokane is also adding an expanded beginner area including a new surface lift.
SILVER MOUNTAIN RESORT
Location: Kellogg, Idaho (Bitterroot Mountains) Summit: Kellogg Peak 6,300’ /Wardner Peak 6,200’ Base: Gondola Village, 2,300’/Base of Chair 4, 4,100’ Terrain: 1,600 acres/gondola & 5 chairlifts/moving carpet/77 named runs/terrain park Tickets: $42-$62/free for 6 and younger Lodging: Morning Star Lodge condos in the heart of the Gondola Village come in various sizes and layouts and include access to the Silver Rapids indoor water park. Village Fun: Access to the Silver Rapids indoor water park, Idaho’s largest, comes with your Morning Star Lodge condo stay. The park includes the FlowRider, a perfect, continuous wave that can be body boarded or surfed. Tubing: 2-hour session, $7-$25, includes a gondola ride and access to the magic carpet for rides back to the top of the tube hill. Best Hangout: Noah’s Canteen in the Gondola Village is the perfect après hangout, with great food and drink options and frequent live music.
49 DEGREES NORTH MOUNTAIN RESORT
W H I T E F I S H , M O N TA N A
Commitment to character. In the ‘30s local skiers discovered good skiing on the “big mountain” north of town. Since then we’ve been committed to a life of good times, great
SKI & STAY
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Includes lodging, lift ticket, hot breakfast & hot tub access. *Terms and restrictions apply. Book online with promo code HH95.
SKIWHITEFISH.COM | 877-SKI-FISH Partially Located on National Forest Lands
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
Photo © GlacierWorld.com
Location: Chewelah, Wash. (Selkirk Mountains) Summit: Chewelah Peak 5,774’/ Angel Peak 5,295’ Base: 3,923’ Terrain: 2,235 acres/7 chairlifts/3 terrain parks Tickets: $44-$62 Nordic: 25k of groomed trails ($7-$12 day pass required) and a warm and cozy yurt make 49 a great Nordic destination. Snowshoeing: 6k of marked trails (rentals available at the Nordic yurt) Fat Biking: Fat bikes are allowed on the groomed Nordic trail system Coolest Hangout: Grab a beer, hot chocolate, cinnamon roll, German sausage, or other snack at Cy’s Café located in a yurt at the bottom of Sunrise Basin.
SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN RESORT
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho Summit: 6,400’ Vertical Drop: 2,400’ Terrain: Skiable Acres, 2,900 (largest resort in Idaho/Wash.); 92 trails plus open bowl skiing; 3 terrain parks Lifts: 9 (including Stella, Idaho’s only six-person high-speed lift, a T-bar, and conveyor lift) Tickets: $50-$81 Tubing: Hermit’s Hollow tubing center offers two chutes and one tow Nordic: 32k of trails maintained daily Fat Biking: Fat-tired bikes are allowed on the Nordic trails (trail use fee required); rentals are available Coolest Hangout: Sky House summit lodge with 360-degree views, the local-purveyor focused The Nest Bar & Restaurant, and the cafeteria-style Red Hawk Cafe What’s New: Coming off a record 2017/2018 winter season for snowfall, skier visits, and lodging occupancy, Schweitzer spent over $1.5 million in capital investments this summer, including things like a new grooming snow cat, extension of the Musical Carpet beginner conveyor lift, and other improvements. Looking ahead, Schweitzer anticipates replacing the Snowghost double chair accessing the North Bowl with two new lifts during the summer of 2019. One lift will start near Cedar Park and unload at the current Snowghost midway station with the second lift providing summit access from a location near Will’s Runout and Vagabond.
PHOTO: AARON THEISEN COURTESY OF SKI THE NW ROCKIES
BIG WHITE SKI RESORT
Location: Kelowna, B.C. Summit: 7,606’ Lifts: 15 Patrolled area: 2,765 acres Vertical: 2,550’ Annual Snowfall: 24.5’ Opening Day Last Season: Nov. 30 BLUEWOOD
Location: Dayton, Wash. Base Elevation (4,545’, 2nd highest in Wash.) Trails: 24 Skiable Acres: 400+ Vertical: 1,125’ Annual Snowfall: 300+ inches BRUNDAGE MOUNTAIN
Location: McCall, Idaho Summit: 7,803’ Lifts: 5 Lift-Accessed Terrain: 1,920 acres Vertical: 1,921’ Snowfall: 320 inches
RED MOUNTAIN RESORT
Location: Rossland, B.C. Summit: 6,807’ Longest Run: 4.3 miles Lifts: 7 Skiable Acres: 4,200 Vertical: 2,919’ Annual Snowfall: 300 inches New Lodging: The Josie Hotel & Nowhere Special Hostel REVELSTOKE MOUNTAIN RESORT
Location: Revelstoke, B.C. Lift-top Elevation: 7,300’ Skiable Acres: 3,121 Longest Run: 9.5 miles Vertical: 5,620 (North America’s greatest vert) Annual Snowfall: 30-45’ SILVERSTAR MOUNTAIN RESORT
Location: Fernie, B.C. Summit: 7,000’ Lifts: 10 Skiable acres: 2,500 Vertical: 3,550’ Snowfall: 30’
Location: Vernon, B.C. Summit: 6,280’ Lifts: 11 Runs: 132 Skiable Acres: 3,282 (B.C.’s 3rd largest resort) Vertical: 2,500’ Annual Snowfall: 275 inches
KICKING HORSE MOUNTAIN RESORT
Location: Golden, B.C. Summit: 8,033’ Lifts: 5 Resort acres: 2,800 Vertical: 4,133’ Snowfall: 24’ Inbounds chutes: 85+
Location: Leavenworth, Wash. Summit: 5,845’ Lifts: 10 Skiable Acres: 1,125 Vertical: 1,800’ Annual Snowfall: 460 inches
KIMBERLEY ALPINE RESORT
Location: Donnelly, Idaho Summit: 7,700’ Lifts: 6 Lift-accessed Terrain: 1,000 Vertical: 2,800’
FERNIE ALPINE RESORT
Location: Kimberley, B.C. Summit: 6,500’ Lifts: 5 Resort acres: 1,800+ Vertical: 2,465’ Snowfall: 13’ LOUP LOUP SKI BOWL
Location: Twisp, Wash. Summit: 5,260’ Lifts: 3 Cut Runs: 10 Vertical: 1,240’ Snowfall: 12.5’ MISSION RIDGE
Location: Wenatchee, Wash. Summit: 6,820’ Lifts: 6 Terrain: 2,000 acres Vertical: 2,250’ Sunny Days: 300
WHITEFISH MOUNTAIN RESORT
Location: Whitefish, Mont. Summit: 6,817’ Lifts: 14 Terrain: 3,000 Vertical: 2,353’ Annual Snowfall: 300 inches Terrain Parks: 5 (and a skier/boarder cross course) WHITEWATER SKI RESORT
Location: Nelson, B.C. Summit: 6,700’ Lifts: 3 (and one handle tow) Skiable Acres: 2,367 Vertical: 2,044’ Annual Snowfall: 40’ Lodge Food: Epic! OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
ON THE MOUNTAIN SKI BUM ADVICE
PHOTO: AARON THEISEN COURTESY OF SKI THE NW ROCKIES
WINTER, OH, HOW I HAVE MISSED YOU BY BRAD NORTHRUP
I HAVE STASHED the golf clubs in the dusty neth-
er-regions of the garage, shoved my wet boardshorts in a far back drawer, and have begun to grow my winter beard. Well, maybe not the last one since my significant other despises my feeble attempt to look like one of the dudes from Duck Dynasty, or a pitcher from the Yankees. So be it. The long, warm days of summer are now in the rear-view mirror, and the ever-dwindling rays of the fall sun tend to remind me of what we all live for once the weather changes. Old Man Winter is patiently waiting to grace us once again with his presence, and for that I am thankful. Many may dread his return, but here are my top reasons to embrace a return to cold weather. 1) Yard Work. Like many folks, I take a certain amount of pride in making my lawn pop during the summer. Come late September, though, I have had about enough of mowing, trimming, edging, and fertilizing. Throw in the endless combat I take part in with piles of dog poop, sprinklers that won’t sprinkle, and a testy mower—it is of little wonder I beg for the snow gods to drop the hammer and end such foolishness. Once the thermometer drops, the lawn stops growing, the doggie land mines freeze solid, and the mower goes into hibernation, plotting its revenge for next spring. 2) Swamp Butt. Nothing makes me more ready for winter than sitting in my car on a hot July day and feeling a warm trickle of sweat running down the center of my ample backside. For far too many days this past summer, I was too afraid to stop at the store on my way home from work for cold adult beverages. I feared the laughter that was sure to come my way from the people behind me in the
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
checkout line, snickering at the racing stripe down the back of my slacks. 3) Over-heating Car. I drive a 20-year-old Subaru that burns oil, smokes, has over 275,000 miles, and tends to run a little hot once the temps go above 90. Can’t imagine why. When it does, I have no other choice than to turn the heat up high, rolls down the windows, and drive much faster than I should. Doing so increases my intake of engine and wildfire smoke, allows me to hear other drivers yelling about my funeral pyre of a vehicle, and exacerbates the already bad case of swamp butt noted above. 4) Constant Stream of Visitors. I am lucky enough to live on the water outside of town, and typically enjoy having friends and family out to visit—at least the ones that are invited. But after 10 weekends in a row of houseguests and drop-in visitors, I am ready for the roads to get a little nasty and give folks an excuse to not make the trek out to the sticks. Plus, I really don’t like to be mindful of my lack of personal hygiene on the weekends. 5) Pine Needles. I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time during the summer keeping our local “leaves” off of my deck, yard, driveway, and roof. I’ve tried leaf blowers, rakes, and even a consumer-grade flamethrower. Note to self: Wearing flip-flops while improperly using a flamethrower might dramatically reduce the amount of hair on one’s legs. Just saying. // Brad Northrup is a former ski racer, coach, and ski bum. He is looking forward to winter and the hair on his legs growing back.
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
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GOOD THROUGH NOVEMBER 15, 2018 42
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
WINTER PREDICTIONS BY BRAD NORTHRUP
WITH A LONG, hot, and smoky summer far behind us, snow sports enthusiasts are likely looking forward to the upcoming skiing and snowboarding season—and rightfully so. Nothing makes a rider of snow dream about the winter months more than a prolonged period of extreme heat like we witnessed this year. That said, here is what the experts—and some of our local mountain operators—have to say about what we can expect here in the Pacific Northwest this season. Keep in mind these are just predictions, and even the experts get it wrong on occasion. NOAA
Not the best of news coming out of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. NOAA is forecasting a 70% chance of El Nino during the upcoming season, which typically means we will experience above normal temperatures and normal or below normal precipitation. Darn science. THE FARMER’S ALMANAC
These guys have been using the same mathematical and astronomical formula since the 1800s, and we are digging what they are predicting. The FA is calling for normal temps and wet weather for the winter, which obviously translates to snow for our local resorts. More encouraging is their prediction that north Idaho and Montana will witness “Teeth Chattering Cold & Plentiful Snow.” Sounds good. Please have some of that seep over here into eastern Washington too. Thank you. SNOWBOARDING.COM
So the scientific experts are split about how things might shake out this winter. Sure, it’s easy to want to lean towards the official government agency in charge of weather, but as the ever-positive crew at Snowboarding.com points out, “Last season’s precipitation forecast, on the other hand, called for
mostly average precipitation across much of the country, with higher than average precipitation in Colorado and much of the Rockies. This turned out to be incorrect, as Colorado suffered from one of the worst winters in 60 years, while Utah and much of the Pacific Northwest saw average to higher than average precipitation totals.” Take that, you way-smarter-than-me weather gurus. THE LOCALS
Seasonal predictions change like, well, the weather (sorry, couldn’t resist), but the voices that represent the backbone of the snow sports industry should be listened to and acknowledged. These are the folks that make it happen, year after year, season after season. They have seen it all, and have a unique perspective. Brenda McQuarrie, Guest Services and Marketing Manager at Mount Spokane: “As usual, we will continue to prep diligently for next season and we’ll be ready when the snow flies. Skiers and riders in this area have learned to not procrastinate, but take full advantage when storms line up and produce. Every season is different and brings its own set of challenges. You must enjoy it as it comes and don’t hesitate when Ullr comes a knockin’.” Eric Bakken, Mountain Manager at 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort: “All anyone can do is work hard and prepare to make the most of any opportunities that present themselves. No one knows the future for sure, but we all know what it feels like to let a great opportunity pass us by. In the Pacific Northwest most winters are very good for skiers and snowboarders, so play the very good odds; prepare your body and your gear to take advantage of the good skiing and riding that we have 9 times out of 10.” Well said. // Brad Northrup has been a contributing writer for Out There Outdoors since 2011.
GEAR ON THE MOUNTAIN
NEW GEAR FOR THE SEASON BY SIOBHAN EBEL
WINTER IS AROUND THE CORNER, and we’ve asked some of our favorite local shops for their favorite new gear recommendations from base layers to brand new boards.
ers for anyone in the outdoors.” Whether you’re a Nordic, downhill, or backcountry skier, base layers can make the difference between an enjoyable day and a miserable day in the snow.
SPOKANE ALPINE HAUS
Shift bindings are a new product, changing the way we ski. They “transform a downhill, lockedin binding into a touring binding. They’ve never really been able to make anything like it until recently,” says Rachel Harding of Spokane Alpine Haus on the South Hill. Both Salomon and Atomic make shift bindings, and the Alpine Haus will be carrying both brands this winter.
If you’ve ever slipped on ice while running in the winter (guilty), you’ll love Due North. Due North is a traction device that goes over your shoes. The spikes provide traction while running or walking on ice or snow. Depending on the product you choose, prices range between $25-$40. “They can go on a regular shoe for going to the mailbox, but most of the people I see put them on their shoes for running,” says Fitness Fanatics owner Robin DeRuwe. Keep a pair in your car for icy days at the ski hill parking lot.
Coeur d’Alene store manager Don Grant recommends the new Spot X GPS system for anyone in the outdoors this winter. The Spot X has built-in SOS for life-threatening situations and has 2-way satellite messaging. It can also be used in conjunction with your cellphone. If you plan on skiing or riding in the sidecountry or backcountry, or snowshoeing off the beaten path, this product may prove invaluable. SPORTS OUTLET
If you’re looking for a new pair of quality-made skis, Henry Tacner, from Spokane’s Sports Outlet, recommends Line Skis. Developed by Jason Levinthal in 1995, Line Skis offers a variety of freeride and freestyle skis for every rider type. For the snowboarder, Tacner recommends Mervin snowboards. “From their entry-level boards on up to their premium gold member boards, you’re going to get a good quality, made-in-America product, which is really rad,” says Tacner. SPORTS CREEL
New this year, Sports Creel in Spokane Valley will be carrying Duckworth base and mid-layers. Duckworth is the world’s only source-verified, single origin, Merino wool apparel company, and its products are made in the USA. According to Sports Creel’s Micah Genteman, Duckworth “has some of the nicest long underwear and base lay-
Made in the USA, Voile Hypercharger Skis are a lightweight and versatile backcountry ski with a Paulownia core, renowned for their strength to weight ratio. Mountain Gear’s Mark Beattie describes the skis as having “a very high giggle factor.” Beattie said the skis perform well in both choppy crud and deep fluffy powder. PISTOLE BOARDSHOP
For the powder lovers out there, the Lib Tech Jamie Lynn Mayhem board is a short, fat pow board. Shorter and lighter, it’s “a go anywhere, do anything board,” says Josh Yandell of Pistole Boardshop in downtown Spokane. Yandell describes it as a “surfboard on snow.” ESCAPE OUTDOORS
The Patagonia Nano Puff jacket is a staple piece for the Northwest explorer, says Alexia Deming of Escape Outdoors in Coeur d’Alene. “It stays warm even in the damp Northwest climate.” The Nano Puff jacket is available in men’s, women’s, and kid’s sizes—and a variety of colors. “It’s one of those things that all parts of our crew here at the store have at least one of,” says Deming. // OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
Pray For Snow party
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8TH • FUN STARTS AT 5p.m. •Prizes for Best Retro Ski Attire •Beer Specials •Classic Ski Flicks •Raffle Prizes •Ski Industry Giveaways/Swag
PERRY STREET BREWING
1025 S. Perry Street / 509-279-2820 / facebook.com/PerryStreetBrewing
54TH ANNUAL MT SPOKANE SKI PATROL
NEW & SLIGHTLY USED GEAR!
BACKCOUNTRY & NORDIC SKI AREA
SPOK ANE FAIR & EXPO CENTER
Skis, Boots, Poles, Snowshoes & More!
3-8pm Bring your used items in (Drop-Off)
Kids 12 and under are FREE!
ems Red Tag it Y
9am - Noon ($5) More Ski Swap Kids 12 and under are free!
MASSIVE SELECTION OF
GREAT GEAR AT
A fundraiser for Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
THANKS TO OUR MAJOR SPONSOR
F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N P L E A S E V I S I T 44
70 UP TO
S K I P A T R O L S K I S W A P. C O M
OutdoorCalendar (October 6) Wild Moose Chase.
Where: Mt Spokane. When: 8:30 a.m. Running options include 5k, 10k and 25k. All participants receive shirts and need a Discover pass for parking. Info: nsplit.com/ wild-moose-chase-2018.
(October 20) Oktoberfest Trail Runs.
Where: Leavenworth Ski Hill. When: 8:30 a.m. 10-Mile and 5-Mile, plus kid’s race is held during the third and final week of Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest celebration. Info: RunWenatchee.com
(October 13) Hayden Lake Marathon.
Where: Honeysuckle Beach, Hayden Lake. When: 7:30 a.m. This course goes around Hayden Lake on hilly, challenging forest-lined roads. Info: HaydenLakeMarathon.org
(October 13) Socktoberdash 2018. Where: Mirabeau Park Spokane Valley. When: 9 a.m. This 5K and 10K race supports foster kids in Washington State. Crazy socks encouraged. Donations for socks and undies (new only please) accepted for foster kids. Info: active.com/spokane-valley-wa/running/ distance-running-races/socktoberdash-2018 (October 20) Oktoberfest Trail Runs.
Where: Leavenworth Ski Hill. 10-mile, 5-mile and kids race runs take place on single-track trails in and around the Leavenworth Ski Hill and Freund Canyon in the Wenatchee National Forest. This race includes a postrace party at the historic Ski Hill Lodge and is held on the final weekend of the Leavenworth Oktoberfest celebration. Info: Runwenatchee.com
(October 21) Trails to Taps. Where: Bellingham. When: 9 a.m. Teams of 5 to 10 runners relay through trails to different breweries. Info: TrailsToTaps.com
(October 29) Monster Dash. Where: Manito Park, Spokane. When: 8:30 a.m. Kids and adult registration includes shirts. Costume contest at start line. Info: SpokaneSwifts.com/monsterdash/
(November 22) Cheney Turkey Trot.
Where: Cheney High School. When: 9 a.m. Info: runsignup. com/Race/WA/Cheney/CheneyTurkeyTrot
Catch the latest TGR ski and snowboard film with prizes and swag, sponsored by REI. When: 7:30 p.m. Info: Tetongravity.com/films/far-out
(October 18) The Connections Movement Backcountry Snowboarding Film “Yugen”. Where: Garland Theater, Spokane. A fundraiser for Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center (IPAC). When: 7 p.m. Info: PanhandleBackcountry.com
(October 20) 49 Degrees North Ski Patrol Swap. Where: TBD. Find great deals on ski and snowboard equipment at northeast Washington’s annual swap. Ski49n.com
(October 27) Warren Miller’s Face of Winter. Where: Bing Crosby Theater, Spokane. New and veteran athletes alike pay tribute to the man who started it all—the late, great Warren Miller. When: 6 and 9 p.m. Info: Warrenmiller.com
(October 26-28) Mt Spokane Ski Patrol Ski Swap. Where: Spokane Fair & Expo Center. Over 25,000 new and used ski and snowboard gear items for sale. Info: Skipatrolskiswap.com
(November 3) Winter Swap.
Where: Kootenai County Fairgrounds, Coeur d’Alene. North Idaho’s biggest ski and snowboard gear swap. Info: Winterswap.com
(November 8) University of Idaho Outdoor Equipment Sale & Swap. Where: University
EWU Spokane. Two time National Champion and two time bronze medalist for Team USA at the Paraclimbing World Championships, DeMartino will speak about overcoming adversity, redefining goals, and empowering leadership in times of crisis.
(October 27) Fall Compost Fair & Leaf Festival. Where: Finch Arboretum, Spokane. Participants will learn how to make compost at home out of garden debris, food scraps, and all those leaves that will start falling from the trees. There will be hands-on experiences as well as great information shared by Spokane County Master Composters/Recyclers. Info: Call 625-6580
(February 23-24) 3rd Annual Spokane Great Outdoors & Bike Expo. Where: Spokane Convention Center. Check out all types of bikes from local shops and reps; find deals on bikes, paddle sports gear, and other outdoor equipment; explore adventure travel destinations and clubs from around the region; and enter to win thousands of dollars of outdoor gear prizes. Plenty of kids’ activities, including a climbing wall, games, and Strider bikes. Info: SpokaneOutdoorExpo.com
(November 8) 5th Annual Pray for Snow Party at Perry Street Brewing. Where: Perry Street Brewing, Spokane. Beer specials, prizes for the best retro ski attire, raffle drawings, giveaways and swag, and a high-energy crowd stoked to celebrate another winter together. A benefit for T.E.A.M. Grant. Info: Facebook.com/PerryStreetBrewing
(November 10) Warren Miller’s Face of Winter. Where: Sandpoint’s Panida Theatre. Info: Warrenmiller.com
Park, Spokane. The Arthritis Foundation’s annual fundraiser. Costumes and jingle bells on shoelaces encouraged. Info: events.arthritis.org/
(November 10) SARS Ski Swap. Where: Bonner
(October 10) The Essentials of Backcountry Skiing. Where: Mountain Gear, Spokane (2002 N.
(October 26) Renowned Climber & Speaker Craig DeMartino. Where: Riverpoint Building,
of Idaho Student Recreation Center’s MAC court, Moscow, Idaho. This 44th annual sale put on by the Outdoor Program and UI Vandal Ski Team features all types of used winter and summer outdoor gear. Admission is free; table to sell gear $5. When: 6 p.m. Info: 208-885-6810
(December 1) Jingle Bell Run. Where: Riverfront
The series provides a great cyclocross experience, catering to all ability levels (beginning to elite) and all ages of riders with a variety of fun and challenging venues while providing safe and traditional cyclocross style racing. Info: Inlandnwcyclocross.com
County Fairgrounds, Sandpoint. Info: Sars.snowproportal.com/fundraising/ski-swap
(November 11) Pray for Snow Bash. Where: REI, Spokane. Rally for snow with a retro ski outfit fashion show; live music; free pizza, cocoa, and roasted Twinkies; vintage ski films; prizes and more. Info: Sign up at Rei.com/events
Division). Learn about ski, boot, and skin options for the backcountry, along with info on basic safety tools. When: 7 p.m. Info: Facebook.com/mountaingearfanpage
(October 11) Far Out—A Film by Teton Gravity Research. Where: Spokane’s Bing Crosby Theater.
(October 7-November 18) Inland NW Cyclocross Series. Where: Locations around the Inland NW.
Have an Event You Would Like to List? Please visit www.OutThereOutdoors.com 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.
THE BIKE SHOP THAT COMES TO YOU
BOOK ONLINE VELOFIX.COM
@ the Spokane Convention Center OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
LastPage GIVE EM’ THE BIRD: An Alternative Path to Pro Skier-dom // By Derrick Knowles
PHOTO: LAYLA KERLEY COURTESY OF WARREN MILLER
MOST SPONSORED SKIERS don’t have the kind of alternative life experiences and down-to-earth philosophical approach to skiing when they start getting paid to do what they love. But Twisp, Wash., native Michael “Bird” Shaffer isn’t your run-of-the-mill professional skier. He grew up on a 7-family commune and cut his ski teeth on hand-me-down gear in the hills above his home and eventually at Loup Loup Ski Bowl. He has worked as a tree planter, river guide, and wildlands firefighter, a seasonal gig he still relies on to ski all winter in places like Chamonix, France. Eventually, thanks to an unrelenting focus on his passions—sliding down mountains, and through the air, on skis—Bird got his later-in-life break: ski industry sponsors and Warren Miller appearances.
Bird, a nickname he unabashedly embraces with feathered attire and avian arm flapping on film, is a fitting name for this affable 47-yearold who is known for his speed riding feats and free-spirit approach to the mountains. For Bird, speed riding in Chamonix, which combines free skiing and flying on a speed wing, is the ultimate expression of freedom. This season, Bird lands his second Warren Miller appearance in the Chamonix segment in “Face of Winter.” (He skied Montana steeps in last year’s “Line of Descent.”) Chamonix is far from Washington’s North Cascades, but the French extreme-sports mountain town has become Bird’s second home, one where he seems to fit right in with the other eccentric personalities with which he shares
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
some soulful, extreme skiing in “Face of Winter.” Despite his impressive feats of athleticism and recent Warren Miller exposure, Bird is quick to note that being out in nature is what it’s really all about. “Skiing is just the icing on the cake,” he says. “If we can spend most days plugged in to a real energy source and then on top if it get to ski, that’s a real gift.” Unlike some of his skiing friends who picked up sponsors earlier in life and made a career out of it, Bird spent his younger years working summers so that he could ski the rest of the year. For a long time he worried that the responsibilities of sponsorship would get in the way of his skiing, but eventually things lined up and he connected with a couple great companies that were the right fit. “It’s relationships more, and because I was pursuing my passions on skis, these windows became available and I’ve made it more of a profession now because I can,” he says. Working with the French independent ski and apparel brand Black Crows and Norwegian ecoconscious outdoor apparel company Norrøna matched his values and approach to life. “If I can work for companies I believe in and at the same time keep a perspective of why I’m there in the first place—to plug into that natural source and be able to share that with people—then I feel like I’m doing a good job and can keep that lifestyle going.” Bird’s path to being a professional skier was a little backwards, he says, but it all worked out for the best. “I got to discover myself first and see where I fit into this thing called life, and now that I’m in a place where I’m more secure I have these companies backing me that are helping me go a little bit further. I feel really fortunate these days.”
Bird still migrates back and forth between Chamonix and the North Cascades but has recently settled back into the family property near Twisp. “It’s a pretty cool thing to come back home to a place where you’re so connected and know everybody and know the landscape,” he says. Being right there in the mountains, many days when the snow is down low he’s able to hike up and go skiing out of his backyard. “I don’t need a sled or a trailer. It’s awesome. I really appreciate the walk up. It calms my brain waves.” Bird’s unpretentious approach to skiing isn’t typical pro-skier talk, but it’s a good reminder that when you break it down and look beyond the hype, skiing really just is sliding on snow through the mountains. It’s also something of a spiritual practice for Bird. “Not to sound too hippie dippie,” he prefaces a deeper dive into the meaning of skiing, “but I really get into plugging into nature. I feel that energy, and when I come back down to the valley, I have an excess that I can share and be a better guy.” To wrap up our wide-ranging conversation that left me energized to get out on the snow, I asked Bird what advice he had for aspiring skiers or snowboarders. “Follow somebody that’s older than you. Take time to listen and watch them. Learning from someone who has more experience is invaluable because you can’t just Google it or watch it on YouTube to really understand. It’s got to come through time and experience. If you find one of those guys or gals, you’ll make a big, positive jump in your life and skiing.” // Derrick Knowles is Out There Outdoors’ co-publisher. He wrote the Intro about climate change in the September issue.
OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018 / OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM
OUTTHEREOUTDOORS.COM / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2018
Hikes in Wine Country // 5 Fall Day Hikes // Family Winter Sports Guide // Nature: Canada Lynx // Ride the Ferry County Rail Trail // Should...
Published on Oct 5, 2018
Hikes in Wine Country // 5 Fall Day Hikes // Family Winter Sports Guide // Nature: Canada Lynx // Ride the Ferry County Rail Trail // Should...