WSSA - The Voice of Snowmobiling in Washington
Club News Methow Valley Snowmobile Association By Don Fitzpatrick, Jr., Secretary I guess everyone is saying “wow, where did summer go!” Well, it just burned up! We are so tired of smoke in our area and around the whole state, that we are doubly anxious to have rain, snow, or whatever it takes to make it stop, and, of course, build a good snow base. The fires near us have mostly been in the Pasayten Wilderness Area, which is a darn shame. However, it did sneak out a bit into the Eight Mile Creek drainage. Maybe that will open up a few new riding areas. But for now, we are madly trying to get our summer chores finished to be ready for winter. Our warming hut for Sweetgrass Butte has received a second coat of stain by Betty and Julie, some interior improvements are done and some remain to do, and the permit has been renewed. We need to tow it back up and get it set in place. We also need to finish the roof extension for the Black Pine Basin warming hut to protect our firewood. We are very excited about our membership with the new Methow Valley Trails Collaborative. This group of members and interested parties is made up of all kinds of trail users in the Valley. It is amazing how many there are and the overlapping interests of the various groups. Consider the trail users: Hikers, bikers, campers, backcountry horsemen, backcountry guides, backcountry skiers, snowmobilers, groomer groups, downhill skiers, cross-country skiers, fat bikes and mountain bikes, four-wheel-drive vehicles, dirt bikes, dog mushers, and more. One highlight was a very successful volunteer effort by over 50 people who made improvements to the Burch Mountain Trail this summer. A direct benefit to our snowmobile association and other trail users is a project that we are working on for Hwy 20 parking. The existing parking at Early Winters is no longer big enough. It will be improved with a vault toilet and changes by the state DOT (Department of Transportation) of their access to the ‘salt shed’. We will be adding a sno-park at the Silver Star Creek area where the pass is first closed in the winter. This will involve removing vegetation, widening and putting in fill, putting in a snow plow turn-around and a snow storage area, signs, and probably Sani-Cans. The result will be a significant increase in parking for recreational use, much closer to the areas that are used on Hwy 20. This is being accomplished by the combined cooperation of the WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) snow removal crews, WSDOT highway authorities, the Forest Service, Mountain Trails Grooming, Methow Valley Snowmobile Association, North Cascade Mountain Guides, North Cascade Heli Skiing, and Methow Trails, (all coordinated by the Methow Valley Trails Collaborative). Not an easy project in a ‘Scenic Corridor’ requiring so many interested parties’ cooperation! There may be sometimes when it does not get immediately plowed due to priorities for the state highway crews, but they will do their best. We did no trail maintenance directly by our Association this year because the Forest Service did not have time to analyze our request and determine what fuel removal obligations we may have. Unfortunately, our plans would have been a big benefit to others in keeping the trail loop open from Black Pine Basin through the White Face area, and back to the Goat Creek Sno-Park. We ride on top of it, so it is less significant to snowmobilers, but it is still important to us and other users. Maybe next year.
Junco Snowmobile Club By Craig Miller, Vice President Hello everyone! The Junco Snowmobile Club is a smaller group of dedicated snowmobilers, which is based out of Lacey. We ride mostly in the Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens areas. We also manage the North Mt. Adams Grooming Council, which has responsibility for the plowing and grooming programs of Johnson Creek, Orr Creek, Skate Creek and Wakepish trail systems and sno-parks. If you would like to have a fun group of people to ride with in the Mt. Adams areas, we encourage you to come out and meet us. Annual family membership dues are $15. We meet on the first Monday of every snowmobile season month beginning with October. Our meetings are held at the Hawks’ Prairie Sports Bar and Restaurant off Marvin Road in Lacey. We start with a no host cocktail hour beginning at 6pm and we start the snowmobile club meeting at 7pm. Please consider coming out. The Junco Snowmobile Club so far has a couple events we are planning for. First, we will be at the WSSA Snowmobile and Power Sports Expo and Swap Meet managing the activities in the Blue Lot. That’s the swap meet lot outside the gate in the Blue Gate Parking Lot. We will have a Junco pop up tent set up and members will be staffing it, so please stop by and say “hi”.
8 • October 2017
The other event we will be planning is the annual Junco Charity on the Snow. That will happen sometime in late January. This is an annual weekendlong event with guided rides and a charity auction to raise money for the MakeA-Wish Foundation. So far, Junco has raised over $70,000 for the foundation. We hope the FS 23 road will be open so we can again have the event at the Orr Creek Sno-Park on the FS 21 road. We will update everyone with dates and location in future issues of Snoflyer. Think snow!
Cascade Drift Skippers By Jason Holmes, Past President Hello Snoflyers! I hope everyone had a wonderful summer! It started out a little slow but once again we had an amazing, (smoky?) summer. The Cascade Drift Skippers (CDS) would like to extend our deepest thanks to all of the people keeping our friends and family safe. Whether it's from the hurricanes in the South, to the forest fires in the Northwest, we thank each and every one of you. As CDS ramps up for another season, it's been a busy summer planning for the 2017/2018 winter. CDS had three of its members assisting Back Country Access at Hay Days this year. CDS appreciates Chris Mayer, Tim Penelerick and Jason Holmes training over 60 people on transceiver skills. It was a tremendous success and well received by all that participated. A bit of excitement for CDS after many years of hard work. CDS will be the seventh club inducted into the ISHOF (International Snowmobile Hall of Fame). The list is long and distinguished of those to thank, but thank you to each and every member who has helped this club achieve this well deserved recognition! CDS will be well represented at the ISHOF induction banquet; it shall be a great time CDS style... get your party shoes on Kay Lloyd! CDS made a board member change over the summer. I would personally like to thank Stephanie Driskell for stepping into my role as Club President. I have accepted a new position in Virginia and have since relocated. Thank you Stephanie. (Next time do not answer your phone.) We asked Stephanie because she has the energy, leadership and training (Avy Level 1 Certification) to be a leader for all in the snowmobiling industry. For the record, I will be riding a long track on the east coast and did bring my truck/sled deck along with me! It appears as ‘Tug-Hill’ New York will be added to my list of riding areas so the ‘short track’ jokes can stop Byron, Stan, Jack, Chris, Brian, Tim and on and on and on and on... Have a great season! Stay safe! Get educated! See you on the snow!
Bavarian Boondockers By Ian Adams, President The club is happy to report that after several years of working out the details, we’re finally making progress on our warming hut, and if all goes well, will be on the hill this coming riding season. The hut will be placed on property the club leases from Weyerhaeuser. The property is located along Sugarloaf Peak’s very extensive groomed trail system, which is accessible within minutes from downtown Leavenworth. We’re also working hard on the last minute details for SnowFest 6, which will take place this year on November 18th at the Festhalle in Leavenworth. If you haven’t been to Leavenworth in awhile, consider coming into town for this vendor event; it’s a great kickoff to the local riding season as we frequently get snow in the hills around that weekend. It only costs a buck to get into the show and we have a huge raffle with swag provided by some awesome vendors, including our local snowmobile dealers and other regional club supporters within the industry. The proceeds from the show go to support the club’s property lease, member events, and projects. Hope to see you there!
Snomads Snowmobile Clubockers By BJ Oswold, President With new leadership, we have been a very busy club. We participated in the Easton Days Parade, then followed that with sponsoring the Easton Fishing Derby at the Easton Ponds. We have adopted the West Sparks Road, west of the overpass, and had our first clean up. We continue to contribute to our local community with donations to both Easton and Cle Elum Fire Departments, Silver Ridge Ranch and the Easton Archery team. Our biggest focus coming up will be trail maintenance when we are able to.
Upcoming Events: • November 25th – Easton Saloon Annual Snowmobile Kickoff Party • December 1st – Annual Christmas Party following our meeting • January 26th – Annual Ride to Whistlin’ Jacks • February 24th – Annual Golf Tournament There are multiple rides coming up, including our first ‘bucket run’. Dates will be confirmed as the snow comes. Our Annual Golf Tournament will be at the Silver Ridge Ranch off exit 70 in Easton. The entry fee is $25 per person and includes 18 holes of golf and a Snomads T-shirt. There will be raffle tickets for $1 each to be entered in a drawing for some amazing gifts. This event is open to all ages and abilities. You will need to bring three clubs and a tennis ball per person. There are four players per team. Registration begins at 9am and the tournament begins at 10am. Shotgun start. There are many sponsorship/advertisement opportunities. We would like to invite everyone, including children, to our monthly meetings which are held on the first Friday of each month at 7pm in the banquet room at the Easton Saloon. For more information, contact the club at email@example.com, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yakima Ski-Benders By Seth Ahlbrecht, President Hello again to all the sledders out there who are desperately wishing it was winter and those clouds in the sky would be filled with snow, rather than smoke. It's been a long hot summer and I know the Yakima Ski-Benders and I are definitely ready to hit the slopes as soon as the snow starts to fly! This year we once again have a couple of our favorite events returning to the schedule including our annual Crab feed on December 9th, and our Chinook Pass Snowfest Poker Ride on January 28th. Last year we debuted a brand new on-the-snow event and it was well received by those who participated. We will be hosting our second annual Scavenger Hunt ride this season on the first Saturday after New Years (January 6th). Of course I couldn't mention club rides without talking about our fastest growing event yet, our 4th Annual Little Sledders Ride! We were fortunate to have some great support last year from many well-known professional riders and the turnout was huge; we literally packed an entire large snopark with just our participants who came out to learn how to ride smart, learn about avalanche safety, and also get some tips and tricks from the pros on ways to improve their riding skills and push their ability levels just a bit! It was all capped off at the end of the day with great food for all and of course prizes for all the little sledders! We're looking forward to another great year on the east side of the Cascades, and as soon as the smoke clears (literally) and the snow starts to fall, you can bet you'll find many members of the Yakima Ski-Benders loading up to head to the hills! Until then, swing by our booth at the Puyallup Snow Show and say “hi”; we're always happy to talk about the snow!
Spokane Winter Knights By Sharon Crockett, President As I write this article, the weather service is saying it’s going to get down to 42 degrees Saturday morning. Hopefully, that means the snow is on the way soon in the mountains which is where we want it to be to help put out all the fires! It has certainly been a smoky summer in Spokane. The Winter Knights postponed their summer picnic due to the smoke and heat, and the new date turned out to be a beautiful day with some fun golfing, good company, and yummy picnic food! Our first club meeting was on September 21st at the NewTech Skill Center, and our annual Snow Show will be held November 11th at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. This show is put on by volunteer Winter Knights club members and includes great vendors and parts and sled sales! Hopefully we’ll have a great sledding year!
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