A new ski season is nearly upon us and we shouldn’t let Covid 19 keep us closed up indoors. Even as last season saw a cessation of official tours by the club there were plenty of opportunities to enjoy the mountains and get together with friends in activities where responsible social distancing was easy to maintain. I’m particularly thankful for a number of hikes and ski trips we did in areas that were heavily impacted by the fires.
Jim, Justin, Bianca, and I did the 12 mile hike and ski into Jefferson Park in mid-May. The Whitewater fire heavily burned the trail head and much of the forest on the way in but the Park itself was as beautiful as ever and the skiing was great. I’m pretty sure we skied more than half the total mileage and I’m glad we got to share this gem with Justin before he had to move back east for a new job. According to reports, the Park was spared the ravages of the latest fire but I expect more of the hike in will be charred. But who knows, maybe the lack of canopy will open the possibility of an early winter trip.
2 weeks later we did the annual Tam McArthur ski. This was a couple of weeks earlier that we often manage to get there and the snow was great, the air clear, and the views outstanding. Jim, Bianca, and Fiona joined me for this outing. It’s always fun to share this extraordinary experience with a newcomer. I’ve yet to have anyone consider this anything short of a peak experience. Other than the steep climb for the first mile the rest of the terrain offers ski routes that can be managed by the moderate skier or challenging for the tele inclined. The vistas are unparalleled.
Jim, Bianca, and I hiked French Creek Ridge on July 11. This area far above Detroit was covered in rhododendron and some nice wildflowers. The view down on Detroit was something we won’t see again for many years. I’m sure the trial is also significantly lost for some time to come as is Bianca’s favored Sardine peak hike.
But a new season begins, and new challenges can be pursued so contact those you trust and are comfortable skiing with and meet up on the snow for some great skiing.
Volunteer Trail Clearing at Big Springs SnoParkTuesday, October 20
Beth Dayton and the Salamanders trail group will be clearing ski trails at Big Springs SnoPark next Tuesday, Oct. 20. If your are interested in volunteering, contact Beth at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Cross-country skiis – Karhu “wide track”, 5’2” long (160 cm), partial metal edges, Fischer bindings (NNN). In good shape, not heavily used.
Also Swix poles.
$100 total for skiis & poles.
Rossignol boots, about women’s size 8, NNN bindings. In good shape. Free
Call Marcia Hoak & leave a message.
COVID-19 and the wildfires have delayed our volunteer activities, but we are still moving ahead with some projects. On Saturday, Oct. 17, we have a joint woodstocking event at Ray Benson SnoPark with the Mt. Jefferson Snowmobile Club. MJSC has already collected the logs at Ray Benson. They will buck them into stove lengths and on the 17th will have two log splitters working. We hope to produce enough firewood to stock the Ray Benson shelter managed by MJSC and also the North Blowout, Island Jct. and Brandendurg shelters out on the trails. Willamette Chapter volunteers will help split wood and haul and stack it at the shelters. All four shelters can be stocked in a single day, if there are enough volunteers.
As always, safety is an important concern for our volunteer projects. Gloves, boots and long sleeves are essential and earplugs, safety glasses and hard hats should be worn when needed. We will also need to follow COVID-19 safety protocols. These include maintaining social distance of 6′ when working (this means no carpooling), wearing face masks if working within 6′ of others, washing or sanitizing hands regularly and sanitizing tools. Given the type of work carrying and stacking wood, I think we will be wearing masks most to the time. MJSC has indicated that they wil bring extra masks.
MJSC is serving lunch for volunteers and is planning to “social distance” the process, but you may bring your own lunch and eat separately for added safety, if you wish.
Please join us if you can. Contact me by email or phone 503x378x.7003 if you have questions or to sign up.
Hope to see you on Oct. 17.
Jim Todd, Day Tour Chair
Willamette Chapter – Oregon Nordic Club
The Forest Service has requested help preparing the Maxwell trail and shelter system for winter. There are two trail junction signposts that need replacement, broken metal roofing on the woodshed at Mtn. View Shelter needs replacement, and there are a few fallen logs that should be removed from the trails. Detroit Ranger District can supply all the materials needed for the signs and the shelter. Can you help with these tasks sometime in September? Please let me know if you can. — Jim Todd
It is with great sadness that the Willamette Chapter acknowledges the death of Steve Allen, long time club member, who passed away in Albany, New York last week. Steve joined the Willamette Chapter in its early days when he moved to Oregon in the late 1970s. He was an enthusiastic cross-country skier and an active club member for many years. Steve held every club office, several of them multiple times, organized overnight ski trips for the club and helped build the original North Blowout Shelter. He also ran aid stations for the John Craig Memorial Ski event, taught at the Willamette Chapter’s Ski School and led many great ski tours. Upon retiring from the Social Security Administration, Steve returned to his family roots in New York, but kept in touch with friends in the Willamette Chapter through emails and the Club’s Newsletter. Steve will be remembered by his friends for his sense of humor, enthusiastic skiing and mentoring, and, from the early days, for his use of Bratley Brown Klister–the nor’easter’s secret weapon. Rest in peace, Steve. We miss you.
The Annual Meeting will take place on April 5th at 10AM via Teleconference. 712xx770xx4731 call # 928792
The Agenda includes: Introduction results of club election for Treasurer and Southern VPA, a summary of the chapters and membership numbers, an overview of the club financial status and John Day Award winner, Bill Boyce.
The Willamette Chapter is canceling its meetings and ski tours until precautions related to the COVID19 outbreak are lifted. The statewide Oregon Nordic Club has also canceled the John Craig Ski Event at McKenzie Pass which was scheduled for Saturday, March 21.
In other ski-related news:
1. All of our local ski areas have closed
2. This morning’s posting from the Teacup Nordic Club indicates they are closing the Ray Garey Cabin at Teacup Lake, but will continue to groom their trails
3. US Forest Service offices are currently closed to the public and all volunteer projects on National Forests have been canceled
Nevertheless, the mountains are open and covered in snow. Cross-country skiing provides healthy outdoor exercise and may be practiced with slight risk of spreading coronavirus; but skiers should be aware that risks exist and should make their own decisions regarding whether to continue skiing. If you ski, please take appropriate precautions:
1. Stay home if you have a dry cough, fever or any cold or flu-like symptoms
2. Wash hands frequently and practice social distancing
3. Avoid carpooling, but try to arrange to meet other skiers so you do not ski alone
For more information visit the Oregon Health Authority site: https://www.oregon.gov/OHA/Pages/index.aspx, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. The Willamette Chapter hopes to schedule summer activities after the restrictions are lifted. Stay safe and well.
Due to the Coronavirus, carpooling is not recommended at this time.
Willamette Chapter–Oregon Nordic Club
P.O. Box 181
Salem, OR 97308
****Remember: Our meetings are shifting back to the 2nd Tuesday of the month for the remainder of the season****
Monthly Meeting, Tuesday, Mar. 10, 7:00 pm at Pringle Hall, 606 Church St SE
Adventuring in Japan: In August 2018, Keith Daellenbach and his pre-teen son, Micah, went on an adventure to Japan. There they hiked through the northern Japanese Alps, enjoying a high mountain onsen on their hut-to-hut journey. They sea kayaked on the Seto Inland Sea and swam in its warm waters. Along the way, they visited cultural treasures like Takayama, Hiroshima, and Kyoto. Before returning to Tōkyō, they climbed to the summit of Mount Fuji via a southern approach and traversed down the mountain’s northern side. It was a father-son tour they will not forget and they hope you can join them for this presentation on the Land of the Rising Sun.
Please renew your membership for the 2019-2020 season. For only $20 you receive access to all the inside club news, Ski School, Overnight Trips and the satisfaction of supporting our efforts to promote and improve cross-country skiing for everyone. You can renew at our monthly meetings or download a renewal form at oncwillamette.org/membership. Join us for a great season on the snow. Note: an updated password for the club’s website will be sent to all current members before the March news is posted.
March 21, Saturday: John Craig Memorial Ski Event at McKenzie Pass. This is a great chance to stretch your ski legs and experience the beautiful views from the summit of McKenzie Pass. Details will be posted with the March News. Watch this page.
The Willamette Chapter is selling the cheapest Sno-Park permits in town. The annual permits will be sold to you at cost ($25) at all club meetings. Be the first on your block to have one pasted in your car window.
The Willamette Chapter has an active volunteer program assisting the Forest Service with ski trail clearing and marking, as well as shelter construction, maintenance and firewood stocking. Thank you volunteers! Please call Mark Olson (503x559x0728) or Jim Todd (503x378x7003) for more information or to sign up for one of our projects.
During the ski season Willamette Chapter members help the Forest Service maintain and improve ski trails by reporting trail and shelter conditions. Please help the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests use their limited resources efficiently by sending a Nordic Trail Report when you ski their marked trails. “High Cascades Forest Volunteers” records volunteer activity and reports directly to Forest Service offices. You can access their special Nordic Trail Report form at:
http://www.highcascadesvolunteers.com/WorkReports/WorkReportNordicTrail.html. You can also find the Nordic Trail form by searching for “high cascade volunteers” and going to their website: www.highcascadesvolunteers.com/. From the home page click “HCFV Work Report Form” at the top of the left column and then click “Nordic Trail Report” at the bottom of the right column. Fill in the boxes on the form; describe any trail obstructions or problems you encounter; and then click “Submit” at the bottom. Thanks for your help.
February 11, Tuesday: Mark Olson joined the Salamanders crew of Beth Dayton, Gary Westphal and Bob DePuy to clear another 30 downed trees from the Maxwell SnoPark trails. The Maxwell Loop past the South Maxwell Shelter is now open and clear.
February 12, Wednesday: Ron Allowitz, Jim Todd, Jerry Vessello and Patrick Eckford (from Sisters Trails Alliance) combined volunteer work and pleasure on a survey of the trails at Ray Benson SnoPark. They found the three shelters in good condition with adequate firewood for the remainder of the season. Eight leaning trees were removed from the Circle Lake trail and they found the South Loop, North Loop, Two Buttes Cutoff and Claypool Butte trails open and free of obstructions. It was a good ski, too.
WEEKEND DAY TOURSGuests are welcome on Willamette Chapter day tours. Please contact the tour leader for details and to ensure the tour matches your interests and skill level.
We need more tour leaders for weekend tours; please step up and lead a tour to your favorite destination. If you wish to lead a tour, suggest a tour destination or learn more about tour leading, contact Jim Todd (503z378z7003). Remember, impromptu tours are always an option. If you yearn for a day on skis, phone Jim, one the leaders below or a skier on the weekday list. Connect with your fellow Club members and get out when it snows.
March 7, Saturday: A Tour, location depending on snow conditions. Contact Ron Allowitz (503w951w3110).
March 7 or 8, Saturday or Sunday: B Tour, Santiam Pass area; date and location depending on snow conditions and group interest. Contact Bob Young (503w621w6626).
March 14, Saturday: A Tour, Ray Benson area. Contact Mark Olson (503w559w0728).
March 14, Saturday: B Tour, Santiam Lake or Maxwell Butte traverse. Contact Jim Todd (503w378w7003)
March 15, Sunday: A Tour, location depending on snow conditions. Contact Roz Shirack (503w399w8615).
March 21, Saturday: A/B Tour, John Craig Ski Event at McKenzie Pass. See the flyer below.
March 22, Sunday: A Tour, Santiam Pass area. Contact Pam & Craig Wojcik (503w931w2705).
March 28 or 29, Saturday or Sunday: B Tour, Santiam Pass area; date and location depending on snow conditions and group interest. Contact Bob Young (503w621w6626).
April 4, Saturday: A or B Tour, location depending on group interest. Contact Jim Todd (503w378w7003).
Tour Ratings: A key to the Tour Rating codes:
“Beginner-Easy” = Short distances on flat or gentle slopes. Appropriate for first time skiers.
“A” = Easy-Distances up to 5 or 6 miles with a few slopes. Some basic skills are required. Some of these may not be suitable for 1st time skiers.
“B” = Intermediate or experienced-Distances of 6 to 12 miles or possible elevation gains of 2000 feet. May include steeper sections. Some downhill skills are required.
“C” = Advanced-Longer with greater elevation gains. Includes both trails and off-trail with frequent steep terrain.
“D” = Expert-Very difficult or long. Possible backcountry travel and/or mountaineering.
The Willamette Chapter is sharing ski tours with the Chemeketans again this season. Here is their tour list for 2020. Please note that some of the dates have changed since the January posting. Contact Bruce Moffatt if you have questions or wish to join one of the Chemeketan ski tours.
Chemeketan XC Ski Schedule
Feb. 8th Cross the Crest. An XC ski tour beginning at Santiam SnoPark and crossing the Cascade Crest. Round trip 6-8 miles. Going towards the Booth Lake, Square Lake vicinity. Moderate difficulty. Contact the leader email@example.com
Mar. 7th Hoodoo Ski Bowl to Potato Hill SnoPark. A moderate ski tour, being comfortable with some moderate downhill sections will make you feel more at ease.
About 4 miles with an alpine feel without the elevation gain. A short and often overlooked, classic ski tour. Contact the leader at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mar. 14th Ski Skills Improvement- Groomed tracks at Hoodoo Ski Bowl. Come on out and get some tips, ski more confidently and comfortably. Brush up on your skills work on your fitness and enjoy the snow. Contact the leader at email@example.com
April 17th Hut–to–Hut Tour, Dutchman’s Flat to Three Creeks SnoPark.
Sign up now so we can reserve this weekend. Limited to 7 skiers. Ski the backcountry hut system without a heavy pack. Food, sleeping systems, shuttle are included in the price. Enjoy traveling light through spring snow of Central Oregon. Contact the leader at firstname.lastname@example.org
SKI TOUR REPORT
February 29, Saturday: six skiers had a great ramble into the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness north of Santiam Pass. The tour took us uphill along the old Skyline Trail, across Cherry Lake, Jack Crater and Joy Lake; and finally back to Santiam SnoPark paralleling the PCT. The snow was beautiful and should last well into spring. We hope you will join us for our next tour to these landmarks.
OVER NIGHT TRIPS
Canmore Ski Trip
This is a multiday trip to one of the most scenic areas of the Canadian Rockies. Skiing is at its best later in the winter when we are going since the major storms have past but it is still well below freezing to keep the snow dry for good skiing. All types of skiing , backcountry trail, groomed Nordic and downhill are just a short drive away from our base location in Canmore (about and hour drive west of Calgary if you fly rather than drive). The local groomed Nordic area, almost within walking distance from condo, offers plenty of challenging trails since it was built for Olympic ski competition. We will spend four nights in Canmore and then one night in northern Idaho for the drive up and another night for the drive back to Salem. Condo type units where we are staying have small but complete kitchens. Both grocery stores and restaurants are numerous in Canmore. For some of us this will be our third or fourth time to Canmore so we think it is well worth the trip for the skiing and the scenery. Leaving Salem on 3/29, returning to Salem on 4/4. Call for more details if you are interested Craig Wojcik 503xx931xx2705.
Note: condos reserved for this trip are full, but other accomodations are available if you wish to join this trip.
Hut-to-Hut ski trip from Dutchman Flats to Three Creeks SnoPark, April 17. See Chemeketan XC Schedule above for details.