WILLAMETTE CHAPTER – OREGON NORDIC CLUB
P. O. Box 181
Salem, OR 97308
Welcome to the 2021-2022 ski season. La Nina conditions have formed in the Pacific, our long term forecast calls for a cooler, wetter winter and Santiam Pass received a couple of light snowfalls. We can hope for plenty of good skiing this year. Here are some preseason remarks from our Treasurer (and backcountry guru), Bob Young
Thank you members
I know it has been another trying year for all of us with normal routines interrupted, but ski season is just around the corner and it’s time again to renew your ONC Willamette Chapter membership. With the state dues increased to $10 per member unit we would be falling behind on account balance if we had meeting place fees to pay, which we have again decided to suspend for this year due to COVID protocols. Other fixed fees for us like the web hosting and post office box keep going up as well. So, thank you to all of you who continue to support our efforts to promote and further cross country skiing. We are going to work on setting up online membership payments but such technology is beyond my skill base so I’ll be relying on our webmaster. If all your member info is the same, all I need is your name and signature on the form and I won’t have to check all the rest. [a membership form can be downloaded or printed at https://oncwillamette.org/membership]
Also, because we are not having regular meetings, we will not be selling sno-park permits. Fortunately, ODOT has made online purchase very simple. You can print out a temporary pass and they mail you the real thing within days. Since I was hoping for the snow to continue to build this week, I already got my pass. Imagine my disappointment with all this moisture coming with warmer weather.
Thanks also to all our volunteers who have helped with trail work and firewood stocking at the shelters. We had everything in pretty good shape but already getting reports of more trees coming down across the trails. Keep us posted on what you see. The Detroit district has not officially opened their shelters but is not locking them off and we have Mountain View and the South Loop shelter stocked with wood.
So, get your skis prepped and your bodies conditioned and let’s get out there. We can do this safely and conscientiously. Our tour master will have more to say on all of this, but I for one am looking forward to seeing you on the trails (and off, of course).
Bob Young, treasurer
[STILL] SKIING IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
We had hoped rapid development and deployment of vaccines would end the Coronavirus pandemic and shift us back to normal skiing and club activities this season. Sadly, high rates of infection and hospitalization continue due to slow progress towards full vaccination and the highly transmissable Delta variant. Fortunately, restrictions have been eased as more and more people are vaccinated. Our club will resume some of our normal activities, but will continue our compliance with guidelines and restrictions placed by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), We strongly urge individual members to do the same. The OHA website is: https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19. Check this site for current news and links to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other sources of reliable information.
We realize that individuals face different levels of risk from COVID-19 based on age, health, employment, family associations, vaccination and other factors. We urge members to consider their risks carefully before deciding whether (and how) to ski this season. If anyone chooses to forego skiing as a precaution, we respect that decision. But even if you are not skiing, we hope you will remain connected with our club to keep in touch with other members and stay abreast of skiing news. A club roster in attached with this Newsletter so you can contact other members. We also urge you to check the club’s website regularly for the latest information. Please feel free to contact Board members by email or phone with your comments and suggestions.
Here are the Willamette Chapter’s plans for this ski season:
The club will continue volunteer activities to improve and maintain ski trails and shelters; volunteer work is done under Forest Service guidelines designed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Although current Oregon guidelines permit indoor meetings, there are restrictions. Our club decided to forego meetings again this season and focus on our on-snow activities.
Overnight trips will be left to the discretion of individual members; but should follow all COVID-19 precautions.
The Willamette Chapter will resume schedule tours this season and will help skiers connect with each other to plan their own tours.
We hope to revive our Ski School this winter; more about this in the December Newsletter.
Ski tours (and volunteer projects) require the following precautions:
1. Skiers who feel ill, have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sudden loss of smell or taste), receive a positive test for COVID-19 or have had recent contact with someone with a positive test; will stay home and avoid contact with others.
2. Skiers may choose to carpool or drive separately to trailheads; masks should be worn if carpooling and proof of vaccination may be required.
3. Skiers will maintain a social distance of 6’ (or more) at all times, in parking lots, on trails and during lunch stops and rest breaks.
4. Masks covering nose and mouth will be worn whenever social distancing cannot be maintained.
Skiing can be done with these COVID-19 precautions, though no set of precautions guarantees absolute safety. If you have assessed your risks of COVID-19, are comfortable with the known risks and are willing to adopt and maintain these precautions, our club is ready to help you ski this winter. For everyone’s sake, please take this pandemic seriously. Use these recommended precautions for your safety and the safety of other people. Let’s all stay safe and enjoy the winter.
TOUR REPORT (from last spring):
June 5, Saturday: we kept skiing as long as there was snow! Seven skiers turned out for the nearly annual Tam McArthur Rim tour. There were spectacular views as always; but the snow and weather were “suboptimal”. The pack had melted out to bare ground in numerous places requiring many detours and hikes, the surface was deeply pocked and rippled which added to the challenge, and there was a howling wind. Perhaps the worse Tam tour in ten trips. But the worst Tam tour is still very good. Next year can only be better and we hope you will join us.
6/5/21: Broken Top from Tam McArthur Rim photo by Jim Todd
The Willamette Chapter has an active volunteer program assisting the Forest Service with ski trail clearing and marking; shelter construction and maintenance; and firewood stocking. Thank you volunteers! If you have questions about out volunteer projects or would like to join one, contact Mark Olson (503x559x0728) or Jim Todd (503x378x7003).
This summer and fall eighteen club members logged over 500 volunteer hours on Willamette and Deschutes National Forest projects. We scouted trails for later clearing; logged, brushed and marked ski trails; and stocked firewood at five shelters. Special thanks to Mark Olson and Dave Carter for bringing their splitters to our wood stocking parties, to Mt. Jefferson Snowmobile Club for collecting and bucking logs for stocking Santiam Pass shelters, to Jessie and Ashley of Deschutes NF and Eric and Brandon of Willamette NF for bringing trucks and hauling wood to the shelters. Photos are attached below.
7/24/21: Brushing the South Loop Ski Trail photo by Jim Todd
9/25/21: Placing blue diamonds on Brandenburg Loop photo by Aaron Bremiller
10/02/21: Stocking firewood at North Blowout Shelter photo by Frank Hoffma
10/16/21: splitting firewood for Mt. View Shelter photo by Frank Hoffman
As Bob noted above, the Willamette Chapter will not sell Sno Park permits in the absence of our regular monthly meetings. Sno Park permits may be purchased online at the Oregon DMV: https://dmv2u.oregon.gov/eServices/_/. Annual permits purchased directly from DMV cost $25—no handling fee. The process takes only a few minutes and includes a downloadable copy you can print and use immediately while waiting for your permit to arrive in the mail. Buy a permit and support Sno Park plowing. Bob and I already have ours!
The Newsletter now includes an Announcement Section. There members can post ski related items for sale, cross-country related questions, inquiries about conditions and suggestions for ski trips. Please send your announcements to Bob, Jim or Denise for inclusion in the Newsletter. Another good place for these items is on the website, ONCWillamette.org
1. Bob and Jim have their skis waxed and standing by the door. If you are ready to go, too; then when the first real snow happens, phone Bob (503x 621×6626) for a B Tour or Jim (503x378x7003) for a Beginner/A Tour.
2. Jeff Starr has pair of Garmont Excursion 3-pin boots for sale. They are Euro size 26.5, in good condition, for $40.
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; 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 ski mountaineering.
2020-2021 OFFICERS & BOARD MEMBERS:
Jeanne Miller Vice President
Bob Young Treasurer & Membership
Denise Sanders Webmeister
Genice Rabe Newsletter Editor
Jim Todd Day Tour Chair
David Forkner ONC State Board Rep & Board Member
Pam Wojcik Overnight Trip Coordinator & Board Member
Mark Olson Volunteer Coordinator & Board Member
Christine Young Board Member
Available Board Member