February 2022 Newsletter



P. O. Box 181
Salem, OR 97308


    January 29, Saturday:  eleven students and five mentors converged on Hoodoo’s groomed Nordic tracks for a resumption of our almost annual Ski School.  PSIA Nordic instructors Bev McDonald and Mike Armstrong provided lessons on the fundamentals for both novice and intermediate skiers.  In the afternoon students and mentors hit the tracks again to practice and just enjoy the excellent grooming, sunny weather and beautiful views.  Everyone had a great time–including Bev and Mike who tell us they enjoyed working with everyone and that Ski School is the highlight of their season.


    Please renew your membership for the 2021-2022 season.  For only $20 you receive access to all the inside club news, and the satisfaction of supporting our efforts to promote and improve cross-country skiing for everyone.  You can download a renewal form at https://oncwillamette.org/membership.  Join us for a great season on the snow.


    Under current COVID-19 safety guidelines it is possible to resume the club’s scheduled ski tours.  However, individual members should assess their risk carefully before deciding whether to ski with a group.  We are responsible for our own safety.  No one should participate in a club tour if they have symptoms that might indicate Coronavirus infection or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  The Willamette Chapter will require everyone to be vaccinated to participate in club tours.  Tour leaders may require proof of vaccination.  Carpooling to the trailhead is an individual choice.  Those who carpool should wear face coverings as a precaution.  Tourers should maintain 6’ social distance at all times and wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible.

    Guests 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 (503x378x7003).  Remember, impromptu tours are always an option.  If you yearn for a day on skis phone Jim or a skier on the roster.  Connect with your fellow Club members and get out when it snows.

February 12, Saturday:  B Tour, Benson/Little Nash Traverse or Santiam Lake, depending on snow conditions.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

February 19 or 20, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626‬).

February 20, Sunday:  A Tour, Santiam Pass area.  Contact Jeanne Miller (503x588x0473).

February 21, Monday:  A Tour, Three Creeks area south of Sisters.  Contact John Hortsch (503x507x5727).

February 26, Saturday:  B Tour, Santiam Pass Three Summits Challenge? Maxwell Butte? Four Lakes?  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

March 5 or 6, Saturday or Sunday:  A Tour, best snow in Santiam Pass area.  Contact John Hortsch (503x507x5727).

March 5 or 6, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626‬).

March 19, Saturday:  A or B Tour, John Craig Memorial Ski Event at McKenzie Pass.  Tour or race from the Sisters snowgate on Hwy 242 to Dee Wright Observatory and back; the route should be groomed.  Details and a link for sign-up are attached below.  

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. 


    Why not break the shackles that bind you to the calendar this season?  Try a mid-week tour.  Contact one of the enthusiasts below and arrange an escape from routine.  If you want to be added to this list, send your phone and email to Jim Todd, and we’ll include it in the next Newsletter.   Likewise, contact Jim, if you want your name removed for this season.

Weekday skiers:

    Chuck Daellenbach    541x928x4256    daellenbachc at comcast dot net

Frank Hoffman 541x475x0185 hh_tex at msn dot com

    Bianca Klar        503x949x9089    bianchiklar at yahoo dot com

    Mark Olson        503x559x0728    mark at olson dot us

    Foxie Proctor        503x581x0207    foxieproctor at comcast dot net

    Denise Sanders    503x859x4597    o at wvi dot com

    Jeff Starr        503x851x8403    jeffstarr3 at gmail dot com

    Jim Todd        503x378x7003    toddwac18 at gmail dot com

    Jerry Vessello        503x931x6344‬    jvess at comcast dot net

    Craig Wojcik        503x931x2705‬    ccwojcik09 at comcast dot net

    Pam Wojcik        971x312x3984    pjwojcik09 at comcast dot net

    Bob Young        503x621x6626    arch.byoung at gmail dot com


January 8, Saturday                        by Bob Young

    Well, the deep snowpack that then turned to hard pack has made for some challenging ski adventures this year. On January 8 while hoping for a little new topping, 6 of us opted to check out the roads out of Lava Lake SnoPark that we had scouted and walked on a return hike from Crescent Mountain.  It turned out to have some reasonable surface conditions with some smoothed out area for most of the ski because these roads are snowmobile common corridor that connect to Big Springs SnoPark.  Lisa Romano, a new member, valuable resource with the national forest, and a good skier, Bianca Klar, and I pushed ahead while Jim Todd, Peggy Mansfield and Roger Applegate took a more leisurely pace as we headed out to NF road 510 where some private land clear cuts tempted us to explore the slopes.  Surface condition off the road was OK until you punched thru to soft snow which then became impossible and hazardous to turn in.  Lisa reported a great view of Jefferson from the top of the clearing before the three of us continued to the next clearing where we had great views of Crescent Mountain, Washington, and part of North and Middle Sister whose tops wouldn’t quite show themselves through the clouds.  After a gorgeous sunny lunch break we made our way back for a total of 8 miles with more gentle uphill than I remembered as downhill on the way out.  Amazing how that happens. This area is not a bad option when the snow is good and the crowds at the pass are just too much.  There were quite a few people at the SnoPark when we got back and the close in trails were heavily tracked. It could also make a nice traverse from Big Springs if you spot a car at Lava Lake for a mostly downhill ski.

1/08/22:              photo by Bob Young

January 22, Saturday                            by Jim Todd

    Two weeks of regular thaw/freeze cycles produced a firm, solid base at Santiam Pass and the inevitable early morning ice.  We dealt with this by dawdling a bit at Santiam SnoPark, then taking a leisurely stroll over to the PCT access road before putting on our skis.  By this time south slopes were softening a bit in the sun.  We skied cautiously (some of us with skins) up over the Cascade Crest and eastward to the Heavens viewpoint overlooking Square Lake.  After an extended lunch break enjoying the views we rambled back west across the divide and climbed northward in the general neighborhood of the PCT.  From here we had more great views of Hoodoo, Hayrick, Washington and the Sisters and a fine downhill run back to the SnoPark.

01/22/22:            photo by Bill Nelson

February 3, Thursday:                      by Ron Allowitz and Frank Hoffman

    F. Hoffman, B. Caldwell, and R. Allowitz skied to Island Junction shelter Thursday, Feb.3rd under sunny skies and zero wind. There was a dusting of new snow (about 4”) and near perfect snow conditions. We ate our lunch soaking up the bright sunshine outside the shelter and viewed Mt. Washington and other nearby mountains. We returned on tracked trails; last mile of the main South Loop was the only less than ideal section, as it had gotten enough use to be hard-packed. We appreciated the fall trail maintenance: all trails were in good condition.  We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day to ski.

2/03/2022:            photo by Frank Hoffman

February 5, Saturday:  

    Six School “grads” returned to Hoodoo’s Nordic tracks to enjoy warm sunshine, great views and smooth, groomed snow.  Everyone in the group conquered the steep trails and enjoyed the day.  As a bonus we got to watch Oregon’s high school XC racers doing some beautiful skate skiing—future Olympians?

2/05/2022:            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).

    The Deschutes and Willamette National Forests do
essential work keeping our ski trails open, marked and
signed through the winter; but they are desperately short
of winter recreation staff. We can help them
use their limited resources efficiently by sending a Trail Report whenever we ski the marked trails. “Cascade Volunteers” records volunteer activity
and reports directly to Forest Service offices.
You can access their Trail Report form at:  https://cascadevols.org/usfs-work-report/.  (Note:  the form requires a trail number, but our ski trails are not numbered; just enter any digits in the “Trail Number” field, then describe the trail in the “Trail Name” field).  You can also report your observations by sending an email to Jim Todd:  toddwac18 at gmail dot com.


    Ski School has passed; but if you are helping a beginner get started on skis or just want to refresh your basic skills, the Nordic Ski Lab has excellent videos of diagonal stride and skate technique.


    The Winter Olympics began on February 4 in Beijing, and our sport will briefly appear in the spotlight.  The usual powerhouses (Norway Sweden, Finland and Russia) are likely to dominate, but the US women’s XC team has a reasonable chance of bringing Olympic medals home.  For information on Olympic cross country skiing visit https://olympics.com/en/beijing-2022/


           The Willamette Chapter will not sell Sno Park permits in the absence of our regular monthly meetings.  SnoPark 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 SnoPark plowing.

    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.  Jeff Starr (503x581x8403) has a pair of Garmont Excursion 3-pin boots for sale.  They are Euro size 26.5, in good condition, for $40. 


2020-2021 OFFICERS & BOARD MEMBERS:     

            Available                                President

            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

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