Oregon Nordic Club

Willamette Chapter


 April 2023

April is upon us and there is still enough snow in the mountains for good skiing.  This is a year to get out and enjoy those low elevations routes in beautiful spring weather.  Don’t miss this rare opportunity.  Extend your ski season.  Ski on!

What do you think about a pizza party?

This may be the year to renew our club’s traditional year-end Pizza Party.  Covid 19 vaccinations have risen, infection rates have fallen and the Oregon Health Authority will even lift the masking mandate for health care facilities on April 3.  Are you ready to join club members in late April or early May for free pizza, an opportunity to share the season’s stories and photos, and plan summer activities and next season’s ski tours?  Please contact Bob Young (503x621x6626 or mail to arch.byoung@gmail.com) with your thoughts on a 2023 Pizza Party.  If there is enough interest, Bob will order pizza and we will announce the date and time to the entire membership.


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.  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 a face covering 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).  The tour schedule is sparse at present due to Holidays and uncertainties about snow conditions; more tours will be added.  Remember, impromptu tours are always an option.  If you yearn for a day on skis phone Jim or a skier on the roster previously emailed.  Connect with your fellow Club members and get out when it snows.

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 first 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. 

Weekend Day Ski Tours

April 1, Saturday:  A or B Tour, depending on group interest; Santiam Pass area.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626).

April 8 or 9, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626).

April 9, Sunday:  A Tour, Santiam Pass area.  Contact John Horrtsch (503x507x5727).

 April 15, Saturday:  B Tour,  Santiam Pass area, location depending on snow conditions and group interest.  Contact Jeff Starr (503x851x8403).

April 22 or 23, Saturday or Sunday:  A or B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626).

April 29 or 30, Saturday or Sunday:  A or B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626).

Annual Tam McArthur Spring Ski – Bob Young 

We recently found out that the road to Three Creeks Lake is going to be paved this year, starting as soon as snow melt allows.   We normally wait until the snow gate is opened in late May or early June for the Tam McArthur Ski, but this year the road will not be opened until the project is finished, which will be late July or early August.  I have skied up there as late as July 13, which is a great escape from the valley heat, but not a good ski. So we will need to consider skiing out there from Dutchman Flats as an alternative.   Let me know if you are interested (503x621x6626).

Week Day Ski Tours

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

Bill Caldwell 503x385x6494   wbcaldwell1 at q dot com

Chuck Daellenbach 541x928x4256 daellenbachc at comcast dot net

Frank Hoffman 541x475x0185 hh_tex at msn dot com

Denise Hughes 435x828x2273 salemhughes at gmai dot com

Bianca Klar 503x949x9089 bianchiklar at yahoo dot com

Bill Nelson 503x576x1278 bnelson at pacificomm dot net

Mark Olson 503x559x0728 mark at olson dot us

Foxie Proctor 503x581x0207 foxieproctor at comcast dot net

Genice Rabe 503x269x3360 genice dot rabe at gmail dot com

Denise Sanders 503x859x4597 dsander 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

John Craig Memorial Ski race and Tour, March 18, 2023  – Bob Young

At least four of our members got over to the east side to partake in the John Craig this year. I went over on Thursday before the event to borrow a track setter and assist with the grooming coordination. As most of you know this is usually a ski to Dee Wright Observatory or at least to Windy Point and back. This year there was considerable avalanche danger before the way to Windy Point and the groomer was not able to get beyond a slide just 3 miles west of the course starting point. We laid out and groomed alternate short and long loops out the north side of Hwy 242 on roads the MJSC typically grooms, but this route took the course from the ODOT permit the ONC acquired out on forest service roads and the forest service could not process the permit in time to allow official use of all that effort (Any event with more than 75 people

 requires a permit and the John Craig had over 250 participants.).  Although the organizer was not comfortable sharing the alternate route with people for their personal use, the search and rescue guys stationed on 242 at the Cross District Trail were and did, telling skiers that they would be outside and separate from the JC event. Our Sisters Forest Service District winter coordinator was fine with that approach and apparently a good percentage of the participants took advantage of all that groomed trail to enjoy some new views and great skiing. The views from Dee Wright are spectacular but, I really enjoyed skiing something new. 

                                  Photo by Bob Young

The John Craig from John Horrtsch

This trip started out icey.  As usual the event was well organized.  Our turn around was about a half mile before Windy point.  On our return we took a left on a snowmobile road.  This road had been groomed.  The biggest hill was the one we could see off the mail road.  We  walked down several hills and climbed some fairly steep ones.  It was all worth it.  The next four miles included some short exciting hills and a slope similar to the road but with far fewer people.  This trip is what spring skiing is all about – some slush, some ice, but beautiful t-shirt weather.

And another report on the John Craig event from Mark Olson

Jeannie Miller and I left the Airport Road Park and Ride for the John Craig at 6 am.  We made the starting gate shortly after 9 am.  The entire course up and back had at least some snow, 

thus no walking was required.  The trip uphill was icy making progress slower for classic skiers; skate skiers whizzed by.  The course was shortened due to an avalanche which had at least partially covered the road so we made it up to the turn around point fairly quickly.  There were great views of the east side of Mt. Washington.  We elected not to take the alternate route back and were back at the gate before noon.  Softened snow made the downhill run fairly easy.  Hope next year we will be able to ski all the way to the top.

              Photo by Mark Olson

Island Junction Shelter, March 3, 2023 by Jim Todd

Dayna and I seized a pause in our numerous late season snows to ski the trails at Ray Benson SnoPark.  It was partly cloudy/partly sunny with snow flurries and a stiff west breeze, but the snow was great.  We headed out the South Loop, following a group on snow shoes, and then broke trail on Claypool Buttes Trail and Two Buttes Cutoff down to the junction of Circle Lake Trail.  This was serious work and we were very pleased to find ski tracks heading east towards Island Junction Shelter.  We quickly abandoned our plan to ski south to Brandenburg because of untracked snow and had an easy cruise to Island Junction Shelter where we met five skiers from Bend.  Not content to return in their tracks, this hardy crew planned to continue trail breaking around Circle Lake and North Loop.  We expected to catch up with them and help break trail, but after a leisurely lunch we found nothing but smooth, easy tracks all the way back to the SnoPark.  The snow was 8-10 feet deep in places and it was a beautiful day on skis. 

March 11, Saturday:  Hoodoo Nordic Tracks by Jim Todd

Eight Ski School grads from the past two seasons joined Mark and I for a day on Hoodoo’s groomed tracks.  We hit all the trails–most of them twice–and everyone was skiing the steepest hills with aplomb by the end of the day.   The weather and views were beautiful and it was a welcome change from trail breaking. 

                    Photo by Jim Todd

Skis from 801 to North Blowout on March 21 and 27 by Frank Hoffman

On March 21st, I skied partly via the Jim Todd North Loop off-trail route which runs south of the existing trail.  Surprisingly good snow conditions, a granular 3-4 inch layer over a 

solid base that gave good grip and glide.  The weather was sunny and the wind was at over 15 miles per hour.  I had  lunch by a fire from the dwindling wood supple at the North Blowout Shelter.

Again on March 27th I skied basically the same route.  This route is probably usable only in good snow years.  Some trail-breaking was required because of about six inches of light new snow.  The blowout and area near the shelter had been heavily tracked by snowmobiles on the weekend.  I saw no skiers or snowmobiles.

                  Photo by Frank Hoffman

North Loop at Ray Benson SnoPark, March 29, 2023 by Bill Caldwell

Bob Wells and and I had a good outing on the North Loop at Ray Benson.  There was a food of heavy powder.  Luckily a Dad and his two college coed daughters had broken the trail for the first seventy-five percent of the way.  We finished breaking the last quarter of the trail.  Sunshine and a few clouds.

            Photo by Bill Caldwell


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 number 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.

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.  Hot Waxing your skis?  Jim and Bob have placed a bulk order for Swix Universal Glide Wax.  They are offering 180g blocks to interested skiers for only $14.  This is less than half the price of temperature calibrated waxes and should be satisfactory for all but the most 

serious XC racer.  Contact Jim (503x378x7003) or Bob (503x621x6626) if you wish to purchase wax.  Your tips and tails will thank you and you will ski smoother and easier.

2.  Tim Faber has the items below for sale.  Contact Tim at 503x999x1367 if you are interested.

Two pairs black diamond mahair kicker skins, 2.5 inches long, 7 oz. per pair, never used, $80 per pair;

Multiple pairs of NNN and NNNBC bindings at $30 per pair;

Boots size 12 (46) Alpina 2050 NNN BC binding compatible, new in box for $120; and

Free tele skis ATOMIC with G# cable binding and riser plate 168 cm long 114 85 106.


         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

1 thought on “Oregon Nordic Club

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.