Category Archives: Newsletters

January 2023

WILLAMETTE CHAPTER – OREGON NORDIC CLUB
oncwillamette.org
P. O. Box 181
Salem, OR  97308

NEWSLETTER
January 2023

1/3/2023: photo by Frank Hoffman

Welcome to the New Year and an ample snowpack on Santiam Pass.  Check the tour reports from recent ski excursions and the Day Tour Schedule to see what treats await you.  The ski season is in full swing; and continuing a long standing club tradition we begin the January issue of our Newsletter with the announcement:

The Willamette Chapter’s annual Ski School will be held on Saturday, January 28,

AND IT IS NOT JUST FOR BEGINNERS!!!  Whether you are a novice, intermediate or expert skier, you will benefit from this day on the groomed tracks at Hoodoo  Tune your diagonal stride, develop a kick double pole, polish your snowplow, try a little skating or work on a telemark.  This day of instruction and practice will make you a better skier—whatever your experience and skill level; and better skiing means more fun, whether on the tracks or in the backcountry.  All these benefits will be yours with just one day at Ski School. Sign up as a student for morning lessons with Hoodoo’s Nordic instructors; help other experienced skiers coach novices in the afternoon; or just ski along with us as an observer.  Check our webpage https:/ncwillamette.org/continuing-education/ for more information.  Sign up for Ski School at https://oncwillamette.org/ski-school-application-form/.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626) or Jim Todd (503-x378x7003) for additional details.  Come to Ski School.  You will be glad you did.     

NEWS:

The Willamette Chapter advocates for cross country skiers on issues that affect skiers.  Last season club members reported snowmobiles riding trails at Potato Hill SnoPark.  These trails have always been designated for non-motorized use.  At the October Santiam Pass Winter Recreation meeting we raised the issue of snowmobile encroachment at Potato Hill.  The Forest Service and Mt. Jefferson Snowmobile Club reps agreed that Potato Hill is intended for use by skiers and snowshoers.  But Forest Servics staff stated Willamette NF does not have the legal rules in place to cite snowmobilers for such violations.  They did agree to place information signs and step up monitoring and education efforts to discourage snowmobiling at Potato Hill.  The signs below were placed at Potato Hill SnoPark this fall.  This is not as strong a response as we hoped for, but is a step in the right direction.  We can help reinforce efforts to keep Potato Hill a non-motorized site by monitoring use of this SnoPark and reporting presence of snowmobiles.  If you see snowmobiles at Potato Hill or snowmobile trailers in the parking lot, please report it to a Board member; take photos if you can.  Thank you for helping preserve this system of Nordic trails.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

Please renew your membership for the 2022-2023 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.  Remember, you must be a member to participate in Ski School (and everyone should come to Ski School!).  Join us for a great season on the snow.

WEEKEND DAY TOURS

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 early season snow conditions; more tours will be added as the season progresses.  Remember, impromptu tours are always an option.  If you yearn for a day on skis phone Jim or a skier on the roster emailed last month.  Connect with your fellow Club members and get out when it snows.

January 14 or 15, Saturday:  B Tour, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626‬).

January 15, Sunday:  A Tour, Santiam Pass area, location depending on snow conditions.  Contact Jeanne Miller (503x588x0473).

January 21, Saturday:  B Tour, Maxwell SnoPark or backcountry skiing north of Santiam Pass.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

January 22, Sunday:  A Tour, location TBA.  Contact John Hortsch (503x749x1988).

January 28, Saturday:  SKI SCHOOL!  see details in this Newsletter.

February 4, Saturday:  A Tour, an easy road tour or a return to Hoodoo’s Nordic Tracks—perfect for Ski School graduates.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

February 4 or 5, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626‬).

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. 

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

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 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

TOUR REPORTS 

December 17, Saturday:  North Blowout Shelter by Jeanne Miller

Anyone who wasn’t skiing Santiam Pass on Dec. 17th missed out on a near perfect ski day.  Crystal clear blue sky, sun, no wind and tons of dry fluffy snow covered the trails.  Peggy and I skied the North Loop, stopping for lunch at the North Blowout shelter.  The trails were well tracked so we did not have to do any trail breaking—making for a very pleasant, easy run.  Despite it being a play day for the snownobile clubs, we barely even heard any motor noise and then it was only for a short time at a far distance.  Drive to and from the Pass was easy using snow tires and normal winter condition precautions.  Get out and ski!

December 29, Thursday:  Brandenburg Shelter by Jim Todd

Jeanne, Jim, John and Misty toured to Brandenburg shelter on a gray day with light snowfall.  There were two dozen skiers enjoying the South Loop so we only had to break trail for about a third of the distance.  Skis were sinking 4-8” in rather heavy snow; but it was a smooth, easy cruise in the tracks.

January 7, Saturday:  Ray Benson to Little Nash Traverse by Jim Todd

Ten skiers turned out for this annual Tour—seven were first timers on this great route.  For those who haven’t (yet) skied it, the tour goes down the South Loop for a mile, bushwhacks west across Big Lake Rd., follows the snowmobile road towards Sand Mountain for a half mile and then travels off-trail along the south and west slopes of Hoodoo until it picks up the Hash Brown Loop and Nash Potato trail for the downhill run to Little Nash SnoPark.

There was steady light rain on the drive up, but it quit before we reached the Pass.  We had mild temperatures with gray skies and sun breaks in the morning and light mist in the afternoon.  The snow was heavy and also wet at lower elevations, but skis were only sinking 2-4”.  Trail breaking was easy and the glide was superb.  The downhill stretches were challenging in these sloppy conditions, but overall it was a fine tour. 

A note on parking:  where was everybody this weekend?  Ray Benson, Potato Hill, Little Nash and Maxwell SnoParks were nearly deserted on Saturday.  There’s snow going to waste up there.  Remember:  a day you don’t go skiing is a day you don’t get to ski.

1/7/2023: photo by Jeff Starr

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:

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.

SKI SCHOOL

Another reminder!  Share this flier with a friend and come to Ski School.

                    LEARN TO 

 CROSS COUNTRY SKI

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2023

        Oregon Nordic Club – Willamette Chapter

HAS ORGANIZED A SPECIAL GROUP PACKAGE FOR NEW AND RETURNED MEMBERS.  A CLASS WILL BE TAUGHT BY CERTIFIED NORDIC INSTRUCTORS ON GROOMED TRACK AT HOODOO FOLLOWED BY A PRACTICE SESSION WITH MENTORING BY OUR EXPERIENCED SKIERS.     LESSON AND TRAIL PASS $25.  SKI RENTAL $10

TRAINING IS APPROPRIATE FOR BEGINNER THROUGH INTERMEDIATE LEVELS.  LEARN THE BASICS OR NOTCH UP YOUR SKILLS.  THE CLUB ALSO LEADS TOURS TO EXPAND YOUR ACCESS TO OUR WINTER WONDERLAND.

FOR DETAILS SEE THE “SKI SCHOOL AND CONTINUING EDUCATION” TAB ON OUR WEBSITE – oncwillamette.org

OR CALL BOB AT 503-621-6626   OR   JIM AT 503-378-7003

SNO-PARK PERMITS

        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.

SKI VIDEO CORNER

Jeff Starr found this vintage (1976) clip of America’s first Olympic XC medalist, Bill Koch.  Note the low-cut boots—and he’s still doing parallel turns!

ANNOUNCEMENTS
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.  Salem Summit Co., our local mountain shop, is now selling cross-country skis and boots in addition to renting them.  They have the Salomon Snowscape 7, a good general purpose touring ski.  If you are searching for new boards, this is the same ski they rent so you could try before you buy.  

3.  Ski School is January 28, 2023.  Come join us at Hoodoo for instruction and practice.  As an added inducement our Day Tour Chair will demonstrate falling for the edification and entertainment of all.

2022-2023 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

FINALLY:  Ski School is January 28th.  See you there.

CHAPTER – OREGON NORDIC CLUB

oncwillamette.org

P. O. Box 181

Salem, OR  97308

NEWSLETTER

November 2022

Welcome to the 2022-2023 ski season.  Snow is falling intermittently on Santiam Pass.  The optimists among us will be on the slopes with their rock skis any day now.  Even pessimists may be skiing by Thanksgiving. The winter is beginning well.  

So what do you want to do on skis this season?  Tour to a new destination?  Improve your ski technique or stamina? Just get on the snow to enjoy the beauty of winter?  Whatever your goal, the Willamette Chapter is here to help.  Check your member list to find partners for a ski venture.  Contact the club’s Board members about tours you wish to join or lead and issues you would like the club to pursue.  Together we’ll have a great time.

MOST VALUABLE MEMBER AWARD:  the Willamette Chapter has a special award, granted intermittently, to members whose volunteer participation in Club activities has been especially noteworthy.  The Club extends free membership to winners of our Most Valuable Member Award (in addition to the commemorative plaque which is in the possession of the most recent recipient).  So it is with pleasure that we announce free memberships for David Forkner, Jack Hande, Chuck Hinkle, Stuart McDill, Jerry Vessello and Jim Warner.  Congratulations, and thanks again to each of you for all that you have done for the Club.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL:

Please renew your membership for the 2022-2023 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 download a renewal form at oncwillamette.org/membership.  Join us for a great season on the snow.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:

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).

Volunteer Reports:

October 20, Thursday:  Bob, Frank, Mark & Jim met at Mtn. View shelter to move the two truckloads of wood dumped on the 15th inside the woodshed.  When this task was finished we returned to Duffy trailhead to split more wood.  With help from John of the Detroit RD trial crew, another three truckloads of wood were split and left for delivery to the shelter.

photo by Frank Hoffman

October 22, Saturday:  Bill and Dayna met Jordan from Detriot RD to wrap up wood-stocking at Mtn. View Shelter.  Working in the season’s first snowfall they hauled two truckloads from Duffy trailhead to the shelter and sent a third load to the Detroit station for later use.  Mtn. View is now fully stocked and ready for winter.  Bring on the snow!

photo by Dayna Svendsen

Volunteer Projects:

November 8 and 9, Tuesday and Wednesday:  Jessica Larson, Deschutes NF volunteer coordinator, needs volunteers at Santiam Pass hauling firewood to North Blowout Shelter and clearing a few logs from the North Loop.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003) if you can help.

SNO-PARK PERMITS

        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. 

SKI SCHOOL

The Willamette Chapter will hold its annual Ski School this season in cooperation with the PSIA certified Nordic instructors at Hoodoo.  This is a great opportunity for beginners to explore our sport and for experienced skiers to hone their skills.  Ski School date and other details will be published as soon as they are settled.

OREGON NORDIC CLUB:  Statewide Board Meeting

The ten chapters of the Oregon Nordic Club will hold their first statewide board meeting of the season via Zoom on Nov. 7 at 6:00 pm.  All Nordic Club members are welcome to participate.  If you wish to join this meeting, contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003) for the Agenda and Zoom link.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Newsletter now includes an Announcement Section. 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 or Genice 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. 

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.

2022-2023 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

Newsletter, April 2022

WILLAMETTE CHAPTER – OREGON NORDIC CLUB

P. O. Box 181
Salem, Oregon

    What a season this has been!  In early December there was no snow and desperate skiers resorted to hiking; by New Years the Cascades had 200% of normal snow depth and we sweated through the toil of trail breaking; late January and early February brought warm temperatures and sunny skies, but also a freeze/thaw cycle that turned the snow to frozen concrete; by March there was finally “normal” spring snow and pleasant skiing, but it was melting so fast every ski looked like it might be the last; and now April arrives with a freak storm that dumps 30” on Santiam Pass (and it’s still snowing).  Just ski it like you find it—enjoy the Spring.

    April will probably be our final Newsletter of the season and it’s time to say “thank you” to everyone who made this a great year for the Willamette Chapter:

    Thanks to the 18 club volunteers who logged 500 hours brushing and marking ski trails and stocking firewood for our Forest Service snow shelters.  We couldn’t ski as smoothly and comfortably without you.

    Thanks to Bill, Bob, Craig, Jeanne, Jeff, Jim and John for leading tours this winter.  Your planning and organization got us out in the mountains for some great skiing.  Think about adding your name to our list of tour leaders next season.

    Thanks to our Ski School instructors and especially to our students for stepping up to the challenge of a new sport.  We hope you enjoyed the introduction to skiing and that you’ll be back on the snow with us next winter.

    And finally, thank you to everyone who got out and shared a day on snow with all of us.          Ski on.

WEEKEND DAY TOURS   

    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.

    The spring tour schedule is sketchy, but don’t let that discourage you.  Use your membership list to to connect with other skiers and get out on the snow.  Don’t miss this late season snow.

    April 23, Saturday: A Tour, Ray Benson to North Blowout Shelter.  Contact Jeff Starr (503x851x8403).

    April 24, Sunday:  B Tour, Santiam Pass Three Summits Challenge.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    April 30, Saturday:  A or B Tour, location depending on snow conditions and group interest.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    May 7 or 8, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626‬).

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. 

WEEK DAY SKI TOURS

    The uncertainties of spring snow add to the attractions of week day tours.  If you can get free on a week day with good weather and snow, contact the enthusiasts below to find someone to share your trip.

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

    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    oncwilla at gmail 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

TOUR REPORTS 

Craig Lake                                by Bianca Klar

    On Saturday, March 5th, the three of us Chuck D, Bob Y, and myself (Bianca K) revisited one of our old favorite tours to Craig Lake. It’s a B tour, and although not very long (only 7.5 miles), it involves quite a bit of climbing up and down, so it requires some downhill skills and experience. It also involves crossing a creek, which at various snow conditions can be quite challenging. The weather was lovely, mostly clear skies and a bit breezy, which felt cold when gearing up, but felt just right when climbing.  We had a couple of inches of fresh snow on a solid frozen base.  It was good for climbing.  With different conditions and different snow levels, we are often tempted to try different routs in search for the perfect one:-).  This time we stayed up high on a sort of plateau, but had to navigate a lot of regrowth (hemlock thickets).  Crossing the creek up high was easy, for it was all covered with snow there, but climbing back up was too steep and icy at that spot so we had to descend some to find a gentler slope.  We continued a mostly gentle climb to the lake and had a lovely lunch there.  Coming back on the south facing slopes was a hoot, real good snow for turns.  But the east facing slopes stayed crunchy and rough.  The first picture shows where we are headed, second shows the creek canyon we had to cross, and the last two are taken at the lake.

March 5, Saturday:  Big Springs/Lava Lake SnoParks Traverse    by Jim Todd

    Bill Caldwell, Bill Nelson and I set out on a beautiful, sunny day to reap the benefits of recent trail clearing efforts by Willamette Chapter, Chemeketan and Salamander volunteers.  We were going to ski the trail from Big Springs SnoPark to Lava Lake, cross the dry lake, and ski the Lava Flat trail out to our waiting car on Hwy 20–a tour we had never done before.  The snowpack was rock hard after weeks of clear freeze/thaw weather, but an inch of new snow the previous night made it just possible to control our skis—no trail breaking on this tour!  Glide was great on the three mile downhill run to the lake, but our traverse met an unexpected obstacle when we found spring had arrived at the normally dry, snow covered lake.  There was water from bank to bank, studded with floating snow and ice bergs.  The water wasn’t deep, but was a bit cold for wading.  Instead we turned and climbed back to Big Springs SnoPark.  The Traverse is still in our future.

March 10, Thursday:  Santiam Lake                    by Jim Todd

    Some things worth doing are worth doing twice.  Beth and Frank joined me for the second tour of the season to Santiam Lake.  With firmer snow than our 2/26 trip and an added trail breaker we were able to complete the full Skyline Trail route from Santiam SnoPark to the lake.  The skiing was fine and the view did not disappoint.

March 16, Wednesday:  Point 5447’ Ridge                by Jim Todd

    So where is Point 5447’ anyway?  Well, for those of us wearing out our third copy of the USGS Three Fingered Jack topo, it’s a spot elevation on the Cascade divide a half mile north of Santiam Pass.  From this high point a ridge extends eastward between Hwy 20 and Square Lake.  This time of year the south face towards the highway is mostly bare rock, but the north face towards Three Fingered Jack still holds mounds of lovely snow.  I’ve admired it from a distance for years and finally set out to explore.  Ron and I started from Santiam SnoPark, skied the PCT trailhead and NNE to the Cascade divide, turned SE at Pt. 5447’ and climbed onto the ridge top.  It was all we hoped for: open slopes of all gradients, deep snow and great views in all directions.  We followed the ridge east until a rock outcrop and steep side slopes blocked our path; then turned and played our way along the slopes back to the divide and down to Santiam SnoPark.  A very good day.

March 26, Saturday:  The Turning Tour                by Bob Young

    With the return of some nice days, Jim, Bianca, and I headed north of Santiam Pass with few expectations about the snow conditions.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a soft enough surface and enough snow left to climb for what I’ve called my turning tour.   We basically head NE as if going to Booth Lake but keep to the north and up parallel to the PCT to a high point about 6000’ that looks down on Booth.  From there it’s all downhill on gentle and sometimes more challenging slopes all the way down to Square Lake.  As usual we stopped off at Heaven’s viewpoint for lunch and then dropped down to a plateau at 5000’ where a couple of small ponds were still snow covered.  Also, per usual we skipped the final couple hundred feet drop to Square Lake and instead climbed back to the saddle at 5400’ to start the return leg.  As the sun softened the afternoon snow the turns got more difficult but once we got back to the Skyline trail side of the ridge the surface was again more solid and forgiving.  The glide remained good all day.  We figured this would be the last day with sufficient snow for this area but here we are with more snow predicted.  The trick will be getting out on it before a follow-up hot day turns it to mashed potatoes.  Next we will start watching for the gate opening to Three Creeks Lake and think about a trek to Tam McArthur Rim.  At 7000’ to 8000’ and if sun and rain are kind there could good snow for the annual trip there.  Anyone who is interested in that let me know and I will let you know what develops.  It’s been an unusual winter but we’ve had some good skiing.  We appreciate all of your continued support to the club.  The more involved you are the better the experience is for all of us.  Thanks.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

    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.

    The announcement below details the trail volunteer training program sponsored by Deschutes NF and Pacific Crest Trail Association.  It will be held near Camp Sherman, June 2-5.  Sue Sullivan of the Central Oregon Chapter of ONC will teach a session on ski trail maintenance.  Click the link below for more information and to sign up for the classes

    Details and registration links can be found here: Allingham Trail Skills College – Pacific Crest Trail Association (pcta.org)

ANNOUNCEMENTS
    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.  As Bob noted above, the Tam McArthur Rim tour will be held as soon as the road to Three Creeks Lake opens.  If you are interested, contact Bob at 503x621x6626 to put your name on the list.

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

WILLAMETTE CHAPTER – OREGON NORDIC CLUB

oncwillamette.org

P. O. Box 181

Salem, OR  97308

NEWSLETTER

April 2022

    What a season this has been!  In early December there was no snow and desperate skiers resorted to hiking; by New Years the Cascades had 200% of normal snow depth and we sweated through the toil of trail breaking; late January and early February brought warm temperatures and sunny skies, but also a freeze/thaw cycle that turned the snow to frozen concrete; by March there was finally “normal” spring snow and pleasant skiing, but it was melting so fast every ski looked like it might be the last; and now April arrives with a freak storm that dumps 30” on Santiam Pass (and it’s still snowing).  Just ski it like you find it—enjoy the Spring.

    April will probably be our final Newsletter of the season and it’s time to say “thank you” to everyone who made this a great year for the Willamette Chapter:

    Thanks to the 18 club volunteers who logged 500 hours brushing and marking ski trails and stocking firewood for our Forest Service snow shelters.  We couldn’t ski as smoothly and comfortably without you.

    Thanks to Bill, Bob, Craig, Jeanne, Jeff, Jim and John for leading tours this winter.  Your planning and organization got us out in the mountains for some great skiing.  Think about adding your name to our list of tour leaders next season.

    Thanks to our Ski School instructors and especially to our students for stepping up to the challenge of a new sport.  We hope you enjoyed the introduction to skiing and that you’ll be back on the snow with us next winter.

    And finally, thank you to everyone who got out and shared a day on snow with all of us.          Ski on.

WEEKEND DAY TOURS   

    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.

    The spring tour schedule is sketchy, but don’t let that discourage you.  Use your membership list to to connect with other skiers and get out on the snow.  Don’t miss this late season snow.

    April 23, Saturday: A Tour, Ray Benson to North Blowout Shelter.  Contact Jeff Starr (503x851x8403).

    April 24, Sunday:  B Tour, Santiam Pass Three Summits Challenge.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    April 30, Saturday:  A or B Tour, location depending on snow conditions and group interest.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    May 7 or 8, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626‬).

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. 

WEEK DAY SKI TOURS

    The uncertainties of spring snow add to the attractions of week day tours.  If you can get free on a week day with good weather and snow, contact the enthusiasts below to find someone to share your trip.

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

    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    oncwilla at gmail 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

TOUR REPORTS 

Craig Lake                                by Bianca Klar

    On Saturday, March 5th, the three of us Chuck D, Bob Y, and myself (Bianca K) revisited one of our old favorite tours to Craig Lake. It’s a B tour, and although not very long (only 7.5 miles), it involves quite a bit of climbing up and down, so it requires some downhill skills and experience. It also involves crossing a creek, which at various snow conditions can be quite challenging. The weather was lovely, mostly clear skies and a bit breezy, which felt cold when gearing up, but felt just right when climbing.  We had a couple of inches of fresh snow on a solid frozen base.  It was good for climbing.  With different conditions and different snow levels, we are often tempted to try different routs in search for the perfect one:-).  This time we stayed up high on a sort of plateau, but had to navigate a lot of regrowth (hemlock thickets).  Crossing the creek up high was easy, for it was all covered with snow there, but climbing back up was too steep and icy at that spot so we had to descend some to find a gentler slope.  We continued a mostly gentle climb to the lake and had a lovely lunch there.  Coming back on the south facing slopes was a hoot, real good snow for turns.  But the east facing slopes stayed crunchy and rough.  The first picture shows where we are headed, second shows the creek canyon we had to cross, and the last two are taken at the lake.

March 5, Saturday:  Big Springs/Lava Lake SnoParks Traverse    by Jim Todd

    Bill Caldwell, Bill Nelson and I set out on a beautiful, sunny day to reap the benefits of recent trail clearing efforts by Willamette Chapter, Chemeketan and Salamander volunteers.  We were going to ski the trail from Big Springs SnoPark to Lava Lake, cross the dry lake, and ski the Lava Flat trail out to our waiting car on Hwy 20–a tour we had never done before.  The snowpack was rock hard after weeks of clear freeze/thaw weather, but an inch of new snow the previous night made it just possible to control our skis—no trail breaking on this tour!  Glide was great on the three mile downhill run to the lake, but our traverse met an unexpected obstacle when we found spring had arrived at the normally dry, snow covered lake.  There was water from bank to bank, studded with floating snow and ice bergs.  The water wasn’t deep, but was a bit cold for wading.  Instead we turned and climbed back to Big Springs SnoPark.  The Traverse is still in our future.

March 10, Thursday:  Santiam Lake                    by Jim Todd

    Some things worth doing are worth doing twice.  Beth and Frank joined me for the second tour of the season to Santiam Lake.  With firmer snow than our 2/26 trip and an added trail breaker we were able to complete the full Skyline Trail route from Santiam SnoPark to the lake.  The skiing was fine and the view did not disappoint.

March 16, Wednesday:  Point 5447’ Ridge                by Jim Todd

    So where is Point 5447’ anyway?  Well, for those of us wearing out our third copy of the USGS Three Fingered Jack topo, it’s a spot elevation on the Cascade divide a half mile north of Santiam Pass.  From this high point a ridge extends eastward between Hwy 20 and Square Lake.  This time of year the south face towards the highway is mostly bare rock, but the north face towards Three Fingered Jack still holds mounds of lovely snow.  I’ve admired it from a distance for years and finally set out to explore.  Ron and I started from Santiam SnoPark, skied the PCT trailhead and NNE to the Cascade divide, turned SE at Pt. 5447’ and climbed onto the ridge top.  It was all we hoped for: open slopes of all gradients, deep snow and great views in all directions.  We followed the ridge east until a rock outcrop and steep side slopes blocked our path; then turned and played our way along the slopes back to the divide and down to Santiam SnoPark.  A very good day.

March 26, Saturday:  The Turning Tour                by Bob Young

    With the return of some nice days, Jim, Bianca, and I headed north of Santiam Pass with few expectations about the snow conditions.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a soft enough surface and enough snow left to climb for what I’ve called my turning tour.   We basically head NE as if going to Booth Lake but keep to the north and up parallel to the PCT to a high point about 6000’ that looks down on Booth.  From there it’s all downhill on gentle and sometimes more challenging slopes all the way down to Square Lake.  As usual we stopped off at Heaven’s viewpoint for lunch and then dropped down to a plateau at 5000’ where a couple of small ponds were still snow covered.  Also, per usual we skipped the final couple hundred feet drop to Square Lake and instead climbed back to the saddle at 5400’ to start the return leg.  As the sun softened the afternoon snow the turns got more difficult but once we got back to the Skyline trail side of the ridge the surface was again more solid and forgiving.  The glide remained good all day.  We figured this would be the last day with sufficient snow for this area but here we are with more snow predicted.  The trick will be getting out on it before a follow-up hot day turns it to mashed potatoes.  Next we will start watching for the gate opening to Three Creeks Lake and think about a trek to Tam McArthur Rim.  At 7000’ to 8000’ and if sun and rain are kind there could good snow for the annual trip there.  Anyone who is interested in that let me know and I will let you know what develops.  It’s been an unusual winter but we’ve had some good skiing.  We appreciate all of your continued support to the club.  The more involved you are the better the experience is for all of us.  Thanks.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

    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.

    The announcement below details the trail volunteer training program sponsored by Deschutes NF and Pacific Crest Trail Association.  It will be held near Camp Sherman, June 2-5.  Sue Sullivan of the Central Oregon Chapter of ONC will teach a session on ski trail maintenance.  Click the link below for more information and to sign up for the classes

    Details and registration links can be found here: Allingham Trail Skills College – Pacific Crest Trail Association (pcta.org)

ANNOUNCEMENTS
    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.  As Bob noted above, the Tam McArthur Rim tour will be held as soon as the road to Three Creeks Lake opens.  If you are interested, contact Bob at 503x621x6626 to put your name on the list.

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

    What a season this has been!  In early December there was no snow and desperate skiers resorted to hiking; by New Years the Cascades had 200% of normal snow depth and we sweated through the toil of trail breaking; late January and early February brought warm temperatures and sunny skies, but also a freeze/thaw cycle that turned the snow to frozen concrete; by March there was finally “normal” spring snow and pleasant skiing, but it was melting so fast every ski looked like it might be the last; and now April arrives with a freak storm that dumps 30” on Santiam Pass (and it’s still snowing).  Just ski it like you find it—enjoy the Spring.

    April will probably be our final Newsletter of the season and it’s time to say “thank you” to everyone who made this a great year for the Willamette Chapter:

    Thanks to the 18 club volunteers who logged 500 hours brushing and marking ski trails and stocking firewood for our Forest Service snow shelters.  We couldn’t ski as smoothly and comfortably without you.

    Thanks to Bill, Bob, Craig, Jeanne, Jeff, Jim and John for leading tours this winter.  Your planning and organization got us out in the mountains for some great skiing.  Think about adding your name to our list of tour leaders next season.

    Thanks to our Ski School instructors and especially to our students for stepping up to the challenge of a new sport.  We hope you enjoyed the introduction to skiing and that you’ll be back on the snow with us next winter.

    And finally, thank you to everyone who got out and shared a day on snow with all of us.          Ski on.

WEEKEND DAY TOURS   

    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.

    The spring tour schedule is sketchy, but don’t let that discourage you.  Use your membership list to to connect with other skiers and get out on the snow.  Don’t miss this late season snow.

    April 23, Saturday: A Tour, Ray Benson to North Blowout Shelter.  Contact Jeff Starr (503x851x8403).

    April 24, Sunday:  B Tour, Santiam Pass Three Summits Challenge.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    April 30, Saturday:  A or B Tour, location depending on snow conditions and group interest.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

    May 7 or 8, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, date and location depending on weather conditions and group interest.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626‬).

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. 

WEEK DAY SKI TOURS

    The uncertainties of spring snow add to the attractions of week day tours.  If you can get free on a week day with good weather and snow, contact the enthusiasts below to find someone to share your trip.

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

    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    oncwilla at gmail 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

TOUR REPORTS 

Craig Lake                                by Bianca Klar

    On Saturday, March 5th, the three of us Chuck D, Bob Y, and myself (Bianca K) revisited one of our old favorite tours to Craig Lake. It’s a B tour, and although not very long (only 7.5 miles), it involves quite a bit of climbing up and down, so it requires some downhill skills and experience. It also involves crossing a creek, which at various snow conditions can be quite challenging. The weather was lovely, mostly clear skies and a bit breezy, which felt cold when gearing up, but felt just right when climbing.  We had a couple of inches of fresh snow on a solid frozen base.  It was good for climbing.  With different conditions and different snow levels, we are often tempted to try different routs in search for the perfect one:-).  This time we stayed up high on a sort of plateau, but had to navigate a lot of regrowth (hemlock thickets).  Crossing the creek up high was easy, for it was all covered with snow there, but climbing back up was too steep and icy at that spot so we had to descend some to find a gentler slope.  We continued a mostly gentle climb to the lake and had a lovely lunch there.  Coming back on the south facing slopes was a hoot, real good snow for turns.  But the east facing slopes stayed crunchy and rough.  The first picture shows where we are headed, second shows the creek canyon we had to cross, and the last two are taken at the lake.

March 5, Saturday:  Big Springs/Lava Lake SnoParks Traverse    by Jim Todd

    Bill Caldwell, Bill Nelson and I set out on a beautiful, sunny day to reap the benefits of recent trail clearing efforts by Willamette Chapter, Chemeketan and Salamander volunteers.  We were going to ski the trail from Big Springs SnoPark to Lava Lake, cross the dry lake, and ski the Lava Flat trail out to our waiting car on Hwy 20–a tour we had never done before.  The snowpack was rock hard after weeks of clear freeze/thaw weather, but an inch of new snow the previous night made it just possible to control our skis—no trail breaking on this tour!  Glide was great on the three mile downhill run to the lake, but our traverse met an unexpected obstacle when we found spring had arrived at the normally dry, snow covered lake.  There was water from bank to bank, studded with floating snow and ice bergs.  The water wasn’t deep, but was a bit cold for wading.  Instead we turned and climbed back to Big Springs SnoPark.  The Traverse is still in our future.

March 10, Thursday:  Santiam Lake                    by Jim Todd

    Some things worth doing are worth doing twice.  Beth and Frank joined me for the second tour of the season to Santiam Lake.  With firmer snow than our 2/26 trip and an added trail breaker we were able to complete the full Skyline Trail route from Santiam SnoPark to the lake.  The skiing was fine and the view did not disappoint.

March 16, Wednesday:  Point 5447’ Ridge                by Jim Todd

    So where is Point 5447’ anyway?  Well, for those of us wearing out our third copy of the USGS Three Fingered Jack topo, it’s a spot elevation on the Cascade divide a half mile north of Santiam Pass.  From this high point a ridge extends eastward between Hwy 20 and Square Lake.  This time of year the south face towards the highway is mostly bare rock, but the north face towards Three Fingered Jack still holds mounds of lovely snow.  I’ve admired it from a distance for years and finally set out to explore.  Ron and I started from Santiam SnoPark, skied the PCT trailhead and NNE to the Cascade divide, turned SE at Pt. 5447’ and climbed onto the ridge top.  It was all we hoped for: open slopes of all gradients, deep snow and great views in all directions.  We followed the ridge east until a rock outcrop and steep side slopes blocked our path; then turned and played our way along the slopes back to the divide and down to Santiam SnoPark.  A very good day.

March 26, Saturday:  The Turning Tour                by Bob Young

    With the return of some nice days, Jim, Bianca, and I headed north of Santiam Pass with few expectations about the snow conditions.  We were pleasantly surprised to find a soft enough surface and enough snow left to climb for what I’ve called my turning tour.   We basically head NE as if going to Booth Lake but keep to the north and up parallel to the PCT to a high point about 6000’ that looks down on Booth.  From there it’s all downhill on gentle and sometimes more challenging slopes all the way down to Square Lake.  As usual we stopped off at Heaven’s viewpoint for lunch and then dropped down to a plateau at 5000’ where a couple of small ponds were still snow covered.  Also, per usual we skipped the final couple hundred feet drop to Square Lake and instead climbed back to the saddle at 5400’ to start the return leg.  As the sun softened the afternoon snow the turns got more difficult but once we got back to the Skyline trail side of the ridge the surface was again more solid and forgiving.  The glide remained good all day.  We figured this would be the last day with sufficient snow for this area but here we are with more snow predicted.  The trick will be getting out on it before a follow-up hot day turns it to mashed potatoes.  Next we will start watching for the gate opening to Three Creeks Lake and think about a trek to Tam McArthur Rim.  At 7000’ to 8000’ and if sun and rain are kind there could good snow for the annual trip there.  Anyone who is interested in that let me know and I will let you know what develops.  It’s been an unusual winter but we’ve had some good skiing.  We appreciate all of your continued support to the club.  The more involved you are the better the experience is for all of us.  Thanks.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

    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.

    The announcement below details the trail volunteer training program sponsored by Deschutes NF and Pacific Crest Trail Association.  It will be held near Camp Sherman, June 2-5.  Sue Sullivan of the Central Oregon Chapter of ONC will teach a session on ski trail maintenance.  Click the link below for more information and to sign up for the classes

    Details and registration links can be found here: Allingham Trail Skills College – Pacific Crest Trail Association (pcta.org)

ANNOUNCEMENTS
    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.  As Bob noted above, the Tam McArthur Rim tour will be held as soon as the road to Three Creeks Lake opens.  If you are interested, contact Bob at 503x621x6626 to put your name on the list.

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

WILLAMETTE CHAPTER – OREGON NORDIC CLUB
December 2021, Newsletter

oncwillamette.org

P. O. Box 181
Salem, OR 97308

It’s December 5th as I write this and where is our skiable snow?  Several light dustings have occurred, but each melted away.  Thanksgiving is past, mid-December approaches and the Cascades still offer nothing but bare rock.  When will we ski?  Well, as on so many subjects, Shakespeare offers wise counsel to those forlornly waiting for the snow:

    If it be now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now,

    yet it will come.  The readiness is all.

                            Hamlet, Act V, Scene i

So heed the words of the Bard.  Be patient…and wax the boards.

Footnote:  12/10/2021, nine inches of snow on Santiam Pass and more on the way!

WEEKEND DAY TOURS   

    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 early season snow conditions; more tours will be added as the season progresses.  Remember, impromptu tours are always an option.  If you yearn for a day on skis phone Jim or a skier on the roster emailed last month.  Connect with your fellow Club members and get out when it snows.

January 1-2, Saturday or Sunday:  B Tour, Santiam Pass area, date and location depending on snow conditions.  Contact Bob Young (503x621x6626).

January 8, Saturday:  Beginner/A Tour, an easy road ski or perhaps the groomed tracks at Hoodoo.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).

January 22, Saturday:  B Tour, the Ray Benson/Little Nash traverse.  Contact Jim Todd (503x378x7003).  

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. 

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:

    Chuck Daellenbach    541x928x4256    daellenbachc@comcast.net

Frank Hoffman 541x475x0185 hh_tex@msn.com

    Bianca Klar        503x949x9089    bianchiklar@yahoo.com

    Mark Olson        503x559x0728    mark@olson.us

    Foxie Proctor        503x581x0207    foxieproctor@comcast.net

    Denise Sanders        503x859x4597    oncwillaweb@gmail.com

    Jeff Starr        503x851x8403    jeffstarr3@gmail.com

    Jim Todd        503x378x7003    toddwac18@gmail.com

    Craig Wojcik        503x931x2705‬    ccwojcik09@comcast.net

    Pam Wojcik        503x362x3439    pjwojcik09@comcast.net

    Bob Young        503x621x6626    arch.byoung@gmail.com

TOUR REPORT 

    December 3, Friday:  well if you can’t glide, stride.  Faced with a serious snow deficit, seven members opted for a mountain hike as the next best thing to skiing.  We tackled Crescent Mountain trail and from the south face and summit (5750’) were rewarded with beautiful views of the Old Cascades and the peaks along the Cascade Crest.  The higher peaks had essentially no snow below 8000’, but there was a small patch in the shade on top of Crescent Mountain.  Perhaps we should have carried our skis!

12/03/2021:  Three Sisters from Crescent Mountain            photo by Frank Hoffman

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:

    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).

VOLUNTEER REPORTS

 November 2, Tuesday:  Ron, Frank and Jim joined the Salamanders volunteer group to log, brush, and mark trails at Lava Lake SnoPark.  The trails needed serious work, as the photo shows.  But thanks to ten determined volunteers the logs were cut, brush cleared and 57 new diamonds installed.  Check it out this winter.

11/02/2021:  Lava View Loop at Lava Lake SnoPark            photo by Jim Todd

    November 17, Wednesday:  David, Frank, Jeff and Jim joined three Salamander volunteers at Little Nash SnoPark for a last whack at winter trail clearing.  Winter had definitely arrived.  Though the snow was less than an inch deep, the parking lot was ice covered, it was 32F and a south wind was blowing at 15mph.  But by moving briskly we stayed warm and managed to log, brush and place 35 new diamonds on the Nash/Potato trail.  This trail joins the Potato Hill and Little Nash SnoParks.  With a car shuttle it makes a nice one-way tour and it’s downhill all the way.

11/17/2021:  Nash/Potato trail                        photo by Beth Dayton

SKI SCHOOL

    We are still in the planning stage, but hope to resume our annual Ski School in late January or early February.  Watch the club’s website ONCWillamette.org and the January Newsletter for details.

SNO-PARK PERMITS

           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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
    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 (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