Winter Watch

A flurry of fun

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I was reminded many times this past weekend that climate change is real, and our world is steadily warming. While this means different things to different people, here in the Pacific Northwest it can often be interpreted to mean that we need to enjoy the chill while we still can, often via hitting the slopes. With the first snowfall of the season already underway—last weekend brought nine inches of the white stuff to the Mt. Baker Ski Area—we’d like to provide you with a few ways to get excited for winter.

If you prefer not to wait in lines and would rather cruise along on your own steam rather than hurtling down a steep mountain, consider joining the ranks at the Nooksack Nordic Ski Club. Since 1992, when the United States Forest Service granted the group an agreement to provide and maintain Salmon Ridge—a groomed, non-motorized winter recreation trail system designed for cross-country skiers and snowshoers—they’ve been hosting work parties, providing classes and programs pertaining to winter recreation, and offering ski clinics.  “Intermingled in all this, we have fun!” the group says on their website. “Our members go on lots of ski trips to our ‘home’ trails at Salmon Ridge and to many other locations. Come join us!” When & Where: 7pm Thurs., Nov. 7 at the WECU Education Building, 511 E. Holly St. A Community Forum on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing takes place from 4:30-6:30pm Sat., Nov. 23 at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. Info: http://www.nooksacknordicskiclub.org

If you’ve ever been in the audience at one of Warren Miller Entertainment’s Ticket to Ride gatherings, you’re well aware of the flurry of thrills the ski and snowboard film extravaganza brings to those who’ve been dreaming of ski season since last spring. This year is no different. From Alaska to Iceland to Norway and Switzerland, some of the best runs in the world—and the best athletes—will be highlighted. Oh, and remember that climate change issue? They’re on top of it. “As a stakeholder in winter, Warren Miller Entertainment is committed to using our voice in the winter sports community to help preserve our winters,” reads a recent press release. “Continuing our 64-year legacy, we look to make films that excite and inspire skiers and riders worldwide, and we must work with and impassion our audience to pass down the tradition and make positive changes for generations to come.” When: 8pm Fri., Nov. 8. Where: Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Cost: $21. Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

A quick look at the upcoming clinics taking place at the Bellingham REI confirms that winter is on its way. Whether you want to learn the basics of skiing and snowboarding or how to wax the equipment you already have, there’s a clinic for you. Avalanche awareness, snowshoeing basics, Mt. Baker backcountry basics, and classes on winter camping are on the roster in the next weeks, so sign up and get educated. Oh, and did we mention they’re all free? Info: 647-8955 or http://www.rei.com/stores/bellingham

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