With five ski mountains close to Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, and Sandpoint, there is no shortage of snow happenings to choose from. Here are a few of our picks this winter.
Kicking off the new year January 6-7, Winter Sports Fest sponsored by Mountain Gear and Spokane Parks and Recreation includes Nordic and cross-country skiing clinics, gear demos, seminars, and more. “It’s a great educational outreach day,” says Eric Bakken, Base Area Manager, “and it gets people out on the trails.”
January 13 is 49’s annual Sheimo Cup sponsored by Hale’s Ales. This dual-slalom event is a fundraiser for the mountain’s F.A.S.T. alpine race training program and presents a mellow course for a wide range of competitors. If you’re more adventurous in your skiing, sign up for the Al Voltz Need for Speed USSA Masters Race happening February 16-18. “It’s an event for people who have a love for ski racing,” says Bakken.
If you want to do a little good in the community and have a great time in the process, head up for night skiing January 13 and February 17 and hit the slopes in the moonlight for $5 and three cans of food donated to local food banks.
Learn essential skills with Mt. Spokane’s Multi-week Lessons program for ages 5 to adult starting January 6 (only $269 or $329 with rentals on Saturdays or Sundays). Plus, you earn a free pass after your sixth lesson!
On February 9-10, the resort has combined the 2018 terrain park Kan Jam with their second annual Brewfest. Friday starts with a Rail Jam off Lodge 2’s deck from 6-8 p.m., and Saturday heats up with a Half-Hitch Park event, 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Compete, watch, and sip on local beers and ciders at a cost of only $15 per event or $25 for both.
Mt. Spokane is wrapping up February with a ladies-only day with Lisa Ballard Densmore, the 2017 Master Racer Super G Champion. This event for advanced skiers will include four hours of instruction, video review, ski and pole demos, door prizes, gear discounts, and continental breakfast and lunch. Don’t miss your chance to be coached by the best on Feb. 21!
On January 13, Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, the Schweitzer Mountain Community Association is putting on quite the Northern Lights show! It starts with a torchlight parade down the Jam Session run. Then the whole village lights up with a phenomenal fireworks show. Afterwards, head to Taps for live music and a good party. “That’s right,” says Dig Chrismer, Marketing Manager, “North Idaho style is all the good stuff in life.”
On January 20, Snowsports Industries of America’s Winter Trails Day, Schweitzer will be offering free access to their Nordic trails and giving everyone the opportunity to learn about cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking. “Trails offer children and adults across the country the chance to discover the great fitness benefits of these easy-to-learn sports,” says Chrismer. Check out the free Learn to Cross Country Ski Event happening the same day!
She Jumps will be at Schweitzer February 25 promoting women connecting to the outdoors and each other, and learning about all things outdoors and snowy. The day is retro-themed, and a prize will be awarded to the most creative costume. Proceeds will go to SheJumps.org to fund low-cost educational and social events for women and free youth programs.
January is “Learn to Ski & Snowboard” month. Learn to ski or ride in three days (your choice of days) for $99. You’ll get lift tickets, a lesson, and rental equipment each day. Plus, when you’re done, you receive a complimentary season pass for the rest of the winter.
Lookout also invites you and your family to a day of music, fun, and…wife carrying? Their Winter Carnival and Family Fun Day on January 14 will include a 3-legged race, egg-carrying contest, face painting, snowman contest, and a 100-foot sprint for men carrying their wives “Estonian style or Piggyback.” First place wins his wife’s weight in cash. No entry fee required.
The skinning and fat bike race—Up, Down, Round & Round—happens on February 25. The $15 entry fee includes a lunch voucher, a number plate, and entry into three categories: two laps of alpine or splitboard, two laps fat bike, or one lap of alpine or splitboard followed by one lap of fat bike. Sponsored by Bicycle Sales & Service, Wallace Brewing, Trail Maniacs, and Mountain Gear, this race is guaranteed to be one of the most exhausting yet entertaining events of the season.
It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Jackass Ski Bowl on Silver Mountain. Celebrate on Jan. 5 with “retro-priced” lift tickets ($12), fireworks, night skiing, Jam 4 Cans Rail Jam, best retro outfit contest, canned food drive, a worthy birthday cake, and live music from Yesterday’s Cake at Mogul’s Lounge. All donated food will go to the Shoshone County Food Bank.
The Doug E. Fresh Weekend is back on Jan. 27 and is sponsored by the Ski Shack. Doug Johnson was a fixture in the Inland Northwest ski and bike industry, and each year this event celebrates his memory and raises money for his kids and family. This year, the old-school terrain competition has a new location for easier spectator access. Continuing the festivities, the bar will be open until 11 p.m. that night, and The Rub will be playing live music.
From Feb. 10-11, Silver will be putting on a comprehensive Backcountry Weekend, the Wardner Peak Uphill Downhill Race. //