The first snowflakes have landed. Now make the most of the days before the lifts start running!
By Whil Wheaton
For many of us, skiing and snowboarding—whether it’s riding lifts, backcountry, or Nordic trails—is a way of life. Savor and prepare for the days leading up to your first skiing moments of the season by getting your mind, body and spirit ready for the cold, sensory explosion that is sliding on snow.
Pray for Snow Party at Perry Street Brewing Friday Nov. 17
Does praying for snow really help? Nobody really knows, but it can’t hurt! Don’t miss the 8th annual Pray for Snow bash at Spokane’s Perry Street Brewing (PSB), a festive kickoff to the ski and snowboard season and a Spokane tradition. Expect great beer, retro and colorful ski attire, and high-energy antics, with ski movies on the big screen, legendary ‘80s tunes blaring from the speakers, and a snow dance-off with RED Mountain and Silver Mountain lift tickets and PSB gift cards awarded to the best dancers. Electric Photoland will be back this year with its photo booth so you can capture all of that costume craziness.
The whole fabulous, festive spectacle is also a benefit for a couple of great local causes. A raffle fundraiser benefitting the South Perry Neighborhood’s T.E.A.M. Grant puts some sweet prizes up for grabs. Pony up for a chance to win one of two grand prizes, a $699-value ski package and a ski/snowboard apparel package, both donated by the South Hill’s one and only Spokane Alpine Haus.
New this year, says PSB owner Ben Lukes, the special Pray for Snow beer release will be the Haute Laps Hazy IPA. “At 6% and packed full of cryo-frozen fresh hops from Yakima, it is lush, hazy, and dank,” says Lukes. Take home a limited-edition ski-art pint glass with a one-beer fill for $15. Pint glass proceeds benefit the Silver Mountain volunteer ski patrol. More info at Perrystreetbrewing.com.
Get Fit at Free Powder-Ready Ski & Snowboard Strengthening Workshops
This fall, Spokane’s Northwest Mobile PT is offering its third season of ski/board “Powder Ready” strengthening workshops. There are currently two free sessions planned for November and more to come in early December if there’s enough interest. Each session will focus on instruction in proper technique of the best ski/snowboard exercises followed by a training workout. Powder Ready sessions are set for Nov. 7 (11:15 a.m. and 7 p.m.) at the Wellness Center at North Park and Nov. 14(11:50 a.m. and 7 p.m.) at the Wellness Center at Central Park.
“We’re also doing a special promotion for skiers and boarders to get a discounted preseason eval/work up to make sure that all systems are in order for the season,” says Northwest Mobile PT doctor Trey Nichols. “Kind of like a general maintenance that you would do on your car before a big road trip.” More info at Nwmobilept.com/events.
Gear Up at the Sandpoint & Moscow, Idaho Ski Swaps
The Mt. Spokane Ski Swap already happened the last weekend of October, but there is still time to hit up the region’s two remaining swaps. Find great deals on skis and snowboards along with a huge variety of winter recreational equipment and clothing at both of these long-time swaps. Or reach out to organizers to turn your used gear into cash.
The SARS Sandpoint Ski Swap is set for Nov. 11 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Bonner County Fairgrounds in Sandpoint, Idaho. Admission is $5 per person or $10 per family. This annual event benefits the SARS’s ski racing and freeride programs for almost 300 local and regional athletes ages 5 and up. More info: Sars.snowproportal.com.
Down south in the Palouse, the 48th Annual Outdoor Equipment Sale and Swap will take place at the MAC Court Student Recreation Center on the University of Idaho campus in Moscow, Idaho, on Thursday, November 9 from 6-8 p.m. Entry is only $5 when the swap opens with discount entry later in the evening. U of I students and children under 12 are free, and all proceeds support the Vandal Ski Team. Call the University of Idaho Outdoor Program at 208-885-6810 for more info.
Tune Your Skis or Board
Get more attune with your ski or board by learning to tune up the base and edges yourself. Find ski tuning kits, wax, and other tuning gear at many local ski shops and some great tutorials, if you need them, online. Check out MountainFlow’s plant-based ski wax and full ski wax kits for a cool, sustainable ski tune set up.
Binge-watch Ski & Snowboard Films
Every season, I watch at least a couple of my all-time favorite ski and ski culture films (“Scapple,” “Valhalla,” “Sinners,” “Afterglow,” and “All.I.Can”). Rally a few friends (of the human or beverage variety) and get inspired and feel more connected to the broader community of shredders with vision out there.
Spokane’s Magic Lantern Theater downtown Spokane also has a great snow sports film playing in November. The film “Full Circle,” which opens Nov. 10, features the story of Trevor Kennison, a plumber by trade and snowboarder only by hobby, who broke his back snowboarding in the Colorado backcountry in 2014. Wheelchair bound, his future was filled with uncertainty. In 2019, he showed up as an unknown amateur in Jackson Hole Wyoming and became the first sit-skier to launch into Corbet’s Couloir at the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s competition. His death-defying 60-foot leap of faith went viral and launched his career as a professional athlete. More importantly, it earned him a spiritual mentor. //
Wil Wheaton’s mom had an “I’d rather be shopping at Nordstrom” bumper sticker on her car when he was a kid. He would rather be skiing and has the bumper sticker on his van to prove it.
Cover Photo Courtesy Northwest Mobile PT