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Geophysical Ski Tour

Trip date: 01/20/2007
Reported by: Frank Slak

Leaders: Ron and Jane McDonald. Skiers: Lou and Frank Slak, Lisa Giegel, Ken Ratz and Debb Hansen
Responding to a request for some additional ski-touring at different locations, long-time members Ron and Jane McDonald led a group of seven Mountaineers on a “soft-core” tour over the Geophysical Nordic Ski and Mountain Bike Trails northeast of Newport on January 20, 2007.
Six fresh inches of snow were still accumulating when the group left the Spokane Valley, but by the time they reached their destination, the snow had stopped, the air was calm and there was fresh powder to explore.
The trails are groomed once a week (and the groomer arrived during the middle of our ski), and they encompass 10.6 kilometers with a slight elevation change of only 100 feet. Mostly flat, the system does have some rolling hills with a few short steep pitches for variety. While there are some open areas, most of the trails lie in thickly timbered areas of fir and ponderosa pine. According to the State Parks handout, the area lies within a wildlife winter range area that increases a skier’s chance of seeing wildlife although noe of us saw any.
The trails can accommodate skate and classic skiers and were newly constructed or reconstructed in 1992-93. There is a nice parking area maintained by Pend Oreille County, and a Sno-Park permit is required. No motorized vehicles or dogs are allowed on the trail system; neither is snow-shoeing.