The Adventure Guys

The inside story on outside recreation for South Puget Sound and beyond

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Archives: Dec. 2010


The News Tribune and Olympian to launch Fitness column Dec. 26 – just in time to help with your New Year’s resolutions

Earlier this month I spent a week working out at Graham CrossFit researching one of the hottest workout programs in fitness. The intense, rapid-fire workouts  might be just what you’re looking for to reach that New Year’s resolution to get fit in 2011.

CrossFit will be the subject of the first Fitness Column, when the new weekly feature appears starting Dec. 26 in The News Tribune and The Olympian.

The Fitness Column will appear each Sunday in print and on our websites, but be sure to check back here on the Adventure Guys blog for more regular commentaries,

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Crystal Mountain gondola opening delayed again after cable stretches

The opening of the new gondola at Crystal Mountain ski area has been delayed for the third time.

Crystal Mountain spokeswoman Tiana Enger says the opening will be moved back “at least a week” after the cable stretched over three feet during load testing. It is not unusual for the cable to stretch, but it “stretched beyond the acceptable amount,” Enger siad.

Enger says the cable will need to be re-spliced.  The gondola was set to open Thursday.  A new opening date has not been announced. The ski area had originally hoped to unveil the gondola Dec. 10.

The $5.5

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REI announces plans to open Olympia store

REI  announced this morning its plans to open a new store in Olympia next spring. The two-story, 25,000 square-foot store will be located off Cooper Point Road at Westfield Capital Shopping Mall. Company officials say they expect to hire about 50 people to work at the store.

The Olympia store will be the eighth western Washington REI location, serving more than 384,000 active members in the Puget Sound area. The other stores are located in Tacoma, Alderwood, Bellingham, Issaquah, Redmond, Seattle and Tukwila. The Tacoma store is about 23,000 square feet.

According to the company, more than 9,000 REI members

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New ski terrain at White Pass leading to more skiers getting lost out of bounds; those rescued must pay $500 fine

Scott Sandsberry of the Yakima Herald-Republic reports that the new 767 acres of terrain at White Pass Ski Area has inspired skiers to find even more new terrain. As result some skiers are getting lost and need rescuing.

Here’s Sandsberry’s story:

All that new terrain on White Pass’ Paradise Basin expansion is apparently not enough for some ski area guests.

In the first 10 days Paradise Basin has been open, 14 people have gotten lost outside the boundary. Three skiers, each alone, were rescued by the White Pass Ski Patrol. Each has to pay the ski area’s well-advertised $500 rescue fee plus any incidental rescue costs. Others have made their own way to safety.

One of the rescues was east of the Basin Quad lift, on the back side of the mountain. The other two have been in the area below the Couloir Express, where they dropped down into an avalanche-prone chute backcountry skiers call the Grand Couloir.

“They don’t even know where they are,” ski patrol leader Chris Talbot said, noting that two of the rescued skiers used their cell phones to call for help. “They can’t describe how they got out (of the ski area); they’re completely clueless.

“They say things like, ‘I skied off the end of the run and got into the trees, and now I’m in some huge bowl that looks like it’s something out of (ski-film impresario) Warren Miller.’ ”
One group of six snowboarders went over the back side of the expansion area and ended up having to snowboard and hike all the way out to Clear Lake, more than seven miles away.
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Reopening of Summit East ski area at the Summit at Snoqualmie delayed

Those hoping to experience the refurbished Summit East ski area for the Holidays are going to have to wait until next month for the ski area to reopen.

Holly Lippert, spokeswoman for the Summit at Snoqualmie, says the reopening of the ski area has been delayed and resort officials now hope to have the area operating by Jan. 8.

Lippert previously said the Summit hoped to open Summit East in time for the Dec. 18-Jan. 2 holiday rush. She did not specify why the opening was delayed.

Lippert said construction of the new lifts was recently completed and load testing

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Crystal Mountain’s new Mt. Rainier Gondola opening postponed to Thursday

Those longing to ride the first gondola ever installed at a Washington ski area will have to wait one more day.

Crystal Mountain spokeswoman Tiana Enger said the unveiling of the $5.5 million lift has been delayed to Dec. 23 because load testing originally scheduled for today was postponed until Tuesday.

A ceremony is planned for 9 a.m. Thursday with service to Green Valley beginning at approximately 10 a.m., Enger said. The ceremony will include several prizes including a raffle to determine the eight people who get to ride in the first cabin.

The gondola will have 17 cabins with

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Paradise snowplay will open Saturday

As expected, Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga this afternoon announced the Paradise snowplay area will open for the season on Saturday.

Here is the rest of the news release:

The snowplay area is immediately north of the upper parking lot at Paradise. Sliding and sledding in the park is permitted ONLY in this designated area. Snowplay runs are supervised daily by Park Rangers from December 18 through January 2, then on weekends and holidays from January 8 through March 27.

Visitors may use the sled runs when the area is not staffed, but the runs are not groomed

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Crystal Mountain’s gondola set to open Wednesday

Crystal Mountain officials plan to open the new Mt. Rainier Gondola on Dec. 22. They had previously planned to open the gondola – a first for a Washington ski area – on Dec. 10.

The final testing on the gondola is planned for Dec. 20. The gondola cost $5.5 million and will transport skiers and snowboarders (and other tourists) up 2,500 feet in less than 10 minutes.

Gondola tickets will cost $8 in addition to a regular $65 lift tickets.