The Adventure Guys

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

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Archives: Jan. 2011


67-year-old Olalla man dies after accident at Crystal Mountain

The unedited version of a story that will appear in tomorrow’s News Tribune and Olympian:

A 67-year-old Olalla man died Friday, two days after falling while skiing in Crystal Mountain’s new terrain park

Don Burkhart, an avid outdoorsman and expert skier, reportedly severed his spinal cord and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. A hospital nurse confirmed his death on Friday night.

According to a family friend, the family had been waiting for some relatives to travel to Seattle before removing Burkhart from life support.

Crystal Mountain has not had an inbounds skiing-related fatality in almost eight years.

“Don was a good man and he was very athletic,” said Richard Wheeler, Burkhart’s friend and former skiing partner. “He climbed Mount Rainier and stayed in good shape. He was a husband, a father, a grandfather and a wonderful friend.”

Burkhart was skiing in the terrain park Wednesday morning when he went over a roller and fell, said Paul Baugher, director of Crystal’s ski patrol.

“He landed wrong, fell hard and suffered a catastrophic injury,”  Baugher said.

While he was skiing in the enclosed Sasquatch Jib Park, Burkhart was not using the box and rail features when he fell, Baugher said. The terrain park has no jumps and was built in December on an intermediate run called Mr. Magoo, Baugher said.

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The latest on Summit East, but no specifics on the opening from the Summit at Snoqualmie

The Summit at Snoqualmie posted this update about Summit East today:

While we are finishing off the final wiring of the control systems over the next couple days, our crews have begun the extensive process of testing the various components of both chairs. East Peak’s evacuation drive was tested today and performed perfectly. Tomorrow, the electric motor will be tested and used to run the chair for a minimum of 6 hours. Saturday, our plan is to test our full power diesel backup drive, again for a minimum of 6 hours. Sunday more extensive tests will be done on the

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First Columbia River spring chinook caught

That cheer you might be hearing from the Columbia River is the reaction to the news that the first spring chinook are showing up.

Joe Hymer, a state Department of Fish and Wildlife fish biologist, said two springers have been caught this week.

The first fish was caught in Zone 2, between the Pacific-Wahkiakum county line and Wahkiakum-Cowlitz county line. The 18-pound fish, a lower river stock spring chinook, was caught during the commercial white sturgeon fishery, but regulations allow adipose fin clipped salmon to be sold. The salmon sold for $16 a pound, Hymer said.

The second spring

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Klondike park will hold jazz concert, exhibit

Not all national park units are about preserving scenic vistas or wildlife. Here is an announcement from Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle with a slightly different angle.

Jump into jazz at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park will be held 6-8 p.m. Feb. 3.

Grace Holden, the daughter of jazz legend Oscar Holden, and friends will perform classic jazz from the Seattle “Jackson Street Era” to help launch the opening of the temporary exhibit “Jazz Returns to Jackson Street.”

Admission is free and the public is invited.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is located at 319

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State announces closure of major North Puget Sound rivers because of poor steelhead returns

After closure of fishing in several South Sound river systems, today’s announcement that the major North Sound systems will also be closed should come as no surprise. In fact, North Sound fishing guru Mike Chamberlain of Ted’s Sports Center said he heard the closures were coming when I talked to him this morning while doing Wednesday’s fishing report.

Any way, here is the news …

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced that fishing for steelhead and other game fish will be closed next week in the Nooksack, Snohomish, Stillaguamish and Skagit river systems, as well as several

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Fitness columnist overcomes fear of Zumba

I stepped way out of my comfort zone recently and took a Zumba class. I have no rhythm so I figured this would be embarrassing, but I was wrong.  Don’t get me wrong, I was terrible. But the instructors at Zumba Maniacs made me feel comfortable. So why was doing this? I’ve been told by fitness pros that many people don’t like to try group fitness classes – even though they are often free at their local gyms – because they don’t want to embarrass themselves. I want to prove that these classes are very welcoming to first-timers even

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No entrance fees at national parks for holiday weekend

Entrance fees will be waived at Mount Rainier and Olympic national park and all other national parks the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend.

Saturday through Monday are the first of 17 days this year when the National Park Service will not charge for entrance fees.

At Mount Rainier, the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise will be open during the weekend, as well as the snowplay area. Guided snowshoe walks will be conducted on all three days. The National Park Inn and General Store at Longmire will also be open offering food service, lodging, gifts, and snacks.

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White, Carbon, Green and upper Puyallup to close to fishing effective Sunday

Poor returns of wild steelhead have led the state to close the White, Carbon, upper Puyallup and lower Green rivers to fishing for all game fish effective Sunday. The upper Green River, above the 277th Street bridge, will close on Feb. 1.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife made the announcements a short time ago.

The forecast for wild steelhead runs in these rivers is well below the spawning goals, state fishery managers said. The closures will reduce the incidental hooking mortalities of Puget Sound wild steelhead, which are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

The closures

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