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Weekend Cover Story

Strap up and head for mountains this holiday

Area surrounded by amazing locations for skiing, boarding

Published: 01:23PM December 12th, 2013
Strap up and head for mountains this holiday

Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

The Summit at Snoqualmie's Summit Central ski area offers a variety of terrain for all ski and snow boarding ability levels, including a top-to-bottom terrain park.

Looking to dust off your ski and snowboard gear? With winter comes snowfall in the mountains and area resorts are up and running for the season.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is centrally located to a wealth of mountain getaways for such activities as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tubing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

Not sure where to start? The Northwest Adventure Center on Lewis North has a variety of tours lined up this winter to get you outside in the snow.

The Summit at Snoqualmie

Located on Snoqualmie Pass, the winter resort is one of the closest to JBLM in the area and is easy to access off Interstate 90.

The NAC will lead a moonlight snowshoe excursion Dec. 27 at Snoqualmie Pass. The twilight outing is more than a mile long with 50 feet of elevation gain and is perfect for beginners. The trip is about two hours and is $35.

A cross-country ski trip is also planned Jan. 4 at Keechelus Lake near Snoqualmie Pass. Gear and basic instruction are provided for the five mile, three hour trip. Cost is $40.

Crystal Mountain

The largest resort in the state is located next to Mount Rainier National Park and is operating on its early-season hours, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The NAC is leading a ski and snowboard trip to Crystal Dec. 21. The popular family trip includes gear, which must be fitted by Dec. 20 at the NAC and does not include a lift ticket. Cost for the trip is $45 or $25 if you have your own gear.

A snowshoe trip is also scheduled for Jan. 5 at Mount Rainier to explore Glacier Vista for more than three miles.

Sign up for the NAC’s winter survival camping trip Jan. 11 to learn the basics of trip preparation, winter travel, shelter construction and winter survival basics during the overnight trip at Mount Rainier’s Paradise.

White Pass

The mountain pass is located in the Cascade Range near Central Washington and offers snowboarding and skiing for all skill levels, downhill and cross-country.

The NAC will lead a ski and snowboard outing Dec. 29 to White Pass for a day on the slopes. The trip includes lift ticket, gear and a lesson. Cost is $105 or $30 for transportation only.

Mission Ridge

Twelve miles from Wenatchee, the ski area is built into a 2,000-acre basin on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains.

The mountain is known for light powder snow and a lot of sun.

A NAC ski and snowboard trip is scheduled at Mission Ridge Jan. 11.

Mount Bachelor

If you choose to travel out of state but stay relatively close to home, Mount Bachelor is located near Bend, Ore., and is the largest ski resort in the state.

There’s More

The NAC’s other outdoor winter trips include a cross-country ski trip at Lake Easton Dec. 22. The five mile ski will combine short trails, hill and groomed trails. It’s a moderate level of difficulty and minimum age is 16. Cost is $40.

Also Dec. 22 is a snowshoe trip to Commonwealth Basin, also of moderate difficulty. The four-mile excursion includes a 2,300-foot elevation gain. Cost is $40. A snowshoe trip to Hurricane Ridge is scheduled Dec. 28. Cost is $65.

Another popular family trip is a snowmobile trip through the Cascade Mountains Jan. 4. Minimum age to drive is 16.

For more information about a trip, contact the NAC at 253-967-6263.