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Don’t let the cold weather keep you inside

Northwest Guardian

Published: 01:27PM December 10th, 2015
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Northwest Adventure Center

The Northwest Adventure Center is planning a day of snowmobiling in the Cascade Mountains Jan. 6.

More information

NAC EVENTS

• Tuesday

Sea kayak skills class

Cost: $25

Info: Offers five levels of our two-hour kayak skills class. Level one: proper paddling techniques and how to buddy-rescue. Level two: edging maneuvers and self- rescue. Level three: recovery techniques and muscle memory exercises for the roll.

• Level four: multiday kayak trip prep and t-rescue.

• Level five: the roll.

You may start at any time and master as many of the levels as you’d like. Meet at Kimbro Pool inside McVeigh Sports and Fitness Center at 7:30 p.m. Minimum age: 12.

• Dec. 19

Night photography class

Cost: $45

Info: After dark is a fun time for photography. If you’re familiar with your DSLR camera, this is a photo shoot you don’t want to miss. Head to the Tacoma Museum District for an after-dark shoot of the great lights, bridges, boats, water and buildings in the city. You can even try for car light trails and other creative tricks. Bring a tripod if possible. The Outdoor Recreation program has a limited number of DSLR cameras available. For details, email JBLMadventuretrips@gmail.com. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 7 p.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 7:15 p.m.

American Lake Christmas caroling

Cost: $15

Info: Enjoy Christmas caroling on one of our two pontoon boats. The boats will be in the water and decorated; all you need to do is come decked out in holiday cheer. Hot chocolate and snacks will be provided; purchase an optional steak dinner for $20. Preregistration required before Wednesday. There are only 20 spots available, so sign up quickly. Meet at the Russell Landing Marina at Lewis North at 6 p.m. for dinner (prepurchase required) by 7 p.m. for caroling.

• Dec. 20

Leavenworth Christmas lighting fest

Cost: $55 ages 12 and up, $30 ages 4-12, $5 ages 0-3

Info: Head over the mountains to the Bavarian town of Leavenworth for the annual Christmas lighting ceremony. Visit with Santa, Father Christmas or Saint Nicholas while exploring the different shops and boutiques. Gather around the pavilion at the end of the day to watch as thousands of colored lights turn this town into a winter wonderland. Time in town is five hours. Trip fee includes transportation only. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 10 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 10:15 a.m. Popular with families.

Snowshoe Hurricane Ridge

Cost: $65

Info: Discover the beauty of the Olympic Mountain Range. Head out on snowshoeing trails that offer something for everybody. Guide, gear, instruction and transportation provided. Minimum age: 12. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 7:45 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8 a.m. Minimum age of 12 years old.

• Dec. 27

Mountain Day at White Pass

Cost: $115

Info: Head off the beaten path to White Pass. This beautiful mountain town ski resort is your getaway from work. Ski or snowboard and get transportation, gear, two-hour lesson and full mountain lift ticket. If you prefer to snowshoe, gear and guide are provided. Call or come in to ask about cross-country skiing. Depart from McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 5:45 a.m. or Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 6 a.m. (Ski/snowboard lessons package: $115; snowshoe: $45; have your own gear/transportation only: $35). Good for families.

Seattle Aquarium/Pike Place Market

Cost: $40 ages 12 and up, $25 ages 4-12, $15 ages 3-0

Info: Head to the Seattle Aquarium and Pike Place Market with the Outdoor Recreation program. The aquarium is filled with local exhibits and tons of amazing things to see and touch. Pike Place Market has an assortment of unique food and shops for you to try. We provide the transportation; you just need to enjoy the ride. The trip fee includes parking, admission to the aquarium and fuel charge. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 9:30 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

Snowshoe Paradise

Cost: $45

Info: Discover the beauty of Mount Rainier snowshoeing trails. Travel along Mount Rainier’s Glacier Vista Trail while exploring the best route up to Panorama Point. Difficulty: moderate to difficult; distance: 3 miles; time: 3 hours. Minimum age: 12. Guide, gear, instruction and transportation provided. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 8 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8:15 a.m. Minimum age of 12 years old

• Jan. 2

Gold Creek Family Snowshoe

Cost: $35

Info: One of the easiest snowshoe hikes near Snoqualmie Pass is Gold Creek Pond. With great views to the head of Gold Creek Valley, Rampart Ridge, Chikamin Ridge and other Snoqualmie peaks, this trip is perfect for families. Gear, guide, instruction and transportation are provided. Difficulty: beginner; distance: 1.5 miles; elevation gain: 50 feet; time: 2 hours. Minimum age of 6 years old. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 9 a.m. or McChord Field’s Ad- ventures Unlimited at 9:15 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

• Jan. 3

Bella Donna intro to mountain biking

Cost: $35

Info: Ladies, if you’ve always wanted to try mountain biking, this trip is for you. Learn the basics of mountain biking and work on your new-found skills. We provide the bike, helmet, gloves and transportation. Location will be determined based on conditions. Difficulty: easy; distance: 5–6 miles; ride time: 4 hours. Minimum age: 12. Depart from McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8 a.m. or the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 8:30 a.m. Minimum age of 12 years old. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

• Jan. 9

Mountain Day at Mission Ridge

Cost: $125

Info: Tired of the rain? Travel across the mountains to central Washington for a day of skiing at the beautiful Mission Ridge Ski Resort. The ski/snowboard package includes transportation, gear, two-hour lesson, and full mountain lift ticket. Prefer to snowshoe? Gear and transportation are provided. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 5 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 5:15 a.m. (Ski/snowboard: $125; snowshoe: $55; have your own gear/transportation only: $50). Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

Bald eagle float trip

Cost: $55, add $25 for meal and souvenir cup

Info: Many people will never get to see the majestic bald eagle in its natural habitat, but on this, we could view up to 200. We’ll float down the docile Skagit River among one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles in the Lower 48. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 7 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

• Jan. 10

Snowmobile the Cascades

Cost: $170

Info: If you’re seeking the most fun-filled winter experience, check out this snowmobiling trip through the Cascade Mountains. Fun, action, beauty and excitement await you. Transportation, snowmobile, helmet, boots, gloves and snowsuit are provided. Dress in layers. Minimum age to drive is 16 years old. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 8 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8:15 a.m. Preregistration required before Jan. 6. ($170; adult passengers: $125; passengers 15 and younger: $75). Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

Bella Donna snowshoe/hike Paradise

Cost: $45

Info: Discover the beauty of Mount Rainier on snowshoeing trails that offer something for every woman. Ladies-only group will travel along Mount Rainier’s Glacier Vista Trail while exploring the best route up to Panorama Point. Difficulty: moderate to difficult; time: 3 hours; distance: 3 miles. Minimum age: 12. Trip fee includes guide, gear, instruction and transportation provided. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 8 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8:15 a.m. Minimum age of 12 years old.

• Jan. 13

Military Appreciation Day at Crystal Mountain

Cost: $45, $25 for transportation online

Info: You don’t want to miss the chance to ski or ride Crystal for half-price. The trip fee includes transportation and gear. While lift tickets are not included, they can be purchased at the mountain; military discounts are now available at the resort (no need to purchase online in advance). Go to the Northwest Adventure Center prior to the trip to be fitted for your gear. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 6:45 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 7 a.m. ($45/ have your own gear/transportation only: $25). Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

• Jan. 15

Moonlight Snowshoe Gold Creek

Cost: $40

Info: Snowshoe on Snoqualmie Pass trails by the light of the moon. Gear, guide, instruction and transportation are included in the trip fee. Difficulty: beginner; distance: 1.5 miles; elevation gain: 50 feet; time: 2 hours. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 5:30 p.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 5:45 p.m. Minimum age of 12 years old.

• Jan. 16

Bella Donna bald eagle float trip

Cost: $55, add $25 for meal and souvenir cup

Info: On this ladies-only trip, we’ll float down the Skagit River in a large, stable raft among one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles in the Lower 48 (we could view up to 200). Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 7 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

• Jan. 17

Bavarian Ice Fest

Cost: $55 ages 11 and up, $25 ages 6-11, $5 ages 5-0.

Info: Spend Sunday, Jan. 17 in a traditional Bavarian village sledding, eating bratwurst and shopping with the Outdoor Recreation program. At the end of the day, watch as the town is transformed into a beautiful, lighted display. This trip is fun for the entire family. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 8 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8:15 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

Snow tubing

Cost: $35 ages 12 and up, $25 ages 6-12, $5 ages 50.

Info: Travel to one of Washington’s best tubing hills for a day in the snow with the Outdoor Recreation program. Dress warmly and get ready to go for a wild ride. Tubing is a blast for all ages. Snow tubes and transportation provided. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 9 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 9:15 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

More information

NAC EVENTS

• Tuesday

Sea kayak skills class

Cost: $25

Info: Offers five levels of our two-hour kayak skills class. Level one: proper paddling techniques and how to buddy-rescue. Level two: edging maneuvers and self- rescue. Level three: recovery techniques and muscle memory exercises for the roll.

• Level four: multiday kayak trip prep and t-rescue.

• Level five: the roll.

You may start at any time and master as many of the levels as you’d like. Meet at Kimbro Pool inside McVeigh Sports and Fitness Center at 7:30 p.m. Minimum age: 12.

• Dec. 19

Night photography class

Cost: $45

Info: After dark is a fun time for photography. If you’re familiar with your DSLR camera, this is a photo shoot you don’t want to miss. Head to the Tacoma Museum District for an after-dark shoot of the great lights, bridges, boats, water and buildings in the city. You can even try for car light trails and other creative tricks. Bring a tripod if possible. The Outdoor Recreation program has a limited number of DSLR cameras available. For details, email JBLMadventuretrips@gmail.com. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 7 p.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 7:15 p.m.

American Lake Christmas caroling

Cost: $15

Info: Enjoy Christmas caroling on one of our two pontoon boats. The boats will be in the water and decorated; all you need to do is come decked out in holiday cheer. Hot chocolate and snacks will be provided; purchase an optional steak dinner for $20. Preregistration required before Wednesday. There are only 20 spots available, so sign up quickly. Meet at the Russell Landing Marina at Lewis North at 6 p.m. for dinner (prepurchase required) by 7 p.m. for caroling.

• Dec. 20

Leavenworth Christmas lighting fest

Cost: $55 ages 12 and up, $30 ages 4-12, $5 ages 0-3

Info: Head over the mountains to the Bavarian town of Leavenworth for the annual Christmas lighting ceremony. Visit with Santa, Father Christmas or Saint Nicholas while exploring the different shops and boutiques. Gather around the pavilion at the end of the day to watch as thousands of colored lights turn this town into a winter wonderland. Time in town is five hours. Trip fee includes transportation only. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 10 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 10:15 a.m. Popular with families.

Snowshoe Hurricane Ridge

Cost: $65

Info: Discover the beauty of the Olympic Mountain Range. Head out on snowshoeing trails that offer something for everybody. Guide, gear, instruction and transportation provided. Minimum age: 12. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 7:45 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8 a.m. Minimum age of 12 years old.

• Dec. 27

Mountain Day at White Pass

Cost: $115

Info: Head off the beaten path to White Pass. This beautiful mountain town ski resort is your getaway from work. Ski or snowboard and get transportation, gear, two-hour lesson and full mountain lift ticket. If you prefer to snowshoe, gear and guide are provided. Call or come in to ask about cross-country skiing. Depart from McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 5:45 a.m. or Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 6 a.m. (Ski/snowboard lessons package: $115; snowshoe: $45; have your own gear/transportation only: $35). Good for families.

Seattle Aquarium/Pike Place Market

Cost: $40 ages 12 and up, $25 ages 4-12, $15 ages 3-0

Info: Head to the Seattle Aquarium and Pike Place Market with the Outdoor Recreation program. The aquarium is filled with local exhibits and tons of amazing things to see and touch. Pike Place Market has an assortment of unique food and shops for you to try. We provide the transportation; you just need to enjoy the ride. The trip fee includes parking, admission to the aquarium and fuel charge. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 9:30 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

Snowshoe Paradise

Cost: $45

Info: Discover the beauty of Mount Rainier snowshoeing trails. Travel along Mount Rainier’s Glacier Vista Trail while exploring the best route up to Panorama Point. Difficulty: moderate to difficult; distance: 3 miles; time: 3 hours. Minimum age: 12. Guide, gear, instruction and transportation provided. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 8 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8:15 a.m. Minimum age of 12 years old

• Jan. 2

Gold Creek Family Snowshoe

Cost: $35

Info: One of the easiest snowshoe hikes near Snoqualmie Pass is Gold Creek Pond. With great views to the head of Gold Creek Valley, Rampart Ridge, Chikamin Ridge and other Snoqualmie peaks, this trip is perfect for families. Gear, guide, instruction and transportation are provided. Difficulty: beginner; distance: 1.5 miles; elevation gain: 50 feet; time: 2 hours. Minimum age of 6 years old. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 9 a.m. or McChord Field’s Ad- ventures Unlimited at 9:15 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

• Jan. 3

Bella Donna intro to mountain biking

Cost: $35

Info: Ladies, if you’ve always wanted to try mountain biking, this trip is for you. Learn the basics of mountain biking and work on your new-found skills. We provide the bike, helmet, gloves and transportation. Location will be determined based on conditions. Difficulty: easy; distance: 5–6 miles; ride time: 4 hours. Minimum age: 12. Depart from McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8 a.m. or the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 8:30 a.m. Minimum age of 12 years old. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

• Jan. 9

Mountain Day at Mission Ridge

Cost: $125

Info: Tired of the rain? Travel across the mountains to central Washington for a day of skiing at the beautiful Mission Ridge Ski Resort. The ski/snowboard package includes transportation, gear, two-hour lesson, and full mountain lift ticket. Prefer to snowshoe? Gear and transportation are provided. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 5 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 5:15 a.m. (Ski/snowboard: $125; snowshoe: $55; have your own gear/transportation only: $50). Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

Bald eagle float trip

Cost: $55, add $25 for meal and souvenir cup

Info: Many people will never get to see the majestic bald eagle in its natural habitat, but on this, we could view up to 200. We’ll float down the docile Skagit River among one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles in the Lower 48. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 7 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

• Jan. 10

Snowmobile the Cascades

Cost: $170

Info: If you’re seeking the most fun-filled winter experience, check out this snowmobiling trip through the Cascade Mountains. Fun, action, beauty and excitement await you. Transportation, snowmobile, helmet, boots, gloves and snowsuit are provided. Dress in layers. Minimum age to drive is 16 years old. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 8 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8:15 a.m. Preregistration required before Jan. 6. ($170; adult passengers: $125; passengers 15 and younger: $75). Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

Bella Donna snowshoe/hike Paradise

Cost: $45

Info: Discover the beauty of Mount Rainier on snowshoeing trails that offer something for every woman. Ladies-only group will travel along Mount Rainier’s Glacier Vista Trail while exploring the best route up to Panorama Point. Difficulty: moderate to difficult; time: 3 hours; distance: 3 miles. Minimum age: 12. Trip fee includes guide, gear, instruction and transportation provided. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 8 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8:15 a.m. Minimum age of 12 years old.

• Jan. 13

Military Appreciation Day at Crystal Mountain

Cost: $45, $25 for transportation online

Info: You don’t want to miss the chance to ski or ride Crystal for half-price. The trip fee includes transportation and gear. While lift tickets are not included, they can be purchased at the mountain; military discounts are now available at the resort (no need to purchase online in advance). Go to the Northwest Adventure Center prior to the trip to be fitted for your gear. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 6:45 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 7 a.m. ($45/ have your own gear/transportation only: $25). Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

• Jan. 15

Moonlight Snowshoe Gold Creek

Cost: $40

Info: Snowshoe on Snoqualmie Pass trails by the light of the moon. Gear, guide, instruction and transportation are included in the trip fee. Difficulty: beginner; distance: 1.5 miles; elevation gain: 50 feet; time: 2 hours. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 5:30 p.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 5:45 p.m. Minimum age of 12 years old.

• Jan. 16

Bella Donna bald eagle float trip

Cost: $55, add $25 for meal and souvenir cup

Info: On this ladies-only trip, we’ll float down the Skagit River in a large, stable raft among one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles in the Lower 48 (we could view up to 200). Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 7 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

• Jan. 17

Bavarian Ice Fest

Cost: $55 ages 11 and up, $25 ages 6-11, $5 ages 5-0.

Info: Spend Sunday, Jan. 17 in a traditional Bavarian village sledding, eating bratwurst and shopping with the Outdoor Recreation program. At the end of the day, watch as the town is transformed into a beautiful, lighted display. This trip is fun for the entire family. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 8 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 8:15 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

Snow tubing

Cost: $35 ages 12 and up, $25 ages 6-12, $5 ages 50.

Info: Travel to one of Washington’s best tubing hills for a day in the snow with the Outdoor Recreation program. Dress warmly and get ready to go for a wild ride. Tubing is a blast for all ages. Snow tubes and transportation provided. Depart from the Northwest Adventure Center at Lewis North at 9 a.m. or McChord Field’s Adventures Unlimited at 9:15 a.m. Good for families. Accommodates people with exceptional needs.

Go backcountry skiing, snow tubing, kayaking and more with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Northwest Adventure Center this winter and into the new year.

Every year, the center provides various winter activities for service members and their family members to experience in the Pacific Northwest.

“We have scheduled trips and also (offer) private trips depending on what someone wants to do,” said Brad Hinton, NAC recreation programmer. “Honestly, if there’s enough interest and people for an activity, the sky’s the limit and we’re willing to do anything we can.”

One of the most popular events is snowshoeing.

“We snowshoe at night in the mountains, and it totally changes your perspective because the snow gives off a different light in the moonlight,” Hinton said.

Military Appreciation Days at Crystal Mountain and Stevens Pass is also popular.

“Everything is half price or extremely discounted on those days,” he said.

According to Hinton, snow tubing is an obvious favorite for families.

“They’re big car (tire) tubes, but on the inside there’s a nice nylon liner so they can go super fast,” Hinton said. “It’s basically ultimate sledding.”

Any military ID cardholder can attend these events and can bring up to four guests.

Something new at the center is the JBLM Alpine Club, which is a new group that implements three-division alpine mountaineering, rock climbing and backcountry skiing.

“We’re doing it in a club format as a social component. (At) the end result after two years of training, you’ll be able to climb on your own and keep coming back to us for additional improvements,” said John Dorman, JBLM recreation specialist mountain guide.

The JBLM Northwest Adventure Center plans to offer 40 hours of skill-based education that includes an overnight trip to the mountains to practice those skills. Dorman said he hopes to run about 10 trips to Mount Rainier over the summer and in-between — also going to Mount Baker, Mount Hood and Mount Stuart.

“Near the end of December, we plan to do some backcountry skiing and alpine touring to get away from lift lines. We can get up higher to ski on good snow and get people into the wilderness,” Dorman said. “We have millions of acres out here, so we should use it.”

The club covers all three activities; people can sign up which ones they want or take all of them.

The first club meeting will be next year in January and next class in February.

“The military mindset is more comfortable for me, so it’s nice to work around (service members), and it’s awesome to get up here and help them get out in the outdoors,” Dorman said. “When I was here at JBLM, they didn’t have something like this, and I’ve been an avid climber for the past 20 years.”

For more information and to see a list of upcoming events, visit jblmmwr.com/nw_adv_ctr. For the monthly Focus Magazine that also features a list of upcoming events throughout JBLM, visit jblmmwr.com/focus.html. Advanced registration for events is required.

To contact NAC, call 253-967-6263, email JBLMAdventuretrips

@gmail.com or visit facebook.com/See

YouOutsideJBLM.

The NAC is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Building 8050 on NCO Beach Road on Lewis North.

Christina Crea: 360-219-5418, @CreaNWGuardian