By Sarah Schrock

I have been asked to dispel a rumor that the Wagner Memorial Pool won’t open this summer. I may have started the rumor in January, but to be clear: The pool will open once the necessary repairs are made.

The pool, on the eve of its 50th birthday, needs major abdominal surgery before welcoming swimmers into her belly this summer. The procedure should take a few weeks including rehab, and pool doctors along with the town’s public works staff are dealing with a moving target with regard to timing — the snowpack presents a challenge. In short, the opening day can’t be verified, but the hope is to open on schedule, typically the Saturday after school dismisses.

This is where you can help.  Friends of the Pool has raised approximately two-thirds of the required funds ($125,000 to $150,000) to complete the procedure, but more is needed. Please consider a contribution (send checks to FOP, P.O. Box 438, Twisp, WA 98856).

Volunteer help with fundraising as well as some manual labor can make this happen. Removing the current lining and gutters, and hauling and dumping debris, can be done with volunteers.  If you’ve got equipment and manpower to help this endeavor, contact Patty Yates at Friends of the Pool, me (jschrock@yahoo.com), or Lori Rodeo at public works and we will coordinate efforts.

While groundwork on the pool is a few weeks off, there’s a more-current call for volunteers for upcoming events at the Loup Loup Ski Bowl. The annual Slope Style freestyle contest is on Feb. 27 at the terrain park. The event will benefit the hill this year. To help volunteer, contact Leaf Seaburg, the terrain park guru and event organizer, at (509) 429-7298.

Working odd hours of the morning and night, Leaf and other volunteers put in four to six hours each week sculpting, shaping and designing the runways, jumps, obstacles and landings in the park. Adding new opportunities for tricks, turns and slides, Leaf is driven by a passion for the hill and freestyle snowboarding.

Leaf started the park nine years ago as an employee but has dedicated the last eight years as a volunteer. This year’s Slope Style prizes include new Lib Tech snowboards for ladies’ and gents’ divisions, as well as other goodies for skiers donated by sponsors Winthrop Mountain Sports, North Cascades Heli Ski, Hank’s Harvest Foods, Methow Cycle and Sport, OSB, TRP, KTRT, and Rocking Horse Bakery. Music and commentary by DJ Noah is sure to keep us laughing.

To register, forms can be found at www.skitheloup.com. Bring your form and $20 up to the hill before Saturday, or register on the day of the event for $25. The event starts at 10 a.m.

Mark your calendar and start forming your team for the first annual Loup Loup Multi-sport Event on March 12. Compete in downhill, Nordic and fat biking, or if you’re not up to the challenge, contact the Loup to volunteer. The relay event will be the first of its kind at the mountain, targeting skiers and bikers of all abilities. Fat bikes will be made available for those who don’t have one.

Event details are still in the works, so in the meantime get ready for the spring passes that go on sale March 1. You can use your pass for the remainder of this season (which will be the longest in years!) and the 2016-17 season. If you buy your pass before full price goes up in November, the savings for an individual are $225 or even more as you add family members to your pass. With the current snowpack you could pay off your pass in March, ski all next season, and it’s a great way to support our local mountain.

PREVIOUSLY, IN TWISP