By Sarah Schrock

After a dry and cold start, it’s finally shaping up to be a proper snowy winter. The groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter with the temps holding out, so we can hold on to it a bit longer before the inevitable thaw. As a skiing buddy said after a backcountry tour on Sunday, “love it while it lasts.”

The same can be said for my morning cup of coffee. Savoring every sip, holding on to the bitter comfort it gives me knowing that soon the frantic race of the day will ensue. Once it’s gone, like the snow, it marks a time of transition. 

Thanks to the snow, we have had several late school starts this year, prolonging the chaos and leaving time for the second cup. Though this can be an inconvenience on a lot of families, the late starts, especially on Monday, offer a bit of grace to ease into the week. The late start is aptly welcome after a busy Super Bowl Sunday.

It seems like Super Bowl Sunday is always full of hustle and bustle. Women took the trails in Mazama in support of Room One for the fourth annual Ski for Women. Initially conceived to raise awareness of domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday and offer an alternative for women who would prefer to opt out of the testosterone rush of the game, this year’s ski was a Disney character theme. Lunch and snacks were provided by the Freestone Inn and the event attracted women of all ages and ski abilities. Heidi Dunn, who participated with friends representing the 30-something age group, said there’s room to grow the event in all ages, but that 20s and 40s were not well represented. 

In addition to the women’s ski, the Freestyle Dance group at the Movement Studio donated all dance fees to Room One on Sunday. Freestyle Dance runs every Sunday from 9-10 a.m. in Twisp. Freestyle dance offers a cathartic release of weekly stress through tapping into physical expression, can also offer a spiritual attunement of your inner rhythm, or simply be an alternative form of physical conditioning set to your own abilities and movements.

Physical conditioning was on full display at Hank’s Harvest Foods on Sunday while Okanogan County District 6 firefighters raised $1,200 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on their stair climber. As football fans rushed in and out buying beer and wings, dedicated District 6 members stepped up their pledge to participate in the March 12 Scott Firefighters Stair Climb where they will climb 788 steps in full gear at the Columbia Tower in Seattle. You can help the member meet their fundraising goals at www.llswa.org.    

Of course, the Loup with lots of fresh snow saw tons of action this past weekend with loads of families making powder tracks before the big game. The poma lift is fully up and running after a breakdown, and the hill is fully covered, so lessons are fully functional again. The Nordic trails are in excellent condition as well. The ski patrol hosted a regional toboggan training session on Saturday and Sunday that brought in patrollers from regional ski areas. Lots of school buses have been heading up, including the fifth-graders from Methow Valley Elementary last Friday. 

With the sun a little higher in the sky during February, there’s a lot of sunny slope-side smiles. This is the time of the year when beginning skiers make huge gains and parental pride in the little mogul munchers soars. The time is now to get up there, because we gotta “love it while it lasts.”

PREVIOUSLY, IN TWISP

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