While we all anxiously await Thursday as the first day since New Year’s Day when we might see the sun again this year, the rain and snow continue to wreak havoc around the valley, causing damage.
Reports of low-elevation avalanches are filling social media posts, and roof slides keep people shoveling their way out of this wretched winter. At this point, I am not sure what scenario will be better, continued melting or refreezing with more snow.
This uncanny weather has also caused a series of misfortunes at the Loup Loup Ski Bowl over the weekend where power outages, tree falls and chairlift sensors left the mountain closed. Sunday, the chairlift broke down and thanks to the new crop of youth ski patrollers, the evacuation of the chair was completed with many hands. Some guests were on the chair for nearly two hours but at least the temperatures weren’t unbearable.
Congratulations to junior patrol candidates Brodi Barber, Arlen Crum, Jason Furbee, Will Halpin, Clyde McCarthy, Ila Newman, Raiff Reichert and Baker Smith for completing the comprehensive course and joining the patrol ready and able to jump and help with the chairlift evacuation.
The rain hasn’t been helping the ice rink much either as the quality of the ice gets slick and wet, not to mention getting soaked as you skate. To find a new sheet of ice and escape the rain, the local women’s hockey team, the Winthrop Vixens, ventured north across the border to Apex Mountain Resort where they competed in a two-day pond hockey tournament.
As the only American team represented in the tournament, they met some stiff competition. Since hockey is in the air Canadians breathe, let’s just say the Vixens learned a lot and had fun, which left playoff day open to hit the slopes for skiing.
Quite a few familiar faces on the slopes at Apex Mountain made for a friendly and fun home away from home feel. Of special note, Ezra Cole, son of Dani Golden and Josh Cole of Winthrop, skied his first black diamond run. Apex Mountain was also plagued by downed trees, power outages and chairlift breakdowns over the weekend, but sunshine could be found above the tree line for those able to make the journey north.
The Methow Valley Community Theater is ramping up rehearsals for “The Wizard of Oz” at the Methow Valley Community Center stage. The performance was two weeks away from curtain in 2020 when the pandemic put a screeching halt to its debut.
An all-new cast and crew will begin practices in earnest this week in preparation for the two-week run to open at the end of April. Maggie Wicken and Nadine Van Hees are co-directors while Lynette Westendorf will lead the musical accompaniment. The cast includes over 50 locals, and Mark Tesch will heading up the stage design. The Community Theater has brought opportunities for amateur performers for decades, enriching the cultural life of the valley and building lifelong friendships and memories.