C’mon, February, we believe in you! But we just need a little indication that you’re going to deliver.
We’re not asking for much. In fact, at this point, if all you do is keep temperatures below freezing, we won’t complain. You don’t even have to provide any snowfall if you don’t feel like it (although don’t get us wrong — it’s what we really need); just keep the temperature in the freeze zone.
All forms of outdoor winter recreation are suffering at press time. While knitting, Netflix, and Nintendo may be trending high on the winter hobbies list, we’d all sure love a bit of skating, skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, sleigh riding, and serious snowfall.
All hail those who undertook the fundraising effort to install refrigeration at the Winthrop Rink! The ice is holding in there, even while the pavement in the lower parking lot is crumbling. Park up above, please, unless you have a handicap parking tag. The usual activities are available at the rink this week, from open skate to hockey: winthroprink.org/.
Loup Loup Ski Bowl is operational, but can’t groom until temperatures drop below freezing again. The team is working hard to preserve the snowpack to extend the season as long as possible: skitheloup.com
Fat biking’s banner season this is not — at least not yet. Riding on soft trails causes damage that’s hard to repair. If you’re sinking in more than 1 inch (and how could you not be?), please go back to the trailhead and ride another day. Check www.facebook.com/methowfatbike for grooming updates.
Methow Cycle & Sport provides the most comprehensive list of fat biking trails and conditions in the Methow Valley. Visit www.methowcyclesport.com/articles/fat-bike-grooming-report-pg184.htm for more information and trail suggestions. Parking passes are required.
Conditions on the valley floor in the Methow Trails trail system are pretty rough, with lots of exposed dirt. Higher up, trails in Mazama, Sun Mountain and the Rendezvous are in surprisingly good condition, except in places that get a lot of sun exposure, like areas just out of the Gunn Ranch trailhead. In the trees, pine cones, needles, and other woody debris are making the trails a bit dirty and sticky. Still, there is pretty good skiing to be had.
The Feb. 10 Ski to the Sun Marathon and Relay course has been modified, and the Tour of the Methow and Doggie Dash will likely need to be as well.
Nordic conditions at the Loup are what one friend described as “an exciting obstacle course,” due to repeated freeze-thaw cycles. Grooming generally happens four times weekly, but at some point reworking the same old tired snow just stops being effective. Check grooming reports at skitheloup.com/nordic-skiing.
The Methow Valley Snowmobile Association (MVSA) 2024 Bucket Run is still on the schedule for Saturday (Feb. 10) at the 8-Mile Sno Park. This family-friendly game of chance is open to sled heads around the region to ride the loop for a chance to win some awesome prizes,” the MVSA website says: mvsnowmobile.blogspot.com/, www.facebook.com/methowvalleysnowmobile.
The warm weather has not been kind to the icepack. Play it safe; drill a hole before venturing out onto the ice. The Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends waiting until ice is 4 inches thick for ice fishing, and 9 inches for snowmobiling.
You hardly need snowshoes with the light snowpack, but winter walking opportunities on the snow abound. Trail info at methowtrails.org/conditions.