Communal events for winter sports this season

Deacon Tuttle, Staff Reporter

Wintertime is flourishing in Ellensburg. People are collectively experiencing the outdoors through skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. There are several options and tips for those seeking these outlets of adventure. 

“We’ve got the cross-country lesson series that will be starting [Feb. 6] and then we’ve got Avalanche Beacon clinics that will be going on every Wednesday [starting Feb. 10],” [OPR] Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals employee Nathalie Gruber said . 

She said that these trips are good for anyone wanting to venture out in the winter. According to Gruber, a snow-shoe hike is also set for March 6.

“Our prices are really discounted compared to other outfitters,” Gruber said. 

Some prices for students or faculty renting from OPR include cross-country ski gear at $15, while back-country ski bundles range up to $25. 

OPR is holding a photo contest for those wanting to capture nature while out enjoying the winter season. OPR is offering a solar-charging kit and $100 card for rentals at the store and other prizes for whoever wins. Gruber said the deadline is within the next month.

Jeff Comstock is an employee for The Summit at Snoqualmie Pass. 

Comstock said the experience is thrilling, unique, and a special feeling referring to skiing. He believes the ideal days to go to the Summit are midweek, due to less people and affordable prices. 

This is his first season skiing so in his fresh perspective he says it is worth the learning curve and to push past the initial times of continuous falling. 

“We live in such a great area to do this like, not everyone has the opportunity like we do to be able to get out there and enjoy the pacific northwest,” Comstock said.

CWU senior and Business Mark Faith Gould enjoys the outdoors and her preferred sport is snowboarding. One of her favorite activities in the winter that she recommends is to hike up with friends to untouched snow.

 “Get the fresh powder kind of in the back country which is super fun because it feels super remote,” Gould said. 

Gould said when you get comfortable with snowboarding there are many options in the area, even building your own ramps in the foothills here in town. 

The best aspect of snowboarding in her mind is being up in the mountains and experiencing the neat community that comes with the sport. As for the worst of it she said the risk of injury. Gould has injured herself in the past and she said for others to pace themselves to avoid this.