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Hiker Headlines: Snow and Avalanche Safety, Outdoor Access for Veterans, Park Survey, Muddy Trails

Posted by cwakenshaw at Nov 12, 2020 12:50 PM |

It’s November 12. Trip reporters are sharing details about winter conditions on trail. A discounted avalanche safety course will be offered this winter for folks who self-identify as BIPOC. Two big wins for veterans were announced this week: free access to National Parks, and a bill to expand outdoor therapy as a treatment for PTSD. Clark County Parks wants your input for future planning. And, a reminder that Spokane County Parks trails are closed when muddy. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.

It’s November 12. Trip reporters are sharing details about winter conditions on trail. A discounted avalanche safety course will be offered this winter for folks who self-identify as BIPOC. Two big wins for veterans were announced this week. Clark County Parks wants your input for future planning. And, a reminder that Spokane County Parks trails are closed when muddy. Here’s some news you might have missed while out on trail this week.

Skyline lake Snowshoe. Photo by thebrink.
A snowy hike at Skyline Lake. Photo by thebrink. 

Snow is here to stay: Winter conditions are dynamic and varied throughout the state. Trip reports are one of the best sources of up-to-date information. Take these two reports from yesterday, one from trip reporter mountain.katrina who gives a great description of the road and trail to Comet Falls, and one from trip reporter thebrink to Skyline Lake, where he talks of the importance of not pushing beyond your skill level. Read recent trip reports and brush up on our winter safety tips before heading out.

Discounted BIPOC avalanche course: Courses and trainings are a great way to gain the skills needed for safe winter travel in the backcountry. Climbers of Color teamed up with Mountain Madness and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education to offer a discounted course for folks who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color).   

Outdoor access for veterans: Veteran’s Day this year was marked by two shifts in federal policy that will grant greater access to the outdoors for veterans going forward. Admission to national parks and other lands managed by the Department of Interior will now be free for military veterans and Gold Star Families. And this week, a bill to expand outdoor recreation as a treatment for veterans with PTSD was approved by congress. The bill was cosponsored by Representative Adam Smith of Washington.

Clark County park survey: Give your input on which projects should be prioritized in the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan, which will guide park management for Clark County for the next 6 years. Take the short survey ASAP because it will close at midnight on November 15.

Spokane County Parks trails closed when muddy: Certain trails are closed to the public when there are muddy conditions, which prevents lasting damage. These conditions are more prevalent in the shoulder seasons of fall and spring when the freeze/thaw cycle leaves trails in a fragile state. Pay attention to signage at trailheads and be extra careful on new trails. Some areas to pay close attention to are the Saltese Uplands, Iller Creek, and the Glenrose Unit. Please respect these closures.


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