The Loup Loup Ski Bowl’s Bear Mountain Luge Sledding operation will introduce two new runs as the third season of the sport is about to start.

The Loup introduced natural luge sledding to the Pacific Northwest in 2016 (that’s when I tried it; what a rush!).

Last year the winter sport grew to more than 1,000 sledding guests.

“A day of natural luge sledding includes use of a handcrafted European sled, an instructional clinic at the base area, a 45-minute Snowcat ride up Bear Mountain through spectacular alpine scenery and then a thrilling luge sledding experience down 5-6K of groomed mountain trails accompanied by your clinic instructors,” said hill manager Dave Betts.

“This year’s upgrades include two new luge sledding runs for faster sledding opportunities and less walking between segments, and a new on-line luge reservation system on our website, www.skitheloup.com.”

Reservations are highly recommended as spaces fill quickly.

Bear Mountain luge operates on weekends and through the Christmas holiday and Presidents weeks.

Loup Loup Ski Bowl is located halfway between the Okanogan and Methow valleys on Highway 20 at Loup Loup Pass.

“This 4,000-foot pass assures excellent snow conditions for alpine skiing, Nordic cross country skiing and luge sledding,” said Betts.

You can contact Betts by email at manager@skitheloup.com, or at 509-557-3401 for inquiries.

Bear Mountain Luge is operated by Loup Loup Ski Bowl, which is operated by the Loup Loup Ski Education Foundation as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and is operated under special use permit with the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

The Sitzmark Ski Club dinner and auction starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at The Kuhler in Tonasket. Funds raised will help defray the cost of the youth ski/snowboard programs that Sitzmark provides.

Dinner is by presale tickets with live and silent auction items.

Contact Sandra Sutton at 509 485-2223 for more information or to donate items.

Debbie Nuehring and Norma Lawson had a round robin during Tuesday night pinochle, Dec. 3, at the Eagles in Okanogan.

High scores: 8,460, Debbie Nuehring. 8,080, Marilyn Schieffer. 7,880, Dick Fuller. 7,850, Paul Steuermann.

Partners with 300 pinochle: Jimmy Serles and Marylin Schieffer (twice); Jimmy Serles and Tim Norman; Pat Byrd and Ida Laurie; Paul Steuermann and Vicki Harlan; Vicki Harlan and Ida Laurie; Paul Steuermann and Tommye Robbins; Dee Tarnowski and Dick Fuller; Dee Tarnowski and Ida Laurie; Alvin Wadkins and Debbie Nuehring; Doug Ralston and Dee Tarnowski; Millie Jewell and Norma Lawson (twice).

Nov. 26

High Scores:

High scores: 8,190, Dick Fuller. 7,770, Buck Workman. 7,290, Doug Ralston. 7,260, Valerie Murray.

Partners with 300 pinochle: Valerie Murray and Tommye Robbins; Valerie Murray and Yank Clark; Debbie Nuehring and Gail Norman (twice); Tim Norman and Doug Ralston (twice); Norma Lawson and Bill Bruton; Alvin Wadkins and Joe Feddersen (twice).

Odessa’s Marcus King, who was voted Central Washington 1B League’s player of the year on offense and defense, led the Tigers to a record-breaking 80-26 win over Naselle in the state 1B championship Saturday.

King rushed for 380 yards on 19 carries while scoring six touchdowns for the Tigers (13-0) at Mount Tahoma Stadium in Tacoma.

The previous state 1B records were 342 rushing yards set by LaCrosse-Washtucna’s Nick Koller in 2002 and five rushing scores set by Almira/Coulee-Hartline’s Tim Hunsaker in 1990.

This was the second straight state championship and fourth overall for Odessa.

Results of the state football championships Dec. 6-7:

1B: Odessa 80, Naselle 26

2B: Onalaska 48, Kalama 30

1A: Royal 26, Lynden Christian 22

2A: Tumwater 48, Steilacoom 34

3A: Eastside Catholic 20, O’Dea 12

4A: Camas 35, Bothell 14

In a House Natural Resources Committee hearing Dec. 5, decision-makers voted to advance two critical funding priorities with long-term impacts for American sportsmen and women, reported Marnee Banks with Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

The Modernizing the Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act would allow a portion of hunting license sales and excise taxes on gear, guns, and ammunition to be used not only for conservation but also to recruit, retain and reactivate more hunters.

“State wildlife agencies have the most to lose if hunting participation continues to decline, because many of them depend entirely on Pittman-Robertson dollars, but that’s why it’s so critical that these agencies market to and educate prospective sportsmen and women,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of TRCP.

“This critical update to the original law—which was written at a time when more than half the country hunted or had access to someone who could likely show them how—would help ensure the future of our traditions and turn the tide on a looming conservation funding crisis in America.”

The committee also debated and passed the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would invest roughly $1.4 billion in proactive, voluntary conservation efforts led by states, territories, and tribal nations to prevent vulnerable wildlife from becoming endangered. This new fund could benefit up to 12,000 species, including 40 percent of the nation’s freshwater fish, that need conservation action.

“We’re thrilled to see momentum behind a new investment in conservation that recognizes the real need to get ahead of habitat challenges — rather than scramble to revive a species on the brink,” says Fosburgh. “Together, these two pieces of legislation represent a forward-thinking approach to conservation that should be applauded, and we hope to see bipartisan support on the House floor very soon.”

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing. By ensuring access to quality fish and wildlife habitat, it’s also safeguarding the $887 billion that sportsmen and women help contribute to the American economy, the group said.

The state Parks and Recreation Commission will offer two free days in January, when visitors to state parks will not need a Discover Pass for day-use visits.

The first free day is Wednesday, Jan. 1, which gives visitors the opportunity to take part in a First Day Hike, a nationwide initiative that aims to get people outdoors on New Year’s Day.

This year, more than 40 hikes are planned at dozens of state parks all over Washington. More details are in a three-part series on the State Parks blog, Adventure Awaits, starting Monday, Dec. 9, and running through Wednesday, Dec. 11.

The second free day is Monday, Jan. 20, in honor of the holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

State Parks free days are in keeping with the legislation that created the Discover Pass — a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required on lands managed by Washington State Parks and the Washington departments of natural resources, and fish and wildlife. The Discover Pass legislation provided that State Parks could designate up to 12 free days each year when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by the DNR and fish and wildlife on these days.

The next free day will be Thursday, March 19, to celebrate the state parks’ 107th birthday.

CORRECTION

A headline, story and photo caption Dec. 4 had the wrong name spelling of Omak’s Sidney Nichols, who was voted to volleyball’s first team in the Caribou Trail League.

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