Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ice Rink Dedication

Winthrop's award-winning Ice Rink was officially dedicated December 28th. Mark Robertson gave a touching history of ice skating in the valley and recognized all the individuals that have made this public facility so incredible. Hundreds of locals and visitors turned out for the event. The ice rink is open everyday and the schedule of skating events can be found here. Thank you to everyone who helped make this outdoor sports complex a reality!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 Ski Rodeo Photos

Thank you to all our sponsors, especially our presenting sponsor Nordic Ultratune, for a great 2008 Rodeo. See you in a couple of weeks for our MVSTA Pursuit January 10 and 11th.

Friday, December 26, 2008

World Cup Recommendations

We hope everyone had a great Christmas and is now anxiously awaiting the Ski Rodeo on Saturday. We ran into Mark and Margaret Waechter, of Nordic Ultratune stepping out from their back door onto the trail Christmas morn to test the Rodeo race course. We had a great ski and the course is race ready. Mark has posted his wax recommendations for the race here. Be sure to check it again early Saturday morning before the race as well. Mark will be at the start area Saturday morning and if you have ever met a World Cup Wax Technician you know they don't just come to watch. As the Ski Rodeo presenting sponsor, Mark might just have more than wax recommendations to dispense race morning. Come early to check it out!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winning is everything....

...or maybe not? At the Ski Rodeo on Saturday we are going to celebrate the winners but we also are going to celebrate everything that skiing means to you and your family. Nordic Ultratune will be awarding the middle of the pack skier with a Nordic Ultratune grind and wax and everyone will be eligible for fabulous prizes from Nordic Utratune, Toko, Winthrop Mountain Sports, Old School House Brewery and others. Don't forget the new 5K chariot/pulk division...will it be our largest field? Finally you are welcome to wear a fun hat or dress up in any way you want. Let's make it fun for the spectators too.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ahhhh, Coffee

We love coffee! What skier doesn't? The Methow Valley is blessed with a number of fabulous coffee roasters. One in particular that we enjoy is Mukilteo Coffee. Gary and Beth Smith, owners of Mukilteo Coffee have been huge supporters of MVSTA. For years they have been naming a variety of their coffee roasts after ski and bike trails in the Methow Valley and donating a $1 per bag to MVSTA. If you haven't had the opportunity to try their coffee we will be serving it at all the MVSTA ski events this winter. Savor the coffee named after your favorite ski trail and please, support Mukilteo Coffee which in turn supports MVSTA.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Profile on Sam Naney, MVSTA Ski Ambassador

This year represents a renaissance of sorts for me; after two years of struggling training and racing I have completed a very successful dryland training season under my coach, Scott Johnston. My primary goal lies in a strong result at US Nationals, especially in the sprint competition. Following that I am looking towards qualifying for the Pre-Olympic World Cup at Callaghan Valley, B.C., and to garner some top results in the later season SuperTour competitions in the Midwest and New England. I take great pride in being MVSTA's and the Methow's representative on the professional circuit and hope to do the valley proud by my accomplishments!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jack frost nipping at your nose

...and at our toes. It is a toe warmer day but the sun is out and we have snow! The cold isn't stopping people from enjoying the groomed trails at Sun Mountain and Kilpchuck. These women were first on the trails this morning, but they had to be. The woman second from left is getting married at 4:30pm this afternoon at Sun Mountain! Congratulations to her and to everyone who is out enjoying the trails.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Operators are standing by

We are wishin', hopin', and prayin' it will snow this week. James and the grooming crew are ready for when Jay yells "GO". A cold front is headed to the valley on Friday with a strong chance of snow....or at least a stronger chance of snow. Washington Pass did receive 8 inches of snow yesterday so good skiing continues just a few miles up the road.

Meanwhile while we wait, enjoy some good videos of our favorite MVSTA events with the links to the right.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The BIG day is coming

That very special day in December is almost here! The day when the whole family comes together to celebrate good tidings and good cheer. The day when everyone heads outside for some good winter fun and then goes back inside to enjoy hot drinks by the fire. That day is none other than SKI RODEO day December 27th. This year's event is sponsored by Ol' Saint Mark over at Nordic Ultratune. Here's a little holiday movie highlighting the fun of Ski Rodeo. (a shout out to Gary Harper for the cinematography and Brian "Spielberg" Drye for the editing)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Maybe you just backed away from the table or maybe the turkey isn't done yet.
Maybe you can't take another football game or maybe it's halftime.
Either way here's an inspiring MVSTA race video for you. One that will make you thankful for snow and give you the excuse to go back for seconds.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ski Weekend

There were some very happy people in the Methow Valley this weekend. Thanks to the efforts of Scott Johnson (i.e. Superman) the Washington Pass Overlook road was groomed for skiing. Nearly the entire valley population headed up either Saturday or Sunday(or both days in many cases). Thank you Scott! We are looking forward to having the snow level move down to the valley floor this week.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

20 Years Ago

People often ask us "what do you guys do while you're waiting for the snow to fall?" We watch movies of course. So imagine our excitement in finding this classic Methow Valley film starring our Executive Director, our Board President and many other friends from the valley. Despite being filmed 20 years ago, our message remains the same corduroy, powder snow and sunny days. Click here to view the video.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Better than Gold!

Special Deals for Season Pass holders.

MVSTA Season Pass holders enjoy special deals at Loup Loup Ski Bowl.
Nordic skiing on the 22km of North Summit Loup Loup Ski Trails is FREE($15 savings).
MVSTA season pass holders can also show their pass at the ticket window for 25% off a Loup Loup alpine lift ticket.

Returning the favor:
Loup Loup Season Pass holders can get 25% off the price of a MVSTA full day pass.

Leavenworth Winter Sports Club Season Pass holders are also entitled to 25% off the price of a MVSTA full day pass.

Membership has it's benefits!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Successful Swap

Thank you everyone for another successful MVSTA Sports Swap. The money raised is used for on-going maintenance of our world-class ski trails. Now go wax those "new" skis and we'll see you on the trails soon!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


A couple of weeks ago we reported the first snowfall via Mark Weachter's ski report at the pass. On election day (Nov 4th)we asked Pete Dickinson, (Physical Therapist to the stars) to take a camera with him on his trek up to Washington Pass. Looks like a great day. The snow is starting to pile up and more is expected in the coming days. Later in the day Pete was spotted ski-walking up Lewis Butte. To quote the master "You get good at what you do!"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Olympians Headed to the Methow

The Wenatchee World has done the first story of the year on Olympic athletes coming to the Methow to train for the 2010 Winter Olympics. MVSTA friend Mark Waechter of Nordic Ultratune shared his insights on the athletes training schedule. Read the full story here.

Photo is U.S. Olympic athlete Torin Koos at last year's MVSTA Ski Rodeo.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Let It Snow? Absolutely.

New York magazine just wrote a little story on the best places to embrace the upcoming snow season. The Methow Valley was sandwiched in between such places as Lake Placid, Taos and Aspen. Here's what they had to say about us:

Methow Valley, Washington
Four nights + cross-country skiing + buffalo burger = $554 for a long weekend.
Located 230 miles northeast of Seattle in the North Cascade Mountains, Methow Valley isn’t exactly convenient, but it is wallet-friendly and spectacularly foreign for East Coast skiers. The undulating, glacier-carved valley is laced by 120-plus miles of groomed Nordic ski trails ($20 for one day; $45 for a three-day pass; for cross-country and skate-skiing. In Winthrop, upgrade to a king room at the Chewuch Inn (from $125, including breakfast;, so you can laze by your own fireplace. Mingle with the locals (a liberal-leaning crew of farmers and hunters) over buffalo burgers and microbrews at nearby Twisp River Pub (

The full story can be found here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sports Swap Nov 8th & Debut of Methow Mitts

Mark your calendars, the annual MVSTA Sports Swap is Saturday November 8th from 10-1pm. This is a great opportunity to buy and sell sporting equipment. More information on how to become a seller can be found here.
MVSTA season passes as well as Loup Loup season passes will also be sold.
To help celebrate MVSTA's expanded 56 kilometers of dog-friendly ski trails, a new booth will be appearing at the market...Methow Mitts, the ultimate dog bootie. Here's what skier, dog-owner and designer Mary Ann Ottinger had to say about the Methow Mitts:
"I take my dog on the trails alot, and she is one of those dogs who constantly gets snow and ice in her paws, so I have to put boots on her. After trying out at least 4 different types of boots (none of which were cheap), I found that almost none of them stayed on very long. So I decided to sew up a set I designed myself. They worked like a charm, and last winter, I had oodles of people who stopped me on the trail and asked where I got them, as they had the same problem. So I got some material and sewed up a few dozen in different sizes."
The booties have been trail tested by now 13 year old Cassie (photo above) and are available for $20 at the Sports Swap.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The forecast calls for.....

Here in the Methow Valley we use a lot of different techniques to predict the weather but nothing is ever as "dead on" as Bill Biddle's forecasts. Bill (pictured here at our annual wooden ski race) is the Weatherwatch Meteorologist for the Methow Valley News. Here is what Bill has predicted for this season:

"This coming winter will be a humdinger. It will start with a late October snowstorm and won't end until an unusual late March snowstorm. The Methow Valley will live up to it's reputation of six months of winter interrupted by a Fourth of July"

Bust out the skis!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Profile of a Winner!

Con Rigas of Bellingham was the Curtlo Frame Winner at the 22nd Annual Fall Bicycle Festival. We asked Con for a cycling bio and here is what we got. Congratulations Con, we hope you'll love the Curtlo as much as your Woodrup.

I am 65 years young(edited by MVSTA).
Bicycling has been an important part of my life almost from day 1.
My 1951 Columbia saw me through my paper route, undergrad college, and medical school. When I married, in 1967, my trusted Columbia served us well: shopping, laundromat,etc. This was our major source of transportation. After medical school,1970, my wife and I were able to afford Raleigh 3 speeds.
I became more serious about bike touring and went on to purchase a
Woodrup,about 1980. The Woodrup family only produced 200 frames per year. They took great care in making their frames. The Woodrup is still my favorite touring bike. I plan to do a transcontinental trip next year. My interest in off road cycling grew when I discovered the fat tire trails near Cable, Wisconsin. I continued to ride these trails on a regular basis for over 15 years.
About 2000, I also became interested in recumbent riding. I will vary the kind of riding I do depending on the group I am with, but use my touring , off rode, and recumbent bicycles on a regular basis.
I discovered off rode biking in the Methow Valley just this year.
I am very fortunate to have won this frame.
Constantine ( Con ) Rigas

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

And we're skiing.....

We have snow! Yesterday the North Cascades got a nice layer of our favorite form of precipitation. Mark Waechter, owner of Nordic Ultratune, sent us this photo of his ski outing out the Overlook Road at Washington Pass. Mark reports there is about 4 inches of snow; enough so that your skis don't hit the pavement! (Jay would like to follow with "No, MVSTA does not plan on grooming up there"). Still, get up there and enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bike Festival T-shirts and socks still FOR SALE

We still have a few Fall Bike Festival t-shirts and socks for sale. Call or email us with our your credit card and we will be happy to send them out. T-shirts are $15 and "Ride the Methow" socks are $5 (plus the actual cost of shipping).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cross-Country Mountain Bike Races

Congratulations to all the racers! It was a perfect day: fall colors, strong competition and loads of fun.
Here's a slide show from the races. (Click on the photo to view in a larger window)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fall Bike Festival Day-Saturday's Events

What an action packed day! The rain held off for most of everyone's rides! Despite some muddy faces everyone seemed to have a good time. Here's a few photos from today...mostly of the kids because they are so darn cute!
To view the slide show in a larger window just click on the photo.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just Days Away

The Methow Valley Fall Bike Festival is just days away and it is shaping up to be a great celebration of all things cycling. The largest party will certainly be on Saturday from 1-5pm in the Winthrop Park. Here is where food and fun will be served. We have a beer garden hosted by the Twisp River Pub and coffee from our local specialty roaster Blue Star Coffee. Check out amazing cycling and cycling related products from vendors Methow Cycle and Sport, Nunatak, Curtlo, Anaerobic Zone, Outdoors NW, Methow Time, Shimano, Hutchinson, Dakine, Continental Tires, Pearl Izumi and Black Diamond. Don't miss this!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hot off the Press

The MVSTA Fall/Winter Trails Publication just rolled off the press. Check it out for exciting stories regarding fall and winter activities. MVSTA members and ski pass holders will have this publication mailed to their homes. Trails can also be obtained at supporting business' throughout the Methow Valley.

Friday, September 19, 2008



The Methow Valley Cycling Club has just made a generous donation to MVSTA. The club would like to earmark the donation for any trail work that improves mountain biking in the valley. THANK YOU Methow Valley Cycling Club for recognizing the importance that the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association plays in our community.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Methow Valley Mountain Bike Trail Conditions

In anticipation of some great riding during the Fall Bike Festival, here are the current mountain bike trail conditions in the Methow Valley:

Cutthroat Pass: great condition all the way to the PCT trail
Virginia Ridge Trail: well signed and in great condition
Buck Mountain: well signed and both the upper and lower loops are in great condition
Pipestone Canyon: dusty, rattlesnakes will diminish as it gets colder. Pipestone "hard loop" is very washed out at the upper most decent. Expect a hike-a-bike for about a mile. "Easy loop" avoids this section.
Sun Mountain Trails: all the trails at Sun Mountain are in great condition
Lighting Creek/Starvation Mountain/Blue Buck: dusty trail but in good condition
Bear Mountain Figure Eight: some blow downs on the trail but the trail is still ridable
Twisp River Trail: in great condition thanks to the maintenance of the Methow Valley Backcountry Horseman
Angel's Staircase/Foggy Dew Trails: dusty but in good condition

West Fork Methow River Trail: extremely brushy! Long pants and shirt recommended.
Falls Creek-8 Mile Ridge Loop: a number of blow downs block the trail
Pearrygin Creek Trail: currently closed: many blow downs block the trail

More road and mountain bike information can be found on our website.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Curtlo Bike Frame Raffle

The Methow Valley is filled with amazing athletes and artists. A combination of the two is master craftsman, Doug Curtiss. Doug has been making bicycle frames for over 20 years. The Curtlo beauty pictured here is proudly owned by MVSTA's Executive Director. As he has done for so many years, Doug has generously donated another Curtlo frame to be raffled off during the Fall Bicycle Festival. Tickets are only $2.50 each or 5 for $10. (let's just say 5 for $10 because this is a screaming deal). You can purchase early at the MVSTA office or at all the venues of the Fall Bike Festival. Curtlo will also be participating in the vendor market Saturday October 4th from 1-5. Be sure to stop by his booth and see more of these two-wheeled wonders.
Here's some more photos of previous Bike Fesitval Frame winners!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fall Bike Festival Lodging

Only one month until the Methow Valley Fall Bike Festival. Riders have been busy registering for the road ride, guided mountain bike rides and cross country races. Here at the MVSTA office,we have been fielding a lot of calls about the best places to stay during the festival. While the valley has a lot of very good lodging establishments we would like to give a shout out to two of our Bike Festival sponsors. North Cascades Lodge in Mazama and The Winthrop Inn. Check out their websites for pricing and availability. Don't delay as places do fill up quickly.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fall Bike Festival - Day 1

Every year MVSTA kicks off the Fall Bike Festival with a cycling film night. Cyclists pack the Twisp River Pub to toast another cycling classic. This year the movie is "Off Road to Athens". This documentary follows the top U.S. pro mountain bikers around the world as they race to determine who will represent the U.S. in the 2004 Olympics. The film was the winner of both the Whistler and Vail Film Festivals. It is a dramatic story presented to us with stunning cinematography and a killer soundtrack.

The movie is FREE and begins at 8pm on Friday October 3rd. Come early and enjoy some of the best real food and fresh brew in the state. While you are there be sure to thank our friends at The Twisp River Pub who are big supporters of MVSTA events.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cutthroat Classic Was a Big Hit

This year's 10th annual Cutthroat Classic trail running race was a big hit. Over 200 runners raced through the trails of the North Cascades under spectacular conditions. Results of the race can be found here. MVSTA would like to thank everyone who volunteered and participated. We hope to see you all at our next event, the Fall Bicycle Festival which runs October 3-5th.