Western Games:

The Glenwood Rodeo Association will host its Family Fun Day at the Glenwood Rodeo Grounds this Saturday. The games, open to contestants of all ages, will begin at 11 a.m.

Competitions will be held in five riding events--poles, keyhole, figure 8, speed barrels and barrels--in four classes: Peewee (10 and under), Junior (11-16), Senior (17-39) and Golden Oldies (40 and over).

Cost to enter is $5 per event or $20 for the whole day.

For more information, call Liz Jones, (509) 364-3336, or Marlene Dewey, (509) 364-4146.

Outdoors:

A new Pacific Northwest business, Cascade Huts, is partnering with the U.S. Forest Service to provide a designated route with huts for self-guided, multi-day trips in Oregon's Mt. Hood National Forest.

In summer, mountain bikers can ride a 130-mile Mt. Hood Loop, which begins and ends in Hood River. The four-day, three-night trip takes bicyclists primarily along unpaved Forest Service roads. In winter, snowshoers and cross-country skiers will be able to use the huts for hikes into the White River valley, southeast of Mt. Hood.

Owner Don Bain said about the opening: "Cascade Huts is excited to become part of the growing bike tourism industry. The beautiful scenery of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, the history of the Oregon Trail, and the thrill of mountain biking make for a true Oregon adventure."

The huts supplied by Cascade Huts are stocked with food, water, stoves, lanterns and sleepings bags, and sleep up to eight people.

Added Bain: "By covering the basic necessities, mountain bikers can carry a lighter load, enjoy the adventure, and have a comfortable place in the wilderness to rest each night."

Cascade Huts will offer mountain biking trips along the Mt. Hood Loop from June through October. In winter, the huts will be moved into the White River valley to serve snowshoers and cross-country skiers from December through March.

The Cascade Huts website, www.cascadehuts.com, provides further details and information about reservations.

Volunteering:

Calling all outdoor enthusiasts, skiers, boarders and anyone else who loves Mt. Hood. Now is your chance to show your appreciation. On Saturday, July 21, from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Mt. Hood Meadows Friends of the Forest Day will take place on the summer-time slopes of Mt. Hood Meadows. This family-friendly volunteer activity is co-hosted by the National Forest Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service.

Volunteers will help restore slope conditions by picking up litter on the slopes of Mt. Hood. Volunteers will hike down the mountain, enjoying the scenery while also giving back to the national forest.

Mt. Hood Meadows will provide lunch to all registered volunteers. New Friends of the Forest will receive a water bottle. During lunch volunteers will hear about search and rescue on Mt. Hood from the Crag Rats.

To register in advance for this event, log on to the website www.becomeafriend.org, click on the Volunteer tab, then on the Mt. Hood Meadows listing, and complete the online registration form.

Running:

The annual Fort Dalles Days runs/walks are set for Saturday, July 21, at 7:30 a.m. at Riverfront Park in The Dalles. Participants can choose from a 3-kilometer, a 5k or a 10k event.

Cost is $7 or $15 with T-shirt, if registered by July 19. Day-of-race cost is $10 or $20 with shirt. Runners ages 18 and under can participate for $5.

Proceeds will benefit The Dalles Wahtonka High School cross country teams.

For more information, call Bob Thouvenel at (541) 298-1119 or e-mail him at thouvenel@charter.net.

Ski Area Expansion:

The Okanogan-Wenatchee and Gifford Pinchot National Forests have released the Final Environmental Impact Statement for expanding and improving the White Pass Ski Area. The Selected Alternative authorizes a set of improvements at the existing ski area, and adds new facilities, ski trails, and chairlifts in an area west of the current ski area.

"The Selected Alternative would authorize a new Master Development Plan for the resort, adding about 767 acres to the current Special Use Permit area. The expansion would accommodate two additional chairlifts, 18 ski trails, and a 2,000-square-foot mid-mountain lodge," said Randall Shepard, Naches District Ranger. "It would also add key improvements to the existing ski area, including a new parking lot, improved skier circulation, and a new ticket booth," he added.

"The need for the White Pass Ski Area expansion has been under review for almost 20 years," Shepard noted. "We've worked very hard to craft a proposal that maximizes benefits of improved facilities and a 30 percent increase in ski-able terrain, while minimizing adverse environmental and social impacts identified in past studies."

The Selected Alternative authorizes expansion into Pigtail and Hogback basins, including construction of two chairlifts to move skiers up the slopes to access 18 new ski trails utilizing natural openings in the alpine environment.

A two-story, mid-mountain day lodge would be constructed to serve skiers in the expansion area. The new facilities would occupy an estimated 70 acres of the expansion area. "The skiing in the expansion area will be unlike any other at the existing ski hill because the trails will take advantage of natural openings rather than clearing trails through more dense forest," Shepard said.

Hogback Basin , adjacent to the existing ski area, was removed from the Goat Rocks Wilderness by the Washington Wilderness Act of 1984. The White Pass Ski Area has had no significant expansions in its permitted area since it was constructed in the 1950s.

The Selected Alternative also includes improvements within the existing ski area, including a 7.5-acre parking lot, a new beginner-level trail on the Paradise lift, a new ticket booth, and modifications to the Holiday trail and Lower Cascade runs.

Five alternatives were considered in detail in the environmental document, including a "No Action" Alternative. The various alternatives analyzed different types of ski lift improvements and several concepts for a mid-mountain day lodge. The selected alternative proposes an increase in skier capacity from the current 2,670 skiers to as many as 4,250 skiers at one time.

Hard copies or CDs of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision are being mailed to individuals and organizations on the White Pass Ski Area expansion mailing list. It is also available as a CD or hard copy on request from the Naches Ranger Station.

The documents are also available at the website www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee/projects/white-pass.

Publishing of the formal Notice of Availability on July 6 marked the beginning of a 45-day appeal period within which objections to the decision may be filed.

Additional information on the analysis is available from the Naches Ranger District by telephone, (509) 653-1446; FAX, (509) 653-2638, or e-mail: comments-pacificnorthwest-wenatchee-naches@fs.fed.us.

Information is also available on-line at www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/

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Winter Sports:

It was one of the two original lifts when Mt. Hood Meadows opened in January 1968. At that time it was referred to simply as "The North Lift," rising 548 vertical feet from the base area and accessing terrain in the northern portion of the ski area's permit area.

The name was later changed to the "Yellow" lift thanks to the painting of the chairs yellow. With a new drive that controls how the lift performs and operates, and new chairs, Yellow will be Yellow no longer.

The upgrade will be obvious. First, the chairs will be a galvanized metal, which provides greater weather durability and blends into the environment much more naturally than the current yellow chairs. The new chairs are "bail" style, with poles on the outside of chairs instead of one in the middle separating the seat. This will make it easier for beginners and snowboarders to ride the lift. The seats will also feature restraint bars.

The replacement of the drive along with rebuilding the gear reducer will noticeably improve the experience for guests and make it easier to operate. The improvements will create a smoother ride, make it easier to load and unload, reduce stops and downtime due to mechanical problems.

The speed will be more flexible and adjustable than the old drive, however it will operate at the same speed as before taking about four-and-a-half minutes to travel the 2,200 feet. The uphill capacity remains the same with 90 chairs attached to the lift.

Since it is no longer "Yellow," the resort is conducting a name the chairlift contest in conjunction with its 40th anniversary season celebration. The winning entry will receive a 10 Time Pass--a personal mini-season pass--good for 10 days of skiing or snowboarding this upcoming anniversary season.

Contest rules are the following:

Submissions must be sent via e-mail to trag@skihood.com, with "Name Yellow Chairlift Contest" in the subject line.

Closing date for submitting entries is Aug. 12.

Winner will be selected and announced by Aug. 31.

Winning entry receives a 10 Time Pass.

In the case of more than one person submitting the winning entry name, the earliest entry (e-mail received by marketing director Dave Tragethon) will receive the 10 Time Pass.

MHM not responsibile for entries it does not receive due to e-mail or internet issues.

MHM reserves the right to select its own name, in which case a drawing would be held of all entries to give away the 10 Time Pass.

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