All we need is snow

For some, skiing and snowboarding at Hurricane Ridge is simply a lifelong tradition.

For other peninsula residents, not so much.

"It never quits amazing

me," says Russ Morrison, avid ridge user and Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club member, "how many local people who ski have never made the trip to the ridge."

One big, Mount Olympus-sized reminder is set for this weekend with Winterfest, the Olympic Peninsula's annual kick-off party for winter sporting activities, in Port Angeles' Vern Burton Center.

The proverbial snowball gets rolling on Friday night at 5 p.m. with a dinner, new gear sales from local and regional vendors, and finally a showing of ski film guru Warren Mil-ler's newest epic, "Dynasty."

The next day, locals can swap, buy and sell slightly (or extremely) used gear from noon-4 p.m. and then get a second helping of "Dynasty" at 7 p.m.

Hopes for Hurricane

All of which is a precursor to, as locals hope, an opening of Hurricane Ridge Road and activities that include snowshoeing, snow hiking, tubing, cross country skiing and, if there's enough of the white stuff on the base, down-hill skiing and snowboarding

using the ridge's bunny tow and Poma lift.

All of which begins sometime in early December ... or late December ... or sometime in January, depending on Mother Nature. Not enough snow, the lifts won't be open. Too much and the road is closed because it's undrivable.

"I understand (it's difficult) dealing with old- school lifts and a funky road opening situation, but we are

40 minutes from home and you make turns in what can be one of the top 10 views of the world," Morrison says.

"All for a $20 dollar lift ticket. Ski 'til you're tired and go home - how bad can it get?"

In recent years, the ridge

has added a quality terrain

park, in particular thanks to efforts from board member Frank Crippon and associates from North by Northwest Surf and Snowboard shop, Lib Tech boarders, snow skaters and the Hurricane

Ridge Winter Sports Foundation.

Riders of the ridge

Funding has been iffy (to be delicate) but Morrison says the passion of local snow hounds keeps lifts running and the diehards flocking to the ridge.

"What we have is priceless

to the community and impossible to replace," Morrison says.

"Those of us who are board members and the regulars of Hurricane Ridge know this because it has been a part of our life that we wish everyone can experience."

For more information

about Hurricane Ridge operations, lift tickets, lessons,a winter events calendar, blog and more, see

Reach Michael Dashiell at

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