Central Oregon backcountry by snowshoes & candlelight
Feb. 3 -24: COCC offers snowshoe course for beginners
Central Oregon Community College is offering a way to participate in the winter beauty of our nearby yet remote backcountry through a three-week beginner course for snowshoe enthusiasts. Instructor Molly Johnson takes students across scenic meadows and through majestic forests of the Central Oregon Cascades. Participants enjoy high mountain vistas, warming up at the sno-parks. This is an opportunity to learn not only best methods with COCC, but also where to go safely. Snowshoeing experience is not required. Each field session will cover a distance of four to six miles, so moderate physical fitness is recommended to participate. The required gear list will be provided by COCC and after completing this class, individuals should be able to plan their own snowshoe outings with confidence. Field sessions depart from the Chandler Lab parking lot. The cost for each participant is $89, and a liability form will be required. For more information and to sign up, visit www.cocc.edu/continuinged, or call 541-383-7270.
Feb. 13: Meissner Nordic Club's "Meissner Luminaria" for cross-country skiers and snowshoers
A fun and festive event, perfect for families, is being planned by the Meissner Nordic Club for Feb. 13. It's the annual evening "Meissner Luminaria" event for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. The Luminaria borrows from that tradition to light 1.5 miles of trails with paper bags containing candles for skiers to follow to the Meissner shelter. It is their biggest fundraiser each year, and donations are encouraged. Candles will be lighted at dusk and will continue burning until 9 pm. The event gets underway at 5:30 pm. This is a very popular event, so participants are encouraged to carpool because of limited parking space. Don't forget your snow park permit. Participants are advised to bring head lamps or light sticks but are encouraged to use them only as necessary. Meissner Nordic Club was founded in 1996 as the Tumalo Langlauf Club and was named after a local landmark, Tumalo Mountain. "Langlauf" is a German word meaning "long run." Now the club is named after longtime conservationist and ski enthusiast Virginia Meissner, who helped blaze the trail to make Bend a premiere ski destination. The club's activities include working in collaboration with the Deschutes National Forest to develop and maintain cross country trails. The Meissner Snow Park is located 14 miles west of Bend on Century Drive.