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Local adventure race team wins nat’l champs, update on Galbraith parking lot, and more news briefs


Bellingham adventure race team wins national championships

Bellingham-based Quest Adventure Race Team won the U.S. Adventure Race Association National Championship in Boone, North Carolina on September 27-28. The race required teams to travel an unfamiliar landscape on foot, by bike and through water while using a paper map and compass to navigate complicated terrain.

The course involved 10 miles of paddling, 30 miles of trekking and 110 miles of mountain biking. Team Quest – Brent Molsberry, Scarlett Graham and Dusty Caseria – finished in 21 hours and 15 minutes. Yes, that’s Quest’s time for all three events, and it was the fastest out of about 50 teams from around the country.

Learn more at questraceteam.com.

New quad chairlift ready to spin at Manning Park Ski Resort

Manning Park Ski Resort, an hour east of Chilliwack, B.C., on Highway 3, has a new quad chairlift ready to go when mother nature cooperates. The two-lift ski area removed its iconic Orange Chair last April and after a summer-long naming contest, christened the new chair “The Bear Chair.”

The quad chair boosts the ski area’s capacity, as the Orange Chair was a two-seater. The family friendly resort also made some updates to the rest of the village including a new guest services building and new cabins.

The resort has 140 acres of skiable terrain and is inside E.C. Manning Provincial Park in the Canadian North Cascades. The resort also offers Nordic skiing, tubing, snowshoeing and outdoor ice skating. Weather permitting, Manning Park Resort will open for skiing on December 7.

$100,000 needed to build new Galbraith parking lot by April

The Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition (WMBC) is most of the way to raising $285,000 for a new parking lot on Samish Way, on the south side of Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham. The nonprofit mountain bike advocacy organization still needs $100,000 before the planned start of construction in late March.

So far, WMBC has raised more than $180,000 through individual donations and a $100,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Bellingham, among other sources. WMBC is shifting gears to start a business fundraising campaign to raise the remaining money, said trail director Eric Brown. For $1,000, businesses can buy an engraved brick that will be displayed on a donor wall at the parking lot.

The current parking lot on Samish Way across from Galbraith Lane, holds 30 cars and is usually full, with cars parked on the narrow shoulder of Samish Way even on weekdays. Plans for the new parking lot call for 140 parking spaces, as well as picnic tables, porta-potties and eventually pit toilets. WMBC hopes to start construction in March and finish by early April, when afterschool bike clubs start riding on Galbraith, Brown said.

Learn more at wmbcmtb.org/parking, or by emailing Eric Brown at eric@wmbcmtb.org.

New map to highlight water access in Whatcom County

The Port of Bellingham is at work on a map that aims to make it easier for paddlers to access the water in Whatcom County. The Whatcom Water Trail map, modeled after similar shoreline recreation maps such as the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails, will help paddlers find boat launches, public beaches, camp sites and other access points and amenities.

The Port of Bellingham developed the map with Todd Elsworth of Recreation Northwest and Kristi Kucera of Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures.

Elsworth said the map is just the first step. In the future, the group plans to identify areas for improvements – locations for loaner lifejackets, signage on environmental stewardship and safe boating, and potentially new boat-in campgrounds and public beaches.

Whistler Adventure School teaches a growing outdoors curriculum

Whistler Adventure School started training students for a variety of outdoor-related careers in 2014 and, with the help of its ideal location, it’s attracting a growing number of students from around the world.

Recently, the private post-secondary school added mountain bike guide training to its curriculum, which also includes programs for adventure tourism, retail and manufacturing, photography, marketing and media management, and training for climbing, ski and snowboard guides.

The school’s location in Whistler and flexible schedule allows students to access world-class outdoor recreation and provides the opportunity to be involved with destination events. Not Canadian? The school gives international students the ability to apply for a visa to work and study in Canada.

Learn more at whistleradventureschool.com