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Winter trips with JBLM experts

NAC and AU offer tours into the mountains and more

JBLM Outdoor Recreation The Northwest Adventure Center and Adventures Unlimited have several guided backcountry skiing, snowshoeing and winter camping trips on the outdoor calendar this winter.

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With the holidays in the rearview mirror, the upcoming months become the ideal time to explore the beautiful wilderness all around Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and the Northwest Adventure Center and Adventures Unlimited is here to help you explore.

“The winter time is the best time to be outdoors,” said Robert Conrad, the Northwest Adventure Center’s program manager. “You get to see everything in a completely different light because it is all covered in snow.”

As always, the Northwest Adventure Center and Adventures Unlimited offer a wide range of classes, supplies, expert guides and well-planned trips for JBLM community members. Whether that be backcountry skiing or hiking, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for and know that you are safe.

Take, for example, snowshoeing or backcountry skiing around Mount Rainier which is offered continuously on the weekends. The Northwest Adventure Center’s expeditions are cheaper than off-base companies and they go above required safety standards. Participants are provided with avalanche beacons, probes, shovels, float vests and certified guides.

“All of our guides know the area really well,” Conrad said. “If you are going out on the backcountry, you should be out with a professional. Our guide’s lives are on the mountain, and they know the terrain better than most.”

Snowshoeing and backcountry skiing will also provide people a chance to experience nature in a way they aren’t used to. Due to the weather, many casual explorers opt to stay indoors, which means the terrain is fresh and unexplored. Beyond that, adventurers also have a chance to see more wildlife due to the lack of people scaring them away, Conrad said.

Many people would also consider water-based adventures off-limits due to weather. Luckily, the Northwest Adventure Center also has you covered with standup paddle boarding expeditions. Equipped with one of the center’s top of the line boards, paddles, insulated wetsuits and knowledgeable guides, exploring Washington’s waterways is not just a summer activity anymore. Weekend trips are offered in January and February.

If scaling an icy mountain is also something you’re interested in, consider some of the climbing trips. The Northwest Adventure Center’s prices for climbing trips are half the price of various off-base companies and will provide you with a guide to teach you the best climbing practices.

“We try an educated approach with our climbing expeditions,” Conrad said. “ We aren’t just trying to carry you up the mountain. We want you to get yourself up there, and we will teach you how.”

The Northwest Adventure Center is also the premiere place to rent equipment if you’re interested in exploring the wilderness on your own schedule.

If these trips are something you’d be interested, call 253-967-6263 or visit and get out and explore the winter wonderland of western Washington.

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