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Last minute winter fun via base rec programs

Get into the snow one last time

Courtesy Photo JBLM Outdoor Recreation is offering a variety of outdoor trips this spring, including backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and snow tubing.

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Thinking about a day trip to the mountains, but not sure what kind of equipment is needed or when is a relatively safe day to plan in order to avoid avalanches or severely in-climate weather? Or how about learning yoga and how to integrate it with other outdoor pastimes?

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Northwest Adventure Center on Lewis North and Adventures Unlimited on McChord Field have it covered.

With a wide range of opportunities — from Yoga for Skiers and Spring Equinox Yoga to Backcountry Skiing, Snowshoeing, Snowmobiling, and Snow Tubing — most equipment is provided, as well as transportation for off-site adventures. Most activities require 24 hours or more advanced registration. Some, with less equipment and travel involved, can be signed up for as late as the day of the activity.

There are day trips and week-long escapes as well as hour-long classes and seminars.

“(We offer) something for anyone and any stage of expertise and desire for physical activity,” said Kaweka Stoney, an outdoor recreation programmer for JBLM’s Northwest Adventure Center.

The yoga classes are aimed at beginner, intermediate and advanced yogis. Classes are taught by a certified yoga instructor and include Saturday’s Yoga for Skiers class and a March 23 Spring Equinox Yoga class, each offered for $17. There’s also Yoga for Hikers, planned for April 6, at that same $17 price.

Backcountry Skiing — Saturday and April 14 — is a bit more pricey, at $110, but includes equipment, guides and transportation, Stoney said a better deal can’t be found.

“Outside (of JBLM), you wouldn’t be able to do that for less than $300,” he said.

It’s also important note that safety is an important concern. Safety is taken into consideration by Northwest Adventure Center staff when planning outdoor adventures, such as Backcountry Skiing, according to Stoney.

“Our guides are trained in avalanche awareness, and we look at weather conditions for the day of an activity. (We’ll) adjust or cancel, with refunds, if there is a concern,” he said.

Backcountry Skiing is for the intermediate to advanced skier. Participants must be at least at the blue square of a resort run, intermediate, in order to participate, Stoney said.

Northwest Adventure Center also offers Introductory Skiing and other classes, including an Intro to Backcountry Skiing March 18 for $110.

Sunday’s Snowshoe activity at the Commonwealth Basin near Snoqualmie Pass costs $65 and is a bit less demanding than the Backcountry activities, Stoney said.

As with any sport, it’s important to dress appropriately, he said. Along with other equipment, snow shoes, poles and gators — the waterproof over pants and boots attire — are available.

Stoney also teaches a photography course through Northwest Adventure Center. For those more interested in catching the right shot than participating in sports, there’s a Photography 101 class Saturday for $45 and a Seattle Photo Excursion Sunday for $65.

To register for these or other Northwest Adventure Center activities, call 253-982-2303 or visit,

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