From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, El Dorado Nordic Ski Patrol members will welcome anyone interested in winter snow sports.
The Loon Lake Chalet is located in the Crystal Basin Recreation Area off of US Highway 50, just east of Pollock Pines. Built in 1989 by SMUD, it is open to the public most of the year. You can reserve the Chalet and spend some very comfortable time in the mountains.
EDNSP members will be on hand to outline safety in the woods, and to offer their expertise on a few things you should be aware of while out in the snow, far from home. Snowshoe and ski orientation to the local trails, back country skills, and how to use avalanche beacons are all on the menu.
On display will be winter safety gear, correct clothing for the snowy woods, and a bit about ski repair. All of these topics are on a "must know about" basis before you ever set foot in those snowy woods. Your life could depend on it.
The El Dorado Nordic Ski Patrol is an all volunteer group that is associated with the El Dorado National Forest. The original group was formed in 1982, largely under the guidance of Rudy Stauffer. There were 13 members.
That original group is mostly still around, and they are responsible for marking most of the cross country ski trails that you see in the Crystal Range and in the Highway 50 and Highway 88 corridors. If you see a blue diamond high up in a tree while at Carson Pass, at Silver Lake, and Woods Lake, or anywhere in the Crystal Range or at Echo Summit, it's a safe bet that this group of volunteers put them up.
Over the years the group has grown, and have been responsible for locating and keeping alive quite a few people during all kinds of winter weather out in the forest.
If you are an outdoors fan, this is a great opportunity to meet some of the people who have made the winter woods more safe for all of us.