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volunteer spotlight

Updated: Feb 28


Its been a spectacular week in the mountains. The best all season! Get up and ski! If you can get up tomorrow, go. The sled dog trails are repaired and probably quite nice for skating. Or skijoring. Meadow Loop is back, and South Loop may be groomed for the first time this season. But all areas should be really really nice.


This week this blog will spotlight a volunteer who works behind the scenes – as most do.

Our program is highly dependent on volunteers, as are all events. So many of our volunteers dedicate a significant amount of time and money to our Nordic program.


Volunteers advocate, go to meetings, organize races and events, trail work, put out and take in signs (not a small job), maintain websites, and build things and that leads us to our volunteer.


Meet Keith Ritland.


Keith is a member of Kongbergers Ski Club and is a lifelong skier, well, does starting at 6 years old count? He started out skiing at Snoqualmie Pass, including the “lost ski areas” – Mt Pilchuck, Cayuse Pass, Mt Rainier. Then he turned his passion to backcountry skiing / telemarking with those really skinny straight skis with 3 pin bindings. Eventually he skied all the volcanoes in WA and is proud to say he’s skied Mt St Helens before and after! Cool.


As alpine skiing became increasingly commercialized, and his interests changed, he started Nordic skiing more and more and eventually joined Kongsberger Ski Club about 18 years ago volunteering as the race timing and results coordinator. What does he do now? Good question. For starters, he is the club’s webmaster. And why is he the feature of this week’s blog? He is the energy behind the weather stations and setting up LandTec’s grooming report on the website! We all use this data frequently and now would be lost without this amenity.


This was a demand that needed solving and he stepped up and figured it out. This comes from an interest in tinkering, electronics, problem solving and a professional career in technology. Oh, and time. He’s retired. Where does he get his ideas for creating the weather stations which magically update? Places like “Open Source”, “Maker Community”, and “Git-Hub”. He reports these as a great resource. Well, we love the weather reports. And the grooming report he designed for ease of reporting by the groomer operator (OK, it’s Nick). The report is texted in which posts in seconds.


Then in our efforts to try and get trail work approved, the land managers wanted use numbers. Trail use counters are a frequent topic of conversation with land managers. These gadgets are expensive and take time and energy to put up and maintain. Enter Keith. He built about a dozen trail use counters (no cams) which are set up throughout our trail systems. This year is the 2nd full year and eventually we will start to see trends. For those of us out there who love data, we will look forward to seeing the next round of data. Thank you Keith.


Moving on to events: none this week!

Upcoming:

Sunday March 1st the Ozbaldy 50k Frestyle.

Sign up here:

http://www.kongsbergers.org/races/OZ2020.html

I hope you can get up and ski as our season is half over and this past week was unbelievably gorgeous.

Next weeks blog topic: Snoqualmie Nordic Clubs hut project.


sorry about the non nordic photo

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created 2013 by volunteers with no budget and no authority.

Please direct Sno-Park program questions and issues to winter@parks.wa.gov. 

 

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