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Originally published October 13, 2012 at 8:03 PM | Page modified October 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM

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Winter resorts around the state are making upgrades that will benefit skiers and snowboarders

Skiers and snowboarders are gearing up for the winter season, and Washington resorts have been busy sprucing up their hillsides. The biggest project is...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Reel Time Northwest

Seattle native and lifelong angler Mark Yuasa blogs on fishing in the Pacific Northwest.

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Skiers and snowboarders are gearing up for the winter season, and Washington resorts have been busy sprucing up their hillsides.

The biggest project is happening at 49 Degrees North near Spokane, where they're installing a new double chairlift.

In 2009, 49 Degrees North started a major resort improvement project for Angel Peak. The area gave way to seven new, wide-open runs, including an additional 170 acres that were thinned of trees to create more glade-type terrain.

The double chairlift will cover 1,144 vertical feet on Angel Peak, and moves 1,000 guests per hour to the summit. The area has seven chairlifts.

A new mid-mountain lodge is expected to be completed at 49 Degrees North by the 2014 winter season.

The Mount Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park finished a 1,200-square foot addition to the main lodge, with 100 more seats and a new outdoor deck.

The Summit at Snoqualmie recently broke ground on the new Silver Fir Lodge, which includes completing the foundation before the first snowfall.

"We're at a point where we'll button it up soon on the first phase of the lodge," said Guy Lawrence, director of marketing for The Summit at Snoqualmie.

The second phase of construction will begin next spring, and plans are to have it open by the 2013-14 winter season.

"It will be a little higher-end lodge, and a great place to hang out with some nice food and rental offerings, and more retail space," Lawrence said.

Beginner and intermediate riders on the Pacific Crest quad chairlift at Summit West will see a nice upgrade this winter that will make loading easier.

"This chair's loading area has always been a tough transition and we're adding a conveyor system, which will make it easy to use and provide more safety," Lawrence said.

The new system allows the chair to run more efficiently with less stop and go time. People will wait behind a gate, and once it opens they'll step onto the moving conveyor, and it automatically loads them onto the chair.

This conveyor system technology has worked very well at many European destinations, and is now catching on fast in the United States.

Those looking for bargains on gear and learning about the latest news on ski and snowboard areas should make plans to visit the Washington Ski Fever and Snowboard Show Oct. 26-28 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Show hours: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday. Cost is $12 adults, ages 6 to 12 is $3, and kids under age six are free. Details: www.skifever.org.

Wild mushroom show

With the arrival of autumn rainfall comes the chance to forage mushrooms. Those new to mushroom harvesting can gain great tips at the Puget Sound Mycological Society's Wild Mushroom Show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Mountaineer's Club, 7700 Sand Point Way NE in Seattle.

See more than 200 varieties of wild mushrooms, plus cooking demonstrations. Experienced identifiers will tell you about your finds (wild mushroom should always be properly identified before being consumed). There will also be photography, field guide books and classes and field-trip opportunities. Cost is $10. Details: www.psms.org.

Notes

• Kids are invited to attend a free snowmobile safety class offered at the Washington State Snowmobile Association's Snowmobile Expo and Swap Meet 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Puyallup Fairgrounds, 110 9th Ave SW in Puyallup. The class is open for ages 12 to 16.

The class is sponsored by the Chelan County Sheriff's Department along with the Washington State Parks Winter Recreation Program and the Washington State Snowmobile Association. Details: www.parks.wa.gov/winter or call 360-980-8664.

• The Westport Boat Basin Salmon Derby is open through Oct. 31. Anglers fish the inner-marina piers targeting returning net-pen hatchery fish. Details: www.experiencewestport.com.

• The Bellevue-Issaquah Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Snoqualmie Tribe are hosting the "Run with the Kokanee" 5K and 10K fun-runs 9 a.m. Saturday at Lake Sammamish State Park. The event is part of a community effort to restore the Lake Sammamish kokanee population. Details: www.tu-bi.org and register at www.tinyurl.com/runwiththekokanee.

• The Bellevue-Issaquah Chapter of Trout Unlimited's Kokanee Work Group needs volunteers to report spawning kokanee salmon this fall in creeks feeding into Lake Sammamish. Volunteers will survey creek sections once a week during the spawning season from October through January. Details: www.tu-bi.org.

• The Northshore Trout Unlimited meeting is the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center, 18560 1st Ave. NE in Shoreline. Details: http://northshoretu.blogspot.com.

• The Issaquah Alps Trails Club holds weekly hikes and meets in downtown Issaquah. Details: www.issaquahalps.org.

• The Washington Trails Association offers statewide trip reports and trail conditions. Details: www.wta.org.

• The Seattle Audubon Society offers field trips and classes every month. Details: 206-523-4483 or www.seattleaudubon.org.

• The Western Bass Club meets every third Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Kennydale Hall in Renton. Details: www.westernbassclub.comor www.nickbarrfishing.com.

• The new nonprofit Cascade Musky Association is looking for members. Cost is $25 or $35 for a couple/family membership. Details: www.cascademuskyassociation.com or www.wafish.com.

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or myuasa@seattletimes.com

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