Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

This forum is shown on the index page along with all topics.
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:58 am

Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

Post by markw » Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:06 am

Something like 1000 community members pitched in to make the Sunny M land purchase a reality - a terrific grass-roots effort.

One way that the Methow Conservancy can give back to our community would be to include a section of skiing that is free to use. A loop, or even just a section of the pre-existing trails on the Sunny M land for out/back skiing.

There's a big segment of our community that can't afford skiing at $30/day per person, at least not more than occasionally. Having another option beyond the "poop loop" would be fantastic.

The Methow Conservancy has a unique opportunity to grant trail easements with a provision that some of the trails are free to use. This would benefit our community and show a commitment to inclusivity across the income spectrum.

What do you think?

-Mark W

Posts: 310
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:19 am

Re: Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

Post by muchaloza54 » Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:22 pm

Yes, and the fact that they are planning on building housing for lower income folks on some of that property. Good idea!
Agnes Almquist

Peter Larsen
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:47 pm

Re: Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

Post by Peter Larsen » Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:31 pm

That would be great since Methow Trails has no senior discount until you turn 75 ! Which if you make it to that threshold is a super senior classification and you ski for free , assuming you can still ski ? Seems a little exclusionary since other sports associations and venues offer a senior , low income , or persons with a disability discount option .

Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:54 pm

Re: Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

Post by luccacriminale » Mon Feb 12, 2024 5:26 pm

It’s an interesting idea, and I’m not against it, but keep in mind that although the Conservancy owns the land, it is Methow Trails that makes them skiable. And of course that costs money: groomers, fuel, maintenance, countless hours, plowing parking lots, etc. There are some options to obtain free trail passes by volunteering with Methow Trails, and trail access is free and available in the summer. In a way, the Concervancy has kept the trails available for all of us in perpetuity by purchasing the land (with donations large and small). Without their effort, it could have been sold to a developer, and the trails closed to public access.

Posts: 1436
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:40 am

Re: Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

Post by Reapward » Tue Feb 13, 2024 7:04 am

Free skiing on the Big Valley Ranch. (not enough snow right now, I wouldn't think) A bit of a drive to get there, although Trango goes out that way.
Pearl Cherrington

Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:23 pm

Re: Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

Post by PhilM » Tue Feb 13, 2024 12:40 pm

What Lucca said. There are two ways that I know of to ski the groomed trails for free. One is to Survive to Seventy-five. The other is to sign up and volunteer to earn your pass. I have tried both, and I highly recommend the volunteer approach.

Posts: 1436
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:40 am

Re: Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

Post by Reapward » Tue Feb 13, 2024 2:03 pm

I just finished my volunteering as a Trailhead Ambassador. 5 four hr. shifts at the Trailheads plus there is a $50 fee. Still way cheaper than a season pass. Get to meet alot of great people, see some locals and almost everyone has a pass. Those that don't get an educational spiel, but no confrontation.
Various ways to stay warm-fire pits, warming hut, can go to your car for a warm-up.
Also, can volunteer at events to help with set up, tear down, traffic and parking control.
Methow Trails is a great organization.
Pearl Cherrington

Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:51 pm

Re: Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

Post by BSMoran » Sat Feb 17, 2024 3:04 pm

While I believe this proposal was well intended, there are two reasons why it is not a good idea. First, it is unnecessary, because there are so many opportunities for our local residents who cannot afford to purchase a pass to volunteer a minimal amount of service hours with Methow trails in return for a ski pass (win-win for both). My wife and I volunteered for 17 years on the ski patrol and there are many other volunteer opportunities to help out, such as ski events and other projects. Secondly, I believe this has the potential to hurt Methow Trails. The cost of grooming our trail system comes at a price, which is largely made up from selling trail passes. If there are free sections of trail established, it will soon become known to people who visit here that will ski on the sections that are free and will avoid purchasing a pass they would otherwise have gotten. Methow Trails already allows our young people under 18 to ski for free and also our seniors 75 and over. Full disclosure here, as I am approaching the 75 year old milestone, but I have supported Methow Trails for over 40 years by purchasing my seasons pass or donating my volunteer service. All sections of trail require year-round maintenance and winter grooming. I don't believe anyone would want to risk the potential of less funds for our local non profit to do what they do so well on our behalf. Please accept this constructive criticism and give some more thought to this proposal. Regards,
Bruce Moran

Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:28 am

Re: Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

Post by rockchuck » Sun Feb 18, 2024 5:17 pm

Providing free skiing is a worthy enterprise, but the Methow Conservancy is not in the recreation business. It is not their mission.
While the zoning of the property is Destination Resort, it does not make the Methow Conservancy a destination resort operator or destination resort developer.
The Conservancy is proposing a residential development outside existing town limits. In a recent public meeting "gut check" respondents indicated that up to 100 residential units was okay. Really?
There is no clear path to providing such a development nor are there water rights to support the development. This scale of development belongs in the existing community.
The Conservancy has already indicated their intent to make trails accessible across the property they purchased. Let trail providers figure out the details that make sense for the community.
- Steve Oulman

Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Ski Trails on Sunny M Ranch

Post by carolwisman » Mon Feb 19, 2024 6:39 am

Related, but slightly off topic. A snow park pass, which costs $50 this year, gets you unlimited skiing in the south summit trails. The grooming has been great this year, due in part to grant monies.
Carol Wisman

Post Reply

Return to “Main Forum”     Back