Ski hill work

Lake County Probation’s crew works to put chairs back on the ski lift.

A number of changes have come to both the Fremont Highlanders Ski Club and Warner Canyon Ski Area.

Eric Wolf recently took over as president of the Fremont Highlanders after Barry Shullanberger — who had served as president for about a decade — vacated the position. Wolf said his goal is to continue to work the Highlanders Board has been doing and to provide a family-friendly small town ski experience. The Highlanders also have a new treasurer, as Stephanie McLain has taken over for Dani Owens.

Ken Odegaard is the new hill manager at Warner Canyon Ski Area following former hill manager Jim Copeland stepping down. Odegaard managed the ski hill years ago in the early 2000s when the chair lift was installed. He has also coached the ski team and helped with ski school.

Wolf said that while everyone is sad to see Copeland go, they are excited to have Odegaard on board, especially as he is very knowledgeable about the ski industry.

Changes have happened on the ski hill as well. Thanks to grants from the Collins-McDonald Trust Fund and the Lake County Community Foundation, the towers were recently painted and all chair pads on the lift were replaced. Wolf said the towers had not been painted since the lift was installed.

In October, the chair lift underwent an inspection. All 82 chairs had to be removed so the lift cables could be x-rayed by a special machine, Wolf said. A lot of help was needed to remove all the chairs, and the Lake County Probation crew assured the task was accomplished. The crew also put all the chairs back in place after the inspection.

One of the next updates planned at the ski hill is an upgrade to the lodge kitchen, including a new oven and a new hood. “The lodge is becoming a lot more popular to rent,” Wolf said.

Wolf said Warner Canyon is looking for more lift operators, which are paid positions, and more ski patrol volunteers are always needed. According to Warner Canyon’s website, each ski patrol member must complete a basic first aid/CPR Training or Outdoor Emergency Care training or be a certified EMT, paramedic or medical professional. Each patroller must also complete first aid and CPR refreshers, toboggan handling, and lift evacuation training as part of the annual re-certification process.

Warner Canyon’s target opening date is Saturday, Dec. 18. Snow Fest is planned for Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. All dates the ski hill will be open for the season can be found at warnercanyonski.com along with a list of pass prices. “We’re praying for snow and looking forward to another great season,” Wolf said.

Following its old Facebook page being hacked by an unknown party, the ski hill has a new Facebook page — Warner Canyon Ski Area and Lodge — where updates will be posted.

To reserve the lodge, call Melinda Dunk at 479-209-6496. To volunteer with the ski patrol, call Kristin Hill at 503-507-7088 or Krista Harrington at 541-219-1684. Wolf can be reached at 541-912-7439.

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