Message from Jesse: I called St. Joe’s Port-a-Huts to ask them to bring in the port-a-potties from the Palouse Divide. I think we’ve had our run for this winter, and it’s time for Spring.
I’ll be in touch soon about the status of the snowmobile, plans for 2024-25, and other new developments. But before that, here’s a photo of the club trip to the Idaho City Yurt system last week! It was a great trip!!!

Join us for a women’s ski on Sunday, March 3, at 11:00am. Those who want to carpool will meet in the Moscow Rosauers parking lot at 10:00am. All skill levels welcome! If possible, email to let us know you’re coming, especially if you need to carpool, so we know to wait for you. If that’s not possible, feel free to show up anyway!

Registration is now open for:

The Bald Mountain Loppet 2024

When: February 24, 2024

Start time (from trailhead): 8:30–9:30am

Distance: 18 miles, roundtrip

Estimated skiing time: 6 hours


In Scandinavia, a loppet is a long-distance, non-competitive group ski. Here on the Palouse, we are planning our own loppet – from the Palouse Divide trailhead to the Bald Mountain Lookout Tower.

This 18-mile loppet will be a fun and challenging outing for fit, experienced skiers. It is not a race but a tour to be completed at participants’ own pace. Participation is limited to 40 skiers.

Our amazing team of groomers plan on grooming the entire route (wish us luck!), which entails a 9-mile, 1,715-foot climb to the top of Bald Mountain and back. Be prepared for changing and colder weather. We estimate that skiers in good physical shape will take 6 hours to complete the entire trip.

Participation in the loppet is free, but we will gladly accept donations to help us continue to ensure reliable Nordic skiing on the Palouse. The club will have hot drinks, soups, and a fire at the lookout tower for participants.

Of course, we are keeping an eye on snow levels and will adjust planning as necessary.

Register in advance by completing the registration form at this link:


Jesse, President of the Palouse Divide Nordic Ski Club

Dear Friends of the Palouse Divide Nordic Ski Club,

We had a great and very busy Free Ski Day. Thanks to all the volunteers for helping out to Hyperspud Sports for loaning us all their rental gear! Next week the group heading out to the Clearwater Big House in the Blue mountains will be taking off — and we will be able to use our new snowmobile on its maiden voyage before it goes to the Divide for its main task! Our next event will be free ski lessons February 3. Email me if you want to sign up!

But that’s now why I’m writing today: We are submitting a grant application to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. If successful, the funding would be used for tools and equipment to allow our volunteers to clear and maintain trails in a more effective, efficient and safer manner. The goal is to secure funding for 2 battery-powered chainsaws, 1 battery-powered pole saw and a set of 4 radios. The battery operated tools  reduce the need for purchasing and transporting gasoline and their lighter weight reduces operator fatigue. The radios will allow communication between groomers for efficiency and reduce response time in case of an emergency.

If you have feedback on this grant application’s potential to help the club and use Facebook, then I invite you to write a comment on yesterday’s post about this grant application. Just to to “Groups” in Facebook, click on the club’s name and you should see the post and comments. We will include comments posted in our application materials!

More later in the week on the grooming situation,

Jesse, for the Palouse Divide Nordic Ski Club

Click here to go directly to the Facebook Post

Dear Nordic Skiers of the Palouse,

With all this new snow, I’m happy to report that groomers will be out today getting the trails ready for the weekend! Thank you groomers, Jon, David and Emily!

And our postponed Free Ski Day is back on this coming Saturday, 10-3pm. We’ll have free parking, free cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals (thanks Hyperspud Sports!), free Nordic ski lessons, and free lunch (hot soups and breads), snacks and hot drinks! We’ll try to have the lessons run on the hour (with the last lesson starting at 2pm), but if you’ve been to Free Ski Day before, you know that we have to adjust timing at times to match changes in supply (instructors and skis) and demand (you!). But we have an amazing team of volunteers to introduce as many people as possible to cross-country skiing and the Divide! [And if you would also like to volunteer, let me know!]

There are still a couple spots available for the ski into the Clearwater Big House in the Blue Mountains, January 27-29th. Let us know by Sunday if you want to come, so that participants can start arranging food and gear. We’ll have a snowmachine to haul in some gear and water , while skiers will take the 7-mile mostly flat trip into a former forest service cabin nestled in the Blue Mountains. Participants will split the modest parkins and rental fees. This should be a hoot!

See you at the Divide!

Jesse, President of the Palouse Divide Nordic Ski Club

Dear Nordic Skiers of the Palouse,

Grooming Report: Sadly, there will be no grooming this week due to lack of snow. And there’s no snow predicted in the next few days. Be patient! We had a couple of weeks with fun skiing. There will be more!

Ski Instructors: As you know, the club offers free cross-country ski lessons on Free Ski Day, the following week and then every two weeks until the snow melts in the spring. We are looking for a couple more instructors to help out. If you are an experienced skier and want to help others become one too, let me know! No experience teaching skiing needed — we have lead instructors to take the helm, but we could use some folks to support.

Special Olympics: Similarly, Moscow’s Special Olympics team is looking for volunteers to help with snowshoeing and cross-country skiing this winter, also on Saturday mornings. If you are interested in helping out, contact Jill Rinaldi at!

Grant Applications: The club will be applying for a grant from Idaho Parks and Recreation for new trail equipment (pole saws, communication radios, etc.). We will be looking for Nordic skiers of the Palouse willing to write letters of support. I will send specific instructions when I have them. If you are willing to make your voice known, we can speak louder when we do it together.

Fundraiser: I am elated to announce that we raised almost $14,000 in our fundraiser this year. That will allow us to purchase a new Skandic 600 utility snowmobile to ensure continued reliable grooming at the Divide. We’ll purchase the machine soon and get it on the trails early in 2024. If you chipped in, even just one $5 raffle ticket, stand proud when the groomers drive past on the trail that you helped bring that machine to the Palouse Divide. Thanks to Hyperspud Sports for donating the prizes, and to all the generous members of our community who make this possible!

Doing my little snow dance on a warm mid-April, er, late December day,

Jesse Spohnholz, for the Palouse Divide Nordic Ski Club

Dear Nordic Skiers of the Palouse,
Grooming begins! The groomers are at it with plans to groom Big Loop, the Palouse Divide Road, and Hume Road, where the snow is its best. Snow is thinner at Meadow Creek Loop and Little Loop, so we probably will have to wait for another snowfall for those. Thanks groomers!
Bingo night and Fundraiser: Tonight ends our fundraiser to get a new utility snowmobile to replace our old Yamaha. At the 1919 Center tonight in Moscow is Bingo from 6 to 9pm. We’ll have the last raffle tickets for sale there as well and the website will stop accepting the online purchase of raffle tickets when that event is over. So if you want to get a chance to win a complete Nordic ski packet from Hyperspud Sports, act now! Thanks Hunga Dunga for puttin this one!
Free Ski Day at the Divide. Our next event will be Free Ski Day, with free lessons, free rentals (thanks, again Hyperspud Sports!), free parking, and free food! Come on up for the fun on January 13, starting at 10am. (See the event page for more info)
Women’s Skis. As I announced at the club meeting last Thursday, this year, a group of women will be organizing women’s ski outings. I will announce them in my Thursday updates, but they are organizing these informal women’s skis. If you are interested in helping to organize, let me know and I’ll put you in touch!
Website and Membership Updates. The club is finally moving into the 21st century with our membership! Soon, I’m going to start transitioning to an announcement list, instead of emailing you separately. We are also going to allow members to manage their own membership information. If you have not done so, go check out

 to manage your membership information. This shold transition us away from the paper membership forms (which will still exist if you want them). You can also remove your email there or remove your membership entirely if you want to stop getting these reports. Thanks to our webmaster Andy Jacobs!

Pay your dues and buy your ParkN’Ski Pass. Club dues go for snowmachine and grooming equipment maintenance, port-a-potty rental, and upkeep and improvements on the warming hut (like our awesome new outhouse)! And ParkN’Ski Passes are required for parking at the Palouse Divide during the season (and also help support trail maintenance).
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,
Jesse, for the Palouse Divide Nordic Ski Club
Dear Fellow Cross-Country Skiers,
Some of you (and me!) had the opportunity to take advantage of the 2 days of great early snow at the Divide last weekend. Sadly, we are back up to more normal temps for the first week of December, so the snow is melting. But it will be back in a matter of days! Fear not!
While we wait, a few reports:
First, our annual club meeting will be this coming Saturday, 4-6pm at Moscow Brewing Company. We’ll have updates on the Divide, including Free Ski Day, lessons, the website, logging operations, news about our fundraiser, elections of club officers, our ski swap, and other events. Come with your ideas and your questions! If you have not done so, you can pay your annual club membership dues ($20 per person, $30 for a family) to support the port-a-potties, grooming costs and snowmobile maintenance, and other club costs. Come and make ski friends!
Second, the port-a-potties are now up at the Divide. If anyone ever finds something missing or wrong with them this winter, contact this email and we’ll get on it! The same goes for the outhouse by the warming hut.
Third, the snows this weekend knocked down a few trees on the trails. If our groomers can’t groom this Thursday, they should be able to start clearing those! But grooming will start soon in any case.
Finally, don’t forget to get your Park N’ Ski Pass! Get them at Hyperspud Sport or online at

. Make sure to identify the Palouse Divide as your primary ski location! It helps the club a lot if you do!

See you on the trails!

Jesse Spohnholz, President of the Palouse Divide Nordic Ski Club