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2018 Altai Ski Festival

January 20th 2018 is the 3rd annual Altai Skis Hoks and ski festival at Sitzmark Ski Area in NE Washington, Okanogan Highlands.

 

Nils’ Map of the Highlands Area with some skier points of interest

 

The Okanogan Highlands are a high mountainous area in the far north central  part of Washington State. The Highlands are remote and very rural, and in the winter, cold and snowy. Sitzmark, one of the smallest ski areas in the state, has one chair and one rope tow. Views are expansive, north into Canada (less then 20 miles north), west to the North Cascades, and east to the Kettle Range. Sitzmark rarely gets a big snowpack but with consistent cold temperatures it does not lose much snow either.

Altai Skis has had a festival there for the last two years, featuring free demos, lessons, and tours. Discount lift tickets are available  for those who wish to ride the lifts. Altai Skis will have Hoks and Koms there for people to try, Bring your own Hoks if you have them

 

2017 images

 

 

Lisa and I (Nils) went up yesterday ( January 15th) to check out the conditions and skiing was great – cold snow and a beautiful day up there.

 

Looking west to the Cascades

North to Canada

Looking north to Canada

Looking East to the Kettle Range

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NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE ON ALTAI SKIERS

This article by Kade Krichko just came out (April 19th 2017) and is a fairly good discussion on what is going on these days in the Chinese Altai Mountains. I added a few pictures below from my trips to the Altai from the last 10 years.

 

Chokue, a famous old time skier in Khom

Khom traditional ski race

Center of Asia – with the Altai Mountains circled

Skishoeing.com is the companion site to our Altai Skis.com site. We thought it would be good to have a informational site dedicated to using skishoes in the many ways people do.

You will find some posts on field work being done on Hoks, kids using them (the Hokstars!), schools, and some user posts as well.

We also will add instructional information over time, using skishoes in different terrain and conditions, as well as the pros and cons on different bindings, and, of course, using the Tiaks (single poles).

There will be lots of images (see the Gallery page) as well as some great new videos for this year.

We welcome comments, user feedback, requests, and contributions.

Happy Skishoeing!

Nils Larsen

 

Hok Festival

Rich Landers, longtime outdoor writer for the Spokesman Review in Spokane, WA joined us at the first Altai Skis Hok Festival at Sitzmark Ski Hill in the Okanogan Highlands of NE WA. Rich is a longtime nordic and backcountry skier and was curious about skishoeing. He picked it up quickly and wrote this great article on the sport in general. Just recently another appeared in the Seattle Times, you can see it here

Rich Lander’s Spokesman review article on Skishoeing

 

It looks like We will have a Sitzmark Festival again this year. Our date right now is January 28th (Saturday). Mark it on your calendars!

 

Hok Festival

Hoksters at Sitzmark February 2016

 

Sitzmark Ski Area

Sitzmark Ski Area

Skishoes are playful by nature – letting you go where you want and explore where you will. Perfect for kids, they are easy to use, easy to adjust as kids grow, simple to put on and take off, and let kids take on any little hill they come across – repeatedly if they want. They are the, “go outside and play” ski…. Continue reading

Tiak [tīăk] means stick in the local languages in the Altai Mountains of North Central Asia. Tiak is also the name for the single pole used in all the traditional skiing in that region. Prior to 1900, the single pole was used by pretty much all skiers in the world! Continue reading

Eliminating Nature Deficit Disorder! 🙂

Last year we started getting requests from schools for Hoks so the kids could go skishoeing around their school grounds (yes, some people are lucky enough to live where they can do that from school). Continue reading

SKOE2Andrew Morrisey and his friends really captured the backyard backcountry aspect of skishoes. They are having lots of fun close to home. A big thanks to these guys as this is a lot of time involved in making a video like this. Continue reading

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