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Think snow, says cross country ski club
Terrace’s Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club has been forced to postpone two events already this season due to lack of snow.
The annual open house, slated for Dec. 28, was postponed because of unsuitable snow conditions – above average temperatures and rain left the trails in less than ideal condition for the public event.
And one month later, the Snow Valley Open ski race which was scheduled for Jan. 25, also had to be postponed due to marginal ski conditions.
While there is more snow on the ground now than there was in December, there isn’t enough to groom the course race properly, so the plan is to hold off until there’s a big snowfall – which can’t come soon enough.
But it’s still nice out at Onion Lake, where the clubhouse and the 35 kilometres of trails are located, and there’s still plenty of groomed trails to ski, said SVNSC director Terry Brown, speaking last Wednesday.
“I was out yesterday,” he said, noting the popular doggy trail is in fine condition, and a number of other trails are as well. “It’s sort of like spring skiing.”
And people have been partaking in evening skiing – there are five kilometres of lit trails, and although the more popular trails don’t have a nice snowpack, there are flat, lit stretches of trail that can be accessed.
“When the snow is shallow what a lot of us do is ski with headlamps on,” said Brown.
It’s best to exercise caution and make sure to read all of the notices posted at the clubhouse if you’re unfamiliar with the trails or evening skiing.
Brown’s been cross country skiing since 1974. He skied in Alberta for five years before moving here in 1980. He’s been a member of the Snow Valley Nordic’s ever since.
The weather this winter isn’t typical he said.
“Typically we always have more snow than everybody else,” he said, noting that the snow is more wet here than in Alberta, which can get challenging as wet snow can turn icy, which the groomers then take care of.
Despite the snag in this year’s planned events, the club is still in the midst of fundraising for a new snow cat – the one they have, which is run by club volunteers, has 10,000 hours on it – and does plan on rescheduling as long as the snow allows.
Keep an eye on their website www.snowvalleynordics.com or sign up for their newsletter to stay in the loop as to how the season is going, or when the open house will be.
Rentals and lessons are also available with hours open posted on the website as well.