Happy New Year everyone! My wish for you is that everyone had a good Christmas and that 2017 provides at least a few of the things you’re hoping it does! One of my hopes certainly came true. We’ve had the best ski conditions since Christmas that I can remember! Thanks to the groomers for giving us awesome trails to ski on!
A few things have been happening. We now have improved cell reception at the Lodge. Not our doing – thanks Telus! We also have a Facebook page now: “Onion Lake Ski Trails (Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club)”. Like and follow us for all kinds of trail condition and grooming updates on a practically instantaneous basis!
It’s wonderful to see the number of people coming out to the trails. The Rental Shed was open and busy from Boxing Day to Jan 2 and will continue to be open on Saturdays from 10 to 4 and Sundays from 1-4. We could use a few more volunteers even if it’s only for once a month. (that’s twice, maybe 3 times this year) It’s a fun job! You get to meet all kinds of new people! And there’s usually an executive member who doesn’t mind covering for you while you have a ski. Think about it!
As of Tuesday night, Cathy says we have 349 members so we’re just a few short of our record year. Use those early bird passes and get people out skiing!
We have 64 kids in the Rabbits/Bunnies programs and we had to turn some Bunny-aged children away. On Saturday we went through 5 pots of delicious soup at the Snow Flake Cafe!
Community coaching courses happened in November. They’ll happen again next fall and we’ll be looking for more assistant coaches. We hate having to turn kids away due to lack of coaches. So think about that for next year please.
We also held a CANSI instructors refresher course during the holidays (CANSI stands for Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors), and will hold the Level 1 certification course this weekend, so we’ll have a full contingent of adult instructors. Anyone want a lesson? Lessons R Us – any Saturday morning you like (except not on race days!). Contact Cathy to set it up. We could also arrange group lessons if you can gather a group and set up a date!
We held a wildly successful Open House on Sunday. 150 cars fit into our 2 parking lots and along the driveway and over 200 day passes were handed out. It was great to see so many people having so much fun!
A huge thank you to: Amelie Hrynkiw and Gemma Rigoni for running the kitchen so well when Cathy had to dash off and help with the rental rush; Gianna, Blaise, Gabe and Yohannes Vandenberg for their help with set up, take down and tours (Kids these days! Ain’t they great?!); Rob Hart and Kelly Kline for running the rental shed for about the 20th year in a row; Maureen O’Connell (likewise); Geoff Phillips and Amy Klepetar and Aron Nenninger (group lessons); and of course Cathy and Bill Vandenberg, Julie Stevens, Dan McElheron and Liz and Jim Thorne (everything else). What a day! And only 16 volunteers!
We did have an unusual number of lost items this year. A gold coloured iPhone7 near the stadium, reward offered for this one. Another phone went missing on the Dog Trail on Saturday and a pair of prescription glasses was lost on the Jack Rabbit or Beaver. Contact the club executive if you found any of these important items.
And speaking of 150 cars in the parking lot – On Saturday, it was a very full lot too but not nearly that many cars. If everyone could park closer together, people coming after 10 a.m. would be able to find a space. (I know, no one wants a ding, but if we’re all a bit careful we can do this). Also if you park around the perimeter, backing in is safer than backing out especially when families are herding kids to their cars. Thanks.
And a big thank you to the dog owners who are leashing their dogs in the parking lot! This will really help keep confrontations to the non-existent level.
Our first race of the season is the Snow Valley Open, coming up on January 21. If you want to race (classic technique), sign up ASAP, there’s a deadline. Rabbits are automatically registered and they’re free. Register via email; include Racer Name, Age, Date of Birth. Fees to be paid at time of bib pickup, cash or cheque only. Fees are $7 for kids up to 18 years old and $12 for 19 years and up. Late comers can be accommodated but it’s a hassle so if at all possible, sign up in advance. The young racers will begin at 10:45, and the rest of the racers will follow in a timely manner. We need moms and dads to ring the new race bells as racers are coming in, it's one of those things that is done at cross country ski events!
Volunteers are also needed to help with this event. You will be shown what to do – it’s not hard and many hands make light work. I need 1 more person to help with registration, 3 timers are needed, 1 more controller (along the race course) and help with set up and take down, and we could use some kitchen help and extra baking. Contact Travis if you can help.
The Snow Flake Café will be open and serving hot soup. (That alone makes it worthwhile!) Also, when the race is over you have the once-a-year-only opportunity to ski the freshly groomed racing trails which are gorgeous and you don’t have to do them at racing speed either!
Please note there will be no adult lessons on Jan. 21st because of the race event.
January 29 is the Women’s Ski Fest. A day of lessons and fun for women only, all ages, all abilities. Lunch is included. If you’re looking for a fun and effective way to kick start your skiing skills, this is it! Registration forms and information is available on the website – and it’s filling up already!
Just a note while this cold weather lasts (just watch it warm up and rain now!) piercings in exposed areas like ears and nose conduct cold and can lead to frost bite. It’s a good idea to remove them if possible.
Secondly, for the less expert skiers out there (note to self—this means you!) Just because there are set tracks on that steep hill, doesn’t mean you have to use them. It’s totally fine get out of the tracks and snow plow down the hill. It’s even totally fine to take your skis off and walk down. Keep to the side please, boot marks make it harder for the rest of us to keep a snow plow straight. Practice on the smaller hills until you’re comfortable with them. Take a lesson if need be.
But above all…. Get out and enjoy our beautiful trails!
And Think Snow!
(past prez. SVNSC) (email)