Carney Pond

The Carney Pond Viewing Platform on the Okanagan Rail Trail in Kelowna is now open with a flock of resident ducks watched by a group of Kelowna cyclists on Wednesday, above. The pieces of the platform and pergola structure had to be lifted and lowered into place by crane (the mechanical variety). It is the third interpretive site now open with the others at Ribbleworth Falls in Lake Country and at 3.7KM in the Regional District of North Okanagan. 

Fall turned into winter last weekend. And then, winter turned into spring this week.

Mother Nature can be capricious in the fall — teasing us with a little (or a lot of) snow as we gear up for outdoor winter activities.

Troy Hudson, general manager of Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre, measured 50-plus centimetres at the North Okanagan lodge after the major snowstorm.

“Looking good up here. Packing and trail prep are well underway. We opened up Passmore for programs today, about 4.5 kilometres of really nice skiing,” he said last weekend.

Staff training is this week, and the new POS (point-of-sale) system will be up and running for opening day, still inbound from Colorado. Sovereign has already sold almost 2,000 season passes.

“Opening day is Nov. 6 for season pass holders and Nov. 10 for day ticket sales with roughly 10-12 kilometres of packed trails. We have launched a new RFID scanning pass and ticket program to contact trace. All day tickets will be sold online,” he said.

“Face masks are mandatory inside all SLNC facilities. There are no tables inside the lodge this season as we are limiting access. So no lunches or social opportunities inside the lodge. Here’s to an amazing season, albeit a bit different.”

—————

“We received about 35 cm of snow last Friday,” said Mike Edwards, general manager of Telemark Nordic Club in West Kelowna.

“We groomed a seven-kilometre loop and had some good skiing for a few days. It was a nice treat for our keeners and our Team Telemark kids got in some early days on snow to help them get ready for the coming season. We anticipate that the snow will mostly melt by the end of the week but this is first-ever in October at Telemark.”

A reminder that Telemark Nordic Club will hold a cross-country ski swap on Sunday at Kelowna Cycle, 2949 Pandosy St. in Kelowna.

Early-bird consignments can be dropped off during business hours today until 5 p.m. with the main consignment session from 5 to 8 p.m. today.

The swap is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday. The consignment fee is $2 per item with 20 per cent of the sale price going to the club as a fundraiser. Basic details are on the website: telemarknordic.com/events/

—————

In ‌the South Okanagan, Nickel Plate Nordic Centre received 25 cm of snow from the major storm so packing was in process, said general manager Tricia Wilson. “We should have all of our inner trails packed as well as Panorama. Our opening day will be around the middle of November, weather permitting. I’m anticipating opening a week earlier than normal; we typically open the last weekend of November.”

—————

The ski patrol at Silver Star Mountain Resort reported Tuesday a cumulative snowfall of 82.5 cm. The proposed Nordic opening is Nov 28. The Alpine opening is proposed in two phases: Dec 4-6 for Alpine and Nordic passholders only and Dec. 7 for the general mountain opening.

—————

Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club elected a new executive at its annual general meeting on Oct. 23. Ryland Garton was acclamed to another one-year term as president. Dave Thomas will serve as vice-president; Wendy Vandenberg as secretary; Joan McClure-Isik treasurer; and Hugh Carmichael, Tom Ferguson, George Carr, Craig Lewis, Lyle Nicholson amd John Davina as directors.

—————

October is Breast Cancer Month so Pedego Electric Bikes Oyama team member Tena McKenzie set up Tena’s Team to participate in CIBC’s Ride for the Cure and received support from business co-owners Murray and Sheila Fraser.

“We closed our Pedego shop for the day on Oct. 4 and donated all our rental bikes so Tena’s Team could all Ride for the Cure around Wood Lake. The community of Oyama came together to support a great cause and we raised over $5,800,” said Sheila Fraser, noting Tena, a breast cancer survivor, owns a custom pink Pedego LTD edition Platinum Interceptor.

“Next year, we should have a Virtual Ride for the Cure all over the Okanagan. I can see a wave of pink cycling everywhere! What a fun way to do an ‘fun’-raiser in COVID times!” said Sheila Fraser.

—————

The Ministry of Forests has entered a contract with a Solano Resources Ltd. to implement significant repairs to the KVR Rail Trail between the Bellevue Trestle in Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park and the old rail stop called Glenfir near Naramata. Work is beginning this week but may be altered by the early-winter conditions. The ministry hopes to continue with the KVR trail upgrade in early spring, subject to funding and conditions.

The ministry contract is approximately $100,000 with the potential to leverage in-kind donations from the contractor and a local lodge owner making the value approximately $140,000.

J.P. Squire, aka the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff, is a retired reporter. Email: jp.squire@telus.net.