Kelowna Nordic

Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club held successful Firewood Days in October when members volunteered to cut and stack firewood to heat the club’s cabins during the winter months. With this week’s snowfall, more trails are expected to open.

Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club had a soft opening last weekend, but good skiing is expected this weekend.

“As elsewhere, there is not much snow to work with but we are slowly building up a good base.

“The website is updated every day now with conditions. Some trails will be great by this weekend,” club president Ryland Garton said on Wednesday.

Skiers should watch for early-season hazards. For more details on trails and conditions, skiers should check the trail list under “Grooming” on the website: kelownanordic.com.

The temperature was a reasonable -1C on Wednesday. Logging is finished so all entrances are now open.

“Last summer, we got a few things done, the biggest one being the repaint of the main cabin. Many thanks to Dave Thomas and the following for their work: Merle Auty, Gord Miller, Craig Lewis, John McIntyre, Garth Vickers and Bev Thomas,” said club president Ryland Garton.

“On the trails, the work was still ongoing. Most of the work was removing rocks and stumps, installing culverts and generally widening the narrow areas. Limbing and chipping were ongoing but wet weather made it tough.

“On the plus side, the burning season opened early and there was much to do there.”

The new biffy at the Kallis Car Park is done, he added. His son, Bryce Garton, dug the hole with his excavator and installed the liner.

“The outhouse was built by Dave Thomas overseen by Cec Dillabough. Dave Thomas, drawing on his Welsh Secret Service experience in WW2, camouflaged it so well that some may not find it (he joked). We had intended to do it years ago but the road was re-routed and logging was ongoing.”

A gate was installed at the Summit parking lot for more protection from theft and dumping during the summer months. It will remain open during the winter.

“The machinery work has been completed and everything is running well. Bryce (Garton) cleaned and widened The Knoll with the bulldozer and said it has never run so well,” said Garton.

“The bulldozer had a major service and should be good for a few years. It has done lots of work for us over the years at a huge cost saving over renting one. Both snowcats are serviced and working great. Our club does all its maintenance and repairs in-house with our own staff.”

The suggested day rate (to cover share of costs) has increased from $12 to $15.

“It is easier to carry notes than change and we are still cheaper than Telemark or Sovereign. Other changes are a student rate and a 10% discount for Telemark members. Membership forms are available to download. The online registration has been well received.”

A firewood cutting day was held at the Log and Meadow cabins on Oct. 19 followed by a second Firewood Day on Oct. 27 to prepare for winter heating.

Although it seemed quiet for wildlife during the summer and fall, a grizzly bear was spotted in the Doe Run area as members prepared for the season in October.

“A couple of weeks ago, he regarded George Carr as a meal-on-wheels,” said Garton in an email warning to members.

“He crossed the trail 150 metres ahead of me last year. Do not go up there without bear spray. Hopefully, the snow will tempt him to den.

“The huckleberries were excellent this year with lots by the main cabin. There were no bears there when I picked them. The wildflowers were exceptional all year.”