Royal View Drive

Off-road trails in the Okanagan can be icy during February but streets like Royal View Drive in Kelowna were bike-ready on Tuesday offering a panoramic view of downtown Kelowna, Okanagan Lake and the Westside, above. A short paved path provides a connection to Knox Mountain Drive which is closed to vehicles at this time of year and had lots of pedestrians.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

When the weather warms up during the first week of February, do we downhill or cross-country ski, or drag out our e-bikes?

The Sheriff and Constant Companion Carmen did all of the above: downhill at Big White Ski Resort and XC at Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club last weekend, and e-biking through downtown Kelowna on Tuesday.

Big White had another eight centimetres of soft powder while it was a mix of sun and cloud at Kelowna Nordic.

Brandt’s Creek Linear Park in Kelowna was a sheet of ice, not suitable for e-bikes (unless you have studded tires) or its crashing rider, but the sunshine lasted until we reached home, beating the rain.

On Wednesday, Big White had another seven centimetres of new powder and the sun came out as we arrived. Another epic day.

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Kelowna Nordic’s virtual fundraiser Stride and Glide for KGH (kelownanordic.com/club-activities/stride-and-glide-fundraiser/) isn’t until Feb. 14-21 but it already has a fantastic gift for the KGH Foundation’s Advanced Stroke Care campaign,

“Our event has proved to be beyond our expectations,” said events team co-ordinator Lyle Nicholson this week.

“We’ve surpassed our goal already with the help of Nicola Wealth and our hard-working 100 participants. We’ve passed $20,000 and are now onto $21,550. With three weeks to go, we have hopes of 25K!”

Instead of cookies like the 2020 Cookies and Cabins Tour, the event has 60 prizes for those who have raised money: wine, food and sports gear.

“And eight teams of four are fighting it out for a place at the table with a 50-ounce steak dinner at Upside Cider,” he said. “Team Get a Grip is well in front with teams Not Fast, Just Furious and The Fast and the Flurries slipping behind — more wax perhaps? This promises to be a photo finish!”

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Sometimes, you question whether cross-country skiing is risky.

Skiing buddy Steve was coming down a hill with a blind corner when a woman coming up the hill decided to take a photo while standing on his downhill track. He and his friends yelled at her to get out of the way while Steve tried to swerve to miss her.

“She was panicking, flailing her poles around. She scratched his cheek with her pole before he went off the track and dove into the bushes. He hit with his cheek when he went down but her pole could have taken his eye out! Then, she took off before making sure he was OK. Maybe the Sheriff should remind people of skiing etiquette, especially when the trails are so busy right now,” said his companion.

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This year, Team Telemark’s fundraiser is joining forces with the Nordiq Canada Nationwide Club Fundraising Campaign entitled Ski Local — Support Local, a fundraiser aimed at collecting $250,000 for clubs to help support cross-country skiing across Canada.

“Our Telemark goal is to raise $10,000 to go towards enhancing our youth programs to make sure we have quality coaching and programming, and we are investing in the future of our sport,” said Telemark Nordic Club general manager Mike Edwards.

“Cross-Country BC is adding an incentive with $1,000 in matching funds on the first $2,000 raised. In addition, an anonymous donor has committed $2,000 in direct matching funds just for Telemark. So the first $4,000 raised by Telemark will be matched by an additional $3,000, putting us well on our way to our goal.”

A tax receipt will be available through Nordiq Canada for all donations. The campaign ends March 19.

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Big White Ski Resort has introduced “a bunch of food/dining deals” as well as discounts on beginner lessons — 25% off lessons, rentals and lift ticket — for 2020-21 locals and season pass holders, says communications specialist Nikki Wiart.

The deals (bigwhite.com/local-deals) include:

— Online tickets are 25% off retail window pricing.

— Save up to 25% at the Ski School for Mom/Dad and Me, Kids Beginners and Adult Beginners.

— Season pass holders can have a two-hour, private lesson with your household bubble (up to three per session) at a 15% discount, midweek and weekend afternoons — $65.20 per person for two hours. Add an additional household member for $69. (bigwhite.com/ski-school-rentals)

— Food/dining deals for locals and season passholders: Globe has 50% off wine Wednesdays plus passholder offers; Happy Valley offers $12 Sunset Special; Squawk Box gives 10% off your first order; others offer drive-home, weekend brunch and apres-ski specials.

— Accommodation has been discounted to the most affordable prices in years. Save 35% on two-night-or-more stays with Central Reservations; and if you’re a season passholder, you’ll receive a thank-you gift from the Big White team. Offer available until Feb. 9. Rooms start at $114 per night and luxury units with private hot tubs are from $215 per night. (bigwhite.com/plan-your-trip/hot-deals-packages/passholder-deal)

— Season passholders save 10% on hard goods and 15% on soft goods at Dizzy’s, Altitude, The Rider and Mountainside (bigwhite.com/explore-big-white/

mountain-services/shopping).

— Save up to 50% off a Fusion Workout (promo code: BigWhiteLocals)

“Up here at Big White Ski Resort, we’ve built our resort for locals, by locals, on the promise that ‘locals never need to pay full price,’” said senior VP Michael J. Ballingall.

“There has never been a year that this has been truer. Even the government is promoting locals only. If you’ve never been 45 minutes up the road, this is your year to explore what’s in your backyard.

“Next year, you can dream about a beach holiday, but until we can travel, why not come and taste some world-class Okanagan champagne powder?

“Bring your suntan lotion — after all, the sun is a lot stronger up here at 1,833 metres above sea level.”

J.P. Squire, aka the Ski Sheriff, is a retired journalist. Email: jp.squire@telus.net