Adventures abound in Larch Hills

We headed up to Cec’s Cabin last Tuesday over Spring break to spend the night with our grandson, Max

We headed up to Cec’s Cabin last Tuesday over Spring break to spend the night with our grandson, Max.

Some wonderful backcountry skiing on Log Roller and out onto the adjacent bog, then back to the cabin for pasta dinner and card games. It started snowing that evening, and by the time it quit the next day at noon we had eight inches of the lovely white stuff.

All that snow made our trip Wednesday morning into White Pine Walk quite magical. Max, our seven-year old intrepid leader,  broke trail through White Pine Walk, Whisky Jack, Afterthought, Greenway, and Treebeards. That was an adventure.

Always a thrill to be back in the woods surrounded by old-growth with tree branches caressing our shoulders in the super narrow parts. We saw a weasel at one point – so terribly interested in us that he stopped a number of times in his scurrying to check us out. White with black at the tip of his tail.

Cute, but he didn’t stay still long enough for a decent photo.

Back to Cec’s for lunch and to pack up the gear in the Chariot then head down Skytrail to the chalet where a group of young skiers on the Junior Racing team, including our granddaughter Maggie, were gearing up to head up to Cec’s to spend the night. Twelve youngsters and eight coaches/parents make  the trek, packsacks loaded with tents, food and gear.

From all reports it was a terrific outing.  The gang had a great camping experience, and then the backcountry ski out to the Lookout on Thursday. So wonderful to think that these ski adventures can be had so close to home.

There are 19 skiers from Salmon Arm representing Larch Hills at the Nationals at Whistler Olympic Park.

The results have been stellar!

Thomas Hardy and John Connor swept the field in the team relay sprint on Saturday, capturing the gold medal in Junior Boys.

That same day, Alysson Marshall garnered bronze in the Open Women’s 5-kilometre free technique race.

On Tuesday,  Hardy skied to a first place finish in the 7.5-km classic event.

Three Larch Hills skiers were in the top 20 of the 82 in that age category. The age categories are consistently 70-85 deep. Marshall again captured third – of 90 skiers – this time on the 10-km classic.

On Sunday, Feb. 24, Kelowna’s Okanagan Sunday ran an article on Larch Hills by J.P. Squire, a follow-up to the article he wrote on our area two years ago.

There was a nice photo of Cec’s cabin with skiers on the bench outside, including our own Jim Hoskins who had taken J.P. on that tour of the trails two years ago.

J.P. brought to the readers’ attention our on-going battle with the Ministry of Transportation over the lack of signage indicating the Larch Hills Ski Area as one approaches from the south on Highway 97B.

How can one know that the Larch Hills turnoff is right by Egli’s mill if there is no sign?

“The ministry’s new sign policy says cross-country ski areas get only one highway sign. If the ministry puts up a Larch Hills sign for the Okanagan traffic, it will take the one for Salmon Arm skiers down,” said Larch Hills Nordic Society past-president Jim Beckner. “Doesn’t make too much sense. Not much support for recreational tourism. “Meanwhile, the rule for wineries and downhill ski areas, for example, allows two signs – one in each direction.”

We’ll keep pushing for a second sign.

Happy spring skiing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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