Ryan Graham, Observer Reporter
With the winter in full swing, the Cariboo Ski Touring Club is gearing up for another successful season. The CSTC kicks off all the action Sunday with their Open House beginning at 10 a.m at Hallis Lake which will feature a number of free options for the public. They include free ski and snowshoe rentals, ski passes, lessons and ski tours. There will also be a pancake breakfast for $2.
“The Open House is usually a big draw for people who are new to the community or don’t know anything about cross country skiing, so it’s a great opportunity to come out and see what we got,” Ron Watteyne of the CSTC said.
Watteyne says there are a number of advantages in trying cross country skiing.
“The benefits are it gets people outdoors in the winter time,” Watteyne said.
“A lot of people get cabin fever when it gets cold and they don’t go outside and get any exercise. Here you can get outside and it’s also a sport where you are working hard and you are able to stay warm, so it’s a great way to exercise in the winter.”
“The nice thing about cross country skiing unlike running is that it’s not hard on the joints and it is also a good cardiovascular workout.”
The CSTC also has a number of options going on throughout the season. Some include adult ski lessons, jackrabbit program, night skiing and snowshoe trails. One new program the club is offering is the New to Nordic camp.
The New to Nordic camp is Jan. 22 which will cover all aspects of cross country skiing. Watteyne said they needed something else to offer the public than just adult ski lessons.
“The adult skiing program doesn’t teach you the other aspects like what kind of equipment you should get, length of poles and skis and what kind of clothing you should be wearing,” Watteyne said.
He says people who have never cross country skied before should start out with classic skis over skate skis.
“I would highly recommend to people if they have never skied before to start off classic, just to get basic balance and the feel of skiing because without balance skate skiing is really hard,” Watteyne said.
“Once you have your balance on classic skis than skate skiing will be easier.”
The lodge is open 10 a.m – 4 p.m. on weekends and noon – 6 p.m. on weekday and until 9 p.m. on Wednesday’s to accommodate night skiing. For more information you can visit http://www.caribooski.ca or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ Hallislakeskicenter.