Fantastic conditions, events

Spectacular conditions in the Larch Hills with this recent snowfall!

Spectacular conditions in the Larch Hills with this recent snowfall!

The PB continues to do its magic, or should I say its operators who are up the hill pre-dawn to set track in preparation for the day’s skiers. Check out the board when you arrive to see what trails have been track set or check out the web site: for this info.

And speaking of daily preparation, Pauline lights a fire every morning so the chalet is warm and cozy when folks arrive. Gone are the days when we had to put our ski boots on in the car then come back to chilly snow boots in the car after our ski because the chalet in the former location in the hollow did not have a caretaker to light a fire. Many thanks to Pauline for the welcoming atmosphere.

It has been quite the year for wildlife sightings while skiing the Larch Hills trails.

Numerous times now we have had a rabbit dash across the path in front of us. In all the years of seeing tracks, this is the first year I have actually seen the bunny. Also, coyote sightings have been reported. Perhaps someone has seen a moose? Pretty awesome to realize we have wildlife around us as we ski.

The Christmas season is upon us and the hill will be very busy with local skiers, visitors and Christmas guests. One finds that in spite of the parking lot being crammed with cars, there is good likelihood that you will see few skiers on the trails – they are always around the next corner. Of course there are those skiing towards you, which affords you the opportunity to get caught up and exchange Christmas greetings. The social part of Nordic skiing.

A few Mondays ago, right after a snowfall, Jim and I skied up Larch Hills Road to Baby Moonwalk, near the end of the day. Arriving at Baby Moonwalk we discovered it had not been track set but we went for it. What fun to head down Baby Moonwalk in 10 centimetres of powder. This I have done on Sky Trail but never on Baby Moonwalk. Always a surprise to be had on the hill.

The Wednesday Wenches gather every Wednesday morning for a backcountry ski outing. These past two Wednesdays the group has skied out Raven’s Ridge in the south system. Over Christmas we hope to ski the Summit, plus to the Far East. It’s our opportunity to get off set track and explore the backcountry trails.

We are not always just “wenches” – frequently we are joined by guys who, like us, are in search of backcountry.

Then there is the Thursday Geezer group that does the same backcountry skiing – and welcomes the gals, as well. Their project this past Thursday was to ski to Cec’s Cabin and decorate it with Christmas decorations brought from home. Libation and goodies followed. Then down Pileated Promenade to Sky Trail and the chalet.

So when you visit Cec’s Cabin you know where the cheerful decorations came from.

The Lantern Ski on Tuesday, Dec. 29, promises to be the magical experience it has been over the years. Such a terrific ski community event!

Then the Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet follows in mid-January. Be sure to sign up.

Over the holiday, John Henderson has gotten a crew of Larch Hills members to be trail hosts during the day. A really fun gig. I get to meet all sorts of wonderful folks – from far and near.

Enjoy skiing over the holiday. Drive carefully. And think snow.


Salmon Arm Observer

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