The Salmon Arm Snowblazers snowmobile club are preparing for the coming season with many of the COVID-19 precautions they started in the spring still in place.
Club director Sandy Milne said they will be following guidelines developed by the BC Snowmobile Federation. Face masks and disinfectant have been available in the club’s cabin since March and Milne said Rec Sites and Trails BC installed signs with COVID-19 safety recommendations.
Milne said the biggest impact the pandemic has had on the Snowblazers is the cancellation of fundraising activities which help fill the club’s bank account. She said the club had not yet ironed out the details of how it would be collecting trail fees but would likely be encouraging riders to take advantage of the online payment option. Milne added that now would also be a good time for users of the Snowblazers’ trail system, which runs through the Fly Hills, to purchase a club membership.
Volunteers have been hard at work clearing the snowmobile trails and performing other necessary tasks like stocking the cabin with firewood. Milne said more volunteers are always needed but the club is grateful for the ones they have, including those who take it upon themselves to clear trails and perform other maintenance without ever coming forward to say they did it.
An encouraging amount of snow has already fallen near the Snowblazers’ cabin. Milne said any more might complicate a few final pre-season maintenance tasks, but the club is looking forward to good sledding conditions. Milne said they are also hoping to welcome new snowmobilers; she thinks people who usually travel in the winter but are kept at home by COVID-19 may be looking for a new winter activity.