Snow magic on the hills

With the first big snowfall last week, the fellows were out packing the trails with the packer behind the snowmobile

One of many volunteers at Larch Hills, Ron Beals pauses at the Larch Hills Nordic chalet as he gets set to ski out to put up trail maps.

One of many volunteers at Larch Hills, Ron Beals pauses at the Larch Hills Nordic chalet as he gets set to ski out to put up trail maps.

Snow! Yahoo! The snow dances were successful.

With the first big snowfall last week, the fellows were out packing the trails with the packer behind the snowmobile, Then, with this past dump, we now have tracks set by the Ginzu groomer. Jim and I went up Tuesday morning and skied up Larch Hills Road to Cec’s cabin then down Sky Trail. Magic!

Of course, one must be watchful of skinny patches under the tress where the snow has not yet penetrated, and keep an eye out for the occasional rock, which may have been uncovered by the Ginzu groomer. If you come upon such rocks when you are skiing, do remove them, if possible. We are all stewards of the trails.

As it is for many clubs, the LHNS is all about volunteers. There are the visible ones like the instructors at Jackrabbit sessions, the organizers and officials at the Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet and other LH events, the coaches of the Junior Race Team, the folks arranging things at the Lantern Skis. But then there is that cadre of volunteers behind the scenes who quietly and invisibly go about their volunteer business.

For years, indeed decades, Ron Beals has put up the trail maps around the trail system, without which many of us would not have a clue where we are. Each season, Brian Ayotte, with the help of a snowmobile operator, this year Jerry Hutter, puts out the safety toboggans and first aid gear at the three spots indicated on the trail maps – South Hub, Bilbo’s Bog at Metford Road, and Cec’s cabin. (There is also one at the chalet.) Those wonderful lanterns at the Lantern Ski event have to be cleaned and filled. That job this year falls to co-ordinator Louis-Marc Simard and his crew who met this week to do the deed, ready for the Lantern Ski December 27. Just a few of those important invisible volunteers.

The first event on the race calendar for the Junior Racing team was the BC Cup #1 held at Sovereign Lake last weekend. Larch Hills skiers did very well. We were up to watch the mass-start classic event on Saturday and were hard-pressed to keep track of the 62 Larch Hills skiers racing. Congrats to all. Training sessions continue every Wednesday after school and Saturday mornings in preparation for the next BC Cup in Kelowna then the BC Championships in Prince George Feb. 2-3/13.

Jackrabbits starts tomorrow with 126 registered and a full complement of leaders. I get to be a floating leader, filling in where needed. Great gig.

Santa Cruise is this Sunday, a casual event with a fun auction of donated goods in aid of the Salmon Arm Food Banks.

Register by 11 a.m.

LHNS membership is 600-plus. Surprising, since we have had no snow, but a heart-warming act of faith for hopeful skiers and club supporters. Memberships are available on our web site or at Skookum and John’s Ski Shack.

The community of Salmon Arm is more than generous in its support of the LHNS. We have just recently installed a new chimney and stove in the chalet with a very significant donation from Salmon Arm Fireplace, plus delivery, time, and labour donated by Robert Babakaiff of Arro Wood Heat Services. Our heartfelt thanks.

Think snow!

 

Salmon Arm Observer

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