Canadian Tire – thank you!

Our annual Herringbone Award, which goes to a business that contributed in-kind services to the club in the past year, went to Canadian Tire this year for their generosity in donating $1,000 towards our brand new ski club uniforms, as well as another $1,000 in in-kind donations for much-needed chalet equipment (including a brand new coffee urn!). This award also marks our appreciation for their Jumpstart program, which offers grants to help families buy sports equipment for their kids. Thanks to Karen Butorac et al for all their help! (And to Alyssa Titus for the photo.)

Early bird rates extended

In honour of winter arriving, and the ongoing need for socially distanced activities, our board voted to extend the early bird membership rates this year. Early bird rates will now run until Nov. 15.

Sign up here.

Rates are:

  • Family – $320 ($300 Early Bird)
  • Individual Adult – $140 ($120 Early Bird)
  • Individual Youth (5 – 18) – $60
  • Individual Child (<5) – $20

And make sure to sign up for our newsletter to learn the latest about our youth programs, adult lessons, events and trail conditions. 

Our COVID-19 season plan!

The board discussed and approved a plan Nov. 2 for carrying on with our season while preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

You’ll find our full Exposure Control Plan here. This document will be reviewed and updated as needed. It will also be posted on the bulletin board inside the chalet. 

I’ve listed highlights below. 

Chalet highlights

Good news; the chalet will open soon with new signage! Members are welcome to use the chalet to change and leave gear/equipment in while skiing. 

However, we are asking members to please limit their chalet usage, especially on Saturdays between 10 and 3, when our programs are running. 

Members are also asked to:

  • sign in upon arrival;
  • follow posted maximum capacities per zone or room (i.e. wax rooms, washrooms);
  • stay home if ill;
  • not enter the chalet if self-isolating for any reason;
  • clean and disinfect touched surfaces before leaving;
  • BYO coffee/hot chocolate. The communal kitchen is closed for now. 

We will continue to rent the chalet to user groups who demonstrate adherence to CPHO guidelines. 

Program highlights

Our program leads will send details to all participants, but here are a few of the high notes.

  • HP, Track Attack and Jackrabbits will run primarily outdoors this year. Skiers must arrive dressed and ready to ski.
  • We’re adding two more access points to the trails so each Jackrabbit group can meet away from others (that is, we’ll use the biathlon stadium and the trail entry near the grooming shed as well as the main stadium).
  • The chalet will be used primarily for bathrooms, warmth and indoor dryland training where a WSCC risk assessment allows.
  • Jackrabbit snacks and Track Attack lunches will be cancelled for now.
  • Our Ski Parents program will not be offered until indoor physical distancing restrictions are lifted. 

As mentioned, these rules will be updated to follow the latest public health guidelines. 

Big thanks to programs director Bernadette Knox, facilities director Credence Wood, volunteers coordinator Alyssa Titus, treasurer Tania Hercun and all-around volunteer John Stephenson for working hard on this plan!

Registration for our 2020/2021 ski season is open

Registration is now open for the 2020/2021 ski season!

Early bird fees apply until Nov. 9, 2020. 

  • Family – $320 ($300 Early Bird)
  • Individual Adult – $140 ($120 Early Bird)
  • Individual Youth (5 – 18) – $60
  • Individual Child (<5) – $20

Families who need some extra help to cover program fees and equipment are invited to choose the option to apply for a Kidsport grant, which we can then help you with. Kidsport NWT will provide families up to $300 per child to cover program and equipment costs.

An alternative option is Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program, which offers up to $300 per child two times a year for registration fees, equipment and transportation. 

What about COVID-19?

While we have outlined some broad strokes for our COVID-19 season plan, we have not yet defined what exactly our programs will look like. So far, we know that:

  • We’ll aim to keep programs mainly outside, using the chalet for bathroom breaks and warmups only.
  • In addition to the main entry to the stadium, we’ll post signage on the trail access point near the grooming sheds (just to the right of the main entryway) and on the biathlon range so that we don’t get bottlenecks of people heading into or out of the trails.
  • We’ll follow all current public health rules, meaning a maximum of 25 people in the chalet at a time, no sharing of kitchen items (so no hot chocolate making this year); and some sort of sign-in should we ever need to do contact tracing. 
  • We have applied for funding to hire someone to help us manage the chalet during high traffic times, though this may not be necessary. 

When we do have a full plan developed, we’ll share it with our members and post it here on our website. Our programs director, Bernadette Knox, is taking the lead on this. Thanks Bernadette!

Snow Show a no go

Due to COVID-19, we will not be holding our annual Snow Show and used ski equipment sale. 

In lieu of the Snow Show, we invite anyone who wants to learn about our club to call up one of our ski ambassadors to learn more about our programs:

  • Kerry Wheler, events coordinator, coach, long-time skier and mom of two: 867-446-5448
  • John Stephenson, director-at-large and honorary lifetime ski club member, 867-446-4521
  • Sara Minogue, communications director, 867-446-1432.

In lieu of our annual used ski gear sale, we invite people to make use of our Yellowknife Ski Gear Sell/Swap Facebook page, or call any of the above ski ambassadors for advice on how to find skis. 

Member perks

In addition to access to our trails, our chalet and wax room and our social events, however those look this year, ski club members get a 10% discount on ski equipment and related accessories at Overlander. (Conversely, people who rent skis at Overlander are entitled to use our trails for free for the duration of the rental.)

Yes! We’re having a ski season!

The board met earlier tonight to talk about what this year’s ski season will look like.

We are aiming to run all of our programs. Our new volunteer programs director, Bernadette Knox, will be leading a committee to help draft an appropriate season plan that will work for all of our groups, from Jackrabbits to High Performance. This plan will also consider how members can make use of our chalet.

What we know:
– All programming will take place outside as much as possible;
– We won’t have more than 25 people at a time inside the chalet (that’s 25 people in total, including upstairs and downstairs);
– We WILL have to consider cold weather cancellations differently than in the past (in the past, we tried hard to ignore cold weather and run programs anyway);
– And we will submit a plan to the chief public officer of health (and our members) this fall.

What we don’t know:
– How we’ll coordinate member use of the chalet (ideas include: virtual sign-in; hiring someone to monitor chalet use at peak hours; membership bubbles; more informal ski programs requiring informal sign-up);
– What our events will look like;
– Whether we’ll be able to host a Snow Show;
– And what the fall ski swap will look like (it may be as simple as us asking people to post their gear for sale on our Facebook page).

The good news is we have a great board that’s actively working on this and aiming to have a plan submitted to the chief public health officer this fall. 

Got an idea that might help? Reach us at info@skiyellowknife.com.

Virtual annual general meeting – June 17

We’ll hold an annual general meeting the evening of Wednesday, June 17. The meeting will be held via Zoom.

The agm is an opportunity for members to hear the latest from our board of directors, check in on our finances and take part in board elections. This year, we’ll be presenting our new five-year strategic plan for members approval (download the YKSC draft strategic plan). We’ll also be handing out our annual volunteer awards. (Read the agenda: YKSC AGM Agenda – June 17, 2020.)

You can read our annual report for the year, including the financial statements, here

While most of our board members are keen to stand for re-election, we are saying goodbye to our programs director Steve Reitsma. In the last few years, it was Steve who brought back adult group ski lessons. Steve also helped organize our new team uniforms, and served as a parent volunteer with Track Attack (which he plans to keep doing). Thanks Steve! 

This means we’re actively seeking a new programs director. We’re also seeking a vice president, a role that is currently vacant. And we welcome challengers for any of our board roles. If you’re interested in joining the board, read more about the roles and responsibilities here, read up on our club governance generally here, and feel free to drop a note to info@skiyellowknife.com for more information. 

The Great COVID-19 Non-Loppet!

In lieu of our annual loppet, the Yellowknife Ski Club is developing a 20 km ski loop (including a few portages) this weekend that runs in and around Yellowknife. We strongly encourage all Yellowknife skiers to enjoy this route at their own leisure in the coming days, while remembering physical distancing guidelines.

We believe this is a good way both to support skiing, demonstrate our commitment to the skiing community, and spread skiers out over a large space.

The trail is unmarked, except for this map, and it takes in a few well-known ski routes, connected by some perhaps less well known snowmobile trails.

The trail includes Niels Konge’s beautiful 6.5 kilometre loop on Frame Lake.

It connects to the ski club via the snowmobile trail that runs behind the legislature and over the highway. The suggested route there is our outer loop, which includes a few gentle hills (and one really fun steep one; feel free to take off your skis and walk down). Ski club trails are free to all skiers for the rest of the season.

The trail picks up on Back Bay, stomping grounds of guerrilla groomer and lifetime honorary ski club member Kevin Hodgins. This is another nice, flat section for skiers of all levels.

A final section takes in the tracks that run into the Burwash, and can be skied at the same time or separately.

We suggest skiers travel south to north on the snowmobile route and ski counterclockwise on the Bay Bay loop in order to end up going the right way on the ski club section trails. However, there should be ample room on all of the routes to accommodate travel in both directions. 

As with any loppet, there are no prizes for finishing. Only the sense of having enjoyed a great ski!

Grooming schedule:

  • Niels will groom Frame Lake Friday night;
  • Niels will groom Back Bay Saturday midday;
  • Dave Kellet and/or Ryan McCord will groom the track to Burwash sometime this weekend;
  • Ski Club groomers will groom Friday night.

Enjoy!

Covid-19 update: Trails are FREE to ALL for the rest of the season!

Old Tow Hill around 10:30 am on March 20, 2020.

Our club trails are perfect right now for both skate and classic. Enjoy a solo ski with your family on us. Trails are now free and will remain so for the rest of the season. 

You’ll find the trails map here. If you’re new to our trails, it’s a good idea to start on the Snowflake route (about 3km) and get familiar with the trails from there. The 2.5 is a beauty of a trail, with two lovely lookout points. Next, try the 5, then just keep on going. 

Snowshoers are also welcome! (Just please stay off the set tracks.)

We also have a lit loop for night-skiing that covers most of the Snowflake, but bring a headlamp anyway as it’ll get you through the dark spots and you’re more likely to spot wildlife (a great adventure for kids). 

And a reminder: no dogs. 

Covid-19 update

The ski club chalet will be closed to renters as of Wednesday, in line with the City of Yellowknife’s forthcoming closures. In case you missed it, the Fieldhouse, the multiplex, the pool, the library, the curling club and the Yellowknife Community Arena will all close as of March 18 (today is the last day to stockpile library books). 

We will suspend all our programs as of Wednesday (though most of these programs were on a March break hiatus). This includes Track Attack, Jackrabbits and Bunnyrabbits, High Performance and Ski Parents. 

Ski club members can expect to see the chalet closed indefinitely within about a week. We invite anyone who has skis or other items they need to come and get them. However, we discourage anyone from suiting up or waxing skis in the chalet; please treat it as an emergency warming shelter only. The board will meet next week to review this decision before announcing further measures. 

Cleaning is an issue. Our cleaners, from the YES group of the Yellowknife Association of Community Living, can no longer provide our regular cleaning services on Mondays and Wednesdays. As we do not have daily cleaning protocols in place (and nothing to the standard required by the covid-19 epidemic), we will leave cleaning supplies handy for the next week or so. If you must enter the chalet, please clean any surfaces that you or your children touch. 

Though we are saddened by these closures, we recognize the need for extreme measures during this outbreak. Thank you for practicing social distancing with us. 

Final note: the forecast looks great so please enjoy some solo skiing during this beautiful weather! 

Yellowknife Gold Loppet cancelled

Update March 28:This year’s loppet is officially cancelled. Instead, our volunteers will be working with some of the guerrilla groomers around town to devise a continuous 25km loop in and around Yellowknife. We believe this is a good way both to support skiing, demonstrate our commitment to the skiing community, and spread skiers out over a large space. (Might give city planners some great ideas down the road too!)

Watch this space and our Facebook page for maps.

If you signed up for the loppet and would like a refund, reach Tania Hercun at: ykskiclubtreasurer@gmail.com.