The Yellowknife Ski Club has been running on 100 per cent volunteer power since it was first incorporated as a society in 1968. The club has hosted five Arctic Winter Games (dating back to 1970) and produced several world champions.
The club primarily operates on a leased parcel of land near the northern boundary of the City of Yellowknife, site of approximately 14 kilometres of groomed ski trails, snowshoe trails, a biathlon shooting range, and our chalet.
The Yellowknife Ski Club was first conceived as an alpine club, located at the hill by the Jackfish Lake power plant. The Old Town Hill in the existing trail route takes its name from the old tow rope, which ran until 1967.
The club later transitioned into cross-country skiing, with the trails in and around Niven Lake. Many of those trails were destroyed with the opening of the subdivision in the 1990s, and recut by a dedicated group of volunteers to where they are today.
Another milestone occurred in 1997, when the Yellowknife Ski Club and Elk’s Youth Centre officially opened. The creation of a spacious, two-storey lodge would never have been possible without the partnership of the Elks, recalls John Stephenson, past president and ongoing volunteer for the club. (The Ski Club has since bought out the Elks share of the building.)
The Ski Club has awarded a handful of lifetime memberships to people who have been key to the club’s success. As of 2019, they included: Sharon Firth, Blair and Linda Dunbar, Kevin Hodgins and John Stephenson.
Edge Yk published a feature article on the history of the club, Up, Up and Away, in December of 2012.