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 seasons.

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.

CANSI Level 1 course … in December

Update: this course, originally planned for March 13-15, has been postponed until December of 2020. CANSI-certified instructors will be able to re-certify then. 

We’re organizing a Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI) Level 1 training course. 

The course is geared towards strong skiers that are able to demonstrate solid classic and skate technique. A classic skier who is not a strong skate skier can still be qualified as a Level 1 Classic instructor.

The course will run 20 hours, starting the evening of Friday March 13, with eight hours of instruction Saturday and Sunday, both indoors and outdoors.

CANSI courses can cost $350 to $500. We’re subsidizing this course at:

  • $50 for program coaches and members willing to teach adult classes for the club;
  • $100 for club members that just want the qualification;
  • and $150 for non-members.

The course is open to skiers as young as 16.

People who want to participate will also need to purchase a $100 CANSI membership, which includes access to teaching aids and other goodies. 

If you are interested, please reach Rob Matthews at 765-8668 or rjmrobm@hotmail.com. 

Yellowknife Ski Races Feb. 29/March 1

Cookie medals for everyone at the Yellowknife Ski Races next weekend! 

The Yellowknife Ski Races are a family friendly event with categories and distances for all ages. This year’s races will also serve as the NWT Territorial Ski Championships, featuring skiers from out of town. Classic races take place Saturday, starting with bib-pickup at 12:30; free races take place Sunday. Get all the details on the 2020 YK Ski Race Notice (revised temperature).

Registration is now open and closes at midnight, Thursday Feb. 27. All participants must register (even the little kids). 

We’ll have complimentary hot chocolate and fruit inside the chalet on Saturday. Unfortunately, our Sunday food vendor, One of a Thai, will not be able to make it. 

The temperature cutoff is -20 C for Bantam and older (born 2008/2009) and -15 C for Peewee and younger (born 2010/2011), as per Nordiq Canada rules. Our race jurors will make the call at the ski club on race day. In case of cancellation, we’ll encourage everyone to enjoy a recreational ski.

We need volunteers! Sign up here for Saturday, and here for Sunday. For more information, contact events director Kerry Wheler: ykskiclubevents@gmail.com.

Sunday lunches!

We’re holding Sunday lunches all through February, thanks to the NWT Literacy Council’s Community Connections program. Enjoy a ski then drop by the chalet between 12 and 2 for hot lunch served upstairs. 

This Sunday, Feb. 9, we’ll have Mexican Sunday lunch. On Feb. 16, we’ll have fare from Palestine and the Middle East. On Feb. 23, the Sudan. 

Plates are $20 for adults, $10 for kids. 

Natsnet, Karen and Munira served an Eritrean Sunday lunch in January. (Submitted by Karen Johnson)

February adult ski lessons!

Great news: we’re offering two sets of weekend adult ski lessons through the month of February.

  • Beginner lessons run Saturdays from 11-1 on Feb. 8, 15, 22, and 29. Registration closes Feb. 7.
  • Intermediate lessons run Sundays from 1:30-3:30 on Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23. Registration closes Feb. 1.

The cost is $80 per four lessons, plus $40 in trail fees for non-members. Please arrive early, with skis waxed (or ready to be waxed, beginners) so you can hit the snow right at 11 (or 1:30).

Register on Zone4.ca

You’ll need skis to participate! If you can’t beg or borrow some, you can rent from Overlander Sports (free trail fees if you do this). Conversely, if you become a member, you’ll get 10% off skis/boots/poles at Overlander.

For more details and/or to arrange private lessons, reach Steve Reitsma at ykskiclubprograms@gmail.com.

World Snow Day Jan. 19

Join us for our premier open house of the season on Sunday, Jan. 19.

We’ll have:
– Free pancakes in the chalet from 10-2;
– Free ski and snowshoe rentals (for kids and adults, courtesy of Overlander Sports and YK1);
– Free trail use for non-members (courtesy of the NWT Recreation and Parks Get Active program).

Please invite your friends, co-workers, colleagues or anyone on the fence about skiing and we’ll show ’em how it’s done. Thanks to CCNWT for sponsoring this fun, family friendly event.