New chalet rental fees

New rates for renting the Yellowknife Ski Club chalet will go into effect Sept. 1, 2019. 

A key change is that we now have two rates: one for private, corporate and government renters, and a discounted rate for non-profit, school, youth programs and charities. The goal is to better reflect the value of our renovated chalet while ensuring many user groups can afford to rent it. 

The new rates are as follows:
– Chalet and trail use, upstairs (including trail day passes and use of outdoor lockers): $250 half day, $500 full day ($150 half day, $300 full day);
– Chalet downstairs only (May 1 to Oct. 31 only): $200 half day, $300 full day ($100 half day, $200 full day).

A $500 damage deposit is applicable to all renters. On-site storage is available (at the discretion of the board) for $1,000 a year.

Read our full Fees and Charges Policy.

Athletes of the Year

The ski club was amply represented at this year’s Sport North awards banquet on May 25. 

Sheena Tremblay, High Performance Program Coach & Coach of the Year Nominee

Sheen Tremblay, left, with coaches Mike Argue, Kevin Durkee and Stephen Dunbar at the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Sheena Tremblay has coached and mentored NT cross-country skiers through day-to-day practices, training camps and competitions for the past 10 years (to quantify this commitment, she has led and supported upwards of 1,000 Yellowknife High Performance Ski Team practices!).

Sheena was the head coach of the NT cross-country team at the 2019 Canada Winter Games and helped skiers achieve the strongest NWT results in more years than 20 years. Sheena has also supported NT skiers at more than 30 competitions outside the NWT over the past decade.

Sheena creates an inclusive atmosphere and builds connections with her athletes beyond just ski racing – skiers always know that they have a trusted supporter and cheerleader in Sheena. It’s also widely known that Sheena’s practices are the most fun : )

Way to go Coach!

Ella Kokelj, Junior Female Athlete of the Year

Ella Kokelj has an enthusiasm for both racing and training that rubs off on those around her. Ella is keen to learn and respectfully challenges her coaches to provide the best support they possibly can.

Ella had a number of great performances this past year with the sprint race at Canada Winter Games and the pursuit race at the Canadian Championships being definite highlights.

Congrats Ella!

Clair Littlefair, Senior Female Athlete of the Year

While pursuing post-secondary studies in Kelowna, Clair Littlefair continues to represent the Yellowknife Ski Club when racing throughout the country.  

Clair loves the grind of training and racing (demonstrated by 5 am roller ski sessions and 100 km skis!). This hard work was rewarded this past season through top-20 results at the Canada Winter Games and a top-10 result at the Canadian University Championships, among other strong performances.

Awesome job Clair!

Ski club volunteer award winners

Three people and one business were recognized at the Yellowknife Ski Club’s volunteer awards Thursday, June 13. 

Left to right: Adam Findley and David Connelly of TerraX Minerals, Jakob Hotson and Sarah Beattie. Absent: Greg Littlefair.

The Wooden Ski Award for long service went to Greg Littlefair who has spent many years as a board member and groomer. Most recently, Greg worked with Clair Littlefair and Paul Guy to build a new trail up the Sah Cho Hill coming up from Fault Lake (to be called the P.G.C. Trail for Paul, Greg and Clair).

The Double-Poler Award (for an adult volunteer who made a significant contribution to the club in the past year) went to Sarah Beattie. This year, Sarah coached Jackrabbits, organized hot food for the Banting Lake checkstop during the Loppet, updated all of our First Aid kits, and generally said yes anytime something needed to be done. 

The Stellar Snowflake Award (for a junior volunteer) went to Jakob Hotson. After completing Jackrabbits Level 4 himself, Jakob returned this past year to coach the Bunnies, showing great enthusiasm with our youngest skiers. 

The Herringbone Award for a business that contributed to the club in the past year went to TerraX Minerals, the title sponsor for the Yellowknife Gold Loppet and an important supporter. 

The Yellowknife Ski Club remains the largest volunteer-run sport organization in the North so thanks to these folks and to all who contribute!

BBQ and AGM June 13

Our volunteer appreciation bbq will take place at the chalet on Thursday, June 13.

As usual, we’ll start with drinks and burgers on the deck, followed by sponsor recognition and volunteer awards, followed by our AGM, which should not take more than one hour. 

Though the majority of our board members are willing to return to their positions this year (yay!), all positions are up for election and we encourage challengers. We also have openings for the roles of vice-president, director of facilities, and member-at-large. 

If you have any interest or know someone who might, contact Heather Scott at ykskiclubpresident@gmail.com, any of our other board members (they’re listed here), or drop a note to info@skiyellowknife.com.
 
If you’d like to know a bit more about what serving on the board involves, our minutes are posted here. And here’s a document that describes more clearly the role of each board position, including the time commitment.

Read the 2019 AGM agenda

Loppet thank you’s

We would like to recognize TerraX for their generous sponsorship and support of our annual loppet. Without them, this event would not be possible. A huge thank you for their generosity, dedication and enthusiasm! This year we had 370 participants — a new record!

And a big thanks to Alyssa Titus (pictured) for organizing this year’s event. She did an amazing job with a huge team of volunteers and it showed. 

Other thank you’s go to:

  • The groomers (Bruce Look, Rob Tumchewics, Steve Reitsma, Greg Littlefair and Niels Konge);
  • The Yellowknife Amateur Radio Society for providing participant tracking and communications (Chris Cameron, Brent Currie, Ian Rennie, Kate Cannell, Bob Johnson);
  • The Rotary Club for serving lunch at the chalet (Marie Adams, Jhillian Adams, Gail Cyr, Bryan Manson, Stewart Gibson, Mike Kalnay, Simon Whitehouse, John Doody, Marilyn Robak, Gord Van Tighem, Bruce Davidson);
  • K’alemi Dene School for catering the chili;
  • Blair and Kelley Weatherby of Weatherby Trucking for clearing the parking area on Vee Lake;
  • Noelene Kerr of Polar Promotions for ordering the hats; Dot Van Vliet for graphic design;
  • Yellowknife Food Rescue, for providing ingredients for the soup at Banting;
  • Our chefs: 100 dozen cookies (!) by Kathi Woodward; soup by Sarah Beattie & co.; energy balls by Sarah Argue, Maggie Collins, Shauna Mullally, and Kathryn Oraas.
  • Our dedicated volunteers: Damian Panayi, John Stephenson, Kerry Wheler, Dave Taylor, Heather Hannah, Sam Kennedy, Jennie Rausch, Tom Deleff, Denise-Nathalie Althaus, Toni Anderson, Matt Anderson, Heather Moxon, Catherine Pigott, Raquel Garcia, Joslyn Oosenbrug, Sarah Beattie, Kate Mansfield, Marret Callas, Amanda Blair, Satish Garikaparthi, Jean-Marie Mariez, Rebecca Bruser, Rachel Van der Veen, Brian Latham, Danielle Stachiw, Sean, Debbie Delancey, Tania Hercun, and Alex Lothian.

And thanks to all the Loppetteers who made it a great day of skiing.

Coach of the year! And athletes too…

Every year our Jackrabbits program recognizes one coach who exemplifies the enthusiasm of the late Ron Seale. This year’s choice was Meghan Beveridge (pictured), who coached Level 3, and had a great time doing it. We were pleased to have this year’s award presented by Lorraine Seale and Peggy Holroyd, as well as our Jackrabbits coordinator, Kerry Wheler at the chalet on Saturday, April 6. 

On the same day, Mike Freeland, owner of Blachford Lake Lodge and John Stephenson, Blachford staff and long-term ski club volunteer, also presented the annual Blachford Lake Lodge Spirit Award, which recognizes young athletes who demonstrate enthusiasm, attendance and good spirit. In the 29th year of this award, twelve young athletes were recognized. They include:

  • Coco Otsuka
  • Winnie Naphan
  • Leah Wood
  • Thelo Vaughn
  • Viviana Scott
  • Matias Gannon
  • Elias Enns
  • Luken Bjorgan
  • Kael Enns
  • Aliana Lothian
  • Hailey Stephenson (not pictured)
  • Mayah Favre (not pictured)

Great work, guys!

Fleet update

The ski club has purchased two slightly used snow machines to augment our aging Alpine snowmobiles, and they have kind of a neat story.

The D900. (Photo courtesy DEW Engineering)

The DEW D900 snowmobile was custom designed for the military as part of an experimental program to develop a heavy pulling vehicle for Arctic operations. Weighing in at just under 1,000 pounds with fuel, these new machines can pull 2,000 pounds and are powered by a three-cylinder turbo-charged diesel engine.

Although not great for military purposes (they sank in softer snow and were hard to start at -40), it turns out they’re great for pulling grooming equipment and love life in a heated garage.

The ski club picked these babies up for $6,000 a piece, in pretty great condition. One started at -20 after having sat for two years on a surplus lot, and the two machines had been used for only 50 and 70 hours, respectively, both on an operation in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, with the Canadian Rangers. 

So far, the machines have been tested on all of the grooming equipment but the largest grader and have functioned perfectly. If you happen to see one of these beasts on the trail, please know your tax dollars are hard at work, right here at the club

Thanks to trails director Chris Hotson for spotting this deal and making it happen!

Loppet registration open

Registration is now open on Zone4 for the Yellowknife Gold Loppet sponsored by TerraX Minerals takes place Sunday, April 7.

What’s a loppet, you ask? It’s a fun ski on groomed tracks in the wilderness starting at Vee Lake between 10 and 11:30. Skiers can choose from 4, 15 and 25 kilometre loops. Dogs are welcome after 11:30. You can see the route map here. There are two checkpoints featuring refreshments and apres-ski chilli is served at the ski club chalet between 12 and 4 pm. 

Fees for the whole extravaganza:

  • Adults (18 and over): $30
  • Junior (5-18): $20 (15 or 25 km), $5 (4 km)
  • Kids under 5 free (born 2014 or later)
  • Dogs: $5

You don’t need to be a ski club member to sign up. 

Volunteers are still needed, and we still have jobs that will allow you to ski. Contact Alyssa Titus at ykskiclubvolunteerdirector@gmail.com.

Here are the full rules:

  1. Please register all your family members, including infants in pulks and packs.
  2. Sign-in and bib pick up will be at Overlander Sports between 10 am and 5 pm on Saturday 6 April (the day before the event).
  3. You must begin your ski between 10:00 and 11:30 am. We will not be able to track any skiers starting after 11:30.
  4. If you are skiing with a dog, we ask you to start at 11:30. Please note that we must limit dogs to one per skier, on a leash while in the start area, and no skijoring!
  5. If you wish to ski the 25 km route, you must arrive at Jackson check point (7 km mark) by 12:30 pm. All skiers arriving at Jackson after 12:30 will be diverted to the 15 km route.
  6. For safety reasons, you must stop at all check points, including the Start and Finish, to make sure your name and bib number are recorded. If we don’t record your finish, we will send out Search and Rescue to look for you!
  7. You must check in at each check point before it closes. Please consider this before you decide whether to register for the 4 km, 15 km, or 25 km route. Banting Check Point will close at 2:00. Jackson Check Point will close at 1:30 pm. The Finish Line will close at 3:00.
  8. Free apres-ski lunch chili will be served at the Chalet from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. There will be limited drinks and snacks only at Vee Lake.

YK Skiers at the Canada Winter Games

Nine Yellowknife skiers raced their hearts out at the Canada Winter Games this week in individual start, sprint and mass start races. 

Team NT cross country skiing is made up of Jack Panayi, Jack Kotaska, Donny Boake, Nicolas Bennett, Rae Panayi, Kea Furniss, Ruby Pigott, Ella Kokelj and Clair Littlefair. Coaches supporting NT skiers include Head Coach Sheena Tremblay as well as Kevin Durkee, Stephen Dunbar and Mike Argue. 

Team NT cross country skiing at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta.

Team NT coaches at the Canada Winter Games. Head Coach Sheena Tremblay, Stephen Dunbar, Mike Argue and Kevin Durkee.

While conditions were challenging for some, race days have resembled home with temperatures in the low teens; perfect conditions for speedy NT racers who have raced competitively with athletes from across the country. 

The girls: Claire Littlefair, Ella Kokelj, Kea Furniss, Ruby Pigott and Rae Panayi.

The games closed out with mixed relays on Saturday. What a week!

March ski lessons

Registration is now open for three sets of lessons for adult beginner/intermediate classic skiers running in March 2019.

Each set includes four lessons over four weeks, except Saturdays, which runs over three weeks.

  • Saturdays, 1:30-3:30, March 9, 23 and 30 (avoiding the Frostbite 50 March 16)
  • Sundays, 1:30-3:30, March 10, 17, 24, 31
  • Wednesdays, 7-9pm, March 6, 13, 20, 27

Registration is now open on Zone4.ca. Registration closes two days before the first lesson.

Four lessons cost $80 plus a $40 trail use fee for non-members. The Saturday series of three lessons costs $60. 

Read more about our adult lessons here