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.

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.

Yellowknife Ski Club uniforms now available for purchase online

Our Zone4.ca site is now live for the YK Ski Club Ski Team Uniform Order!  

Please make your order by Friday, December 6, 2019. We are anticipating a four-week turn-around time for the order so the uniforms will likely arrive in January 2020. (Note: IOU notes for new ski gear are perfectly acceptable Christmas gifts.)

If you have any questions, please contact Diep Duong at ykskiclubfundraising@gmail.com.

You’ll find the following information in the Zone4 link, but I copy it below so you can browse the options before making an order. Prices range from $80 for a youth warm-up jacket to $95 for adults. Pants cost between $60 and $95.

A reminder of how great this stuff will look:

Size, product details

The club is happy to be offering updated Louis Garneau custom clothing in both Junior and Senior Sizing.

Find the catalogue here and the sizing chart here

There are two lines for the warm up suits:

Kick – offers a warm liner which is perfect for the younger TA kids. Coaches recommends this line for the Track Attack kids (unless they are too tall and no longer fit the junior sizing). Unfortunately, there is no side zipper on the pants. The Kick line has junior sizing (warm up jacket, warm up vest and warm up pants). Note that Garneau also carries warm up jackets and warm up vests in the Kick line for adults who may want to be a little warmer (i.e. coaches, parents, recreational skier, or older TA kids who just want a little warmer jacket/vest). There are no adult Kick warm up pants.

Lapps – there is no warm liner. The Lapps line has pants with a full side zipper. Coaches recommends this line for the HP kids.

There are two lines for the racing suits:

Sparke – has a warm liner which again is great for the younger Track Attack kids but Garneau actually has this line for both junior and adult sizing. 

Brisk – does not have the warmer liner and is better for the HP kids. Coaches recommends this line for the HP kids.

Note: Ski racing suits will be available for rental for Track Attack and a few will be available for High Performance, but feel free to order one for any skier who wishes to have their own!

Thanks again to Diep Duong, our volunteer grants and fundraising director, for organizing this!

Adult ski lesson Dec. 8 kickoff

Our 2019/2020 adult ski lessons will kick off with a series of $5 (cash only), one-hour lessons from 1 to 5 pm on Sunday, Dec. 8.
 
To sign up, please email Steve Reitsma at ykskiclubprograms@gmail.com with:
– the name of the skier;
– preferred time slot (1pm, 2:15 or 3:30);
– and whether you’re a beginner or intermediate skier.
 
We’ll also take drop-ins with any groups that still have room. Skiers are welcome to stick around afterwards for a Sunday potluck dinner featuring Christmas caroling, starting at 5.
 
We still haven’t worked out the full calendar for month-long series of lessons. Watch this space for details. 
 
Last year we ran several four-session series of group lessons in classic, skate, beginner and intermediate formats. Four lessons cost $80 plus a $40 trail use fee for non-members. 
 

Snow Show thank you’s

A big thanks to all who made our Snow Show a huge success this year. Between the bake sale, gear sale, chilli sale, silent auction and 50/50 draw, we managed to raise almost $10,000. Thanks especially to the winner of this year’s 50/50 draw, who immediately donated the proceeds right back to the club. 

And a special thanks to those who contributed to our silent auction! This year we raised nearly $7,000 thanks to the generosity of the following donors:

  • ABC Auto
  • Ahmic Air
  • Autotec
  • Blachford Lake Lodge
  • The Book Cellar
  • The Brick
  • CBC North
  • Central Mechanical
  • Corother’s Home Hardware
  • Metro Huculak, YK1
  • Days Inn & Suites
  • Lana deBastiani
  • EMCO
  • For Women Only
  • Frostbite 50 – YKMC
  • Great Slave Helicopter
  • Happy Pooch
  • Kerry’s Firewood & Salvaging
  • Konge Construction
  • Northern Images
  • Overlander Sports
  • Panayi Family
  • Quality Furniture
  • Greg Robertson
  • Bluefish Services
  • Roy’s Audio Video
  • Signed
  • John Stephenson
  • Tania Hercun
  • True Value Hardware
  • Kathi Woodward
  • Yellowknife Motors
  • Diep Duong
  • Stephen and Amanda Dunbar
  • Eva Willet
  • Robbie Craig
  • Catherine Pigott
  • Crowe Mackay

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!

Farewell to the Green family

 

After nine years of living, skiing and volunteering in Yellowknife, Paul, Miriam, Tyson and Moira Green have moved to Prince George, B.C. The YK Ski Club wants to wish them well, and recognize their contribution to our club.

Paul Green was the first N.W.T. athlete to win a medal at the Canada Games in 1991, a feat that made the CBC’s World at Six. He later competed with the national biathlon team. He spent the last several years running the club’s biathlon program, serving as head coach for the NWT Biathlon Team for the Arctic Winter Games.

Miriam Green began skiing as a youth in Ottawa, winning medals in the Canadian Junior Championships and competing in the World Junior Championships in Italy in 1989. In Yellowknife, she spent four years coaching Jackrabbits, four more with Track Attack and several years with the High Performance kids.

I’ll quote from a nomination form for a CCC award in 2016: “Parents, skiers and coaches we spoke to commented on the fact that she is always smiling. It may sound cliche, but she radiates health and vitality from the inside out and young skiers instinctively trust her and look up to her, as do their parents. As a model of how cross-country skiing can shape a person and a life into adulthood, there is no finer example than Miriam.”

From Miriam herself: “It was awesome to be able to share a passion for cross-country skiing with like-minded families! It was rewarding to see the athletes develop, not just in the sport but also as individuals. It was fantastic to work with the other coaches; I really appreciate the time and thought they put in to coming up with fun and challenging practices, which my own kids have benefited from, and which I’ll bring to any future coaching I do.”

Their children, Tyson and Moira, were both part of the High Performance ski team and have lots of skiing ahead. 

Good luck to them!