More adult ski lessons starting this weekend!

We’ve added a new set of beginner classic ski lessons to take advantage of the nice weather. 

This course is for adults who are relatively new to skiing. We’ll cover fundamental techniques that will quickly improve your comfort on skis and skiing ability. 

This course will include four lessons from 1-3 pm over four Sundays: Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 7 and March 14. 

Location: Ski Club chalet

Register here on Zone4.ca.

Cost: $80, plus $40 trail fee for non-members. (Note, if you rent skis from Overlander, trail fees are waived for the duration of the rental.)

Please arrive 15 minutes early, dressed warm, with skis waxed. Access to the chalet remains limited by our COVID exposure plan. (That is, the chalet is used for changing and storing equipment while skiing, but not for socializing. Guests are asked to wear masks, follow the signage and NOT enter the chalet if self-isolating for any reason.)

Ski-at-School is launched!

The Yellowknife Ski Club has officially kicked off a new Ski-at-School program designed to share our love of skiing with kids who are not currently accessing our youth programming. We hope to eliminate some of the systemic barriers we know exist by offering support to new and existing school ski programs during regular class hours or as after-school programs. Club coaches are sharing their knowledge — primarily through games that introduce fundamental techniques — to help make skiing a fun, positive part of physical education programs already in place. 

The Ski-at-School program will also aim to empower more teachers to use existing school ski equipment by helping them build confidence on snow and in ski instruction. We are offering a FREE “Skiing 101” workshops for teachers on the Feb. 26 professional development day. For more information or to sign up contact Kerry Wheler at ykskiclubevents@gmail.com or Shirley Zouboules at shirley.zouboules@yk1.nt.ca.

We are thankful for the ongoing support from Cross Country NWT as well as new additional funding from Nordiq Canada, AltaGas, and the GNWT Regional Youth Sport Events program that makes this initiative possible. These amazing partners are making it possible to create and strengthen community bonds, while empowering our NWT youth to be physically active, lifelong skiers! 

Questions/Comments/Feedback? Reach programs director Bernadette Knox: ykskiclubprograms@gmail.com. (And thanks so much to our volunteer, Bernadette, for making this happen!)

Holidays and the chalet

A quick reminder that our Covid exposure plan asks all our members to minimize use of the chalet this holiday season, and 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. 

Thanks to everyone for helping us keep the chalet open!

Candy Cane Forest Ski!

This Sunday is a special Candy Cane Forest Ski! Trails are free all day and you may come across Santa on the trails between 1 and 3. We’ll also have a bonfire going. 

The candy cane forest is on the 1 km loop. Please dress for the weather as chalet use is still limited. BYO hot chocolate and snacks. Thanks to Cross Country NWT and the Recreation and Parks Association for sponsoring this event. 

This might be a good time to introduce Lianne Plamondon, who has recently volunteered her graphic design skills and who made this delightful poster. Welcome Lianne!

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.