Annual Snow Show, Nov. 2

Our annual registration event is also a combination bake sale, gear swap and social event. This year, it runs from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Upstairs, you’ll find booths where you can learn more about each of our programs, register for the season (early bird prices are in effect until midnight the day of the Snow Show), peruse donated items in our silent auction (often including outdoor adventures), buy a chilli lunch or baked goods, and check out the gear at the Overlander Sports booth. 

Downstairs, you’ll find our hugely popular used gear sale. If you have items you’d like to sell, drop them off at the chalet the night before between 6 and 8 pm. The ski clubs keeps 10 percent as a fundraiser and the rest of the money is in your pocket.

New ski season coming!

Registration for the 2019/2010 ski season is set to open Sept. 14 on Zone4.ca. Our annual Snow Show (featuring our used ski sale, silent auction, bake sale, Overlander ski booth and more) runs on Nov. 2 from 10 am to 1 pm. As usual, early bird registration rates are in effect until right after the Snow Show (see membership rates here). The Snow Show is a great chance to meet skiers, learn about our programs and see what our club is all about.

Ski season begins as soon as we have enough snow to start packing and grooming the trails, usually in early December but sometimes late November. 

If you have kids who want to ski this year, learn about our programs here. If you’d like to volunteer in any capacity, drop a note to info@skiyellowknife.com. If you want to know more about skiing, equipment, our trails or our club, also drop a note to info@skiyellowknife.com. We take all questions!

This year, our board intends to work on our next five-year strategic plan. Watch your inbox for information on how to contribute to that process. 

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!