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!

Recognizing our volunteers


Several important volunteers were recognized at our June 13 bbq for their contribution to our club.

The Wooden Ski Award for long service went, unusually, to two people: Julie Ward, for her long service as a coach with Track Attack and even longer service as manager of the Banting Lake tent (along with Doug Townson); and Mike Argue for his dedication (and incredible speed) as lead coach with the high performance team.

Both Mike and Julie, the board felt, have played a huge role in making our club what it is, even if a lot of their work happens behind the scenes. For example, we learned last night that even when HP skiers have a race that Mike can’t be at, he’s checking the results online and texting the kids right afterwards, and generally playing an outsize role in their lives, both on the trails and off.

The Double Poler Award (for outstanding service in the past year) went to Alex Lothian for his vision and accomplishment in creating the Canada 150 Teaching Hill, also known as “Alex’s Hill.” And also, it must be said, known as the hill on which Alex put out his knee shortly after the photo shoot to celebrate its existence, thus knocking him off the roster as a Jackrabbit coach for the remainder of the season (though he continued to help coordinate Jackrabbits). He’s now mostly OK.

The Stellar Snowflake Award for outstanding youth volunteer went, for the second year in a row, to Ella Kokelj, for her coaching in Jackrabbits. Ella served as the lead coach with her group this year, which meant she took the lead on planning lessons as well as getting out on the trails with kids each week. Ella also shared her own ski experience with the kids so that they could get an idea of what they themselves might be able to accomplish down the road. Thanks Ella!

This year’s Herringbone Award for outstanding company went to Overlander Sports. This year, Overlander donated a brand new chip timing system which has greatly simplified the race timing process and taken the burden off some of our volunteers (Overlander had, we learned, also donated the last timing system that is now rather outdated.) Overlander was also appreciated for letting us use ALL their rental skis on World Snow Day so that we could give visitors to our club the full experience this year.

Two board members were recognized informally for their outstanding contribution. Board members as a rule are not eligible for any of our titled awards, but these could not go unmentioned.

First, Tania Hercun, who led the chalet renovation project. If you haven’t seen it yet, go now and take a look. This is a legacy project that has already had a HUGE impact on our club and that simply would not have happened if Tania had not taken the lead and worked out all the details from flooring to blinds to acoustic panels to the wood pellet boiler. (There were several huge rounds of applause for all of this.)

And second, Kerry Wheler, our events director who made the past ski season really extraordinary with her dedication to community and to really making everyone welcome at our club. Her energy and enthusiasm go far above and beyond and this really showed in all the excellent events the club hosted this year, as well as some new ones, such as the Sunday lunches she initiated. It’s really hard to say enough about this. Thanks to Brett, Toryn and Emma for letting us all benefit from Kerry!

And finally, a Lifetime Membership was awarded to Kevin Hodgins for his many, many years of service to club as a board member and more. Kevin joins a very short list of people who are members for life of the club so that his contribution won’t be forgotten.

(Sorry that was so long, but with 50 years of a purely volunteer-run club, you kind of have to do this to make sure it keeps going! And all of these people have set a very high bar so it’s important we learn from them.)

Thanks to all of our members who nominated volunteers for these awards and for coming out to the bbq to celebrate their contribution. 

New board elected

Our AGM concluded June 13 with the election of a 10-person strong board that will lead the ski club into the 2018-2019 ski season.

  • President: vacant
  • VP – Toby Kruger
  • Treasurer – Tania Hercun
  • Secretary – Chris Rose
  • Events – Kerry Wheler
  • Facilities – vacant
  • Registrar – Mark Cliffe-Phillips
  • Programs – Steve Reitsma
  • Trails – Chris Hotson
  • Volunteers – Alyssa Titus
  • Grants and fundraising – Diep Duong
  • Communications – Sara Minogue

There are two important vacancies here. If you or someone you know is interested in taking on either, please let us know. Board members can be appointed throughout the year and new volunteers are always welcome.

Facilities, in particular, is a key role that could also be handled by a team. If you have an interest in helping keep our chalet in tip-top shape this year and ready for use by many parties, please reach out to anyone on the board or send a note to: info@skiyellowknife.com.

And thanks to Chris Joseph, Greg Littlefair and John Stephenson, our three outgoing board members, for their long service to our club!


AGM June 13 at the ski club

The ski club’s annual general meeting and volunteer appreciation barbecue will take place on Wednesday, June 13.

  • 5-6:30 pm – Drinks and burgers on the deck
  • 6:30 – Sponsor recognition and volunteer awards
  • 7:30 – AGM in the chalet
Babysitting will be available starting at 7:30 for parents who would like to attend the AGM. The meeting should not last more than one hour.
We’ll be electing several new board members this year including: president, vice president, secretary, facilities director, volunteer director, and a grants & fundraising director. (In case that sounds scary, we do have six returning board members.) We also have room for a member-at-large. If you have any interest or know someone who might be interested, please contact Chris Joseph, ykskiclubpresident@gmail.com.
If you’d like to know a bit more about what serving on the board involves, all our minutes are posted here. And here’s a document that describes more clearly the role of each board position, including the time commitment.
To read our annual report or see our latest financial documents visit our Governance web page
Please consider adding your skills to our excellent team!

Loppet thank you’s!

This year saw the highest turnout in the history of the Yellowknife loppet, and for good reason: great weather, great tracks, great cookies and great volunteers made this an unbelievably good loppet year. 

We had 345 registered participants and a very large number of helpers who made this possible.

A few particular thank you’s:

  • The Snow Farmers (Bruce Look, Rob Tumchewics, Steve Reitsma and Greg Littlefair) – for incredible tracks!
  • Damian Panayi – Event Coordinator extraordinaire
  • John Stephenson – Trail Grooming coordinator, parking marshal
  • Niels Konge – for the use of the Pistenbulley Groomer
  • Blair and Kelley Weatherby of Weatherby Trucking for once again and for many years clearing our loppet parking area at no cost
  • Chris Cameron and the team from Yellowknife Amateur Radio Society for providing participant tracking and communications
  • Stacey Menzies – Chalet Coordinator
  • The Rotary Club for helping again with the chili lunch at the chalet
  • Ashley Deavu and the students from K’alemi Dene School for preparing the chilli
  • Tom Deleff – Jackson Checkpoint Manager
  • Carrie Young, Marc Winkler, Joanne Stasson – Banting Lake Checkpoint
  • Sarah Beattie, Elaine Anselmi, Ariel Holmwood-Bramwell, Meghan Housley, and Beth Cowan who made the Banting Lake Soup
  • Chris Rose, Sam Kennedy – Vee Lake set up and sign in
  • Kathi Woodward for making her usual (gasp) 100 dozen cookies!

And the many other people who contributed: Cheryl Mandeville, Shauna Morgan, Chuck Hubert, Al Sexton, Linda Whitford, Brian Latham, Blair Carter, Debbie DeLancey, Tania Hercun, Alex Lothian, Chris Joseph, Sara Minogue and Kerry Wheler.

And of course also a special thank you to TerraX Minerals, headline sponsor of the Yellowknife Gold Loppet.

And thanks to all the loppetteers who made it a great day of skiing!

Spring duathlon April 15

Registration is now open for the spring duathlon at the ski club on Sunday, April 15, our final on-snow event of our 50th anniversary season. You can sign up here on Zone4.ca.

The duathlon will follow a “Ski-Run-Ski” format. To add to the fun, the course will also include a handful of easily negotiated obstacles. You can enter as an individual or as a team of two or three and enjoy a post-event BBQ in the sun.

Bib pick-up and sign in is from 10:00-10:30 am; start is at 11:00 am.

If entering as a team, all team members must register individually

Registration deadline is at 6 pm on Saturday April 14.

Cost: $10 for open and rec participants; free for youth and tots.

Categories & Distances:

  • Tots – 100m ski, 100m run
  • Youth – 500m ski, 500m run, 500m ski
  • Rec – 1.5km ski, 1.5km run, 1.5km ski
  • Open – 3km ski, 3km run, 3km ski

If you’d like to volunteer, contact Mike Argue at 867-444-9257 or mikeargue@hotmail.com.

Yellowknife Gold Loppet April 8


Registration is now open for our premier recreational skiing event on April 8!

What is a loppet?
A loppet is a fun and sociable long-distance cross-country skiing event for all ages and abilities. The term “Loppet” originated in Scandinavia from great events such as the Mora Vasaloppet in Sweden. The Yellownife loppet includes 4 km, 15 km, and 25 km groomed tracks through the wilderness with check points, drinks and cookies along the way and a bowl of hot chili at after your ski.

When is it?
Sunday April 8, 2018. Start between 10:00 – 11:30 am, Trail closes at 3:00.

Where is it?
The start line is on the ice at the end of Vee Lake Road, a 20-minute drive from downtown Yellowknife. Download the Loppet Trailmap here.

How do I register?
Register before midnight on Friday April 6 on Zone4.ca. Registration fees are $30 for adults, $20 for Juniors (6 – 17), free for kids under six and $5 for dogs. 

How can I help?
The loppet depends on volunteers. If you would like to be part of this event without the skiing part, please email Cheryl Mandeville at cheryl3553@gmail.com.

The details:

  • Please register all your family members, including infants in pulks and packs.
  • Sign-in and bib pickup will be at Overlander Sports between 10 am and 5 pm on Saturday April 7.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • For safety reasons, you must stop at all check points, including the Start and Finish, to make sure your name and bib number are marked off the safety list. If check point volunteers do not mark your bib number off the list, we may send search and rescue out looking for you!
  • 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.
  • The tent at Vee Lake will be taken down at 4:00 pm.
  • Free apres-ski lunch will be served at the Chalet from 1 to 5 pm. There will be limited drinks and snacks only at Vee Lake.

Sounds amazing. So who is making this happen?

The Yellowknife Gold Loppet is of course organized by the amazing volunteers of the Yellowknife Ski Club. A big shout out to our headline sponsor, TerraX Minerals Inc.

Ski race results and thanks

Thanks to everyone who came out to the YK Races this past weekend!  The weather cooperated for a very fun-filled couple of days at the club.
The results can be found here:
Special thanks goes out to:
Kerry Wheler – Event Organizer
Cherie Jarock – Volunteer Coordinator and Cookie medal maker (yes, she made all of those delicious cookies!)
Damian Panayi – Timing Coordinator
John Stephenson – Chief of Course
Tania Hercun – Stadium Coordinator
Ozgur Oner – Kitchen Coordinator
And to the MANY volunteers who helped out on race day:
Chris Hotson, Paul Guy, Sean Marshall, Colin Morris, Trena Heseltine, Meghan Schmurr, Elaine Anselmi, Kelsey Pike, Monte Kehler, Danielle Stachiw, Sean Petersen, Kirk Tastad, Meghan Beveridge, Mindy Willett, Sara Minogue, Alex Lothian, Brett Wheler, Mark Cliffe-Phillips, Cindy Wood, Maureen Van Overliw, Steve Reitsma, Erica Janes, Joanna Wilson, Christine Scott, Andrew Kotaska, Catherine Pigott, Yvonne Pike, Stacey Menzies, Steve Kokelj, Tom Deleff, Jess Dunkin, Michael Gilday, Sara Beattie, Mike Argue.

Yellowknife ski races Feb. 24/25


Race weekend is Feb. 24/25, with classic races Saturday and free technique Sunday.

Everyone is welcome and registration is now open on Zone4. There will be cookie medals for all participants!

This will also be a fun event for spectators. Complimentary light refreshments and hot chocolate will be served in the chalet Saturday, as well as marshmallows for the fire. Specialty coffee will also be sold courtesy of Coffeelicious from 12:30 to 3:30

On Sunday, One of a Thai will serve up a Sunday lunch ($14-$16 a plate). from 11:30 to 3. Complimentary fruit, cookies and hot chocolate will also be on offer in the chalet. 

In case of cold weather cancellations (cutoff is -20 C for midget and older; -15 C for Bantam and younger), ski trails are still open and food is still on. 

Full details here: 2018 YK Ski Race Notice