CSTC open house a balmy success

There were cross-country skiers of all ages with rosy cheeks and smiles everywhere at Hallis Lake last Sunday.

  • Jan. 13, 2012 10:00 a.m.

There were cross-country skiers of all ages with rosy cheeks and smiles everywhere at Hallis Lake last Sunday.

That is exactly what the Cariboo Ski Touring Club hoped would happen for the annual open house.

“The turnout today [Sunday] was phenomenal,” president of the Cariboo Ski Touring Club, Brian Black said as skiers, many with a free pancake breakfast in the bellies, filled the trails.

Phenomenal indeed.

With balmy temperatures and a soft, fresh coat of snow on the trails, conditions were perfect to lure in novice and experienced skiers alike.

Young and not-so-young took advantage of the balmy weather, with the regulars heading out to the trails and the novices taking in a free ski lesson, some on the equipment loaned out by the CSTC free of charge.

Black estimated more than 200 people made their way to Hallis Lake to take in a pancake breakfast and some free skiing as the CSTC celebrated the official opening of their rental shop.

Among those in attendance were long-time skiers such as Mavis Goldman, one of the founding members of the Cariboo Ski Touring Club and Jean Gelinas.

At the other end of the spectrum were Warren Exshaw and Jennifer Popik who giggled as they tried to snap son Lucas’ boot into his ski bindings.

Bradley McDevitt, 8, enjoyed his first time on cross-country skis along with his mother Angela and George Prince, 10, took advantage of the opportunity to step into skis for only the second time.

“I just like sliding around on skis,” Prince said with a smile.

That is exactly what the open house is for, Black said.

“It’s an opportunity for the public to see our first-class public recreation facility,” Black said.

“It’s an amazing facility.”

With snowshoes and more than 100 pairs of skis, boots and poles available for rent, to go along with 75 km of trail, including a biathlon range, the Hallis Lake facility has something for everyone, Black said.

The CSTC took advantage of the open house to officially open their new rental shop in the basement of the lodge and to thank the sponsors that made it all possible such as the Community Foundation.

“It’s a great community project,” member of the Community Foundation Alex Coffey said of why the organization donated $3,000 towards the purchase of equipment to help stock the rental shop.

“It’s a great asset for the community.”