Nick and Theo Burzynski took advantage of the first day of cross-country skiing at Hallis Lake in 2021, hitting the trails on Dec. 12. Junior and beginner ski classes were attended by over two dozen people. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Nick and Theo Burzynski took advantage of the first day of cross-country skiing at Hallis Lake in 2021, hitting the trails on Dec. 12. Junior and beginner ski classes were attended by over two dozen people. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel cross country skiers hoping for early start to season

Snow was visible on the Cariboo Ski-Touring Club’s webcam on Nov. 18

There was snow on the ground in the live webcam view at the Cariboo Ski-Touring Club on Thursday, Nov. 18. The club gives members a live look at their stadium to see what conditions are like.

Club director Ron Watteyne is one of the many watching and waiting for enough snow to fall so skiers can hit the trails as early as Dec. 18.

“Ski equipment is going to be in short supply again,” he said.

“If you want to get into cross-country skiing, the sooner (you can buy) the better.”

Watteyne said the Cariboo Ski-Touring Club saw a 20 per cent increase in membership last year, and he expects those numbers to remain high.

READ MORE: Hallis Lake skiers sliding into 2021

“More people, because they couldn’t do other sports, were getting out into cross country skiing,” he said.

“I downhill ski at Troll, and we see the same (at Troll), they had a banner year out there.”

Watteyne said the club plans to open on Dec. 18. The lodge will be open four days a week throughout the season, but will be open seven days a week to start the season.

Watteyne said the are trails in good shape after annual mowing in the fall.

New for the club this season is a live map, showing members which trails have been groomed and when.

“We’re hoping for an early season start,” Watteyne said.

No open house is scheduled for the year, but each Sunday in January, the club will be open to keep events smaller and safer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-registration for those events is required.

There are also still a few spots available for youth programs.

The ski centre only hosted two school groups last season due to COVID-19, but Watteyne expects more to come in 2022, adding all coaches and staff are fully vaccinated.

Adult ski lessons start on Jan. 3. Watteyne said if a potential student was able to recruit friends to join them in a group lesson, they would get their passes for free.

“It’s more fun if you have a group of people that you know,” he said.

“It’s a great way to spend the winter.”

And if the centre’s webcam is to be believed, winter could come sooner than expected.

“There’s shortages of everything this year, hopefully there’s no shortage of snow,” Watteyne quipped.

READ MORE: No need to panic buy, says Quesnel grocery store operator

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


@GimliJetsMan
cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

cross country skiingQuesnel