Upper Elevator trail near the Inuksuk in the Candle Creek Trail system. (Submitted by Grace Gormley)

Upper Elevator trail near the Inuksuk in the Candle Creek Trail system. (Submitted by Grace Gormley)

Get ready for Clearwater’s ski trail season

It will soon be time to hit Clearwater’s groomed cross country Nordic ski trails.

The Wells Gray Outdoors Club (WGOC) is a non-profit organization with an executive and board of directors elected at each annual general meeting, and new members are always welcomed and encouraged.

Located at the end of Barber Road in Clearwater, there is a cleared parking lot and an outhouse. Volunteers maintain the 30 kilometres of groomed trails, outhouses and a warming hut. Popular events such as the Birch Leg and campfire socials will be posted on the WGOC website for more information.

COVID-19 protocols are posted on all buildings and participants are expected to use masks indoors and sanitize their hands.

For a fee, you can use posted trails for snowshoeing and there are specific trails posted for dog walking. At all times it is expected dogs and snowshoes will not walk on the groomed tracks. There is a drop-box for snowshoe and day users of the trails at the end of the parking lot.

The trails will be open, groomed and ready for skiing when there is enough snow. This will be posted on both the website and Facebook group.

Memberships for 2021-22 are available. The early bird date was Nov. 30. You can e-transfer to: payments@wellsgrayoutdoorsclub.ca or contact hazelwadlegger@hotmail.com, fill in and leave the completed membership form at the Yellowhead Community Services desk at Dutch Lake Community Centre or mail to WGOC, 1197 Barber Road, Clearwater, B.C., V0E1N1.

Fees are now: Adult $100, Child (1-6) $10, Junior (7 -10) $35, Senior (60+) $95, Family (two adults, two juniors) $280. Fees go towards CCBC insurance, gas and maintenance for groomers, event materials, etc. With your membership you can enrol your children in the Jack Rabbit program. Sign up is $25 and they must be a member of the Wells Gray Outdoors Club. Rabbits start date is usually after Christmas, dates to be on site.

The newly-updated website wellsgrayoutdoorsclub.ca will be completed by the end of November. Have a look for the latest up-to-date information on ski conditions, maps and more information on the club. WGOC is a non-profit organization that has been grooming trails with the new piston bully since 2005, though the club is much older. There is also a Facebook group you can join.

I’ve been asked about best trails to ski for views. I like the Ridge Loop that looks down the valley and on a clear day the trek up to the upper elevator is worth the effort. For beginners, the trails opposite the warming hut is called the Swamp Loop and passes some gorgeous big cedar trees. On the map on the bulletin board in the parking lot there is a good indication of groomed tracked runs and their lengths. I suggest taking a photo of the map so you have it handy when you are on the trails. There is a variety of terrain and short cuts to get onto other trails.

Submitted by Grace Gormley on behalf of the Wells Gray Outdoors Club



newsroom@clearwatertimes.com

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