What a treasure the Larch Hills is!
Along with many kilometres of set track, some of it lit for night skiing, we have many kilometres/acres of backcountry skiing on which to explore the parts of the mountain requiring fat basket poles.
Every Wednesday and Thursday, the Wenches and Geezers head out on an explore, and never does it disappoint. Especially this year – this has been a superb backcountry ski season.
Backcountry trails are available in the northern part of the system, and to the south. No shortage of options.
In fact, after 40+ years of skiing the Larch Hills backcountry trails, Jim and I were recently introduced to Bobcat Bounce on a Geezers outing where Jan took us exploring the backcountry to the south of the chalet.
What a lovely discovery – a trail cut out by Shuswap Outdoors! so many years back.
A little history here about the strange names for our backcountry groups. Decades ago, a group of us gals decided to have weekly outings in the backcountry. We chose Wednesdays. Looking for an alliterative name,
I settled on Wenches.
It stuck. Then, a while later, Clint Smith decided the guys should have backcountry outings on Thursdays. Hard to find an alliterative name for Thursday, so he chose Geezers. Over the years, the Wenches have welcomed guys, and the Geezers have welcomed gals. It is quite entertaining to hear a guy say to another, “Are you going to Wench tomorrow?”
But we all know what it actually means.
Blaine Carson has offered to take skiers out on a backcountry ski on Sundays at 9 a.m. to noon. Great opportunity for those not familiar with the backcountry to get an introduction. This week he will be concentrating on the four bogs and Larch Lake Loop.
The Larch Hills hosted a major nordic racing event this past weekend. Over 250 skiers, ages 9-12, competed in races over the two days of the Track Attack Championships. What a wonderful, colourful event! Of course, it takes many volunteers to put on an event of this size – from organizing from the get-go, which was Alan Corbett’s job, setting the course for the various races, getting course marshalls, providing food for the skiers and volunteers, and making sure there is a start and finish crew in place.
The Larch Hills has hosted a number of these events in the past, so we have a fine-tuned crew to call upon. Everything went smoothly.
It was great fun as start line herder, my favourite job, and a number of skiers as they were lining up would say “Thanks for volunteering!” That made it all worthwhile! Coaches would also come over and give us kudos on running a smooth operation. The weekend was sunny and cold – so cold at -16C early on Sunday morning that the Technical Delegate had to make a decision with the Race Committee as to whether to push the start time on to later in the morning.
The rules state that -15 is the limit. Thankfully, by the 9 a.m. start time the temperature had risen to -15C, and it was a go.
The webcam at skilarchhills.ca shows fresh snow in the parking lot and in the stadium earlier this week.
Gotta get out there. On my way!
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