I would like to report powder snow in the Larch Hills and trackset ski trails throughout – but unfortunately that would be a stretch.
Thankfully, there is snow in the Larch Hills but we need a good dump of fresh snow to get up to speed. With the ground well frozen we’ll be well underway when it does snow. Perhaps that will be our Christmas gift!
I’m hoping to do a lot of skiing over the Christmas holidays. It’s always great fun to be one of the Trail Hosts at the chalet, greeting and chatting up local skiers and skiers visiting from afar.
Skate skiing seems to be the technique of choice under these challenging conditions. From the trail report on the website, Tuesday, Dec. 16, skilarchhills.ca. Thanks to Chris, we have a report on conditions: “I was up today around 10:30, and the skate skiing above the South Hub on Larch Hills Road was great. The groomer had done a fantastic job. Coming down Larch Lake Loop was a little sketchy and hair-raising in places, but it was mostly good. Not only that, the sun was shining, so it was a great day. Thanks to you and the groomers for doing such a great job.”
In spite of the shortage of snow, the Larch Hills Nordic Society registrar reports 700 members in the club. It shows great support for our area, the programs, the trail system – and hope/faith that we will indeed ultimately have a snowy winter. We do have a number of events planned, one of which ran this past weekend.
The Santa Cruise happened on Sunday with the participants taking part in an auction post-race in the chalet, raising more than $2,700 for the various food banks in the area. Next, on Dec. 27-28 weekend, is the Okanagan Cup #3&4, with the annual Larch Hills Fun Race incorporated into Sunday’s event. A few days later, we will be hosting the popular Lantern Ski, Tuesday, Dec. 30. From 5 to 9 p.m., skiers will have the opportunity to ski around the approximately five-kilometre course lit by lanterns. A magical event! There is a short course for kids and, of course, the spectacular candlelit Christmas tree put up by Alois Schonnenberger along the trail. Bring along your leftover Christmas treats for the goodie table.
Next on the calendar is the Larch Hills premier event – the Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet, on Saturday, Jan. 17. Now into its 31st year, the loppet has attracted thousands of skiers over the three decades and raised thousands of dollars for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon. Be sure to sign up for the event on Zone 4 – and THINK SNOW for the next three weeks! The post-loppet events at the community centre have been amended somewhat. To encourage families with young skiers to stay on for the family dance, the dance has been moved to 6 p.m., with pizza and beverages available for purchase, and therefore no banquet. Sounds like a fun evening.
Recently, while out grooming the trails, one of the tracksetter guys reported that he had to slow down and wait for a couple of moose on the trail to move off. Good to remember we share the hill with the wild ones. If you encounter a moose, let him/her have the right of way.