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Making-Tracks

Still plenty of fun to be had at regional ski hills

Late season skiing

Spring skiing arrived at Southern Interior ski hills this week, thanks to sunshine and warm temperatures.

However, there is still lots of snow and several weeks to enjoy a wide variety of end-of-season special events and deals.

Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre will end the season with two spectacular events:

• March 30, 4 p.m.— The inaugural Tails on Trails Skijoring event, in partnership with Pooch Partners. Registration is limited to 25 teams of one person and one pooch. If you have any questions about skijoring, and whether you and your teammate might be ready for it, contact Shelly at: [email protected]. If you’re interested in finding out more about skijoring, go to the Pooch Partners website. Cost/registration: $30 plus GST (plus $10 plus GST if not a member of SLNC.) The format is an interval start with two category levels: “Breathe Hard” and “Just Dog It”. The route is the stadium to Woodland Bell and back to the stadium.

• April 6-7: Sovereign2Silverstar Ski Marathon. Classic technique (40k and 21k) on April 6 and skate technique (40k and 21k) on April 7. The S2S start is at Sovereign Lake and the finish in SilverStar Village. It is one of the biggest ski marathons in North America with 800 participants expected. The event includes a movie night at 6:30 p.m. on April 6 in SilverStar Village with some of the best mountain films, thanks to the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and a silent auction in the Chilcoot Conference Centre, organized by S2S with Sovereign Lake and SilverStar. It has more than $15,000 in donations from generous sponsors with 50% of the proceeds to partner charity, Kidsport Vernon, which received $19,500 in donations during the past two years.

Donations include a VO2 master portable analyzer, a package for two with flights and accommodation for the Yukon Ski Lodge, and a Fischer Speedmax ski package.

There are age awards in categories for every five years, club championships, and prize money for the elite and competitive athletes. S2S is also the grand finale to the Pacific Northwest Loppet series. To register or learn more, go to sovereign2silverstar.com or email [email protected] or [email protected].

Sovereign Lake's last day of the season will be April 8.

•••

"Spring is here at SilverStar with beautiful bluebird conditions," says Megan Sutherland, the resort's communications and PR specialist. "We have snow, sun and blue skies making for amazing skiing and riding. Our March Meltdown Sale continues until the end of the month with up to 50% off apparel and you can go into the draw to win a $250 gift card when you spend $250 or more. We have some great deals on ex-rental ski and snowboards. Pop into our rental shop and chat with our friendly rentals team members to get yourself some new gear."

•••

Big White Ski Resort is offering ticket deals to end the season.

POWder Card spring sale: Choose between three-day and five-day flex options for the best savings of the season at $109 per day.

• Turn and Learn Friday Nights: Save 50% off Friday Night beginner tickets from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Friday. Pro instructors with the Big White ski and board school will teach the essentials, including stopping and changing direction, near the Happy Valley Day Lodge.

• March 19-20, the inaugural Women's Ski/Snowboard camp. Ski and board school staff will offer instruction on technique, confidence and control in three-hour group lessons, including lunch. Open to all skill levels.

•••

At Nickel Plate Nordic Centre, today's planned spring Loppet has been postponed to 2025.

"After a successful run of social events this season, we seem to have stalled out," says Kevin Dyck, marketing and communications manager.

"But that’s OK. Next year, we’ll be even more on the ball and have things booked. Due to a few factors, not the least of which being the weather forecast, we will postpone the spring loppet for a season. And the last in our speakers’ series lunches on March 10 was also postponed to next season."

On a positive note, the annual Making Tracks fundraiser has collected $13,390 of this year's $15,000 goal toward the planned $50,000 purchase of a new set of tracks for the groomer.

"To sum it up, our grant application for a new groomer was rejected this year. So we need to buckle down to make some necessary repairs," said Dyck. The link to donate is here.

"While the forecast looks fantastic for those of us eager to get on bikes, it’s less fantastic for the ski season which looks like it’s rapidly coming to an end."

Nickel Plate planned to operate as normal up to, and including, March 17, he said. "After the 17th, we’re going to play it by ear (for) March 18 to March 22. If we still have snow good enough to groom and ski, we’ll groom for sure March 22 and 23. We’ll announce any changes on the snow report on our website. After the 17th, check it each day if you’re thinking of coming up."

•••

The e-snowmobile at Telemark Nordic Club now has a name.

"We had 64 unique and thoughtful suggestions from kids and older kids alike. We narrowed down the choices to nine finalists—Buzz, Jaws, Scoob-e Ski Doo, Snow-e, Sparky, Telespark, Usain Volt, White Lightning and Zippy," said GM Mike Edwards.

After votes were tallied, the clear favourite was Scoob-e Ski Doo or Scoob-e for short. Honourable mention for inventive and unique names went to Course Whisperer, as well as the finalists Usain Volt and Teluspark.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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About the Author

J.P. Squire arrived in the Okanagan Valley from flatland Chatham, Ont. in the middle of the night in the spring of 1980. Waking up in the Highway 97 motel, he looked across the then-four-lane roadway at Mount Baldy and commented: "Oh my God, there's mountains." Driving into downtown Kelowna, he exclaimed: "Oh my God, there's a lake."

The rest is history. After less than a month in Kelowna, he concluded: "I'm going to live here for a long time." And he did.

Within weeks and months, he was hiking local hillsides, playing rec hockey at Memorial Arena and downhill skiing at Big White Ski Resort. After purchasing a hobby farm in the Glenmore Valley in 1986, he bought the first of many Tennessee Walking Horses. After meeting Constant Companion Carmen in 1999, he bought two touring kayaks and they began exploring Interior lakes and B.C.'s coast.

The outdoor recreation column began with downhill ski coverage every winter as the Ski Sheriff but soon progressed to a year-round column as the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff.

His extensive list of contacts in Okanagan outdoor recreation clubs, organizations and groups means a constant flow of emails about upcoming events and activities which will be posted on Castanet every Sunday.

You can email the Sheriff at: [email protected].



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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