bc:snowvalleynordicskiclub:questions




Kitimat-Terrace/Thornhill and area, BC, Canada

This page has many Questions and Answers
to various Cross Country Ski Issues,
at the Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club (SVNSC),
aka: Onion Lake Cross Country Ski Trails,
Located between Kitimat and Terrace BC

Please look for your answer on
The Official SVNSC Site First,
then this Q&A page,
Before asking your question on facebook.

Use the Table of Contents Button and you can look for one particular Question
(see photo below for its location on this page)

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42 Questions/Comments/Answers, and my 2 cents worth,
Updated Feb 17, 2022

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Please Note- This is NOT an Official Club Page
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Note- I do not get paid per hit, or anything else. No ads, No pop ups, No cookies, No privacy issues at all. My site is as secure as it gets. I don't collect any information on anyone. I didn't get paid to build this page, or any of my pages for that matter. The Executive nor any other member has editing rights to my page. If you don't like my content do not complain to anyone but me. I add info as I see it from volunteering out there for many hours each year.

Here are some Questions I have seen over and over again on facebook, and they require lots of volunteer time to answer them. Hope this answers some of the questions you may have without putting more strain on the Executive or other volunteers.
Note- see links at the bottom for answers to some of these questions as well, on the Clubs Official Pages.
Note- I don't ski, never have, nor do I know all the answers, here or anywhere for that matter, but using some common sense, have figured a few things out for myself, or read about various topics on other sites, so want to pass some help out to the newcomers to the Club, and maybe a refresher for older members.
I am NOT an “Official” Member, I am NOT on the Executive, I am friends with some executive members, and some of the General membership. I don't have any control of any of the Club rules. If you don't like the rules, then I suggest you run on the Executive and with a democratic vote at an AGM they might be changed, with approval of the Government after all that. Don't join the club if you disagree with some or all of the rules. Most of these rules have been in place for years for a reason. Reasons you need to find out about before you bitch! Don't like it, don't join!
They are taking a survey of the membership Dec 2021, suggest you get your 10 cents worth in there. If what you ask for is ruled out, there will be a reason for it. Not everybody likes my ideas or these pages for that matter.
If you don't like what is printed here, don't bitch to my wife, ( I used her facebook account, as I hate facebook) or the Executive, send me a note, and deal with me direct. Contact button bottom of all my pages.
Please refer always to the Clubs Official site, most of this information is on there. Link below
I have given the club total authorization to add this page, or any of my Snow Valley Club pages, in whole or in part, including photos etc to their official page. If they wish to leave it here only, that is fine with me. It will always stay here as a copy either way.


YOU ARE SKING AT YOUR OWN RISK OUT THERE!

Have you thanked a Volunteer on Facebook Today? Wouldn't it be nice if everyone did?
Instead of fighting with a negative comment, add a bunch of nice comments, and push the negative one down to the bottom of the page, into oblivion, where it belongs.
Don't reply to the person looking for a fight. Ignore them, it will drive them crazy!


The Club has set rules in place over the years for everyone to feel safe and enjoy the great trails that many Volunteers have worked hard for years now to set up. The Rules will be on many signs you will see on the Trails and at the Lodge. You will read many rules below that you are expected to follow. Use Common Sense if no sign or rule applies.
The more you bitch, the more you gripe, the more hardship and stress you put on the few volunteers the club has now, that are willing to do all the hard work. I have noticed the few that bitch and complain do not do one minute of volunteer time! Coincidence? You want to change the rules on the dog trail? How about volunteering to run the dog trail you have now? Hand Prune the branches back on the whole trail, pick up poop, place shovels out, or redo them on all the holders, clean all the snow off the signs, check first aid barrel, make sure everyone keeps the dogs on leash from their car to the trail head and back, Check for valid passes on the trail, deal with all the dog complaints from dog fights to dog bites, then in your spare time you can offer to clean the outhouses, and shovel the steps of the lodge off if you go in there. Then maybe spend 4 hours in the rental shop for a couple weekends. That's just a small list of jobs the few volunteers do!
When the existing dog trail is run properly, and not one complaint for the season, then maybe the club would think about extending the dog trail? Why extend something that causes 90% of the complaints and problems at the trails? It will just increase the complaints they get now! And you will have less volunteers than they have now. Who wants to work there with all the problems?
Just like there is rules to drive your car sober and on the right side of the road, there is rules out on the trails. Like them or not, there has to be rules so everyone can feel safe, and enjoy the great outdoors.
If you join the Golf Club, can you take your dog with you? NO! Then demand to take them before they cut the grass on the fareways? NO! If you join the Kinsmen, Masons, Rotary, or other Service Club, would they change their rules for you? NO!
They all have their Rules, for one reason or another.
Do the right thing, Follow the rules this club has set in place.
Reminder- There are tons of Logging Trails in the area, where there are No Rules, No Fee, You can do what you want, You can park where you want, You can go in whatever direction you want, You can take your dog off leash, You will see many different views, and enjoy very challenging sking on ungroomed and unlit trails, and best of all, You can let your dog poop wherever, and don't even have to clean it up!
This is NOT that Place!

Remember- Nobody is forcing you to join the Club, or to bring your dog out there!
If you don't like all the Club Rules,
DO NOT BECOME A MEMBER!
Simple, Don't Go There! Don't Join!
If you go there, PLEASE FOLLOW ALL THE RULES,
Not just the 1 or 2 you like!



Go past all the maintenance buildings and big mural sign, to get to the Main parking lot.
The entrance to the Main parking lot is just past the large maintenance building with the red gate in front. Check with the rental shed to make sure you can get your skis if required, then go get your day pass and pay for it, and stamp the time and date. Then please read legal rules by the day pass area, big yellow sign by the pay booths, and trail etiquette info, on signs out there as well on the side of the Lodge.
Please watch the Highway intersection when leaving the trails. Winter traction is poor on that little hill. Do not cut off approaching traffic. Use extreme caution! The club has asked for turning lanes here, but no success yet!
Note- Asking the condition of the parking lot is one of the few questions that should be seen on the facebook page more than once. There is, no way other than someone physically looking at it, to say what condition it is. The club tries to comment about it, but might not get the message out in time to stop this question. If Highways would turn the highway camera towards the intersection, you might get an idea what you are in for, down the highway hard to tell what is going on. The club doesn't control that camera sad to say.

No Non- Club Snowmobiles, or ATV's allowed on trails during the Club's “Open Season” unless approved by the Head Groomer.
This also applies to the Clubs Main Parking Lot. No Snowmachine-ATV trailers allowed at any time in the Main Parking Lot. They don't pay to clear the snow. Tell them to move or they will be towed away.
Take their vehicle picture, license, etc. and put it on facebook?
The Main parking lot is for Club members only, and day pass users. No other vehicles allowed. Leave all trailers at home. The Lot will only hold so many cars and trucks. The Public Lot is off the highway in front of the big mural sign.
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The biggest complaint of all, besides the lack of 24 hour a day grooming, would be the Dog Trail
DO NOT take your dog on any other trail other than the dog trail, until the gates are closed and the season is over. You must stay on the south side of the Wedeene Forestry Road, other than being on leash to and from your car.

NOTE- Dogs Must be Kept ON Leash from your car, across the Wedeene Road, to the Dog Trail Start!
Do you let your dogs out in the Skeena Mall parking lot in Terrace? or the City Center Parking lot in Kitimat? The answer is No! Or they will get run over, so why do you do it here?
Are you looking to get your dog run over? Or get involved in a dog fight in the parking lot?

When you are done, They must be ON leash from the trail head to your car!
NO Exceptions!

NO Dogs past the red gate, or in the Lodge, Stadium Area
Leave your dog in your car until you buy your day pass if required, or use the washrooms, or lodge facilities. Do not leave them for long periods of time in the cold

This is a Leash ON sign!
This is a Leash ON Sign
Dogs allowed off leash, go this direction
Dogs Allowed Off Leash
Go this direction
This is a NO Dogs allowed sign
NO Dogs Allowed
Beyond this sign



Read the Dog Trail Rules on this Billboard!

Please note- the Dog Trail was added as a privilege, not a right. Not everyone out there likes your dog, or any dog for that matter! Respect their rights as well. I am a dog owner, and we all think we have good dogs that wouldn't hurt anyone, but others don't know that. They can scare the children, and adults if they don't like dogs.
Don't be the dog owner the rest of the dog owner's hate!


Please clean up your Dog's poop.
1- Pick it up and take it home
or 2- Use the Lime Green shovels supplied along the trail, to throw it in the bush.

Good suggestion I have just seen, carry a cheap kid's sand /beach shovel from the dollar store, and use it to throw the poop in the bush, then wipe it off in the snow on the side of the trails. They are cheap, light, and could be carried with a carabiner clip on your pole strap? Or taped to the top of the pole handle so you wouldn't have to even bend over?
You can use Bio-Degradable bags, bought at any reputable pet store, to throw into the bush and they will not harm the environment, if you don't like the shovel idea. Do not use Wally Mart bags unless you use them to take it home, which is what I recommend as the #1 solution!

Garbage cans on Dog Trails? They tried this, nobody wanted to empty it. I have seen where someone wants to volunteer to put one out and pick it up and dump it at home. That's great. Will it be every week, twice a week, for how long? And I know from my experience a small diaper pail is what I use, and when it is full, it is crazy heavy. That is a small can! A full garbage can? You will need a fork lift to pick it up. How do you get it into a truck to haul it away? It sounds like a great idea, but trust me, it will not work for months that is required here. It is not the Groomer's job to clean this up or haul it away. And I know I will not be volunteering to do it!

Clockwise Direction Only with Dogs?

Always move in a Clockwise Direction around the 2 loops if you have dogs with you. If you don't have dogs, you can ski in either direction. Intention here is keeping the dogs separated as best as they can, all moving in one direction so there is less confrontation and dog fights. You will see green circle dog signs for direction you should be going, or red circle signs for direction you should NOT be going. Note- snow can cover the signs, clean them off for next person.

Do not ski this direction, when you see these red circle signs, if you are sking with dogs

Ski in this direction, follow the green circle signs if you are sking with a dog
Skiers without dogs, Use caution approaching the dogs, do so at your own risk!

Remember dog owners and hikers get to use all the trails for 8 months of the year, when the trails are closed for sking!
Ask me about dogs and horses pooping in the stadium area all summer, where I do the grass cutting! It's just lovely! Thanks!
For 4 months please respect those that do not want dogs on the other trails at any time.
It took a lot of discussion and compromise to allow the dog trail that is there now.
I think now the dog trail gets more groom time than any other trail. More grooming there, less everywhere else. Machine can only be in one place at a time
Also I will comment that you can always leave your dog at home and use any of the trails, just like every other member. Don't leave your dog for any length of time in your car in the cold or heat!


Dogs in Maintenance Shed area? Please if you park in highway parking lot, do not let your dog out to do its business in the area in front of the clubs maint. sheds, where the big mural sign is. This whole area is a NO dog and NO general public zone. The road is a maintenance road used by the groomers and other maint. volunteers. NO dogs allowed. We have to work here, we volunteer here, I do not like working in dog poop or pee, thank you very much!
I would also add when temperatures are low, please do not take your dog out there, or anywhere, without paw protection. It could be considered cruelty to animals by some. Remember dogs feel Wind Chill! Anything that produces heat, wind chill affects. -30C wind chill is too cold for dogs unless properly protected! If you want to ski in -30 weather that is your business, taking your dog out in that temperature is the SPCA's business! DO NOT DO IT!
See my Trail Section for more info on this trail
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Can I buy a day pass?
Answer- Yes you can buy an individual day pass, or books of 10, or for better value, a Season Membership, and at Christmas time, a special Christmas pass rate.
Remember you need Cash or Cheque to buy a day pass or pay for rentals out at the trails.
No ATM or wifi at the trails! Trails are good for beginners to experienced skiers
Note- Remember your Pass does NOT include rentals. When you pay for golfing do you get free clubs? Downhill Ski Lift Ticket, free skis? Answer is no. And both of them are far more expensive than the rates here.
NO Free Sking or Snowshoe Trail Use!
If you want free sking, or snowshoe trails, there are lots of hiking trails and parks in the area, without groomed and lit trails. Feel free to use them all.
Remember snowshoe trail is only $5.00 for a day pass. Other trails are listed on clubs Official page
See club link below for more info
Official Club Page
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If you don't have a season membership, you need a day pass, from the first day of the season until they close the gates. When you leave the parking lot, heading toward the lodge and red gate, the rental shop is the red building on the left, and the Lodge and Day Pass Registration area is on the right. Further Past the lodge are the outhouses. Just past the red gate on the right is the Day Pass Booth. Very first section of the lodge, before the kitchen area.

The view of the Day Pass area until Nov 2020

The view you will see for the Dec 2021 season

  1. Find a pass/envelope combo in the holder between the 2 booths, (one on left is general ski trail pass, one on right is Snowshoe/Fatbike Trail Pass)
  2. Put your cash or cheque in the envelope, (sorry- no internet/credit card access out there)
  3. Stamp pass, with the proper day date and time, which should be visible on the screen. If nothing is visible on the machine or no printing is seen or heard, let an executive member know. If you are unable to stamp the pass due to equipment failure, let the checker on the trail know the reason why. Mechanical failure can cause the machine to fail and needs to be manually reset or fixed.

  4. Put the pass on the outside of your jacket, from a zipper, etc, where it is visible to trail ticket checkers if asked. Fix it to a layer that will always be on the outside


  5. Most important- Turn around and Deposit your payment envelope in the Big Red Metal Tube very near the front of the Day Pass Area

NOTE- This is the Red Metal Pipe where you deposit your envelope with cash or cheque in it.
It is cleaned out regularly in case you were wondering.
Do not put your envelope in the Garbage can at Booth #1!


Remember Snow Shoe Trail fee is only $5.00 per day, (Free for season pass holders, or full price ski day pass holders.) Other Ski trails require Full pass rate.
Yes they have had to dig through the garbage because some think this is where it goes????
I guess I now need to make a sign “this is a garbage can!”
They do have children, student, senior and Family rates for sking- see official pages, link below
Cash or Cheque only!

Some simple picture instructions for those that don't want to read

Thanks for your support.
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Why do you have to wait for the trails to be groomed after a snow storm?
Answer- Parking lot can only be plowed by the contractor when he is done plowing in town after a snow storm. Highway Contractor graders and plows leave a wind-row at the Entrance to the Wedeene Road, and there is no safe parking off the highway for the groomers or skiers. Then the groomers have to track pack the snow first with smaller machines and let it set for a day, before the large “Snow-Kiti” grooming machine (Item #24 below) or Ginzu (Item #31 below) can go out and do their job of making the classic track sets.
First Snow fall the large machine “Snow-Kiti” needs at least 2ft of snow before it will come out of the shed.
After freezing rain, the whole place is in trouble, the highway becomes too dangerous to go on, the parking lot might be clear of snow, but turns into a skating rink, and requires sand at a minimum to make it safe. Then the trails become skating rinks as the top layer freezes. This causes water pooling at the bottom of hills. We live in a coastal area where our temperatures can fluctuate around 0C so we can get rain or snow at any time. Snow they can handle. Icy rain no one can handle. We can not fight mother nature. Ice becomes a big problem for using any of the small snowmachines. They can not get traction on the ice, and become dangerous for anyone to operate. This leaves the big machine with the renovator mounted on the front. Then we hope it can dig up the ice layer. It has ice cleats on the tracks but can also be dangerous if ice is hard, especially on a steep hill.
BE Patient- They are all volunteers, with day jobs, and they are all doing their best. They want to see it groomed as fast as you do.
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Another question seen a million times.
New for 2021 season- Answer is now available in real time on “Nordic Pulse”.
Nordic Pulse report
Complete with a map and trail list with length of each trail and when it was last groomed.
Doesn't get better than that. Your friend in town on facebook doesn't even know this constantly updated info!
On lap top the trail list is on the right of the maps. Click on a trail and it highlights it on the map. Cell phone you need to scroll down to see the list. There is a few glitches in the system, but overall pretty good. There has been issues of the special Nordic app phone not being turned on by the groomer, so maybe no automatic changes to list, but they have added comments on the nordic report, or facebook to update what they have done. Not life or death, they have a lot on their mind, and this is one more new thing added. It will take some time to get used to it.
The groomers usually add a comment on facebook when they have done a trail as well.
On Nordic Pulse click on the small for more information- will show if it is track packed or groomed, will show if it has 1 classic track or none etc.
Note- No classic tracks are set on hills, as you have to be able to snowplow to control your speed. If your skis were in those grooves you would be going pretty fast at the bottom of the hill, until you hit a corner!

Groomers and other Volunteers out there, love cookies!!! They can be left in the rental shed, with Thanks!
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New Policy- Jan 2022- Please be aware of the Snow-Kiti groomer approaching on the trails, behind you or in front. If you see or hear the machine, Please leash your Dog Immediately, (if on the Dog Trail)
Dogs must be leashed to ensure they go by swiftly and safely when signalled to do so
The operator is wasting his/her time while you chase your dog around. Please be courteous!
Be Aware this is a BIG and dangerous machine! Stay away from it!


New Safety LED Arrow System on top of the machine, donated by Groomer Deo Araujo's company “Waterstone Sharpening Services”, added Jan 16, 2022, please move to side indicated as soon as you can, with dog(s) on leash, wait for machine to approach, then machine and tiller will stop.
When safe to do so the Operator will signal you to move by.
On the Trails, You will always pass on the driver's side, and you will be expected to show your valid pass to the Operator as you go by.

In the Stadium Area only, you will pass on both sides of the machine, move away from machine path as best you can.
The groomer has a lot to watch out for, last thing he/she needs is someone who stays in a dangerous position, and could turn out to be a disaster.
When the Operator of the Grooming Machine Signals you to go by, please do so, ASAP.
Some will use the horn, some will wave you through.
Trust the Operator.
Adults, watch for your children! Teach them the rules. You are responsible for them!
See the groomer coming move to side LED arrow shows you, quickly and wait.
If you are new to sking, DO NOT PANIC!
The operator will not run you over, they found that was bad for return business!

DO NOT
Ski Past the Grooming Machine,
In Either Direction,
When it is Operating!



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Why doesn't the club plow the lot with the big machine?
Answer- They don't have a large loader or backhoe to do that with. Members asked for a larger parking lot, and they got it, but this just made it harder to plow it with smaller machines. And then you need a volunteer to go out and run it if you had your own machine. The big Snow-Kiti groomer machine has a front blade but the grousers on the tracks can get chewed up and broken on gravel and rocks. It isn't made to do driveways without costing a lot of money on track parts and wear and tear on the machine. Parts are expensive for it. It is made for snow, not gravel.
Why isn't it plowed more often?
Money!!! It costs a ton of money to get a contractor to come from Terrace to plow the lot. They plow all the lots in town first, which you can not blame them, then will come out and do the Club parking lots.
The club pays for travel time, and plow time. It is very, very expensive. The more money spent on the parking lot, the less money for other things needed by the Club, to develop new trails, or maintain the trails they have now.
It is not like the Skeena mall where more money comes in, when the lot is cleared. Out there it is the other way around. Be patient! Be understanding! They hold off as long as possible to save the Club money, not to be mean and miserable.
Now we have Snowmobilers and ATV guys parking in the Clubs Main lot again! This is NOT allowed. They bring in their big trailers and ramps and take up 4 car spaces. They don't pay for clearing the lot. Tell them to move to the highway lot, which is the public lot. If they don't move take their picture and report them to the Executive or add it to facebook, and shame them into moving if that is what it takes. The Main parking lot is for members only, and those that pay the day pass rate. No trailers allowed! The lot can only hold so many cars and trucks.
ON facebook, Jan 13, 2022, another new Executive member has bravely taken on the job of coordinating the plow guy. Note- he doesn't physically do the plowing! He calls the plow guy when he thinks it is needed. Please let him know the conditions when they are bad, by adding a comment on facebook, and please give him a compliment when they are good! Please note- The head groomer does not do this job anymore. Please do not contact Dean about this, as he has enough on his plate as it is with the grooming. Please be patient, as plowing and sanding has to wait until the contractor is available. Note- The contractor can also have equipment failure. Nobody can know this will happen. They all try their best!
Now please don't call him if there is an inch of snow in the lot! A couple inches of snow, even 2 wheel drive cars can get around, it is a waste of money to plow this little bit. Don't be wasteful.
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Who shovels the steps and walkways? Who cleans the snowload off the roofs? Volunteers, thats who! And it should be you! All members unless they are too old or too young, can shovel a few steps off. 800 members, there should be a few that can do this. Now they have a fancy donated husky snowblower that has been made into a super snowblower for hard snow and ice from the roofs.
But nobody wants to volunteer to run it? Participate! DO YOUR PART!
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Why not pay a groomer to be out there 24/7?
Answer- Money! Your ticket costs would have to “double” to afford hiring paid staff. (by the way I am not an accountant, nor do I know how much it costs to hire anyone, I use “double” here as an example) Then you have to train and house the staff out there, and pay all the employee costs associated with that. Then you are expecting a “Volunteer” Treasurer to issue cheques, and maintain employee records. Kind of unfair in my eyes. When the paid groomer gets sick, who does the work? Harder to find a qualified volunteer after a while. The club has tried to keep membership dues down to be more inclusive, not just a sport for the rich. This is not Polo!
It costs money for fuel, maintenance of the vehicles, maintenance of the buildings, hiring contractors from electricians, welders, to heavy equipment, to do building, trail, and parking lot upkeep, etc. It is not cheap to do that. If you are worried where your memberships fees are going, run on the Executive, attend an AGM, and find out. It is a Not for Profit Society, and this restricts how much capital they can have at any time. Plus everything has to be approved by government agencies. But the main reason is money- when you hire one, then the volunteer at the rental shop will want to be paid, then the cafe staff, then the ????. Where does it stop? If this was near a large city, and they had 3,000 members plus, then problem would be solved. But this is Onion Lake! One day it might happen. But with 3,000 members you wouldn't be able to move out there!
Just as an addition, I just read the results of the Smithers Clubs Membership survey, 2021, and lo and behold the biggest gripe over there, sounds like the biggest gripe here, grooming! And guess what, They have paid groomers, with volunteers doing extra work. So just because you pay someone does not mean it is done better, or maybe even quicker.
The person that wrote their article also describes in great detail that snow can not be groomed over and over again, like everybody wants. It damages the snow crystals and you get a poorer surface to ski on. You also get quicker melting by continually spinning it.
Doing more reading on the subject I found this in an article about snow and grooming
I had no idea so much science went into this. And I bet 99% of the membership doesn't either.
I quote- “Repeated tilling passes in snow which is not being renewed by fresh snowfalls can do a lot of damage. Tilling is an extremely aggressive process. Snow crystals are rapidly reshaped into smaller more rounded forms, resulting in a more compact denser snow pack. If carried to extremes, tilling can actually reduce snow depth on trails. Snow particles repeatedly ground down to finer size leaving a denser and thinner snow pack. Carried on further, excessive tilling can leave “dead” snow. In this case rather than being too hard trail surfaces become sugary. Snow crystals have been altered so much that they will no longer compact. The only thing that will rejuvenate “dead snow” is an infusion of fresher snow which can come from snowfalls or snowmaking from above – or by bringing up and mixing in fresher snow from lower layers.”
This bringing up lower layers can be done with the large blue Renovator Blade, (item #34 below) that replaces the front blade on the big machine. When it gets too icy, and hard for the ginzus to dig in, this piece of equipment is used, but using it lowers the snow pack, and is not easy switching to it from the blade, but is possible. Because it digs into the snow there is always the danger of going too deep, and damaging this special blade, which has happened before.

So those that want the groomer to be going every 24 hours, be careful what you wish for. It's not like plowing a gravel road, or plowing a paved road over and over again. Not to mention the amount of fuel that would be needed to do this. The amount of diesel burned each time is lots from what I have seen. Double that or more for daily grooming. I didn't know about the damage to the snow each time. Something to consider when you ask for this. I know it would be so nice to have flat corduroy and classic trail set continually. Sometimes, paid groomer or not, this can't happen.
I know everyone wants fresh set tracks, and fresh corduroy top, every time they go out.
Well if that is what you want, go to Nordic Pulse report, and as soon as you see the machine out doing your favorite trail, then rush out there quick! You will be first in line, and no bitching.
There is 800 members + all fighting for the fresh trail. Not everyone will get a fresh trail each time, even if it was tilled 24 hours a day! Not everyone will get what they want, every day, paid groomer or not. Just like real life, we don't always get what we want! Before you add rotten comments on facebook, or wherever, critizing the grooming or whatever…. What's the old saying, “if you can't say nothing nice, don't say nothing at all!” Everybody likes to bitch, including me, but Please do not do it publicly! It doesn't help one little bit, in fact causes more harm than good. Think about what you are typing, would you want to read it if you were a Volunteer?
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Why is the Rental Shop only open for a few hours on weekend days?
Answer- Simple- Because you and other club members haven't volunteered to help run it! If everyone in the club volunteered a couple days it could be open 7 days a week. Why not pay someone to run it? see answer above for paid groomer etc..
Check facebook, and the official page, sometimes the shop is open more than the regular hours.
With Covid, this job is even more trying, as all work has to be done with the doors open. 4 hours working in the cold, would not be fun. They are dedicated to make this club work!
I know what it is like, I volunteer in the unheated maintenance shops out there, and it is not fun.
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Can you rent skis, boots, poles and snowshoes out there?
Answer- Yes they rent complete outfits at the Rental Shop
Or just individual sets of poles, boots, skis, or snowshoes
Cash or cheque only!
Note- Day Pass Fee does not include rentals.
Children- 12 and under- By the ski season, only for those who are members, enrolled in Club ski programs, with limited amount of sets available
Adults- Whatever time period the rental shop is open, on weekends, and some holidays
Skis/boot/poles must be returned at or before their closing time at 4 PM
Sometimes a couple volunteers offer to open it on other days, and facebook will have that info.
See club link for more info
Club's Official Price Page
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What size skis, poles, boots etc required ?.
Answer- Rental staff can help with all of that when you get out there, or google for info as well.

Ski- Some skis are by your height, with arm stretched up from your wrist to ground.
Some prefer by your weight. Your weight seems to be the new standard from what I read now.
Lengths and styles change for classic, skate sking or touring.
See the volunteers at the rental shop, they will sort you out
Rent a pair till you find the right length for you, then that is what you buy.
You should learn classic style first
Google “Cross Country Ski size” for proper sizing chart
Classic skis are less than 68mm wide, skate skis are approx 41-45mm, much narrower
Beginners should use shorter skis until they learn to use proper size skis.
They should also look at “waxless” skis
Poles- Poles are by your height, and change for classic, skate sking or touring.
Google “Cross Country Pole Length” for proper chart
Beginners might want to try shorter poles to start with
Boots / Bindings- Boots are sold in European sizing.
Google “Cross Country Boot Sizing” for the proper size comparison chart.
Look on local buy and sell facebook pages for used equipment

Note- The “NNN” (New Nordic Norm) style of bindings/shoes is the new cross country standard. “SNS” (Salomon Nordic System) bindings/shoes are being phased out, and will be harder and harder to find replacements.
Of course the 2 systems are NOT compatible!
Or buy new equipment at most sporting goods stores or online.
I and others suggest you rent until you find what you like, then buy that size
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Why can't I snowshoe on all the trails?
Answer- You wreck the special tracks the groomers have spent hours making.
You also leave ruts in the trail for skate skiers to hit. not good! This can cause serious injuries.
They have created a special trail just for snowshoes and fat bikes, when trail is hard enough, and no skiers are allowed on it.
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New Official Club Snowshoe Trail Page



The Combo Snowshoe-Fat Bike trail is accessed after the lodge, where you will pay a $5.00 day fee, or season pass, which must be visible on the trail for checking. See my map above in question #1. You will walk past the lodge, when you see the washrooms, turn right, follow the groomer access road, to the Power House, the entrance is just before the power house door, and well marked. You will go clockwise around the one-way trail, with various short cuts to the return path that is adjacent to Highway 37. The Exit is just past the power house, coming out, you will turn right, follow groomer access road, and see the lodge on your left, and parking lot next.
There are lots of shortcuts to take if you run out of steam. DO NOT go back in your tracks unless an emergency. On the trail orange triangle markers will help you follow the trail, if it is not packed by the clubs snow machines. This trail is the last trail to get packed after a snow storm. The ski trails take top priority.
How long is each section? Go to the Clubs trail page, scroll down past all the other maps, to snowshoe trail and note at bottom of the Legend section, at the bottom right of the map is a measurement key, 0-250 meters. That measurement can be used to figure out each section if you want to spend time figuring it out, fill your boots.
Remember NO DOGS or skis allowed during the season on the Snowshoe Trail!
DO NOT snowshoe on the other SKI trails, or you will get only dirty looks, if you are lucky!!
Note- a good map of the trails is on the club site, just scroll down past the other ski trail maps, and there it is a full map of the snowshoe Trail. The map is also laminated at the day pass area, booth no 1, and in the Lodge!
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Why can't I take my dog on all the trails?
Answer- Because they wreck the special tracks as above, plus they do their business on the tracks and not everyone picks up after their dogs. Hitting these droppings with skis is not nice.
Use the Special Dog Trails, and pick up after your dog there as well. Lime green shovels are available on the trail to throw the droppings in the bush on the side of the trail
Or better yet take poop bags out and pick the stuff up and get rid of it in town.
Note- All dogs must be on a leash when they leave your car in the parking lot.
They must remain on leash until you enter the head of the Dog Trail off the Wedenne Mainline.
Then you must be in control of your dog(s) on the dog trail at all times.
Do NOT enter the lodge/stadium area with your dog at any time during the ski season.
Ski in a clockwise direction only if you have dogs with you. Note other skiers without dogs can ski in any direction on the doggy Trails. Control your dog when approaching other skiers. You are responsible for your own dog. If your dog is a biter, please leave them at home or on a leash at all times.
There has been multiple incidents with dogs. Do not add your name to the list!
Remember it isn't the dogs fault, it is the Owner each and every time!
Trapline? I will also add, not everyone knows, that the whole area where the trails are, is an active trapline. Someone has paid a lot of money to have the right to trap animals here. If you look at the bottom of most of the maps, it will give you a clue, do not tamper with traps! So now I ask you if you know there is not only wild animals here, and set traps for them, would you let your dog run wild on all the trails? When the trails were set up the owner of the trapline did not want this to happen, and fought it tooth and nail. The club won to a certain extent and we co-exist with the trapline. Not everyone agrees with trapping anything. But reality is there is one there. I do not know who owns it now. But they have the right to earn a living doing what they do. It is against the law to disturb these traps. If your dogs stay on the groomed trails all is well. If not? Don't cry to me!
Same as those that insist letting dogs out in parking lot, and crossing Wedenne road off leash. If your dog gets hit by another car, or hit by a skidoo flying down the Wedenne, do not come crying to me! You have been warned over and over and over again.
Not only will you be upset, think about the other guy that hits them?
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Why can't I walk in the middle of the trail, between the 2 groomed classic tracks?
Answer- You leave grooves where the skate skiers go, and any groove could throw them off balance and cause injury. Always walk on the edge of the trails if you need to walk there at all, due to a broken ski, injury, or whatever. Remember these trails in the winter time are for classic skiers and skate skiers, not hikers.
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Are any of the Trails flat for beginners?
Answer- NO- We live in Northwest BC, there is no such thing as all flat ground here, unless you are at the airport! There are easy trails, and harder trails. Easy Trails can still be hard for beginners. The Stadium/Lodge area is near flat now, and suggest you learn there first. There is even a few small hills in the stadium area to practice on.
Thr Troll trails are virtually flat, behind the rental shed, and great for learning on. Dog trails are next nearly flat trails.
Note- they have added green dot signs on the beginner trails, only problem blowing snow can stick to the signs and cover them up, if you see this, please clean off the signs for the new skiers.

Beginner Trails are marked with this Green Dot Sign.
Be aware some signs can be covered up with blowing snow.
Nordic Pulse app has colour coded trails for the beginner. I also believe this is on the big map at the main gate as well. If you are unsure, ask someone.
Lessons are also available, check the official web site for that- Link below
With Covid some if not all of the lessons are cancelled sad to say.
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If you only want to Snowshoe, do you have to pay to use that Trail?
Answer- Yes, but because the big machine isn't used to groom the trail, the rate is only $5.00 per day, payable where the day pass envelopes are deposited by the Lodge. If you pay the full day pass rate you can ski on other trails and snowshoe on this trail. Season membership you can do it all as well. The $5.00 fee is used for parking lot clearing, Insurance, and the cost of track packing with the smaller snow machines. For the work that went into building this trail, and maintaining it, the price is a steal.
Special snowshoe passes are available at the Day Pass Booth area beside the ticket machine.
NO Dogs are allowed on this trail
How long is each section? Go to the Clubs trail page, scroll down past all the other maps, to snowshoe trail and note at bottom of the Legend section, at the bottom right of the map is a measurement key, 0-250 meters. That measurement can be used to figure out each section if you want to spend time figuring it out, fill your boots.
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Yes they do have many pairs and sizes at the Rental Shop for rent, first come, first served.
Look on their official page (links below) for hours the shop is open. Usually just on weekends.
Saturdays 10-4, and Sundays 11-4. Can also check facebook for further updates on open times.
Like the skis, etc, they have to be returned by 4PM when they close
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Ice on the trails happens in our area, more than other areas, due to the changing Coastal temperatures, where we get rain instead of snow, especially in the spring. It is a groomer's nightmare. If the trails are too icy, I would not go out if it was me. The groomers have to pull the ginzu machines around the trails to shave the top layer off, and leave a corduroy top layer with a classic track if the ice isn't too hard, and snow conditions are right to create the track. Lots of variables go into grooming it to be safe for sking. Watch for warnings on facebook, if you hear of ice on a trail, stay away if you are a new skier especially.
This is one question that could be repeated on facebook, as conditions change.
If you detect ice, comment on facebook about it as a warning to others, especially the beginners
Remember you are sking at your own risk! Use caution!

Is it raining out there? is it snowing out there? What does the Highway look like?
Drive BC has a camera and temperature testing point right at the turnoff from the highway
Drive BC Link below shows this
Go to their web site, and to the right of the camera view you will see a “Weather” button, click that
and under the picture will appear the latest snow, rain and temp readings.
Even Road Temperature is shown. 0 deg watch for icy roads.
Can't get more exact than that.
Even a button a little further down for the weather forecast.
here is the link
https://images.drivebc.ca/bchighwaycam/pub/html/dbc/144.html
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There is free parking off of Highway 37, at the Wedeene Access Road turnoff. Overfull parking, or if main parking lot is not plowed, you can park in first lot off the highway, in front of the club's Maintenance sheds and big mural sign. This is a very limited space, and many groups use this lot, not just skiers. Otherwise proceed down the Wedene Road, and first driveway to the right after the Big Club Shop. This is the entrance to the Main Parking Lot. DO NOT Exit parking lot from this entrance! Exit is the next turnoff, just before the Dog Trail access road. On the one corner of the Main Parking lot is the large red gate that leads to the lodge, Day Pass, and rental shop area.
NO dogs allowed past this red gate into lodge area.
All dogs must be on leash in the parking lot, and across the Wedeene road until you are on the dog tails themselves. Keep the leash handy in case groomer approaches.
Note- The Main Parking lot, is a Ski Club parking lot. It is for members only and day pass members. NO Snowmobile or ATV trailers allowed! They must use the highway parking lot.
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The Clubs BIG groomer machine, nickname “Snow-Kiti” is a grey fiberglass cab, 2013 Prinoth BR350. It has a 6 cylinder, 8.81L, 350 hp C9 Cat Engine, with a Posiflex Tiller and a multi angle front blade. It weighs 8,411 kg or 18,452 lbs., without snow load! Max speed 18.5 km/h or 11.5 mph. It has a hydrostatic drive, all controlled by a microprocessor via a joystick.
It carries 270L of diesel, and 82L of hydrostatic oil.
It has the standard Prinoth Halogen lights, on the roof, mirrors, etc, plus the club has added 6 extra lights on the tiller, both halogen and LED to help the groomers at night see the tiller and the tracks laid.
It is over 5 mtrs in width, and very dangerous to be around when working!

Snow-Kiti Sponsor list from sign in the Lodge
Dec 2015 the Club purchased this used machine with 3100 hours on it, it came with a new track, and new grooming attachments for $291,000.00. It took 4 years of fund raising to pay it off. This is a large, complex and expensive machine. It is not like driving your car, or SUV. It has many parts that break down. With wear and tear, and some even break just cause they can! It is greased every time it is used, and snow and ice cleaned off each time it is used. This takes hours of groomer time to do this. Not to mention the fueling etc required. Sometimes the machine breaks. It costs a fortune, and no they don't have a spare! When it breaks they use the smaller Snow Machines pulling the old and new Ginzu machines to groom and set a classic trail. So there is backup plans. But they all have their limitations. In case of a breakdown, parts are ordered asap. As you can see by the price of a used machine, all parts are a crazy price. Wonder where your membership fees go? Last year it was the heater/defroster motor, close to $1,000 for it alone, and the front wipers twice! Small items, but machine can't move without them. Then the injectors acted up and that was even more costly to repair. This year? Both Batteries failed, 24v system, and were replaced. Passenger side window wire defogger isn't working properly, and needs fixing or replacing, but not critical, with other defroster blowers working, so machine is still operating. Cross our fingers, and hope nothing more. But if it happens, Don't gripe about it, it can't be undone. The parts can only come as fast as they can, then we have to locate a mechanic to install them. This all takes time. Other clubs deal with this same issue. Mechanical failure can't be predicted.
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Inside the Lodge, usually hanging on a hook on the wall by the heater? If you loose something stick a note on the facebook page, and hopefully someone already found it for you.
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Is Cross Country sking good exercise?
Answer- Cross Country Sking is a full-body workout that builds core strength – and it is one of the best cardiovascular and aerobic exercises known! If you want to burn calories, this is known as the best sport in the world for that.
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What should I wear?
Answer- Wear many thin layers, that can be removed if you get overheated while sking, and put them back on if stopped.

Be always aware of Hypothermia, (hi-poe-THUR-me-uh) which is a medical emergency that occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 F (37 C). Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C)
Some Signs and Symptoms of Hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Clumsiness- lack of coordination
  • Drowsiness- very low energy
  • Confusion- Memory Loss
  • Loss of Consciousness

Google it and learn about it, as it can happen quickly in our wet and cold climate.
Remember when removing layers, keep your pass visible on the outside layer.
Your pass must be visible at all times, on all trails. no exceptions.
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Is Safety a concern of the Club?
Answer- Yes, the Biggest!
Always Ski with a buddy, or at least tell someone where you are going, and when you will return.
There is cell phone service on most of the trails, but not all the low areas.
There is no cell phone service in the lodge or rental shed, but just outside these buildings in the stadium there is. The metal roofs and siding stop the signal.
Be aware where the large Blue Plastic First Aid Barrels, and other First Aid boxes are located. (see club maps, locations are marked with a red cross, see official ext links below)
Dog Trail Safety Barrel
Safety Barrel on the Dog Trail
Beaver Trail Safety Trail
Safety Barrel on the Beaver

Take food and water with you, but please take your garbage back home.
Be prepared for the worst, if not needed no problem.
Take a small back pack with all necessary personal safety equipment
Take a head lamp with extra batteries, (and a light to help put them in if you are by yourself, which you should not do at night!) if planning on being out later in the day.
Be Prepared!
Be safe and courteous!
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You can go out as a family group and not come into contact with anyone else, or stay at least 6ft from them at any time, no problem. No ski lifts or closed buildings to worry about. No hotels or air fare required. Just the family car out to the parking lot. Fresh Air galore!
Of course the Rental Shop, and Main Lodge are Public places with their own strict covid rules.
All lessons, and Children programs have to be compliant with the Covid 19 rules
Please follow all the rules laid out by the Executive, and Public Health Unit.
Please read the New Covid 19 Protocols on Main Club Page, link below
Wear a mask in the public areas, and stay 6ft apart. It isn't rocket science!

Yes, after great expense, and now many LED upgrades, a trail with lights for night sking is available.
Go to the Day Pass area and press the red button between the 2 pay booths. It activates a timer for approx. 2 hours of light. It will only work when it is dark enough out for the sensor.
Caution- Take a head lamp with extra batteries, (and a light to help put them in if you are by yourself, which you should not do at night!) if planning on being out later in the day.
The lights could fail at any time, with timer running out, or maybe an electrical failure.
Be Prepared!
Note- The Dog Trail is NOT lit. Use a headlamp with extra batteries.
Lights on the Beaver Trail cost 180K in 2004 dollars. Plus power costs and maintenance every year. Don't think additional trails will be done any day soon.
Check the Club trail maps to see which ones are.


Picture of the New 60“ Ginzu Groomer (2021), which can be used to set 1 classic track, and shave icy track and leave a corduroy trail. It doesn't have any spinning parts like the tiller on the big machine. It has 12v actuators that can lower and raise the cutting blades, and the track setter at the back. It can only handle a certain about of snow and ice. The club has an old model, and a new model.
see link below for company that makes these


Made of wood with metal pipe a-frame drawbars, these are club made and have been modified many times, to quickly pack new snow and leave a partial corduroy top. They are angled on the front to ride up the snow and push it down as they go. There is no moving parts. But the Outside edges of the pipes are sharp, and they are roughly 6 ft wide, so stay away when you see them coming. Inside are pockets that hold removable weights, depending on the snow conditions. They do not lay classic tracks. They are pulled by the smaller Club snowmachines. The Club owns 2 of these. One of the first things on the trails trying to pack the snow down before tilling can take place. Usually just track packing takes place before they use these in heavy snow. Grooming trails is a multi stage task. You don't just go and make instant trails with the big machine! You need to build layers and pack them so that you can still ski in April. Groomers are not being miserable by following these steps. Be Patient! Just Maybe they know something you don't??

Track Packing is NOT making classic tracks! It is as simple as groomers running around the trails with just the smaller snow machines during the first snowfalls of the year, and then after a good 2ft base the big “Snow-Kiti” groomer is also used to track pack. After major snowfalls this is the step required. It just means the tracks of each machine are used to pack the snow with the weight of each machine. No tilling takes place! No corduroy top is left! No Classic tracks are set! Lots of ruts, and snowmachine front ski marks are left. It is a rough surface, but a necessary step to pack the snow and let it sit for a day, before tilling can take place. Be Patient, this is a first basic step after each snowfall.


3 curved pans on the front allow the operator to set the cutting blade at the proper angle and depth.
A Special attachment to the front of the “Snow-Kiti”. Need to be an experienced operator to control this and tiller at the same time. Used to cut the top ice layer off the trail, so when the tiller passes over it will restore the ski trail to a skiable condition. The front blade is removed and this attachment is added. It isn't an easy job to change it.

Don't get more basic than this question. Typical classic Cross Country skis will be between 40-50mm wide. And, they'll fit easily into the standard Classic tracks (approximately 60-70mm wide) laid by the club's grooming machines. The club has the large “Snow-Kiti”, the 2 Ginzus, and the one pull behind single track setter, to lay classic tracks

This photo shows the classic tracks and the Corduroy the skate skiers love.
The classic tracks will be at whatever depth the machine is capable of setting, and the condition of the snow pack. The track will hold it's shape depending on the condition and moisture in the snow.


1994 VK540II Snowmobile, 2 cycle motor which are notorious to smoke when started.
This has been a workhorse for the club for many years. Partially Rebuilt in 2020.
It pulls the beater bars, sled, and one classic track setter when required.
It also track packs the trails after a snowfall, especially the showshoe trail.

Somewhere along the line a groomer thought wouldn't it be nice for other members to bring out homemade cookies for a “reward” for their time. Now all volunteers benefit from this great tradition. If you are unable to volunteer in other ways, then maybe make a batch of cookies or other treats, that can be left in the rental shed, to be shared among all volunteers.
Some use little paper bags, some use zip lock bags.
I know all the groomers especially enjoy these snacks. But Rental shed staff also get to enjoy the little rewards.

What a great idea, keeps dogs from Lodge area which is a plus, and must be enforced. New Idea? Nope, I found out they have asked Forestry for this many times, but keep getting turned down, so don't blame the club for not trying to get this done. It is is in the hands of Forestry who run the whole place. They are the “Landlord” of the whole place. They supply the outhouses, and the club is responsible to maintain them. With covid this is even more critical, as more volunteers are required to clean them.
So I can see at this time this can't be done, but later on? At the short doggy crossover, at the safety barrel? Why not. Again don't bother giving the Executive hell for it not being done. Like other things out there, maybe not everyone knows the whole picture!
I remind everyone, someone has volunteered to clean the outhouses out there! A job 99.9% of the population don't like doing at home, never mind for strangers. They deserve more than a damn cookie if you ask me. Thank them every time you use them.

The Annual General Meeting is always held in the fall, usually at the Lodge, date will be announced on facebook, and on their official web site. Usually takes place before the new season starts. At this meeting Executive members are voted in for the season. All business is taken care of at this meeting. The Executive meet once a month during the ski season. Now with covid these meetings are not in person. Most of the time on Zoom. All the info is announced on their web site.
Remember even though you want something changed the Executive only has so much power to change things. They are controlled by the Forestry Department of the Government on any changes out there. The Forestry Dept is the landlord of all the trails. The Community Forest is in this area, and logging has taken place that some don't like, but money from this has provided a lot of equipment, and trail maintenance costs.

Everyone assumes that trail work is the grooming for the skiers during the winter. Not true! Behind the scene, at great cost to the club is the real trail work. Ditching, draining pooling water, and the big one pruning back the tree branches, so the grooming machine can go down the trails. also the scrub brush on the side of the trails, which restricts the grooming width, and limits the skate skiers path. This all takes big equipment, and is expensive. As well many Club volunteers go out and hand prune certain areas, to save bringing in a contractor. This is extremely hard work. They use pole chain saws and they are very heavy. It is not a job for the weak! So what you see in the winter has taken hours and many $'s to achieve.

No cutting of any trees can take place unless they are danger trees approved by the Forestry Department Rep. All New trail work has to be authorized by them, as trees have to be cut. They do not allow cutting of any tree just because it is in the way. All firewood is from fallen trees, or trees designated by the Forestry Rep to be cut and used for firewood.
Now who cuts all that firewood and splits it, and stacks it to dry. The Firewood Fairy that's who! I swear some think that is who does it! No, volunteers go out at times announced on facebook, or their official site, and do all this hard work. The club supplies the chainsaws, and 4×4 and trailer to haul it. Last year West Point Rentals donated the use of a log splitter, which is needed for sure. Firewood is for the Main Lodge and the Moose Hut. Don't abuse the hard work by burning it all up because you can.
Volunteer to go out and do the work of collecting it, if you light a fire and benefit from it.

On the north end of the lodge, across the groomer access road, you will find 3 outhouses. 2 are accessable by a nice preserved wood deck, and one is at the end with a set of stairs to access it. All are equipped with lights inside, that are set off on a motion sensor on the 2nd outhouse. It has a built in 10 +- minute timer, and only activated from dusk to dawn. So be aware going in there to read a book at night, might be a little risky. Wear a headlamp to be safe. Lights do not go on in the daytime, but they are painted white inside and are very bright without a light. Please close lid on toilet and lock the door with the swivel piece of wood when you leave.


If you don't see the answer to your question here, look at my other pages, or look at the official club pages, the last resort should be to add your question to facebook.
Every day I see the question on facebook that is easily answered here, or on their site.
Try and look up the answer for yourself first. The same questions over and over again, are very tiring for the Executive, and other facebook users.
Use the table of contents button top right to quickly find your answer

Remember- Everyone working at the Trails is a Volunteer. Treat them all kindly!
Join the Club and Volunteer yourself.


Please Note-
This is NOT an “Official” Web Site
for the SVNS Club.
See links below
for the Official Club Web Pages.
My pages are the Past History of the Club.


My Main Club Page


  • Last modified: 2022/02/17 19:29
  • by dlgent