The Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club, with 677 members last season has completed of significant upgrades to its trail system this year.
The much needed trail work was made possible thanks to generous support from multiple organizations, and will result in earlier and better skiing for its members as well as thousands of annual visitors.
“Skiers may remember the many puddles, ruts, and muddy sections last November and December that resulted in trail closures, a delayed season start, and the cancellation of the December Kootenay Cup,” said Black Jack Club president Alex Loeb.
Much work has since gone into the main areas of concern, such as Gibbard’s Trail to Torresan’s Cabin, and the improvements will be especially noticeable at the start of the season.
And, after a multi-year hiatus due to a loss of access, the club has finally been able to reconnect and reopen Ophir Trail.
“Like old times, the climb is still, well, breathtaking, but so are the spectacular views of the Rossland Range,” said Loeb.
The improved trails will certainly be showcased at the upcoming Haywood NorAm this December, when hundreds of the top cross country skiers from across North America will be descending upon the region for the week.
The NorAm event is also serving as the junior and U23 World Championship Trials and a number of young up and coming Black Jack skiers will have home turf advantage for coveted national team spots for the 2014 World Junior U23 Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Many of the recent trail upgrades were mandatory in order to comply with FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski) specifications, allowing the club to continue hosting international events such as NorAms.
“Black Jack has really put itself on the map for consistently hosting great events” said Dave Dyer, events director for Cross Country Canada.
“Enthusiastic volunteers, great snow, great trails, top notch grooming, a strong race committee, and a very welcoming town—the perfect mix.”
Now in its 30th year, the Black Jack Ski Club has grown from humble beginnings into one of Canada’s premier cross-country ski facilities, thanks to countless volunteers and supporters.
It offers 40 kilometres of professionally groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing, 2.5 km of lit trails, three cozy cabins, a biathlon range, a two-km. doggy loop, and programs for all ages.
Find out more at www.skiblackjack.ca.
None of the improvements would have been possible without the hard work of volunteers and the generous support of sponsors, including the Columbia Basin Trust, RDKB Area B, Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust, and the CBT Community Initiative Program; as well as local NorAm Major Sponsors Teck Trail Operations, Kootenay Savings Community Foundation, and Red Mountain Resort; and local NorAm Sponsors Nelson & District Credit Union, Gerick Cycle & Sports, and Big Red Cats.