By Susan Van Asselt
Due to the great early snow Black Jack Cross Country Ski club has been grooming since Nov. 6 up at the higher elevation biathlon trails and has recently also started grooming the lower trails.
The club officially opened on Saturday, Nov. 30. The kiosk and ski rentals will be staffed this weekend and then most days starting Saturday, Dec. 7.
Alexandra (Alex) Loeb, Black Jack president said, “It has been great to see so many skiers out enjoying themselves for the past few weeks.”
Skiers will enjoy all their favorite trails plus the newly re-opened Ophir trails, an extended (to 2.2 km) and better flowing doggy loop as well as better drainage on many core trails this season.
Much of this work is due to generous grants in preparation for the Haywood NorAm races this Dec. 14-15. The NorAm races will be an opportunity to see most of North America’s best skiers in action, vying for world stage spots.
A big thanks is going out to the following organizations for supporting the trail improvements and the Haywood NorAm: Columbia Basin Trust, RDKB Area B, Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust and CBT Community Initiatives Program.
NorAm major local sponsors include Teck Trail Operations, Kootenay Savings Community Foundation, Red Mountain and MountainFM.
NorAm local sponsors include Nelson and District Credit Union, Gerick Cycle and Sports and Big Red Cats.
Ambassadors on the trail
This season will introduce a new program on the trails.
Black Jack “ski ambassadors” will be cruising the trails to offer help to visitors, answering questions and encouraging folks to wear their passes.
The ambassadors are all volunteers who are longtime club members. So please say a friendly hello to skiers with bright green arm bands and wear your passes where they can see them.
“The new ambassadors will help us create a fun and friendly atmosphere. We want new skiers to feel welcome and comfortable out on the tracks,” said Loeb.
The new Black Jack ski ambassadors will be out at “Bring a Friend to Ski for Free” day on Saturday, Dec. 21.
They will be giving one-hour orientation tours of the trails starting at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tours are open to any new skiers and/or members.
More in store
Black Jack has a great slate of fun events scheduled for this year—from photo contests to celebrate our 30-year anniversary to the return of Tour de Soup and Ski with Santa.
We are looking for extra volunteers so we can expand our events. Feel like hosting a New Year’s Eve bonfire or ladling soup? Please contact the club and keep your eye on the website for a complete list of events.
And don’t forget about the Loppet, which will be held on Feb. 22. It’s all about participation and it’s our 30th annual.
Ticket prices and draws
Early season ticket prices and the early bird draw are still going until Dec. 1.
Winners from the Nov. 3 draw: $50 gift certificate from Alpine Grind: Joanna Heikkila; 3Pacs from RED: Sandra Owatz and Howard May; Mountain Nugget chocolate: Patricia Senecal; $50 gift certificate from Gericks: Bob George; skate ski lesson with Lesley Beatson: Tarn Bazley. And from the November 15th draw: Cat Skiing with Big Red Cats: Emily Barrie; 3Pacs from Red Mountain: Sydney Gomez, Juliana Kok, and Rino DeBiasio; Mountain Nugget chocolates: Ray Hoilund; $50 gift certificate from Gerick’s: Paul Heikkila; adult season pass at Black Jack: Krista Svedahl.
Winners have been contacted by email. A big thank you to the local businesses for the fantastic prizes.
The final early bird draw happens on Dec. 1 so get your season’s pass and enjoy the tracks.