Welcome to our Club E-Newsletter!
Wapiti Nordic - your outdoor exercise oasis!
Lodge open on weekends with limited access + Waxing
The recent cold temperatures and the addition of new lodge staff (see next month's newsletter for introductions!) has allowed us to open up the lodge for warming purposes under the Winter Outdoor Recreation guidelines. Limited hours are in effect and are subject to expansion or contraction - please check the lodge page on our website for most current status and implications for the upper and lower levels. It is important that patrons use the lodge to Change - Ski - Change - Head Home as indoor social gatherings are still not permitted. Pre-booked waxing bench appointments are in the works - again keep an eye on the website. Please familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 protocols to help ensure that our facility remains open. The safety of our patrons, staff and volunteers are our #1 priority as we try to balance providing reasonable access to services under the evolving Provincial guidelines. Our trails remain open 24/7 for the minimalists out there who just want to ski or use the multi use trails! Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Trail miracles - snow dances, renovating, raking & more!
Who knew that we would be foraging for snow and raking trails in January?!? In what must be one of the lowest snow fall Januarys in quite some time, the added "bonus" of freeze-thaw cycles and wind storm debris has tested Crawford (our full time grooming "wizard") to the extreme! Many thanks to all the volunteers who turned out to help rake and remove branches after the devastating successive windstorms - we couldn't have done it without you. Please be assured that our trail crews will always do their best with whatever Mother Nature throws our way and that trail updates are posted almost daily.
Speaking of trails ... please pick up your dog's poop!!
Volunteers had to pick up over 20lbs of dog poop at the North trail head mid January! This is simply unacceptable. Dog access to our North trails is a privilege that must be respected. Our volunteers and most members take great pride in our trails. All pet owners must bring a baggie (or use one from the fence) and deposit it in the garbage can in the parking lot. And if you are skiing on the trails, you are expected to stop and scoop too. Thank you.
Rentals & Lessons - available by appointment
Ski and snowshoe rentals are available on the weekends but must be booked in advance (COVID-19 protocols). Classic and skate lessons are also available as are private lessons. If you have taken a lesson or used our rental services we would love to hear how your experience went. Email us with your feedback so that we can improve our services and share with others.
Parking & Passes
Wapiti Nordic patrons are asked to be good neighbours and park in official designated parking lots only. While our parking lots are busier than usual, there is still lots of capacity in them. Local residents have asked that Wapiti Nordic trail users do not park on RR63 south of Twp Road 704A (see red line) as it restricts the access to their private driveways. This location is not an official trail head to Wapiti Nordic trails, so this should not be an issue. Annual pass holders should always display it on their rear view mirror, and day pass visitors are encouraged to print their e-receipt or at least bring the email on your smartphone as proof of purchase. Thank you for your cooperation.
Save the date! Annual fun Duathlon and Loppett!
Not that anyone has a busy social calendar these days (!!) but we don't want you to miss out on the opportunity to have a ton of FUN! Our annual Duathlon (skiing + snowshoeing) is scheduled for Feb 20th (details to follow) and can be an individual or team entry. Our Loppet (the XC skiing equivalent of a "fun run") is scheduled for March 13th. All events will be COVID-19 compliant and suitable for recreational participants. There will likely be a call out for volunteers once details are confirmed. Stay tuned!!
2021 Banff Mountain Film Festival - two new Programs available Feb 4th!
Thank you to everyone who has rented (or gifted over Christmas) a Program to date - last count we were ranked 18th out of 131 worldwide locations for total rentals!! Wapiti Nordic receives a percentage of all rentals, and this event is usually one of our largest fundraisers so your support is a great way to re-invest in the club! Originally there were two Programs available - Onyx and Amber - each with approximately 7 films included. As of Feb 4th, the Banff Centre will be releasing the Saphhire and Ruby Programs for rental. You can rent individual programs (3 day viewing window) or bundle them in twos or all four! These Programs are so much more rewarding than watching mindless TV and include films from multiple genres! Try one and see!
Program Updates
Our children's Jackrabbits program got underway on January 2nd and is progressing well having enjoyed milder temperatures during most of January. Biathlon Bears are also continuing within the COVID-19 guidelines. Chicks on Sticks ladies recreation ski group on Monday and Wednesday evenings (sorry no drop ins - must preregister) is seeing good attendance with their 10 person "pods". Tanks on Planks (guys group) meet on Wednesdays and always welcome new faces. All aspects of our club programming greatly miss the social components that made them even more fun! But we are still happy to at least be able to offer outdoor options with modifications.
Club News
In addition to planning and pivoting around the COVID-19 regulations, your volunteer Board has been busy working on a number of projects. You may have noticed the spiffy new sandwich board signs at the trail heads to help direct newcomers and share some basic trail etiquette. These are phase one of three, with the goal of making our trails more user-friendly and easier to navigate. The uptick in new members and day passes has help facilitate this step, with more to come. Another timely project involves lobbying Alberta Transportation to ensure that there is minimal impact to the club's trail infrastructure when Highway 40 is twinned. Work is scheduled to commence Sping 2021 and there is a service road planned for the west side of the existing highway that will potentially impact our south trails and lighting. While the Board is supportive of the safety and economic importance of twinning the highway, their goal is to ensure that any impact is offset with alternative trails or compensation.
New Lights on Biathlon Range!
... Thanks to a Capital Assistance grant from the County of Grande Prairie, and services donated by ATCO, Pembina, Freedom Machine, the Nelson family, Dominic Michaud, and many volunteer hours .... things have never been brighter at the Wapiti Nordic biathlon range! The new lights will allow our athletes to train and perform at an even higher calibre in the years to come.
Race Team Update
Although travel races continue to be cancelled for the season, the Wapiti Nordic Race team is in full speed ahead with their training. The team has hosted evening races, early morning races and mid day races to avoid the crowds that are out enjoying the trails. A huge thank you to the general public who are out enjoying the trails and making room for us as the athletes zoom by as well as to the many volunteers and hours of cleaning up debris post wind storms! We are so grateful that we can continue to train on these amazing trails and enjoy the competition we can have here. If you see any athletes out, please encourage them, they’re sure working hard! - Coach Claire.
Seeking Mountain Bike Instructors / Coaches / Leaders!
While we hope that there are many more weeks of skiing ahead of us, Spring will roll around quickly, and with COVID-19 still on the horizon for the foreseeable future, we are anticipating a busy mountain bike season at Wapiti Nordic. If you are qualified or interested in leading a mountain bike group, please let us know as soon as possible - thanks!
Last call for 2020 Volunteer hours!
Last year (2020) was our first attempt to capture how many volunteer hours it collectively takes to keep Wapiti Nordic ticking over year round. This information can be important for grant applications. Our Board would like to track it again in 2021 to get a more accurate picture. If you volunteered in ANY capacity in 2020 and have not submitted your hours yet, please do so using the form on our Volunteer page and send by Feb 15th. All 2021 hours can be tracked on the same form. Thanks in advance!
This month's survey is ...
Please take a minute and let us know: How long you have been a member at Wapiti Nordic? Not a member - that's OK - we want to know about that too! Answers here
Missed an e-Newsletter?
We now have an e-newsletter archive section on our website if you ever missed an edition or need to check back on something. Plus we have tidied up the Minutes & Agenda page to make it more user friendly. We would love to hear if you have any other suggestions for our website or e-newsletter.
Wapiti Nordic Ski Club (WNSC) is a volunteer driven, membership based regional service club. We rely on the support and dedication of our volunteers at the Board, coaching and grassroots levels, along with municipal and corporate sponsors. WNSC welcomes persons of all abilities, fitness levels, ethnicity and backgrounds. We are stewards of the Crown land that our trails are located on, and operate under a recreation lease governed by Alberta Environment and Parks.
Wapiti Nordic Ski Club
62009 TWP RD 704, County of Grande Prairie