Welcome to our Club E-Newsletter!
Winter's a wrap at Wapiti Nordic!
2020-2021 - A ski season of challenges and adaption!
Unless you're a die-hard nordic nut (!!) and plan to ski on your "rock" skis until you hit grass, our skiing days are quickly diminishing ... unless of course we get a massive Spring snow dump! As a Club, we we made it through the great COVID-19 winter relatively unscathed and we are extremely thankful that cross country skiing and snowshoeing were some of the few activities that were permitted to continue. We saw a significant influx of new annual members (welcome!) that pushed us over the 1,000 mark for the first time ever, and over 400 day pass visitors from November 2020 to March 2021 - another record. Yet the trails never felt too busy because we have 35kms to share and several parking areas. We also saw a huge spike in our ski rental and adult lessons as people dusted off the cobwebs or tried our sport for the first time - something that highlighted the need to streamline our admin processes and purchase more rental equipment for next year! Our volunteer board rose to the occasion and adapted quickly to the surge (following COVID guidelines) by hiring four new part time Lodge Attendants to cover the weekends. A massive THANK YOU to all Members and trail users who respected the physical distancing guidelines and ensured that we did not run afoul of provincial health measures - we couldn't have done it without you! It is a shame that our new Members did not get to experience the social side of our Club (hot chocolate, the warm fire in the lodge, hot dogs around the open outdoor fire pit - see this 2019 photo), but as soon as social restrictions permit, we plan to host a Member appreciation event in honor of everyone who supported the club through this challenging season.
Grooming Gratitude ...
Our resident grooming expert - Crawford - deserves a special mention after everything Mother Nature threw his way this Winter! Some call him "The Magician" ! From modest snowfalls, to gale force winds, to warming temperatures in January through to frigid cold in February - he managed to compact, push, renovate, groom, harvest and manipulate the snow to create pristine corduroy and sleek classic tracks for our skiing pleasure! Now that is a special kind of magic! Thanks Crawford for all that you do for the Club. Much appreciated! And let's not to forget the volunteer groomers who support Crawford - you volunteer work is appreciated too!
Duathlon & Loppet 2021 events a success!
Here's another example of how Wapiti Nordic adapted to the "new normal" and we were thankful to have been able to host these fun events when most other sports were shut down. COVID-19 protocols included "self serve" race package pick up, staggered starts over two days and self timing, with no post event refreshments or socializing. The Duathlon (5km ski + 5km snowshoe) on February 20th attracted 44 participants who thoroughly enjoyed the multi discipline event, either as a soloist or as part of a team. The Loppet on March 13th had 116 participants complete 5, 10,15 or 30km distances on a modified course due to marginal snow conditions. The largest contingent was from the Jackrabbits and Bunnies who had 57 little athletes on the snow and covered 1-3kms! Special thanks to Lori and Doris for organizing these events plus their magic "elves" who volunteered to prepare race packages and mark the course, and not forgetting Crawford for his magical grooming prowess! Also thanks to David Kay for hosting his Learn to Loppet program "My Endorphin Zone" which ran for four weeks to help build confidence and share some tips on how to pace over longer distances. Hopefully we will see this program back again next year!
Save the date! Spring General Meeting is Monday, April 26th @ 7pm on Zoom
Yes, it's that time of year again already! The 2020 Fall General Meeting went well on Zoom so we are planning to use this platform again for the upcoming Spring 2021 meeting. Board members will be sharing verbal updates on their respective areas of responsibility. A special notification will be emailed to you at least two weeks in advance with a copy of the General Meeting agenda and the meeting link. We are currently accepting nominations for Board positions. Please email if you would like to put your, or someone else's name forward. We welcome new perspectives and faces!
Mountain Bike programs coming soon!!
Programming for youth and adults will go live on April 1, 2021. Full details will be posted on our website and Facebook page . We plan to offer programs similar to previous years following COVID-19 guidelines from the Alberta Biking Association e.g. staying 6 feet apart and groups no larger than 10 persons. There will be designated meeting spots for each group to ensure compliance and minimize congestion. Stay tuned!!
Way to represent Wapiti Nordic!!
At the recent Northwest Alberta Sports Excellent Awards hosted by the Grande Prairie Regional Sport Connection, we had not one but THREE nominees from Wapiti Nordic! Biathlete Liam Tinworth was nominated for Male Athlete of the Year. Chicks leader and volunteer extraordinaire, Melissa Poirier was nominated for the Sport Builder category, and Biathlon coach Michael Morgan was nominated for Coach of the Year! Melissa won her category and is to be commended for the fifteen years of volunteer time that she has poured into developing and nurturing the ladies Chicks on Sticks program at Wapiti Nordic (along with her sidekick Doris Gordon!). It is humbling to know that we have such amazing athletes and ambassadors in our midst. We salute all three individuals for their commitment and dedication to our sport, and thank them for casting a positive light on Wapiti Nordic Ski Club. Bravo!
Chicks on Sticks -
Speaking of Chicks .... the ladies Chicks on Sticks group had a great winter, though very different from previous years. We missed the hot chocolate and socializing after skiing but the small groups of ten were able to get to know each other and have great outings together. The groups were quickly able to meet at their assigned spots and start skiing. We had pretty consistent numbers and some great volunteers who led our different groups. Thanks ladies!! Hopefully we will be back to a more normal Chicks format in Winter 2021/22! Until then ....
Advocating on your behalf ...
Our volunteer Board are working hard behind the scenes to advocate for Wapiti Nordic's best interests on a number of emergent topics:
  • Highway 40 Twinning: A new service road to the west of the highway will impact some of our competition trails on the south side. Club President, Michael Morgan has been leading the charge and discussions are ongoing with Alberta Transportation. It is anticipated that a mutually agreeable outcome should be reached before they break ground this Spring.
  • Secure the Land: Our Trail Director, Matt Wild has been working with our neighbours at the Church camp to draft a Memorandum of Understanding in regards to winter and summer access for both parties between our respective recreation leases.
  • Bridge Replacement: The County of Grande Prairie plans to replace the bridge on Township Road 704, and is working with the Club on the best solution.
2021 Banff Mountain Film Festival - keep watching to support Wapiti Nordic!
If you have been too busy skiing all winter, there is still time to catch one or all of the four virtual programs that make up this year's Banff Mountain Film Festival - Amber, Onyx, Sapphire and Ruby! 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! You can rent individual programs (3 day viewing window) or bundle them in twos or all four and have 14 days to watch them. The Banff Centre has advised that more programs will be released in the Spring - so if you have already watched all four, there are more in the works! Full details including the link to rent the films are all available on our dedicated web page.
Program Updates
Our children's Jackrabbits and Bunnies programs wrapped up a successful season with the fun 1, 2 or 3km Loppet on March 13th. A special thanks to all the Leaders and parents who helped out this Winter, and for your patience with the COVID-19 protocols. Thanks also to Daniel Martin for coordinating both programs - no mean feat keeping little people in pods of ten! The Wapiti Winter Challenge is not quite over, but many skiers have reported skiing over 1,000 km this Winter - wow! Great work! 
Race Team Year End
Well the race team has managed to keep busy and active all season! A huge thank you to the groomers for keeping us moving this long into the season! We’d like to thank the recreational skiers for your patience as the team raced by in various directions and speeds over the past months. With a special visit from our Provincial Sport Organization and multiple fun race events happening here at the ski club, it’s been a great season. If you have skiers aged 7-20+ that would like to get out on skis more than just once a week, please contact Claire- clairerichter@me.com for more information. Have a great summer!
Our volunteers ROCK!
A huge thanks to the trail clearing volunteers! No one can remember a winter with so much wind and so much trail debris.  We really appreciated all the help and willingness of folks to come out with their rakes - when they wanted to be skiing! We may be calling on you again this summer to get the trails prepped for next year! And don't forget to submit your volunteer hours so that we can use them for grant applications! Full details here
Got any gear to Buy or Sell?
Now is the time to do it! We have a pair of ladies classic ski boots up for grabs! They are Salomon Combi SNS Sole Boots. 7.5 US Women’s. Full details on our Buy & Sell page on our website. Be sure to check that they match the bindings on your skis as there are two types of bindings available. If you want to list something, simply click on the yellow button and we will post it for you!
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