Kane Valley Skiing – February 2021

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If you’re feeling a little extra photo genic on your next outing, we’d love to see your photos! Send your photos to nicolanordic@gmail.com

Photo: Mike Hassel

17 February 2019 – plenty of snow in the Kane Valley.  Photo: Alan Burger      

To see photos from the 2019-2020 season click here: 2019-2020 Photos. For photos from previous seasons go to our Photo Gallery


Trail updates

Been skiing in the past day or so? Leave us a comment about which route you used, what the trail was like, and anything that needs attention. You can also leave (or respond to) questions on the Kane Valley Trails or about local weather.

We’ll also use these posts to tell you what’s been groomed, what is scheduled to be groomed, and anything else club members and trail users should know about.

For instructions on how to leave a comment click hereIf you’ve been out skiing leave a comment so that others can see what the conditions are like!

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38 Responses to Kane Valley Skiing – February 2021

  1. Kate Anderson says:

    Hello skiers, The 5-7 cms of fresh snow made for stellar conditions on top of the packed trails. We skied from P5 leaving at 9:30 (it was -10) and skiing through to Bertha’s, Ravine following tracks, stopping and taking pictures of hearts in the snow, and surrounded by such beauty! Then on to the Tolko loop, which is a gem unto it’s self. It was getting warm when we finished at 12:30 (+1). Welcome to spring skiing, the sun has some power in her now! Ski early (or late).

  2. Kate Anderson says:

    Yup! Fresh snow and currently -12 in Kane Valley with blue skies. A perfect day for skiing!! Thank you Ian for your awesome posts!
    Cheers,
    Kate

  3. Ian says:

    Just an addendum to my previous post. Our larger snowmobile that pulls “the big unit” track setter is in the repair shop AGAIN. So there won’t be any tracks set this weekend and maybe longer. The trails will still be groomed/rejuvenated with the smaller sled. Enjoy the fresh powder. Thanks for your understanding.

  4. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a fluffy trail report for February 26, 2021.

    Our prayers were answered, as it was snowing intermittently all day in the Kane Valley today. And it snowed last night, too. It’s a winter wonderland once more! Spent four hours today grooming out the trails I didn’t get on Tuesday. Lots of drifts out in the open to level. The only bad spots that remain in terms of debris are the first 800m of Raven’s Ridge at P1, Chute and both Porter’s Hills.. Everything else should be good skiing on the weekend. Just watch for the isolated branch here and there.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  5. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a super-short but heartfelt trail report for February 25, 2021.

    Huge congratulations to Janet Harper and Sini Darwin for reaching Club23 (successfully skiing the length of all 23 open Kane Valley trails) today under the most adverse conditions. Les deux femmes extraordinaires accomplished the goal by skiing both Wednesday and Thursday of this week despite hard, icy tracks and lots of dangerous debris. Sini called it nothing less than “a ski out of hell experience.” Mauditement bon!

    Stay safe and happy skiing. Prie pour la neige!

  6. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a wind-swept trail report for February 23, 2021.

    A big shout-out to the dozen or so people who took part in the Nicola Nordic Ski Club’s much-delayed 2019-20 AGM Monday night via ZOOM. It was a very productive meeting. And a hearty welcome to Ros Duclos, who has joined the NNSC’s Board of Directors.

    I spent six hours on the Kane Valley ski trails today on a snowmobile with the small groomer, primarily assessing the damage from Sunday and Monday’s high winds, sporadic rain and mild temperatures. I managed to inspect the following trails: Raven’s Ridge, Vale, half of Gulch, Harmon, Kane, Matthew’s Loops, Chute, Hill’s Homestead, Skyhigh, Sundown and Aspen.

    The damage to the aforementioned trails was indeed significant. I had to clear four trees and more than a dozen large branches that had fallen on or across trails. There still are thousands of twigs, cones and tufts of lichen strewn everywhere on the trails – far too many to even consider trying to clean up. The debris makes skiing very hazardous, especially if you’re trying to go downhill. Skis typically catch on this debris and stop suddenly, throwing you off balance and causing painful falls. Until we get at least 5-10 cm of new snow on top of this wreckage, SKIING IS NOT RECOMMENDED. That said, if you’re really determined, I would recommend the first half of Kane and Matthew’s Loop West from P1, Aspen to the base of Porter Hill from P5, and Aspen to the Sundown junction from P6. DO NOT TRY TO SKI DOWN THE PORTER HILL.

    Much of the debris was caught/lodged in the machine-made ski tracks that the groomers set. (We can thank aerodynamic principles for that.) I found that by taking the small groomer directly over the tracks, it helped to bury some of the debris, disperse other fragments, and even sweep some to the sides of the trails. The grooming was also necessary because the set tracks were heavily iced up from the big Monday melt.

    The force of the wind on Saturday, Sunday and Monday was also evident on the Aspen trail by Harmon Lake. The snow had been blown into huge drifts that all but obliterated the ski trail. Thank goodness for the orange marker stakes.

    I can’t get out till probably Friday to assess and do repairs on the remaining trails, and post a report. Stay tuned.

    As I made my way up and down Harmon today, I encountered a group of eight snowshoers making their way up to the Tolko cut blocks that had been recently logged. They were forestry students, and quite possibly future timber cruisers. Nice group, working hard.

    We had a couple of ‘unwelcome’ snowmobilers on our trails over the weekend. One of them blasted their way along the powerline that crosses the likes of Vale and Gulch. The other came onto our trails from the south and drove down the middle of Hill’s Homestead. In both cases, they left some messes where they appeared to have gotten stuck.

    Finally, for those who tried the word search in my last post – sorry for the non-alignment of the letters. It wasn’t intentional. Also, sorry for the one letter mistake. I don’t think it was a game breaker. Good luck.

    Question: What do you say to a skier who talks too much on the trail? Answer: Schuss!

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  7. Ian says:

    Oops! Sorry folks. The WordPress platform didn’t like my word search format and ignored the alignment of the letters. Makes the word search a little more challenging!

  8. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a puzzling trail report for February 21, 2021.

    This was not a day for skiing (me thinks) with overcast skies, mild temperatures, strong winds and intermittent rain. Instead, it was a perfect day for building a word search!

    Below is a word search with the names of 21 popular Kane Valley ski trails. Words can go in any direction, share letters, and crossover each other. I’m not conveniently listing the words to find at the bottom. That would make it too easy.

    Once you’ve found all 21 trail names in the word search, copy the unused letters, starting in the top left corner, into the blanks below the word search and you’ll have the name of a 22nd Kane Valley ski trail. Sound easy? Have fun!

    R O T C E N N O C R H D P R O
    A N W O D N U S E C S A O V V
    A E O N S O R V L I K E O D E
    S G E M K K O U A U Y T L R R
    P M H L R S G C V X H S S H E
    V D O O S A S Y K O I E W T A
    W T G O G Q H T Q Z T M E R S
    S S R E N A K T I U H O H O Y
    R C E T I L L I C U M H T N Z
    S A J I A S P E N X G S T L E
    Q R V W Z L M C L Q C L A L X
    F V M I Y N K M P L H L M Z H
    H S R N N C E E Z P U I L T H
    N I X L T E F M N Z T H X L X
    D Y E L L A V S L I E N U S X

    The 22nd trail is:

    ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

    We’ll probably lay low for a day or two and let this weather system pass before assessing and reporting on the trail conditions, and what needs to groomed. Be patient. Go for some nice walks. Smell the mud and melting ice.

    Don’t forget the Nicola Nordic Ski Club AGM via ZOOM, tomorrow (Monday) night at 7 p.m. You can register to participate by going to nicolanordic@gmail.com

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  9. Momo and Tim says:

    We skied the Overeasy-Gulch-Harmon-Aspen loop from P5 on February 18.
    This was our first ski in the Kane Valley and we enjoyed it thoroughly.
    The variety of terrain and the views alone were worth the drive from Kamloops but we really lucked out on the conditions: the air was around -6 and the snow spectacular. We really appreciated how well the trails were signed and enjoyed the Panorama shelter for lunch.

    A big thank you to the volunteers who create and maintain this gem.

  10. jh says:

    parked at p5 and skied up overeasy, gulch,Harmon and aspen yesterday, Feb 20. Took 4hrs but over an hour of that was stopping. The snow was lovely soft and forgiving. No sticking but had waxed before the trip. There was a lot of very strong wind. Met fellow club member from Surrey on Aspen. He has been up here four different times this season to enjoy the ski trails. I hope to be as young at heart as he is for years to come. Truly inspiring to meet him on the trail.

  11. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a discombobulated trail report for February 20, 2021.

    Okay, I’ll admit….today was not another perfect day for skiing the Kane Valley. A fairly strong wind picked up early in the morning; it was especially noticeable out in open spaces. As we groomed Aspen by Harmon Lake, the snow was drifting over our work almost as fast as we were creating tracks.

    In addition to Aspen, we also groomed and track set:

    (Below the road) Sundown, Lower Ravine, Hill’s Homestead, Skyhigh, both Matthew’s Loops and Chute.

    (Above the road) Raven’s Ridge, Menzies, Vale, Tillicum, Asp, Crossover, Neill’s Valley, Gulch and Overeasy.

    The remaining few trails will be at least packed and groomed sometime this coming week.

    Kudos to the young couple who skied in to Matthew’s shelter yesterday evening and camped overnight – under the stars no less! When we met up with them around 9 a.m. this morning, they were enjoying a warm drink around a cozy campfire. They looked very well prepared, with good winter clothing and gear.

    Also kudos to the two young-at-heart ladies who were busy skiing the eastern loop this morning (P5-Overeasy-Gulch-Harmon-P6-Aspen-P5). Rumor has it they’re working on joining Club23. You go, girls!

    The weather forecast for the next few days in the Kane Valley is for daytime temperatures close to zero, but with a wind chill that will make it feel cooler. Let’s hope the wind chill prevents any precipitation from falling as rain, which is in the forecast for Merritt.

    Remember, logging starts up again on Monday.

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  12. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a meandering trail report for February 19, 2021.

    I must be sounding like a broken record (again), but it was marvelous conditions for skiing in the Kane Valley today, especially in the morning. The weather displayed a little bit of everything, but it was all good. Every day this week there has been some fresh snowfall.

    KCB and I reversed the west loop today, starting at P5 and skiing up Overeasy to Gulch. We then went up Harmon to the North Pole and down the other side to P6. After crossing the road, we skied Aspen back to P5. The descent on Harmon was the best either of us has ever experienced. There was sufficient powder that we were able to just point our skis downhill and let loose. Similarly, at the Porter Hill on Aspen, Ken went left, I went right and we both just flew down to the bottom. First time I’ve ever been able to let ‘er rip on the bypass.

    Congratulations to James Clark who aced Tolko and Connector today and is now an official member of the effulgent Club 23. Closing in on membership are Chris Lepsoe and Byron Robbie. Keep it coming, folks. Let’s try for a dozen members this year.

    Day 1 of the logging show in Kane Valley seems to have come and gone without incident. I met two trucks coming out in the morning as I was going in, and there were no problems. A reminder – there is no logging on the weekends, although a service truck or two might pass through. There’s no question that the improved road width is a big help, as well as the additional pullouts. The best parking at P5 is now on the right side of the road going in, just before the bridge. This was not an option before. Even P6 seems to have more room now on the left side, past the signboard.

    I put a ‘SLOW’ sign on the right side of the road just before the Kane Ranch. As previously mentioned, no fewer than five vehicles have gone off the road this winter on the left just past the ranch entrance. Drive carefully.

    KCB and I had a look for Paul Willm’s snap-on sunglasses on the Gulch trail with no luck. Our “Lost but not Found’ list now includes a pair of prescription glasses, a glasses case and Paul’s clip-ons. Not bad all things considered.

    Hub and I are heading out at 8 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) to groom trails. It’s going to get quite warm by the afternoon, and even warmer on Sunday. Saturday morning might be your best bet for a ski.

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  13. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a sprawling trail report for February 18, 2021.

    SOME VERY IMPORTANT NEWS! Active logging is set to recommence in the Kane Valley, starting tomorrow (Friday, February 19). The actual logging sites are in the vicinity of Tillery Road (13km in from the highway and beyond Harmon Lake and any of our ski trails. However, logging trucks will be using the Kane Valley Road to drive in from and out to Hwy 5A/97C.

    Greg Ware of Triple G Logging has informed me that the transporting of logs will take place from Monday to Friday only until approx. March 5 (10 working days). The trucks will be on the road from 3 a.m. till 3 p.m. Twenty loads will be brought out each day by 10 trucks (2 loads each per day). That’s 40 truck trips per day in total counting the trip in empty.

    Greg said all his drivers are very professional, and they are very aware of the significant recreational traffic on the Kane Valley Road. He asked that people driving stay to the right side of the road as much as possible, and not panic if they meet a truck. If possible, he said the car or pick-up truck should stop and let the logging truck negotiate its way around and past them. If the weather and road conditions deteriorate, he said his drivers will not hesitate to chain up if needed.

    If you turn off the highway onto Kane Valley Road and a logging truck is on the side of the road waiting to go up, take that as a sign there could be oncoming trucks on their way out. Similarly, if the logging truck is facing the highway and stopped, it could be a sign there are more trucks on their way out. Don’t hesitate to speak to the logging truck driver and find out what’s happening. Remember, they are in radio communication with each other.

    If you can think of anyone that skis the Kane Valley, but may not check the trail reports on a regular basis, please let them know of the active logging.

    In anticipation of the logging activity, YRB was up on the Kane Valley Road all day today with a huge unit, plowing back the snow and widening the road as much as possible. The roadside parking situation has improved at P1 and P5, as has the off-road parking at P2 and P3. Parking at P3 is still recommended in order to alleviate pressure on P2. The parking situation at P6 has not improved. If you park on the roadside anywhere and can fold in your mirrors, do so. Avoid parking anywhere near a corner or sharp curve in the road.

    Now to today’s skiing. It was yet another fair-weather day in the Kane Valley with ideal temperatures and snow conditions. There were plenty of skiers out and about on the various trails. Ken Conway-Brown and I did some back-country exploring in the area above and behind Harmon Lake, in the vicinity of the interpretive trail on the east and the Elk’s campsite on the west. We had a lot of fun thrashing around in the deep, untouched snow. Exhausted, we took the easy route back to P6 by skiing across Harmon Lake.

    Some wild, exotic animal sounds were heard above P3 around mid-afternoon. It was later determined to be Diane Clark and Joan Willms successfully coming down the last hill on Vale.

    Paul Willms officially completed his final trails today and joins Club23. Congratulations. Unfortunately, he lost his clip-on sunglasses in the process, in the area between the Gulch-Harmon junction and the steep hill just to the north on Gulch. If you come across the specs, please give Paul a call.

    John and Kate Anderson’s post this afternoon serves as a reminder that evenings can be a wonderful time to get in a late ski. There are beautiful sunsets to be seen, especially on Aspen. Equip yourself with a headlamp and stay out even a bit longer.

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  14. Kate Anderson says:

    We (John and I) went out last evening and skied from P5 and did the loop up around Bertha’s shelter. I understand now why that trail at off the top of Aspen is called Sundown (and am still wondering who was/is Bertha?) The sunset was beautiful, the snow conditions good. It had cooled down to -2 at 5pm and we needed to get out, so we took our headlamps and it was beyond words great. The stars were coming out and the skies clear when we finished. Skiing at dusk will be more on my radar from now on, that is for sure!

    Went out again this morning and skied from P5 again, and skied Aspen, following it all the way down, took our skies off, walked down the road to hook back up to Harmon and skied the cut off back to our house. We intend to do the vehicle drop off and ski early again tomorrow down Harmon as conditions are good now but will change …. it’s supposed to warm up this weekend. Get out early the next couple of days!

    Our AGM is on Monday night via ZOOM. If you are a member, please consider attending the meeting by emailing the club nicolanordic@gmail.com and requesting the link and registration. It will be a one hour meeting from 7-8pm. If you want to join the board, please let us know.

    Come out and play,
    Kate.

  15. James says:

    Yesterday was the first time skiing Harmon trail since the year 2000. The trees have grown up quite a bit and it is spectacular. The absolute best day of skiing in my memory. The temperature and ski conditions were perfect and the trail through the snow covered trees was magical, like being in Narnia. I’ll try to figure out how to post photos – one of Ian desperately trying to keep up to Paul or Paul desperately trying not to get run down (depending who you ask LOL)

  16. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a rambling trail report for February 17, 2021.

    After spending Tuesday skiing at home on farm fields, it was back to the beautiful Kane Valley today. The weather was perfect, with slightly below zero temperatures and a mix of sun and cloud.

    My arrival at noon was delayed by yet another accident on the Kane Valley Road. For the fifth time this winter, a vehicle went off the road at the dangerous corner in front of the Kane Ranch just past P1. A month ago it was a plow truck that slid off the road and lost its load. This time it was a pickup carrying a snowmobile. Luckily, the two occupants were unhurt, but the truck rolled and incurred considerable damage. The road was closed for a good 40 minutes while a tow truck did an impressive job of extricating the vehicle. This curve in the road is tilted the wrong way, and traffic coming up from the highway needs to be extremely careful.

    Ironically, as I was leaving the Kane Valley later in the afternoon, it was George Anderson (of the Kane Ranch) and his tractor that were off the road at basically the same corner. He said a plow truck went passed and essentially forced him into the ditch. Good grief. Fortunately, my old one-ton Dodge was up to the task and pulled him out.

    Starting at P6, I skied the eastern-most loop of the Kane Valley trial system. A long climb up Harmon brought me to the North Pole. That’s a good workout. The quick descent took me past the Panorama shelter and down to the Gulch trail and then down Overeasy. I crossed the road at P5 and took Aspen all the way back to P6. Distance approx. 13 km.

    Going up Harmon, I briefly met up with Paul Willms and James Clark. Both skiers are in the final stages of skiing all the open Kane Valley trails this winter and joining the ‘distinguished’ ranks of Club23.

    As I herringboned up the main Porter hill on Aspen, I was reminded how steep and narrow this section is. The bypass is even narrower but not quite as steep. Skiers need to exercise extreme caution going up or down both these trails, especially if you’re traveling with a dog or dogs.

    While in the vicinity of P6 and the Aspen trail, I revisited the old Aspen route along the road beside Harmon Lake. While all the vehicle ruts are less evident now because of recent snowfalls, the two cattleguards remain hazards. If one was to ever have a ski tip or pole drop between the bars, it could easily result in broken bones. It’s so nice to have the new route above the road.

    Got word that a couple of skiers from Spence’s Bridge were on our trails today and visited Hill’s Homestead.

    Hub and I will be out grooming on Saturday morning. We’ll try to do all of the main trails.

    The weather is supposed to warm up considerably this weekend with temperatures well above zero. If you plan to ski, I would advise early morning. Watch out on Sunday. The forecast is for possible rain. Ugh!

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  17. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief trail report for February 15, 2021.

    Happy Family Day, everyone. I hope some of you made a visit to the Kane Valley a part of your family’s plans.

    Hub and I were out grooming trails from 9 till noon this morning. The temperature was around -8 degrees, with overcast skies and light snow falling. We groomed and set track all of Harmon, Overeasy, Hill’s Homestead, Connector and Tolko – the five trails that were not done yesterday. The amount of fresh powdery snow was amazing. Even yesterday’s groomed trails were somewhat covered over, and could easily have been groomed again.

    The ascent of Harmon from Gulch to the North trail junction (North Pole) and subsequent long descent down to P6 has to be one of the most beautiful outings in the Kane Vale cross-country ski trail system. Do try to give it a go before the season is over.

    Want to have some fun. Pick somewhere on your route and briefly go ‘off trail’. Ski for a few hundred metres in the deep stuff, back-country style. Watch your skis disappear, and your poles plunge so far down your hands touch the snow. Special.

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  18. Herta Klassen says:

    Skiing yesterday was the best way to spend Valentines day! Perfect conditions and freshly groomed trails made it 👌. Thanks groomers!

  19. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a trail report for February 14, 2021.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

    The skiing conditions in the Kane Valley were magnificent today, with single-digit negative temperatures and occasional glimpses of the sun. A good 4-5 cm of fresh snow has fallen in the last day or two, the most recent light and fluffy.

    The groomers, Hub and Ryan, were out bright and early today. They managed to pack, groom and lay track on most of the shorter, interior trails. Hub and I will be out tomorrow, grooming Hill’s Homestead, Connector, Tolko and Overeasy.

    There were many skiers out on the trails. What a way to spend Valentine’s Day! My group of three skied from P1 to P5 via Raven’s Ridge, Gulch and Overeasy. We then crossed the road and did Kane, Matthew’s West and Chute back to P1. Distance: 14 km.

    It was reported that parking at P2 today was a bit of a dog’s breakfast. The one plowing that YRB finally did back in January was very incomplete; unfortunately, we’re not expecting any improvements this season. All we can ask is that people park ‘thoughtfully’ with everybody’s well-being in mind. Get yourself turned around when you arrive, and then try to parallel park along the sides of the banked snow. Better still, park at P3, and ski over to P2 and beyond.

    Interest in Club 23 continues to grow. In case you hadn’t heard about it, it’s a challenge to local and visiting skiers to ski all 23 open trails in the Kane Valley network over the course of this season. Either direction; doesn’t matter, but you must do each trail in its entirety. One last time, I’m going to list the 23 trails:

    1. Asp
    2. Aspen
    3. Chute
    4. Connector
    5. Cross-over
    6. Gulch
    7. Harmon
    8. Hill’s Homestead
    9. Kane
    10. Matthew’s Loop West
    11. Matthew’s Loop East
    12. Menzies
    13. Neil’s Valley
    14. Overeasy
    15. Porter’s Bypass
    16. Raven’s Ridge
    17. Ravine
    18. Skyhigh
    19. Sundown
    20. Tillicum
    21. Tolko
    22. Vale
    23. Vale Bypass (at the top of the hill above P3)

    Let us know when you successfully complete the challenge, and congratulations to all who do!

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  20. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief trail report for February 13, 2021.

    Didn’t actually ski at Kane Valley today. Went to Logan Lake instead. Skied the perimeter (16+ km) clockwise, including the scenic Dog Leg and Beyond Outer Limit trails. Very, very nice. It was around -10 degrees, with a light snow falling most of the afternoon. All their trails are extraordinarily wide (12’ at least), with room for one or two set tracks, and a skate ski path. It was a very different experience from our Kane Valley trails, many of which are quite narrow and rolling.

    Met Andrea Lawrence at the Logan Lake trailhead. Club members will remember Andrea and her husband, Allan Burger, as longtime members of the NNSC before moving to the Highland Valley. Their home is literally 100 metres from the start of the LL ski trails. Pretty nice. Andrea said their ski/snowshoe/hiking/biking trail system is scheduled to be affected by logging activity in the near future, similar to what took place in the Kane Valley this past fall and winter. We wish them well.

    A big shout-out to Ryan de Visser, who has kindly offered to help the Kane Valley grooming crew. Ryan and Hub will be out on Sunday. Give Ryan a hearty welcome.

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  21. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief trail report for February 12, 2021.

    Parked at P3 at 1 p.m. Temperature -16 degrees. Skied with a friend from Alberta. We skied Kane to P5, crossed the road, and did Overeasy, Gulch and Vale back to P3. There was a wind halfway up Overeasy. Temperature -20 degrees.

    The snow continues to be a bit sluggish. The negative: not much glide. The positive: downhills very safe, even the Vale descent to P3.

    There’s more snow forecast for Saturday, so we’re going to hold off grooming until Sunday. We’ll try to get out early so the trails are refreshed for skiers.

    Off to do the Logan Lake trails tomorrow.

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  22. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief trail report for February 10, 2021.

    It was a balmy -18 degrees again as I parked at P1 today at 12:30 p.m. There was a bit of an added wind chill out in the open, but not much in the trees.

    Some fresh snow had fallen overnight, but it was of the slow variety, especially if you were breaking trail. It had the consistency of powdered milk, but the density of sand. Not much glide to be had. On the plus side, the snow was soft and forgiving. Unfortunately, I used an all-purpose sub-zero wax today; I should have gone with something colder and harder.

    I skied Raven’s Ridge to Lunchbox Shelter, Vale down to Teiffel’s Landing, and Menzies back to Raven’s and P1. Once I got moving and working, I warmed up quite nicely. I also made two adjustments en route: switching from gloves to mitts, and wearing a face shield to prevent the cold air from being inhaled directly into the nose and mouth.

    Congratulations to Ken Conway-Brown for joining Club 23 by nailing his last trail today – Porter’s Bypass. I hope he went up and not down as it’s a narrow one, that’s for sure.

    Hopefully, Hub and I can get some trail grooming/rejuvenating done on the weekend.

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  23. Lorna Latremouille says:

    Ken Conway Brown joined the 23 club as he skied Porter bypass today!! Congratulations! Vern and I think we’ve joined the Arctic Club as we were skiing in -18!!! Conditions were great, the sun was shining and had some heat! Toe and hand hot pad warmers helped us keep comfortable and Ken’s fast pace had us peeling off our jackets. We had lots of layers on! It was an adventure and a fun ski.

  24. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a brief trail report for February 9, 2021.

    It was -26 degrees at 8 a.m. this morning in the Kane Valley. Rest assured, I was not there at that time. I got the temperature report from an ice fisherman I met at P6 a couple of hours later. He was just wrapping up a four night stay out on Harmon Lake in his ‘cabin’ (tent). The hardy soul from Langley said he’s been coming to the Kane Valley in summer and winter for 27 years.

    It was -18 degrees at P6 when I did some skiing back and forth on the new trail out to Aspen. I put up some additional signage as there are a lot of snowmobile tracks in the area.

    While parked at the side of the road at P6, a YRB low-bed went by…just. It was extremely tight. Driving the pilot vehicle was long-time Merritt resident Keith Rauch, who I believe lives in Kelowna now. Any way, my recommendation if you plan to park at P6 is to park back close to the Harmon trail access (marked with orange stakes). Stay away from the S-bend where a lot of ice fishermen park.

    Later in the day, I moved up to P3 and skied part of Kane and Matthew’s West. The sun was shining down, and once again the Kane Valley appeared majestic.

    A pair of skier’s gloves were found on the Kane Valley Road by Laine and Tammy Thermoset at approx. 3:30 p.m. They turned the gloves over to me at P3. We’re pretty sure they blew off the back of a dark Subaru that had been parked at P3. If the owner of the gloves sees this post, he/she can contact me at (250) 378-2345 or iwebster@merrittbc.net, to get them back.

    Once again, let me say – don’t be deterred by the cold. Wednesday and Thursday are both supposed to be sunny. Midday temperatures are really not bad at all.

    Stay safe, and happy skiing.

  25. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a trail report for February 8, 2021.

    Don’t let the forecast temperatures for the Kane Valley deter you. Dress appropriately and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer.

    It was -14 at 10:30 this morning when I commenced skiing from P3. My goal was to knock off the final four trails I needed to join Club 23. To be a member of this distinguished group (haha), you have to ski all 23 open trails this season in the Kane Valley network. I skied up Vale and Asp to get to Neil’s Valley – one of the four trails on my to-do list. I skied it east to west over to Vale and then back to P3. I crossed the road and skied Kane to January shelter and then Aspen to Porter Bypass, the second and third trails on my to-do list. Finally I skied Sundown and Lower Ravine, the latter my last trail on the to-do list.

    The skiing conditions were great. A bit more fresh snow had fallen; though it made things a bit slow first time through, the powder was so welcome after weeks of glazed ice and crusty snow. It’s so nice to ski and not have the crust and ice throwing you off balance, the cones, sticks and lichen catching your skis, and the downhills scaring the life out of you.

    It was great to see evidence of skiers (and pets) coming in from P6 on the Aspen trail. Looks like ‘dp’ was having some fun with his fat/touring skis on the hills at Porter Bypass. Just let me know if you want some slalom gates set up and a start/finish line.

    I had time to sneak in a loop of Matthew’s West trail. It looked like it had been busy on the weekend. Rumor has it another birthday party was held up at the P2 shelter. What a great idea. I even saw evidence of tobogganing.

    Talked to my friend who grooms trails for the Logan Lake nordic ski club. He said the legendary wild horses (that I mentioned before in a previous post) have been making their presence felt around the ski facility. Recently, the herd ambled along one of the ski trails for a full kilometre before veering off. Just destroyed the trail! Still would be a pretty cool thing to see. I’m hoping to get up there one day this week for a ski.

    Stay safe and warm, and happy skiing. Bucs win!

  26. kcb says:

    Excellent conditions again today. One inch of fresh snow overnight. Just the right amount for coming down the steeper hills. There is a small avalanche across Ravine. Can ski over it.

  27. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a very early trail report for February 7, 2021.

    For those contemplating a Super Bowl Sunday ski, fresh snow fell overnight. If the forecast temperatures do indeed remain below zero, conditions should be terrific and very forgiving. Perhaps we could get a report from someone who does go out.

    Last night’s ‘Night Ski’ from P2 was attended by a small, enthusiastic group. The Kane trail proved to be the perfect run out and back. Thanks to everyone in attendance. We’ll try to do it again.

    Stay safe and happy skiing. Go Bucs!

  28. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is an early trail report for February 6, 2021.

    First things first. The night ski tonight IS HAPPENING! Seems I sowed the seeds of interest, and things started getting organized – unbeknownst to me. Story of my life. Sigh!

    Anyway, THE SOCIALLY-DISTANT GATHERING AND NIGHT SKI IS HAPPENING AT P2 TONIGHT (SATURDAY) AND ALL ARE WELCOME. COME JUST TO CHAT AND ENJOY THE FIRE, OR COME TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SKI AS WELL. Vern and Lorna Latremouille and a few others are getting a fire started at 6 p.m. Bill and Mischelle Pierce and a few more are joining at 7 p.m. Sounds like there will be hot dogs, tea and a few treats. Feel free to contribute. The ski could be anything people wished to do, but I had originally suggested Kane out and back. It’s wide, relatively flat, and double-tracked in most places. Maybe we could go just as far as the Kane-Skyhigh junction and back. The recommendation is to wear a headlamp of some sort, however any illumination might do. How about a flashlight duct-taped to your armpit, or glow sticks protruding from your ears?

    Hub and I were up packing trails and setting track first thing this morning. It began snowing at about 9:30 a.m., and at times approached ‘white out’ conditions. I had to turn the wipers on my sunglasses on. We focused on the lower side of Kane Valley Road, and groomed the Matthew’s Loops, Kane, Ravine, Skyhigh, Hill’s Homestead, Sundown, Tolko and Connector. Barring a full day of snow, Kane should be in good condition tonight.

    There were a few hardy souls out skiing this morning, as well as Kevin Dixon and Carrie Barquest snowshoeing. Mr. D is a veritable ambassador for the Kane Valley, as he is up there almost every day – spreading good cheer and not so good jokes.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  29. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a trail report for February 5, 2021.

    It’s been a couple of beautiful blue sky days in the Kane Valley, with good ski conditions both Thursday and Friday. That said, the morning was the best each day as afternoon temperatures got up to +8 degrees, making the snow a bit slow and heavy (but great for tanning).

    A huge shout-out to NNSC member Ken Conway-Brown, who took advantage of the great conditions today to ski the 25 km perimeter of the Kane Valley trails. I first detailed this route in a post back on January 26. Ken started and finished at P1, and completed the circumnavigation in a sizzling 3:55 (three hours, fifty-five minutes). Absolutely awesome! We crossed paths with Ken at P6, just after he had descended the backside of Harmon, and was about to head out on Aspen. Hopefully Ken’s magnificent effort will inspire others to take up the challenge. Ken is also one of several club members intent upon skiing all 23 Kane Valley trails officially open this season.

    Congratulations to ‘jh’ for correctly identifying ‘The Big Unit’ as baseball pitcher Randy Johnson. What connection does the 6’10” Hall of Fame player have with cross-country skiing? Absolutely none, other than his nickname is the same as what we call our large grooming/track-setting machine.

    Hub and I were out grooming by 9 a.m. this morning, and had great success in the early going, packing and track setting Kane, Aspen, Harmon and Overeasy. We also packed and groomed Neil’s Valley for the first time this year. It’s beautiful; you should check it out. And we created a new trail (a bypass if you like) from P6 to the official start of Aspen. Instead of following the campsite road beside Harmon Lake, which has become a tortured mess, the new trail stays well above the road and fence line. If you park at P6, go to the ski trail sign board (with the map) and head left on the newly established trail. It’ll get you to where you want to go.

    Our plan had been to continue grooming for much of the day, with the likes of Matthew’s Loops, Raven’s Ridge, Hill’s Homestead and much more on our to-do list. Unfortunately, the larger snowmobile began overheating in the warm weather, and the track setter began acting up, so we called it a day. Our hope is to be out prepping trails at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.

    Speaking of Saturday, the idea of a night ski with headlamps did not gain much traction, so we’ve decided to postpone it to another time. The weather may have not been too favorable anyway, with snow forecast for both Saturday and Sunday.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  30. Lorna Latremouille says:

    Thank you groomers, what a difference from Tuesday! Today was fabulous skiing on fresh groomed trails! Soooo much fun!! Lorna

  31. Kate Anderson says:

    Skied with some lovelies from P5 today up over easy, down Gulch and across to Kane. Fabulous ski, good snow and AWESome grooming Hub and Ian!!! Just starting to stick when we finished at 1:30.

    Mischelle didn’t find her glasses on Matthews loop (yet)and Jenny lost some sunglasses too on Matthews loop, so if lost items get found, please let us know here on the blog or email the club and we can get them back to their owners.

    Big shout out to the spiffy biffy unit, Vern and Lorna! The outhouse at Matthews is again fixed up.
    It’s a volunteer club and we appreciate everyone! Want to help? If you ski with a pack, take a roll of toilet paper with you and replenish the supplies. Bring a shovel and shovel out the snowmobile crossings after the grader has come through. They are now staked and marked for no parking.

    The grooming duo will be out again tomorrow, expecting some snow overnight. It’s going to get cold next week, so definitely DO come out and play for the next few days if you can!

    Cheers
    Kate

  32. kcb says:

    Set up for future use please

  33. jh says:

    google is a marvelous source. Randy Johnson being 6ft 10in would definitely put him as the big unit in baseball. Actually any sport would call that big!
    I can not ski in the dark so thanks for the invite, but no thanks to a night ski. Something about depth perception and staying upright. Have fun! I am heading up to Ravens ridge while the sun shines.

  34. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a trail report for February 3, 2021.

    First things first. The Kane Valley Road finally got plowed and spot sanded this afternoon. The driving is much better. P2 and P3 have not been plowed, and we shouldn’t hold our breath while waiting. They are both still okay for parking, although P2 is an awkward piece of business. Once again, I recommend that as soon as you arrive at P2, get your vehicle turned around before parking. Try to make sure you don’t have anyone else pinned in.

    What a day it was weather-wise in the Kane Valley. The afternoon was absolutely glorious; the morning none too shabby either. I apologize if I scared you away with my post yesterday about the road and trail conditions.

    Hub was out at 10 a.m. with the big unit (Quiz question: What Hall of Fame sports figure used to be called The Big Unit?) grooming the most popular trails and laying down some fabulous tracks. The crusty ice was crushed, and the skiing was fantastic. He nailed both Matthew’s Loops, Kane, Menzies, Gulch and Raven’s Ridge. He was flyin’! I joined Hub at noon and we doubled up to do Asp twice, Tillicum, Cross-over, Vale and Chute.

    After Hub left at 1 p.m. for his real job, I continued with the small groomer and did multiple passes on Hill’s Homestead, Skyhigh, Sundown, Aspen and Porter Bypass, all of Harmon and Overeasy. There are no set tracks on these trails.

    If you missed the great skiing this afternoon, try to make it up tomorrow, Thursday. The earlier the better as fresh snow is forecast for the afternoon and evening. We hope to be back grooming and setting track on Friday in preparation for a good weekend.

    Speaking of the weekend, Mischelle Pierce suggested Saturday as a possible day for a night ski with headlamps. I haven’t heard from anyone else. At the moment, more snow is forecast for all day Saturday, which could be good or could be bad. Thoughts?

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  35. Mischelle Pierce says:

    I went for a quick ski this morn on Mathews and I was glad to hear you took a couple of tumbles Ian because I did as well However it was a lovely morning and I actually met several other skiers heading out when I came in Thanks Kate for your weather updates and Ian your blog is an absolute delight to read !!!
    I would love to go on an evening headlamp ski and wondered if this Saturday evening would work

  36. Ian says:

    Greetings skiers. Here is a trail report for February 2, 2021.

    A big thank-you to Kate Anderson for providing us with weather and road reports from the Kane Valley these past couple of days. Things are frequently so different “up the hill” from what is happening down in Merritt and around the Nicola Valley. It never ceases to amaze me as I make my way almost daily from Spius Creek to the Kane Valley how many mini-climates I pass through.

    The Kane Valley has received a significant amount of new snow in the last 72 hours, as well as a small amount of rain that has capped the snow with a nasty crust (again) that makes skiing a bit difficult. A straight line is manageable, but turning and slowing down are more of a challenge. (Three good tumbles for me today). Hopefully a solid round of grooming the next couple of days will break up that crust and make things a whole lot safer.

    The Kane Valley Road had still not been plowed as of 4:30 p.m. this afternoon, making the road a bit glazed and tricky to drive. Get up some speed for the climb up off the highway. Coming back out to the highway, gear down on that last hill and go easy on the brake. Be ready at all times for opposing traffic.

    A shout-out to those hardy souls who skied the Kane Valley yesterday, Monday, while Merrittonians splashed around in puddles and mud. Supposedly the skiing wasn’t too bad.

    Today, Tuesday, saw an impromptu, socially-distant gathering of NNSC members at Matthew’s shelter to repair the outhouse and cut and split a whole bunch of firewood. Participants skied, snowshoed and walked in to the shelter. Thank-you Vern and Lorna Latremouille for taking the lead on this work party initiative, for packing in a power saw and axe, and for cooking up delicious hot dogs for lunch. Thank-you also to the hard-working supporting cast that included Paul and Joan Willms, Don Parno and Ken Conway-Brown. Many hands make light work. True to form, Vern worked off his lunch by cutting out some errant logs at the start of the snowshoe trail at P2.

    Talk around the campfire touched on a number of topics, including wolverines (nicknamed gluttons). These reclusive yet ferocious mammals are only occasionally seen, but can attack and kill an animal several times their size. They prefer the colder boreal forests and subarctic regions, but have been sighted throughout southern B.C. Keep your eyes open – looks like a little, muscular bear.

    There was a bit of daylight left, so I took the small groomer out and did double-rounds of the Matthew’s Loops to break up the crust. I would recommend these trails to early risers on Wednesday, especially if you are a cautious skier or have pets in tow. Start from either P2 or P3, not P1.

    Hub hopes to be up to the Kane Valley by 10 a.m. tomorrow morning (after working till 2 a.m.), and will groom all of Kane, and hopefully track set Kane and the Matthew’s Loops. I’ll join him around 11:30 a.m. and we’ll focus on grooming and tracking Ravine’s Ridge, Gulch, Vale and Menzies. If possible, I’ll stay on and at least groom a few of other trails on the north side to get rid of the ugly crust. What’s missed Wednesday will hopefully be gotten on Thursday.

    It’s been a while since I mentioned the Kane Valley weather link that gives a much more accurate forecast than just looking at Merritt weather. Here it is, courtesy of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and NRK. Copy, paste and click.

    https://www.yr.no/en/forecast/daily-table/2-5989173/Canada/British%20Columbia/Kane%20Valley

    The above weather forecast is for periods of snow from Thursday through to Sunday which will be great. Temperatures are going to gradually drop, such that by the middle of next week daytime temperatures will only get as high as -10. Yummy!

    We’re still looking for a pair of prescription glasses on the Matthew’s West trail, and now a black glasses case somewhere on the north side. Different owners, but both eager to recover their losses.

    Stay safe and happy skiing.

  37. Kate Anderson says:

    Currently -1 and will warm up again today. Groomers are going out tomorrow (potentially/hopefully).
    As of last night the road was not yet plowed.
    I would say, unless you are good with your ski waxes (there is a skill level and science to this that is beyond my understanding) I would suggest waiting another day or so, until temps cool down and the groomers make it out.

    Did the Goundhog see her shadow? I sure hope so!

  38. Kate Anderson says:

    It’s currently +1 in Kane Valley, lightly snowing, with 4 inches of very heavy “snowman” snow accumulated. I have not heard the plow truck come through yet, so I’m not sure how the Kane Valley Road would be to drive up here, but likely not great.
    I’ll keep you posted.

    I am hoping the ground hog sees her shadow tomorrow and we get another 6 weeks of winter!

    Cheers,
    Kate.

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