Kane Valley Skiing – December 2021

Welcoming 2021- 2022 Ski Season!

Snow has been falling in the Kane Valley which means we have skiing to soon look forward to! Grooming and weather updates will be posted below.

Some important changes at the Kane Valley trails:

  • Skiers with dogs are now allowed on all ski trails north of/ above Kane Valley Road. Please be respectful of other skiiers.
  • There are now signs for the snowshoe trails – PLEASE DO NOT SNOWSHOE ON THE GROOMED SKI TRAILS.
  • We have a new membership drop-off location: Breathe Bikes at 1960 Quilchena Avenue. Owner Travis Fehr is our membership coordinator. Merritt and area residents can now drop off membership forms with payments and pick up membership tags. Tags will still be mailed to out-of-town members.

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.

 

To join the club or renew your membershipclick here

For photos from previous seasons go to our Photo Gallery

For instructions on how to leave a comment click here.

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15 Responses to Kane Valley Skiing – December 2021

  1. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: I can’t seem to access the January blog, so here is your trail report for December 32, 2021 (a.k.a. January 1, 2022).

    The first day of 2022 dawned quite cold in the Kane Valley, but warmed up significantly to a balmy -9 degrees by 3 p.m. in the afternoon. There was a bit of wind out in the open which made it seem colder.

    Things are really coming together trail-wise. Vern Latremouille and I were out grooming for five hours today. We did two complete loops of Hill’s Homestead, Connector, Tolko, Skyhigh, Sundown, Lower Ravine, Aspen and Harmon, as well as single passes on Porter’s Bypass, North, Lynx, Gulch, Crossover and Vale. All of these trails are now fully skiable (Is there such a word?), although some are easier than others. Here are some tips:

    1. Skiing Hill’s Homestead or Harmon will always be a challenge, even under ideal conditions. Expect a sustained climb from either end. With respect to Harmon, the section between the Gulch Junction and the Panorama Shelter is still very rough (undulating) from spring erosion. It is recommending that you climb this section rather than try to ski down it.

    2. Similarly, the newly re-opened Lynx has one nasty pitch (also due to erosion) about halfway round. It is advised that you either climb this hill rather than ski down it, or just plain remove your skis for about 100 metres.

    3. The newly-reopened North trail is a relatively easy ski out into a logged cut block. We now realize the signage is inadequate, so just follow the groomed trail. Also watch for some stumps on the trail that are marked by florescent orange stakes. To say the least, this trail is a continuing work in progress.

    4. If skiing Aspen out to P6, follow the signs carefully, especially as you approach Harmon Lake. The ski trail veers off to the left, crests a hill and then goes steeply down and then back up a gully. Please ski the gully with care. We welcome feedback, and will revisit the status of this section of trail for next season. If this all sounds daunting, you can ski out to P6 (on Kane Valley Road) via the camping road that runs alongside the lake. The challenges there are two cattleguards that can be difficult to cross, and the usual mess of ruts and furrows generated by ice fishermen who try to drive their way to their favorite spot rather than walk in.

    5. We have yet to do any grooming of Upper Ravine; we hope to get to it soon. Pick your poison with this beautiful but tricky trail. If you climb it, it’s very steep for the final 200 metres. If you go down it, it’s very narrow in places, and of course very steep for the first 200 metres. Gives our skidoos fits!

    6. On Aspen, please use Porter’s Bypass to climb the big hill, and possibly to come down it, too. The main Aspen trail is really, really rutted (from both erosion and ATVs) and extremely difficult to climb, and to ski down. We’re thinking of installing a chair lift to help skiers.

    A shout-out to the solitary skier who completed Hill’s Homestead this afternoon in between our two passes. You were quick, and we never did see you. I think you’re the first to complete the route this season. Bravo!

    We’re starting to drop the track setter more and more as the snow base gets wider and firmer. We’re trying to set track to best meet the needs and abilities of all skiers. If it’s too much or too little, please let us know. At all times, we want you to feel safe out there, and to enjoy your experience.

    Finally, if you encounter a chaotic location on any of the trails where it looks like a herd of buffalo overnighted, fear not. It’s probably just one of the places where we buried a skidoo or grooming machine and had to move heaven and earth to get it out. All in a day’s work!

    Happy trails!

  2. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: Here is your trail report for December 31, 2021.

    It remained quite nippy today in the Kane Valley, but the sun was glorious and the ski conditions magnificent. It was nice to see so many skiers and pets enjoying the trails north of/above the Kane Valley Road. So far, the new dog-friendly policy seems to be a great success!

    Slowly but surely, we’re winning the grooming battle with all the fresh snow the Kane Valley has received in the last three weeks. Packing with just snowmobiles is going well, and the last two days we’ve had the small groomer out, too, along with the small track setter. Once we can get a trail packed and wide enough, we can start laying down at least one track and sometimes two. Trails currently track-set are Kane, Menzies, most of Ravens Ridge, and most of Matthew’s Loops. We’re trying to leave sufficient room beside the set track for skiers to be able to snowplow their descents and herringbone or sidestep their ascents without disturbing the track.

    A huge shoutout to volunteer groomers Vern Latremouille, Gary Ware, Don Parno and Ken Conway-Brown for their time, patience and energy. Ours are a challenging set of cross-country ski trails, and it takes a lot of effort to make them accessible, safe and a joy to ski.

    We’re going to keep a couple of select trails ‘au naturel’, meaning ungroomed. They are for the more adventurous at heart who love to break trail, and see their skis disappear under the snow. Check out Neil’s Valley and Gulch Bypass for starters. The latter is not on our maps, but is signed. It lies between the Gulch-Harmon junction and Lunchbox Shelter and allows you to avoid one of the challenging hills on Gulch.

    The temperature is expected to be a little milder the next few days, with more snow forecast for Sunday and into next week. Watch out for the wind chill!

    Vern and I will be out grooming tomorrow (Saturday). In addition to refreshing some of the popular trails, we’re also going to try and get the small groomer onto the likes of Hill’s Homestead and Harmon before there’s just too much snow to deal with.

    Just a reminder that logging is still going on beyond Harmon Lake, and on weekdays you can expect to meet trucks travelling the Kane Valley Road. Exercise extreme caution on sharp corners and drive defensively. Have your lights on. Your safest parking continues to be P1, P2 and P3. P5 can accommodate a few vehicles on the lake-side of the road by the bridge, but be wary.

    Happy New Year everyone, and happy trails.

  3. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: Here is your trail report for December 29, 2021.

    At just -25 degrees at 1 p.m., the Kane Valley was a wee bit more hospitable today than on Monday and Tuesday of this week, Clear, sunny skies also did wonders for the morale. A couple of hardy souls were out either skiing or snowshoeing.

    Vern Latremouille and Michael Plante (from Montreal) were out packing and grooming trail for a couple of hours. They did single runs on Kane, Hill’s Homestead, Skyhigh, the bottom half of Ravine, Sundown, most of Aspen, Harmon, a bit of Gulch and Overeasy. They also did one pass down Porter’s Bypass and cleared a pair of fallen trees.

    Meanwhile, I was at P5 most of the afternoon doing some upgrades on the second bridge. It now has some side boards to hopefully prevent skiers and grooming machines from sideslipping over the edge as they cross.

    I also spent an hour or so clearing the access points on Kane Valley Road where skiers and grooming machines get onto the trails or get across the road. One of the repercussions of the excellent grading being done on the Kane Valley Road by YRB’s Stefan Bothe is the walls of snow lining the roadway. The access points (marked by orange stakes) need to be regularly cleared. If I could ask club members to throw a shovel into their vehicle and take a few minutes on their outing to clear one of these access points before or after skiing, that would be great. The same can be said for the pathways into roadside outhouses. If you could shovel one of those once in a while, it would be appreciated.

    We’re hoping to be out tomorrow (Thursday) doing some widening, grooming and track setting on the more popular trails north and south of the Kane Valley Road. Just when we’re hoping to get caught up in the next couple of days, the forecast is for more snow! Good grief, Mother Nature!

    Happy trails!

  4. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: Here is your trail report for Boxing Day – December 26, 2021.

    Common sense prevailed today (thanks to Vern), and the grooming equipment remained parked while an icy freeze descended upon the Kane Valley. Extreme cold can play havoc with equipment, and humans, too. There will be no grooming of trails tomorrow (Monday) either as the ‘Big Chill’ is forecast to continue.

    That doesn’t mean no skiing. I was out today for three hours, skiing Aspen from P5 to P6 and back. It was mostly deep powder trail breaking, which is my favorite kind of cross-country skiing anyway. Temperatures varied from a relatively balmy -20 degrees in the shelter of the trees to a frigid -32 degrees with the wind chill at Harmon Lake. I dressed in several layers, had a balaclava over my head and face, and heat packs in my mitts and in my ski boots. Worked pretty good, although I looked like a Yeti by the time I’d finished my ski.

    One faux pas on my part was a last minute change of ski poles. Anticipating the deep snow on my planned route, I switched to an old pair of poles with bigger baskets. Unfortunately, both handle straps broke during my outing. You don’t appreciate how helpful those straps are until they’re not there, especially when ascending steep pitches like the four-bar hill halfway along Aspen.

    To add insult to injury, on the return trip from P6 to P5, I chose to go down Porter’s Bypass. At the first of two fallen trees on the trail, I broke off a large branch and tossed it down a gully on my left. At least I thought that’s what I did until I looked and saw I still had the branch in my hand. It was my pole that had sailed off into the gully, necessitating a significant recovery effort. Lesson learned.

    While I didn’t see any evidence of other skiers during my time at Kane Valley today, there looked to have been some snowshoers at P5 earlier in the day.

    In a previous post, I commended the work of a certain YRB grader operator who did a fine job on the Kane Valley Road, and our parking lots/areas. His full name is Stefan Bothe. Be sure to thank him if you ever meet him.

    If you are out skiing in these cold temperatures, take the time to put your cell phone in a deep pocket close to your body. The cold sucks the life out of the battery in no time flat, and you may not have service when you need it most.

    Recommended trails during this cold spell: Kane, Matthew’s Loops, Ravens Ridge, Menzies, Vale.

    Happy trails!

  5. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: Here is your trail report for December 24, 2021.

    It took a little while for things to brighten up, but the conditions this afternoon were excellent for skiing. A few more centimetres of snow had fallen overnight and into the morning to add to an already impressive base.

    The snow-laden trees continue to fall. I cut up six more today that had fallen across Vale, Asp, Menzies, Chute and Matthew’s Loop West. PLEASE report downed trees to us, as they represent a definite hazard to skiers, especially on descents. Post the location on this blog, or contact me at iwebster@merrittbc.net

    In addition to the above trails, I also took the ski-doo over Kane, Matthew’s Loop East, Ravens, Asp and Tillicum. I was just pulling our new equipment sled behind the ski-doo with chainsaws, axes, etc. The sled lays down kind of a nice, albeit narrow, track of its own that a couple of skiers have said they quite like.

    Weather permitting, we’re hoping to have grooming equipment out at least three times next week starting on Boxing Day. The daytime temperatures are expected to be quite chilly, and that might mitigate our activities. The goal is to work on some of our more remote trails (Hill’s Homestead, Ravine, Harmon, etc.) so that skiers feel comfortable and capable of venturing further out into the wilderness. Remember to tackle these more far-reaching trails in a group of two or more, with adequate provisions.

    Just another reminder about the Nicola Nordic Ski Club’s Chili Sunday on January 9 at the P2 shelter. This is a wonderful annual event. Participants are invited to contribute to the community pot of chili, bring other treats and their own eating utensils, ski or snowshoe or just stand around the fire and fraternize. All ages are welcome. Watch for more details on this blog.

    Finally, it is Christmas Eve. Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy holiday and a very Merry Christmas. Happy trails.

  6. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: Here is your trail report for December 23, 2021.

    Seems my trail report for December 22 didn’t post up. No matter. Suffice to say Wednesday was a glorious day for skiing, with weather conditions far nicer than in town. While Merritt got afternoon and overnight drizzle, the Kane Valley was getting still more snow.

    The same can be said for today, Thursday. It was another mostly overcast day in town, but beautiful clear blue skies at the top of Hamilton Hill and in the Kane Valley. My daughters skied Wednesday and Thursday and said conditions were perfect and the scenery beautiful.

    Ken Conway-Brown and I spent all of today, Thursday, attempting to groom trails. I say attempt because the new batch of snow was particularly dense and challenging. I made the mistake in the morning of hooking up the big groomer, and promptly got it stuck multiple times – on Kane no less. It took us a full two hours just to do the one trail.

    Things improved somewhat in the afternoon, and we managed to take the small groomer around Matthew’s Loops, and all of Ravens Ridge, Menzies and Chute. We attempted to deal with the newly-fallen trees on Vale and Asp, only to have the club’s chainsaw freeze up and refuse to start. We hand-sawed one tree, but the others are still obstructions. Please be careful skiing all of the Kane Valley trails right now as heavily-snow-laden trees and branches are falling onto trails with regularity.

    Today was arguably the busiest ski day so far this season in the Kane Valley. There were multiple individuals and groups out both early and late. Several happy canines on the north side, too.

    I’m hoping to get out tomorrow to clear the aforementioned fallen trees. Nobody will be grooming Christmas Day, but expect to see us back at it on Boxing Day.

    Happy trails.

  7. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: Here is your trail report for December 20, 2021.

    Although I did not ski today, I did spend a full day in the Kane Valley, and feel confident in reporting that the skiing conditions are sublime (now there’s an adjective for you). A nice base of 12-14 inches has a covering of 3-4 inches of fresh powder. The snow is light, and the mid-day temperatures perfect. The situation couldn’t be better for those in particular who want the firm base, but like to feel as though they’re making their own tracks. And the snow is so forgiving if you do take a tumble!

    I spent the day FINALLY putting up our colorful, new map signs at parking lots and trailheads. Be sure to check them out. The fine work of Murphy Shewchuk and the people at Cascade Forest District. I also put up some more trail signage, although I have to wonder why. The beautiful fresh snow is accumulating on the sign boards to such an extent that most of them are unreadable anyway. Thirdly, I also cleared openings in the roadside snowbanks at each parking area, so that the grooming equipment can get across Kane Valley Road, and skiers can get to their starting points easily. Please do not park directly in front of these access points (marked with orange stakes).

    Speaking of parking and the likes, the highways grader went through the Kane Valley today, not only plowing the road to an extraordinary width, but also doing both P2 and P3 parking lots. If accessibility issues and parking are always concerns of yours, rest at ease. The conditions right now are A-1. A huge shout-out to grader operator Stefan, who is looking out for us. I’ll get his last name eventually, but if you cross his path, please convey our gratitude.

    Still on the topic of parking, I would recommend for the remainder of this month at least that skiers use P1, P2 or P3 for their start-and-finish points. There continues to be steady logging traffic on weekdays in particular, coming and going from points beyond Harmon Lake. P5 has room for one or two vehicles at the most on the southside of the road; P6 has no safe roadside parking at all. I almost lost my side mirror today. P4 parking is generous, but is frequently taken up by ice fishermen/women (sounds better than ice fisherpersons).

    Have you got your Nicola Nordic Ski Club membership yet? Don’t delay. It’s those funds that allow us to maintain and develop the beautiful Kane Valley ski trail system. Memberships can be done via e-transfer online, by cheque in the mail, or by dropping by Breathe Bikes on Quilchena Ave. And while you’re at double Bs, be sure to check out Travis’s winter ski and snowshoe sales and rentals.

    And mark your calendars for the 2022 Chili Sunday, slated for Sunday, January 9 at either P2 or P3 shelter. This annual event is a must-attend, with delicious food, great skiing (optional), wonderful camaraderie and stimulating, not-very-intellectual conversation. We’ll keep you posted.

    It is with a note of sadness that I share with you the news that the Logan Lake Outdoor Club lost almost 95% of the trees that graced its cross-country ski trails to this summer’s wildfires. We wish them the best in the recovery process.

    If all goes well, I hope to be out skiing on Wednesday with my home-for-the-holidays daughters and the big beastie, Ryka. I’ll post a trail report following our outing. Ken Conway-Brown and I are planning to groom the main trails on Thursday, one last time before Christmas.

    Happy trails.

  8. Kate Anderson says:

    Kane Valley Road is plowed, but not the parking lots this go around, so likely want appropriate vehicle to enter these, or just park off the road at P1, P5, P6. It’s currently -7 up here and a perfect day to ski!!!
    Come out and play…
    Kate

  9. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: Here is your skiing report for Dec. 17, 2021.

    It began as a chilly day in the Kane Valley with the temperature -18 degrees at 9:30 a.m. It quickly improved, however, reaching -5 degrees by 2 p.m. under mostly sunny skies. Near perfect ski conditions.

    Trail packing and grooming went extremely well today. We can now report that every trail has had at least one pass, and many two or more. Both grooming machines were in use today, and the track setter was at work, too. Your best bets for pre-Christmas skiing are Kane from P2 to January Shelter and back, and Ravens Ridge from P1 to Lunchbox Shelter and back, or a loop of Ravens-Asp-Menzies-Ravens starting and finishing at P1. The always-popular Gulch has been groomed, but not track set. Matthew’s Loops have been groomed also, with some track setting. Both loops have some undulations (a.k.a. flowing bumps) that will slowly get smoothed out with more grooming. For a hint of the back-country, try Crossover, Neill’s Valley or Tillicum.

    I’m also pleased to report that the remainder of the fallen trees were removed from the trails today. This had to be a record year for blowdowns – both in number and in size. The usual array of forlorn aspens is expected, but not the quantity of giant conifers, including some seemingly healthy firs.

    Another hazard we’ve been trying to clean up on our rounds is rocks that have rolled or sluffed onto ski trails from nearby slopes. In most cases, the rocks are hidden under the snow, but still pose a danger to skiers and grooming equipment. If you encounter one, and are unable to push/carry it off the trail, please notify us of the location and we’ll see to it.

    The new, BIGGER Kane Valley Ski Trails brochure is just days away from printing, and will be available before Christmas in town at Breathe Bikes, and at trailheads located adjacent to parking areas. A huge shout-out to our six sponsor businesses who helped to make this new brochure a possibility, and to Kim at Merritt Printing for her always-exemplary work. The sponsors are prominently listed on the back of the new brochure. Please show them your support.

    The weather report is calling for some more snow in the next 24 hours, and some very seasonable temperatures. There will be no grooming on the weekend, but look for us to be back on the trails next week, prepping everything for the Christmas holidays. Make skiing the Kane Valley a part of your celebration.

    Happy trails.

  10. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: It was yet another beautiful day in the Kane Valley. A big shout-out to the ladies’ group who chose to have their annual Christmas get-together at the P2 shelter, and ski Matthew’s Loop. The celebration even included a dining table, checkered table cloth and candles!

    Vern Latremouille and I managed first-time packing runs on Hills Homestead, Tolko, Connector, Aspen, Sundown, Porter’s Bypass, all of Harmon, North, Lynx and Overeasy. Close to a dozen more trees had to be cleared off the trails. A huge thank-you to Vern and his big saw.

    A few cautionary notes: 1. The steep hill on Aspen about halfway between P4 and P6 is presently very rough and is not recommended. The adjacent Porter Bypass is probably the preferable route. 2. Harmon from the Gulch junction to the Panorama shelter is also very rough. Please allow us to do some more packing and grooming before tackling these challenging trails.

    On the agenda for Vern and I tomorrow is a first-time run on the remaining untraveled trails. If time allows, we might even break out the big groomer and track setter for a few test runs on the likes of Kane and Matthew’s Loop West.

    A must-ski trail is Menzies, ideally from west to east (Teiffel’s Landing to the Ravens Ridge junction). The view of Menzies Lake in the foreground and the old Kane Lake Ranch homestead in the background is priceless.

    There appears to be some logging happening to the west of Harmon Lake, with trucks using the Kane Valley Road as their entry/exit route. Exercise caution when traveling the road.

    Happy trails!

  11. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: Well, it was indeed a glorious day up in the Kane Valley. Beautiful scenery and ideal temperatures and snow conditions. Nice to see several skiers taking it all in.

    Gary Ware and I did additional packing, grooming and widening of Kane, Matthew’s Loops, Ravens Ridge, Menzies and Vale today. We also tackled Chute and Gulch for the first time. Both had significant blowdowns that had to be cut up and cleared off the trail. We’re going to try and put in a couple of runaway lanes on Chute to help skiers. Watch for signage.

    Tomorrow, Vern Latremouille and I will be trying to do a first-time riding of some of the many trails that have yet to be packed and groomed this season, such as Aspen, Hills Homestead, Sundown and Skyhigh on the south side of the road, and Overeasy, Asp and Tillicum on the north side. Another time we’ll still have to tackle the likes of Crossover, Neil’s Valley, Harmon, Lynx, North, Ravine, Tolko, Connector and Porter Bypass. What a network of trails we have!!

    Hoping to see you out skiing soon. Happy trails!

  12. Ian W says:

    Good Morning Skiers: Just a short note this morning to let you know that the Kane Valley Road and parking areas have been plowed. It’s chilly up there at -15 this morning. We’ll be out packing and grooming the trails that we did a couple of days ago (see previous post) and hopefully opening up a few more as well. Should be a wonderful day for skiing. Will issue a further report this evening. Happy trails.

  13. Ian W says:

    Greetings Skiers: If you made it to the Kane Valley today, you were in for a treat. A winter wonderland: blue skies, perfect temperature, exquisite snow. The biggest challenge – getting there. The Kane Valley Road was still not plowed as of 1 p.m. You’ll need 4WD or AWD to make it up the hill, and into and out of P2 and P3 lots.

    We put in 4 hours today packing trails with the snowmobiles in preparation for full-fledged grooming. We also cleared a half dozen trees that had fallen across trails. We covered Kane from P2 to P4, both Matthew’s Loops, Chute, Vale, Menzies and Ravens Ridge from P1 to Lunchbox. We’ll be back at it a couple of times this week, as time, the weather and volunteer availability allows.

    Warning: Because we haven’t had a real cold snap yet this season, the ground is not that frozen under the fresh snow. Be cautious approaching small gullies or depressions that may contain concealed moisture. The water may not be completely frozen and your skis might suddenly stop.

    People have been asking about/looking for this season’s Kane Valley Trails brochure. The flooding has delayed production; we hope to have it out by next week.

    Finally, if you do ski this week and encounter fallen trees, rocks on the trail, or two missing bulls, PLEASE let us know. You can either post the information here or email it to me at:

    iwebster@merrittbc.net

    Happy trails. Stay safe.

  14. Ian W says:

    Break out the boards! The snow has arrived in the Kane Valley – in abundance. Over 60cm (two feet’s worth) fell in just a few hours today, with more expected in the days ahead. A slight cooling trend should allow the snow to stay. If you plan to go out on Sunday, be mindful. The Kane Valley Road was not plowed today, and may not be plowed first thing in the morning. The going is tough. Take a good run at the hill coming off the highway, and keep your momentum all the way to the top at P1. Travel slowly at the Kane Valley Ranch; that corner had its share of victims last winter.

    Don Parno and I hope to be out on the sleds by 9 a.m. Sunday, packing snow on some of the most popular trails – Kane, Matthew’s Loops, Ravens Ridge, Vale, Menzies, etc. Packing and then grooming will continue throughout the week, every chance we get. We’ll also be looking out for fallen trees, as there’s been some strong winds recently. Enjoy yourselves, and be sure to post about your experiences. Let us know of any problem trails, or improvements you would like to see.

    Finally, copy and paste the link below for weather conditions specifically in the Kane Valley. Many thanks to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute:

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

  15. Ian W says:

    Greetings Cross-Country Skiers: Hopefully this first post in the month of December finds you safe and well, and slowly getting things to normal. Again, my sympathies to all who have been adversely affected by the recent floods.

    The snow is falling in and around the Kane Valley, and skiing is right around the corner. Stay tuned to this blog for regular updates re: weather and snow, trail and road conditions. Feel free to contribute your own reports, and share your insights, ideas and experiences.

    By now, you’ve probably heard that for the 2021-22 ski season, dogs and their owners will be allowed to ski all the trails north of/above the Kane Valley Road. We are really excited about this initiative and hope that everyone will work together to make it successful. Dogs will not be allowed on any trails south of/below the Kane Valley Road this season.

    We had three work parties in the fall, and accomplished a great deal. Many thanks to the participants. I’m pleased to announce that both the North and Lynx trails have been repaired, and will be open this season after a one-year hiatus. That said, be reminded that both these trails are quite remote. You’re advised to ski them with a buddy or a group.

    An updated trail map has been produced, courtesy of NNSC ‘lifetime member’ Murphy Shewchuk and the staff at FLNRO. It is more colorful, and even more informative. The map will be featured in this year’s free Kane Valley Trails brochures – available soon at trailheads and at Breathe Bikes in Merritt. The new maps will also be on display on about a dozen of the large map boards located at parking lots and trailheads in the Kane Valley. We will slowly update all the existing maps as our finances allow.

    We’re also slowly upgrading, repairing and increasing our signage out on the trails. The small, yellow, diamond-shaped trail markers are being replaced by much-larger, more-durable, reflective, orange markers – generously purchased for us by Greg Hodson at FLNRO. In addition, many of the trail-name and directional signs are undergoing replacement and/or enhancement. Look for some new names, too, of trail stops and shelters.

    TNRD directors Herb Graham and David Laird stepped up to the plate for the NNSC and secured sufficient funds for our club to purchase a second track-setter, which will pull behind our smaller snowmobile and smaller groomer. It will be perfect for the ‘hard-to-negotiate’ trails (i.e. Neil’s Valley) and the ‘less-than-ideal’ conditions that bog the big sled and groomer down.

    That’s enough chatter from this blatherskite (look that word up if you dare) for now. Remember, stay tuned to this blog, and I hope to see you out at Kane Valley real soon.

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