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Here is a trail report for Tuesday, November 29. It was a might chilly in the Kane Valley this morning with a temperature of -18 degrees at 11 a.m. Nevertheless, it was great conditions for trail grooming. We focused on the south side of Kane Valley Road, and managed to do all the trails that are open this year: Kane, Matthew’s Loops, Chute, Hill’s Homestead, Sundown, Skyhigh, Lower Ravine, Connecter and Tolko. Aspen was done yesterday. With 45 minutes of daylight still available, we scooted across to the north side of the road and did Lynx and North for the first time, and Crossover and half of Gulch and Harmon for a second.
There was a sense of urgency to these last two days of grooming, as another weather system is scheduled to pass through tonight and tomorrow, bringing more snow. We found it challenging enough dealing with the most recent accumulation, without adding more to the mix.
I can’t emphasize enough how good the ski conditions are right now – and we haven’t even reached the month of December! The trails are beautiful, as are the snow-laden trees. We even saw a moose on Harmon near (of course) Moose Lookout! He/She scooted across the trail right in front of us.
Our next priority is to widen the trails, especially on hills, so that skiers have more options when climbing up or schussing down. We’ll also begin to set tracks in flatter sections for those skiers who like the straight and narrow.
There were a couple of vehicles at P2 today, even though it has yet to be plowed out. Any respectable 4-wheel drive can easily negotiate the road in and the lot itself. A reminder that P3 is completely plowed.
We’re off for a few days now, but hope to be back grooming on Sunday, weather permitting.
Here is a trail report for Monday, November 28. Make that up to 15 inches of fresh snow in places following the weekend system that passed through! Gotta love it!
We were out grooming trail for five hours today. Conditions were challenging due to the sheer quantity of new snow. We got a lot accomplished, despite getting stuck several times and having to dig our way out. On the north side of the Kane Valley Road, we groomed Vale, Ravens, Menzies, Tillicum, Asp, Crossover, Gulch, Overeasy and Harmon. On the south side of the road, we did all of Aspen from P5 to P6. Be advised that we had to use the small groomer because of the volume of snow, so groomed trails are somewhat narrow in places.
Tomorrow (Tuesday), we’ll be out grooming again, focusing on the south side trails like Kane, Mathew’s Loops, Hill’s Homestead, Skyhigh, Sundown, Connector and Tolko. Just a reminder that in all likelihood we will not be grooming Upper Ravine (above Bertha Landing) this season because of damage from erosion and sluffing. You can still back-country ski it though. The strong recommendation is to go up, not down. The climb is a challenge, but it’s much safer.
This evening, the Nicola Nordic Ski Club had its AGM at the Arts Council venue. A lucky 13 people were in attendance – a great turnout all things considered. There was plenty of discussion and, of course, the election of an executive and board of directors. Many thanks to John and Kate Anderson for agreeing to remain as president and secretary respectively, and to returning treasurer Linda Brown. This year’s directors are returnees Mischelle Pierce, David Brown, and myself, along with Mandy Cormier, a recent and enthusiastic arrival from Smithers, B.C.
Mandy is heading up the social media/networking for the club (website, Instagram, Facebook) as well as coming up with some great ideas for fun activities with the club. In addition to our annual and much-loved Chili Sunday (slated for January 15 of 2023), the club will also be having a Winter Solstice bonfire and evening ski at P2 on December 21, a Snow Moon night ski on February 5, and a ‘Loop de Soup’ in March. Sounds like fun, eh? (I’m from Canada, eh!) Be sure to mark all those dates on your calendar, and stay tuned for more details.
Happy trails, and hope to see you out on the planks real soon!
A big thank-you to ‘jh’ for her informative trail reports from November 24 and 25. Quite a contrast in the weather over the two days. And that’s great that Bree’s scarf was found. That’s what this blog is all about – helping each other out.
After three hours of shoveling and plowing myself out at home, I finally made it to the Kane Valley by 1 p.m. today. What a winter wonderland again. As Kate said in her post, a good 8-10 inches at least of fresh (albeit heavy) snow. By 2:30 p.m., the clouds had mostly disappeared, and the sun had even come out.
I decided against doing any solo grooming, and took the opportunity to ski. From P1, I did Ravens, Menzies and Vale to P3, crossed the road and did Kane, Matthew’s and Chute back to P1. Not a lot of distance, but it was plenty tiring because of the new snow and slightly sticky conditions. During the time I was skiing, YRB plowed the Kane Valley Road and P1 and P3!!! They’re in awesome condition. They probably couldn’t make the turn into P2 on the way back, so had to leave it this time. Spent the remainder of my time up there today shoveling out the roadside crossing points for the grooming equipment. A season-long chore.
One thing of note. If you’re doing Ravens from P1, you’ll encounter a challenging cattleguard just before the junction with Menzies. Currently, it could cause a skier significant grief if they were to get a ski tip or pole between or under the bars. Exercise extreme caution crossing the cattleguard. We’ll try to get some kind of wood sheeting up there, pack snow on top, and create a bit of a bridge for both humans and machines.
Our plan is to do extensive grooming this week as an expected cold spell should keep the new snow around for a while. More snow is forecast for Wednesday! Keep checking this blog for updates on weather and road conditions, and which trails have been groomed.
Last year, I shared with readers the website on the computer that gives weather forecasts specifically for the Kane Valley. It’s run by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (I kid you not!) and is remarkably accurate. Keep reminding yourself that Kane Valley weather can be, and is, frequently in stark contrast to Merritt/Nicola Valley weather. A couple of hundred feet of elevation can make a considerable difference. Here’s the link:
Don’t forget the ski club AGM on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Arts Council offices across from the 7-11. Enter by the rear door (next to the flashy Arts Council trailer).
8-10 inches of fresh snow in Kane Valley this morning, and it’s still snowing!!! Road is not plowed.
Reminder of AGM tomorrow night at 7pm. Memberships available at the meeting, online or at 378 Board shop.
Had a great time ironing out the skis for the season today (Nov 25).
I did lose my black & white paisley patterned wild rag (scarf) and I’m hoping someone found it on the trails, as I had no luck finding it when I back tracked.
We started at P1 & up Menzie’s to Gulch then back down to Menzie’s via Vale.
Thanks& fingers crossed we find it!
Bree I did pick up the scarf. How should I contact you
Awesome, thank you!
I’m hoping to be at the AGM on Monday, otherwise let’s connect. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for grabbing it!
Yesterday, Thursday 24th was a gorgeous day. Started p1 at 10:15am going up Chute, around Mathew’s in lovely soft snow, then over to p3 Vale. At this point had to wax for the sticking snow in the sunshine spots. Crossed on Tillicum then back to P1 on raven’s ridge. It was sweater warm and blue sky.
Today Friday 25th not so nice. At 10:15 starting at p1 went up Ravens and over on Tillicum, then over in Neil’s valley to go up Vale. In Neil’s valley and on the back end of Gulch, I found my old track equipment would not navigate the heavy sticky snow on any grade of slope. I took the deep snow by- pass rather than more side stepping. Past the Harmon junction all was level good on gulch. Met a young couple and their 13year old grey corgi. Dogs are such tolerant faithful companions! The positive note is there was no real ice under the trees, So call the snow sticky, or heavy, but at noon it was raining back at p1
Hi, I was the young woman with the corgi you passed today!
I’m hopeful you may have come across a black & white paisley patterned silk wild rag (scarf) on your way back to your car at P1? I lost my scarf today and after back tracking I couldn’t find it.
I had my first ski in Kane Valley today with sister Mel and buddy Kate We did a short ski from P3 out Kane to Harriet’s perch The trails are beautifully groomed , there was a nice dusting of new snow , and best of all the sun was shining !! I had picked up my membership at 378 Board Shop and Jay was great at getting me all set up !
While it was mostly rain that fell in Merritt and the Nicola Valley today, it was snowing in the Kane Valley! A winter wonderland! Admittedly, the snow was wet and heavy, but we’ll take it.
I focused on getting the final two trails groomed today – Overeasy and Neil’s Valley. The former I did four times, the latter just once so skiers won’t get lost. I’ve long said that Neil’s Valley is one of my favorite trails in the Kane Valley – so serene and intimate. As for Overeasy, it is a tale of two trails. The top half is quite open and hilly, the bottom half in the trees and gently rolling along a side hill.
I checked out P4, P5 and P6 today, cleared the berms and staked the access points. Right now, there’s good side-of-road parking at all three locations. P5 has traditionally been a popular start/finish location, with Kane and Aspen trails on the south side of the road, and Overeasy on the north side. The time to park and venture out from P6 is now, before it becomes busy with ice fishermen.
We’re continuing the process of replacing damaged, destroyed and stolen map boards out on the trails. This is an on-going process as each of the big maps costs about $50. We purchased six this year.
For the umpteenth time, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (FLNRO) has had to replace a metal fire pit at one of the half dozen ski trail shelters. Every summer, one or more go missing – taken by inconsiderate users, who literally dig/rip them out of the ground before carting them away.
If you’re out skiing, you might encounter some large animal footprints on the trails. A moose – possibly. More likely an errant cow. Our esteemed club president John Anderson has all his bovines accounted for, but Nicola Ranch is still rounding up the last stray or two.
If you do choose to ski Aspen out to or from P6, you’ll encounter vehicle tracks all the way from Harmon Lake to the junction with Sundown trail. Some people never learn. We’ll try to get that cleaned up in the next grooming session or two. Hope to be out on the trails packing and widening as early as Thursday, no later than Sunday.
Here is your trail report for Monday, November 21. It was a beautiful day in the Kane Valley with blue skies and spring-like temperatures. While I was busy all day with trail grooming and maintenance, I would love to have been skiing in such fine conditions.
I had the small groomer out for much of the day, improving and widening Kane, Raven and Vale trails, and doing packing runs on Tolko, Connector and parts of Aspen. I even dropped the track setter on parts of Kane and Ravens. I would highly recommend those two trails for the next couple of days. Weather permitting, I’ll be out again tomorrow (November 22) doing further packing and widening.
Great news: Our parking lots have been plowed! P1, P2 and P3 are all in excellent shape. And the Kane Valley Road up from the highway has been freshly sanded. A big thank-you to Rodney Hafner and his crew at YRB for a top-notch effort.
Although they like to fly under the radar, a special thank-you also to Kate Anderson and her Thursday ladies group for their annual clean-up of outhouses and shelters in late October. The biffies in particular get heavy usage during the off-season from ATVers, hunters, campers, and so on.
Once again this ski season, I’m beginning to put out orange marker stakes at trail access points along the Kane Valley Road. These are helpful for skiers, and very important for the grooming crew, who use these locations to cross the road with snowmobiles and grooming equipment. Please don’t park between the markers. You can also help to keep the crossings clear by packing a shovel and doing 15 minutes of clearing if there’s a build-up of snow at the crossing.
Finally, a reminder about the Nicola Nordic Ski Club’s AGM, scheduled for this coming Monday, November 28 at 7p.m. at the Arts Council building, located across the road from the 7-11 and next door to Kekuli Cafe. Enter by the back door.
Welcome to a new season of cross-country skiing in the beautiful Kane Valley. Yes, snow has arrived – enough to make November skiing possible, in the short term anyways. There’s a warm spell coming next week, so the next couple of days might just be a small window of opportunity to break out the boards.
That said, I would recommend that people exercise caution in choosing where they ski on the Kane trails. On wide open trails, like Raven’s Ridge, the snow is quite consistent. It’s in treed areas where things get dicey, as fallen snow clumps from branches overhanging trails have frozen, resulting in icy stretches that are hard to negotiate. Sort of like frozen apple crumble (how’s that for an analogy?).
Yesterday (Nov. 17), I skied Raven’s to Lunchbox shelter, Vale, Neil’s Valley, Lower Asp, Menzies, and Raven’s back to P1. Neil’s was the most fun as it was untouched powder. Asp was the least enjoyable as it was f-a-s-t!
The ski-doos and small grooming machine have been out twice, trying to establish a bit of a base for future snowfalls. We’re loathe to go out much more until more snow arrives.
A word about road conditions and parking. Once again this year, the Kane Valley Road is being under-serviced in terms of plowing and sanding, despite the fact that they have been logging the last few weeks beyond Harmon Lake. P1 is your safest bet for parking. P2 is unplowed at the moment although I shoveled away the berm blocking access yesterday. P3 is unplowed but relatively packed down. You can access P2 and Kane trail by parking at P3 and taking the short trail over to P2. Roadside parking at P4, P5 and P6 is not recommended at the moment while logging trucks continue to use the Kane Valley Road, and plowed pullouts are in short supply.
Now, a word about overall trail conditions. It has been a very busy fall for a small group of ski club volunteers. A lot of Kane Valley trails were damaged over the spring and summer by erosion and ATVers. There were huge ruts and gouges, and masses of kicked up rocks and stones – all of which do damage to grooming machinery, and make for hazardous ski conditions in the wintertime.
A big shout-out to club member Vern Latremouille, who spent five full days in November running an excavator – repairing eroded areas, pulling stumps, clearing debris and so on. He finished mere hours before the first snowfall came. And a huge thank-you to Ron Sanders of Sanders & Co. for the loan of the versatile excavator. Also, kudos to John Anderson’s bridge crew for the repair and redecking of the bridge at Bertha Shelter.
I’ll wrap things up by encouraging all NNSC past members and non-members to renew their membership for this coming season. The membership funds are what allow the club to continue maintaining (and hopefully improving) the Kane Valley trails. Go to the club’s website: nicolanordic.ca for more information. In addition, I would like as many skiers as possible to post on this site their ski experiences – when and where they skied, what were the road, weather and snow conditions, etc.
Happy trails (until we meet again)!