The Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club is gearing up for another ski season at Bull Mountain Ski Area

The Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club is gearing up for another ski season at Bull Mountain Ski Area

Cross country skiing open house Saturday

The Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club is inviting the community to attended its open house this Saturday, Nov. 19.

With the snow beginning to fly in the lakecity, the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club is inviting the community to attended its open house this Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Williams Lake Library from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

It will be an opportunity to register for the club’s youth Jackrabbits program, buy memberships at a reduced rate ($10 off the regular fee), check out some ski equipment and snowshoes available from local ski shops, review the club’s new five-year development plan and enjoy some coffee and goodies while chatting with fellow members.

As preparation for the season begins at Bull Mountain Ski Area north of Williams Lake, volunteers with the WLCCSC are busy making all the final preparation for the ski season, said executive member Kirsty Gartshore.

“We completed a five-year development plan with many far-reaching ideas,” Gartshore said. “Come and check it out at the open house.”

She also said the WLCCSC is applying for funding from the Cariboo Regional DIstrict and the city for a new equipment shed.

“At the moment the equipment is being stored in a shipping container which compromises both the equipment due to moisture buildup and groomer safety,” she said.

“We are also applying for an NDIT grant (Norther Development Initiative Trust) for trail upgrades and we are hiring a part-time operations manager for this winter to organize the volunteer grooming team and to do some site maintenance.”

Groomers, meanwhile, volunteered 420 hours last year keeping the 28 kilometres of skiing trails — 3.5 kilometres of which are lit — and 5.9 kilometres of snowshoe trails in pristine condition. There is also an adventure trail with life-sized cartoon characters for kids.

Gartshore added all of the snowshoe trails and 2.3 kilometres of the WLCCSC’s ski trails are dog friendly.

Following the open house, the WLCCSC has two more organized events its will host during the ski season.

Its Family Fun Day will be on Sunday, Jan. 8 and is a chance for people to try out cross country skiing at no cost. Equipment will be provided and there will be experienced skiers there to help participants learn to ski.

There will also be the third annual Elementary School Ski Tournament at a to be announced date where individual skiers race and earn points for their school.

The WLCCSC’ Bunnyrabbits (up to five years), Jackrabbits (six to nine years), Track Attack (10 to 12 years) and Bull Mountain Racer programs are designed to be fun, help develop a positive self image, build overall sport skills and help children develop outdoor winter safety knowledge, Gartshore said.

“[They] meet every Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. from December until March,” she said.

“The Bull Mountain Racer program introduces the racing side of the sport during ski practices and skiers are encouraged to develop a sport for life healthy lifestyle in a team atmosphere. The Bull Mountain Racers are going to try to attend a minimum of four, maximum of eight Central Interior ski races.”

The Bull Mountain Racers meet with the Jackrabbits and also have an additional practice on Tuesdays, and have been dry-land training for the past month.

For more information on the WLCCSC and Bull Mountain Ski Area visit www.bullmountain.ca.