Powder Kings sledding into 2021 with great start to snowmobile season

The Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club has been working throughout the early season to ensure the riding area at Yanks Peak is in great shape for snowmobilers. (Photo submitted)The Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club has been working throughout the early season to ensure the riding area at Yanks Peak is in great shape for snowmobilers. (Photo submitted)
The Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club’s Heino Seibert (left) and Rick Seibert get ready to take the groomer out on the mountain. (Photo submitted)The Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club’s Heino Seibert (left) and Rick Seibert get ready to take the groomer out on the mountain. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club directors are reminding trail users to clean up after themselves when using the safety cabin at Yanks Peak. (Photo submitted)Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club directors are reminding trail users to clean up after themselves when using the safety cabin at Yanks Peak. (Photo submitted)
The Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club's Groom for a Day sponsors. (Photo submitted)
The Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club's Groom for a Day sponsors. (Photo submitted)

The Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club has been busy ensuring the Yanks Peak riding area is in tip top shape as riders eager to hit the trails enter the new year.

Grooming has been underway at Yanks Peak for the past several weeks and WLPKSC president Mark Snowball said snow conditions vary day to day, however, have been generally excellent so far this season, with 16 gold and 20 day sponsors made up of local businesses supporting the club’s Groom for a Day Program.

“We had really good snow at the beginning of the season, and the season is going well so far,” Snowball said.

Snowball noted Tolko logging has been underway for months on the Short Cut Trail and the Hampton Trail at Yanks Peaks where workers have been extremely accommodating to the club, but advised trail users to be mindful work may be ongoing.

“There has been great communication with all parties to make everyone safe,” Snowball said, noting Tolko representatives Zac Drift, Dylan Lens and Russ Ferguson, due to the work in the area, have widened the access point to the mountain.

“Our roads have been widened and brushing won’t have to take place for a number of years,” he said. “We’ve had great communication when they were logging, where they were logging and how long they were going to be there.”

Currently hoping for a bit more snow, Snowball said he’d like to remind snowmobilers to take the necessary precautions before heading out in the backcountry.

“Ride hard, ride safe and ride prepared,” he said. “We’ve already had SARS (search and rescue) involved on the Quesnel side (of the mountain) a few times. People need to make sure they have everything with them so if you’ve got to spend the night or get yourself out of a bind you have some means to do that.”

The WLPKSC would also like to remind the public of its safety cabin rules, which include no smoking or vaping, a pack in, pack out policy and social distancing requirements. They also ask any users of the safety cabin to keep the space clean in the event of an emergency.

“Thank you to our volunteers for having this safety cabin available and maintained for snowmobilers to use now and for future generations,” Snowball said.

READ MORE: Great weather, good company at Powder Kings’ family fun day

Yearly memberships and daily trail passes are required and are available at multiple locations throughout the Cariboo including Sun valley Gas in Williams Lake, Big Lake Store, Likely Valley Store and A Likely Service. Yearly memberships are available at Spectra Power Sports, Gordo’s Rent-All and Williams Lake Honda KTM/RR Procycle.

Snowball noted riding at Big T (Big Timothy), Crooked Lake and Mica Mountain, has also been great so far this season, as snowmobilers eager to get outdoors due to the pandemic have been chomping at the bit to get out for a sled. Frank Wijma, meanwhile, has been doing work on the Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail, working on advancing the trail from Horsefly to Likely.

“It’s a good, COVID-safe activity,” he said. “You’re a single rider. You might be in a group but nobody’s within six feet of one another.

“We just need some more snow and people will stay happy.”

READ MORE: Powder Kings reflect on spectacular season as annual family fun day set to go Saturday

While no group rides have been scheduled due to the pandemic, Snowball said the club would be open to entertaining the possibility should the situation improve or restrictions are loosened.

The WLPKSC updates its website at www.wlpowderkings.com frequently, along with its Facebook page, with up-to-date information on conditions and club happenings.



greg.sabatino@wltribune.com

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