Despite uncharacteristically late snowfall in the region, it’s shaping up to be a great year for the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club at its Bull Mountain trails north of Williams Lake.
Sean Seabourne, director of operations with the WLCCSC, said the trails are now fully operational thanks to the last few recent snowfalls, with both classic track and skate skiing available at Bull Mountain’s 28-kilometre trail network.
“We did have a bit of a late go and we didn’t get really any snow up until mid December, so it’s been a bit challenging working with minimal snow and trying to get people up skiing, but we opened the gate just before Christmas and people have been skiing ever since,” Seabourne said.
“We’ve got a couple nice decent dumps of snow so we’ve been able to set classic tracks just after Christmas and things are looking pretty good now.”
The WLCCSC’s Jackrabbits youth program is slated to get underway Sunday, Jan.7, and the club is also introducting a new Youth Fun Ski Program this year for youth ages 10 to 18 with designated instructors.
“[The Youth Fun Ski Program] is basically for kids who don’t want to go into the racing end of things [with Jackrabbits] and just want to get out to ski,” Seabourne said. “They’ll be doing orienteering and wildlife stuff and just getting kids out skiing who want to do it for a sport for life type thing.”
As the season progresses, Seabourne said adult ski lessons will be scheduled.
“The best way for people to get in contact with us and what’s actually happening out here is to go on our blog on our website,” he said. “There’s condition updates and usually people write on there what’s happening, and then we have our Facebook page. There’s a Jackrabbits page and also a Bull Mountain Facebook page where different people on the executive update things, so there’s a couple of different ways to get a hold of people.”
The WLCCSC also offers night skiing from dusk until 10 p.m. over 3.5 kilometres of lit trails.
“You can just come into the lodge and press a button and the lights turn on,” Seabourne said, noting skiiers are required to sign in at the warming hut prior to skiing.
And, for day users, the cost is $10, while for snowshoers, the cost is $5.
“We’re up to about nine kilometres of snowshoe trails now and that’s quite popular,” he said. “Just make sure you come in and sign the day registration [at the warming hut].”
With temperatures expected to rise in the coming weeks, Seabourne predicts smooth sailing for the rest of the season.
“It’s shaping up to be a good season,” he said. “With it warming up next week I’m sure the parking lot will be full.”