Work bees, trail clearing, safety checks and more are grooming the way for the upcoming snowmobile season for the Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club.
To celebrate the start of a new year, and the success of last season, the WLPKSC hosted a sponsor appreciation night Friday at the Laughing Loon restaurant in Williams Lake.
“It went really great and we had a really nice group of people,” said WLPKSC director Laurie Snowball, noting around 40 people attended the event where sponsors who helped the club last season, or supported the club as a Groom for a Day Sponsor, were recognized.
Continuing to build on its membership base, the WLPKSC were selling season passes for Yank’s Peak during the event. Last year, Snowball said the club topped 200 members — the largest its base has been in years.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Snowball said. ‘Through the BC Snowmobile Federation we’re an above-average-sized club, so having those kinds of members for our riding area is pretty impressive for our little community.”
During the evening the WLPKSC presented a ‘Groomer of the Century’ award to Jeff Garten and Debbie Garten. The couple have, combined, looked after most of the grooming at Yank’s Peak for the past three years.
“[They] go above and beyond for us,” Snowball said. “We thought they should be recognized for all the work they do.”
Another WLPKSC director Snowball said deserves thanks is local pro snow bike rider Brock Hoyer. Snowball said he regularly helps out with mechanical work on the club’s groomer, and also donated swag to giveaway during Friday’s event.
“Brock goes above and beyond helping us locally, but as well as provincially,” she said. “He’s showing awareness of why it’s important to be a part of a club and is becoming a wonderful ambassador for us. Plus he’s a good role model for those young people coming up in that age group.”
The WLPKSC is now preparing to host its annual general meeting on Nov. 7, starting at 7 p.m., at the Pioneer Complex meeting room in Williams Lake.
“We’ll be going over our annual financial statements, have a president’s report, and talk about upcoming events for the 2019/20 year,” Snowball said. “It’s usually a pretty simple meeting but good for people to hear how we did last year and what we’re looking forward to for the season ahead.”
New this season, instead of hosting a snow show as in the past few years, the WLPKSC will be teaming up with both Spectra Power Sports and Gordo’s Rent-All to take part in their open houses where memberships will be sold at to-be-confirmed dates.
Groom for a Day sponsors — 27 in all last season — were also recognized for supporting the club.
“That many groups, or individual families, believed in the grooming program and put their money forward to help out,” she said.
Up at Yank’s Peak, meanwhile, much work was conducted over the spring and summer.
“Rec sites and trails contacted us and, because it was such a wet summer, the fire crews who would normally be out fighting fires were able to do some chainsaw training up there and were able to do a huge part of our trail clearing that we needed to do this fall,” she said.
“Now, along with our work bee in October, we’re able to get full circle with the groomer so we can go right from the parking lot in either direction up the Hampton Trail, over the top of the mountain by the safety cabin and then down the shortcut back to the parking lot.
“It’s great because it’s safer, and if there’s someone who’s not so experienced they could go on a groomed trial and just do a circle tour of Yank’s and just come back down to the parking lot. It’s opened up the mountain on all sides now, whether you’re a beginner or advanced.”
To stay up to date on the WLPKSC’s happenings you can also check out the club’s Facebook page. Anyone interested in becoming a groom for a day sponsor can also contact the club through its Facebook page.