It was a busy, productive spring and summer for the Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club who, with the help of funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust and Recreation Sites and Trails BC, made several upgrades to the trails, amenities and safety cabin at Yank’s Peak.
“It started with Mark (Snowball, WLPK president), myself and Maureen Lee Straza in the spring when we started to write for the grant application and were approved mid June with help from both the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District for writing letters of support,” WLPK director Laurie Snowball said.
The NDIT funding was applicable for Yank’s Peak safety cabin upgrades, trail enhancements, construction of a new early and late season parking lot and expansion of the main parking lot at Yank’s Peak.
In mid August, the WLPK got to work with the help of several businesses and volunteers on major upgrades to the safety cabin.
Since the safety cabin is only accessible by air during the summer, Tom Arduini of Arduini Helicopters flew in all the volunteers and contractors, plus 2,400 pounds of cabin materials.
“It was just phenomenal,” Laurie said. “From the moment we got there and had all the supplies flown in, everybody was working together.”
Paul Pinette of United Floors installed new flooring, Gilbert Quesnelle and Mack Oler of Giblet Construction completed a new railing, front door, outhouse roof upgrade and floor repairs, Markey Mechanical supplied a new wood stove, while volunteers Dawn and Kevin Unruh, Dan Schiller, Dave Herrling, Michael and Matthew Karcher, Rick Seibert, Barry Wilson, Mark, Laurie, Nathan and Maryclaire Snowball painted the outside walls and helped out where they were needed.
Near the end of August, Ron Benisch of RB Backhoe Service expanded the main parking lot.
“What we’re finding is the more popular Yank’s Peak becomes, the busier the parking lot is,” Laurie said. “It needed to be sized up. He brought in 150 dump truck loads of fill to do the parking lot.”
Benisch then brushed and widened what’s known as the Short Cut Trail in September, and built a new early and late season parking lot.
“There’s no snow at the main parking lot early in the season, so this will be a big help,” Laurie said.
But of utmost importance, Laurie said, was the brushing and widening of the Hampton Trail. It is part of the Gold Rush Trail, which hadn’t seen any work done in several years.
“He brushed it right to the tree line, which will now allow us to groom the Hampton Trail,” Laurie said.
This past weekend the WLPK were back at it again, delivering new benches for the Safety Cabin donated by Jim Anderson of Canadian Tire, replacing a window at no cost by Econo Glass, putting up a new reflective sign at the safety cabin and dropping off first aid supplies.
“We only got as far as Stop Sign Ridge because there was 18 inches of snow which didn’t allow us to go any farther. Snow this early is shaping up to be a good start for our sledding season,” Laurie said. “So we decided to really sign up the Hampton Trail and made it really accessible for the upcoming season. All the leftover supplies we left with our awesome, resident grooming chief Jeff Garten to take up at a later date.”
Laurie thanked Desi Cheverie from Recreation Sites and Trails BC, the NDIT and all the contractors and volunteers for making the work possible.
Now, as the snowmobiling season nears, the WLPK are hosting a Snow ‘n’ Shine on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We’re doing it a little differently this year because we want to be able to have our club members show off their machines, along with all the snowmobile dealers there and truck dealerships, too.
“We would like to encourage all snowmobilers to become members of the WLPK, because none of these projects would have been possible without our local WLPK club,” Laurie said. “Come on out and sign up for your 2016/2017 membership. There will be a barbecue, bucket draws and door prizes.”
On Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. the WLPK will also be hosting its Annual General Meeting at the Laughing Loon beginning at 1 p.m.
Laurie said the WLPK also plan to host upwards of 10 organized events during the 2016/2017 season.
“We’ve got a full year of grooming and activities ahead of us and now we’re ready for it,” Laurie said.
To keep up to date on upcoming events being hosted by the WLPK follow them on Facebook by searching Williams Lake Powder Kings Snowmobile Club.