Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club getting into full swing for the season

Kristy Fornwald and her daughter Ana Burkey, 10, get out on the trails at Bull Mountain. “We spend a lot of time up here,” said Fornwald. “It feels like our second home in the winter.” (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)Kristy Fornwald and her daughter Ana Burkey, 10, get out on the trails at Bull Mountain. “We spend a lot of time up here,” said Fornwald. “It feels like our second home in the winter.” (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Jena Fraser gets a ski in with her son Luke, 17 months, at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)Jena Fraser gets a ski in with her son Luke, 17 months, at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11, 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Some Grade 7 students were out at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11 to learn some on-snow skills with the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)Some Grade 7 students were out at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11 to learn some on-snow skills with the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Some Grade 7 students were out at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11 to learn some on-snow skills with the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)Some Grade 7 students were out at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11 to learn some on-snow skills with the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Some Grade 7 students were out at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11 to learn some on-snow skills with the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Some Grade 7 students were out at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11 to learn some on-snow skills with the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)Some Grade 7 students were out at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11 to learn some on-snow skills with the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune) Some Grade 7 students were out at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11 to learn some on-snow skills with the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Robin Dawes is the head of the ski school program at Bull Mountain as well as the chair of the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club itself. She was up at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11 to lead the instruction on the first day of the ski school program for 2022. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Jena Fraser was enjoying getting out with her son Luke, 17 months, at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11, 2022. Luke got to take his first steps on skis and appeared to be having a great time thanks to the small strap-on models the club had. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)Jena Fraser was enjoying getting out with her son Luke, 17 months, at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11, 2022. Luke got to take his first steps on skis and appeared to be having a great time thanks to the small strap-on models the club had. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Luke Fraser, 17 months, was up at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11, 2022. Luke got to take his first steps on skis and appeared to be having a great time thanks to the small strap-on models the club had. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)Luke Fraser, 17 months, was up at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11, 2022. Luke got to take his first steps on skis and appeared to be having a great time thanks to the small strap-on models the club had. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Jena Fraser was enjoying getting out with her son Luke, 17 months, at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11, 2022. Luke got to take his first steps on skis and appeared to be having a great time thanks to the small strap-on models the club had. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)Jena Fraser was enjoying getting out with her son Luke, 17 months, at Bull Mountain on Jan. 11, 2022. Luke got to take his first steps on skis and appeared to be having a great time thanks to the small strap-on models the club had. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Mr. Wilson’s Grade 7 class from Williams Lake Secondary School - Columneetza Campus was out enjoying their first day with the ski school program at Bull Mountain thanks to the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club on Jan. 11. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)Mr. Wilson’s Grade 7 class from Williams Lake Secondary School - Columneetza Campus was out enjoying their first day with the ski school program at Bull Mountain thanks to the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club on Jan. 11. (Ruth Lloyd photo - WL Tribune)
Jena Fraser enjoys getting outside with her son Luke, 17 months old, to take in some of the trails maintained by the Williams Lake Cross-Country Ski Club at Bull Mountain on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. Luke got to take his first steps on skis and appeared to be having a great time thanks to the small skis the club had on hand. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Jena Fraser enjoys getting outside with her son Luke, 17 months old, to take in some of the trails maintained by the Williams Lake Cross-Country Ski Club at Bull Mountain on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. Luke got to take his first steps on skis and appeared to be having a great time thanks to the small skis the club had on hand. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

The Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club is ramping up to full steam ahead for the season.

Saturday, Jan. 15 the club is hosting the return of their Wellness Day, which is also being supported by the Carrier Chilcotin Tribal Council.

Patrons to the hill that day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will be able to enjoy free snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals, no trail fees, some free instruction, and free hot chocolate, chili and bannock.

Ladies’ ski nights will also be happening at 6 p.m. on Thursdays on the trails.

Participants will need to bring a trail pass and a headlamp.

The ski school program is also up and running at Bull Mountain for 2022, after school closures cancelled the first week of programs in January.

The contract with Central Cariboo Builders to build a new day lodge has been signed and the building permits have been applied for, with hopes to have the new day lodge operational for the 2022-2023 season.

Read more: Williams Lake club bringing new cross country ski lodge to Bull Mountain

Cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals will be available again as well.

A volunteer training event got the program ready to roll and rentals will now be offered on Fridays 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturdays 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Robin Dawes, chair of the club board and organizer of the ski school was up on Tuesday, Jan. 11 instructing Mr. Wilson’s Grade 7 class from Williams Lake Secondary – Columneetza campus.

It was the group’s first time up and they were starting out on fundamentals and had to demonstrate falling, getting up unassisted and getting up and down a hill under control.

“This happens to be an athletic group,” said Dawes, who instructs school groups three days a week.

“They learn really quickly.”

Classes go up to the ski hill for the full day, arriving at 9:30 a.m. and heading out about 2:30 p.m.

The school program runs five days a week and is fully booked, with groups returning three times over the course of the winter.

While Bull Mountain and the WLCCSC had been struggling with cold temperatures which made it too cold to groom for volunteers on snowmobiles and lots of snow which was very light and challenging to set, conditions on Jan. 11 were looking good.

Possible rain in the forecast could impact conditions again, but because Bull Mountain is slightly higher than the town of Williams Lake, there is hope it could be spared.

For up to date conditions and events, follow the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club on Facebook or check their website.

Read more: Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club opens trails for some early-season skiing



ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com

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