The Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club is seeing increased trail use at Bull Mountain as residents look for safe ways to keep active and outdoors this winter during the pandemic.
“(On Jan. 17) I was at the hill from about 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and there were 60 cars in our parking lot, pretty much the whole time,” said Robin Dawes, WLCCSC chair. “Yet, when you get out skiing on the trails you still don’t feel like there’s a lot of people.”
A rental program recently offered by the WLCCSC has been a massive success so far, Dawes noted, with equipment rentals available from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays and on Sundays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“Our membership is up. Jackrabbits registration is up, and we’re still getting new registrants — both for the club and for Jackrabbits,” Dawes said. “We’re not happy about COVID, but we’re happy we’re able to help people get outside during this time.”
The WLCCSC is also seeking assistance through its annual club fundraiser, A Future to Build On, for the construction of a new storage building which will allow them to house its grooming and growing equipment inventory in a covered space. They also hope to create a heated ski and snowshoe distribution room.
The WLCCSC ski development program is currently serving 35 participants this season, with its ski school program set to reach 560 student visits, equalling roughly 3,000 student or youth hours of engagement delivered exclusively through community volunteers.
The WLCCSC’s adult, beginner program has also been a great success to date, Dawes noted.
The club’s current storage facility consists of a 20-foot, unheated, unlit sea can.
Equipment is stored inside a locked electrical closet in the unheated, unventilated building, and the WLCCSC said the facilities no longer meet present-day standards.
Anyone interested in donating to the fundraiser can do so at www.canadahelps.org by searching for the WLCCSC, or visit the WLCCSC’s Facebook page for a direct link to the fundraiser.
As of Feb. 9, the WLCCSC had raised $4,645 and, with the additional matching funds of $1,000, are up to $5,645 of its $20,000 goal in seeing the new facility built for Bull Mountain.