The Phoenix Cross Country Ski Society (PCCSS) is hoping to draw new members ahead of the coming snow season, according to board members Dennis Graham and Larry Hudema.
Calling on members and interested prospects to help stock firewood at PCCSS’s Dacha on Saturday, Nov. 6, the pair stressed that the society relies on its volunteer base to maintain its extensive trail network and to run its training programs.
“Plus, the whole point about being a member is that you get to have a say about our policies,” Hudema said Friday.
The society is meanwhile hoping to attract a certified ski instructor to introduce adults to cross country skiing. PCCSS’s skills development program for children has already been a great success, with kids taking well to dryland ski lessons at Grand Forks’ Saddle Lake and Christina Lake’s public beach.
Asked how it was possible to learn the sport on dry land, Graham said instructor Tristan Sjoden puts the kids on special roller-skis designed for use on hard surfaces.
Over the long-term future, PCCSS hopes to boost mobile coverage over the north side of the trail network, possibly by erecting a cellular antenna at the Dacha. Next, the society is looking to build a proper shelter for its snow groomer near the shore of Marshall Lake.
Graham said the society would love to have trails ready “the minute it snows,” later qualifying that it would take a 20-centimetre powder base just to start the grooming process.
“Everybody wants to be open before Christmas, but from one year to the next, we don’t always get anywhere near the amount of snow we’d need to ski before that point,” he cautioned.
Graham stressed that the trails are open to snowshoers as well as cross country skiers, adding that he and Grand Forks’ Jamie Stewart have built a new trail just for snowshoers.