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The Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club is managing popularity this winter for members and visitors.
Families looking for outdoor adventures have the opportunity to try out cross country skiing with a volunteer-run rental program on Saturdays.
Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club president Eliza Stanford says clubs are having trouble keeping up with demand.
“Clubs across the province are seeing a huge surge in memberships and day visitors to their trails. We are experiencing the same influx of people, the parking lot is beyond full every weekend.”
Despite the full parking lot, there is still ample space to roam.
“There’s absolutely enough space. I can see a full parking lot and go skiing and not see anybody else. Everybody spreads out on the trails, and it’s not an issue of being crowded.”
One issue that is affecting the sport is a shortage of equipment across the country.
“We did get a BC Hydro “go fund” grant to get more rental equipment, but unfortunately, right after we got the grant, there was a global shortage of ski equipment.”
Much like the shortage of bikes and bike equipment faced in the spring, people are looking for activities to get them outside during the final stages of the pandemic.
“Everybody wants to cross country ski. It’s the perfect sport to do when you have to distance yourself from other people. And as a result, the ski shops just haven’t been able to keep any inventory.”
As far as beginners go, Stanford says it’s easy to learn.
“If you can skate, you can ski. It’s people who haven’t done any downhill or skating or anything, they have the hardest time. If you’re a skater it takes half an hour.”
To book a rental, reservations must be made through [email protected] The pickup/dropoff location is at the maintenance shop at Beatton Provincial Park. Additional trails are available for hiking, snowshoeing, and skijoring.
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