With this wet, ugly weather here in the valley, one may think the skiing in the Larch Hills is over.
This past Tuesday the race team was greeted by five centimetres of new snow when they arrived at the chalet for their practice after school. There was rain down here but not on the hill. The road is muddy but fine. So keep on skiing – the season isn’t over yet!
At the February Larch Hills Nordic Society meeting, the announcement was made that we have reached the coveted 1,000- member mark.
Track skiers, backcountry skiers, snowshoers – it all adds up to make a vibrant club with a superb facility.
Listening to all the reports at that meeting, one realizes how fortunate we are to have such a gang of volunteers who coach the 99 race-team members, coach the 140 Jackrabbits, organize the School Ski hosts, run the tracksetters on a daily basis to give us exemplary track set trails, keep the chalet and outbuildings in great shape, organize the many events over the ski season – like the Lantern Ski, Larch Hills Fun Race, Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet, Pirate Loppet and Midget Championships, keep the parking lot in decent shape, work on the ski and snowshoe trails to keep them free of overhead hazards, etc.
And we are so thankful for our caretaker Pauline Hickson who for six years has been such a presence on the hill. This year she was joined by Diane, who has been a huge help.
We are closing in on the final events on the race team schedule. It has been a busy season with trips to the various Okanagan clubs for Okanagan Zone meets, then BC Cup races, then the Western Canadian Championships in Prince George two weeks ago.
Last weekend, for ages 13 to 14, Midget and Juvenile, were the BC Winter Games in Penticton. Cross-country ski races were held at Nickel Plate where the ski conditions are superb.
Larch Hills Nordics had eight skiers on the 34-member Thompson-Okanagan team. Jim and I took in all the cross-country races and it was so exciting to see Larch Hills racers do so well. There were many medals plus lots of fourths which shows great depth and strength in the team.
The Thompson-Okanagan team dominated the cross-country and came third overall in the Games’ medal total. Great showing!
We managed to take in not only nordic skiing but ringette for one game and speedskating for a few races. BC Games is a wonderful multi-discipline event.
Next on the calendar are the BC Championships in Whistler/Callaghan Valley, March 4-6. This is the Larch Hills Nordics’ opportunity to bring home the championship banner for the fourth time in five years. With 90 LHNS members attending the race either as a racer, coach and/or parent/grandparent (most of the coaches and parents have signed up to race as well), we have the largest club at the meet. With points given through to fifth place in each race in each age category, we will likely do well. There are more than 400 skiers registered from around the province. It promises to be a great finale to the season.
It’s not the end of the season though for those Larch Hills Nordics skiers who are going to Whitehorse during spring break for 10 days to compete in the Canadian National Championships. Our best to these athletes.
The annual general meeting of the Larch Hills Nordic Society is on Tuesday, March 15, Room 1 at the Salmon Arm Recreation Centre at 7 p.m. Election of officers and discussion of the ski season will take place. All current and prospective members are welcome.