Elkford Nordic Club sees membership jump

Like other Nordic clubs in the valley, the club has seen lots of new members sign up

Elkford Nordic Ski Club secretary/treasurer Marcel Hovelling with the club's new Ginzu groomer, purchased with donations from the CBT, Sparwood Thrift Shop and the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies. (Contributed by Kim Muller)

The cross country skiing clubs up and down the Elk Valley have seen a surge in memberships this season, with the Elkford Nordic Ski Club being no exception.

The club has almost doubled its membership in the 2020-21 season to 95 members – up from 56 last year.

Club president, Kim Muller said that the modest club had been enjoying a “pretty busy season so far”, with lots of locals and out-of-towners enjoying the 12.5 k.m. of groomed trails maintained by the club.

Locals are encouraged to buy memberships, while visitors are encouraged to leave donations to help support the volunteer-run club.

“People have been pretty generous this year,” said Muller.

“We’ve had a lot of out of towners … had some pretty good groups, they’ve all been pretty generous at leaving us donations.”

The club maintains around 12.5 k.m. of trail in two areas – a figure-eight loop at the Mountain Meadows golf course, and a 10km trail at Boivin Creek.

The club maintains conveniently located huts at Boivin Creek for warming up, and the trails are groomed every time it snows by volunteers.

The club recently purchased a new Ginzu groomer for the Boivin Creek trails thanks to generous donations from the Columbia Basin Trust, the Sparwood Thrift Shop and the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies, with the new groomer intended to replace the previous machine which is now almost 14 years old.

The Boivin trails are strictly for cross country skiing, and are best for classic cross country skiing and not skate skiing as they are not wide enough. The Boivin trails are not dog-friendly.

“Usually pretty calm out there mid-week if you want to get out there, it’s not too crowded,” said Muller.

For those that want something a little easier and relaxed – or someplace to learn – the golf course trail is flat, open to snow shoers and also dog friendly.

READ MORE: Sparwood cross-country club reports record membership

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