2018–2019 Season Review

President's Message

Hopefully snow is the last thing on most people's mind right now, but I would like to take a moment to reflect on the 2018–2019 cross country ski season. It is amazing how easy it is to procrastinate on club newsletters once the snow starts melting and other activities take priority—apologies for this late newsletter. 

The 2018–2019 ski season was one of the better ones I’ve experienced in the seven years I have lived in the valley. The weather cooperated offering ample days of great skiing conditions from mid-December all the way into March. The grooming team made sure that the trails, including 6km of new trails, were in fine shape for our 600+ members and day use visitors to enjoy. Our dedicated volunteers put on a series of fun social events and races throughout the season. Club athletes and their coaches had a successful year at home and away at provincial and national level events. The club executive welcomed a number of new faces in the fall. The board worked hard to keep the club and its facilities operating smoothly and in a financially sustainable way.

Ben Forsyth

Table of Contents


The club wouldn’t exist without the contributions of many volunteers across many different roles—from sweeping the floors after rabbits, to timing at races, coordinating social events, coaching athletes, preparing and serving lunches and so on—many hundreds of hours (or more) are contributed to the club every season. Huge thanks to everyone who helped make the 2018/19 season a great one!

Chris Dahlie Memorial Cup
Every year we recognize a “ski booster”—someone who promotes the sport by helping to make better facilities, by great personal performance or via leadership in the ski community—by awarding them the Chris Dahlie Memorial Cup. This award will be presented at the AGM in October. Nominations can be sent to and will be accepted until September 16th. For more information on the award, including the list of past recipients, please visit

Looking Forward
One of the board’s priorities for the 2019–2020 season is to improve the volunteer experience. We realize that there are always a few people who go above and beyond what should be expected of our volunteers, and we are especially grateful for their contributions, but we don’t want to exhaust people and make volunteering a negative experience. We also know that there are people who want to volunteer but don’t for a variety of reasons—they don’t know what is needed, have very limited availability, don’t know who to contact, etc. We hope to improve both problems by having clearly defined volunteer responsibilities and time commitments, as well as volunteer position requirements and deadlines for events to avoid excessive work from being piled on to those who do commit to an event. If you are curious about the general overview of what kind of volunteering opportunities there are and who to contact about them please visit this page

We are always open to feedback on what has worked well and how we can improve, so if you have volunteered in the past and would like to share your feelings about the experience please do so! You can email or, if you would like to keep things more confidential, email Ben Forsyth (club president) at

We are seeking a coordinator for the popular Ski S'Kool program for the 2019–2020 season. The goal of the Ski S'Kool program is to introduce cross country skiing to elementary school students. Our program sees thousands of student visits from the elementary schools in the valley.
The coordinator is responsible for promoting the program to our local elementary schools, scheduling coaches, and delivering the program at the Nordic centre. The coordinator does not have to coach or ski but is required to troubleshoot with teachers.
If you are interested in learning more about this important position, please contact Irene Ronalds at


We were quite busy all the way from October through March with the following events:

  • AGM & Social
  • Fall Work Bee
  • Gear Swap
  • Santa’s Workshop
  • New Trails Grand Opening
  • Tour de Soup
  • Welcome Day
  • Teck Northern Cup #3, Chris Dahlie Open
  • Wetzin'kwa Loppet

Thank you to the event coordinators and volunteers that helped make these events successful. As I write this newsletter we are putting together the 2019-2020 events calendar—expect to see a similar set of events and possibly a few new things too.

Skills Development Program

The nordic skills development program helps a wide audience of participants get more out of cross country skiing—from preschoolers in Bunnies through to adults of all ages via our clinics and masters drop-in program.

The SDP season starts well before there is snow on the ground with dryland training in the fall. The snow season started in early December with the club hosting the Teck northern regional snow camp, drawing lots of local and remote participants. The extended rabbits (“extendos”), track attack, and junior development athletes all begin their on snow training in December as well.

In January close to 100 bunnies and rabbits started their weekly practices which continued into March. The popular masters drop-in sessions, a great way to get started with skiing or to brush up on your technique as well as to socialize, ran from mid January to the end of February. 

Teck Northern Regional Snow Camp Participants
Final Extendos Practice

Our athletes traveled all over the province and country to compete. There was high performance NorAms in December, early February was the Western Canadian championships in Kelowna, a month later was the BC Championships in Salmon Arm, and shortly after that were the Nationals in Gatineau Quebec. Some of these events were covered in the following Interior News articles (thank you Perry Rath for the write-ups).

The biathlon team had a great year with many podium appearances on the BC cup circuit and at Nationals in Whistler.

Farewell To Coach Lisa

After four seasons serving as the club’s head coach Lisa Perry is moving on to other adventures. We will miss her enthusiasm and inspiring positive attitude! Best wishes on your future endeavours Lisa.

Nordic Centre

The "nordic centre” encompasses the trail network, buildings (lodge, caretaker cabin, waxing hut, biathlon cabin, etc), signage, lighting, and equipment required to maintain these facilities. The operation, maintenance, and development of the nordic centre is where the majority of our expenditures go.

At the beginning of the 2018–2019 season we saw the opening of 6km of new trails—Wild Dog, One Click Right, and the Wetzin’kwa connector. This season we adjusted grooming routing strategies to maximize the efficiency of grooming equipment operating time which has helped reduce operating expenses.

These trail changes necessitated an updated trail network map which was completed this season with the help of Tom Christian, Gen Perkins, Jack Howard-Stratton, and Steve Osborn. There should be a new printed nordic centre brochure, featuring the new map, available for the 2019–2020 season. Steve Osborn continued to coordinate the replacement of trail signage to help skiers navigate the updated network. An impressive new timber frame sign greeting nordic centre visitors as they turn off Hudson Bay Mountain Road was installed in November.

Over the season Kevin Kriese led the development of a club management plan documenting our objectives and priorities over the next 2 years. I encourage you to read over the plan to learn more about the club and the priorities identified by the board. One major adjustment to our fiscal planning is that the board has decided to prioritize proactive maintenance of the Pisten Bully track setter rather than set aside money to replace it. This season we replaced the Pisten Bully’s tiller, drive pumps, and track belts. This new strategy aims to minimize groomer downtime and helps us with financial planning.

The club works closely with Recreation Sites and Trails BC and the Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation to operate the nordic centre—many thanks to both organizations for their support. This past season we were fortunate to receive funding from: the Province of British Columbia, Recreation Sites and Trails BC, the BC Rural Dividend Program, Kal Tire/Cross Country BC, Bulkley Valley Credit Union, and the Wetzin’kwa Community Grant.

Tiller replacement
Out grooming
New trail signs and maps
Detail of updated trail map

Upcoming Events

  • Late September—Nordic centre work bee, stay tuned for further details soon.
  • Mid October—The annual general meeting of the Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club

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Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club · PO Box 4412 · Smithers, Bc V0J 2N0 · Canada

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