14th Anniversary Newsletter & Membership Renewal Campaign
– December 9, 2007
In one of the earliest starts ever, in the WCNSC’s 14th season, trails are groomed and in better shape than at any time over the past two years!
No doubt, the early arrival of ample snow has prompted you to think of the approaching ski season. Maybe you have already dusted off the skis and recognized how good the trails are! People support this non-profit volunteer effort for many reasons. For some, it is the access to quality groomed ski trails, at an affordable price and within a reasonable drive from home. For others, it is the sense of community created with others that share similar interests. Whatever the reason, we hope you will be supporting us this year by renewing your membership for the 2007-2008 ski season.
Trail Work Help Needed
Use of a tractor this fall to clean brush and debris from trails was not possible because of the early snow. This has made it necessary for several small trail sections to be cleared the ‘old way’. Some sections of the perimeter trail still require some hand tool clearing. If you have pruning shears that fit in a pocket or a fanny pack, please consider taking them with you on your first ski. With a little work from many people, the trail will be clean and ready for a full season of skiing.
The heartbeat of the WCNSC – Grooming
The ‘Bombi’ is running well at the start of this season – touch wood! Larger grooming equipment speeds up the grooming process and maintains a firmer trail. The current process, initiated after every 5 cm or more of fresh snow, involves using the Bombi to groom out bumps and fill hollows, as well as compress the snow. The Skandic follows with the track setter in tow. This improves the shape of the track set portion of the trail. Many thanks to the folks who volunteer to complete many hours of trail grooming. In particular, club members Randy Belore and Peter Sawyer, who put extensive hours into the driving of the Bombi and the Skandic to keep the trails in tip-top shape.
Don’t try to second guess trail conditions by looking out your window!
The snow conditions you see from the kitchen or living room window are seldom the same as the conditions on the Perimeter Trail! Snow accumulations and conditions vary greatly across this region and it is nearly impossible to predict the quality of the ski experience on these trails. Aggressive grooming creates a refrigeration effect that will protect trails through mild spells.
If uncertain, check the website before you head out skiing. The conditions are posted after every grooming or significant weather event. Please recognize that you may see an older date on this “Current Conditions” part of the site – this simply implies that the conditions have not changed since the site was last updated.
We are very lucky to have use of a building within Fitzroy Provincial Park. The facility is equipped with a kitchen, washroom, fresh water and an area for ski waxing and tuning. Executive members will have a key and will try to have the facility open when skiing. If members want to use the facility at times that it may not be open, please call Bryan @ 832-0627. Otherwise, posted events on the website continue to be the only times the clubhouse is guaranteed to be open.
It is worth noting that many of the vault privies within the park are open and can be used in an emergency. Don’t forget to carry a little TP in your pocket!
Walking on Ski Trails
The number of visitors to Fitzroy Provincial Park that walk on ski trails is relatively low. However, members occasionally encounter people that are not actually skiing down the trail.
As a reminder, WCNSC agreement with Ontario Parks does not entitle skiers to have exclusive use of any part of Fitzroy Provincial Park. Fees remitted to Ontario Parks are to offset park expenditures to operate the club house.
Park Visitors recognize the ongoing efforts that the club puts into maintaining a quality skiing experience. As a sign of courtesy they choose to walk or snowmobile on the non-groomed trails and roadways.
It is our goal to educate and promote to the community this wonderful winter experience, the sensitivity of ski trail grooming, and the volunteer efforts put forth to provide quality outdoor recreational opportunities.
It is through these volunteer efforts over the past thirteen years that the ski club has become an established part of this community, a relationship we hope will continue to develop over the years to come.
NOTE: Becoming a member supports the ski club more directly! All membership $$ go directly to the ski club to offset trail maintenance and programs. In addition, membership numbers help generate significant data that is used when applying for grants. Please complete and mail the registration form/waiver(s). A separate/signed waiver is required for each member of the family. When your completed/updated registration form is received a parking pass will be promptly mailed out. Encourage others that ski to become supporting members.
Parking/Day Use Pass
The City plow maintains the main parking area at the park gatehouse/office. Despite the fact that Fitzroy Park remains officially closed over the winter, ski club members, guests and day use skiers are permitted access through the signed agreement with Ontario Parks. When a person or family supports the ski club by purchasing a membership, they are issued a vehicle pass that should remain on their vehicle dash when in the park. Also, vehicles displaying an annual Ontario Parks Pass are permitted access to the park. ALL SKIERS are required to sign in the register, located at the far end of the parking lot, for every visit. Please record the date, skier name(s) and vehicle license number. Day Use skiers are asked to support the efforts of the WCNSC and place a per skier donation in the attached receptacle. Four dollars per skier per visit is suggested.
NOTE: Please take the time to register your skiing in this manner. These statistics are important for the long term survival of the club. Accurate visitor information statistics are required by Ontario Parks and The City of Ottawa. This data is linked to funding submissions that we complete for the City.
The calendar of events will be posted on our web site: www.wcnordic.com. These will include waxing and instructional clinics and a candlelight ski. (weather permitting!) Additional ideas for membership events are welcome.
Please don’t hesitate to drop us an e-mail with any kind of constructive feedback. In particular, we love to hear stories that recognize the quality skiing experience available at Fitzroy Provincial Park!
That’s all the news for now! I hope you find the trails and facilities in excellent condition this winter. With any luck, mother nature will bless us with an ‘old fashioned Ottawa Valley Winter’, an abundance of snow and cooler temperatures. Please don’t forget that this is a volunteer organization! If you feel you have the time and skills to help – I would love to hear from you.
119 Dunhaven Dr.,
Box 8008, RR#2