Category Archives: Community

FEELING THE LOVE!

With the support of more than 300 donors, including local businesses, an anonymous benefactor and significant grants, Nelson Nordic Ski Club has purchased a new snowcat to groom its cross-country ski trail system.

Our Love Your Club fundraising campaign brought in more than $30,000 in donations from local supporters attracted by the prospect of a long-term relationship with deep, luscious classic tracks and firm, rippling corduroy. Thank you all for your amazing generosity and sense of community spirit!

The PistenBully 100 snowcat we have purchased boasts better grooming performance, improved reliability, operator ease of use, and is more environmentally friendly than the Club’s older machines, offering both better fuel economy and lower emissions with its 250 horsepower Tier IV engine.

The Club owes a huge debt of gratitude to past-president Louise Poole and current board director Katie Weir, both of whom were instrumental in securing grants from various organizations, including regional and municipal governments. We also recognize the contributions of current board member Christine Nichol and volunteer graphic designer Nichola Lytle (Pink Dog Designs) for their clever and fun contributions to the recent fundraising campaign.

An anonymous benefactor made a very generous contribution, which includes matching funds for the $30,000 in individual donations, helping put us in a position to purchase a new snowcat before the end of the current season. The Club also acknowledges the generous support of Columbia Basin Trust, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (including specific contributions from Areas A, E, F, H and I), the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust, and the City of Nelson, British Columbia.

While the campaign has met its goal, it is not too late to make a tax-deductible contribution through Nordiq Canada at https://www.canadahelps.org/me/Puyaf79.

Donations may also be made by cash, credit or debit card at the Club’s trailhead kiosks at Apex and Busk.

Photo: Members of the Nelson Nordic Ski Team celebrate the purchase of a PistenBully 100 to keep the Club’s trails groomed for years to come. Thanks to coach Andrew Chewter for the pic!

CONTACT TRACING

It has always been mandatory to sign in when using the trails at Nelson Nordic, and this year, due to the requirements of contact tracing, it is more important than ever.

To make this easier for you and help reduce congestion at the trailheads, we have created an online form that you can use to sign in with your phone or at home. You must sign in every day that you ski! Thank you for your cooperation!

Access the online form here.

COVID-19 Information

Updated: December 5, 2020

Overview 

The health and safety of our members, visitors, staff and community is our highest priority. In light of COVID-19, we understand that this coming season is going to be quite unlike any other we have seen before, and our Club staff and Board of Directors are working hard to create solutions that will help keep our members, staff, and community safe during this time.

The Club is committed to operating our trails, facilities and programs this winter following the guidelines set out by the government and health authorities. This season, you will notice some operational differences: including limited access to huts and cabins, a focus on keeping our programs outside and on-snow, and more flexible cancellation policies.

We know how important it is for our nordic skiing community to be able to access the healthy, active, outdoor activities we all love and depend upon so much. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we navigate the challenges presented by the pandemic. We will get through this together.

Provincial Order on Events and Gatherings

On December 2, 2020, the Provincial Health Officer issued an order on events and gatherings that has a significant impact on our Return to Sport plan for our youth programs (Bunnies & Jackrabbits, Track Attack, Junior Racers) and adult programs (Masters and Learn to Ski). The intent of the order, which took effect on Thursday, December 3, 2020, and applies indefinitely, is to reduce social interactions and travel.

We know how important it is for our nordic skiing community to be able to access the healthy, active, outdoor activities we all love and depend upon so much. Thank you for your cooperation. 

Bunnies Program

The Bunnies program (ages 4-5), will be postponed until either mid-January or until we get clarity about the possibility of parental involvement in the program, which has always been integral to the operation of the Bunnies program at Nelson Nordic.

If, by mid-January, we are not able to start the Bunnies program, the Board will make a determination about refunding program fees.

Jackrabbits, Track Attack, Junior Racers

The remainder of our skills development programs for youth, including Jackrabbits (ages 6 to 9), Track Attack and Junior Racers, will continue with physical distancing increased to 3m from 2m. There will be registration caps on all group sizes for Jackrabbits, Levels 1 through 4.

Adult Programs

Registration for our adult group programs (groups larger than 3), including Masters and Learn to Ski lessons, has been postponed. We will update if and when we are able to open registration for these programs.

Teck Kootenay Cup

At this time, we anticipate that our annual Teck Kootenay Cup races, originally scheduled for January 16 and 17, 2021, will be canceled given the order against travel for training or competition for all but elite athletes.

2020/21 COVID FAQs

Can I enter the Apex hut and store my belongings there?

No, for the time being we will be leaving the hut closed. We may be able to offer limited access to the hut at certain times, but we are still working out the details.

Even once the hut is available, we will be asking people to store their belongings in their vehicle, as hut access will be limited.

  • Anyone entering the hut will be expected to wear a non-medical mask. 
  • Entry will be through the front door (nearest the trailhead) and exit through the back door (nearest the kiosk). 
  • Seating will be limited or removed.
  • Staff will provide additional cleaning duties in the hut as required.

Note: From January 4 to March 13, 2021, the Apex hut will be reserved for the exclusive use of the School Outreach Program from 8 am to 3 pm, Tuesday through Friday. We thank our members for their understanding, as this will be the only way that our School Outreach Program can operate while meeting the school district’s COVID-19 protocols.

Will the cabins at Euphrates and Clearwater be open?

No. Due to the cleaning protocols required, we are unable to open the cabins this year.

Are masks required at trailheads and in the parking lots?

No, but the Club strongly encourages the use of non-medical face masks or face coverings when 2m physical distancing cannot be maintained. Masks and face coverings should:

  • allow for easy breathing
  • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
  • maintain their shape after washing and drying
  • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
  • be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
  • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gasping

Are the outhouses open?

Yes. Outhouses at Apex and Busk/Clearwater parking lots will remain open and will be cleaned and sanitized regularly, as per Provincial protocols.

Can I change into my ski gear at the Club?

You may use the outhouses at Apex to do so, however we strongly encourage people to arrive at the trailheads ready to ski, and then to leave immediately after skiing. We strongly discourage socializing at the trailheads and in parking lots, even when 2m distancing can be maintained.

Is the Club limiting membership sales?

We do not see the necessity to limit membership sales at this time. That being said, there are changes taking place and a request for all users to come at different times throughout the day so we can ensure that we can safely fit all pass holders and day ticket users into the parking lots. We encourage Members to consider skiing more early mornings and afternoons this winter to help reduce parking lot congestion during peak periods.

How do I get my membership card?

As in past years, returning members are asked to bring their membership card from previous years so that we do not have to issue a new one.

Returning members: If you already have a membership card from previous seasons, please bring it with you to either kiosk (Busk/Clearwater or Apex) to get a 2020-21 sticker for your card. If you no longer have your membership card, please come to the Apex Kiosk.

New members: If you’re a new member, please come to the Apex Kiosk when you arrive for your first ski of the season. Our Apex parking lot is located at the base of Whitewater Road, 10 minutes south of Nelson. The kiosk attendant will take your picture out the window of the kiosk and then print you a card, which you will retain for this year and future seasons. Please be patient with our staff and volunteers as we have many new members to process this year.

What safety precautions are in place at the kiosks and trailheads?

The following safety precautions will be implemented in the kiosks at Apex and Busk trailheads:

  • Only staff or volunteers on duty will be permitted in the kiosks.
  • Memberships will be purchased independently online on Zone4.ca and picked up at the kiosk to minimize contact time. Please contact info@nelsonnordicski.ca if you are unable to register online.
  • Staff and volunteers will be instructed to wear masks when interacting with members or visitors in enclosed spaces. 
  • Staff will perform additional cleaning duties in the kiosks, Apex Hut and outhouses.
  • Members will check in at the kiosk window instead of coming inside the kiosk.
  • Members will also sign in, either on the online form, or on the sign-in sheets provided before every ski. This has always been the case but is especially important this year for contact tracing.
  • New this year, snowshoe rentals at Busk will be brought outside by the kiosk attendant. Rental equipment will be cleaned and sanitized between uses.

Is the Club limiting Day Pass sales?

We have no plans to limit Day Pass sales at this time, but that may change depending on circumstances.

Visitors purchasing day passes will be encouraged to pay by credit or debit card using tap on the Square. We intend to minimize cash transactions whenever possible.

Is rental equipment available?

We are currently working toward having snowshoes available to rent from our Busk kiosk this season. More details to come.

Due to space limitations, the Club does not have a rental program for Nordic skis. if you are interested in renting or purchasing Nordic equipment. lease visit our sponsor, Gerick Cycle and Ski, in Nelson.

Will the Club be hosting a ski swap this year?

Due to space limitations, the Club does not have a rental program for Nordic skis. If you are interested in renting or purchasing Nordic equipment, please visit our sponsor, Gerick Cycle and Ski, in Nelson.

Can I come to the trails if I’m sick?

No. Please stay home if you are feeling at all unwell and use the BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool and follow the instructions of the BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool results.

Get tested if you think you may have been infected.

Are there any parking restrictions? 

Not at this time. Physical distancing begins in the parking lots at Apex and Busk/Clearwater. Signs will be used to encourage skiers to be mindful, give space and take turns if parties in neighbouring vehicles are arriving or departing at the same time.

If 2m physical distancing is not possible, skiers are encouraged to wear a mask in high traffic areas, including outside at trailheads. We are asking members and visitors to maintain proper physical distancing with those outside their “bubble” and to refrain from congregating and socializing at trailheads or elsewhere on the trail system.

If there’s an outbreak and the area is forced to close, can I get a refund on my membership?

Yes. Our refund/credit policy is as follows:

Prior to Opening Day

In the sad possibility that the Club is required to shut down prior to opening day due to COVID-related concerns, registered members can choose to either receive a credit toward their 2021-22 membership fees OR receive a refund for the value of their 2020-21 membership fees. This choice was made during the registration process on Zone 4.

After Opening Day

If the Club is required to shut down after opening day due to COVID-related concerns, we will issue registered members the following pro-rated credits to be used toward the 2021-22 season:

  1. If the trails are closed on or before December 31, 2020, members will receive a credit for 50% of the value of membership fees paid.
  2. If the trails are closed between January 1 and January 31, 2021, members will receive a credit for 25% of the value of membership fees paid.
  3. If the trails are closed between February 1 and February 15, 2021, members will receive a credit for 10% of the value of membership fees paid.
  4. No credit will be issued if the trails are closed after February 15, 2021.

Can I buy food and a coffee/tea at the trails?

No, the Club does not have a concession or food/beverage sales of any kind.

ADDITIONAL COVID RESOURCES

Nelson Nordic Ski Club COVID-19 Safety Plan, v2, December 4, 2020.

Interior Health

BC Centre for Disease Control

Government of Canada-Health Services

Dr. Bonnie Henry & Minister Adrian Dix COVID-19 Updates

viaSport Return to Sport Guidelines for B.C.

Sport-specific updates from Cross Country B.C.

WorkSafeBC COVID-19 Safety Plan Checklist

Nordiq Canada Risk Assessment and Mitigation Checklist Tool

COVID-19 Agreements

For all individuals and activities, if you choose to participate you must follow these rules: 

• Complete the COVID Self Assessment on a daily basis (see below). 

• Wear a mask in any indoor spaces. 

• Wash your hands before participating. 

• Bring your own equipment, water bottle and hand sanitizer. The possible exception is that we are planning to have snowshoes available for rent at Busk kiosk this season. More details to follow.

• Comply with physical distancing measures at all times. 

• Avoid physical contact with others, including shaking hands, high fives, etc. 

• Leave Nelson Nordic Ski Club as quickly as possible after you finish your activities. 

COVID-19 Self-Assessment

Everyone who comes to Nelson Nordic Ski Club should complete the Self-Assessment below by answering these questions on a daily basis when participating in any activities at the Club.

  1. Are you experiencing cold, flu or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones?

• Symptoms include: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue or loss of appetite. 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please stay home and get assessed for a COVID-19 test, and self-isolate for at least 10 days. 

  1. Have you travelled to any countries outside Canada (including the United States) within the last 14 days? 

If you respond yes to this question, please stay home, self-isolate for 14 days and self-monitor. 

  1. Did you provide care or have close contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19? 

• This means you likely would have been contacted by the public health team at your health authority. 

If you respond yes to this question, please stay home, self-isolate for 14 days and self-monitor.

MEMBER SURVEY UPDATE!

You’ve responded. We’re listening.

Thanks again to the 432 Nelson Nordic Ski Club (NNSC) members who responded to our member survey in April. That’s approximately half of our membership! So we (the board and management of the club) feel we have a pretty good idea of where the membership wants us to head. 

We thought we would take this opportunity to let you know the major findings of the survey and what we are planning to do about them.

  • We asked how long respondents have been members. They were pretty evenly split between 1-2 years, 3-5 years, 6-10 years, 11-15 years and 15+. Slightly more have been with us for either 1 -2 years, or 15 years+.
  • 53% of respondents ski classic only, 19% skate ski only and 28% ski both. 
  • Most respondents ski between 2 and 5 times per week.
  • The most popular trail is Busk/Euphrates, with twice the respondents as for Clearwater or Apex. 
  • Most respondents (89%) hold either regular adult memberships or senior memberships.
  • Most respondents felt that the grooming in 2019-2020 was ‘consistently excellent, very good, or good’, both in terms of quality and quantity. 
  • We were all disappointed with the number of grooming machine breakdowns last year! The board continues to work tirelessly to write grants to purchase a new grooming machine – donations are always welcome! Timely repairs will continue to be prioritized; we thank our staff for their hard work last year and continue to improve our planning for next season.
  • With regard to the quality and frequency of plowing in the parking lots and Busk Road, the overwhelming majority were very satisfied, satisfied, or somewhat satisfied.
  • Many people mentioned the pothole at the entrance to Busk Road, and the ruts in the road. The board is planning to work on filling the pothole and remediating the road surface prior to next season. We continue to work hard to keep the road and parking lots in good condition.
  • Many people offered to volunteer for the club over the next season. Thank you!
  • Although most (92%) respondents did not try out the snowshoe trails last year, there was lots of enthusiasm expressed by those who did, and many said they would like to try them out next year. We plan to offer snowshoe rentals from the Busk kiosk next season.
  • If the club had the opportunity to expand the ski trail network, the majority of respondents said they would like a moderate ski trail in the Busk/Euphrates area.
  • Many people missed the Cottonwood and Field Loops this year. We respect the landowners’ decision and thank them for their many years of service to the club. We also considered resurrecting the Beaumont trail. However, that trail is in very poor condition and would need considerable summer work with heavy machinery before it could be groomed. Spending significant resources on this very steep trail does not fit with the survey results that the majority of the members prefer easier trails. There may be the possibility of adding other sections of the rail trail. We will do our best!
  • Most (74%) respondents receive trail condition and grooming information from the website and 31% from Live GPS grooming. The Facebook Page was next at 32%. Only about 18% of respondents use the snowphone.
  • Many of you requested that trail conditions be posted earlier in the day. We are considering how to do that more reliably next year. 
  • Most of you found the new trail signage helpful. However, a number of suggestions were made to improve signage that the club is looking into.
  • In terms of club programs, respondents prioritized lessons/clinics and kids/youth programs the highest. And in terms of events, members prioritized the Full Moon Ski, Tour de Soup and Valentine’s the highest.
  • We are considering, based on your feedback, which programs and events to offer in the coming year.
  • We asked you to rate the general priorities of the club. Here is your response, in order of priority:
    • Grooming 
    • Trail brushing and maintenance
    • Reasonable prices
    • Communication regarding trail conditions
    • Parking lot plowing
    • School Programs
    • Lessons/Clinics
    • Programs
    • Events
    • Snowshoeing 
  • With regard to the question about NNSC providing good value for your money, the vast majority of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with this statement.
  • Also, the vast majority of respondents said they are ‘very likely or likely’ to purchase a membership again next year. NNSC thanks you for your support!
  • Most of you said your number one reason for being a member of NNSC is that it is close to Nelson, and, of course, most of our members live in the area. You also mentioned the beautiful scenery and friendly atmosphere as your second and third reasons.
  • The respondents indicated there is room to improve in terms of grooming and expanding the trail system. The board continues to work hard to limit machine breakdowns and seek out possibilities for additional trails.
  • Thank you again for your wonderful support over the past season, and always. We are happy to hear from you at any time, and again, thank you for taking the time to respond to our survey. We will endeavour to address as many of our concerns and suggestions as we can. And we look forward to welcoming you back for the start of the 2020-21 ski season at Nelson Nordic.

TWO DAYS LEFT TO WIN!

Club Members! We’re down to the last two days to offer your feedback on our 2019-2020 season in our Nelson Nordic Member Survey 2020

More than 350 members have already taken a moment to share their input about the recent Nordic season. If you have already completed the survey, you’ve been entered in a draw for a free membership for the 2020-2021 ski season! Thank you!

If you haven’t yet done so, please don’t miss your opportunity to share your thoughts with us. Average completion time for the survey is about 8 minutes. The survey will close on Sunday, April 26, 2020.

As the Board and management begin to plan for next season, we would love to get your input on a number of aspects of the work that we do.

As a token of our gratitude for your participation, all current Club members who complete the survey by the deadline will be entered in a draw for two (2) complimentary Adult (or Senior) Memberships for the 2020-2021 ski season!

Thanks for your participation! We look forward to seeing you again next season!

The NNSC Board