By Sandra K. Klassen –

This year’s snowfall will bring welcome relief to those in the Cariboo who want to know the wildfires are out for sure. And a snowfall will have many locals dusting off their cross-country skis and readying them for this winter’s cross-country ski season, usually from November to April.

Cross-country skiing in the Cariboo is like skiing in a Christmas card: sparkling snow, snow-white forest, friendly faces, goodwill among skiers, the great outdoors. Many are aware of the healthful spin-offs (think gifts) from this growing sport in Canada: a sport that improves cardio-vascular fitness, is pleasing to the joints, can be social or solitary, and perks up your well-being. The form-fitting ski pants are optional!

Thanks to ardent volunteers, ski trails in the Cariboo are very well-groomed and maintained. There is often a ski cabin or hut to hunker down in for a break or to sit on an outside bench and feel the sun on your face.

One amiable visitor at Bull Mountain remarked that the Bull Mountain trails are the best-groomed trails he had skied on in BC. Now that is a compliment.

The cost associated with cross-country skiing is far less than you might expect. Cariboo area ski clubs charge a very reasonable drop-in fee (around $10), or have a steal of a deal season pass.

Equipment is available from local businesses in Williams Lake such as Red Shred’s, Cariboo Source for Sports, and Barking Spider. These businesses offer competitive pricing and savvy staff members who can fit you with boots, skis, and poles. Other Cariboo businesses in Quesnel and 100 Mile House also provide equipment and know-how. So why slink around an indoor ice-rink all winter? Between games, get out skiing. Release your inner Viking!

I think, with the co-operation of Mother Nature’s snow machine, and in honour of our country’s 150th birthday, I will challenge myself to 150 km of cross-country skiing before Christmas 2017. If there’s not enough snow to allow for this before Santa comes to town, hopefully I can accomplish this by Valentine’s Day 2018.

Please join me!

Note: This past summer’s wildfires may have affected parts of the ski trails in our area. Some trails may be closed for safety reasons. Obey the signs, stay safe out there.

Sandra, a Laker, wishes she was a lot smarter, better looking, and that she had become a private investigator. She has many interests and loves to write about them. Overall, she is high on life in the Cariboo and credits that to the great locals and the beautiful landscape that surrounds us. 


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