This month we’re pleased to welcome two new clubs to our ranks: The Hickory Wing Ski Touring Club and the Tetrahedron Outdoor Club. We’ll be talking more about Tetrahedron in a future post, so for now let’s take a little trip to Prince George, a special kind of haven for cross-country skiers.
Prince George is a community with deep cross-country roots: Since the late 1950s, it’s undergone ambitious development and nurtured top cross-country athletes. Today, it’s a popular centre for cross-country activities with world-class facilities. While the city’s track-set facility (Otway Nordic Centre) is quite active, there’s still a small, yet very eager, group who enjoys skiing on ungroomed trails in a forest setting.
This is where the Hickory Wing Ski Touring Club comes in. As the only organized backcountry ski group in Prince George, they’re responsible for maintaining about 60 km of trails on Tabor Mountain, just east of the city. Under the auspices of the Tabor Mountain Recreation Society and Recreation Sites and Trails BC, they constantly improve their trails by ditching, excavating, and brushing, and by constructing shelters at various locations along their trails (there are 5 shelters so far, with at least one on the way). All of their hard work has been helped along by the whopping $25,000 in grants they’ve received in the past 5 years alone!
Hickory Wing has been in existence since the 1970s, and until last year were called the Sons of Norway Ski Club, and were affiliated with the local SON Lodge in Prince George. They have the same core group of people under their new registered name, and still hold the same great events.
Hickory Wing concentrates mainly on Tabor Mountain, but also leads twice-weekly ski outings in the winter months to different areas around Prince George. Their main event, however, is their annual Birchleg Ski Event, which has been happening in Prince George since the 1970s and attracts over 100 people of all ages. Hickory Wing grooms the 10-km route prior to the event because many participants ski at the Nordic Centre and do not have proper gear to ski on ungroomed trails. As this is a family event, they also provide a nice fire at the staging area and supply hot dogs and refreshments.
You can meet the Hickory Wing Ski Touring Club for yourself at the next Birchleg Event on Feb. 19th, 2017, or learn more about them online.