Houston ski club seeking to expand trails

Over 38 km of trails are planned to be improved

The Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club is seeking funds to expand and revitalize the existing trail network surrounding Morice Mountain and Silverthorne Lake.

Over 38 km of trails are planned to be improved or established as a part of this trail upgrade project, according to a district staff report.

Club President Greg Yeomans said the upgrades are intended to make some of the trails accessible year-round.

“Many of our ski trail upgrades allow us to have a longer ski season on them, but it also allows for better multi-season use,” said Yeomans, adding runners, hikers, bikers and horseback riders have been using the trails this summer.

The upgrades are necessary to accommodate both the growth the club has experienced and the hundreds of day users that access the trails, according to the district.

Yeomans said the club’s membership has been growing consistently over the past few years, hitting a record 230 members in 2018.

In order to complete the upgrades, the club will apply for the BC Rural Dividend Fund which, if approved, could provide up to $10,000. The upgrades are expected to be completed next year.

Gerald Pinchbeck, Houston’s chief administrative officer, said the district will be issuing a letter to support the grant application.

According to the district, the upgrades support economic development in Houston because it helps the club attract more users and expand events such as the annual Morice Mountain Run.

At the end of June, the ski club was approved for a $15,000 Northern Development Initiative grant, said Yeoman.

The grant funding is allowing the club to work on a new trail called Swamp Dog, a loop off Moose Meadows that allows dogs on during the ski season.

Yeomans said the Morice Mountain recreation area, a 6,000-hectare site, has “incredible potential.”

“The area is not only growing in popularity with people from Houston, but it is getting better known regionally. The events we host are designed to give more exposure to the area, and all the upgrades complement our ability to provide more services to the community as a whole.

“There is lot more to do, but we are making progress.”

The Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club, incorporated as a society in 1987, develops and maintains trails within Morice Mountain and Silverthorne Lake area in partnership with Recreations Sites and Trails BC.

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