Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club grooming and prepping for their upcoming coaching clinics and events. (Morice Mountain Club Facebook photo/Houston Today)

Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club grooming and prepping for their upcoming coaching clinics and events. (Morice Mountain Club Facebook photo/Houston Today)

Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club’s first ski event announced

More people on trails but member numbers have gone down, says club President

Morice Mountain Nordic Ski Club will be hosting a socially-distanced skiing event this year.

The club will be hosting their first annual Corduroy Cup this year for a COVID-compatible, outdoor-friendly event.

“We just started Jackrabbits this past weekend and a coaching clinic also and we will be announcing the Corduroy Cup featuring seven different routes. Throughout the winter you will be able to complete and compete, ” said club President Greg Yeomans.

The event will be open for all cross country skiers with an entry fee of $20 for adults and $10 for kids. The event itself will run from January to Mar. 15 and there will be prizes to be won.

“There will be ways for participants to record their trails that they can take individually at their own pace. Several members are now also using Strava so that would also be used to keep a record,” said Yeomans.

This will be the first time that the club is organizing this event with seven routes in seven weeks.

The club’s jackrabbits program, a skill-development program which started this weekend, targets children between the ages of six and nine years and is for them to learn basic cross-country ski skills (both classic and skating). Jackrabbits would last until March.

The club started work on the trails early on last year, in the hopes of making the trails user-friendly for year-round usage. To utilize the full potential of the area, the club had also announced a running challenge last year however that was also turned into a virtual, socially-distant event due to COVID.

“We have had good snow conditions, and we are very lucky because many places in the province have not had good snow yet plus, the elevation for our location helps. But ya, it has been pretty good,” said Yeomans.

The club has however seen a drop in its membership this year, despite several people already out and about on the trails.

“Yes, numbers dropped but it seems like the trail usage has actually increased. We don’t have actual numbers on it but we are seeing a lot more people out on the trails. But we dropped and that’s because we were too dependent on the ski library. We had a library and it was a great way for people to save money. It was free for members so they could just go out to the library and grab their boots, skis and poles and return them. So we had about 60 sets of skis and with the mandatory return to sport plan, they strongly discouraged any sharing of equipment, so we decided to rent them out for the season — first come, first serve,” said Yeomans, adding that more people are buying skis due to the library becoming a rental.

He however believes that this change will turn out to be a boon in the future with the library serving only those who really need the equipment.

“More people buying skis in the long run is definitely a good thing because that way, those who are new to the sport and kids who keep growing out of their boots, it is easier for us to lend the equipment out to them eventually,” he said.

Yeomans is also encouraged by the number of people out on the trails which could translate to more people participating in the club’s several outdoor events.

”There are at least some things we can do through this pandemic and this Corduroy Cup will be one such event to bring people out of their homes and still at a distance from each other,” concluded Yeomans.

Additional information on the event is available on the club’s website.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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