It’s getting colder and the snow is on the ground … at least some is there.

But the Yellowknife Ski Club is ready for another season and the first big event of its new campaign kicked things off this past Saturday as the Snow Show took place at the club’s chalet. It was a chance for people to check out what’s happening at the club this season as well as buy or trade up equipment and get skis waxed by the club’s high performance skiers.

Kerry Wheler, the club’s events director, was perhaps one of the busiest people at the club that day and she said the turnout was good to see.

“It wasn’t too overwhelming and everything was good to manage,” she said. “We had a good mix of events outside with the ski swap and bake sale with a good flow of people inside checking everything out. It was a great event.”

Makoa Kokelj works on waxing skis during the Yellowknife Ski Club’s Snow Show on Saturday. James McCarthy/NNSL photo

The ski waxing was a fundraiser for the high performance program — $25 per pair — and the skiers were kept busy well into the evening, she added.

“They did more than 100 pairs of skis,” she said. “It was a great effort between the kids and the parents and some stayed until around 8 p.m. It’s a necessary service for the ski community and it’s being done by people who know how to do it so you know they’ll be done right.”

The upper floor of the chalet featured all of the information on what’s going on this year but one thing missing from the show this year was the computer bank, which has been used to allow people to register for a program.

Wheler said that’s because there was some question on the protocol involving shared computers and it was better safe than sorry.

“We did have a couple of volunteers helping out to help people register on (the) Zone 4 (website) through their devices,” she said. “Registration has been open since early October with the early bird specials and Saturday was the end of the early bird. People have been signing up and the show is a good point of contact for people to decide if they want to become a member.”

The sun breaks through the trees as the ski swap begins at the Yellowknife Ski Club’s Snow Show on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Bernadette Knox

As an extra measure of caution, everyone who attended needed to show proof of vaccination.

“I didn’t hear any problems with that,” said Wheler. “We had volunteers checking and that’s new for us but it’s new all over for entry into most places. We made sure to advertise that in advance so no one was surprised and people seemed happy about it.”

Wheler didn’t know how the numbers were looking as of press time but she suspects it will be another big year in terms of membership and for youth programs.

As for when skiing will begin, Wheler said the hope is to have everything transition to the snow in the next few days.

“Our Track Attack and high-performance teams have been doing dryland training and that’s been ongoing since early fall,” she said. “Our event dates have been finalized and now we’re just hoping for snow. There may be some skiing in the stadium area but some of the trails may not yet be packed or skiable. I’m hopeful we’ll be out there soon.”

Toryn Wheler reaches for a cupcake at the bake sale table during the Yellowknife Ski Club’s Snow Show on Saturday. James McCarthy/NNSL photo

Cross-country skiing was one sport which received a boost at the start of the pandemic because it was an activity which could be done distanced and outdoors.

Wheler said she hopes that continues this season.

“Anyone at any age and any ability can try it and get a taste of it,” she said. “I love that people in this city are so enthusiastic about skiing and I had some really great conversations with people on the weekend who are new to it. You get hooked on nature and you’re exercising outside — everything about skiing is just good.”

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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