The City of Yellowknife was among 342 cities in 45 countries that were registered across the globe to recognize World Snow Day.

The international event, which is run by the federation Internationale de Ski aims to get families and children outside in a single weekend to enjoy the snow.

World Snow Day, fat biking event. Early gathering at Barren Ground Coffee, Jan. 19.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

The event, held Sunday, was bright and cold and brought out many families across the city including at the Yellowknife Ski Club, city hall and area biking trails.

About 20 fat bikers gathered at Barren Ground Coffee’s new location at 52 Street for a group ride throughout area trails.

Participants with the fat bike tour in celebration of World Snow Day start their adventure at Barren Ground Coffee.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

Shannon Jennings, secretary with the Yellowknife Mountain Bike Club, which was hosting the event with the partnering support of Ecology North and the city, said she was looking forward to the participation from new and experienced bikers.

“It is very exciting and more than I expected,” Jennings said among much hustle and bustle at the coffee shop. “I was banking on about 15, including people we were lending bikes to.”

Borealis Bike Tours Unlimited and Overlander Sports were lending a total of nine bikes for the event.

Two newer fat bikers – Rogine Olayvar and  Andrea Lowing- who bought bikes in the fall, were out enjoying the day together.

“This is our first winter,” said Olayvar. “But we have mostly used our bikes for commuter purposes.”

Andrea Lowing and her Rocky Mountain Blizzard 20, left, and Rojine Olayvar, with her Blizzard 10, prepare to hit the trails for the World Snow Day ride.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo 

Lowing said the event allowed them both to expand their trail riding experience.

“The reason why I got my bike in the fall was to keep biking year-round,” Lowing added.

“It is totally new to me. It is fun and we are going to take a totally new route. It is just cool to learn all of the different places to go and meet people who like to do the same things.”

Across town at the Yellowknife Ski Club, more than 200 skiers had the chance to get out on the club’s trails. Club volunteers were also registering visitors for the event, feeding skiers pancakes in the chalet and assisting with gear and clothing rentals, among other tasks.

Kerry Wheler, events director, said the club recognizes World Snow Day every year and that the event gives the club the opportunity to show the facility.

“We’ve been busy since 10 a.m. this morning with lots of people coming and trying skiing for the first time,” Wheler said noting that there was plenty of gear provided by both Overlander Sports and JH Sissons School, including ski boots, skis and snowshoes.

“There was one point today where there were no adult boots available.”

Thierry Burgess, left, and Elisabeth Burgess were among a group of first-time visitors to Yellowknife from Los Angeles, California who also got to experience a classic winter day with some snowshoeing on World Snow Day.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

Tourists were spotted at the ski club, including some who rarely get the opportunity to enjoy Canadian winters. Thierry Burgess, his wife Elisabeth and others were spotted putting on snowshoes before heading out during a week-long trip from the United States.

“We are tourists from Los Angeles, California and this is our first time in Yellowknife,” Thierry said. “It is unbelievable.”

Others who are local headed out for the first time on skis.

Talya Meserah-Zdyb, 12, Jaedenz White, 13, and Solaya Meserah-Zdyb, 14 ski together as part of a day out with the army cadets.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

Claudia Haas was with her children, Josef Yeoman, two, and sister Annamarie, five.

“I’m not much of a skier but it is a good activity for them,” Claudia said as she was disassembling her kids’ gear. “This is Josef’s first time on skis. We came only intending to take part for a short time, but we ended up staying an hour and a half.”

Ultimate Frisbee

Somba K’e Civic Plaza was also the site of some ultimate frisbee play, with a “Frosty Reception” event put on by the Yellowknife Ultimate Club.







Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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