The Larch Hills Nordic Society submitted this photo to the RCMP. The image was taken from video footage of trucks that left damage in the chalet parking lot on Friday night, Dec. 18, 2020. (Contributed)

The Larch Hills Nordic Society submitted this photo to the RCMP. The image was taken from video footage of trucks that left damage in the chalet parking lot on Friday night, Dec. 18, 2020. (Contributed)

Larch Hills Nordic Society sees more trouble at ski area

Group wishes to add more lights, cameras for chalet parking lot, and a gate

What may have been a fun night out for several men was part of an ongoing headache for the Larch Hills Nordic Society.

At approximately 11 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18 two or three trucks entered the Larch Hills chalet parking lot. In addition to throwing snowballs at the chalet windows (none were damaged), the men in the trucks were witnessed speeding around the parking lot, leaving deep ruts while churning up snow and dirt.

The RCMP were contacted but by the time an officer arrived the men had driven away. However, security cameras at the chalet captured footage of the men, and a picture of them was submitted to police.

Friday’s follies followed another incident at Larch Hills that occurred on the night of Dec. 11 or 12, when a vehicle accessed the trail system and left ruts and damage along the Metford Road route. There were signs the vehicle, believed to have been a pickup truck, got stuck near the access to Bilbo’s Bog.

Read more: Joyrider leaves frustrating mark on Larch Hills ski trails

Read more: Break in a “poke in the eye” to Shuswap ski club

Karen Tanchak, the chalet manager, said the society is currently looking at adding motion sensor lights to the parking lot, along with cameras that will be better placed to track licence plates of vehicles coming and going.

And, perhaps down the road, a gate might be a possibility. Tanchack explained the request to install one has been submitted to Rec Sites and Trails B.C.

“The comment we got back was that BC Parks does lock their gates but Rec Sites and Trails’ mandate is to keep things open because they figure they’re going to do more damage trying to find a way in if there’s not easy access,” said Tanchak. However, Tanchack and the society were asked to submit reports through the province’s RAPP (Report all Poachers and Polluters), with the hope the province will help find a solution.

“We’re not going to drop that,” said Tanchack, who said she would be filing incidents retroactively, including the Jan. 2020 break in at the chalet.

“If they see the trail system is being damaged, because that’s what’s happening, and we are protecting and maintaining trails, maybe they’ll decide we do need to do something.”

Tanchak said the gate would only be used during the winter months.

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