The Golden Nordic Club has announced that it has officially ended its grooming services for the season amid a trying winter that saw mild temperatures and five separate rain events that wreaked havoc on their Dawn Mountain trails.
“We’ve been here since 1988…we’ve never seen a season as short and with as little snow as this year. It was quite difficult,” said Joan Dolinsky, the Nordic Club’s administrator and volunteer coordinator.
Some of the rain events were particularly vicious on Dawn Mountain’s 33 kilometres of trails, making grooming challenging for the club’s team of groomers. Aiding them this year was a piece of new equipment that especially came in handy with the mild conditions.
“It was very good timing that we just got a new groomer with a renovator, which is quite an expensive implement that you put on the groomer which allows you to break up ice and set difficult snow. So we used that a lot,” Dolinsky laughed.
While Dolinsky doesn’t have the final tally of day-use visitors she knows that the numbers were down significantly from a year ago when the club enjoyed a long seven months of skiing. Thankfully for the club, its membership was down very slightly, coming in at 591 members this season, only 20 less than last year.
“In situations like this we’re really happy we have a strong membership…in this case we have quite a few less day visitors paying so our club membership really helps us out (financially),” Dolinsky explained.
Despite the short season there was plenty of programming on offer throughout the winter, including a new group aimed at women 55 and over and a learn to ski program for Grade 2 students.
“(What) kept our club vibrant this year was all of the programming that we did. We did quite a bit of programming that was very successful,” Dolinsky said.
“Our 55 plus women’s program was super successful…it was just wonderful to see all of these women out that might not normally come out.”
Trail creation and maintenance as well as the development of a planned biathlon program will be topics of interest over the offseason. Dolinsky says that future trails have already been outlined and that there is a good possibility those plans could go forward in time for next winter.