Yellowknifers enjoying some relief from Covid-19 through skiing turned up on Monday to find someone had driven a vehicle over trails at the city’s ski club.
The driver of the vehicle tore up a range of carefully prepared trails, instead leaving behind deep tire ruts. “I just couldn’t believe it and I was devastated,” said Kerry Wheler, the club’s director of events.
“It was pretty awful to see that kind of destruction of the trail and disregard of the value of that for our community right now.”
Once they learned about the damage, volunteers with the grooming team quickly got to work with three snow machines and a shovel. By the end of Monday, they had repaired the trails so skiers could enjoy them again.
“A lot of people were very upset but I think the real story around this is that the ski club community just got together again, worked hard, and fixed things very swiftly and promptly,” said Heather Scott, president of the ski club.
Wheler praised the “phenomenal” work of the grooming team who, she said, had also been instrumental in the success of the club’s “non-loppet loppet” this past weekend.
The ski club holds a loppet on the first weekend of April each year. This year’s event was challenged by Covid-19 public health precautions. Groomers created multiple access points so skiers could enjoy the trail while maintaining physical distancing.
“It’s been pretty awesome to see how that volunteer group has come together and made this recreational activity accessible to the public,” Wheler said.
“Skiing is one of the things we can do. A lot of people have been really taking care of their physical and mental wellbeing by getting out skiing,” Scott added.
Scott said it’s not clear why someone damaged the trails and the club’s board of directors is discussing whether more security may be required.
Wheler said a barricade will be put in place to stop anyone else driving onto the trails. For now, skiers can keep using the club trails as usual (they are free for anyone to use during the pandemic).
“Everyone’s good to continue skiing and we’ll still have like a pretty decent season ahead of us with the sun and the snow,” Wheler said.