A crew removes downed trees from Larch Hills cross-country ski area trails. (Larch Hills Nordic Society photo)

A crew removes downed trees from Larch Hills cross-country ski area trails. (Larch Hills Nordic Society photo)

January brings record snowfall to Shuswap ski area

Up to 800 downed trees removed so far from Larch Hills cross-country trail network

Plenty of snow is usually a good thing for the Larch Hills cross-country ski trails, but January’s snowfall and the accompanying downed trees has been a challenge for those who maintain the area.

“It’s been really difficult,” said Larch Hills Nordic Society president Ed Bouma. “I would say we’ve probably removed between 700 and 800 trees so far, and they’re still coming down.”

Bouma says it won’t be until the summer when trees downed on some of the trails that aren’t trackset can be removed.

Volunteers with the necessary experience have been assisting with the tree removal – a job that is not without risk. For example, while two people were cutting up two trees near one another on Larch Hills Road, another tree fell between them.

“When that happened, we were warning everybody, make sure you’re aware of your surroundings, look around, don’t be having a lunch underneath a leaning tree and all that kind of stuff,” said Bouma.

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

Read more: Video: Salmon Arm couple surprised by wily wild cat lurking in coop

Read more: VIDEO: Lineups outside grocery stores in St. John’s as state of emergency continues

As for the snow itself, depth measurements for the ski area dating back to 2007 show January 2020 to be a record month. As of Jan. 9, the area around Cec’s Cabin had received 133 centimetres of snow, the summit 142 cm, the south hub 123 cm and the parking lot 99 cm. The last year measurements approached those numbers in January was in 2009, when Cec’s Cabin received 114 cm, the summit 137 cm, the south hub 89 cm, and the parking lot 71 cm.

“When you go up to the south hub and ski up to Cec’s… It’s like a wall of snow up there,” said Bouma. “On each side of Larch Hills Road, it’s like 50to 60 feet of snow. It’s so heavy on the trees it almost forms like a wall. You’ve never seen anything like it.”

The snow and downed trees had Larch Hills volunteers scrambling to get the trails ready for the first of the Teck Cup BC series event, Jan. 4-5. Bouma said the trails will be ready to go for the 36th annual Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet on Saturday, Jan. 25.

“The snow right now is fantastic,” said Bouma, pointing out the silver lining to the recent snowfall. “Because there’s a lot of it and it’s fairly fresh snow, it’s really nice to ski in.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

cross country skiing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A crew removes downed trees from Larch Hills cross-country ski area trails. (Larch Hills Nordic Society photo)

A crew removes downed trees from Larch Hills cross-country ski area trails. (Larch Hills Nordic Society photo)

Just Posted

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Vernon’s BX Elementary School. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Second COVID case confirmed at Vernon elementary school

Exposure at BX Elementary happened April 6 and 7

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman Kieran Ruscheinski (right) sticks close to Vernon Vipers forward Logan Lorenz during Salmon Arm’s 2-1 overtime win in B.C. Hockey League pod play Saturday, April 10, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Mack attack paces Salmon Arm Silverbacks past Vernon

Sullivan Mack scores both goals, including beautiful OT winner, in Gorillas’ 2-1 BCHL pod play win over Snakes

Paddlewheel Park off Okanagan Landing Road, Vernon. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon council looks to address parking shortage at Paddlewheel Park

City staff are looking into short, medium and long-term overflow parking options

(GVMA)
WATCH: A Royal procession through Vernon, 1959

Prince Philip, who died April 9 at 99, visited Vernon on a tour of Canada in 1959

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read