About 50 people from tots to seniors participated in the Fort Smith Ski Clubʼs World Snow Day. It was a lot of fun and Mother Nature helped us out. Historically this is our coldest time of year and until the day before our event it had been minus 37. So we were pleased when it warmed to minus 16 for our celebration.
In preparation children cut out 100 snowflakes to decorate our Nordic Center. We began the day with a mini loppet on a historic trail used by aboriginal people for thousands of years. It is the same route used by the early explorers as a gateway to Northern Canada.
Most of the adults and 2 nine year old girls skied the 15 kilometers from the Pelican Rapids trailhead. Coach Juneva Green guided the smaller children including one 4 year old and their parents from Mountain Portage along the 8 k to the Nordic Center.
It was a perfect day for a classic ski. The forest was beautiful. In several places the trail skirts the river and you can view the mighty Slave River. Because we always have open water at the rapids the mist shrouds the trees in a kind of icy glaze. Sun glinting through the canopy of trees is like light shining through quartz. Wind blew little ice crystals that drifted down and one child commented that it looked like pixie dust in the air. Along the route the children and some of the adults new to the community learned about the rich heritage of the area. Naturalists pointed out the tracks of lynx, foxes, moose and ptarmigan. At some of the viewing spots participants learned about the signifigance of the mighty river and how it is constantly under threat from developers who are proposing damming it for hydro development.
The afternoon of skiing was followed by a feast at the Nordic Center. Afterward the children spent the evening playing games in the snow. Sliding down a big toboggan run, making 100 snow angels, hide and seek in the forest lit with ice candles and warming up around a bonfire.
As our day was ending Mother Nature again pitched in and provided an impressive light show of the Aurora Borealis. Adults and children lay on the snow looking up at the amazing sight.
Thanks for the opportunity to be part of such a great event. Right from the beginning we liked the theme of bringing children and families to the snow. Often in nordic sports we spend most of our time focused on competition and forget the joy of skiing in a quiet forest. I also appreciated that the lead organizers didnʼt tell us what to do. You encouraged us to use our own resources and imagination to create something unique.
- Free skis snowboards use - Free entry tickets - Free food and drink - Free transportation - Free gifts and prizes 4 year old on Loppet trailFamily or participantsSkiing buddies on the 15 k trail.