Club exec prepares for season

The club executive met recently for the first time this season to tie up some loose ends from last season and to prepare for the next.

Here are a few things of note for all club members:

  • Trail maintenance: Saturday October 16th is trail clean-up day. Past members will receive an invitation to join the clean-up crew soon.
  • Membership: membership renewal is coming up. It will be online registration only.
  • The AGM will be held on Monday, November 8th, at 7 p.m. via ZOOM. An invitation and a link to join will be sent out to all past members in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned to this page and our club Facebook page for current information.

Skier tops 600kms!

Nancy Gaudreau did it! She climbed to the top of the leader board by skiing at least 16km every day over the last week of the season and broke the 600km mark. CONGRATULATIONS Nancy!

Nancy’s Vermont home had similar snow conditions to ours, although she was able to get out earlier than we could. Snow conditions and the the club grooming team helped make it possible for many local skiers to rack up more kilometres than they have in past seasons. Many thanks to the grooming team! You guys were amazing!

Well done to all skiers and snowshoers who got out to enjoy Murphy’s Point and the trails. The Kilometre Count distance challenge is now closed. Check out the Leaderboard here.

Top Skier Nears 600km

Robert Mears is getting close to the 600km mark for total distance skied this season! Can he squeeze in a few more kilometres before the heat and rain wash away his chances? Only time will tell. Jim Reain is the second place male but he is almost 300kms behind Robert.

Nancy Gaudreau is 40 klicks behind Robert and is the top woman…by quite a bit! Mary Stewart is in second place more than 100 kms behind but still racking up over 400kms.

We are cheering you on, Robert and Nancy! Reach for 600km before the season dries up!

Check out the distance challenge leader board on our Kilometre Count page
(under programs).

Is this Robert and Nancy at the end of the season?? Photo by IAIN MCGREGOR/STUFF

Virtual Loppet Reminder

Don’t forget to ski the Virtual Loppet this year. You can do it anytime. And…you can ski several times to improve on your time!

The course start/finish line is marked as are kilometre markers. The distances have changed slightly due to grooming patterns. Enter your time and other information on the Google form.

Visit this year’s Loppet page for all the details.

Skate the Lake

The Big Rideau Lake, that is.

Just off the shore of the town of Portland, you will find a world class outdoor skating oval. This 1 kilometre long oval is cleared of snow and maintained with a Zamboni every year in preparation for an outdoor speed skating competition. The International Big Rideau Lake Speed Skating marathon was first held in 2004. Normally, the “Skate the Lake” hosts skaters from around the world. This year, of course, is different.

You can don your skates in the little park near the shore, shuffle out, and then skate to your heart’s content. Check out their site for more details.

The “Skate the Lake” organizers are hosting a distance challenge, much like ours (see their site for details). We have added a skating category to our distance challenge BUT only for skating on the oval. Sorry, your backyard rink won’t count.

So get outside to classic ski, skate ski, snowshoe, or skate the lake…you choose!

Valentine’s Challenge

Are you ready for your first ever Valentine’s Day Ski Challenge?

This February 14th, you and a partner can compete to ski as many KMs as you can between 7:30 am and 7:30 pm on Valentine’s Day 💕 This is a Cross Country Ski Ontario (XCSO) challenge.

FAQs:

  • Can my partner be in a different club or region than me? YES.
  • Do my personal KMs for this challenge also count towards the general distance challenge? YES
  • Where do I record mine and my partner’s KMs for this challenge? Record them here on our club tracking form. We will upload to the provincial site.
May be an image of rose and text that says 'Valentine's Day KM Partner Challenge! How many kilometres can you and a partner ski this Valentine's Day? *See below of details'

Top skiers near 300km

Check out our Kilometre Count page to see who is at the top of our Distance Challenge leader board.

Any club member can enter the distance they have travelled on skis or snowshoes, at Murphys Point or anywhere else (enter the info on our form found here). The challenge is open until March 14th. Our top skiers will be honoured at the end of the season. Anyone skiing over 50, 100, 150, 200km, etc. will also be recognized.

Get out there and ski or snowshoe…and challenge those active folks at the top of our list!

No more new memberships

NOTICE: To club members and the general public using Murphys Point:

In consultation with the staff at Murphys Point Provincial Park, we have closed new membership registrations. Existing memberships are still valid and park day passes are still be available.  This action is to ensure everyone who comes to Murphys Point can park safely and access the trails.  Parking during peak hours on weekends is reaching capacity. 

COVID-19 has affected many things over the past year.  An interest in outdoor activities has been discovered by many and renewed by others.  Popularity in cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking has exploded like bicycling did last summer.  Our membership has tripled compared to last year with other local clubs also experiencing significant growth and limiting membership.

Unfortunately this means parking can be tight on weekends when the snow is good and the weather is nice.  We do not want to have to turn people away because the lot is full.

In an effort to reduce crowding and increase spacing, if you are able, please consider skiing during the week.  If you ski on the weekend, please consider starting earlier in the day or using the second parking lot at Silver Queen Trail / Lally homestead (2.5 km west of the main park entrance). If you have younger kids, please consider starting at Lally homestead. Its small hills, open field, and proximity to the parking lot are more kid-friendly. Night skiing always has parking available for a friend or two, but keep the group below 5 to comply with social gathering limits (club members only).

Please note that the club is increasing the frequency of grooming to ensure the best possible conditions throughout the week. 

If you have membership questions, please use our site’s contact forms.  Other local ski clubs are still welcoming new members (as of January 25) including Triangle Ski Club near Brockville, the Summerstown Trails near Cornwall, and West Carleton Nordic at Fitzroy Park. 

We welcome you to join us on the ski trails but please avoid gathering in groups in the parking lot, chalets, or on the trails.  We don’t want to lose access to the trails we enjoy so close to home. 

Sincerely,
Drew Lampman
President of the Tay Valley Cross Country Ski Club

Trail etiquette

As more and more people head to Murphy’s Point to enjoy some time in the outdoors, we thought it would be a good time to remind everyone of winter trail etiquette.

Ontario Parks has published an article on their blog. Here is a link to that article. We have also added an Etiquette page to our Trails section. Please visit that page for a more complete description of proper trail etiquette.

5 Tips for Sharing Winter Trails

  • Read the signs
  • Don’t hike or snowshoe on groomed ski trails
  • Don’t step on groomed tracks
  • Share the trails
  • Be prepared

Head out to the park but please share the trails responsibly.

Signs at the trail head. Note all walkers are asked to remain to the side of groomed trails.

Stay-at-Home Order Impact Update

The club can confirm that the Province of Ontario Stay-at-home order in effect as of today, Thursday, January 14th, does not prevent people from skiing or snowshoeing at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park. Individual skiing and small groups of 5 or less can continue as before. However, our lessons, including Jackrabbits, are postponed until further notice.

We are still allowed to ski and the club will be grooming as conditions allow.

Adult lessons and Jack Rabbits have been postponed until further notice.

Our COVID plan will be updated to reflect new requirements.

Due to the increased need to get out of the house to exercise, the trails at Murphy’s Point have seen an exponential increase in walkers. Unfortunately, many have been walking on groomed skate trails. The foot traffic is affecting the quality of the trails. If, while you are out skiing, you meet walkers who are using the side of the trail, please thank them for their courtesy and trail etiquette.

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