If you are hiking the trails at Murphys and find a downed tree across the trail that needs a chainsaw to deal with it, please let our Trail Boss (Phill Brackenbury) know. You can email him at pcbrackenbury at gmail.com. Last night’s wind surely left debris on all the trails.
If you come across large branches across the trails, please take a minute to move them to the side so that when snow does come the groomers will have an easier time of it.
Our club grooming team spent some time recently getting our grooming equipment ready for the season. Mother Nature delivered some snow this morning but it doesn’t look like it will stick around long enough to help our ski trails. Fingers crossed for some good snow that sticks around!!
Here are a few updates from our club’s recent executive meeting:
Trails: A big THANK YOU to all the club volunteers who came out on a rainy Saturday morning. Trailboss Phill reports that the cleanup day on November 13 was very successful. Ten yards of mulch was spread on the rough portions of the Loon Lake Trail and a snow fence was erected along the same section. The proposed re-routing of the entrance to the Round Lake Loop across from the winter parking lot was brushed out. Volunteers walked the trails, removed dead fall, and cut back brush through our network of trails.
Grooming team: Four groomers are returning and a fifth has volunteered to join the team. Training will be held in early December.
Climate Change: As lovers of nature and winter, our members are concerned about the impacts of climate change on our sport but also the effect of our activities on the climate. The club’s biggest contributor to climate change is trail grooming. The executive has passed a motion to establish a Green Fund focusing on the purchase of carbon offsets through tree planting and the future purchase of EV grooming equipment. Donations to the fund will be made through the membership page and through requests on this Website as well as our Facebook page. In September, the Club executive authorized a payment of $300 to the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation for tree planting.
This marks the 39th year in partnership with Murphys Point Provincial Park!
Drew and Phill are returning as President and Vice for one more 2-year term with no extensions. They were acclaimed.
Last year was a banner year for memberships with 310. The Park expects another busy year so they have increased staff to help with traffic and parking.
The club has money in the bank for operating and some in reserve. We are in good financial shape.
Trail clean-up has started and the main work day is Saturday, November 13th, from 8 to 12.
Youth and adult lessons/programs will continue this year with COVID protocols.
The 5-person grooming team did a great job as many of the groomers learned on the job. Robert stepped down as coordinator at the end of the season. Bob will coordinate grooming for this season.
The Lanark Loppet was replaced with the virtual race and the Distance Challenge last year. This year, the loppet has been tentatively scheduled for February 6th.
The club is trying to minimize its carbon footprint. Several ideas were discussed including buying carbon offsets and buying electric groomers. Club member Mary suggested the Park install an EV charging station. Climate Action is on the agenda for the upcoming executive meeting.
That just about sums it up. If you want to contribute to the club, there are many ways you can pitch in (Drew and Phill are seeking replacements, for one!). Go to the Contact page to reach out.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the AGM on Monday, November 8th at 7 p.m. The meeting is virtual. If you are a current member or a past member from last year, you will receive an invitation to join.
Next on your calendar is the Trail Clean-up which was rescheduled to Saturday, November 13th from 8 a.m. to noon. Meet at the main gate with good walking shoes and work gloves.
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.
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).
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.
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!