While clearing the snowmobile trails in November, club members put in 200 volunteer hours. They also replaced some of the trail signs like this one, which was melted and mangled by the 2017 wildfire that raged through the area. The signage replacement program will continue next spring. (Ron Tonts - Submitted)

Local Snowmobile Club members put in a lot of work so sledders can enjoy trail system

Ken Alexander’s regular correspondence for the South Green Lake area

Green Lake Snowmobile Club (GLSC) members have been working hard to clear the local snowmobile trails and GLSC president John Sullivan says the trails are in good shape.

He adds they have put in more than 200 volunteer hours on trail clearing so far. There are 91 kilometres of trails in the club’s system.

“We have been doing a blitz for the last month by going out [for a day] once a week.”

The first day saw members working their way towards 70 Mile House.

The second week had volunteers clearing trails south of the North Bonaparte Road on the Jeep Lake Bypass for two days.

Sullivan explains there were so many trees across the trail they just parked their ATVs and started walking, sawing and throwing branches and blocks of wood off the trail.

We did it last year and it was just the same this year with a lot of burnt trees blown down, he says, adding it will probably be an ongoing issue.

On the last day out, volunteers tried to work on the McIntosh Road and a section of the Dudley Kill Trail, but both are being used by logging contractors.

“They’re driving their trucks there and widened it out to full-sized logging roads. There are stockpiles of logs they’re going to be taking out.”

Sullivan says the logging contractor said they hope to be finished in January.

Snowmobilers are urged to be careful when riding in these areas.

“The Sawdust and McIntosh trails are almost unrecognizable from four years ago because of the area that’s been opened up. At one section, we only found the trail because of our GPS.

“Four years ago, it was a [beautiful] wooded valley we were going down, now it’s badly scarred [by the 2017 wildfire and the logs being taken out].”

Noting it has claimed more than 10 per cent of the trail system, Sullivan says “it is what it is.”

During the trail-clearing session, members also replaced trail signs and posts that were lost due to the wildfire and some vandalism.

Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) hired a crew to help the club with trail clearing on the Crater Lake Bypass. The trail is 1.3 km north of North Bonaparte Road and one km south of it.

Club member Peter McKie says RSTBC has also purchased new trail signs and signposts.

“The club is in the process of replacing the signs and is around halfway done. The remainder of the signs and the posts will be placed in the spring.”

McKie adds they have also had RSTBC close a portion of the Crater Lake Trail due to the erosion [steep and rocky] of the uphill trail section off North Bonaparte Road.

He notes there are still a few trails closed due to the 2017 wildfires and riders are asked to obey the signage that is posted for closed trails.

Sullivan says he was pleased with the trail-clearing efforts this fall.

“I also want to thank the volunteers at the end of the road for all of the trail clearing they did in their area.”

Equipment maintenance

Art Groves and McKie also worked on the Bombi, two sleds and the grooming drag to ensure the equipment is ready for grooming the snow on the trails this season.

Groves says they gave the equipment a fall tuneup.

He notes a cleat came off the Bombi and it took about 10 hours to replace it. A spring had to be replaced on the grooming drag, which also had a flat tire.

Altogether they put in 16 hours of volunteer labour.

Mobile Library

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District mobile library will be parked at the South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department fire hall on Dec. 20 from 10 to 11 a.m.

Let me know

I encourage residents and groups having special events or residents having birthdays or anniversaries to contact me at least two weeks prior to them happening, so I can get them into the column.

I can be reached at home at 250-456-7496, cell at 1-250-319-8085, or e-mail at top_drawer@shaw.ca.

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