The four snowmobile clubs in the South Cariboo got together on Nov. 24 for a joint membership drive and to promote their respective clubs.
“We want to promote what we do because winter is so much fun, so we decided to ask the other clubs and look at dealerships and local businesses and invited them and bring them all to one place and hopefully get lots of locals out so they can look at our clubs or if they don’t belong to a club, maybe they will think about it because there are many benefits,” said Janet DeRepentigny, a member of the Interlakes Snowmobile Club.
The Snow Show as it was dubbed, was the brainchild of Marcel DeRepentigny, husband of Janet and the president of the club.
The three other clubs involved were the Mica Mountain, Green Lake and 100 Mile House Snowmobile Clubs, all in it for a growth of membership.
Green Lake and 100 Mile House are trail riding clubs, differing from the backcountry Interlakes Club and Mica Mountain.
According to Susan Smith of the Green Lake Snowmobile Club, her club usually teeters around 130 members a year but are trying to enlist more to help out with maintaining their trail system, along with the Gold Rush Trail.
The members of the club maintain the trails themselves for all 365 days of the year, so membership fees and new bodies would help maintain and groom the system.
Smith further said most of the members are people who live in the Green Lake area full-time, along with some seasonal residents, but use the area year-round whether it be snowmobiling, horseback riding, mountain biking or walking their dog.
If anyone is wondering about if any of the trails in the Green Lake area are closed, only two are. They are by Pressy Lake and are closed because of the 2017 wildfires. It is unknown when they will be reopened. Smith said that was under the jurisdiction of Forestry.
The 100 Mile House Snowmobile Club, on the other hand, is depending on the drive so they can survive.
“I don’t want to see the 100 Mile Snowmobile Club go the same way like Mount Timothy, and if we’re apathetic…once we lose the club we’ll never get it back,” said Rick Kyllo, the new president of the club. “I don’t want to see this club die.”
With new people coming to 100 Mile House and the South Cariboo, Kyllo said it was a good idea for the drive which would hopefully entice more people to register with the club.
Kyllo said that around eight people registered and many more left interested. Kyllo is also hoping to draw in a different crowd than usual to the club.
“We’re trying to make it more family oriented as opposed to a bunch of old guys going out snowmobiling,” he said. “I’d like to organize some charity rides and we’ll donate the money to the hospital, rotary club, the high school, the elementary school, whoever needs it.”
Brian Henderson of Mica Mountain Riders Association, which is currently 45 members strong, said all the clubs do and can continue to co-exist in the community. He also said they need the support from each other and the community at large to keep the riding areas open due to potential closures from caribou enclosures and other factors.
He said a strong membership base means the more recognition they get.
The Conservation Office also had a booth at the show. They were there to educate current and prospective snowmobilers on new registration for off-road vehicles, which includes snowmobiles, and about caribou enclosures in the area.
Joel Kline, field conservation officer, said all off-road vehicles must be registered and insured by ICBC. Conservation officers patrol crown land to help ensure people are doing this.
Members of the South Cariboo Search and Rescue were also there to educate people on avalanche safety and the required (avalanche receiver, probe, and a shovel) and recommended gear. SCSAR would also like to remind anyone going out to check out avalanche conditions at Avalanche Canada before going out.
People interested in registering for the club can do so through the club’s websites, social media profiles or at the British Columbia Snowmobiling Federation website (www.bcsf.org).