Green Lake Snowmobile Club volunteers clear the Green Lake trails ahead of the season. (Ken Alexander photo)

Green Lake Snowmobile Club volunteers clear the Green Lake trails ahead of the season. (Ken Alexander photo)

Green Lake trails prepared for snowmobiles

Ken Alexander column

Green Lake Snowmobile Club volunteers recently climbed onto their quads and cleared the snowmobile trails, prior to the start of the season.

Club president John Sullivan said six volunteers on Nov. 4 headed out to the Jeep Lake trails, where the Elephant Hill Wildfire roared through in 2017. He noted a lot of the burnt trees fell down over the trails, which would pose hazards to riders.

“There were more small trees that came down and they were pointing out into the trail so we had to get rid of that kind of a hazard. A lot of them were the fire-related trees,” he said.

A second trail-clearing event attracted nine volunteers and they were cleaning up trees that came down after a recent windstorm. Sullivan said there were enough volunteers to split into two work parties to cover Moose Alley, the trail to Hutchison, Crater Lake, Dudley Kill trail, McIntosh, and Jim Lake roads. “We started at different ends and worked our way towards each other,” he said.

The second clearing was held on a weekend so part-time residents could attend but many had to cancel because the road closures prevented them from getting to the lake. Sullivan noted the trails are going to be an ongoing problem, especially with wind events, as many had rocks frozen into the dirt.

He encourages people to stay off the trails on their quads when there is six to eight inches of snow because they would cause ruts in the snow and make the trails uncomfortable for the snowmobilers to ride over them.

Club memberships are now due, and people are encouraged to fill out their applications, which can be found on the Green Lake Snowmobile Club website. The mail-in membership form can be sent in with a cheque. People can also register their memberships online at the BC Snowmobile Federation website, which is just below the snowmobile club form. Anyone having problems with the forms can call Kim at 250-456-7506.

Sullivan said he hopes there will be guided rides on Wednesdays and Saturdays and he encourages people to check out the club’s website for dates and times of the rides, and other pertinent information. He noted South Green Lake resident Ron Tonts has said he is willing to guide some rides.

Sullivan suggests people should wait until there is at least a foot to a foot-and-a-half of snow on the trails before they venture out for a ride.

He added trail grooming is going to have a different dynamic this year now that Art Groves has moved to Osoyoos.

“We’re going to have to get the two older grooming sleds up and running. They seem to be a struggle every year.”

Club volunteers are working on the snowmobiles now. Sullivan noted the club also has a smaller groomer that it just acquired last year.

Forestry burning piles

Slash pile burning has started in the fuel mitigation area on the off-shore side of Green Lake South Road.

Unfortunately, in the Access Road #7 area, the wind has been blowing smoke onto properties on the shoreline.

People have seen some folks lighting the fires using battery-operated leaf blowers to blow snow off the slash piles and to accelerate the flames in the woodpiles.

The woodpiles are also being turned over to make sure they burn better. Those burning the piles will have to wait until there are two back-to-back days with appropriate venting indexes before they can light the slash piles.

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