The 100 Mile House Snowmobile Club out on a ride last year. Members are waiting for another foot of snow before they hit the trails this season. (Photo submitted)

The 100 Mile House Snowmobile Club out on a ride last year. Members are waiting for another foot of snow before they hit the trails this season. (Photo submitted)

Snowmobilers excited about ‘fun’ year ahead

The 100 Mile House Snowmobile Club is planning regular rides

The 100 Mile House Snowmobile Club has big plans this season.

President Rick Kyllo said with COVID-19 restrictions no longer in place, he’s looking forward to a “more fun year” filled with community interaction, such as meeting up at restaurants before and after rides. Although they still need another foot of snow to go with the cold weather, he predicts they will have their first major ride just before Christmas and ride until late March.

“We got some big rides planned this year,” Kyllo said. “We’re going to go up to Barkerville from Wells, go up and over Yanks Peak, ride up to Little Timothy and all the way down to Clinton on the Gold Rush Trail.”

Steve Law, club member and liaison with the Gold Rush Trail Regional Management Committee, said it’s never been easier to access the Gold Rush Trail, thanks to maintained parking lots at Stormy Road, Spout Lake Road, Butler Road and the 100 Mile Snowmobile Clubhouse.

It is also now possible to ride the trail all the way down to Clinton after the installation of two new bridges. The trail is maintained by Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. as well as local clubs like 100 Mile House.

“The distance from Clinton to Likely is 340 km, so that’s a big chunk of trails to maintain. It’s been pretty popular over the last couple of years and it seems like it’s finally getting more well-known,” Law said. “I know the connector to Mount Timothy has also been pretty important and lots of people have been using it.”

He encourages those looking to use the trail to check out to download maps and for more information.

“It’s a nice ride and it’s certainly gaining popularity in the wintertime and summertime,” Law said.

Kyllo said he also plans to get 100 Mile House’s Snow Drag Race going again in February or early March. He is currently in talks with the South Cariboo Track and Trail Association to help organize and run the event.

“It’s just a matter of seeing how much the insurance companies want to bleed us because they’re pretty outrageous. Last year I think they wanted $2,000 a day for insurance which is a little bit high for any club to absorb,” Kyllo said. “Our club won’t get involved financially because we’re so small but we’ll do the track prep and ground prep.”

Kyllo said they welcome new members to join the club regardless of age or experience.

The BC Snowmobile Federation has rolled out a new online system for registration, which, while not without its bugs, is much easier to use than its previous system. Seniors, 65 or older, can get about 25 per cent off the rate now, which means rather than paying $70, it’s only $50 for seniors to sign up.

The club’s membership is holding steady at about 30 people although more seem to be signing up each year, Kyllo said.

“Most of our club’s members are seniors,” he said. “We’re a trail sightseeing club, we’re not in the mountains doing stupid stuff. We’re a good club for the locals if you’re an older member one thing we ask is you have liability on your sled in case you run into anything or anybody.”

Kyllo noted newcomers to the sport may find it difficult to find a snowmobile this year. He had to order his months in advance and he said the second-hand market prices are high right now.

“I bought a new snowmobile last week so I’m really excited to get some snow on the ground so I can get out and enjoy it.”

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