With a renewed interest in outdoor activities, cross country skiing is the latest to see a surge from Lloydminster residents and people across the country.
Lloydminster Cross Country Ski Club Treasurer Brian Robinson says they’ve started their season early after snow blanketed the area earlier in November.
“Some years we don’t get snow until the middle of December so that’s been a blessing. People are eager to get outside with all the other activities being shut down.”
He says that eagerness has been reflected in their ski rentals. The club rents out pairs of skis on a seasonal basis and they’ve nearly cleared out their stock for the season.
“It’s been crazy these past couple of weeks since we got the snow. Everybody’s been wanting to rent cross country ski equipment which we do. We’ve rented over 50 sets of skis in the last two or three weeks and we’re to the point where we’re pretty much out of ski rentals.”
He adds the club does still have some skis for children ages 10 to 12 still available.
Robinson says membership has also picked up along with the rentals. Last year, they had 24 members which started to pick up in March along with the beginning of the pandemic and now they are already at the same point. Membership fees cover liability insurance and supports the club’s trail grooming efforts and their other activities.
The club looks after two trails, a 4.5 km loop at the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre and Poplar Bluffs located 20 km east of the city off of Township Road 501.
“The golf course is nice you can ski out there at nighttime if you have a nice headlamp or the moon is out. You can go out there ski for an hour and get some fresh air and good exercise.”
“We’re just in the process of setting trails out at Poplar Bluffs. We didn’t do anything out there until December 1st because it was hunting season, but the last couple of days we’ve been out there putting up signs and packing the snow. We’ll be setting trails here this weekend.”
Robinson asks clubhouse visitors to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and use the hand sanitizer provided while inside. He says they are planning the annual loppet and border glide events for February, but they will have to wait for provincial guidelines before going ahead. and anyone interested in learning more about the club can contact him through their website.