Groomer’s Report

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Weather: -25C, 10cm new snow, 33cm in the past 7 days, total snowpack heights around 250cm.

Groomed: Morrissey Trail, Coal Creek Trail, Summit Trail, Doug Dean Trail, Martin.

FSA Corporate Partners Ride

Special group ride to thank our Corporate Partners and showcase FSA trails and facilities to stakeholders.

Groomer’s Report

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Weather and Snow: -5C, trace amounts of new snow overnight, 55cm new snow in the past 7 days, total snowpack height hovering near 235cm

Groomed: Morrissey Trail, Notch, Doug Dean Trail, Summit Trail, Coal Creek Trail.

 

CORBIN UPDATE

Closure of public recreation trail without notification or stakeholder consultation

Fernie, BC February 26, 2019

Snowmobilers riding the Corbin area were surprised to encounter heavy equipment plowing snow off the groomed winter trail as they traveled back to their vehicles last Thursday afternoon. The 15km long backcountry recreation facility, located on public crown land, is managed and maintained by the Fernie Snowmobile Association (FSA) during the winter months on behalf of Recreation Sites and Trails BC.

“No consultation with local stakeholders or notices of the work being done were provided to the Fernie Snowmobile Association” explains FSA President Dave Hozjan. “It came down to asking the equipment operators on site who they worked for before we could reach out to inquire as to the nature of these activities and disruption of the public trail”.

Canfor has since advised they are completing road building in the area in advance of timber harvesting scheduled this spring. For the FSA, this means an unexpected loss of the area for the remainder of the season. “The public parking lot, kiosk and snowcat groomer storage facility are now essentially landlocked by a 4km section of plowed road” explains Hozjan. “It is illegal to for people to snowmobile down a plowed forest service road. The tracked groomer, which creates the maintained trail surface, certainly cannot drive that distance down the dirt road to reach the remaining section of groomed trail without causing damage to our equipment. There is just no room let alone the environmental approval in place for us to create a new bypass trail, a new parking lot or the pullouts required for the safe passage of recreational trail users on short notice”.

The Executive Director, Donegal Wilson, of the BC Snowmobile Federation (BCSF) said “it is disheartening to hear that a legally established trail managed under Partnership Agreement with the Province of BC has again been plowed out with zero communication.  The volunteers that operate snowmobile clubs work hard to attract winter recreation tourism to their community for the benefit of the businesses where they operate.  Though the club is a not-for-profit organization that does not mean that setbacks like this do not have a financial impact.  Like any business, the club develops budgets, staff plans and makes equipment investments based on projected income.  In this case, the loss of revenue has resulted in staff layoffs and added additional expense to the club to create communication plans, redirect traffic and ensure other trails are prepared to handle any increased traffic.  It takes years for a club to establish a legal trail and it is supposed to provide certainty that a trail will be considered in industrial planning.  The continued disregard for our trails is damaging BC’s reputation of having world class snowmobiling.”

The not-for-profit Fernie Snowmobile Association manages over 160km of groomed trails, 5 staging area facilities, and three backcountry warming shelters in the region. Fernie has seen exponential growth and success in the snowmobile sector over the past three years with riders contributing well over 1 million dollars annually to the local economy. The remainder of the FSA’s managed trail network in other parts of the valley will remain open, including Fernie’s most popular groomed area, Coal Creek, which opened on Feb 16th after logging activities by private landowner Canwell were completed for the season.

Grooming Report

Monday February 25, 2019

Weather and Snow: -13C, strong / gusty winds, 0cm new snow in the last 24 hours, 57cm new snow in the past 7 days.

Groomed: Morrissey Trail, Summit Trail, Coal Creek Trail, Doug Dean Trail, McEvoy, Matheson

Corbin: 

On Thursday afternoon, sledders encountered heavy equipment plowing out the maintained trail at Corbin (from staging area down 4km to Barnes junction). The FSA was NOT notified in advance of any work planned in the area which is especially disturbing as we hold the registered land use partnership agreement with BC Trails and Rec Sites to manage and maintain this trail during the winter months. After investigating, it was discovered that CANFOR has plowed the road for their road building activities in the area in advance of timber harvesting activities to take place later this spring.  Our parking lot facilities, kiosk, and groomer are now essentially land locked by 4km of dirt road between the staging area and the start of the remaining section of trail. It is illegal in BC to snowmobile down a plowed forest service road, the groomer cannot drive down this section of trail without damaging the equipment, and there is just no reasonable space or environmental approval for us to construct a new parking lot / turn around / or passing lanes which would be suitable for trucks and trailers using the area. Unfortunately, at this time, it means we are unable to continue our operations in the Corbin Area this season. We will continue to strive for a solution but have very limited options at this time.

Coal Creek, Morrissey, Hartley & Ram are OPEN for snowmobiling with over 150km of maintained trails, three warming cabins, and parking lot facilities available for use. 

Groomer’s Report

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Snow and Weather: -18C, winds 24km/hr, no new snow overnight, 50cm new snow in the last 24hours, total snowpack variable but around 260cm.

Groomed: Morrissey Trail, Doug Dean Trail, Summit Trail, McEvoy East Trail, Coal Creek from Paige’s Draw to Matheson. No grooming below Matheson to Coal Creek staging area due to high avalanche hazard / Coal Creek Slide Paths – this section last groomed Friday PM and we expect to groom it tonight if avalanche hazard drops from high to considerable as forecasted. Matheson and Martin last groomed Friday PM.

Corbin: 

On Thursday afternoon, sledders encountered heavy equipment plowing out the maintained trail at Corbin (from staging area down 4km to Barnes junction). The FSA was NOT notified in advance of any work planned in the area which is especially disturbing as we hold the registered land use partnership agreement with BC Trails and Rec Sites to manage and maintain this trail during the winter months. After investigating, it was discovered that CANFOR has plowed the road for their road building activities in the area in advance of timber harvesting activities to take place later this spring.  Our parking lot facilities, kiosk, and groomer are now essentially land locked by 4km of dirt road between the staging area and the start of the remaining section of trail. It is illegal in BC to snowmobile down a plowed forest service road, the groomer cannot drive down this section of trail without damaging the equipment, and there is just no reasonable space or environmental approval for us to construct a new parking lot / turn around / or passing lanes which would be suitable for trucks and trailers using the area. Unfortunately, at this time, it means we are unable to continue our operations in the Corbin Area this season. We will continue to strive for a solution but have very limited options at this time.

Coal Creek, Morrissey, Hartley & Ram are OPEN for snowmobiling with over 150km of maintained trails, three warming cabins, and parking lot facilities available for use. 

Groomer’s Report

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Weather and Snow: -10C, 50cm new snow overnight, total snowpack heights variable but around 270cm

Groomed: Morrissey Trail, Doug Dean Trail, Coal Creek Trail, Summit Trail, Martin Connector.

CORBIN UPDATE:

On Thursday afternoon, sledders encountered heavy equipment plowing out the maintained trail at Corbin (from staging area down 4km to Barnes junction). The FSA was NOT notified in advance of any work planned in the area which is especially disturbing as we hold the registered land use partnership agreement with BC Trails and Rec Sites to manage and maintain this trail during the winter months. After investigating, it was discovered that CANFOR has plowed the road for their road building activities in the area in advance of timber harvesting activities to take place later this spring.  Our parking lot facilities, kiosk, and groomer are now essentially land locked by 4km of dirt road between the staging area and the start of the remaining section of trail. It is illegal in BC to snowmobile down a plowed forest service road, the groomer cannot drive down this section of trail without damaging the equipment, and there is just no reasonable space or environmental approval for us to construct a new parking lot / turn around / or passing lanes which would be suitable for trucks and trailers using the area. Unfortunately, at this time, it means we are unable to continue our operations in the Corbin. Area this season. We will continue to strive for a solution but have very limited options at this time.

Coal Creek, Morrissey, Hartley & Ram are OPEN for snowmobiling with over 150km of maintained trails, three warming cabins, and parking lot facilities available for use. 

Groomer’s Report

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Weather & Snow: -16C, trace amounts of new snow overnight, 15cm new snow in the past 7 days, total snowpack heights hovering around 220cm.

Groomed: Morrissey Trail, Coal Creek Trail, Summit Trail.

SPECIAL NOTICE:

Yesterday afternoon riders encountered equipment plowing the snowmobile trail out from the Corbin Staging area to the Barnes intersection. Typically TECK completes water sampling in March and is excellent about communicating their plans well in advance. We received no notification of such activities and are unsure at this time who has plowed out the trail or for what purpose as there is additional exploration and logging activities also occurring in the area. We will be reaching out to our contacts ASAP to inquire further. If it is for water sampling, the road closure is typically short-lived and we can use our snowcat to rebuild the road within a day. Will provide an update when further info is available. Apologies for the surprise to the unsuspecting riders out there today.

Groomer’s Report

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

BONUS GROOM

Weather and Snow: -18C ( warming to -12 near noon), no new snow overnight, 48cm new snow this week, total snowpack heights variable but around 230cm.

Groomed: Morrissey Trail, Doug Dean Trail, Summit Trail, Notch, Coal Creek Trail

enjoy!

Groomer’s Report

Monday, February 18th, 2019

HAPPY FAMILY DAY WEEKEND!

Weather and Snow: -23C, 5cm new snow overnight, 47cm in the past 7 days, total snowpack heights around 230cm. Temperatures warming to -13C near noon.

Groomed: Morrissey Trail, Summit Trail, Doug Dean Trail, Summit Trail, Coal Creek, Matheson last night. Bonus Coal Creek / Morrissey groom scheduled for tonight.

Martin last groomed Saturday

Corbin last groomed Saturday

Notch last groomed Saturday to double hill bypass (remainder of trail is in excellent packed powder condition)

McEvoy last groomed Friday