Milestones: A year of major fundraising and infrastructure improvements. FSA begins its first-ever SWOT analysis and long-term planning process. New Sea-Can Trailhead Kiosks constructed for Morrissey, Coal Creek, and Corbin – Peter Valenta, Eric Bower, and Dave Hozjan lead construction. ‘Original’ Wrangler’s Cabin, while much loved, was found to have rotten dunnage and plywood walls – deemed past ability to continue bandaid repairs. FSA applied for permission from NCRAN to relocate cabin to dryer area. Commenced construction of the new Wrangler’s Cabin in spring but work was paused due to wildfire up Bray Creek and backcountry closure.
Events: Avalanche Awareness Days raised $2300 for Avalanche Canada. Snow Valley Wrangler’s Kid’s rodeo event raised $5700 towards the new Wrangler’s Cabin (Ken & Shelby Rawson). Addition of the spring Gumball Event. Nicole works with Fernie Alpine Resort and the Western Canadian Hill Cross Association to get approval for FSA Hillclimb event at Fernie Alpine Resort next spring, FAR and race organizers initially sign off – fatality at Silver Star resort that season ends all future sanctioned races organized by organizing body. Snowdrags canceled due to weather.
Other Notable: Season focus on improving trailhead operations with enhanced accounting and record-keeping for accuracy and transparency. Feb 20th, 2019 – CANFOR unexpectedly plowed out Corbin trail during the middle of the day for their planned summer road-building activities. North Coal commences the public consultation process for Michel Creek (Corbin) mine project. A major review of insurance completed by Lisa Krzyzewski. FSA Treasurer Steve Kelly recognized by Huskey Energy for his volunteer efforts with the FSA under their Community Grant Program.
Two major snowcat incidents during the season:
- Dec 28th Corbin Snowcat suffers shear in the coupler between the park-break and the final drive mid-groom causing cat and drag to drive off the trail and down the bank – Dave Hozjan, Steve Kelly, Rolland Kraemer, and Curtis Hagley assist to winch cat back on the trail and use BR180 to haul it back to shop.
- Groomer gets disoriented during a snowstorm and drives off the main Notch groomed trail subsequently unable to climb back up leaving snowcat stranded. Justin, Travis Senkow, and Matt Dolbec rescue the operator at midnight and attempt to road build to get the cat back out without success. An additional week of hand shoveling by numerous volunteers and with support of Fernie Wilderness Adventures, Ascent Helicopters (tiller flown out to reduce weight), Conservation Officers and FLNRO biologists to salt and pack road to get snowcat back out. Matt Dolbec pretty much does not leave the site for a week – hand shoveling and working on snowcat day at night. Steve Kelly, Dave Hozjan, Peter Valenta shuttle fuel, and supplies continuously in support of efforts. Beavan Serra (Lead Alpine Groomer at Castle Mountain Resort) assists in the final push to get the cat back out using the Corbin BR450. During the incident, FNLRO biologists note errors in AMA file mapping of roads leading to public consultation and improvements for motorized users in the valley (final approval still pending).
Trail Passes and Annual Memberships: No changes to membership or day use rates. Annual primary membership rate of $180. Day tickets $25. Volunteer Reciprocal program voted in – Members may receive up to $50 off their annual memberships for time volunteered on designated FSA work parties. BCSF membership program entirely online and no longer mailing out member cards – workload added to local clubs to manage membership cards and payment.
Grooming: Justin remains as Grooming Director. Matt Dolbec as Maintenance Director. Main Operator Jim Tosh. Challenges with Corbin grooming which relies on volunteer groomer operators (can only groom at volunteers availability and only able to groom to Rain Guage due to lack of avalanche training). Core Morrissey grooming routes increased by 12km with the addition of a new McEvoy trail. FSA spends $$ to bring all FSA snowcats up to industry-standard maintenance per hour specs to ensure reliability and assist with maintenance financial forecasts/ equipment records.
Executive: President Dave Hozjan, Vice President Justin Boehm, Treasurer Steve Kelly, Secretary Nicole Matei, Roland Kraemer, Eric Bower, Peter Valenta, Matt Dolbec