Having more or less skipped over summer in Whitehorse this year, let’s get on with winter!

At the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club, early season skiers (aka the hard core) are already out on the trails. As the snow slowly accumulates, the seasoned skier knows that just because the streets downtown are bare, it doesn’t mean that there is nowhere to ski.

Having just returned from my first ski of the season, it’s a good time to remind everyone that there are a few more muscles involved in cross country skiing than most of us have used all summer. Coordination is probably a little off as well.

Never fear, it will all come back, and quickly. Get that gear out and get those legs moving. Your body and mind will both thank you for it!

You will need to use a bit more caution than normal until the snow gets a little deeper. Keep an eye out for those pesky rocks and be careful which trails you choose.

It’s best to avoid areas such as Chadburn until the snow gets deeper, but the smoother trails at the ski club are being groomed and skiing is pretty good, considering the light snowfall to date.

Keep those downhills under control. You might even consider walking down steeper hills until conditions improve.

Always check the club website for trail conditions before you head out or drop into the ski club office for advice.

Miscellany

Wednesday, November 2 marked the kickoff of the first Coast Mountain Sports Wax and Wine session of the year at the ski club.

We took a different approach from previous years and topics included more than just waxing.

The first session of the series was about buying skis. We wanted to make sure you know how to get the best ski and boot for your money and ski ability (and no, it’s not all about price).

You’ll get six months a year of use from your equipment, so it’s worth spending some time on your purchase. Equipment that fits you properly is a critical first step in making sure you enjoy your ski. Proper boot fit and the right cambered ski for your size are crucial.

The session kicked off at 7 p.m. in the Grey Mountain Room at Mt. McIntyre. It was open to all interested skiers.

In the coming season, expect to see new programs and events at the ski club, and not just ski-related stuff.

The club is partnering with the Learning Disabilities Association Yukon (LDAY) to organize a snowshoe loppet after Christmas.

On the social side (after all, the average skier in town is a recreational athlete), the club is working on a variety of new events that will combine skiing and eating and drinking. What could be better? Watch for announcements as the season progresses.

When Whitehorse hosts the Arctic Winter Games, March 4 to 10, 2012, the AWG will offer a mix of athletic, cultural and social action that will take over the city for over a week.

It’s a fun time for athletes, coaches, spectators and volunteers, as anyone who has been involved can attest.

Now is the time to sign up to help out – pick a sport (naturally, I am partial to cross country skiing) and get involved. You won’t regret it.

See you on the trails.

Claude Chabot is executive director of the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club. If you have questions about the club or its extensive network of trails, you can reach Claude at ed@xcskiwhitehorse.ca