LHNS Timeline

LARCH HILLS TIMELINE for Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing: organized by Blaine Carson with help from Gullan Hansen, Connie Crowley, Stig Keskinen, George Zorn, Dick Riach, Brian Smith, Christine Hutchins, Lizzy Van Bergeyk, Phil Wallensteen, Val Heckrodt, and Gary Hartling. Thanks to the keepers of the Scrap books started by Mrs. Keski-Salmi, and kept up by Gullan and Marcia. Dick Riach’s comment about SO! helping buy the first snowmobile for grooming the trails caught my attention and this is the result. Hopefully it can be corrected where it is in error and be kept current as the years go by.

Blaine Carson, March 31, 2015.

Pre Recorded History: Splatsin representatives indicate items of cultural significance have been found in the Mara Meadows area and Pit Houses are obvious in the Rosemond Lake area on the East side of the Larch Hills.

Geology from the Forestry sign above the Stadium area, Fascinating Formation: The Larch Hills are a massive rise of rolling hills squeezed up between Shuswap and Mara Lakes. Under this forest lies a very old block of hard metamorphic rocks and limestone-an upthrust which resisted erosion during the last glacial periods. Pockets of ice gradually melted on the rise creating the creeks, ponds, wet meadows and many bogs now found in this forest.

Early 1900’s: Much of the area swept by fires followed by loggers and early homesteaders. Parts of early log buildings can be seen at Pole Camp Way and on the private land on the Thielman Skiout.

Early skiing by homestead families as noted in the Nov. 2002 Tammy Thielman LHNS Newsletter article

1973-74: First skiing by Shuswap Outdoors! as an organized group in the Larch Hills after seeing the Hills from the Mara Meadows. Early ski supplies were available from Harknett’s on Front Street. People were still using wooden skis and pine tar.

As noted on the Forestry Sign So close to Town: This warm, wet forest environment with its gently rolling terrain is a perfect place for sheltered cross-country skiing in the winter, or hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding from spring to fall. The Larch Hills are a busy place with many activities throughout the year.

1974-75: Decision by SO! to have a ski trail system. See Connie’s report for details.

1975-76: Connie Crowley prepares a proposal for SO! ski trails in the Larch Hills.

1976-77: SO! applies for a grant to construct trails, but is turned down. Applies to be an incorporated society and for charitable status. First Skimikin touring race was held. Races were held there up to 1983.

1977-78: SO! receives a Canada Works grant.

1978-79: A second grant is received and trail work continues. Larch Hills Albums were started by Mrs. Keski-Salmi.   Jan. 7, 1979, third annual 15 K Fun Tour was held at Dry Lake with 148 participants in 12 age classes.

1979-80: Larch Hills Ski Club incorporated August 7, 1980. First meeting was May 4, 1979 with Stig Keskinen as President, with the primary impetus being to give Reino Keski-Salmi, a promising young skier, a home club in the Salmon Arm area where he lived. See Stig’s report on the Website for more details. Stig continued as President until October, 1982.

1980-81: According to SO! records a $1200 cheque was written Jan. 22, 1981 for the purchase of the twin track Alpine snowmobile. In addition, SO! advanced LHSC a loan of $1800, to be paid back at the end of the Season so LHNS could apply for matching grants. The heavy duty twin track machine costing $4200 was used to pull a tracksetter owned by the Ministry of Forests. This would allow tracks to be set in deep crusted snow or powder and allow more time for racers to practice. SO! was to be consulted on the trails to be set.   The first volunteer tracksetters were Stig Keskinen, Dick Riach, John Thielman, and Tom Hansen.

1981-82: ‘Ski Haul 81’, with distances of up to 50 K, raised $2500 in conjunction with the Lions Club for Timmy’s Telethon.   A new Forestry access Road to the Main Parking was established 1982. Tom Emerson, President from October, 1982 to October, 1985, worked very hard to get the new road that is located above the present Thielman Skiout which was the original access.

1982-83: Chalet was built in 1983 and Tom Emerson was instrumental in getting grants for the building which was finished in October of 1983.   Duncan Morris supplied the logs and he and Dick Riach did most of the construction. Gullan and Joy built the shutters.   Propane wall lamps were installed for the first year, but unfortunately they were quickly vandalized. A 1620 hectare polygon area was designated as a recreational site on Crown Land. Forestry gravelled the top of the road to the Parking Lot and expanded the parking area.

1983-84: Some members drove to Hunters’ Range to get some early practice time on snow. Gullan remembers Stig taking the twin track over to Hunter’s Range to set tracks there. Tony Fiala who worked on Biathlons was involved. In the spring the new road to the Larch Hills had to be closed by Forestry as it was too muddy. See picture in the Albums.

1984-85: Dec. 1984 First Jackrabbit Program started with Pat Hutchins in charge, assisted by 15 coaches. There were 82 children. Christine Hutchins was the ‘gopher’ who helped with groupings, paperwork, refreshments, etc. Pat had heard about Jackrabbits at the 1983 BC Championships and thought what a great idea. He recruited experienced skiers and also matched good skiers (some of them young racers i.e. John Thielman, Tom Hansen, Sheila Hutchins, Kim Johnston) with adult volunteers, many of whom were school teachers, as leaders. Pat headed the program for several years and then passed it along to Gullan. Jan. 19/85 was the first Marathon. Three hundred thirteen people started and 284 finished. For the first 2 years the start area was in the Parking Lot. In 1985 the first Snow-cat Weasel was delivered from CNCP Telecommunications. Pat Hutchins started as president in October 1984 and continued until October 1992.

1985-86: First Management Agreement for the Larch Hills was signed with Ministry of Forests. The last Fun Race in Skimikin was held in 1985. A Slush Cup was held on Hunters’ Range in 1985. Reino Keski-Salmi was killed in a Rap Attack helicopter crash June 29, 1985.

1986-87: First Ski Swap was held in the fall of 1986 and 140 long sleeved T-Shirts were sold. The first memorial running race was held for Reino in the fall of 1986. In 1987 the Marathon became the Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet.

1987-88: Start of the building of Cec’s Cabin with Cec Pulsifer in charge. A picture of the logs being peeled is in the Album. The Rescue sleds were skied out and within two hours the South Hub one was needed for a rescue above the South Hub. In the fall of 1987 Hartling’s Ski Sports was opened as a winter XC ski shop.

1988-89: Cec’s Cabin was finished. Unfortunately the glass windows did not last very long due to vandalism and were eventually replaced by Len Sept with Plexiglas.   A ‘Tips up Race’ was held in the Larch Hills with 112 skiers participating. In the Spring of 1988 Val Heckrodt proposed at a LHSC meeting held at Jackson School that a Jack Bunny program be initiated for skiers as young as 5 years old because hockey took in children at that age. In the fall of the following year nearly 90 youngsters enrolled in the first set of Jack Bunny lessons.   In the nineties this program was absorbed by an expanded provincial Jack Rabbit program.

1989-90: The first ‘Turkey Glide’ was held under the organization of Stig Keskinen. Prizes were turkeys and chocolates. On March 17, 1990 at the results banquet for the Mile High Marathon held jointly at Silver Star and Sovereign, LHSC was the winner of the plaque for the Club with the most skiers at the 12 BC Loppets held that year. A picture of those present and the fastest skier, Pierre Harvey, is available in the Albums.  A Larch Hills masters’ ski team was formed in 1989-1990. Full length Lycra team  suits were bought and the team members were Adri and Curt Otterstrom, Gullan  Hansen, Pentti Vakeva, Stig Keskinen, Pat Hutchins, and Gary Hartling.

1990-91: Gullan Hansen organized the Jackrabbits. Annual ski Swap continued.

1991-92: Tom Hansen goes to the Olympics in the Biathlon event in Feb. 1992. Pierre Harvey comes to the ’92 Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet and participates along with 661 competitors. In Jan. 1992, the RKS Memorial Fund is set up to support junior racers.

1992-93: The 1986 PB 130 was bought in 1993. The LHNS paid $63 000 for it and then later bought a $12 000 renovator to break up ice for the front. It was 8 seasons old and had 5170 hours on it. It arrived in March after a trial with a smaller machine. It had been used at Lone Mountain Ranch on West Yellowstone Mountain and was sold to us by the previous owner of Danny’s All Cat Service. Danny provided much of the technical service along with local experts until it was traded. Ron Beals was President from October, 1992 until February, 1996.

1993-94: A shed to store the PB was built on Linda Irvine’s property so it could be stored safely and the engine block heater could be plugged in. The route up to the ski hill was through Linda’s property, up the Thielman Skiout, and across the road just below the Big Playground. First School Loppet was organized by Ranchero School under the leadership of Brian Smith.  In 1994 a junior racing team was formed and coached by Gary Hartling.  The club bought team jackets and the team raced B.C. cup races as well as  local races.

1994-95: Volunteer groomers for the PB were Ole Hansen, Dave Wallensteen, Don Drewco, and Don Huntington. Pentti Vakeva ran the smaller tracked machine. Only Don H. was retired and daily tracksetting was not feasible. In 1994 the LHSC agreed to cover the cost of jackets for the Junior Racing Team.   In the fall of 1994 parents and skiers met with Margo and Gary Hartling on Fly Hills to go for an early ski.   Margo had two different jacket samples with her.   The decision was made to purchase for the race team the blue Sierra Designs jackets with “Larch Hills Race Team” embroidered on the back.  This was the second inauguration of a Larch Hills Race Team following the first group of skiers going back to Reino Keski-Salmi, Tom Hansen and John Thielman.   Gary Hartling was the coach for this enthusiastic group which saw a number of skiers moving on to the Provincial Team and two skiers going on to the national level,   Jesse Heckrodt to the Junior National Team and Alysson Marshall, who went on to become a member of the Canadian National Team. The highest number of team members was 39 during the time that Val Heckrodt managed the race team.   Markku Nikmo constructed a wax table and Val Heckrodt purchased and put together a wax kit which was used at various races. In January 1995 a decision was made to pay tracksetters a shared $3000 per annum honourarium.

1995-96: First Club Member Survey with 16 questions.   Dave Wallensteen is President from February 1996 until March 1999. Brian Smith has a 1995 Observer article saying that it was the third school loppet with eleven schools sending 170 skiers that year. Bill McKerlich was the first superintendent to present the trophy for school participation. Retired principals, Blaine Carson set the tracks and Julian Kuna won the early bird prize, for heading up to the hill at 5 AM to start the fire and get the hot chocolate going! In Nov. 1995 an agreement was drawn up designating certain trails classic and/or skating.

1996-97: First Santa Cruise organized by Don Drewco and Blaine Carson on Dec. 22/96. Skating and Classic through Ermine Frolic Loop were enabled by the heavy snowfall that year. Dave Brubaker started his volunteer mechanical duties after being recruited by Blaine Carson. Earlier Ton Hamilton had him build the guard around the stove in Cec’s Cabin. In 1997 Larch Hills won the club  championship trophy at the B.C. Championships at Sovereign thanks to the efforts of the Junior Racers.

1997-98: Volunteer cat donation of one day’s time by Erik Olson in 1997 which resulted in the widening of Ermine Frolic Loop allowing space for the Santa Cruise.   Erik also opened the Big Playground on the open space on the Private Land as there was a desire for a large play area for children. Tracksetter of the Day program was started so one person had responsibility for that day.     The last School Loppet sponsored and organized by Ranchero School was in 1998. That same year Skookum was formed out of Dawson sports by the Peasgood family.

1998-1999: Erik volunteered his cat to push out an old skid trail, Mom’s Trail, after it was scouted and suggested by Dave Wallensteen. Eric banked the bottom of Stig’s Loop and cut a water bar across it making it easier to trackset and ski. Throwing sticks and rocks off the trail brought forward the need for Take Back the Hills, so more volunteers could help out. In March 1999 Trish Wallensteen, with a consulting Committee, prepared a report on a possible long term plan for LHNS.

1999-2000: From March 1999 to September 2000 Don Drewco served as President and when he left town for work, Dave Wallensteen took over from October 2000 to March 2001. More mechanical problems started to show up in the PB 130. Tom’s Shelter at the South end of our system was built by volunteers, in memory of Back Country skier Tom Jordan, organized by George Zorn.

2000-2001: From March 2001 to March 2004 George Zorn served as President.   On March 15, 2001, the inaugural meeting of the SO!/ LHNS Joint Trail Committee took place at Connie Crowley’s  home to create greater co-operation between the two clubs and to work on improving the skiing for everyone. This was also to be venue to allow people time to consider new trails before they were built. George Zorn worked diligently on providing access to what was to become the South Loops. First was a connection to the Woodlot Access road near where the gate to the Private Property is located. This was followed by an arrangement with a logging company to build Skyview and Rollercoaster in return for timber sales. That same year Glen and Curt opened up Sunshine on Glen’s Private Land as the S curve at the bottom of Woodlot Ramble was too much for most skiers. Curt Olson, Woodlot manager, working with Glen Ritchie, Woodlot owner, later opened up Sentinel which allowed a loop on the upper flats. George also worked on getting approvals for Panorama which was first cleared by Rap Attack and then the first machine through was a back hoe to carve out the trail and get through the wet areas. In 2001 Greg Scharf joins Tom as a partner in Skookum.

2001-2002: Nov. 21, 2001 Second meeting of Joint Trail Committee at Clint Smith’s home. There was continued consideration of a non-trackset route to Cec’s Cabin. SO! approved limited grooming by snowmobile of some back country trails below Cec’s Cabin to provide distance for the 30 K Recreational Loppet Route. The next year the South Loops were open so they became part of the 30 K. and provided the distance. When Lizzy Van Bergeyk moved back to SA in 2001 she and Phil rejuvenated the Junior Racing Team again. John’s Ski Shack opened in 2002, providing winter ski services at the very edge of the Larch Hills.

2002-2003: Phil Wallensteen reports the oldest Racing Team list he has is 2002/03. Phil took over from Lizzy, but he and Eleanor Marshall had coached a racing group before as part of the Jackrabbit program. The Joint Trail Committee continued meeting twice a year but moved to Jim Beckner’s office waiting room. The Pentti Shelter was built at the South Hub by volunteers organized by Len Sept. Dedication of it to Pentti Vakeva, tireless worker and expert skier, by family and friends took place on Dec. 29, 2002. President George Zorn signed a new 10 year agreement with the Province dated Feb. 28, 2003.

2003-2004: August 26, 2003 a Joint Trail Meeting was held at John Thielman’s home as he co-ordinated a FIA grant of $10,000 through Federated Coop which allowed cat work by Larry Scott to be done over many days making significant improvements to Ermine Frolic Hill and the access on to Larch Hills Road. Big improvements were made to Reino’s Run which up to that time consisted of large stumps and blocks of wood. The end result was good surface of organic wood waste.  Cat work was also done on Panorama, Sky Trail, Alder Lane and Baby Moonwalk. This same year volunteer work crews co-ordinated by Blaine Carson created a single track path through Ridge Run, Pole Camp Way and Blue Sky. A first application for Federal funding for LHNS improvements was turned down. Fund raising organized by Pat Hutchins for a replacement machine was underway as repair bills were substantial. In May 2004 Upper Violet Creek Park was officially established. In March 2004 a second Club Survey was held with the same questions as the first one plus one new one. In March 2004, Chris Letham was elected President from 2004 to 2007.

2004-2005: More fund raising by LHNS to raise money for a new machine. Jan. 7, 2005 a proposal was sent to the Olympic Sites for $125 000 in funding. On April 13, 2005 $113 758 in matching dollars were presented by George Abbott, MLA after 2 years of fund raising by LHNS. On Feb. 24/05 a large group planning meeting of LHNS was held in the Gym at Salmon Arm Elementary, co-ordinated by Peter Kilby, and summarized by Clint Smith.  A decision was made at the LHNS AGM to purchase a full-size, one-pass machine which could set a classic track on each side and skating in the middle with a centre pan for use in classic races. The School Loppet makes a comeback in 2005, jointly sponsored by the Larch Hills Nordic Society, Skookum’s Cycle and Ski Shop, and School District # 83. That year there were about 80 skiers from nine schools. It was Eileen MacDonald who got Brian to restart this event. That was the beginning of the pirate theme. The first starting gun was a long black piece of plumbing pipe filled with fruit loops and powered by exploding hairspray. The following year doubled the enrolment of racers, up to 165.

2005-2006: Chris Letham, President, negotiates a lease on 22 acres of Crown land between the Private land and Violet Creek Park for LHNS infrastructure. First snowshoe trails are laid out by John Coffey assisted by Blaine Carson. The  PB 130 left on November 25/05 with 7674 hours and was replaced by a 2002 PB 200 with 4374 hours costing $142 500 plus taxes. It had been used at Norquay since new and came to us with new triple tracksetters from Yellowstone installed by the supplier Oak Creek. They took the PB 130 in trade for $17 000. Fall of 2005 brought many changes to the trail system with most trails being widened to 18 feet to accommodate the increased tiller width of one-pass track setting. A new trail was built by George Jackson, the Credit Union Express, from the Stadium down to the Private Land and the Thielman Skiout to eliminate the road crossing. Hydro power was brought to the Hill at a cost of $40 046.89 through the assistance of the local Hydro manager, Jon Young, and the rural electrification program.  Glen Ritchie, Woodlot owner, provided the land for the hydro right of way and allowed the logging done by George Jackson. Many volunteers helped, including Larry Scot who piled and burned much of the debris. Construction of a new Tracksetter building 38′ by 48’for approximately $75 000 was completed thanks to George Jackson volunteering his excavator work to clear the site and provide the access roads. Ron Harder provided his building crews to Blaine Carson who served as General Contractor with help from Des Angove on the concrete work. Protective gates were provided by COE Newnes/McGeehee under the direction of Al Hardy. Many local companies donated or reduced their costs to provide a machine structure on the Hill eliminating the road crossing and 2 K trip up.

2006-2007: Summer use of the Larch Hills analysis was done by the Shuswap Trail Alliance with LHNS and SO! The first All-Season Trail meeting involving all users was organized by Phil McIntyre-Paul of the Shuswap Trail Alliance. Moving of the Chalet was accomplished along with the provision of a Caretaker Space. Electricity was put into the Chalet and a street lamp was placed in the corner of the parking lot. In 2007 there were 224 students in the Pirate Loppet. The Lady Striders started preparing hot lunches for the participants and have been doing so ever since. The drama of the event was increased by firing a cannon to send the skiers out on the course.

2007-2008: John Henderson was elected President from 2007 to 2009. Pauline Hickson was appointed as Caretaker for a 10 year term and brought in her own trailer. Bog Trails at the North End organized by George Zorn were put into winter time use. A May 31 meeting regarding summer use of the recreational area was held. Glass blasting of the Chalet and re-staining were done, turning it into a like-new building. The Pirate Loppet began the “ski host program”, where schools could come up to the hill and practice earlier in the month before the race, accompanied by local skiers and teachers or parents.

2008-2009: Feb.19 Joint Trail Committee at Jim Beckner’s house Feb. 26. New snowmobile and Ginzugroomer bought and in use that year. First skiing of Trail Alliance Route from Sicamous to the Chalet was accomplished by a number of skiers. Skookum donated $1000 to the Junior Racers for their help with the Warren Miller film.

2009-2010: Jim Beckner was elected President from 2009 to 2011. There was the installation of 2 Dave Brubaker gates and 2 Park gates and placement of concrete barriers to reduce summer access to vulnerable wet areas.   Further improvements in the South in the Fall of 2009 were the connection through to South Canoe via Lakeview and the levelling of the trail into Tom’s Shelter and out to Town View as approved and co-ordinated by Curt Olson, Woodlot Manger, allowing tracksetting by snowmobile and the new Ginzugroomer.   The first tracksetting by the PB 200 of the multi-use trail to South Canoe happened after the Junior Racers were using a snowmobile for packing trails in the South Canoe area for several years. The first hosting of the Midgets was held in a low snow year and the newly constructed sprint trail by the Stadium could not be utilized. That fall saw the drilling of the well to supply water to the Chalet and Pauline’s home.

2010-2011: March 3 Joint Meeting at Jim Beckner’s home. Downstairs washrooms were completed. Five more Dave Brubaker gates were installed. Logging by Tolko of an area off Stig’s Loop so they rebuilt that section of road and plowed off the early snow. This created a viewpoint to Hunter’s Range and the eventual snowshoe/ski route off the end of Mom’s trail. The Penttimobile went to Wisconsin to work on a Christmas tree farm after being sold in 2010 for US $ 5000 with the sale organized by Tracksetters Verne Gummeson and Bruce Motherwell. The limiting factor for student participation in the Pirate Loppet has always been the lack of skis. Rentals were on a first come, first served basis, so the Pirate Loppet Committee began distributing money on what was called the “Skis for Schools Program”. A number of schools have now received grants and thousands of dollars have been allocated based on the merits of their requests.

2011-2012: Peter Molnar was elected President from 2011 to 2013. March 1 Joint Trail Meeting was held at the Chalet. A concrete floor was placed in the woodshed area. There was a trial Canine Trail use for Sunshine and widening of Ermine Frolic Hill for an uphill race track route. Two final Dave Brubaker gates were installed on Cottonwood. Construction of a return loop to Panorama off the new Tolko Logging was paid through Ken Gibson, Forestry and Recreation Officer. On Oct. 25 a Joint Trail meeting with an invitation to summer users to review a possible new trail down to Moonwalk as a result of Tolko logging was held, chaired by Phil McIntyre-Paul. Feb. 18 & 19, 2012 saw the BC Championships held at Larch Hills with 380 racers. LH racers won the Championship trophy for the second year in a row. Some planned race routes had to be re-located and snow had to be shovelled on to some trails.

2012-2013: Two-way traffic on Ermine Frolic Hill and Heartbreak Hill was approved at the AGM. On Feb. 14 there was a Joint Trail Meeting at the LH Chalet. There was the first tracksetting of Eagle View and Far East Lookout after the hauling finished in December.   Exploration of a possible ski route over the top from Far East to the Larch Hills Traverse was done by various individuals.   First use of one of the last snowshoe trails scouted by John Coffey to parallel Ridge Run, now called Lost in the Woods.   There was the arrival on the Hill of materials to construct stiles funded by Recreation and Forestry and coordinated by the Shuswap Trail Alliance.   A new stove and chimney were installed in the Chalet aided by donations from Arro Wood Heat Services and Salmon Arm Fireplace. Spring of 2013 saw volunteers construct the first 2 stiles at Treebeards and White Pine Walk. The construction of 20 by 20 concrete pad in front of the Bunker was done by volunteers to facilitate machine repairs and reduce spring mud. The Pirate Loppet Ski Host Program grew impressively thanks to the help of Karin Wilkie, School Host Organizer, and hundreds of students are now able to learn to ski and prepare for loppet day. Ridetech expands into cross country ski equipment.

2013-2014: Duncan Moore is elected President and signs a new 10 year agreement with the Province on Nov. 25, 2013. The Safety Committee under the authorization of the Executive forms a Safety Host Group with Keith Cox providing the leadership. Mike Dobbin and Steve Raffel take Ski Patrol training in Vernon and are on duty at numerous Larch Hills events. The Safety Committee under the leadership of Jim Ellis hosts a chainsaw one-day training program for volunteers from several organizations. There was logging by Tolko beyond the North Hub and beyond the Far East viewpoint. Keith Cox and George Zorn put up several Cell Phone hotspot maps. An electronic vote by SO! and LHNS members resulted in the defeat of a proposal to extend the Dog trails to most of the South Loops. The Tracksetter yard was expanded to provide more parking and safety. The Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet was shortened to bring the finish and lap lane into the Stadium. Kings Castle for announcing was constructed by Jim Beckner and Dick Riach with assistance from Peter Molnar and used for the 30th Loppet and the Midget Races. There was the first use of the Tracksetter Shed as an Athlete warming area during the Midgets. The 2007 Pisten Bully Edge with 2408 hours was purchased for $155 000 plus taxes, using funds from the Tracksetter Replacement Fund and it arrived on the Hill Dec. 4, 2013. It had spent 3 years at the 2010 Olympics and 3 years at Table Mountain in Saskatchewan. Triple Tracksetters were moved off the PB 200 by Dave Brubaker, volunteer mechanic, and placed  on to the new machine by Oak Creek, the supplier who took the 2002 machine in trade for $35 000. In 2014, the Pirate loppet registered 534 students. More students are coming up for training and more skis are being made available with matching assistance from parent advisories. Other XC ski areas have contacted us to inquire how we managed to build up this event. It is a credit to the community and the spirit of cooperation amongst the many volunteers who make it all possible. There was the official opening of the Coffey Climb on Feb. 22 with family and friends attending. New maps and signs for snowshoe trails were out under the guidance of Clint Smith. This year was the 30th anniversary of the Reino Loppet and 40th anniversary of the first organized skiing by SO! First Grand Finale was held to recognize the end of Daily Grooming on Sunday, March 30. Phil Wallensteen retires as head coach of Junior Racers and is replaced by Abbi May.   Phil continues as one of the coaches. There are over 80 racers and 14 coaches. There was a great snowpack down low so skiing continued into May. The AGM approves the purchase of another snowmobile capable of pulling the Ginzugroomer for just over $16 000. The Trail Alliance Crews finish up most of the Stiles with the help of some volunteers. Keith Cox lays out some possible connections to existing back country trails across the 2013 Tolko clearcuts beyond the North Hub and Far East. The AGM gives approval for making a Section 57 request to utilize the possible connections for recreation as well as giving the Executive authority to engage a Consultant to look at the future of the LHNS. Over the summer Kathy Porter of Summit Environmental Consultants out of Vernon is chosen.

2014-2015: The executive selects a steering committee of 8 people to facilitate the vision process and strategic planning. Everyone was encouraged to think about what they would like to see in the future for the Larch Hills Nordic Society and the Larch Hills recreation area both summer and winter. A Public Input meeting was held November 4 at the Downtown Activity Centre Gym, 7:00 pm with 113 participants. Warren Miller film donations to the Junior Race Team are increased by the donation from Waterways of a houseboat trip auctioned off by Silent Auction for $3100. Grooming starts Nov. 24 with good snow to begin, but then rain and warm weather turns some areas to ice. Nineteenth Santa Cruise is held Dec. 14 on a fast icy track with 20 skiers and raises $2716 for the local food banks. New snow from Dec. 19 on allows the PB out for great conditions over the Christmas holidays. OK Cups #1 and #2 are organized by the Junior Racer Parent Organization on Dec. 27 and 28 with great success. Ed Bouma takes over the organization of the Annual Lantern Ski held Dec. 30th with help from George Zorn. There are good conditions for the Reino Loppet and the Pirate Loppet but there is a thaw in between and lots of snow in January. A new rubberized floor is installed on the Main Floor of the Chalet thanks to various grants arranged by Pauline Waelti and John Henderson. Early February brings more snow and another thaw. The Strategic Planning questionnaire is placed on the Website and all users of the Larch Hills are encouraged to fill it out. March 2 results of the survey are given to an expanded committee of 16 to hold small meetings and make suggestions to the Consultant. An Executive Summary is planned to be distributed at the AGM on March 31 with a follow-up meeting to discuss actions. Grooming ends for the year on March 16 due to the rapid March Melt and very few skiers.