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Cross Country Skiers Delight

Dunvegan Nordic Ski and Cycle Club | Fairview, AB

Bob Walsh

Enthusiastic about providing the community with local cross-country ski opportunities, Bob Walsh, 75, and a small handful of volunteers, groom and maintain some spectacular ski trails at Sand Hill Lake, located west of Fairview, and Cummings Lake, which can be accessed from Fairview.

An avid outdoorsman, Walsh is the president of the Dunvegan Nordic Ski and Cycle Club.

“We have a snowmobile that pulls a manufactured grooming device. With a comb on the back, it puts a ripple effect onto the trails, and we have a track setter that cuts and packs parallel tracks for the skis,” said Walsh. “This helps the trail handle a lot more traffic without breaking down.”

The Cummings Lake Trail has a series of nested loops offering 1.5 km, 2.5 km, 4 km and 7 km trails. There are two access points—one located among the houses on the edge of town and the other is at the Cummings Lake recreation area.

“For the past 30 years the club has had an agreement with The Town of Fairview and the Fairview Golf Club, which grants us access to groom and maintain these trails strictly for skiing,” said Walsh.

Trails in this area are used for walking and biking in the summertime, but during the winter months a barricade and sign are erected to remind people the trails are for cross-country skiing. These precautions are to accommodate more intense ski use, and it makes the experience better.

Walking, snowshoeing and driving motorized vehicles on trails create bumps and divots that make it difficult and even slightly dangerous for cross-country skiing.

“Maintaining these trails can be difficult. You must have passionate people who love to cross-country ski and who are willing to help make it happen,” said Walsh. “We’re grateful to everyone who has invested their time in preserving the trails over the years.”

Although memberships are not required to use the trails, anyone can join the Dunvegan Nordic Ski Club. The club’s main goal is to spread awareness of these designated trails and let skiers know they have places to ski.

“We would like to thank those who purchase memberships and make generous donations. Their contributions allow us to meet the expenses of a snowmobile, grooming equipment, fuel, repairs and miscellaneous costs,” said Walsh.

“A packed and machine-groomed trail is a treasure that skiers of all skill levels can appreciate and enjoy.”

For more information, email or visit them on Facebook: Dunvegan Nordic Ski and Cycle.

By Laura Hanna

Photography by Liza Curtiss Photography (Supplied by Mighty Peace Tourism) & Submitted

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