A proud and active club

The Pine Valley Trail Blazers love to entertain out-of-towners in their phenomenal snowmobiling playground

by Keith Powell

man snowmobiling
A sledding paradise awaits riders in the Chetwynd area. Maggie Gilbert photo

Phenomenal snow—that’s the term that kept popping up in an interview with Chetwynd’s Fred Vanheddegan.

“We have such a wide variety of terrain for snowmobilers to enjoy,” said Vanheddegan, who is president of the local snowmobile club, the Pine Valley Trail Blazers. “We are near the foothills of the Rockies, so we have open cutblocks, rolling meadows, high alpine and just a lot of places to explore—but I think it’s our phenomenal snow that keeps everyone coming back year after year.”

The Trail Blazers is a club of about 50 members. Club members have been busy over the last year or so protecting their riding areas from expanding industry and oil and gas exploration. Through a great deal of diligent volunteer effort, the club was able to get its trails registered under the provincial system; this will ensure that industry must respect the established riding areas.

When asked to name a favourite sledding area, Vanheddegan recommended the Silver Sands area, about an hour south of Chetwynd. Why? Again, he mentioned the phenomenal snow and the access to the high alpine.

Vanheddegan said the community welcomes out-of-town riders, who can depend on meeting up with local snowmobilers at the 7-Eleven store between 8 and 9 a.m. every weekend. Local sledders are always happy to invite visiting  riders to join them for day of sledding.

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