Saskatchewan Club News: Elbow Lake Sno Drifters

by Tracy (Carlson) Kwasny

Bathroom facilities near the OOPS shelter.
The Elbow Lake Sno Drifters had the opportunity to replace one of the bathroom facilities near the OOPS shelter.

People often wonder what snowmobile clubs do in the off-season. Of course, we think of snow and how good a year we are going to have for snowmobiling. But in the meantime, there’s always things to be done to prepare for trail season. 

Our club is relatively small, so the work tends to be done whenever possible or when there are enough people to make it happen. Work includes getting the warm-up shelters stocked with wood (if there is access during the summer), making sure the signs are in good condition and ordering new ones if needed, etc. We even had the opportunity to replace one of the bathroom facilities near the OOPS shelter.

We recently had a trail evaluation so some additional signage is needed for the upcoming season, and of course, there are signs that are faded and need replacing. Since we are in northern Saskatchewan, the signing will have to be done once trails get snow and the lakes freeze up. 

Usually in the fall or early winter before trails are groomed, club members go out and ride the trails with chainsaws in tow. There are always trees that fell down across the trails or brush that has grown in where the groomer needs to go. The 2018/2019 season was very challenging as there was a summer storm with plow winds that knocked down several bigger trees which took some time to clear. The trail clearing was successful and trails were open for the season.

Our club would like to thank everyone who passes through on the trails throughout the year. Riders met on the trails have been observed to be following posted speed limits, using hand signals when approaching other groups of riders and being respectful of shelter areas by cleaning up after themselves (pack it in/pack it out). By everyone following these general rules, it helps clubs keep their trails in good condition and keeps shelters clean for the next group of riders. There is also a sign-in book so people can leave their names, where they were from and how their ride was. 

So now we wait. We wait for the snow to fall, following harvest. We gather our members to start all over again to make sure we all have a safe place to ride. We arrange for the trail crews to go out again and check the conditions prior to grooming, and we make sure we have all our agreements in place and the necessary permission forms signed. 

See you on the trails soon!

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