The ’70s had it all: bell bottoms, shag carpets, disco roller rinks and the formation of the Houston Snowmobile Club. The creation of the club started because snowmobilers wanted to recreate, tour and explore the mountains. Their efforts endure—40 years later—with steady success.
Houston, B.C., is home to the beautiful Dungate Meadows and Telkwa Range. As is the case with much of B.C.’s beauty, it’s pretty to look at but hard to reach. The Houston Snowmobile Club’s early endeavours revolved around trying to climb to these hard-to-reach areas. The crew pulled groomers behind Bearcats but still had difficulty accessing the minted Telkwa Range cabin. The group spent most days trying to chew up the trail to reach the cabin. Whenever someone made it to the end, it was a big deal.
The Telkwa Cabin is the Houston Snowmobile Club’s primary hangout zone. The warm-up shelter is stocked with furniture, a stove and food supplies. Reaching the cabin is much simpler now, thanks to the club’s 1996 Bombardier Bombi PistenBully. “It makes life so much nicer,” said Shea Long, president of the Houston Snowmobile Club. “After grooming with that thing, you can be up to the cabin in five to 10 minutes.”
The other area the club maintains is the Dungate Meadows. The path to the Dungate Meadows cabin is still cleared with groomers on Bearcats. It’s a long, flat family-friendly riding zone through forestry roads that covers about 50 kilometres.
Improvements are always being made throughout the Houston trail system. “There’s always stuff to do,” Long said. “Last year we completely brushed all the trails; the trees that were considered dangerous were cut out. We updated the Telkwa Cabin by installing new windows, insulation, plywood, paint and a stove. At Sabola, we rebuilt all the bridging across the creeks. We’ve been really busy.”
Up next on the agenda for the Houston Snowmobile Club is a new groomer. In the meantime, their riders will continue sledding the trails they’ve worked so hard to build and maintain for the past 40 years.