Gear up for sledding in The Pas

The Pas might be a small community, but it has tremendous sledding potential

by Danielle Cameron

This is snowmobiler Robert Vipond's son, Ryan, with his wife, Shirley, on the trail between Wanless and The Pas. This area is known by locals as the Loppit trail.
This is snowmobiler Robert Vipond's son, Ryan, with his wife, Shirley, on the trail between Wanless and The Pas. This area is known by locals as the Loppit Trail. Vipond was the first president of the Kelsey Trail Sno-Riders club (more than two decades ago), and he is president again this year. Robert Vipond photo

Manitoba's sledding communities have a camaraderie that makes every visit a pleasant one. The Pas is no exception. This friendly little town has an exceptionally active snowmobile club, the Kelsey Trail Sno-Riders, and the club's members are constantly upgrading shelters, grooming the lengthy trails and hosting events for local families. 

There are a few staging areas in town, leading out to a large network of trails. Often sledders will start from the parking lot at the Anderson Inn, Wescana Inn or the Kikiwak Inn (which has ample parking for trucks and trailers). 

The three main snowmobile routes are the Atik Trail, Loppit Trail and Clearwater Lake.



Shown is a trail through beautiful forest in the Kelsey Trail Sno-Riders' region.
This picture-perfect shot was taken by snowmobilers as they rode through the forest on the Kelsey Trail Sno-Riders' trails. The Pas’ trail system has grown significantly since the club’s beginnings in the early 1980s. The Sno-Riders club now maintains 350 kilometres of groomed trails all the way from Flin Flon to Swan River. Robert Vipond photo
A cozy warm-up shelter in The Pas has smoke coming out of the chimney.
This warm-up shelter on Trail No. 2 is called Onni's Mokki in honour of their chief trail groomer, Onni ("Mökki" is a Finnish word for a cottage or resting place.) Onni's Mokki serves as a meeting place between The Pas and Cranberry Portage. There are seven shelters maintained by the local club, including two newer ones that were added in 2016, in Clearwater Park. Some of the shelters are placed within 50 kilometres of The Pas, so that families with young children can enjoy the trails without venturing too far from town. Photo courtesy Rob Vipond

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