Whiskey Jack ski club busier than ever

In a year when most sports clubs are struggling to offer their full slate of programs, let alone have the regular number of athletes registered they would in a typical year, the Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club is thriving.

“It’s probably our busiest season ever, despite the lack of snow. We have more members than ever, a huge demand for rentals, and the parking lot is overcrowded,” said club president Eliza Stanford.

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It’s no coincidence that cross country skiing is so popular this year. It’s the perfect sport for this era of social distancing, so much so that even though the club and the trails at Beatton Provincial Park are as busy as ever, skiers can spread out safely along the vast trail system.

“That’s why it’s so nice, we’re always socially distanced. You can go ski wherever you want,” Stanford said.

Whiskey Jack is up to more than just the skiing side of things. The club received $7,000 recently from the Fort St. John 2020 BC Winter Games Legacy Grant, which will go towards the building of a new day lodge.

The lodge has been in the works for some time, and construction will finally start this summer, Stanford said.

“We did not get the gaming grant we were hoping for, so that’s kind of disappointing. We’re still looking for funding, but we’re going to go ahead, and see what quotes we get and come up with a realistic budget,” Stanford said. “We have raised just over $500,000, but have had a lot of costs and things we didn’t anticipate at the beginning, like redesigns and consulting. But it’s good now, and all built into our contingency plan.”

Stanford said Whiskey Jack is planning a virtual loppet in February, with details to come closer to the date.  

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca.

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