It was a beautiful evening for the annual Lantern Ski at Larch Hills, held Friday, Dec. 28. (Brad Calkins photo)

Looking forward to a new year on the trails

Marcia Beckner / Trail Tales

If you were to ski by Cec’s Cabin New Year’s Eve you would have heard 10 voices raised in song singing Mozart’s famous Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace) as a canon, three separate parts. It was a wonderful way, and place, for the 10 of us to say good-bye to 2018 and hello to 2019.

We had skied up in the afternoon, packing all the accoutrements for a group dinner, started the fire in the stove to warm up the cabin, then headed out to ski the Whoopees and Larch Lake Loop, leaving one of us behind to keep an eye on the fire, arriving back at Cec’s as darkness fell. Skiing at dusk is so magical. And even lovelier knowing there is a dinner waiting for you at Cec’s! It was a memorable evening all around, highly recommended for anyone who would like to experience Cec’s Cabin in the evening. Just don’t forget your headlamps for the ski down to the chalet in the dark.

The Larch Hills Nordics ski season is in full swing. We have already had three of the club events on this season’s calendar. First was the Santa Cruise free technique race on Dec. 23. Everyone was encouraged to dress as a Santa. Very colourful gang! Then the Lantern Ski on Friday, Dec. 28, with its usual magic, saw approximately 400 folks, over the 5 to 9 p.m. window, take off from the chalet skiing or snowshoeing the lantern lit route, choosing either the one-kilometre or five-km route.

Related: 2014 – Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet marks 30 years

As Jim and I were lighting lanterns on our section of the route, along with the rest of the volunteer crew of 22 to complete the rest of the sections, we were thanked by skiers going by – everyone so thankful for the huge volunteer effort to make this magical event happen.

From cleaning the lantern globes beforehand, to setting up the lantern stands along the route, to hanging the lanterns to lighting the lanterns, to putting out candle bags in the stadium, to manning the fire at South Hub, to all the drinks and goodies in the chalet, to Alois Schonenberger’s traditional candle-lit Christmas tree – a wonderful community happening! Thanks to Ed Bouma for co-ordinating this amazing event!

The Fun Race on Sunday, Dec. 30 rounded out the 2018 events. The grand opening of the chalet expansion took place Jan. 3rd. Looking ahead, there’s the School Ski program in January, the Reino-Keski Salmi Loppet Jan. 19, followed by the Pirate Loppet on Feb.1. At the end of March we host the BC Ski Championships. No moss on this gang.

Happy New Year! Think snow!


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