A local cross-country skiing club is providing the equipment allow the curious a taste of the sport.
Brad Lefebvre, who’s on the board of the Carlton Trail Ski Club, said they’ve been collecting ski equipment and loaning it to their members free of charge.
“That's been a big thing for our club over the last years because it gives people a chance to come and try out the sport of skiing without spending a whole bunch of money to go buy new equipment,” he said.
The club has been growing steadily over the last number of years, hitting around 126 members last year. Just before the holidays – and before the prime skiing season – they hit 100.
Lefebvre said cross-country skiing is a healthy skiing that can be compared to swimming in terms of the quality of exercise it provides
“It's an event you can do all by yourself, if you want to be all alone in nature or all around quiet,” he said.
“You can do with a group of people. It can be somewhat of a challenge, if you want to race against other people like our racing team does.”
As well, you could at your own pace, skiing with a group for fun.
Cross-country skiing also gives the opportunity to see nature.
“You see places that nobody ever sees, unless they ski or hike or something like that out into the bush.”
The sport is a good way to spend the winter, said Lefebvre.
“Most people complain and grumble about the long winter and my wife and I and other skiers, usually we complain about how quick it's over.”
For younger skiers, there’s the bunnyrabbit, jackrabbit and youth adventure club programs to get them into the sport.
The club has also been spending money on upgrades, spending $13,000 for a trail groomer that’s used in the Olympics. They’ve brought snow snowmobiles for the grooming equipment and done some renovations into the clubhouse.
It maintains a series of trails out at Dixon and also has trailers at the Humboldt Golf Club.
The club also hosts events. On Jan. 13 starting at 9 am, they will be hosting a Saskatchewan Cup race at the golf club. On Feb. 9 at 9 am at Dixon – depending on conditions – they will hold a Valentine Day Loppet where people can race or take a leisurely pace, followed with a supper and a social.