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Community Ski Rental Night: a HUGE success!

What can I say! Easily the most successful rental night in memory for the club. Over 100 of you turned out to get your cross country ski packages.

We hadn’t realized there was such as strong interest in the area to be involved in our awesome little sport. Not to forget to mention the fantastic club members who so often go unseen and unappreciated behind the scenes. You guys make it happen and we thank you for your time, effort and dedication.

If you are new to the club and have just joined us then welcome and we look forward to seeing you as often as you can make it. If you signed up as one of our renters last night then thank you again.

There were over 20 of you who pitched in last night and helped as volunteers with recruiting members, helping with technical questions and more. I know I am repeating myself here but you guys are awesome and we couldn’t have done it without you.

The staff over at the Recreation Department also deserve a big mention. They keep the whole thing together from helping to train our members to servicing the equipment, storing the gear when it’s not in use and so much more. For all you club members if you bump into these guys on your travels be sure to say thank you and give a shout out to all of them.

Believe it or not, despite the fact that we had such a major influx of renters last night we do actually have some packages left (although not a lot). So if you still want to get in on the action give us a call or drop us a message here on the site. If you don’t want to commit to the season-long package there are of course day and weekend rentals available for the casual members.

All that is left to do now is wait for the trails to be ready to use. We are watching the weather carefully and the trails are being checked on a regular basis. When the time comes to get going we will send out some notifications so you will be the first ones to know. In the meantime keep an eye on that weather report.

If anyone needs any help or introductory lessons just get in touch and let us know. Some of our more experienced members are great teachers and would be happy to help.

So once again thank you to our renters, our members, our volunteers, our department staff and anyone else I have forgotten to mention. See you all soon and happy trails!

Camping and Skiing the Ozark Mountain trails

I will never forget this trip. For many reasons really, one of which was getting lost. While searching for a way to get over the mountain we had wandered too far in the wrong direction. This was partly down to the conditions as the snow was very heavy and didn’t let up all day.

Having given up on actually crossing the mountain for the day we decided to find a good spot to set up camp for the night. This was no easy task with the conditions but we managed to find a spot and dig out a level area to pitch our tent.

Thankfully we had great sleeping bags and a camping stove to keep us nice and warm. Incidentally, our tent which was an Ozark Trail tent did the job nicely. We were certainly glad of the heat and the shelter.

A few hours after we had settled in the sky cleared and the snow stopped. Although it was now night it was suddenly a little brighter and once the last of the mist and snow cleared we had an amazing view on the mountain against the night sky.

Lying there in the tent looking out of the open porch it was like a postcard. A beautiful scene and very peaceful. Such a contrast to just hours before.  It’s not a view many people get to see and often it’s only those who will brave the unsavory conditions who get to enjoy it. It is often not what myself and my fellow ski campers seek out but it’s a massive bonus and helps remind you why getting outdoors is such a rewarding thing to do.

My wife is not a fan of the extreme conditions. She decided to try and get used to the idea. This is not something I would have thought of but for those of you who are new to this and maybe a little anxious, this might be worth a try. She listened to recordings like this one every night going to bed.

 

The idea is you get used to the sounds and sensation of the blizzard type conditions so you can sleep through it on the mountain. Worth a shot right?

If you are just starting out it’s probably a good idea to try out the trail first before the winter weather sets in. Starting out right in December or January is a bad idea as the temperatures are at there lowest and the conditions can become quite extreme.

By the simple process of trial and error, you will learn what works best and prepare yourself for future trips with harsher conditions.

I would also say don’t be too ambitious your first time around. Combining skiing and camping is tricky when you are not familiar with it. I really enjoy it since its now second nature but you got to ease yourself in. Find a suitable base camp and explore in smaller expeditions instead of setting off over the mountain on your first day.

Make sure you come well equipped. There is nothing worse than getting stuck or getting cold or both. If you don’t bring the right gear you are asking for trouble. Layered clothing, excellent boots and plenty of waterproofs. While it’s important to bring plenty of clothing don’t overpack either. Remember you will have to carry what you bring. This is something that really gets people the first time. They pack everything just encase and after the trip realize most of it never even left the pack.

A little housekeeping goes a long way too when it comes to your tent. Keep your boots dry and warm overnight, that way they won’t freeze and cause you problems the next morning.

So get started, give it a try and I promise you, you won’t regret it. You can find out more about the Ozark Trail here. Stay safe and enjoy the slopes.