(Photo submitted)

The David Thompson Snowriders club forges ahead with season despite weather issues

By Sam Donnelly

For Sylvan Lake News

Despite limited snow and the frigid temperatures, the David Thompson Snowriders club continues to offer snowmobile enthusiasts trails to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.

“Late Snowfall has hurt us quite a bit. It’s been a slow start to the season,” said Cam Sully, vice president of DTSR.

Currently, the DTSR has a trail they call the Eckville loop which travels around the outskirts of Eckville and eventually out towards Sylvan Lake, at which point, you can cross a lake and exit the trail at Jarvis Bay. They also currently maintain a trail out near Caroline near Burnstick Lake.

According to DTSR, the Ecville trails have enough snow to ride the trails safely. However, Sully did mention that riders should always be careful whenever they ride.

“Wear a helmet and remember to do it up. If you’re not going to strap it on you may as well not wear it,” said Carrie Andrew, social media coordinator for DTSR.

Despite the rough start to the season, DTSR is still operating and expanding.

For those wishing for something to do on family day weekend, the DTSR is holding a poker rally. Members are invited to ride the trails and collect cards from the five checkpoints placed around the trail.

The goal at the end of the rally is to have the greatest hand.

According to Andrew, the trails are set up for all different ages and skill levels.

As DTSR moves into the future, they have their eyes set on making the DTSR even better.

DTSR has a cabin set up along the north and south parts of the loop. They are also currently working on a third cabin to go along the trail just west of Eckville.

“We are very fortunate to have such a supportive community surrounding us. We are blown away with the overwhelming local donations to help with our cabin builds,” said Andrew.

Andrew said the club appreciates local farmers for allowing DTSR to cross their land during their duties maintaining and building on the trails.

The DTSR is currently helping out at the snowmobile trails out in Olds.

According to Sully, the Olds Snowmobile Club still operates independently, but as soon as their season ends at the end of March the Olds Snowmobile Club will merge with DTSR.

According to Sully, the choice to merge the two clubs made it a lot more efficient to look after all the trails involved.

Those who want to learn more about snowmobile trails in Alberta or to purchase their pass to enter the trails can visit the Alberta Snowmobile Associations’ website. Pass purchases before Jan. 1 cost $80 while passes bought after that date cost $90.

When asked about how the club was handling COVID-19, Andrews said that while COVID has affected a lot of things, snowmobile riding is pretty safe given the outdoor nature of the activity.

She did say that extra care was being put into making sure that indoor areas, such as cabins, were being cleaned thoroughly.