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Cross-country ski club begins season with several new initiatives

The Duck Mountain Nordic Club (formerly the Kamsack Ski Club) has been busy, preparing for the return of the Duck Mountain Loppet and making various other improvements.

KAMSACK — A new name and president, a bigger online presence, increased membership and fees, and a return of the Duck Mountain Loppet in February have been occupying members of a local ski club.

At its recent annual general meeting (AGM) the Kamsack Ski Club voted to change its name to the Duck Mountain Nordic Club in order to better reflect the geographic location of the trails as well as differentiate the club’s Nordic emphasis as compared to the alpine/downhill skiing initiatives, said Kevin Sutton, who this fall succeeded Allan Bear as president.

“The Kamsack Ski Club thanks those who bought memberships and made donations to the Club in the 2021-22 ski season,” Sutton said. “The Club would not exist without your support.”

Sutton said that recently several members, including Scott Sears and Brad Smorodin, were out on the trails chain sawing and removing deadfall.

“Thank you to the others who walked or biked much of the trail removing debris,” he said.

What is seen as a significant improvement is a move to online registration which will provide ease of registration for the participant, a data base and simplicity to administer, he said. This process is very common with a variety of sporting groups. Registration is done by accessing the link

This link will be included on the membership section of the Club’s website, he said. It should go live by the third week of November. Membership forms will not be mailed out as done in the past. However, persons unable to do online registration are encouraged to contact the Club treasurer at to receive a paper form.

“We are using a new app-based grooming report called Nordic Pulse (, which gives up-to-date grooming conditions,” he said. A link to the site is provided in the “Trail Conditions” section of the Club’s website.

Regarding the Duck Mountain Loppet, Sutton said the event was held virtually last year with 89 participants from Kenora, Ont. to Kelowna, B.C. The Loppet will be in-person this year at its regular date: the last Saturday of February, which will be Feb. 25, 2023.

Snowshoeing has seen a big increase lately, he said, adding that while snowshoers are welcome, he urges them to please stay off the groomed/tracked trails.

“The wide space packed next to the classic tracks is for skate skiing which we try to maintain on the golf course and fire tower trails. Snowshoers are encouraged to become members,” he said. Walking is discouraged on the groomed trails due to the damage caused by the deep footprints.

Greg Podovinnikoff, Park Manager, provided an update on logging in Duck Mountain Provincial Park, he said. Logging started in the north 10 years ago and is now continuing westward and south (Pelly Point Trail and old lake road). Logging will commence south of the highway in three or four years. Some treed buffers may be retained along the trails, but certainly some trails will be impacted.

Membership in the Club has increased from 89 to 139, he said. Grant money is tied to membership numbers. A small deficit occurred primarily because the membership revenue barely covered the Cross-Country Canada ($10) and Cross-Country Saskatchewan ($5) fees (liability insurance/programming).

In the past, the required $15 per-person fee was paid out of the membership fee, thus a $20 membership only netted the club $5 and a family of four paid $40, thus costing the Club $20, he said.

It was agreed that for the 2022-23 season the Club membership fees would remain at $20 for individuals and $40 for a family, but the CCC/CCS fees would be charged over and above the membership fee.

“We still have the lowest membership fees in the province.”

The trail shelters have been cleaned, he said. It is a “pack in pack out” policy.

A facilities grant from CCS provided funds for new siding on Moose Lake shelter and Ski Hill shelter, a new biffy for Jackrabbit Junction, and a first aid kit for each shelter.

New bird feeders have been placed at the Moose Lake, Ski Hill and Rundle Lake shelters, he said, thanking Fedoruk Seeds for providing the birdseed.

Bears did a lot of damage to trail signage this summer he said. New maps are on order.

Fall trail preparations are ongoing and are being done by Park staff and volunteers. There are new fire pits at all five shelters and wood has been delivered.

“No organization succeeds and moves forward without volunteers,” he said “We are reaching out to individuals who can help Allan Konkin, the trail master with occasional trail grooming.

“We have 54 kilometres of trails to pack and set in collaboration with the park,” he said, adding that the Loppet needs many volunteers to work at shelters, trails and registration. “Those who have a skill set in IT or social media would also be appreciated as a resource.

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