** Please note the news stories below are in addition to those found in our quarterly K.S.A. Newsletters. Our newsletters are mailed out to all K.S.A. members, and can also be read online via our Newsletters page. **
It’s been another busy year at the Klondike Snowmobile Association, and the work is continuing…
We recently held our Annual General Meeting in Whitehorse and after some brief introductions we reviewed the 2017/2018 K.S.A. year. During the 2017/2018 season we began operating our new Kubota groomer and are pleased to report it’s working well. We made progress on several trail projects as well as several behind the scenes projects, and maintained good working relationships with our corporate sponsors and several other user groups around the Yukon. We also introduced a few new things this season. We introduced a new online membership form, you can now save time and paper by submitting your form and paying your membership fees entirely online. Also new for this year was during the municipal elections we put together a survey for the candidates and shared the results in the hope that it would help snowmobilers make more informed voting decisions. 2017/2018 was another record for K.S.A. membership numbers, for the first time in our history we had over 1000 people sign up. Thanks to the ever increasing support from our membership, we are happy to report that we finished the year in a financially stable position and we are ready to move right along into the 2018/2019 season.
After reviewing the past season, we elected our 2018/2019 Board of Directors. Welcome new Directors Jean-Pascal and Dale to our team! The remainder of the Board is much the same as it was last year. As usual our board meetings are being held monthly and everyone is welcome to attend, dates and details are on our Events page.
Looking into the 2018/2019 season, things are looking good. Snow has arrived in the Yukon, and we are in the final stages of having our groomers ready to hit the trails. We are still looking for more volunteers though, if you are interested check out our Volunteer page! Our membership numbers are healthy, already over 700 people have renewed. If you haven’t already renewed, check out our new online membership form – you can now submit your form and pay your fee online, no mailing or drop off required! We are also introducing a new form on our Trail Conditions page, so you can quickly and easily submit trail reports directly from the website. We have some exciting snowmobile events coming up, check them out on our events page.
K.S.A. 2018 Municipal Election Candidates Survey Results
Municipal Elections are being held across the Yukon on October 18th, 2018. Out of concern of the future state of motorized recreation in Whitehorse, and snowmobiling specifically, the Klondike Snowmobile Association invited all Whitehorse mayoral and council candidates to indicate whether they agree or disagree with four statements that reflect the concerns of our membership. Respondents were given eight days to reply. The results are presented below for your consideration, in the table are the candidates’ agree/disagree responses, and below that are additional comments some of them have added.
1. Snowmobiling generates $26 billion in economic activity across North America each year. I acknowledge that responsible motorized recreation is a local economic engine so I will promote and support it.
2. I will work to maintain or increase the inventory of trails and areas open to motorized recreation within city limits.
3. I will promote and support a multi-use trail management model because it is the most sustainable model for Whitehorse and it provides the most benefit for the maximum number of users at the lowest cost to tax payers.
4. I will support bylaw amendments that allow children aged twelve years and older to operate motorized recreational vehicles on city trails under the supervision of responsible adults (SeeYellowknife bylaw sample at https://www.yellowknife.ca/bylaws/Bylaw/Details/a492a853-f142-40ac-b5fc-866f6ee622c6).
Statement 1: I would agree that it is a local, past time and hobby and gets people out enjoying the vast trail systems our city has to offer. I was unable to find any specific data on the economic engine beyond the sales of the machines in Whitehorse. That being said I will and do support Responsible Motorized recreation.
Statement 2: As someone who uses the trails, I would like to see the network of trails expanded in certain areas to create loops to ride. while protecting and preserving our green spaces and protected areas.
Statement 3: I am on the fence with this one. I would not make any changes to established multi-use trails but find that there are unnecessary conflicts created by sharing the same trails. I would promote the out and away and snowmobile specific trails just as there are ski trails, fat bike, and walking trails.
Statement 4: Yes, I would support and encourage this.
Statement 1: I agree with question one.
Statement 2: Is not a yes/no answer. What I do support is an open discussion with KSA in order to understand the details of your requests and to engage in a dialogue to confront any issues that may be out there. For example, I have witnessed snowmobiles going way to fast on the trails in Whitehorse and so we must mitigate the responsibility for the safety of those operating the vehicles, and that of others using the trails.
Statement 3: Is also not a yes/no answer. I would support the implementation of a multi-use trail management model, for some of the trails, but not all of them, because it is the most sustainable model for Whitehorse and it would provide the most benefit for the maximum number of users. BUT, we have to discuss, and resolve the concerns / issues raised in question number two, especially the safety issues, and the damage that may be caused to the trails that, for example, cross country skiers use, before we just open the trails as multi-use.
Statement 4: Is not a yes/no answer. I think there are problems with a 12-year-old operating a snowmobile, even under the supervision of responsible adults. I think there has to be, if there is not already, a training program for youth who want to operate a snowmobile and that they should pass that course first and get a certificate, or something that they carry with them when operating the vehicle.
Remarks: I have been a caregiver for my wife for many years and as such have not had the pleasure to even be on a snowmobile … ever. My wife passed away a year ago. I am more than willing, now that I am able, to learn about snowmobiles and to listen to your requests about the trails. I think my responses to the above questions outline my concerns. I am looking forward to discussing this with your group and I would enter those discussions with an open mind.
Remarks: In regards to question #1, I am in full agreement that snowmobiling is a multi-billion dollar industry and a highly valued recreational activity in our community on so many levels.
However, in regards to questions #2, 3 and 4, I’m hesitant to make any blanket statements/decisions on the fly without doing our due diligence to ensure: (1) that the City has the opportunity to consider submissions from our citizens’ perspectives; (2) that appropriate research is done to advise us of the costs and impacts; and (3) that those with local expertise in these matters are consulted. I believe that informed decision-making is fundamental to good governance and I make it a practice to collect and review the facts before committing to anything.
I apologize that I couldn’t give you the straightforward Agree vs Disagree responses you were hoping for but trails are a very important part of our recreational infrastructure, and we need to find some balance in our citizens’ divergent views and uses. Evidence based decisions are very helpful in providing objectivity to often contentious trail issues.
Remarks: Please do not consider these promises. If I become a councillor, I will be obligated to keep an open mind and consider all sides of each issue. However, this a sincere “snapshot” of how I feel generally about these questions. In part, I base this on our very effective relationship with KSA while I was the chair of Whistle Bend Community Association during our recent deliberations over trail use in our new neighbourhood.
Statement 1: Yukoners enjoy a large number of summer and winter recreational activities all of which are economically important across the Yukon.
Statement 2: There is an extensive trail network within the City largely shared by foot and mostly in thanks to the K.S.A. These and future trails should be built and maintained for year round use by all.
Statement 3: The arguments against multi use trails are the disrespectful users: motorized users that are racing and won’t slow down to when approaching walkers or other vehicles; and dog walkers who refuse to control their animals. Some common respect and manors will solve these and make for better trail use and a much more enjoyable time.
Statement 4: Are you suggesting a 12 year old can handle a 1000cc vehicle? I’m all for educating early and properly. Learning how to operate a recreational vehicle must include the responsibilities that come with it such as courtesy for other trail users and responsibility for the environment. I see this as more of a family decision to determine if the individual child is mature enough to handle the responsibility, which is the greatest concern.
Remarks: I agree with all four statements, with a couple of conditions:
1. I would like to see spoilers (noise making devices) banned within city limits. I understand that they are part of high performance racing, but are not needed for recreational purposes.
2. I prefer to see the existing trails being maintained properly, rather than developing more and more trails. Our existing trails are getting ‘trashed’ as usage increases.
3. There should be trails that are reserved for non-motorized use only. But I firmly believe that we can share most trails.
4. I will not promote motorized recreation because that is not the role of a city councillor to promote one form of recreation or another. I will support motorized recreation as a choice that is preferred by a significant part of our population.
5. Whitehorse is a winter city with a long tradition of out and away snowmobile access and so I support shared use of some trails to allow that to continue.
Remarks: As an active Atv and snowmobiler I will continue to support all forms of motorized vehicles now and in the future.
Statement 1: The $26 billion figure contained in the question is very impressive. Thank you for noting it. As a candidate, I don’t think it would be fair for me to support or promote any economic endeavour over another.
Statement 2: I require further study of this matter before I can answer the question. Personally, I would like to see more trails dedicated to walking and skiing only, but I am definitely open to looking at this matter in greater depth.
Statement 3: As I mentioned in Question #2, I am leaning towards more trails being exclusively dedicated to walking and skiing. Nevertheless, I am prepared to view things with an open mind.
Statement 4: My first instinct is to support the proposition contained in this question as it is posed.
Statement 1: I recognize that responsible motorized recreation in allowed areas is an interest for many Whitehorse citizens and so I support it within those confines. I don’t really see my role as a city councillor to “promote” any particular sport or interest but I certainly don’t oppose it and I definitely acknowledge the great work that KSA does in trail maintenance and promoting responsible snowmobile use.
Statement 2: The city undertakes planning around trail development, use, maintenance and designation. I support the work the parks and recreation department does in this area. I cannot make a blanket statement about this as it would be determined on a case by case basis and with advice and information provided to council.
Statement 3: In general I agree with this statement but as noted above exceptions might be determined on a case by case basis. Some trails and areas lend themselves to single use (cycling or walking or motorized), some should not be motorized at all, some should be motorized alone.
Statement 4: I have not read the bylaw example but I have no issue with this idea as long as “under supervision of a responsible adult” is outlined and ensures the adult must be with the child – within view.
Further to question 3: I support a multi-use trail management system which includes some motorized ONLY and some non-motorized ONLY. I recognize that some users want quick access to the hinterland.
Further to question 4: As long as he/she has been issued a Snowmobile Safety Course Certificate (or similar certification) and is under the immediate supervision and control of a person eighteen years of age or older who has been issued: i) a valid Driver’s Licence; or ii) a Snowmobile Safety Course Certificate. And he/she and their supervising adult is subject to all rules of enforcement.
Statement 1: I do agree that snowmobiling is a big part of the winter recreation scene but would like to know how much economic activity is estimated to be generated in the Yukon.
Statement 2: I feel that trails have to be more definitely designated.
Statement 3: I cannot support the multi-use trail management model.
Statement 4: I feel that snowmobilers also have to abide by the Motor Vehicle Act as regards to age.
Remarks: There needs to be a lot more discussion about some of these questions but thanks for the opportunity to have to think about them again.
Statement 1: Agree
Statement 2: Agree
Statement 3: Unsure, need more information
Statement 4: Don’t know / need more information. Agree in principal but would want to have a community discussion.
Remarks: Snowmobile and ATV use is a way of life and important activity for Yukoners. Businesses, hunters, and individuals rely on its continued use. Users should be able to enjoy their use into wilderness areas, that are not high use for other activities. Users must also have access trails to get to areas to enjoy.
Remarks: In principle I agree with your statements, but the simple yes/no does not allow room for nuance and tact in the response, which is required.
I am an avid 4-wheel drive/overland travel enthusiast (2 Toyota Land Cruisers) and on hiatus from snowmobiling – thought I really want to get back on it. I am very pleased to have many areas around the
city to practice my driving and explore, and thank the Association for their efforts generally, and specifically in the areas that I can bring my trucks. Without trails, quality of life in the city would not be anywhere near where it is.
Statement 1: Yes, I agree that motorsports is a large and growing industry. Not only that, it feeds off a deep part of our culture as western Canadians and Northerners.
Statement 2: I believe in maintaining existing access, and clarifying where that access is, so that all of the public understands what we as a community have agreed to in terms of motorized and non-motorized routes. As the city develops and grows, new corridors will be opened, and a clear expectation of how they are to be used is required for community solidarity and cooperation.
Statement 3: The multi-use model is the correct way to go, but there must also be dedicated trails and routes that service specific activities and transport methods. I would be thrilled if one day we had a beautiful trail away from roads that could be used as a commuter route for all kinds of non-automobile transport to all neighbourhoods. Like I say, though, managing all expectations at the outset is key for these programs to be successful.
Statement 4: In principle, supervised riding for young people when under direct supervision is a good idea. Parents and riders would know better than me what the appropriate age would be to begin allowing that – 12 does seem young. I would also look to territorial laws and the influence the city can have on that, in order to better strengthen the bylaw, as well has have to do legal analysis and check in with counterparts in Yellowknife on their experience and places they see room for improvement, so that we get the best laws possible.
Statement 1: I agree, and would love to know what impact snowmobiling has on the Whitehorse economy. I know there are a lot of shops and repair work and imagine you have a pretty sizeable impact.
Statement 2: I agree. Trails continue to be a staple in the Whitehorse community and there is ample space for everyone to take advantage of what mother nature has to offer.
Statement 3: I agree. Its important to protect all trails in the community and ensure that anyone who wants to can do so safely!
Statement 4: I’m not familiar with age restrictions but know that so many kids are exposed to snowmobiling as a family event at the cabin or in the bush. I have some questions but will look into the Yellowknife bylaw and see what best-practices are!
Remarks: Any time I’ve run into a snowmobiler on the trails or around the city, I’m always greeted with a smile and a wave. They always slow down when passing, if not stop altogether. There will always be those who give snowmobilers a bad name but I have yet to meet them and I can’t wait to work with the KSA!
K.S.A. Events Survey Results
Thank you to everyone who completed our K.S.A. Events survey! During the 2017/2018 snowmobiling season the K.S.A. organized several group snowmobile events. For the most part they were successful, however we couldn’t help but notice that, despite record membership levels, attendance at our events had declined vs previous years. To help us understand why and to better plan our future events to give Yukoners more of what they really want we decided to do a survey. Our K.S.A. Events Survey was an online survey consisting of ten multiple choice questions that we ran for approximately six months and invited all of our members to complete. The overall message we received from our members was to continue hosting events similar to how we have been, with some minor adjustments.
Some highlights of the survey results:
– Of the respondents approximately 15% were not interested in events, 21% wanted to see more events, and 64% felt that a few simple, inexpensive events are sufficient.
– For riding locations approximately 10% said no need for events, 10% wanted to ride within city limits, 28% wanted to start and end within city limits but take a quick route out and away, and 52% wanted to have events outside of city limits.
– Approximately 7% prefer to snowmobile from their place of residence to an event, another 7% said they would rather truck or trailer their snowmobiles to an event, and over 80% of respondents said they could do either, it depends on the event.
– For food and beverage options the most popular choice was to have some coffee and hot dogs around the fire during the event, the second most popular choice was to just focus on the snowmobiling and then meet somewhere for food or beverages after, and third place was a quick stop for a snack or a sip of coffee.
– When asked what kind of events they’d be interested in attending 65% said yes to short local area rides, 60% yes to long distance rides, 54% yes to poker runs, 32% yes to ice fishing days, 46% yes to themed and educational rides, 22% yes to take a friend rides, and 25% yes to snowmobile association events that don’t directly involve snowmobiling.
– Approximately 80% of the respondents were interested in attending events on Saturdays and Sundays, 25% on Fridays, and the rest of the days were between 13% and 21% interested.
– 52% of respondents would rather snowmobile events start in the morning, 20% mid-day, no votes for afternoon, and 28% said it depends on the event.
– The most preferred way for people to find out about our events was e-mail, second place was our website, and third place was our Facebook page.
– The top three preferred contact methods for last minute updates on events was e-mail, then Facebook, then website.
– 44% of respondents indicated they would like to ride at an event but could help organize and prepare ahead of time, 28% said they were interested in helping out at an event, and 24% would love to help with and/or organize a snowmobile event, and 40% said they like to attend events but don’t want to volunteer.
K.S.A. Membership Season
The 2017/2018 membership year was another record for Klondike Snowmobile Association, for the first time ever we had over 1000 members. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members for their support over the years! Your memberships directly support our multi-use trail system, snowmobile safety and education programs, community snowmobile events, a winter tourism industry, the Trans Canada Trail, and more.
All 2018/2019 K.S.A. Memberships expire on 30 September 2018, but we’re now accepting renewals for 2018/2019. New members are always welcome as well, so tell your friends! New for 2018 we have a brand new online membership form, you can now submit your K.S.A. membership form and pay your fee all online, no more printing needed and no mailing or dropping off required! Check out our Membership page for details. For anyone not interested in the new technology there is still an option to print the form and send it in the old way as well.
Whistle Bend Trails Update
The City of Whitehorse has now designated two main trails for Whistle Bend. The inner loop is designated as motorized multi use trail (commonly known as an MMU trail), and this is the trail that they would like Whistle Bend residents with snowmobiles, ATVs, etc. to use as an out and away trail. The outer ring around Whistle Bend is designated as a non-motorized only trail. If you have further questions or concerns regarding this please contact the City of Whitehorse.
New Online K.S.A. Membership Form
We’ve introduced a brand new way to sign up or renew your Klondike Snowmobile Association Membership! You can now save time and paper by submitting your K.S.A. Membership form electronically and paying your membership fee by E-Transfer. You can check out the new form at http://ksa.yk.ca/membership/membership-form/, instructions are include on the form.
For those who preferred the trusty old paper methods, there is still an option to print the form and then you can mail it in or drop it off in person just like before.
More K.S.A. Membership information is available any time on our Membership page.
When reviewing membership application forms over the past few seasons we have noticed one of the most common responses in the “What would you like to see the K.S.A. do this year?” section was more events. We responded last season by putting together a Take a Friend Snowmobiling ride, brought back the Annual Ice Fishing Day, and hosted a group ride on the Dawson Overland Trail. All three were fun and successful with most riders saying we should do it again.
For the 2017/2018 season, we once again put together those three events, and added an Aurora Viewing Ride. Although fun was had by everyone who attended the 2017/2018 events, we did notice that attendance was noticeably lower than in past years. The Aurora ride had about half a dozen riders, the Take a Friend ride saw only two riders, the Dawson Overland Trail ride was cancelled because nobody showed up, and the Ice Fishing Day had only four riders.
As a result we have put together a quick online survey to see what we can do to better align our future events with what the membership wants. This free 10 question survey is all multiple choice, takes less than five minutes to complete, and all responses are anonymous. We are kindly asking all K.S.A. members to complete the survey over the coming weeks. It is available on line at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8CWXXSX
You can also submit any thoughts, ideas or suggestions directly to us any time using the usual Contact Us methods.
New Whitehorse Trail Map
The City of Whitehorse and the Klondike Snowmobile Association have successfully entered the Whitehorse area multi-use trails into Polaris Ride Command. This new mapping system is available through your computer web browser and also in app form for your mobile devices. There are many great features on the interactive map, including the ability to organize group rides, record and save waypoints, find points of interest, options to keep track of your sled maintenance, and many more.
The program is internet based, but regional maps can be saved on your device for use in areas with no internet connection. Some features do require you to set up an account, however it is easy and free to do so. Trails within Whitehorse city limits are already in Polaris Ride Command, and we look forward to adding more areas of the Yukon in the near future!
Check it out today at https://ridecommand.polaris.com/en-us/home
Almost anyone living in the Yukon would agree this season’s weather has been way up and way down, and bouncing between the two far faster and more often than usual. As a result we are seeing a challenging year for snow conditions. One day it’s great, next day it’s dangerous…
The Yukon Avalanche Association has put out a public service announcement to warn everyone about very dangerous avalanche conditions expected all around the southern Yukon for January 12th-15th, 2018.
Due to the wide variety of conditions we are seeing and the rapid changes of those conditions, we are encouraging everyone to please check the weather forecasts (available from a wide variety of sources), avalanche conditions (they can be found through the Yukon Avalanche Association), and trail conditions (available right here on the K.S.A. website) before each ride.
Also due to the fast changing conditions, we are asking everyone to please after each ride share the conditions you saw and encountered. Even if they are the same as the last report updating the time and day of those conditions is still a huge help. We accept condition reports via e-mail at email@example.com, phone or text at 867 667 7680, and through comments and messages on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Avalanche related conditions should also be shared directly with the Yukon Avalanche Association. Thank you everyone for helping to make snowmobiling safe!
It’s been a busy year for the K.S.A., and work is continuing for the upcoming snowmobile season…
We’ve recently acquired a new trail groomer, a Kubota side by side on tracks towing a new larger grooming drag. We ran it on wheels over the fall season to break it in, and it’s now on tracks and ready to groom the trails. This was a huge financial project for the K.S.A., and we are still open to donations via our GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/ksagroomer. We greatly appreciate everyone’s help with it and look forward to having it on the trails for you this winter!
Our Annual General Meeting was held on 06 Nov 2017. After looking back on another successful year, we elected our 2017/2018 Board of Directors and discussed the upcoming season. Attendance at our AGM was noticeably higher than in previous years, and things are looking good for the upcoming season. At this point we are financially stable, we have a full compliment on our Board of Directors, we have our new groomer in service, we are on track to meet or exceed last year’s record membership numbers, and we have several events planned for our members over the coming winter.
More events is once again becoming a common theme in the “What would you like to see the K.S.A. do this year?” section of our membership applications, so we are doing just that! We have begun planning several group snowmobile rides for the 2017/2018 season, including an aurora viewing ride, a take a friend snowmobiling ride, a family ice fishing day, and our annual Dawson Overland ride. Details on these events and many more are available on our events page. If you have an idea for a K.S.A. event let us know, we’re always open to suggestions.
This past summer we hosted a series of trail work evenings, which had several volunteers out on the trails on a regular basis over the summer to help clear overgrown trails, remove fallen trees, update signage, and so on. We are hoping to continue this project next summer but we will need more volunteers, so we have begun putting together an e-mail list of everyone who would be interested in coming out. Further details are posted on our Volunteer page, and if you are interested in helping please let us know via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also seeking volunteers to fill a variety of other rolls, both summer and winter, and details can be found on our Volunteer page.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members and volunteers for your continued support, our success would be impossible without you. We look forward to continuing to serve Yukon snowmobilers in 2017/2018, and as always if you have any comments or suggestions, or would like to get involved, please do contact us or come out to one of our meetings or events! (Times, dates and locations of our meetings are listed on our Events page.)
K.S.A. New Groomer Update
Our new trail groomer has arrived! We’re proud to see the arrival of our latest and greatest trail grooming machine, a Kubota RTV1100. We’ve received it on wheels initially for a break in period, and once broken in we’ll be converting it to tracks for winter trail grooming. We look forward to having it on a trail near you soon! Our current plan is to use it on our main line trails, and continue to operate our Ski-Doo and Polaris wide-track snowmobiles for grooming smaller trails.
Although the new groomer has arrived, we still have some set up to do, and we’re still hoping our members can help us out with it. Check out www.gofundme.com/ksagroomer to see how you can help! Any donations big or small will be greatly appreciated.
A Record Year for K.S.A. Membership
The 2016/2017 membership season was a record year for the Klondike Snowmobile Association, for the first time in our 36 year history we had over 900 members. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members for their support over the years! Your membership fees are immensely helpful with supporting our multi-use trail system, snowmobile safety and education programs, community snowmobile events, and a winter tourism industry.
All 2016/2017 K.S.A. Memberships expire on 30 September 2017, but we’re now accepting renewals for 2017/2018! New members are always welcome as well, check out our Membership page for details.
The Great Trail Is 100% Connected!
The Trans Canada Trail was born out of the Canada 125 celebrations in 1992, and a goal was set to have it completed for the Canada 150 celebrations in 2017. On August 6th, 2017, Canadians from coast to coast to coast came together to celebrate 100% nation-wide connection of what has become known as “The Great Trail”, a multi-use trail stretching over 24,000 km through every province and territory in Canada. Now that The Great Trail is 100% connected, work continues year-round as we maintain and improve the trail. For more information on the Trans Canada Trail in the Yukon, check out our Trans Canada Trail page.
Whitehorse Trails and Greenways Committee Update
Over the past several years the volunteer based Whitehorse Trails and Greenways Committee has been providing advise and recommendations to the City of Whitehorse with regards to trail planning and designating in the City of Whitehorse. The committee was supported and attended by volunteers from several groups around Whitehorse, including the Klondike Snowmobile Association. Unfortunately in recent months city council has chosen to put aside the recommendations of the committee supported by many and instead cater to a few vocal individuals. Several people within the City government have since acknowledged this failure, and the committee is currently in the process of disbanding. The Klondike Snowmobile Association would like to thank all volunteers for their time spend serving the committee.
City of Whitehorse begins planning for Robert Service Way area
The City of Whitehorse has launched a new survey to help form a long term plan for developing the Robert Service Way area, from the airport to Ear Lake between the highway and the river. Several questions on their survey involve snowmobiling and other such activities on recreational trails in the area, so be sure to have your say! The survey is available on line at http://www.whitehorse.ca/departments/planning-building-services/robert-service-way-area-plan.
Whistle Bend Trails
The perimeter multi-use trail around Whistle Bend was initially developed as a motorized multi-use trail for residents in the new Whistle Bend area to use as a way around Whistle Bend and an “out and away” trail to gain access to Whitehorse’s multi-use trail network. City council has now changed this to a non-motorized trail, despite recommendations from the Whitehorse Trails and Greenways Committee, the Klondike Snowmobile Association, and a variety of other user groups, in total representing thousands of Whitehorse residents. At this time snowmobiles are permitted on the trail, but other motorized vehicles including dirt bikes and ATVs are not. If you have an opinion on this matter please contact the City of Whitehorse, http://www.whitehorse.ca/about-whitehorse/contact-us.
The Klondike Snowmobile Association Is Acquiring A New Trail Groomer!
The K.S.A. is proud to announce a new trail groomer for the multi-use trails in and around Whitehorse! Our new groomer will be newer, larger, and more capable than any of our current machines. Coming soon is a new Kubota side by side which will be fitted with tracks, and a new grooming drag to tow behind it (similar to our current groomers but bigger). We plan to have it on the trails for the 2017/2018 snowmobile season. Our current wide track snowmobiles have served us well, but as the multi-use trail network has grown and the machines have racked up tens of thousands of kilometers, it has come time to upgrade. We have already achieved most of our funding through generous grants, but we are now looking to our members and other trail users to help us achieve the remainder of our funding goal. To make things easy we have set up a Go Fund Me campaign, which you can view and/or donate to at any time by going to https://www.gofundme.com/ksagroomer.
The Klondike Snowmobile Association Has A New E-mail
The K.S.A. has a new e-mail address! You can now reach us at email@example.com. Our old address, firstname.lastname@example.org, has served us well for many years, but it has come time to update and streamline our K.S.A. office. Our new e-mail address (email@example.com) is now in service, so please update your contact lists and address books accordingly.
Travel Advisory For Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site (Skagway Summit Area)
The White Pass and Yukon Route railway has cleared their tracks up to and including the section between Log Cabin and Bennett. They are kindly asking snowmobilers to avoid the railway right of way, due to trains and other heavy equipment using the railway and also exposed tracks can be hazardous to sledders. For any questions or additional information please contact the Site Superintendent, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org , phone: 867 667 3914, fax: 867 393 6701.
K.S.A. Group Rides
One of the top three themes in the “What would you like to see the K.S.A. do this year?” section of our membership forms has been more group rides and activities, so here they are! So far we have planned an ice fishing day on February 4th, a take a friend snowmobiling ride on February 11th, and a Dawson Overland Trail group ride on March 5h. For full details on any of our events please check out our Events page, and don’t forget to put your name down as going on our Facebook page!
New Research and Survey on Health Benefits of Snowmobiling
The Canadian Council of Snowmobile Associations has recently endorsed new research into the health benefits of snowmobiling. A big part of the research is a new survey reaching out to snowmobilers from all over Canada and the U.S.A. We are kindly asking all K.S.A. members to help out by taking the survey.
This is a follow-up study to one previously done on the relationship between OHV (ATV, dirt bike) use and physical activity. As previously reported in the K.S.A. News, OHV use was found to be at least as physically demanding as a brisk walk. We need this research on snowmobile use specifically because many federal and provincial/territorial funding programs are exclusive to “active” recreation and exclude snowmobiling based on the mistaken assumption that snowmobiling is the physical equivalent to sitting on the couch. Consequently, organized snowmobiling misses out on funding opportunities for trail projects and grooming equipment. We need to show the funding agencies that snowmobiling is a physical activity. This especially true in the Yukon where, unlike Ontario and Quebec, most snowmobiling is done on tight, twisty trails or off-trail and can be very physically demanding.
Take the survey today! This survey closes on 15 January 2017.
City of Whitehorse South Trail Plan Survey
The City of Whitehorse is asking the public to fill out a short survey regarding the new Whitehorse South Trail Plan. The survey is available by clicking here. Please fill it out and submit it to Marc Boulerice at email@example.com or drop off your completed survey to City of Whitehorse Parks and Community Development at 4061 4th Avenue in Whitehorse. The City of Whitehorse has asked that all completed surveys be submitted by Friday 07 Oct 2016.
City of Whitehorse begins planning for Whitehorse South Trail Plan
The City of Whitehorse will be launching a new Whitehorse South trail plan. The plan will cover a variety of motorized multi-use and non-motorized multi-use trails in and around Squatters Row, Canyon Crescent, Whitehorse Copper, MacCrae, Pineridge, Wolf Creek, Mary Lake, Spruce Hill, Cowley Creek and Golden Horn. The City will also be hosting an open house on 04 Oct 2016 from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Golden Horn Elementary School library to discuss ideas for the new plan. Please come on out and help develop a community supported plan for your area! Any questions or concerns please contact the City of Whitehorse Parks and Community Development at 867 668 8325.
K.S.A. Launches New Snowmobile Buy and Sell Page
The Klondike Snowmobile Association has a brand new Snowmobile Buy and Sell page, check it out today at www.ksa.yk.ca/classifieds! Ad posting is free for all members and we accept both for sale ads and looking for ads for anything to do with snowmobiling. Sleds, parts, accessories, helmets, boots, trailers, sled decks, you name it we list it!
Please Respect Private Property
There has been several incidences in and around Whitehorse lately of motorized vehicle operators making excessive noise and causing damage on and around private property. The K.S.A. would like to remind everyone to please be respectful of others while operating any motorized vehicle. We’ve also recently been asked by the Yukon Cross Country Motorcycle Association to help spread the word about respecting other people and their property. Remember folks, it only takes one bad apple to give us all a bad name…
The Great Trail
Now that the 24,000 km long Trans Canada Trail is nearly complete, they have proudly introduced a new image and a new way to talk about the Trans Canada Trail, “The Great Trail”. Check it out on their newly launched website http://thegreattrail.ca/, and read all about it in the Globe and Mail’s special feature on the The Great Trail at http://globeandmail2016.thegreattrail.ca/2016/what-is-the-great-trail.
City of Whitehorse Releases Draft of Chadburn Lake Park Management Plan
The City of Whitehorse has recently released a draft of their Chadburn Lake Management Plan. They are now seeking public comments. Please visit www.whitehorse.ca/chadburn to review the draft plan and see their accompanying “What We Heard and How We Considered Your Input” document. The deadline to submit your comments is 30 June 2016.
The City is also holding three events for the public to come out and chat with the planners and provide feedback. There will be a Main Street ‘Pop-Up Park’ on Tuesday, June 14th, 10am – 3pm, between the White Pass Building and The Old Fire Hall; a barbecue on Wednesday, June 15th, 3:30pm – 7:30pm, on the Riverdale side of the Rotary Centennial Bridge (blue foot bridge); and a Fireweed Market Booth on Thursday, June 16th, 3pm – 8pm, at Shipyards Park.
Participants will be entered in a draw for a $100 Canada Games Centre certificate. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The K.S.A. encourages everyone to check out the plan and submit any comments.
Klondike Snowmobile Association Joins Twitter
We’ve just set up a Twitter account, check it out @KSAyukon! We’ll be running it along side our website and Facebook page as another method to help generate interest and keep Yukoners informed about Yukon snowmobiling related news, events, trail conditions, etc. As Twitter is still new to us we would be (as always) more than happy to hear any comments or suggestions.
A Message from Recreation Sites and Trails BC…
While sledding in the Log Cabin area near the cross country ski trails please be aware that motorized use in winter can damage the trail surface when it is groomed for skiing. Please refrain from riding on the ski trails. Your co-operation is appreciated.
The Log Cabin Ski Trails are established as Recreation Trails under the Forest and Range Practices of B.C. with the intent and purpose of non-motorized recreational activities only, unless authorized. The trails are managed and maintained by local volunteers under a Partnership Agreement between the Log Cabin Ski Society and Recreation Sites and Trails B.C.
If you have any questions or require further information on the Log Cabin Ski Trail system please contact the Recreation Sites and Trails Branch office in Terrace, British Columbia at: 250-638-5100 or at RecInfo@gov.bc.ca.
The Yukon Achieves Full Trans Canada Trail Connection
The Trans Canada Trail and the Klondike Snowmobile Association are proud to announce that the Trans Canada Trail has been fully connected in the Yukon! The Yukon is Canada’s third province/territory, after Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island, to reach this milestone. For more information, check out the Yukon Trans Canada Trail section of our website!
New Discount for Snowmobile Rentals
Yukon Wide Adventures is now offering a 10% discount on snowmobile rentals for all members of the Klondike Snowmobile Association. Check them out today at http://www.yukonwide.com/english.html !
Membership Season Is Here!
The leaves are changing, and that means membership time! Your 2014/2015 K.S.A. membership will expire on 30 September 2015, and renewal notices will be going out shortly. This year, in an effort to save volunteer time and mailing cost, we are encouraging all members to send in your renewals early so we can get right to mailing you your 2015/2016 card instead of a renewal notice. Also, now is the time to encourage your friends to sign up as new members so they can get the most out of their 2015/2016 K.S.A. membership card! For more information and to print a membership form please see our Membership page.
Rotary Centennial Bridge
Over the past several months there has been several meetings and public input opportunities regarding the possibility of the City of Whitehorse re designating the Rotary Centennial Bridge as multi-use, allowing snowmobiles, ATVs, etc., to use it as a safe method of crossing the Yukon River in Whitehorse. After some consideration City Council has voted to keep the bridge off limits to motorized users. Despite this loss the K.S.A. will continue to look into and work with the City on finding a safe, cost effective method of joining the two sides of Whitehorse for snowmobiling. If any of our members have ideas to share please feel free to contact us.
McLean Lake Trail Re-route
The McLean Lake trail has been re-routed in the McLean Lake Road area to accommodate a new gravel pit going in. The new trail leaves the old trail shortly before the McLean Lake Road crossing via a right turn when coming from Granger/Copper Ridge heading to the Copper Haul, or a left when coming from Copper Haul heading to Granger/Copper Ridge. The new section travels farther up west, crosses the road near the existing gravel pits on McLean Lake Road, and then rejoins the old trail on the other side. Please note the new section has some rough areas as it is still under construction. Signage is up to indicate the new route.
K.S.A. Safety Trailer For Sale…
Several years ago, with the help of several local sponsors, the Klondike Snowmobile Association acquired a tandem axle enclosed trailer, and did it up as a Safety Trailer. Some of the original plans included taking it around to local businesses and having it open to the public during membership drives, and also taking it around to the communities and offering snowmobile safety courses. Unfortunately for our Safety Trailer, over the years the insurance rules, availability of facilities and volunteers, and general goals of the K.S.A. have evolved and the use of this trailer has steadily declined for several years now. At a recent board meeting it was decided that rather than have the trailer sit under a snowbank and further depreciate, it should instead be sold to someone who can use it and the money put towards our plans for a newer larger groomer. Anyone interested in purchasing the trailer can contact the K.S.A. for further details.
Make your voice count!
For years, the Klondike Snowmobile Association and other motorized user groups have sought a safe way for people to cross the Yukon River with their snowmobiles and ATVs. We have asked city council to allow us to cross the Rotary Centennial Bridge in Riverdale. Non-motorized advocates have begun a letter wiring campaign to city hall to oppose designating the Rotary Centennial Bridge as motorized multi-use. We need as many people as possible to let city hall know that Riverdale residents need a safe way to cross the river with their recreational vehicles. Please sign a copy of our RCB Letter or write your own letter of support to designate the Rotary Centennial Bridge as motorized multi-use. Letters can be sent to email@example.com or dropped off at city hall. This issue will come to a council vote soon so please send city hall a letter this week.
Klondike Snowmobile Association
Another winter season is upon us, and with a new winter season comes a new K.S.A. Membership season. 2013/2014 Memberships expired on 30 Sep 2014, so if you haven’t already be sure to renew your membership ASAP! Membership fees and application process are the same as last year; $20 for single, $30 for family, $100 for corporate and $300 for corporate gold. Please mail your form and cheque to us, or drop off your form and cheque or cash at Sport Yukon. The form was mailed to all current members, and is also available at several locations around the Yukon and on our website under Membership Form. Don’t forget to tell your friends!
Mark your calendars for December 1st at 7 pm, we’ll be having the K.S.A. Annual General Meeting and everyone is invited! Check out or Events page for more details.
Interested in volunteering this year? We have several projects on the go and extra help is always appreciated. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or come on out to one of our monthly meetings (times and locations are listed on our Events page) if you are interested.
Poker Run ideas? As mentioned in a previous K.S.A. News update, the 2014 Annual Charity Poker Run was cancelled due to declining attendance. As we have consistently heard around town that the new Whitehorse Snowmobile Bylaw was a major factor in the declining attendance, we are seeking out ideas from our members on how we can bring back this event in such a way that will once again bring out a large enough crowd of riders to make it worth the time and effort that goes in to organizing it. If you have any thoughts, ideas or suggestions please let us know via email (email@example.com) or via our Facebook page.
For more news, including stories on some new bylaws that may affect snowmobiling around Whitehorse, some trail projects in the Crestview area, and more, check out our Fall 2014 Newsletter.
K.S.A. Annual Charity Poker Run Cancelled for 2014
Unfortunately the K.S.A. will not host our Annual Charity Poker Run this year. The past couple of years have seen declining attendance and it’s come to the point where we question if the effort is worth the return. Snowmobilers have consistently told us that the City of Whitehorse Snowmobile Bylaw restriction on family rides is the reason they’ve stopped coming to our event. We have always opposed this restriction and we will continue to lobby the city for change.
The K.S.A. is open to suggestions from the membership regarding the future of this event. We would love to continue the tradition so please let us know if you have any ideas to help make the poker run viable again.
Special Safety Week Offer – 33% Off Whitehorse Safe Snowmobiler Card
In celebration of Snowmobile Safety Week, January 18-26 2014, there is a special limited time offer to save 1/3 on the Whitehorse Safe Snowmobiler Card, which is required for all Whitehorse residents who operate a snowmobile within the city limits. Regular price is a one-time fee of $34.95, but anyone who registers between 18 Jan 2014 and 26 Jan 2014 will get 33% off. Please check out http://www.snowmobilecourse.com/canada/whitehorse/ for more information and to get your card.
Mt Sima Welcomes All Members of the Klondike Snowmobile Association!
Mt. Sima ski hill has generously welcomed members of the K.S.A. by granting membership to the Last Run Lounge on the upper floor of the chalet. Please show your K.S.A. Membership Card to sign in, and then sit back and enjoy some good food and a coffee or hot chocolate (alcohol is also available, but please remember the K.S.A.’s zero tolerance policy and don’t drink if you are going to be sledding). In addition, a new snowmobile-only parking area has been set up near the entrance to the parking lot, please ask inside if you have any questions on where to park snowmobiles or truck and trailers. Mt Sima would also like to take the opportunity to wish all members of the K.S.A. a safe and happy 2014!
We would like to welcome our newest corporate member, and our newest Membership Benefit, Trails North!
Trails North, on the Alaska Highway just north of Porter Creek in Whitehorse, has signed up as a new K.S.A. Corporate Member; and also has generously offered all K.S.A. members a new 10% discount at the Trails North restaurant (excludes alcohol)… Please stop in for a great snack, lunch, dinner or even just a hot cup of coffee! They also have a motel and gas/propane service. The gas pumps are easily accessed by snowmobile from the trail that connects from the Copper Haul Trail.
Speaking of which, we’d like to remind all users that the trail has been re-routed slightly, before it came out on the north end of their lot, and as of this fall it now joins the Trails North parking lot at the far south corner of their lot.
Copper Haul End of McLean Lake Trail Gets Some Improvements
The McLean Lake Trail finally got some much needed leveling at the Copper Haul end, and that area of the Copper Haul Road also saw some improvements this fall. Thanks to everyone who donated the time and equipment to do the work!
Urban Connector Trail Re-Route by Trails North
Please note that as per Trails North, the multi-use trail that meets the Alaska Highway through the north end of the Trails North parking lot has been re-routed, it now meets the highway at the south end of their property. The new section begins at the rear south corner of their lot and loops around directly behind their lot, and rejoins the old existing trail near the north corner just before where it used to open into their parking lot. Signs are up to indicate where the new trail is, and we kindly ask all trail users to respect the property owners and use this new route.
Canadian Avalanche Centre Warns Backcountry Users About New Smartphone Apps
Apps marketed as transceivers give users false sense of protection…
Oct 24, 2013, Revelstoke, BC: Smartphone avalanche search applications that are marketed as avalanche rescue systems are not recommended, says the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC). Three European-made apps are presenting themselves as economical alternatives to avalanche transceivers, the electronic device used by backcountry users to find buried companions in case of an avalanche.
For more info please see the full article on the Canadian Avalanche Centre’s website at: http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/avalanche-search-apps-press-release
Smartphone Avalanche Search Apps — A Review
Smartphones are popular—in Canada, around 56% of people use one. Recently apps have appeared on the market designed to allow one smartphone to search for another in avalanche rescue scenarios. In this way, users are given avalanche victim search functionality on their handheld device. There are currently three apps available: iSis Intelligent (Mountain) Rescue System; Snøg Avalanche Buddy; and SnoWhere. The iSis and Snøg apps are available for iPhone only. SnoWhere is an Android only app. Such apps are referred to as smartphone avalanche search apps.
For more on this please see the full article on the Canadian Avalanche Centre’s website at: http://www.avalanche.ca/cac/avalanche-search-apps-review
It’s Membership Season!
It’s that time of year again… The leaves are turning, the snow is coming, but your K.S.A. membership is expiring! Fresh membership forms are being sent out this week to all current K.S.A. members, please fill out the form and send it back with your membership fee ASAP so we can get you your new card before the old one expires (All 2012/2013 K.S.A. membership cards expire on 30 September 2013). Alternatively, our online form can also be used. Also, if you know anyone who might be interested in the K.S.A., help us spread the word and direct them to our website!
Clinton Creek Mine Site Warning
The Yukon Government advises that access to the Clinton Creek Mine Site is now prohibited. This abandoned mine site is unstable and dangerous and there is a risk of serious injury or death. For more information, please call 867 456 6147.
City of Whitehorse Trails…
The City of Whitehorse recently hosted several task force meetings to designate trail usage in the City. The meetings were divided into two areas, “East of the Yukon River” (Riverdale area) and “Above the Airport” (Granger, Copper Ridge, Hillcrest, etc.) Everyone is encouraged to tell the city what you think about trail designation in these areas by completing the on-line surveys. The surveys are available at http://www.whitehorse.ca/trails until 04 Jan 2013.
Sima Creek Bridge is now open…
The new Rodney Cox Memorial Bridge over Sima Creek on Whitehorse’s Copper Haul Trail is now open for use! The grand opening ceremony took place just in time for winter, and we’d like to thank everyone who made the bridge possible – especially the Cox family for their years of dedication to the K.S.A.!
Sima Creek Bridge…
The Sima Creek bridge replacement project on Whitehorse’s Copper Haul Trail is now well underway. Please note that the old bridge will be taken out either Wednesday 19 Sep 2012 or Thursday 20 Sep 2012, and the new larger bridge will be put in its place over the next couple weeks. The grand opening and dedication ceremony is planned for Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 at 15.30.
Sled Smarter Avalanche Safety Giveaway…
The Yukon Avalanche Association is giving away a complete set of Avalanche Safety Gear for your backcountry adventures! For more details and to enter please visit their contest website at: http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/205324
City of Whitehorse Adopts New Snowmobile Bylaw…
After several months of drafting, consulting & reviewing the City of Whitehorse has adopted a new Whitehorse Snowmobile Bylaw as of 27 Feb 2012. Please see our Whitehorse Snowmobile Bylaws page for more information.
For older news stories and/or further information on current news stories, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 867 667 7680.