SOD Club Presidents and executives
It has become very apparent that the changes we have seen in our winters are becoming the norm and not the exception. In fact, the snow line now appears to be closer to Sudbury and North Bay, whereas just a few years ago both Highlands and Hardwood had long ski seasons with abundant snow.
We are all seeing a much shorter ski season. In addition, our SOD athletes are at a disadvantage compared to most of the athletes across the country when it comes to time on skis and frequently athletes have little or no time on snow before the first significant race of the year. The only antidote that we can see to the situation is to be able to offer both our recreational members and our athletes reliable man- made snow from late November to late March.
To make a loop attractive to both recreational skiers and athletes, a loop would have to be at least 1.5 to 2 km long and have some elevation change. Anything shorter would likely not attract many members.
The Ontario Winter Games just a few weeks ago were only saved by being able to move the event to the alpine side of the resort where there was ample man-made snow. Highlands also made some snow last December and that snow (albeit a pretty short loop) stood up to the warm February days and was still skiable in early March; however, it is too short to really be useful for training.
Thanks to the work of many dedicated volunteers who years ago raised significant funds working bingos, SOD is financially secure and is in a position to assist a club or clubs with the cost of acquiring snow making equipment.
We are contacting all SOD Clubs to gauge your interest in working with SOD to create a man-made snow loop that would be available to all SOD members for early and late season skiing. SOD is in the position to only assist one club with snowmaking and it would require either some existing snowmaking capabilities or commitment by the club to provide funding in addition to what SOD can provide.
It is our expectation that in exchange for SOD providing funding, that the successful club would offer either free or discounted access to the snow loop for at least five years.
The one thing that money can’t do is provide adequate water to make snow. A typical fan gun uses up to 250 gallons per minute. To be able to make a usable loop, multiple snow guns would be required. Ideally the water source is either from a flowing stream or contained in a pond so that the water is as close to 0°C as possible. If you do not have access to adequate water it Is unlikely that you would be able to make adequate snow.
If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please contact Richard Lemoine email@example.com or Patricia MacDonnell firstname.lastname@example.org .
We would like to receive an indication of your interest by March 31. We will be in touch with any interested clubs to discuss what you can offer and how SOD could help.
It is the board’s hope that we would be able to offer a man-made snow loop to our members by the fall of 2018.
On behalf of the board of SOD
Richard Lemoine Secretary - Treasurer