ANNUAL FAMILY SNOWMOBILE RALLY - FEBRUARY 15-17, 2019

Aaron Munro, “Mr. Adrenaline” THANK YOU!

Jun28

40th Anniversary Celebration – Aaron Munro

Aaron Munro has been a member of the Trailblazers for about 10 years. Aaron and Chrissy Munro have owned and managed Adrenaline Powersports Ltd. in Whitecourt since 2010. The business is the hub of information about the Club, it’s members and the trail system. They are the experts with snowmobiles and equipment. They are one of the great places in town that people go to find out about information about riding in our area.

Aaron goes above and beyond for his customers to make sure they have great customer service and that they are provided with the necessary information. He is a great ambassador for the sport and recreation of Snowmobiling. Aaron prides himself in the support he gives the club as well as the support for his customers for parts, repairs and general snowmobile information. A few years back, the Club purchased a display case to hold some of our memorabilia and he is graciously housing our memories in his store.

Aaron has been on the Trailblazers Executive as Secretary, Vice President, President and Past President. Aaron has also adopted a trail and is a great volunteer to jump up and do what has to get done; despite having to run a business. He has leant us equipment, which has also been very helpful at times. We know that it isn’t always easy or at the best of times, so thanks for that.

Aaron and his staff have volunteered for trail maintenance and other projects since the beginning of the store’s operation. The store also helps the Club by selling Alberta Snowmobile Association Membership Trail and Day Passes, sled raffle tickets, rally tickets, merchandise, answering phone calls about the condition of the trails, handing out maps of trails and other information. Adrenaline is a great supporter of the club and it’s activities. They always promote safe snowmobiling. They continue to answer general questions that the public may have about snowmobiling or products to assist with safe riding. Adrenaline Powersports is a major donator for our Annual Family Rallies by donating prizes.   In addition to donations, every Rally, Adrenaline Powersports sponsors, volunteers and organizes a checkpoint and provides riders with food and drinks. They are the Checkpoint that always has the delicious cookies that his mother-in-law bakes. Adrenaline has been a major sponsor and donator for our sled raffles. They have donated a sled in the past, as well they have discounted the club purchase price of our sleds. They have also helped with sponsorships for different events. Aaron is always a great community supporter.  Aaron enjoys riding the trails and is known to head to the mountains as well.

Aaron, Chrissy and Adrenaline Powersports Ltd. we thank you for everything you do and wish you great success always.

Dale Gunderson, The Trailblazer

Jun21

Dale was involved in snowmobiling most of his life. He bought his first Snowmobile – a 1967 Nordic Ski-doo, when he was 19 years old. Dale and his wife Elaine used to go out on dates on his sled, going for rides at night and on week-ends. Since his first sled, he had ridden numerous brands.

Dale began racing Snowmobiles in 1969 on the NWSA Ice Oval Circuit and raced for 10 years.  He was very involved on the the Executive and organizing of the NWSA.  In 1972, Dale won the Alberta Championship the night his son was born. Once the racing ended for Dale, he continued to ride Polaris machines for enjoyment and Whitecourt Traiblazers Snowmobile Club volunteer work.  Dale was always willing to lend a helping hand, flagman, corner judge, and winner’s circle inspector. He developed lifelong friendships through racing and his leadership and volunteerism were respected throughout the organization.  Through his contacts in racing and snowmobiling in Alberta, Dale became a “testing agent” for a Snowmobile Manufacturer (Polaris) and various aftermarket snowmobile performance products.

Dale would log 4000 – 5000 kms each year on his various snowmobiles.  He loved to ride in the Whitecourt Area. He’d travel to Yellowstone, Montana for one week each year with his sons, the General, his friends, and the boys from Rocky Mountain Tours. Dale also traveled with Rocky Mountain Tours to Revelstoke each year in November and March. Dale became a fixture on these tours and it was just expected that he’d be coming along.   They later called it the Dale Gunderson Memorial Tour.

Dale was an active member of the Whitecourt Trailblazers Snowmobile Club for 22 years (since 1985). During his time with the Trailblazers, Dale held a number of executive functions including; President, Special Projects, Trailboss, and Director.

As Trailboss, Dale would organize to have the trails cleaned of fallen trees and underbrush each fall. Dale would split volunteers into groups of 5 – 8 guys and create routes for all of them to travel and clean trails. He’d also work with Alex to organize that vehicles could be moved to various locations on the trail system so volunteers didn’t have to “back-track”. This proved to save hours of non-productive travel for the volunteer trail cleaners.  The first few weekends of November each year were always reserved for Trail Cleaning, and Dale found a way to make this work fun for everyone. Once the trail system was completely cleaned by the Club volunteers, Dale would head out with his buddy Alex Manweiler and check to make sure everything was OK. They’d end up do a little more trimming and cleaning. Dale referred to that work as “giving the trails a little tune-up”.

Since the inception of the Club and the development of the trail system, the Club has developed several series of Maps for sledders. Dale was involved in the development of those maps. He was usually spearheading the map creation, as he knew the trail system better than anyone.   Dale also managed the Eagle River Group Camping area maintenance for over 20 years.

Dale became involved with the ASA in 1985. He attended ASA Functions regularly from 1985 to 2007, such as AGMs, Jamboree’s, Award Banquets, etc… He provided positive input to help improve the safety and organized snowmobiling in general in Alberta. Dale always had a positive attitude towards the ASA and organized snowmobiling.

Dale also owned and ran the Rupp Center in Whitecourt and sold and serviced snowmobiles in 1970 with a friend. Dale’s reputation as a skillful mechanic, trouble-shooter, and performance optimizer were second to none. Until his untimely death in January 2007, Dale was still providing snowmobile mechanic services to several friends and family.

On Dale’s first snowmobile trip to Yellowstone in the late 1980’s, Dale observed how the trails in the Yellowstone area were marked and mapped. He noticed what the snowmobile community had done in Yellowstone to make it possible to provide “safe & organized snowmobiling” for as many as 3000 snowmobilers in one day. Dale also identified things that could be improved. He then brought those ideas home to put into action on the ASA trails in the Whitecourt area. Many of Dale’s observations and ideas regarding trail signage are still in place today and have also been adopted by other clubs in Alberta.

In 1984, Dale & others from the Whitecourt Trailblazers assisted the community of Mayerthorpe to try to set a snowmobile club in their community. They attended meetings and offered advice. The Mayerthorpe Club never did reach success, but Dale’s advice was very much appreciated.  In 1987, Dale & others from the Whitecourt Trailblazers assisted the community of Westlock to set up a snowmobile club in their community. Dale was recognized for his contributions to that club at their 2007 ASA Jamboree.

In the late 1980’s the concept of the Golden Triangle and a snowmobile trail link between the communities of Fox Creek, Swan Hills, and Whitecourt began to take shape. Again, Dale Gunderson was involved in this process. He was involved in scouting and signage for the Golden Triangle that then became part of the TransCanada Trail System.

Dale was an avid and skilled rider. He may have logged as much as 185,000 kms of recreational snowmobiling riding over a 41-year history on 29 different snowmobiles owned. He rode throughout Alberta and BC, went to Yellowstone Montana each year, and had ridden in Quebec on one of the Rocky Mountain Tours in the early 1990’s.

The Trailblazers hosted the 2000 ASA Jamboree and Dale was one of the Club leaders that was instrumental in making it a success.

Dale was involved with grooming operations in Whitecourt since 2003. He was one of the Club’s main groomer operators until his untimely death. Dale was also instrumental in the acquisition of grooming equipment for Whitecourt Trailblazers Snowmobile Club in 2003.

In 2004, Dale was awarded the ASA Excellence Award for Outstanding Snowmobiler.

Dale passed away on January 14, 2007 at age 60. At the time of this death, he was out with a few friends and his two sons. They were surveying the trail system near Whitecourt and removing fallen trees. A wind storm had fallen a number of trees throughout the trail system and Dale was concerned for the safety of fellow riders. There was also an upcoming snowmobile rally in February 2007 and Dale wanted to ensure that trails would be safe for all. He passed away doing volunteer work for the Whitecourt Trailblazers Snowmobile Club and the ASA with his two sons at his side.

If it had to do with snowmobiling, Dale Gunderson, had already done it before most others had even thought of it.  He was very concerned about the “image” of the sport and would lend some advice in this regard to both new and younger sledders he ran across. He was an advocate of safe riding and did not tolerate drinking while sledding. A few drinks were reserved however for the “after sledding meeting” at the pumphouse.

One of Dale’s favorite sayings was “it only costs a little bit more to go first class”, and first class was what Dale Gunderson was all about. If it was worth doing, it was worth doing right, and you could see it very clearly in everything he did.

Whitecourt Trailblazers Snowmobile Club executive members estimate that Dale Gunderson volunteered more than 30,000 hours during his 38-year involvement in snowmobile clubs in Whitecourt, the ASA and the NWSA. Dale held every executive position in the Whitecourt Trailblazers Snowmobile Club at one time or another, from President to Director and everything in between. He will be remembered mostly as the “trailboss” of the local Trailblazers.

Dale was a father figure to many younger Club members. He was always available to provide helpful hints and advise on riding and sled performance. He was the first person many in the Club would call when their sled wasn’t working just right, and Dale usually had the answer. If Dale couldn’t fix a sled, it probably couldn’t be fixed by anyone else either.

Dale, Elaine, Kelly and Jason grew up snowmobiling.  The family was always volunteering for the club and they are still involved.  Elaine and Dale both were also involved in the community and recognized and awarded for their efforts with the Kinsmen, Golf Course,  Repeat Boutique and many other efforts.  Dale has been truly missed and we will never forget GUNDY.  A memorial area and cabin was developed in his name on our trail system.   Thank you to the Gundersons!!

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Alex & Karen Manweiler – Lifetime Members – Thank You

Jun15

40TH ANNIVERSARY – VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION
“ALEX & KAREN MANWEILER”

Alex and Karen are long-time members of the Whitecourt Trailblazers Club. He served on the club executive for over 30 years in various positions. As well, Karen served in positions. In addition to local involvement, Alex has served on the ASA Executive and still volunteers at the ASPS event. The Trailblazers owe a lot of their success to Alex as he has been a huge part of the club. The Manweiler Trail was opened in February 2011 with a ceremony on the trail attended by ASA, local and provincial government reps, and many Trailblazer friends and family.

Alex has been involved in organized snowmobiling since 1979 when the Whitecourt Trailblazers Club was formed. Prior to moving to Whitecourt, he lived and sledded in Saskatchewan. In the early 1970’s, Alex enjoyed snowmobiling in Meadow Lake, SK. There was no formal club, so his family rode with other families. In 1976, Alex moved his family to Whitecourt where they still reside. Before the elaborate trail systems, Alex rode ditches and powerlines with local trappers and other sled enthusiasts. Alex still rides right from their garage in the Whitecourt and thoroughly enjoys it.

In the late 1980’s, the concept of the Golden Triangle and a snowmobile trail link between the communities of Fox Creek, Swan Hills, and Whitecourt began to take shape. Alex was involved in this process. He was involved in scouting and signage for the Golden Triangle that then became part of the TransCanada Trail System and is now called the Great Canadian Trail.

Alex and Dale Gunderson helped Westlock form a club in 1987. Today, Westlock is one of the most successful snowmobile clubs in Alberta.

The Trailblazers, led by Alex and Dale, approached the Town, County, and MLA back in 2003 to investigate acquiring a groomer for Whitecourt. Alex spearheaded a fund-raising campaign to raise $40,000 locally in 2 weeks to match some grant money in order to purchase a groomer and drag. The equipment was delivered in April 2004. Alex received training from Bombardier and groomed up until 2015.

Alex is a great role model for other members of the Trailblazers and a great representative for the entire sport. He use to eat, sleep, and breathe snowmobiling. On any given day throughout the year, Alex was volunteering for snowmobile-related tasks. Whether it was hanging signs on the trails, speaking with the Town/County/SRD, meeting with resource companies that are crossing trails, or attending ASA functions, he was always active. One of his favourite sayings is/was “just make sure it’s done right”.

Alex and Karen have received many awards for their service and dedication, including the Louise Sherren Lifetime Achievement Award for the sport. They are still volunteering for the rallies, invasions and selling raffle tickets. We are so grateful that they moved to Whitecourt back in the 70’s. They have shaped our club. Thanks for everything you two. Alex was fortunate enough to ride their “Namesake trail – the Manweiler Trail” this past season. Hope to see you on the trails next year Alex.

THANK YOU TO THE MANWEILERS!!

Ken Linford, a true Trailblazer – THANK YOU!

Jun07

40TH ANNIVERSARY – VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION
“KEN LINFORD”

KEN LINFORD was a major part of promoting, guiding and continuing the spirit and commitment of the Whitecourt Trailblazers. Ken became involved in the Club in the mid 1990’s as a young fellow and also supported us in the community through his business. Unfortunately for us, Ken is no longer living in Whitecourt; however, he still has ties to Whitecourt and visits often.

Ken Linford was and still is a leader of the sport of snowmobiling in Alberta. He is well spoken, charismatic, a tireless volunteer and very well respected in the snowmobile community in Whitecourt and throughout Alberta. He is a true leader of our sport. Lucky for us, through Ken’s job in Edmonton, he still promotes our club and our trails.

In the past, Ken held the President, Vice President and Past President positions on the Executive. He regularly attended ASA AGM’s, ASA Jambories, and Rallies held by neighboring Clubs to represent the Whitecourt Trailblazers. He offered sound advise to many smaller clubs in terms of finances, fundraising, casino applications, grant applications, mobilizing volunteers, etc. Ken was key to building the Golden Triangle group back up to operating.

Under Ken’s leadership, the Whitecourt Trailblazers Snowmobile Club has consistently been one of the top 3 largest snowmobile Clubs in Alberta in terms of members and arguably the most active Club in Alberta in terms of actives, innovations, fundraising, and accomplishments. Ken was heavily involved in ALL Club activities since 2007 to 2017. Annual Club Activities include: Fall Trail Cleaning, Annual Poker Rally organizing committee leader, Casinos for Club Fundraisers, Annual Snowmobile Raffle, Staging Area Clean up, Cabin Repairs, Trail Repairs, assisting with building new cabins and lookouts and Snowcat Repairs. Major accomplishments for the club, he helped organize the 2009 and 2015 Invasions.

Ken is a true volunteer. He worked tirelessly and gave up business and personal time to the sport and Club and expected nothing in return. Ken was also a huge donator to the Club through his stores in Whitecourt and Edson. Ken had always hoped that the ASA and the Whitecourt Trailblazers will continue the legacy of strong leadership and community involvement. Ken has received awards for his hard work and dedication to the club.

We thank you Ken, Mistie and Jordan for your support, time and expertise in guiding the Trailblazers. We always look forward to seeing you in the community and hope you can find time to come back and ride the trails, visit the facilities and club that you helped build up. THANKS!!!!!

Available Weekends at Eagle River Group Camping

Jun04

$200/night for group camping. We have June 14,15, & 16th available as well as September 6th on. Please contact the Forest Interpretive Centre at 780-778-3433 to book.

Industry Presentation – June 11, Forest Interpretive Centre, 7:00pm

Jun04

INDUSTRY PRESENTATION
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Forest Interpretive Centre
7:00pm

We are hosting an Industry Presentation, from Millar Western and Blue Ridge – West Fraser. Come and find out where they will be harvesting over the next few years – short and long term and how it affects the clubs. Other discussions will be blowdown along the cut blocks, buffer zones, signage etc.

Everyone is welcome! This is a great opportunity for us to meet with our industry folks and have open discussions.

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