Thank you to the Whitecourt Chamber of Commerce for hosting the trade fair this past weekend and to Whitecourt Woodlands Tourism for your sponsorship for the booth space. We are so grateful to SLH Picker Services and Pile Driving for hauling our Groomer and Drag to and from the Curling Rink Parking lot and for providing us with mats. Thanks to those fellows who prepped the equipment – painted, fixed & washed it. We appreciated the Polaris tent (to keep us protected from the elements) – Adrenaline Powersports. In addition, thank you to the volunteers who stood out in the rain, snow, wind and cold (all seasons but summer). Our Volunteers for this project – Jim Hearn, David Newbury, Len Danyluk, Rodney Koscielny, Don Price, Shirley Picard, Cyril Lanctot, Williard Strebchuk, Dan Guenette and Cindy Brooks.
We are looking for volunteers to clean up the staging area to get ready for our campers this upcoming summer season. Annually, we rent out the staging area to group campers from May until September each year. We have partnered with Alberta Parks and Environment to maintain the campground, which allows us to use the staging area in the winter. Fortunately, we are able to hire a grounds keeper to maintain the grass and clean the cookhouse and washrooms weekly. Thank you Ken Wright for doing such a great job for us.
In order to get started, we like to do a quick clean up of leaves, debris and fallen trees in the area. We welcome kids, parents and grandparents to come and join us for a wiener roast and help out with the clean up. The party starts at 6:00pm and we will conclude around 8:30pm. Join us on Thursday, May 4th at Eagle River Staging Area approximately 2km on Highway 32 North. Bring rakes, gloves, tarps and shovels. SEE YOU THERE, it’s suppose to be 20c during the day. Bring on spring!!
REFLECTION 2016/2017 SEASON
Thank you to all of our supporters this season – volunteers, donators and those who purchased ASA Membership Trail Passes and Sled Raffle Tickets. We had a year with low snow and warm temperatures, however, the club had many projects and activities on the go. The following are projects that we accomplished and we want to thank all those that were involved:
-monthly meetings for the Executive and the General members (Executive Committee over 300 volunteer hours)
-We had a booth at the ASPS Event in Edmonton and Winter Mania in Whitecourt
-Hosted an Avalanche Awareness session with Zacs Tracs and also hosted a Avalanche Seminar with Avalanche Canada in November.
-Building our Partnership with Industry – Pembina Pipeline Corporation, Midwest Pipelines, Millar Western Forest Products, Blue Ridge Lumber. Pembina built a pipeline through the northern part of our trail system from Gundy Cabin to Carson Cabin and through the areas. Millar Western was busy logging on the north and south areas adjacent and across our trails. Blue Ridge was logging in the north.
-Our Adopt a Trail program and other volunteers cleaned and maintained 485 kms of our trails. Our dedicated and greatly appreciated volunteers developed, modified and mulched trails in the Bessie Creek area, Stony Creek, Eagle River Casino area and by the Chickadee Burner/Old Man River. There was over 1000 hours dedicated to our trails this year. In addition to the great work completed and donated by Midwest Pipeline in the northern trails (200 hrs)
-Dedicated volunteers spent many hours erecting new signs on the trails
-Our work on updating our maps and designating CNT’s are almost complete and ready to be registered with Alberta Land Titles. We will then reproduce our paper, billboard and computer maps. Maps will be available to download in the Garmen file in the Fall (over 200 volunteer hours)
-Our staging areas are all cleaned up, shed has new siding and tin on the roof. Wood all stocked up for the next season. Upgraded wood stove in Summit cabin.
-Many groomer repairs/modifications such as brush guards completed and installed on both snow cats and installed LED Lights on snow cats and the truck (over 200 volunteer hours)
-We sold 163 2017-ASA Membership Trail Passes. We now sell Trail Passes on our website as well as at our suppliers.
-We had a profit from the sale of the Sled Raffle Tickets. Thank you to our volunteers who sold tickets (over 345hrs)
-Developed a new agreement for renters for the Eagle River Campground. Almost every weekend was booked from May to September.
-We’ve approached the Town and County to construct a portion on to the Athabasca Bridge which would assist with snowmobile traffic in the winter crossing the Athabasca River.
-Organized a VIP and Media Ride that did not occur due to low snow and warm temperatures.
-Organized a Canada 150 Rally for February 18/19 that did not occur due to low snow and warm temperatures.
-Partnered with the Golden Triangle Committee on organizing an Adventure 350 Rally planned for March 4/5, but unfortunately did not go forward due to low snow and warm temperatures.
-We were given 6 awards from SnoRiders West Magazine for the 18th Annual Rider’s Choice Awards – Platinum – Favorite Snowmobiling Area in Alberta, Silver Favourite Snowmobiling Area in Western Canada, Gold-Favourite Scenic Snowmobiling Area in Alberta, Platinum – Favourite Groomed Trail Riding in Alberta, Platinum-Favourite Powder Riding in Alberta, and Platinum-Favourite area for Family Snowmobiling in Alberta.
-Three groups from our club won 3 awards from the Alberta Snowmobile Association in October:
1.Dan, Sue, Brad, Rachele and Hailey Guenette – Canadian Council of Snowmobiling Organizations award presented at the ASA Excellence Awards in October.
2.Bailey Hearn was given the Outstanding Youth Award
3. Cyril Lanctot was awarded the Louise Sherrin Lifetime Achievement Award
-We won the Provincial SnoRiders West Sledtown Showdown the Provincial level and received a trophy and gift certificate for winning – highest number of voters. Lost out in Round 5.
-We are now into organizing and planning for next season. Although we had a low snow year, we will still operate, maintain and develop trails and plan for events. Thank you to all of you who make our club what it is. Thanks again to our donators, suppliers and supporters. See you on the trails next year
On Wednesday, February 8, 2017 Trevor Shand, Whitecourt Area Supervisor of Pembina Pipeline Corporation presented a $30,000 cheque to Aaron Munro, President of the Whitecourt Trailblazers Club at the Royal Canadian Legion.
The donation represents the full commitment to the Club and by donating these funds it reflects on Pembina’s support of the Club and the Club’s ongoing contributions to the community towards the maintenance of the 485 KM snowmobile trail system in the Whitecourt and the Woodlands County area. In 2013, discussions began between Pembina and the Trailblazers about the pipeline coming through the area and how it would impact the snowmobile trails. Through many discussions and negotiations between the Trailblazers and Pembina, a determination on the pipeline right of way location and how it would impact the trails during construction & development ensued. As part of the pipeline construction project execution plan, a portion of the northwest trail system has been closed down for the current 2016 / 2017 snowmobile season, to allow Pembina to complete their construction project with little interruption or safety concerns to snowmobilers. Pembina has been a great partner and our largest Corporate donator in the past few years. In 2015, Pembina donated $50,000 as the transportation sponsor for the World Snowmobile Invasion. In 2017 the Trailblazers received a $30,000 donation from Pembina for the Club’s participation and assistance in providing access to critical portions of the new pipeline construction project.
Thank you Pembina Pipeline Corporation for your continued support and strong working relationship. We appreciate the partnership we have formed.