Five Star Okanagan Nordic Ski Extravanganza with Murray Wood, Pedorthist

Five Star Okanagan Nordic Ski Extravanganza with Murray Wood, Pedorthist

I am no stranger to long-distance events. This is one event I came up with for a true Nordic experience in our Okanagan valley, which I call the “Five Star Okanagan Nordic Ski Extravanganza”

I picked the first Wednesday in March to do my five-star event. This was a typical early March day with a blue bird sky and a chilly morning temperature that would nicely warm up as the day progressed along, until cooling down again in the evening. All in all, it was a full, tremendous day.

To paint the picture for you and describe what the five-star event would turn out to be, goes like this – to classic or skate 10km in each of these five Nordic centres.

     

      • First off in Nickel Plate at Penticton

      • Then coming north to Telemark Nordic centre in West Kelowna

      • Over to Kelowna Nordic off highway 33

      • And then to Silver Star Nordic trails

      • And finish at Sovereign Nordic Centre

    My apologies to Larch Hills Nordic centre, which I have skied several times on their amazing trail network. Maybe next time I will add it in and make it a six-star event. 

    I started at Nickel Plate Nordic Centre at approximately 7:30AM after having a good night of sleep at Apex Mountain Lodge. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to ski Nickel Plate, you should. It is a wonderful ski area with the highest elevation of all the Nordic areas at 1850m. It was -21C, and I made a good decision to ski classic – my skiing out on the Panorama Trail was absolutely beautiful. A clear sky where you could see for miles the fresh beauty of the morning. 

    I then drove into the parking area for Telemark Nordic, and the temperature had already warmed up to -5C and off I went on my skate skis to do Fern Creek Trail. This trail is wonderful, and the grooming was tremendous. I added a couple of laps off their stadium to complete my second 10km. 

    Next, I made my way through Kelowna, turning right on Hwy 33 up to the parking lot which is on the right side of 33 just past the road which takes you to Big White. This access point to the amazing trail network is so easy. I did an out and back and actually got carried away with the day. The ski was a bit further but so well worth it.  If you get a chance to ski Kelowna Nordic, you will quickly realize what a gem this area offers to us. I have skied here many times, and the trail network system is full of beautiful loops for either the skate or classic skier.

    Leaving there, I was able to make it to Silver Star Nordic trail system before dusk, entering at Brewer’s Pond Base. It had started to cool off a bit, but it was still lovely. I grabbed my skate skis and hit Meadow trail and into Sidewinder. Now I must admit I am very bias when it comes to Sliver Nordic. I have been working for the mountain now as a part-time employee on the Nordic Operations department and absolutely love it. The lower trail network and the amazing upper trail network gives some of the very best views of the Monashee and Selkirk Mountain ranges, a must for the Nordic skier. I took a moment to watch one of the major staff hockey games on the pond and then headed over to Sovereign.

    It had cooled off to -10C at Sovereign and the lights were on. Skiing here again, playing in the stadium, and then heading out on the light trails, is for me nothing shy of the best of the best. Once again, I am very bias of Sovereign because this is my go-to favourite for coaching masters on Thursday evenings during the ski season.

    I finished up at a little past 7:30PM, hitting all five areas with a tad over 50kms of skiing. What a fabulous day to experience these magnificent Nordic areas all within our beautiful Okanagan Valley.

    Murray T. Wood  C Ped (C).     

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