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Revelstoke Snowmobile Club revved up for expansion

The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club enjoys big natural advantages. Local sledding mountains, including the main groomed-access riding areas of Boulder Mountain and Frisby Ridge, enjoy tons of snowfall accessed from convenient parking areas.

But the club, which was formed in 1968, isn’t content to rest on this advantage, as they approach 50 years of pushing forward with new projects.

Riding above Revelstoke. Photo: Steve Shannon
Riding above Revelstoke. Photo: Steve Shannon

Revelstoke Snowmobile Club builds new welcome centre

Currently, their new welcome centre is nearing lock-up phase and is scheduled for completion in 2016. The facility will host their groomers, allowing for better upkeep. It will have a welcome centre where staff can assist sledders with information and advice on the local mountains, and spread awareness about safety and all the riding opportunities in the region. The welcome centre will directly serve Boulder Mountain and Frisby Ridge, which are typically the first stopping points for snowmobilers from out of town.

I met with Revelstoke Snowmobile Club president Daniel Kellie at the new facility, where workers were assembling the giant timber frame entrance way to the new building.

Kellie said that knowledge and safety awareness will be a key function of the facility. The deep powder mountain riding available in Revelstoke is a unique experience, and visitors need to be aware of what they’ll face and be equipped to deal with adverse situations the mountains will send your way. Staff will be on hand to assist and providing riding tips and advice.

Revelstoke Snowmobile Club president Daniel Kellie at the new Revelstoke Snowmobile Club welcome centre under construction at the base of Boulder Mountain. The facility, which will host a number of services for sledders, is scheduled to open in 2016. Photo: Aaron Orlando
Revelstoke Snowmobile Club president Daniel Kellie at the new Revelstoke Snowmobile Club welcome centre under construction at the base of Boulder Mountain. The ~$375,000 facility, which will host a number of services for sledders, is scheduled to open in 2016. Photo: Aaron Orlando

Revelstoke Snowmobile Club applies for tenure to groom new snowmobile areas

In potentially big news for the club, they are applying for management agreements so they can groom trails leading to several other popular sledding mountains, including Hall Mountain, Sale Mountain, Turtle Mountain, and Griffin Mountain. Their applications are winding their way through the process, and actually moving forward with the plans would happen in phases over several years.
The expansion plans are in response to ever-growing numbers and feedback from users, who want better season-long access to more riding areas. Expanding groomed access will relieve pressure on Boulder Mountain and Frisby Ridge, which is getting more popular each year.

Each year, the club hosts several events that are a good introduction to the strong local snowmobiling community.

Key events:

Revelstoke Snowmobile Club Youth Safety Day Feb. 13, 2016

This new youth-focused event introduces young riders to key avalanche safety concepts.

Revelstoke Snowmobile Club Vintage Ride March 5, 2016

Meet at the back Boulder Mountain parking lot and travel up the mountain for a show and shine at noon at the Boulder Mountain Cabin. There will be lots of trophies for costumes and best vintage sleds from each decade.

Snowarama Snow Drags, March 6, 2016

Watch head-to-head snowmobile racing at the Frisby Ridge parking lot with racing starting at 9 a.m. Racers compete in various classes, including vintage.

Revelstoke Snowmobile Club Ladies’ Ride Mar. 26, 2016

This annual ladies’ event features guided group rides on Boulder Mountain and a fun evening event with prizes afterwards.

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For more on the Revelstoke Snowmobile club, and for more details on these events, visit their website.

4 Comments

  • The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club has a control issue with Boulder and Frisby and it would be good to get this worked out before more tenure is awarded. In the past, whenever we have attempted to use the Jordan Forest Service Road for sled-access ski touring (Turtle, Copeland, etc.), the snowmobile club attendant demanded that we pay for use of the ‘groomed trails’. We were even threatened once with having our vehicles towed if we continued. To clarify, we were NOT going to use the Boulder or Frisby groomed trails.

    This stance is illegal as you can not block public access to public land just because you have a tenure or management agreement. Sometimes, we would be there arguing with the attendant for a couple of hours (thanks for that by the way). After this happened many times, we gave in and simply didn’t go there any longer. Bummer considering that Turtle and Copeland have some very good ski touring on them. But, I let it go as did others. After all, there is a fair bit of terrain out there.

    And now on the plate is more? Hall, Sale, Turtle and Griffin. My question is: Will the same tactics (charging money for use or refusing ‘entry’) be used for these new areas? Entry to public land that is. If so, I suggest that the club find a way to deal with this situation as Hall, Sale and Griffin are historically used for ski touring as well.

    I’ll repeat what I said earlier in case it was overlooked: You can not block public access to public land just because you have a tenure or management agreement.

    Regards,
    Douglas Sproul
    Revelstoke

    • mm

      Hi Douglas,

      Thanks for your feedback. I have contacted the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club for a response, from Daniel Kellie – Club President:

      To get to these places he is mentioning, you have to use groomed trails to get there. The management agreements we have are merely for groomed trails, not the whole mountain, merely as access to the back country. The specific areas mentioned are tenured areas for heli ski (just like I have tenure on 7 mountains in Revelstoke, but still have to pay to use the groomed trails on both Frisby and Boulder). We will most certainly be charging to use any future groomed trails, regardless of where they lead. I am not sure where exactly how he was getting to the places in question without going on a groomed trail – if he had to go through the booth to get there, then they most certainly would have to go on a groomed trail.

      Our management agreement is in place from November until April every year, and the fee is to cover costs associated with grooming and maintaining our trails only. We have no jurisdiction over tenured areas of any sort, although on the access to Turtle we do ask the snowmobilers respect the heli runs (but we cannot enforce that if they don’t).

      We will refuse entry to persons not willing to pay an entry fee on our groomed trails only, as that is within our management agreement to charge such a fee, otherwise there would be no trails. Regardless of where the trails lead to.

      I would need to have more detail. Please contact me with any concerns:

      Daniel Kellie, Revelstoke Snowmobile Club President
      daniel@glacierhouse.com

  • January 25 2016
    Re access to Copeland and Turtle mountain ski touring.
    The snowmobile club does a huge disservice to itself and members by not allowing ski touring groups to access other areas on account they have a tenure. This flies in the face of the “public access” guarantee in their tenure and is in bad faith to the community at large. The simple solution is to move the gate further up the FSR, which is blocked to the public by their tenure. Trying to gouge a little more money from a few sledders is crap! The so called tenured area is a few k of FSR that we all use here in Revelstoke. all year round, and simply putting up a toll gate should not allow you to block access to people who have no other way in!
    As far as Hall mountain, there are several wildlife issues that have not been addressed by the club, as the road into North Hall passes through winter range for several different species of ungulate. Having seen the devastating displacement of large ungulates on Boulder by the huge increase in sledding over the past 30 years, I fear for the animals wintering on Hall Mountain. Maybe back off a bit and leave some wild places for those that are able to access them without “groomed trails. I remember when we sledded on Boulder and Hall and elsewhere without “groomed trails”, simple ability was all it took.
    The increase in mechanical access to winter range, the increasing helicopter flights, in winter and summer are acting to remove the wild in the wilderness that surrounds us. We are losing our hinterland so a few mor revved up sleds can go a bit faster and further. Enough is enough!

    • mm

      Hi Pat,
      Thank you for your comment and concerns. I have contacted the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club for a response on this one as well. Please see below from Daniel Kelli – Club President:

      “This is merely a request and is in the hands of Forestry to look into all the wildlife issues – if there are issues? Then so be it. The reason of the request is due to the fact that Frisby and Boulder are getting too populated and we are needing to expand merely due to demand, not as a ‘cash grab’ per se. We are responding to many requests from our user groups. Winter tourism in Revelstoke is growing, as is summer, and we are trying to negate future issues by addressing them now.

      The Copeland and Turtle area has been requested to be included for the simple fact of high avalanche risks and in the interest of public safety, the Kirkup is already with our agreement, so we are not changing anything – just adding to the current trail system of Boulder. Currently the access is to cross 3 avalanche paths to access these areas, and by brushing the current skid trail there and grooming it, takes people out of the high risk areas as well as not cross heli ski runs.

      It is forestry that does not allow non mechanical use of the trails, not the club. We are just abiding by the guidelines set out within our agreement. There is a user fee to use these trails to cover costs of machinery and wages used to maintain them. Any excess money is put back into the community, or utilised to maintain these trails in the summer.

      We have no tenure on these mountains, just a trail management agreement with Forestry. The reasons for these agreements is to service the users to have easier access to these areas, also with safety in mind. Fees have not been discussed for these areas. Yes, there is a fee for Boulder and Frisby, but amounts (if any) have not been assessed for the trails requested.

      Your points are noted, and valid. The club appreciates the time taken to make these points known to them. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact me directly.

      Kind Regards
      Daniel Kellie
      email : dakellie@hotmail.com
      cell : +1 250 683 9403

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