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Do you know about the Snow Host program?

Snowshoers on the Seven Summits Trail. Photo by Sara Golling

Rosy cheeks, toasting sandwiches by a crackling woodstove, snow-covered trees … and visiting with everyone else who has arrived under their own power.  The Rossland Range Recreation Site with its trails, snow routes, and collection of little day-use shelters has become very popular with skiers on various types of skis, snowshoers, and fat bikers.  Some visitors or newcomers may know of it, but not feel comfortable venturing out on their own for their first visit.

Leery about going out there alone?  Snow Hosts can help with that.  Not everyone is familiar with the area or with winter activities, and some are understandably – and wisely -- hesitant to venture out there for the first time without some more knowledgeable person to introduce them to it, and give them basic information about suitable clothing and what they should carry in their day-packs, and show them how not to get lost. That’s where the snow hosts come in – they can do that. And there's no charge -- it's free.

Snow hosts are volunteers who are happy to help others by showing them some of the trails and winter routes for a day, and providing some basic advice about going out there.  For instance, a snow host will probably advise people to carry a map and a compass, even if they have their phones or GPS devices; cell service out there is spotty, and GPS doesn‘t tell you much about the terrain or the bush. Snow hosts may advise people to carry water to drink, and extra clothing, and to choose wool or synthetic fabrics over cotton, especially in the winter.  They might explain that it’s always wise to carry matches and other fire-starting materials in the cooler seasons.  They may show their guests the maps posted at various intersections, and how to read them.

Snow hosts will not take their guests into hazardous terrain – don’t expect to go skiing on steep, avalanche-prone open slopes on an introductory day with a snow host.

Volunteer Rob Richardson is currently the contact person for the Snow Host Program; anyone interested in going out for a day of introductory touring in the Rec Site on skis or snowshoes can contact him by e-mail at rob@rosslandrange.org or by phone at 250-362-5881. Rob can put people in touch with one or more of the volunteer snow hosts to find a mutually convenient time and date.

After one trip with a snow host, most people will feel comfortable exploring the Rec Site further on their own.

Who does this for us?

The snow host program is run by the not-for-profit, charitable organization, Friends of the Rossland Range Society, which manages the Rec Site under a partnership agreement and management plan with the Ministry of Forests.

For printable maps and other good things to know about the  Rec Site, visit http://rosslandrange.org/RRRS/know.html

If you have a thorough knowledge of the Rec Site and the surrounding terrain, and believe that everyone who goes out there should be well-prepared and carry a stock of emergency supplies in their backpacks, and enjoy introducing others to the joys of the Rec Site’s great outdoors, then please get in touch with Rob Richardson to discuss being added to the list of snow hosts.  The more, the merrier!