Is there a code of etiquette at Telemark?
We cater to diverse user groups, including snowshoers, recreational skiers, a biathlon and race team, school groups, ski lessons, and dog walkers. To help keep our trails and facilities accessible to everyone, we ask our members and guests to follow these guidelines:
- Help maintain our classic track by skate-skiing and herringboning in the skate lane only.
- If you are snowshoeing, please stay on the designated trails. If a snowshoe trail intersects a cross country ski trail, please yield to the skiers and avoid stepping on the classic track.
- Step aside to let faster skiers / snowshoers pass.
- Be mindful and respectful of slower snowshoers and skiers.
- Please keep your dog on a leash until you are across the road into the dog trails. Please note that dogs are only permitted on the designated dog trail.
- Help us keep the handicapped parking spots free by avoiding crowding or parking in the handicapped spots, unless you are briefly using the spot for drop-off / pickup.
- Please use the disposal bins throughout the facility for all garbage and dog waste.
What time are the trail conditions posted?
The trail conditions are updated when the groomer returns to the lodge each morning, which is typically between 8 am and 9 am (the trails are groomed between 4 am and 9 am). Our staff are exploring an automatic system for updating trail conditions to get real-time live information to our members and guests faster. As of yet, we have not found a system that fully meets the unique challenges and needs at Telemark (e.g., overcoming limited cellular service, reliable, user friendly). Once we have found a system we are happy with, we look forward to sharing it with our members and guests.
Is every trail groomed daily?
We have approximately 60 km of groomed trails at Telemark, which is simply too much ground for one groomer to cover in a day. The popular trails are groomed daily, the less-used trails every 2 days or 3 days. In addition, after a substantial weather event, we prioritize quality over quantity so grooming is slower and fewer trails than scheduled will be groomed on those days. Our daily grooming plan is published here. More information on grooming at Telemark is available here.
Will Telemark establish more trails in the future?
Ah, great question! Telemark currently has over 110 km of managed trails. Our primary objective has been, and continues to be, creating a facility that is accessible to everyone, varying from school groups strapping on their first pair of skies to nationally ranked athletes. With this vision in mind, we are proud to have expanded our facility recently to include the dog trail network with a 3 km ski trail and 7 km of stunning snowshoe trails. Our staff and board of directors appreciate the importance of diverse terrain to our user groups, and continuously evaluate options to expand and improve our services.
This goal however presents some challenges. Our biggest limitation is physical space; there is little to no remaining area to expand our trail network within the existing property footprint. Other options we are exploring include expanding above our current lease to Bull Mountain (formerly Crystal Mountain); however, this land is leased to a third party and is therefore not currently a viable option.
As we expand our trail network, we also need to consider how an increased user group might impact other aspects of our facility, such as parking, which is already stretched past capacity. Other amenities that will require upgrading or replacement as we continue to grow include the washroom facilities, lodge, and ski rental resources. Additionally, further expanding the trail network will exceed our grooming capacity. An increase in the number of groomed trails will require a second groomer and additional staff to operate it. This comes at an approximate price tag of $500,000.
Do you have night skiing?
Yes! We have 3.5 km of lit trails, which are turned on 7 days per week from dusk until 9:00 pm. The lodge is open for day pass purchases and rentals until 9:00 pm weeknights and 6:00 pm weekends (check the website for seasonal changes to hours of operation). You can also safely ski or snowshoe any trail with a good headlamp, available for rent in the lodge.
Will Telemark increase the number of lit trails?
A few BC clubs have recently done trail lighting projects with costs coming in at around $100,000 per km of trail. The current trail lighting on Memory Lane and Rabbit is the highest maintenance (cost and time) line item on our annual budget. This is largely attributed to trees falling on power lines, but burnt bulbs and broken poles are also expensive to maintain. This topic comes up every year at the board meetings and the discussion stops when we ask “is it worth it, and which trails would we light?” Additional trail lighting is not currently in the plan.
What do I do if a tree or other hazard is blocking part of the trail?
Ah yes, we have a team of highly qualified “ski and slashers” on staff for just this occasion! If you encounter a tree or branch obstructing a trail, please let our staff know and someone will be sent out on a “ski and slash” mission to cut back the offending branches.
To try and abate problematic trees, our volunteers spend two to three months every fall pruning our trails after the wildfire risk drops and the trees stop growing. This is a momentous task, as we have over 110 km of ski and snowshoe trails, both sides of which require pruning, for a total linear distance of 220 km! To put that into perspective, that is the distance from Kelowna to the USA border and back. Also, 2 meters of snow plus 2 meters of skier means we have to prune to about 4 meters vertical. This is a huge task. Very important, but huge. It is amazing how much the trees grow over the summer.
Can we have a warming hut at the Crystal summit?
We love this idea, but it has not hit the project list yet. If you have ideas for raising funding and recruiting volunteers for this initiative, we would love to hear from you!
Do you post road conditions on the website?
Plowing and sanding the road to Telemark falls within the purview of the City of West Kelowna. Since road maintenance occurs on an unpredictable schedule and frequency, we do not post the road conditions on our website to avoid providing incorrect information. Glenrosa residents often post real-time road updates on their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/825078517573632
How will Telemark address the parking lot capacity limitations?
The parking lot capacity limitations are a high priority project at Telemark – we currently have a task force working on this initiative.
Our parking lot is situated on leased crown land administered by the province, which means that changes to the parking lot footprint require government approval. Additionally, the parking lot is completely surrounded by wetlands that provide habitat to amphibians and other wildlife species. Pursuant to the Provincial Water Sustainability Act, these wetlands are protected and cannot be infilled without approval, which can be an onerous and expensive process to get. For these reasons, there is a considerable amount of regulatory obligations that complicate a future expansion. Although we appreciate this is a priority project at Telemark, we must work within the limitations of the applicable legislation and lease conditions.
How do I receive club communications?
If you buy a season pass, your email address is added to our e-newsletter distribution list. We send out emails to our season pass holders whenever there is something interesting to share, on average about every 2 weeks. The information is also posted on the home page. Season passes go on sale at early bird prices in August. If you intend to ski or snowshoe at least eight times a year, a season pass is more cost effective than a day pass.
Why don’t I receive the day pass confirmation emails?
For every purchase in our online store, we send a confirmation email plus a separate email for each item purchased. If you do not receive one or both emails, please send details to email@example.com so we can troubleshoot.
Where do I find information youth and adult programs?
It is on the website under the “programs” tab.
Are there seniors discounts?
Seniors as a group are heavy users, comprising about 25% of the total load on the facility. As a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization, the club must in aggregate charge enough to break even. Reducing the price for seniors requires us to raise the price for someone else and we don’t think that it is appropriate that students, parents, teens and pre-teens should be subsidizing our heavy users.
Where do I find information about events?
Do you have any summer programs?
No, but you are welcome to use the property, at your own risk, for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. By order of the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the terms of our lease, no motorized sports or vehicles are permitted on the property. Black flies and mosquitos love it here so come prepared, and remember that all fire bans and restrictions must be observed.
What are you doing about climate change?
Sharing our thoughts on this important topic, the board has concluded that
- the climate models and our actual recent experience indicate that we will probably get longer seasons and more snow in the Okanagan and,
- it is unlikely to have a significant impact on the Club within the next 10 year time frame.
For the time being, we plan to continue business as usual.
One project we hope to do is to install a solar array on the lodge roof to take us to “net zero” power consumption. The project plan is written, we just need a way to finance it with a reasonable return on investment. Also, whenever a trail light burns out, we replace it with an LED fixture and we recently extended grid power to the biathlon range replacing the inefficient gas generator.
When we purchased our current groomer, after down-selecting for models meeting the minimum needs for our grooming, we selected the model offering the best fuel economy and smallest environmental footprint.