With the return of freezing temperatures comes one of the region’s most treasured outdoor attractions: the Lake Windermere Whiteway.
The Whiteway had been open over the last week, but thanks to the recent chinook conditions have understandably deteriorated. While the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club, which is responsible for general maintenance on the Whiteway, will not be holding an official opening, they are encouraging members and people in the community to attend the first annual Dorothy’s Angry Turtle Winter Triathlon on December 31.
Beginning at 11 a.m. at Kinsmen Beach, participants will be able to pick their three events of choice from skiing, ice skating, running or biking and compete against other valley residents on the approximately 6 km track in what’s being considered a mostly fun event.
“We wanted to give people a free hand to choose whatever event they want,” said Jakub Sunbera of Crazy Soles, who is helping to organize and run the event. “It’s just for fun, it’s not like it’s a world championship or anything.”
Participants may take part either individually or as part of a team. While Sunbera says that they would prefer to see team members taking part in different events, if a team has three people who ski it shouldn’t be a problem.
The event is free for Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club members, who are also helping promote the event, and everyone else will need to pay a five dollar fee for using the Whiteway. Donations are also welcome to help keep the Whiteway in premium shape.
“We promote any activities that get people out on the lake,” Toby Creek President Rich McCleary said. “Anything that’s getting people outside for some recreation is in line with the goals of our club.”
“It’s been talked about for years—we wanted to have a fun event in the winter to get people interested and motivated,” Sunbera said. “It’s all very unofficial.”
Prospective participants are asked to either register at Crazy Soles, 1045B 7th Avenue Invermere, or simply show up at the event on December 31. The triathlon is open to all ages, and for more information call Crazy Soles at 250-342-2074.
“We hope to see a lot of people out having fun and challenging themselves, and cheering on other competitors,” Sunbera said. “Come out and let us know how you like it.”
The Whiteway will also once again be home to the JackRabbits Kids Ski Program, taking place once a week after school. Both of these events will of course be subject to weather and Whiteway conditions, which can be checked at the Toby Creek website, tobycreeknordic.ca, under the Lake Windermere Whiteway section.
“We’re really excited about the ways the communities have supported the project,” McCleary said. “We hope to grow it and one of our goals will be to partner with another organization to improve the quality of the skating.”