At least 50 people turned up for the Ridge Rider's annual Poker Run last weekend in Nakusp.

They’ll be coming ’round the mountain…

Arrow Lakes Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club holds annual poker run

Snowmobilers and card players were in for a good time on Saturday, as the annual Arrow Lakes Ridge Riders Snowmobile Clubheld its annual poker run.

The event, which has been going on for at least ten years, is a fundraiser for the club.

Money raised goes toward the grooming of snowmobile trails used by the club. Each time the club sends its groomer up thetrails, it costs a minimum of $100, and that’s just for the fuel.

Depending on how often the trails are used, and how bumpy they are, groomers go up once a week, sometimes two or threetimes if the trails have been used a lot.

Starting at the Box Lake Mill, riders head up to a trailer at the base of the trails to register and draw their first hand of cards.One hand of poker costs $10, while three hands cost $25.

The trek for this run is 17 km up to Harlow Mountain.

“There are five checkpoints along the way, and at each checkpoint, you draw hands from a deck of cards,” said Mark Aeichele,vice president of the Ridge Riders. “Once you reach the top to where the barbecue is, and everyone else is, there’s one lasthand that’s drawn up there.”

You couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. The sky was a fantastic shade of cerulean, and winds were very calm.

Reaching the top, riders were greeted by fellow snowmobilers and a barbecue, which is paid for by donation.

While waiting for the winners to be announced, people take the time to eat, grab something to drink, and of course, go for aride up the mountain.

Reaching the top, you’re treated to a fabulous view of the Arrow Valley. It almost feels like you’re standing on top of the world.

For some, it was their first time taking part in the event.

“I’m from Revelstoke, so I get to see new terrain,” said Susan Flasha, a first-timer. “It’s a great event, there are lots of peopleout, and you get to meet a few new faces.”

Others have been taking part for a number of years.

Amber Ens has been playing in the Poker Run for about eight years. Along with taking part in a sport she enjoys, Ens likes thesocial aspect that comes with it.

”You get to meet people out of your normal riding group,” she said. “It’s sort of networking for snowmobiling where you goout and you get to see the people you don’t normally get to see. Everybody brings their wives and their kids, so it’s a goodopportunity for people to actually get introduced to the sport, as well as meet new people.”

Ens said the Ridge Riders don’t just groom the trails. They also do their best to protect riding zones.

“It takes a whole lot of time to convince people that we’re not actually wrecking the environment, and that most of us, we’renot leaving trash up here,” she said. “It’s one of those things that people are pretty environmentally friendly about.”

 

Winners:

First place: Kelly Hascarl $150

Second place: Dawson Bone $75

Third place: Gary Larder $25