Summit Lake Ski Hill school program revels in snowfall

Above average snowfall launched the first days of the Summit Lake Ski Program for the local schools.

By Monika Smutny

Above average snowfall launched the first days of the Summit Lake Ski Program for the local schools.

Lucerne Elementary students enjoyed dry powder and measurements of over a foot on Jan. 12. After last year’s low snow accumulation and cancelled ski days, it was a celebration of winter and a great start to the season. 

Another substantial snowfall followed that evening just in time to bring out Burton and Edgewood Elementary and Nakusp Secondary students on Thursday Jan. 13. 

There were over 100 riders attending Summit including some clients from Canadian Mountain Holidays, who had been grounded from flying in the helicopter from weather conditions.

School Ski Program Coordinator Terry Baiko reports that $10,000 is funded by the School Board each year to run the program. An additional $5,000 was also achieved through a grant.

Recreation grants are essential for the program resulting in an additional $5,000 that needs to be fundraised from the community.

Local PAC’s have also donated to the program.

The Program is booked until the end of February and is part of physical education in the school curriculum; it includes students and home schoolers throughout Arrow Lakes School District 10.

Terry Baiko comments that financing is generally the biggest challenge as in the past the program has run on more funding and operates at a loss each year.

The lack of qualified Level One CSIA approved Ski Instructors is also a challenge. Finding the instructors that can commit year to year can be difficult. Summit is fortunate this season to have some additions this year.

The rewards are apparent when you see the excitement and smiles in the children as they tackle their first runs and progress up to the T-Bar for the first time.

Winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding promote a love of the outdoors, good health and active lifestyle. 

A warm current and rainfalls had closed Summit Lake Ski hill for the weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 15 and 16.

Summit hopes for more snow and desirable conditions to re-open and continue these great programs. See you on the slopes!