KAMLOOPS — For over 50 years, the BC Snowmobile Federation has been representing and organizing snowmobiling throughout the province. For 43 of those years, the Kamloops Snowmobile Association has done the same for snowmobilers in this region. Together, the two organizations have teamed up for a special ride; a 1200 kilometre journey, from Kamloops to Barkerville, and back all to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the BC Snowmobile Federation.
WATCH: Story by CFJC's Adam Donnelly
Around 20 riders are making the journey, relying on clubs along the route for support and hospitality. Rides like this one require months of planning, preparation, and coordination. “We had a committee working since June to make this happen,” Donegal Wilson, Executive Director of the BCSF said. In light of the tragic avalanche, which claimed the lives of five Alberta snowmobilers near McBride last week, the safety of the riders taking part in the trip is of the utmost importance. According to Wilson, “[As part of the planning] we have a safety committee, we have a safety plan… there was a lot of planning around [safety].”
The trip leaves from the Kamloops Snowmobile Clubhouse, up on Lac du Bois Road. It’s a trip the local club has been making since 1997. Club President Peter Doyle says it’s unlike any other trip he’s aware of. “We do lake, trail, we go up and over Yank’s Peak, so we’re doing mountains. There’s really no other ride like it in Canada,” said Doyle.
After a quick meeting, outlining the plan for the day, and making sure all the riders know the safety procedures, the group saddles up. For Doyle, the trip is about connecting with other people over an activity they’re passionate about. “It’s awesome,” he said, “We have people from Dawson Creek, from Sudbury, from Vancouver Island, the far north, Prince George.”
The group departed just after 9:00am on Sunday morning, and will arrive in Wells sometime on February 3rd. They’ll return to Kamloops on February 8th, after completing the 1200km round trip.
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