The Nickel Plate Nordic Centre had just officially opened for the season before snowmobilers came through the cross country ski trails, ripping up all the groomed paths they had just created.
“It’s very frustrating,” said general manager Tricia Wilson on Saturday morning. “It was three young guys. We caught them twice and have photos of them that have been passed onto the police,” said Wilson.
“My husband tracked them back to Apex.”
But the snowmobilers are not part of the Penticton Sno-Trackers Snowmobile Club, she stressed.
“In fact, I got a call from the president of the club who offered to come out and rake the trails and asked how they could help,” said Wilson.
The benefit of a vandalism is that the Nickel Plate Nordic Centre non-profit group had a meeting with the Penticton Sno-Trackers Snowmobile Club on Saturday to talk about how they can work together to bring awareness.
Heavier snowmobiles dig into the trails, ripping them up, she explained. Snowmobiles are not allowed on any of the paths and signage is there throughout the trails.
“We had a groomer come back and work his magic to fix up the trails but it cost us a lot and when you are a non-profit, this is hard.”
Nickel Plate Nordic Centre, 10 minutes above Apex Mountain Resort, offers 56 kilometres of groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing and 16 km of marked snowshoe trails. The non-profit society is able to run by volunteers, government agencies, donations and donors.
All monies received through membership and donations help pay for operating, maintaining and upgrading the Nordic Centre.
While the snow pack is still low, there is already 20 kilometres of cross country trails open, said Wilson.
Rentals of snowshoes and skis are available on the weekends at the moment.