With enough snow finally falling to stick around, the Tsalteshi Trails Association is welcoming people to strap on their sticks for their annual kickoff event this evening on the trail system behind Skyview High School.
"It's our annual kick-off to celebrate the start of skiing, and the event familiarizes people with the trail and it's fun," said Tsalteshi board member Sara Hapner.
Registration for the event begins at 4:30 p.m. with skiing beginning at 5 p.m.
"People can register alone, in teams, or in family groups," Hapner said.
The event will be set up to be a treasure hunt, focusing on orienteering to find the locations.
"They'll go out and get a set of clues to find a point on the trail. There will be punches there so people can prove they were there. Prizes will be awarded based on how many points on the trail they get to," Hapner said.
The amount of time it will take to find all the points will depend on the person skiing and sleuthing skills.
"High school students blast through, but community members seem to take their time," Hapner said.
Adding to the challenge a few of the points are offered off the lighted trail, so in addition to bringing skis and dressing warm, participants should also bring a head lamp for the darker sections.
As to the conditions for the event, Hapner said they couldn't be much better following the snow accumulations that came early in the week. All trails, 18 kilometers total, have been groomed.
"The trails are in excellent shape right now. I skied them all (on Wednesday) and there were a few thin spots, but only one or two areas. Most of the trails are well covered with snow, and they aren't icy," Hapner said.
After the skiing winds down, Hapner said participants may want to stick around for some warm food by a warm fire.
"Following the event, their will be a bonfire and chili provided," she said.
Community members are also welcome to bring the potluck their own dish or dessert.
The trails at Talteshi are for skiers and snowshoers only, and snowshoers are asked to walk along the side of the trail, and if classical tracks are set, to walk on the side opposite of those tracks. Walkers, runners, dogs, horses and motorized vehicles are not permitted.
For more information on the Tsalteshi Trails Association, or to view a map of the ski trails in this area, visit their Web site at www.tsalteshi.org.
Joseph Robertia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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