Latest News

SLNC Welcomes Eric de Nys as new Programs Director

August 20, 2017

With a focus on delivering a full roster of programming from Bunny Rabbits and Biathlon to Ski Academy and Masters,  Eric brings new collaborative vision to the delivery of Programming at Sovereign Lake Nordic Club.

Eric hails from the city of Prince George where he raced as a junior at Caledonia Ski Club, racing at the World Junior Championships in 1994, and becoming a medallist at both the Canada Winter Games and Canadian National Championships. Following the path of coaching once his race career ended, Eric has spent his entire adult working life immersed in Nordic sports – first as a successful athlete followed subsequently by diving into coaching and athlete development at Foothills Nordic Club based in Calgary, AB. Driven to continue on the coaching path, he enrolled in the National Coaching Institute in Calgary. Two subsequent coaching jobs with Alberta development teams led Eric to an 8 year term with Cross Country Canada as the Senior Women’s World Cup Head Coach and Assistant Head Coach on the Men’s World Cup team. As Head Coach, he lead athletes at numerous World U23 and Junior Championships, World Cups, and 2 Olympic Games. Following the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Eric was released from Cross Country Canada following funding cutbacks.

Biathlon Canada, based in Canmore, hired Eric soon after his CCC tenure as the new High Performance Technical Director to lead the Senior World Cup Team to success at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.  It was here that Eric held a supervisory role in the administration, long term strategizing, and planning of Biathlon World Cup Team. The world of high performance coaching at the National level is a challenging one. With Biathlon Canada also facing funding cutbacks the position was terminated effective May of 2017.

Eric offers long term vision, and a unified approach with exceptional technical, administrative, and leadership skills. As the new Programs Director, the position caters to the requirements of Programs by providing full time year round training opportunities and assists the club in the creation of short and long term targets to grow all facets of Club Programs to create a true “full service” model.  Eric will be moving his family to Vernon and will commence work with the club and athletes on September 5th. Please join us in welcoming Eric and his family to the Okanagan!

Job Posting: SLNC Club Coach

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club is seeking a highly motivated and skilled coach available for full time seasonal employment effective September 5th, 2017. This position offers an annually renewable contract with fair compensation package. The Club Coach position is not reliant on grant funds, offering stable and secure employment. Compensation is based on experience, abilities, certifications and track record of coaching athletes at a National Level.

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club offers the largest daily groomed network of ski trails in Canada (with partner SilverStar), is among the largest clubs in the province (with over 1650 members) and sits at a high elevation providing exceptional skiing conditions for 8 months a year. This past season, club members skied from October 14th through to June 4th on 100% natural snow. SLNC has an exceptional track record of hosting world class racing events including the 2011 World Masters Championships, the 2005 World Cup and annual NorAm.

Vernon, BC is a small city providing exceptional amenities with endless outdoor recreation opportunities taking place on three lakes, over 200km of hiking and biking trails, endless paved country roads and world class cross country and downhill skiing.

Resumes will be accepted until Sunday, August 13th. Please provide 3 industry references and 2 personal references. The Club Coach Job Description is attached. For more information please contact Troy Hudson (SLNC General Manager) at (250) 558-8916 cell, or by email at [email protected]

Club Coach Job Description

We look forward to receiving your application.


Troy Hudson
SLNC: General Manager
(250) 558-8916 cell
[email protected]

Darren Derochie retires from SLNC Programs

On July 15th, Darren Derochie tendered his letter of resignation to SLNC effective immediately.

Darren has provided over 8 years of quality service to our club and we are proud of his accomplishments during his time as Club Coach and with his efforts in developing the JD and Academy programs. Although his time with our racing development programs has been his primary focus, Darren’s enthusiasm and energy reverberates throughout the entire program and club.

We want to congratulate Darren in his new job with Vernon Toyota. He will undoubtedly be a tremendous asset to their sales team.

The club will assemble a committee of 3 people to administer the hiring of a new club coach, consisting of the GM, a Board Member, and a Programs Committee Representative. The goal is to have a new coach in position for early September.

On behalf of all of us at SLNC we wish Darren all the best in his future endeavours.

Annual Club Award Nominations Now Open

Awards Criteria – Sovereign Lake Nordic Club

Volunteer committee recommends the nominations of the following awards be done by the membership each year and put forward to the Board in March for final decision-making. This criterion will be published on the web site and in the lodge.

As part of our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Gala we present four awards based on the feedback of our membership. Please take the time to consider nominees for these awards and send your suggestions to [email protected]


Volunteer Coach of the Year: Jessica Eaman Award

Typically given every year.

  • The nominee must be an SLNC member in good standing;
  • Has demonstrated outstanding effort and results in leading a group of skiers in the club’s athlete development programs at any level from bunnies on up.
  • Is being acknowledged for their contributions – not only during this particular year.
  • Has gone above and beyond by attending coaching certification workshops, providing leadership and mentoring to newer coaches, by developing a great relationship with their group of kids, coaches who rarely if ever missed a coaching session, and those receiving positive feedback from kids and program parents.
  • SLNC is a better place because of the contributions made by this person.
  • Has displayed a sense of loyalty to our club.


Skier of the Year: from a Jackrabbit to a Master

  • Typically given every year to a club member in good standing,
  • Loves the sport of skiing and promotes skiing to encourage others,
  • The award is intended to recognize the committed skier who shows dedication to, and passion for the sport through making significant improvements in his/her skiing; and, the skier who is an ambassador of our club and the sport.
  • Achievement – striving for and reaching a goal such as overcoming some personal physical challenge or trains for and competes in some major event(s).
  • Shows good sportsmanship in their approach to skiing


Volunteer of the Year:

  • Typically given every year to a Club member in good standing,
  • This is a person who embodies the community spirit of volunteerism within the club at many levels.
  • This award should go to a person who helps out in many small ways over a long period of time; or to someone who puts in a massive effort on a focused and high priority task.
  • A typical recipient will have been active in multiple areas, such as serving on committees, task forces, volunteering at events, coaching, contributing a particular skill needed by the club,


Life Time Membership Award:

  • This award is not given every year,
  • It is intended to recognize only a select number of individuals who, through long years of service, have left a singular mark on SLNC and the sport of cross-country skiing at the club level.
  • This recipient will have left a legacy to SLNC,
  • Has contributed by mentoring others,
  • Has made a long-term commitment and/or service over many years,
  • Has displayed the characteristics of an exceptional volunteer,
  • These are the individuals whose actions exemplify the very best of our club; and they are the ones who have helped make the club what it is today.

Jessica’s Trail a Big Success Story

Revisions and widening of Jessica’s Trail this summer, located just off the Stadium, has become a wonderful success story offering adventure and a unique historical perspective.

This 1.2km classic-only trail has rapidly become the most discussed trail in our entire network thanks to its twisty-turny, narrow backcountry feel. Don Wylie, Troy Hudson and a slew of volunteer programs kids and adults helped to widen, brush and clear the trail of danger trees and snags this fall. What remains is a wonderful beginner trail for the whole family.

The trail is named after Jessica Eaman (26), a club member and former staff member who tragically lost her life in a car accident back in March of 2012. The Jess4Kids Ski Scholarship Fund was created to provide access to Sovereign Lake ski and snowshoe facilities for underprivileged families and cash crunched schools through three regional school districts.

The trail is used daily by our S’Cool Ski Programs, with over 3000 kids expected to glide through the trail this winter. Not only has it become popular with kids but more and more adults are including it as an end to their classic ski sessions. “Jess’s Trail provides a great opportunity to fine tune your classic ski skills and experience a true nordic experience just a few short minutes from the lodge“, stated one member.

Getting back to the roots of nordic skiing with this style of trail is something that the club is considering more of in the future. “I absolutely love these narrow classic trails, they really bring you back to nature and add a whole new level of mysticism back into skiing that is somewhat lost on wider snowcat groomed trails”, noted Troy Hudson (SLNC General Manager).

If you have not had a chance to ski this short trail we strongly suggest you get out there, breath deep and enjoy the surroundings just above the stadium.


Don Wylie out enjoying early season conditions on the redesigned Jessica’s Trail.

Geo Caching comes to Sovereign Lake

In cooperation with GeoCaching BC, Sovereign Lake Nordic Club has undertaken an initiative to place 10 geo caching stations throughout our cross country ski trail and snowshoe trail network.

GeoCaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.

A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and sometimes a pen or pencil. The geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name, in order to prove that they found it. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it.

We are excited to offer this great family friendly activity at our facility and look forward to many years of use. With over 1 million geocaching locations in almost every country around the world our 10 should add a unique regional flavour. The stations remain year round so you can visit us in the summer as well!

Sovereign Lake will be hosting a Geo Caching Day in association with GeoCachingBC and BC Parks on February 25th from 10-2pm. We will have 20 GPS units available for the public to use as well as link options for you to register your own phone to start exploring. Stay tuned for the upcoming event on our website and social media feeds.

Champ’s Pancake Breakfast

Join us for a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser to send Hannah Mehain, Sovereign Lake’s Junior Racer (and Junior National Team member) to the World Junior Championships located in Park City, Utah from Jan. 30th to Feb. 5th, 2017.
Come and enjoy some wholesome, home-made pancakes and coffee before or after your ski! Gluten-free and vegan options available. All  proceeds will support Hannah’s travel expenses to and from the WJ Championships.
Do you want to learn a little bit more about Hannah? Check out this great video featuring Hannah this past summer.
When:  Sunday, January 15th, 2017
Time: 9am- Noon
Where:  Sovereign Lake Lodge

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas!


The Sovereign Lake Nordic Club Staff and Board would like to wish you and yours the best this holiday season. We have numerous last minute Stocking Stuffers, Punch Passes and Gift Certificates for that special some one in your life.

Christmas Day Trail Passes are by financial donation to Vernon Food Bank. 

We look forward to seeing you over the holidays!


NorAm/SuperTour Racers Arriving Early to Train

The excitement for the race weekend is building, with the arrival of the Thunder Bay National Team Development Centre athletes on November 30th.  TBay brought around twenty athletes, the team van and trailer, and a few coaches.  Look for bright green training jackets and blue puffy jackets with TBAY on the back.

Because the NorAm circuit has a strong western bias this year, the team will leave their van and trailer in the west for the season.  The season begins with races at Sovereign Lake and BlackJack before Christmas, visits Whistler after Christmas, and finishes with nationals in Canmore.  A select few will qualify for Junior World Championships and Under 23 World Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah.

On December 10th and 11th, the top North American skiers will be competing for world cup starts and points that lead to Olympic qualification. It looks like this team will have fun getting ready, as they posted this video from their first day here at Sovereign.

November Visitors at Sovereign Lake

A visiting biathlon team practising mass starts in the stadium (Photo: SLNC)
A visiting biathlon team practising mass starts in the stadium (Photo: SLNC)

Sovereign Lake was energized by visitors last weekend, in large part thanks to US Thanksgiving.

As usual, many of our neighbours to the south came up to celebrate their most important holiday with us. The Methow Valley club teamed up with Momentum Northwest from Seattle and Mt Bachelor in Oregon for a combined camp with over 60 kids.  Racing fans would recognize US Olympians Laura McCabe and Lars Flora among their coaches.

Continuing the visitors theme, US Olympian Kris Freeman was here for a week training for the start of the SuperTour season.  If he was skiing so fast that you missed him, he will be back next week for the NorAm/SuperTour races.

The joint Sovereign/SilverStar SuperCamps continue, but the real stars were a group of ladies doing a boot camp with our own Pat Pearce.

Three days of twice daily ski workouts, red wine, and sunshine brings out the smiles for the World Masters relay team. (Photo: SLNC)
Three days of twice daily ski workouts, red wine, and sunshine brings out the smiles for the World Masters relay team. (Photo: SLNC)

Nearer neighbours Larch Hills and Telemark were out in force as their on-snow programs started.

And for the club member (name withheld to protect the innocent Quality Greens shopper) who doubted that the early season snow was worth the twenty minute drive from Vernon, Gene from Bend had no doubt that it was worth the 11 hour drive.lauram