Season Pass Q & A for the 2020-21 Season

 

The COVID Pandemic systematically closed all public recreation access in our BC Parks in March, resulting in an early closure for us up at Sovereign Lake. I want to say a huge thank you to our staff who kept trails open as long as possible and kept everyone safe. It is our #1 priority to keep our staff, members, and guests safe this winter season. With that, we have brought on some new measures to ensure the safety of all.

Over the last week, we have had many members asking about season pass purchases, especially since closing down the Zone4 Registration Page on September 17th and also when Silverstar Mountain Resort announced its reduced Nordic availability for the 2020-21 season.

Since many of you have been asking the same questions, I thought it might be a good idea to answer many of these common questions right here! Here are the most popular 7 questions.

 

The Zone4 Registration Page says it is CLOSED. Can I still buy a Season Pass for Sovereign Lake this winter? 

Absolutely! We are transitioning to a new online booking platform in early October that will provide a much smoother and more secure registration experience for our members. This new system allows you to create your online profile on an RFID scanning season pass which will allow us to contact trace guests more effectively this winter.

We wanted to limit the amount of extra data entry for staff when we switch to the new system so we froze registrations so more people can register directly into the new software platform when it opens. Early Bird pricing does not end until October 31st so there is still lots of time to get your pass at the discount rate.

Can I still register for SLNC Programs?

Yes. The Programs registration page will remain on Zone4 for this season and we will switch to the new software next year. As the Programs Registration Page is separate from the Season Pass Registration Page you can go and register for all of the Programs you like! The Masters’ XC Program is full at this time. Should more space come available we will let you know.

Silver Star Has stopped selling Dual Area Nordic Passes, Can I still buy one at Sovereign?

Following Provincial Health guidelines, both SLNC and Silverstar are required to manage their maximum daily guest numbers. As such, unfortunately for the 2020-21 season, neither area will be able to offer Dual Area Season Passes or Dual Area Tickets. We apologize for the inconvenience and aim to provide the safest and highest quality experience for our members and guests.

Any members who already purchased a Dual Area Season Pass or Upgrade Pass will be “grandfathered” into the new system and will attain a separate Season Pass for each facility.

Is SLNC limiting Season Pass sales in 2020-21?

We do not see the necessity to limit our season pass sales at this time. That being said, there will be some changes taking place and a request for season pass users to come at different times throughout the day so we can ensure that we can safely fit all pass holders, and day ticket users into the parking lots. We hope that Season Pass Holders will opt to ski more afternoons this winter to help reduce parking lot congestion.

How and where do I pick up my Season Pass?

With our new registration software, there are 2 options. You can choose to have your season pass mailed directly to you, or you will be able to pick them up from the lodge or other designated location in early to mid-October.

Can I use the lodge this winter with COVID restrictions?

Access to the lodge will be limited this winter and there will be no sit down seating or socializing opportunities as in the past. That being said, there will still be access to the lodge for using the downstairs washrooms, and for use by the public to pick up rental equipment.

There will still be a limited selection of club merchandise, custom SLNC Facemasks, beverages, and snacks available inside the facility. All day-tickets will be purchased online for the 2020-21 season. More of that info to come in our next Q&A e-blast.

PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MUST WEAR A FACE MASK AT ALL TIMES WHEN INSIDE SLNC FACILITIES. Buffs are not considered effective face masks.

How do the new scannable season passes work?

We are moving to an RFID (Radio Frequency ID) scan card for all season pass users this year. Provincial Health guidelines have mandated us to provide better systems to effectively track facility usage by our membership and guests throughout the winter.

Upon arrival at each visit, you will need to go to the lodge and scan your season pass ID at one of our new ticket kiosks which will be located next to the front doors on your right. This process should only take a few seconds.

This new system allows us to contact trace effectively each day while keeping it a fast and unobtrusive process for our members. By using RFID technology you also have a permanent ID code making subsequent years season pass purchases much quicker, it stores your photo, rental equipment sizes, allows you to register for courses, lessons, and events online in an instant as well!

 

We look forward to seeing all of our ski family back at Sovereign Lake in November. Please take into consideration these new challenging requirements and show some extra sympathy and support to our staff.

New SLNC Lodge One Step Closer to Reality

BC Parks has granted the club permission to move ahead with fundraising efforts towards a new lodge! With this approval, they have also contributed seed funding to help launch our fundraising campaign. SLNC is now in a position to start our fundraising efforts which will include applications for local, provincial, and federal grant monies.

This is where we need you!  Anything that you can contribute will help us meet our goal to provide a fabulous new facility for future generations of users.  If you wish to donate directly please do so by following the link below. Additionally, if you have experience in fundraising or in the pursuit of grants or any ideas or ability to pursue high-value donations through either private or corporate organizations, we would ask that you communicate to us by emailing lodge@sovereignlake.com.

Follow the link below for the full article in our latest E-Blast.

https://mailchi.mp/sovereignlake/new-slnc-lodge-one-step-closer-to-reality

July Programs Report: Cathedral Camp a Huge Success

The end of July marked the halfway point of summer, a strange one to say the least.

After having to cancel our much-anticipated home National Championships, things have yet to return to normal and how things will look in the fall and more importantly the winter, have yet to be seen.  April, May, and June had athletes training on their own and all of us learning about new technologies like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Skip the Dishes.  Virtual strength training, virtual yoga, and webinars were the new norm and finally, in late June we received clearance from ViaSport (Viasport oversees sport development in BC) that we could commence training as a group while following specific guidelines.  A return to sport policy was put into practice and so far, things are proceeding extremely well.  Our Junior race focussed athletes have been training as a group on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays, while our Masters HP athletes have been meeting on Wednesday evenings for double pole training on roller skis, followed up with some group intensity in Kal Park.  Masters have also been meeting regularly for evenings of cycling in Armstrong.  Our biathletes are back to shooting on Wednesday and Saturdays with strict protocol to adhere to as more equipment is needed in their environment.

While things are operating differently I believe the athletes are in better form than they were at the same time last season and next week’s second round of testing will confirm my suspicions.

As COVID has caused us to look inward into how we are all conducting ourselves, it provided some challenges in hosting traditional training camps.  Changes needed to occur in order for camps to happen.  Sovereign recently returned from our second annual Cathedral Camp that operated in the style of the family unit this year.  Athletes had to tent, cook, and congregate with their family while the daily training environment allowed them to be physically active and socially engaged.  Day 1 saw 48 Sovereigners make quick work of the 16km from the staging area up to 1500m to our camping at either Quiniscoe or Lake of the Woods situated at 2050m!  Day 2 followed the Diamond and Rim Trails taking in the Devil’s Woodpile, Smokey the Bear, and the Giant Cleft amassing in 22km of hiking with close to 1200m vertical.  Day 3 and the group was off to the Box Car loop totaling 17km and close to 1100m vertical.  Day 4 was the inevitable 16km hike out of Cathedral Provincial Park back down to the staging area to say goodbye to all of our hiking pals.  Cathedral camp was a huge success with lots of laughs, mountain lake swimming, fishing, smores, blisters, bug bites, and no wifi!!  It was extremely rewarding seeing the comradery amongst the Sovereign athletes but the change in fitness from last season has been remarkable.  Things look good for the winter…..fitness-wise.

 Next up, cycle camp.  Athletes will endure 200km in the saddle and ride from Coldstream to Penticton via the gravel roads and the KVR.  Stay tuned for the next update on this wild adventure.

On a winter programming note, while the goal is to grow the number of participants in our winter programs, a cap has been placed on all of our Skill Development Programs for the upcoming season to keep things manageable amidst COVID concerns.  Safety is paramount and remains our number one priority and we attest to offer programs to our members in a safe environment.

This cap on program numbers may be lifted should things make a turn for the better and things return back to normal.  As registration is limited and if you have yet to sign up please follow the link to do so: https://zone4.ca/register.asp?id=23896&lan=1&cartlevel=1

 

All in all, while we’ve had some hurdles thrown at us, it’s a good thing we all know how to jump! I remain optimistic for the winter ahead and while things may look and feel different than what we traditionally may have known, away from the lodge, skiing remains skiing…..beauty in motion, gliding amongst the white giants, enjoyment from ear to ear.

 

Stay healthy everyone.

Eric

2020-21 Programs Registration is OPEN!

Welcome to the 2020-21 season. For all club members participating in summer programs or for those who want to get a head start on planning and prep for next winter, our Youth and Masters Programs registrations are now online! We have introduced a payment plan option with 1/2 paid on registration and 1/2 paid on November 1st to help ease the burden of larger registration fees. We are so excited to have you join programs in 2020-21.

*Sovereign Lake will be offering an updated refund policy this winter. Refunds will be issued if necessary and will be provided based on the number of missed programming sessions.

Zone4 Registration Page Link: https://zone4.ca/register.asp?id=23896

 

BC Govt Issues Immediate Closures to all BC Parks

PRESS RELEASE: April 8th, 2020

Deputy Minister Jim Standen

Good morning:

As of Wednesday, April 8th, 2020, we are closing all provincial parks until further notice. This action is being taken in response to the call for increased action to address the COVID-19 pandemic and aligning with federal and provincial experts requesting citizens to stay home.

With the Easter holiday now upon us and the challenges posed by COVID-19 along with the expected influx of visitors, we feel it is beyond the ability of BC Parks to manage for physical distancing and general public safety. We feel this closure is necessary to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, employees, park operators and their staff, volunteers, and park contractors. Along with this, the spill-over to neighbouring communities raised concerns with citizens, local government officials, First Nations, and police along with a general concern with provincial parks overcrowding and the lack of social distancing.

This temporary measure means that any activity involving the participation of the public is prohibited for the duration of the order. Park closures will be enforced through regular monitoring and patrols and anyone found in a closed park without a written exemption will be evicted and could face a $115 fine.

A public notice will be issued when this closure is lifted, and regular public access and permitted operations can resume.

BC Parks appreciates your understanding, cooperation, and support during this challenging time.

Thank you,

Jim Standen
Assistant Deputy Minister
BC Parks & Conservation Officer Service
[email protected]

All trails at Sovereign are being tracked packed to eliminate the possibility to ski at this time. Please heed the requests of the government and limit any non-essential travel and activities at this time.

Take care and stay safe.

Nordiq Canada Cancels National Championships Bid

In support of Canadian efforts to minimize the transmission of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Nordiq Canada in consultation with the local organizing committee at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Ski Club chose to cancel the 2020 Canadian Ski Championships, scheduled for March 25 to April 2. Nordiq Canada expressed gratitude for the significant amount of preparation work invested by the Organizing Committee – a volunteer group assembled with the Sovereign Lake Nordic Ski Club.

The safety and health of athletes, coaches, volunteers, and staff is, and always will be, of top priority. This decision was made in the best interest of our broader sport and local communities with regard to handling the situation we are all facing.

Having Sovereign Lake Nordic Club host the Nationals in 2021 was investigated, but Nordiq Canada explained they made an earlier commitment to Mont Ste Anne to be the host the 2021 Nationals and they felt it was in everyone’s best interest to honour that earlier commitment.

Sovereign Lake’s Organizing Committee wants to express disappointment in losing their opportunity to host Canada’s top Nordic skiers in their final race of the season. The event was carefully planned and we were ready to do an awesome job! The Race Organizers for Nationals 2020 received enthusiastic support from many local businesses, listed below, in providing cash and donations to make this event possible. We want to say Thank You!

We also want to express a huge thank you to the City of Vernon, and the Regional District of North Okanagan for stepping up and providing grant dollars to help make this event possible. We felt supported and we know we couldn’t make this event happen without all the support.

The Sovereign Lake Nordic Club Board has sorted out the next steps required to begin the Refund process. All athletes and coaches who registered for Nationals 2020 will be contacted by our Race Secretary and be refunded in accordance with the Refund Policy stated in the Race Notice. People who paid for Trail Passes and Banquet tickets will be refunded 100% of those purchases. The race registrations will firstly cover the administration costs and expenses incurred and then athletes will receive a percentage of their registration from the dollars remaining. All Sponsorship and Grant dollars will be reimbursed 100%.

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club Board is already working to make sure the energy behind hosting big events continues. They’re putting the Nationals 2020 disappointment behind them and actively working on hosting BC Provincial Champs in February 2021. This event is focused on our local provincial skiers and is the final competition for the season. Historically, the BC Champs attracts as many as 600 skiers in a 3-day event featuring both classic and skate technique races as well as an exciting Team Relay.

 

 

 

 

 

BC Parks Issues Closure Notice

 

BC PARKS Press Release: March 20th (2PM)

Provincial parks are a great place for people in B.C. to get out and enjoy nature, while following the social distancing directives from British Columbia’s provincial health officer (PHO).

While BC Parks is bringing in some new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols, people throughout B.C. will still be able to enjoy day-use parks as a positive way to connect to nature.

Some day-use services and facilities are currently available at the following provincial parks:

  • Mount Seymour Provincial Park – access restricted to some lower-elevation trails. Parking and road access are closed.
  • Cypress Provincial Park – access restricted to some lower-elevation trails. Parking and road access are closed.
  • Goldstream Provincial Park
  • Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park
  • Miracle Beach Provincial Park
  • Wells Gray Provincial Park

“Nature provides the perfect environment to promote health and well-being,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “We are following the advice of the provincial health officer to help people get outside, while ensuring they are following the PHO’s direction and guidance to stay healthy. Our government is taking every necessary step to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We look forward to a time when we can return to full operations at our provincial parks.”

People will continue to be able to day hike and recreate in most all other provincial parks. However, there will be a temporary suspension of services and facility closures as a result of the ongoing provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Campgrounds and camping opportunities will be closed and existing reservations will be automatically refunded.

The temporary measures include the suspension of services at marine parks, visitor centres, nature houses, washrooms and day-use facilities. Provincial park visitors may continue to use trails and areas where accessible. Visitors should be aware parking lots in some parks may be closed and gated where necessary.

Provincial parks can attract large numbers, particularly those parks close to urban centres. Visitors should keep this in mind when choosing which park to visit. People are also reminded to keep at least two metres apart from each other during this time. In addition to social distancing, people may need to be extra patient and aware of their impact on the environment.

Full provincial park closures are also being implemented on a case-by-case basis, where required, to address concerns regarding health and safety. Visitors should be mindful that they are responsible for their own safety and that washroom facilities may not be available in most parks. They are asked to check the BC Parks website for any updates before heading out. Any changes to services at provincial parks will be posted to the BC Parks website: http://bcparks.ca

In alignment with Parks Canada, all campgrounds, camping opportunities and accommodations will be closed until at least April 30, 2020. Refunds will be provided to those with existing reservations during this time.

The Discover Camping reservation system has been suspended for all new reservations. No action is required for people with reservations to receive a refund. Refunds will be done automatically and are expected to take seven to 10 business days. A public notice will be issued once facilities are reopened and the system is able to accept new reservations.

Many tourism operators and other businesses have permits to offer services and trips within BC Parks. This closure may affect the availability of services provided by commercial operators permitted to operate in BC Parks. Park visitors are advised to check with them directly before visiting to determine if there have been any changes to their services.

BC Parks continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak closely and is following recommendations set out by the provincial health officer and minister of health to assess when to reopen facilities and services and return to full operations.

Learn More: 

For non-clinical information on COVID-19, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/COVID19

The latest information on COVID-19 protective measures is available through the BC Centre for Disease Control by calling 1 888-COVID19 or at: BCCDC.ca

BC Parks website: http://bcparks.ca

Sovereign Lake Closed For The Season

 

SOVEREIGN LAKE NORDIC CLUB CLOSING EFFECTIVE MARCH 20TH at 4PM

Hello Members,

Sovereign Lake has remained open as long as we have felt it safe to do so for our staff and guests. With a clear request coming from our Health Authorities to stay home and help flatten the rate of transmission through the closure of non-essential services, Sovereign Lake will be closing its doors for the 2019-20 season on Friday, March 20th at 4pm.

We play a critical role in the health and well being of our community. We cherish your letters of thanks and support these past two weeks and it truly makes us proud of what we do to enable our club members and community members to stay healthy, both mentally and physically.

We must, however, heed the advice of our government to reduce any unnecessary exposure which includes our washroom facilities and parking areas. As the word has gone out that we are open this past week, more and more people are traveling here from outside our community, increasing the risks of infection. With incidents of this pandemic on the rise, and our province declaring a state of emergency we must close our gates and cease operations for at minimum two weeks as per government recommendations. As our planned closure date was April 5th, we have chosen to end our winter operations entirely.

We do not know at this time whether Spring Fling will commence from May 7-10th. The call will be made on April 15th at the latest.

Thank you to all of our amazing staff for keeping our lodge clean and safe while always maintaining a positive attitude, to our wonderful grooming team for continuing to provide exceptional skiing, and to our entire ski community for staying active and healthy through this challenging time.

The gate will be locked at 4pm on Friday, March 20th, for the season.

We sign off for the season with a warm thank you and a request to take care of yourselves and family through this challenging time.

Thank you for another glorious season.

Kindly,

Troy Hudson
General Manager,
Sovereign Lake Nordic Club

SLNC Biathletes on a pathway to the Olympics

Four of our current or alumni Biathletes are heading overseas to compete at the Youth Olympic Games and the Youth World Championships the next two months. These prestigious events are just one step below the Senior World Cup program and for these kids, it is a dream come true. Two of our Junior Biathletes are also headed to the BC Winter Games in February.

The 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games take place in Lausanne, Switzerland next week and bring over 1800 athletes from around the world in numerous sporting events, featuring the best young athletes in the world. These Olympics feature all the pomp and circumstance of the big show. Sovereign athletes Ethan Algra and Lucas Sadesky make up a third of the entire team attending the races which take place over 13 days with 81 different competitions through the various sports. HUGE CONGRATS YOU TWO!!!

Lucas Sadesky and Ethan Algra spend one last session in the biathlon range before setting off for Switzerland on Monday.

 

Cole Bender (from Burns Lake) but training with SLNC this season, will be representing Canada at the Youth World Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland from Jan 20-Feb 4th along with Sovereign’s very own Danica Ariano who now trains at the Nationals Training Centre in Canmore with the Biathlon Alberta Training Centre. We are super proud of these great athletes.

Cole Bender, Ethan, and Lucas together in the new Biathlon Range up at Sovereign Lake.

Sovereign athletes Ethan Algra and Danico Ariano following a successful race day in Canmore, Alberta last winter.

Not to be outdone by the senior athletes our young team of Isabella Pighin and Luca Ariano will be representing zone 2 at the BC Winter Games in Fort St. John from Feb 19-22. They will be joined by Camille Hanry (former SLNC athlete) and Timur McNern from Telemark to complete the Okanagan Zone 2 Team. Good luck and do the SLNC Plaid proud!!

Isabelle Pighin, Cole, Ethan, Lucas and Luca Ariano join the fun setting their own sights on the BC Winter Games next month. 

 

SLNC Raises $2898 for Food Bank

Thanks to the generous donations of our patrons on Christmas day we were able to raise almost $3000 for the 4th Annual Xmas Day Food Bank Fundraiser. All proceeds from ticket sales and member donations went towards the Salvation Army House of Hope to help provide food to those in need throughout the winter season. This donation almost doubled our $1642 from last year. Thank you for your generosity this holiday season and all the best in the new year.