November 2020 Newsletter
November 2020 Newsletter
A Message from Wayne Vandersteen, President
I am pleased to be elected as your new president for the 2020/21 year. I would like to thank Alan Butler for his many years as president and Albert Wyborn for his duties as the treasurer. As president, Alan put in many years of service and volunteer time to advance Snoman to where it is today. I would also like to thank our Snoman staff for their dedication and all of our directors because they contribute so much time and effort to make our job easier. We value their expertise and ideas. I am joined on the executive committee by Jason Wiebe as vice president and Alan Butler as treasurer (and past president). I have stepped in to fill the position and will do everything I can to maintain safety among our riders on the trails and around our shelters while we have COVID-19 banging at our doorsteps. We are facing a very uncertain year ahead and we will likely be tackling some challenges trying to keep our trails open. I am always open to new ideas from any club member or snopass holder. We will accept any suggestions that will improve the way Snoman is operated and managed for the benefit of all regions. We have 53 snowmobile clubs in the province and some clubs are struggling to get volunteers, so anyone willing to get involved please contact the local club in your area. You do not have to be a snowmobiler to get involved with your local club. Anyone, young or old, can be a volunteer and provide a special skillset to a club. Snowmobiling is a recreational activity where you can social distance, enjoy the ride while getting fresh air, exercise and take in the beautiful scenery. Hopefully, we will get snow shortly and we can get our groomers out to prepare trails so that everyone can get out and enjoy safe snowmobiling with their family. On behalf of the Snoman staff, all regional directors and myself we wish everyone a safe and fun snowmobile season. Make every trip a round one!
SNOMAN ANNUAL CONGRESS
Due to Covid-19, this year's Annual Congress did not take place. Snoman held its Annual General Meeting as a video conference and 20 club members participated in the call. As a result of the AGM, Snoman now has a new Executive Committee:
President - Wayne Vandersteen
Vice President - Jason Wiebe
Past President/Treasurer - Alan Butler
In addition, we would like to recognize the following winners:
Snoman Scholarship for $2,000.00 was awarded to Cassidy Buss from Brokenhead Trail Blazers
The Excellence Awards
Outstanding Groomer Operator - Arnold Dietz - Nopiming Sno-Mads
Outstanding Snowmobile Club - Reynolds Snow Riders
Outstanding Snowmobiler - Duane Boutang - South East Sno-Riders
Outstanding Non-Snow Related Business - Drifter's Inn - Lac Du Bonnet
Outstanding Youth Contribution - Keenin Turchyn - Reynolds Snow Riders
Club Recognition Program
Thunder & Ice Snowmobile Club
Kelsey Trail Sno Riders
Ste. Amelie Ridge Riders
Snowtraxx Snowmobile Club
Snoman would like to thank the many volunteers for their hard work and dedication to maintaining club trails and shelters, and all landowners who have partnered with their local clubs to ensure that snowmobilers can continue to enjoy our scenic trail system.
Please remember to ride safe and have fun this riding season!
Paul Leveque July 4, 1951 – September 8, 2020
By Cindy McRae
Who was Paul Leveque and why is the Interlake Snow Trackers sharing this story with you in this month’s newsletter? Well, Paul was a loyal member of the Interlake Snow Trackers’ family and the man that put in countless hours staring at his computer screen to see that our groomer operators were safe. It was also imperative that the Solaras were working so that our club would be compensated for the miles groomed at the end of the season.
Paul was a stand-up man, a good father, uncle, brother, grandpa or if you were lucky enough – friend. Paul loved to visit and he had jokes and they weren’t always the cleanest of humour which found him constantly receiving a time out on FaceBook.
Paul volunteered to help the club monitor the grooming of the trails and he diligently and efficiently kept track of the countless grooming miles, backup log sheets, trail hazards and snow conditions.
At our last windup, Paul was recognized for his long hours and hard work and awarded a trophy thanking him. I was fortunate enough to have had Paul alongside me to help me sign the Willow Creek trail as he didn’t like me going out alone with the Bear Cat, in case I got it stuck pulling the heavy sleigh full of signs. What started off to be a friendship out of concern, flourished into a friendship on many other levels. I always say that through cancer something beautiful and amazing happens along the journey and special people come into your lives that wouldn’t necessarily cross your path otherwise.
Paul loved to go sledding with his group of friends Ron, wife Bev and friend Steve whether it was a short ride to his favourite cookout spot – the Glen Bay Warm-Up Shelter or the Fish Lake Warm-Up Shelter coming in as a close second - to throw on some smokies and tell tales and yes, of course, his famous jokes.
It has been my honour to give you a glimpse into the life of our friend Paul and as Paul would want - the SNOW must go on…. Until we meet again my friend, thank you for your gift of friendship. Some of Paul’s ashes will take a final ride on his favourite trail locations in January or February and I will post on our FB page when and where so that riders may attend this special tribute.
Lee River Snow Riders bid farewell to a good friend
By Brian Ross
The Lee River Snow Riders lost a dear friend, loyal member and committed director with the sudden and untimely passing of Denis Rondeau on September 24, 2020. Denis, 65, was a passionate snowmobiler and dedicated director with our club. His loss was heartbreaking for all of us, most particularly for his family.
Denis was our light equipment director and ensured all of our sleds and small equipment was in tip-top shape. He was always the first to volunteer when we needed anything done and was a big proponent of safety and doing things right. He actually had a sign made for our groomer shed, “See it, Say it, Do it”. He would remind club executives to take responsibility when they identified an issue and it works!
Denis was well known in the snowmobile community as his family-owned and operated Rond’s Marine, where Denis was a familiar face to customers. A few years ago Denis retired from the daily grind and became a year-rounder on Lee River. While retired, Denis wasn’t one to sit still and he opened a repair service for sleds, boats and all things mechanical.
“Denis wasn’t a man of many words, but when he spoke, we all listened,” remembers LRSR President Brad Wall. “He was extremely meticulous and truly a king of labels; which he put on everything he worked on. “Denis’ calm personality and demeanour were particularly valuable at the directors’ table when conversations could get hot, per se.”
Last year Denis was keen to explore the possibility of pushing a new trail from Pointe du Bois to Bernic Lake and was given the go-ahead by Lee River’s executive. In his typical go-forward attitude, he obtained government maps, made arrangements for a complimentary helicopter ride to explore the route and enlisted in a “Techie” club member to plot and photograph the route from the helicopter. Denis then took this information and formed a ground crew to explore the route on the ground. After three ground explorations, Denis was successful in making a rideable link on his “proposed” route.
“Denis, myself and a few others headed out and rode this 15-10 mile stretch,” said Wall. “We had to cut our way through some thick sections of bush. Denis loved the challenge and the smile on his face when we made the final link will be remembered for a long time. Hopefully one day we can make this trail a reality, and if we do, it will be appropriately named after Denis Rondeau!”
RIP Denis. Gone, but never forgotten.
Snowrtraxx Snowmobile Club
By Alan Butler
Snowtraxx is looking forward to the start of the new snowmobile season. The club has been busy all summer getting ready for the new season with a number of changes that will hopefully enhance the snowmobiling season.
The club has upgraded our grooming fleet with the arrival of our two BR Bison X Sno-Cats which are more environmentally friendly than our previous groomers. The club was fortunate to acquire a grant from Sustainable Development to help cover some of the costs. The new Sno-Cats have been inspected and are ready to roll as soon as we get ample snow.
This fall our club did a considerable trail improvement to the grade on Trail #2 in the Snake Creek south of Foxwarren by removing the side slope and making the trail level. It will make for a much nicer and safer ride for snowmobilers and the groomer operators.
The club has updated and improved our trail roller and snow bunchier. Last season we built a prototype and were pleased with its operation but improvements were required, and have been made, with bunchier arms and the roller. The roller/bunchier has made signing much easier, especially in areas of low snow by building snow cones for the signs.
The club has rerouted Trail # 13 between Russell and Asessippi by routing it closer to the beautiful and scenic Asessippi valley. The club is also installing a new 12' x 24' shelter on the trail and it will be situated on the edge of the Asessippi valley just south of the ski hill.
We are looking forward to a great season, so ride safe and remain healthy!
As we look forward to another great riding season, we wish to thank our Corporate Partners.
RED Critical Level – COVID-19
We all know that snowmobiling is a fun and healthy outdoor activity and while riding your sled, it is rather easy to social distance from non-household members. There have been many changes in 2020 due to COVID-19, including changes for the way that Snoman and its member clubs operate. In order to keep our trail network open, we are asking for everyone’s cooperation in abiding by the Public Health Orders. We want to ensure that our trail system doesn’t fall prey to COVID-19 and have a dire effect on our snowmobile season.
With the entire province in the RED Critical level due to COVID-19, the Orders under The Public Health Act came into effect at 12:01am on November 12, 2020 and remain in effect until 11:59pm on January 8, 2021.
Section 12(1) of the Orders states: Persons may engage in individual or family outdoor sporting and recreational activities such as skating, tobogganing, skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing.
Section 12(6) of the Orders states: Dressing rooms, warming shacks and other indoor facilities associated with outdoor sporting and recreational activities must be closed while these Orders are in effect.
While these Orders are in effect, shelters have to be CLOSED. We need everyone to be diligent during these times and act responsibly with respect to the shelters.
We are fortunate that our trails can be open and we cannot stress enough that with everyone’s cooperation, we can keep them open.
Thank you for your cooperation. Stay Safe!