Edmonton Nordic Ski Club Snowmaking Project
Edmonton Nordic Ski Club Snowmaking Project
The City of Edmonton and Edmonton Nordic Ski Club (ENSC) are working in partnership on a trail upgrades and snowmaking project for Gold Bar Park. This snowmaking project will enhance Gold Bar Park by providing safer trails and a reliable, extended cross-country ski season for the greater Edmonton community even in low-snow years.The snowmaking project involves two goals:
- The installation of snowmaking infrastructure.
- The enhancement of trail systems to improve public safety and accommodate cross-country ski grooming equipment.
History of the Edmonton Nordic Ski Club in Gold Bar Park
The Edmonton Nordic Ski Club, in collaboration with the City of Edmonton, built and continues to maintain a 10-kilometre network of cross-country ski trails in the Gold Bar and Goldstick Parks.
Over the past ten years, the partners have invested over $1 million in trail development, trail lighting, tree planting, facilities and grooming equipment.
Exceptional recreational and competitive cross-country skiing experiences, including ski instruction and outdoor education, are provided in the Edmonton region for citizens, students, athletes and private groups.
Ongoing ENSC activities include:
- Adult lessons.
- Learn-to-ski program for children.
- Cross-country and biathlon ski development and racing for youth and masters.
- Development programs for coaches.
- Cross-country ski equipment swap.
- Social activities.
- Annual river valley spring clean up in the Gold Bar and Goldstick Parks.
The Edmonton Nordic Ski Club is open to all, with approximately 700 members, including 250 families.
The Need for Snowmaking and Trail Upgrades
Recent low and no snow years have resulted in poor-to-marginal cross-country ski conditions in the Edmonton region. This has had a tremendous impact on the recreational and professional skiers.
With the installation of the Petro Canada water line through Gold Bar Park in 2005, an opportunity arose to develop the snowmaking infrastructure that would provide a reliable ski venue and an extended ski season for enthusiasts.
With the snowmaking infrastructure in place, the ski trails will be widened and refurbished to facilitate grooming and to meet modern cross-country ski standards, which will result in safer conditions.
Snowmaking Infrastructure and Development
The snowmaking equipment in Gold Bar Park will be supported by an underground water and power distribution system that will be installed under the Lake Loop, Woodcutters Loop, and 50th Street Loop, and connected to the two existing Petro-Canada outlets in Gold Bar Park. Installation is expected to start in spring 2010 and be completed within 4 weeks, and will not impact trail users.
- Installation of 5 unobtrusive, above ground hydrants.
Wood Cutters’ Loop
- Installation of 6 unobtrusive, above ground hydrants approximately every 200 metres.
- Widening of trail from 4 metres to 5 metres.
- Relandscaping, building of retaining walls, trail stabilization and grading completed as required.
50th Street Loop
- Installation of 4 unobtrusive, above ground hydrants.
- Rerouting of the alley trail section away from the laneway.
- Widening the trail to 5 metres.
- Building of several retaining walls.
- The City of Edmonton in partnership with Petro Canada, will supply treated city water for snowmaking.
- Snowmaking will supplement natural snow conditions over approximately 14 days in late fall, dependent on temperature. Additional snowmaking will only occur later in the season to improve deficient trail conditions.
- Trails will be closed sequentially, with clear detour signage redirecting trail users.
- Artificial snow will be produced with a carriage-mounted SMI Kid Wizzard, pulled using trail-grooming equipment.
- The Kid Wizzard uses a 7.5 horsepower fan to achieve a narrow, targeted throw area, with minimal overspray.
- Noise level data collected by an independent acoustic engineering firm shows Kid Wizzard operates in a 59 – 81 decibel range. (Normal conversation is approximately 60 decibels, and a vacuum cleaner is about 80 decibels.)
Funding and Maintenance
The snowmaking project is financed through the efforts of the Edmonton Nordic Ski Club. The responsibility for maintenance and trail grooming falls within the ENSC mandate. Operational costs will be offset by the membership. There will be no user fees.
Gold Bar Park Snowmaking Site Plan
For more information:
Neighbourhoods, Parks and Community Recreation - General Information
|Telephone||In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311
Edmonton Nordic Ski Club