Dear Nakkertok Members,
We’re in a drive to raise funds to replace our PB200 grooming machine, which is about 29 years old now. I am seeking your support for a donation – any amount counts and will help! The donation can be made in under 5 minutes at this website that has been setup by Nordiq Canada, and you can see fundraising progress there also. Note the rules allow a charitable tax receipt for all donations made on the site for this campaign, up to 21 March 2021 – so please donate today so you don’t miss the deadline!
Now, that my ask is out of the way, let me share some background and rationale to give you confidence that the donation is for a worthy cause that truly will help the broader community.
Quality and safety. There’s no getting around the fact that our 29 year old machine is on it’s last legs, and the ancient tiller is not able to produce anywhere near the surface and track quality that skiers expect. For race grooming, we will use it on the warmup trails, but never on the race course. Breakdowns are frequent and stressful. We spend far too much time maintaining and fixing this machine, and this time should be spent more productively. The safety issues pertain both to breakdowns on the trail and challenge of grooming the full network with a single machine only.
On the financing. A new machine is well over $300K and fortunately there is a government program running to March 2021 that will cover 50-to-60% of this cost, as part of a winter tourism initiative. We’ve applied to the program and expect confirmation of grant eligibility soon. Nakkertok is responsible to fund the balance and we would like to minimize the amount requiring financing. Last year we kicked off a similar fundraising effort, “The 100 Campaign”, just as COVID was emerging and with all the uncertainty we did not promote the campaign widely. We raised about $10K last year, and these funds have been held for the PB replacement. We’re aiming to raise $50K or more as part of this year’s fundraising drive, to minimize the amount that needs to be financed.
Summary. If you’re still reading at this point, I hope you’ll agree that Nakkertok and our ski community will benefit by replacing our 29 year old grooming machine. The donations are charitable tax status up to 21 March 2021, please donate today so you don’t miss the deadline – any amount counts!
Vice President – Nakkertok Nordic
A letter from Dirk
Dirk has also attached a personal note requesting your support on this initiative. For those who don’t know Dirk, he’s principal landowner along with Claudia and has been involved in the nordic community his entire life. After years of competitive racing, he moved to ‘competitive grooming’ – he was lead groomer at Vancouver and Pyeongchang Olympics, he is on the roster for grooming at the Beijing Olympics, and he has been the head groomer at virtually every international competition held in Canada for the past 10 years. Dirk is passionate in the nordic skiing community and we are fortunate to have his experience and leadership at Nakkertok.
There is no better feeling than skiing on perfectly set, firm classic tracks, or, on crisp corduroy. It is what we have all come to expect when we go to Nakkertok or any established nordic facility. Anything less would initiate a thread of grumbling on social media. At Nakkertok, we are trying our best to provide consistent quality grooming. Most times it goes well, and sometimes it doesn’t. You may have noticed the Pisten Bully 100 parked overnight near J’Hus a few weekends ago. Breakdowns happen and happen more often the older a machine gets.
Ski conditions, grooming, providing programming and hosting events are the main reasons why Nakkertok was started as a ski club, on its own trail network, on the Weber Farm in 1971. Being in charge of its own grooming was a key point. In those days it was the Alpine, a double tracked snowmobile with a homemade drag. Late 80’s a Bombi was purchased. Late 90’s Nakkertok took a huge leap and purchased its first Pisten Bully, a small, used, PB 130. With the development of the new Nakkertok , stadium and homologated racing trails, we traded the PB 130 in for one of Lafleur’s PB 200s in 2008. That is the groomer that is currently parked in the shed, it is almost 30 years old, has 13,000 hours on the clock, and is very tired. It currently cannot groom a ski trail, but it did all of the grooming for over 5 years. One evening on an Eastern’s weekend, Dave Mallory and I were grooming the race course for the next day when the PB 200 died at the bottom of Collarbone in the middle of the course. As Chief of Course and Preparation, I had to run off to the Team Captains meeting and left Dave to figure out the problem. As I drove back to Nakkertok I fully expected Dave to have fixed the issue, and was finishing off the grooming. No such luck. I was about to go and get a chain saw to cut a trail around the dead machine when it finally roared back to life and all was good. In the last few years we have spent more time repairing it than grooming with it. That incident initiated the purchase of the current PB 100 in 2013.
Currently we are relying 100% on the 8 year old, PB 100 with 4000 hours on it. We are starting to have some breakdowns. To host any significant event such as Eastern’s or Nationals or get ready for a full Saturday morning of LTS, we technically need a backup. The machines are also working harder and longer with the early Nakkertrak season. Not only grooming but doing all of the pushing and levelling of the huge piles of dense manmade snow. During the winter season after a heavy use day or snow event, grooming the entire network, including all of the open practise areas, can take up to 10 hours. In a normal season we barely have 10 hours between closing and reopening times. With two working machines, we will be able to provide more consistent, quality and timely grooming. Of course we still do need the help of Mother Nature to provide some fresh snow on a regular basis.
Nakkertok cannot afford to not take advantage of this opportunity. We applied for this grant 2 years ago and missed it. We are optimistic that we will get it this year and we all need to chip in and fundraise for the balance.
Happy Skiing on great grooming!
Dirk Van Wijk