By Breanne Massey
Summer has gone, a shroud of grey clouds stretches across the skies and warmly coloured leaves fill the trees for fall, creating the perfect setting for those who are working toward creating a smooth surface for skiers and snowboarders at Panorama Mountain Resort.
Team Panorama and Windermere Valley Ski Club members, as well as members of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, enlisted volunteers to help clean up the brush and foliage that accumulated over the summer on Saturday, October 3rd.
Its all part of the resorts year-long campaign to beautify the Old Timer Trail, according to Panorama Mountain Resort race and mountain event manager Patrick Gillespie.
Were taking down the alders and pines, which allows to create better snow, which then improves the pre-race training and preparation for any of the races that we have on Old Timer and our race track, said Mr. Gillespie. This is the first time as a big volunteer group. Its an Alpine Canada Association-driven event The race community is based on volunteers in every community and I think every racer from six years on realizes the importance of volunteers, so a lot of times, the racers know that they need to give back to the sport.
There were several volunteers from Team Panorama who spent the day trimming brush from the popular trail to prepare for the season.
Any time volunteers show up, we appreciate it, added Mr. Gillespie.
Professional skiers Ben Thompson, Manny Osbourne-Paradis and trail builder Ralph Stewart contributed to the effort to cut down the brush, helping minimize the amount of snow that is needed to create a smooth surface for riding.
This is a volunteer-based sport, as many are in Canada, but being outdoors and volunteer-based means there are a lot of different aspects where we can help out, said Mr. Osbourne-Paradis. Obviously, in the winter, were racing all the time so the volunteering has to stop at some point and this is only one day, but its a day where we can give back to ourselves and the younger generation that skis at Panorama, which is the most beneficial. I think thats where well see the most gains.
He remains optimistic about making the cleanup event an annual initiative for racers to pay it forward at Panorama Mountain Resort and there was no shortage of help from people from the community.
It wouldnt have been possible without all of the work Ralph (Stewart) has done for us, said Mr. Osbourne-Paradis, noting it was a big group effort that demanded time and commitment from every volunteer.
Oh, yeah, agreed Mr. Gillespie. Hes done a lot of work for us.