Regina ski challenge encourages people to see how far they can go this winter

·3 min read

A Regina ski challenge has been launched to help inspire people to get outdoors and go skiing right in the city.

The Cathedral Village Ski Challenge is a part of the City of Regina's #YQRWinterFun series. The series is meant to get people outdoors doing activities, and offers prizes people can enter to win.

The challenge encourages people to see how far they can ski on the 12 kilometres of groomed trails in Kiwanis and Les Sherman parks between Jan. 15 and March 1.

"Our neighborhood is known for bringing groups of people together," said Karen McIver, a Cathedral Area Community Association board member and cross-country skier.

"But with the challenges of not being able to bring people together indoors, we thought it would be great to highlight some of our outdoor areas."

McIver said the neighbourhood association partnered with the Regina Ski Club and the city's winter series to create the challenge. Volunteers from the ski club have been maintaining the trails for years.

Skiing is a great way to exercise and burn calories, McIver said, but it also has emotional benefits, especially during the pandemic — "just being outdoors, looking at the frost on the trees, looking at the birds and just seeing people from a distance in the neighborhood."

"We're hoping it can bring people together, keep them active and healthy during this difficult time."

To enter the challenge, people need to first let the organizers know they want to participate by emailing the association at caca@sasktel.net. Then, they're advised to get an app to track their distance or simply mark down estimates based on trail lengths. "Each of the loops on our map is two-and-a-half kilometres," McIver said. "Once you meet one of the distance challenges — five kilometres, 10, 20, 30, 50 or more — you can email us and we will note it down and send you a prize."

McIver said she hopes the challenge also raises more awareness about the trails in the neighbourhood.

"There's tons of people out there on [Wascana] Creek and people are just looking to get outdoors," she said. "So we just thought this would be a great way to bring awareness to that and to share it with others."

Ski club reminding people to not walk on ski trails

Meanwhile, the Regina Ski Club is reminding people that cross-country skiing trails are only meant for skiers.

Volunteers from the club maintain tracks at Wascana Park, Kinsmen South Park, Les Sherman Park, A.E. Wilson Park and at White Butte Trails in partnership with the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, the Provincial Capital Commission and the City of Regina.

"Walking, snowshoeing, biking, or walking dogs on ski trails is like destroying your neighbour's sandcastle," the club said in a statement. "Such activities are not compatible with skiing for safety and trail maintenance reasons."

Ski trail maintenance requires technical knowledge, dedication and equipment, the club said.

It's asking people to keep to walking and snowshoeing paths if they're not skiing.