Gearing up for a winter of outside recreation


Andi Bourne Boy Scouts

ROCKS volunteer Dave Lewis and ROCKS President Garry Swain begin the community ice rink base at Seeley Lake Elementary School on December 15th. Instead of using the liner as in the past, the Seeley Lake Nordic Club packed the snow with a roller and ROCKS then sprayed the ice rink several times so that the water could freeze in between. The warm weather made it a slow process at first, but it got a good base on December 24th. Swain and volunteer Connor Chadwick flooded the rink several times over the Christmas weekend. With the temperatures below freezing, Swain is hoping to have the rink ready this week.

As winter falls over the Seeley Swan Valley, the ROCKS team plunges into a frenzy of action. During this ever-changing and unpredictable weather season, we realize the somewhat limited control we have over this beautiful setting and the ROCKS team spends a lot of time watching the weather forecast. Rain? Not so good. Snow? Great for the ski slopes, trouble for the ice rink. Cold and icy conditions? Not great for the ski slopes, fantastic for the ice rink. Yes – then the word “outdoor” is above all others in our name (ROCKS = Regional Outdoor Center for Kinetic Sports).

The good news is – true to the famous oldtimer adage – “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes and it will change.”

We had a good start in cross-country skiing this year, so our support for the yurt is still important. As the Nordic Ski Trails team is busy preparing the trails for the holiday and winter 2022, we have helped to ensure a good supply of wood for the cozy rest area, and this year we are supplying hand disinfectants and face masks for this one place Need to warm up, snack or rest between runs.

The flooding of the ice rink has started and above all we are grateful for the financial support that made it possible for us to purchase a snow blower. Unfortunately, we spend more time blowing snow away than flooding, given the difficult warming and cooling and the rather unpredictable weather patterns we face. But right now, we’ve got enough freezing days in a row and we should have people on the ice before the end of the year! Check back again and again – the progress is purely weather-related, but we are not intimidated by the arbitrariness with which Mother Nature behaves at the moment.

Skiers are happy; Skaters just have to be patient a little longer, but don’t worry! The ROCKS team has your back together as we work hard to ensure that outdoor enthusiasts have safe and well-manicured areas for relaxation and exercise.

The Lakeview Trails on Placid Lake are currently dormant (closed as the herds of elk migrate), but the area now offers wider recreational opportunities for more people than ever with the addition of the Accessible ¾ mile trail. Summit Independent Living completed this project with support from ROCKS. It provides a much-needed and breathtakingly beautiful trail for those with special hiking needs.

All of these activities are an outdoor love work by a group of friendly and open-minded volunteers. If you’d like to join our group and help with these important community projects, we’d love to hear from you! For more information, email me at [email protected]