Apex Matters December 2020

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Apex Matters “Keeping You in the S’know”

Skiing the Great Wall at Apex Photo by www.preservedlight.com

Volume 17 : Issue 4 Your FREE Local Snow Culture Newsletter!

December 2020

Slushy Thoughts From The Snow Bank By Brad Nunes Merry Christmas everybody. Ya’ll need to pat yourselves on your collective backs. This has been a doozey of a year and I know it has affected some more than others. As we enter the season of sisterly/brotherly love, I truly hope everyone is moved by the season to reach out (maybe not literally) and check in on each other. Small gestures make big waves. We are all skating through this pandemic differently. I ask that we do what we can to keep everyone on their skates. I am pretty sure there is a light just around the corner of this tunnel and we want to make sure we all ride the train out the other end. So, make sure you wish each other a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. And if you have the means, make sure that others have enough on their plate for Christmas dinner. So, let us all collectively lament what we cannot do this year and take joy in the many blessings we still have around us. Because although there is hardship to be found in spades, there is always room for great and powerful acts of love. And this New Year’s Eve, be sure to ring out so damn loud that we scare the ghosts of 2020 far off behind us. Merry Christmas and Blessings in 2021.

5th Annual Artisan Christmas Market By Ash Dunsford

This holiday season brings the 5th Annual Artisan Christmas Market to Apex Mountain on Saturday, December 19 from 11 am 6 pm. Due to the current times, we will be spacing vendors between the indoor space at the former Longshot Bar and outside in the main village. We will be showcasing local Apex artisans and their handmade creations just in time for your Christmas shopping! All of our vendors are part of the Apex community and will be selling goods ranging from cabin art, jewelry, glasswork, fibre arts, natural soaps and skin care products, and much more! Some vendors will be accepting card payments, but we ask that customers be prepared to purchase with e-transfer or to bring cash - the ATM at Apex will not be available. We will be preparing the space for healthy physical distancing and monitoring numbers, so all can have an enjoyable market experience. Happy Holidays!

Herbal Micro Doses 250.462.1777 mjwild35@gmail.com

To gain creativity, grounding, mental & physical well-being!

Meet The Ski Bum Soap Company! By Whitney Wynn

Published by Okanagan Matters Publications 250.490.6951 apexmatters@telus.net Quick Facts: Apex Matters is published monthly from September 2020 through April 2021. Distribution covers Okanagan Falls, Kaleden, Penticton, Summerland and around Apex Mountain. Full advertising options, read past issues online, and link to join our Apex Matters eNews all at www.ApexMatters.com. Now celebrating our 17th season in print! Please Note: No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage resulting from the use of this publication. We reserve the right to refuse any submission or advertisement, and retain the right to edit all copy. Every effort has been made to make this publication as accurate as possible. All authors and advertisers are provided with a proof of their submission and their final approval is requested before being published. © 2020 Okanagan Matters Publications.

Happy Ski Season Apexers! I love creating gentle, low-waste bath and body products full of beneficial ingredients. After attending a soap making workshop in 2014, I became fascinated with the world of natural soap and less thrilled with everything I learned about commercial products. You know, that endless cycle of washing, then needing to moisturize. Creating soap the old-fashioned way means it remains loaded with naturally occurring glycerin, which is stripped from most store-bought soap for use in lotions, etc. Plus, the same simple oils and butters used in soap can be combined to create a multitude of other nourishing skin products. Handmaking my own means I can ensure the ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced, gentle, and free of unnecessary synthetic additives. My quest for creating simple, natural formulations blossomed into my tiny “soap factory” starting right here at Apex, and I would love to share my creations with you. Come and say ‘Hi’ at the Apex Artisan Christmas Market on December 19 and check out my growing line of natural products with a fun, ski-themed twist ... perfect for gifts, stocking stuffers or simply to treat yourself. Cheers, from one Ski Bum to another!

Apex Mountain Resort

Check out our video series ...

“Know Before You Go, Your Apex Covid Guide”

Arrive Together ... Ride Together!


1.877.777.2739 | ApexResort.com

Read our Covid-19 protocols online at ApexResort.com The New Enhanced Reciprocal Program gives you 12 Free Lift Tickets! Show your Apex Season Pass at their ticket window to receive 2 free lift tickets at Mt Baldy, Manning Park, Silver Star, Seymour, Mt. Washington and Whitewater. Valued at over $900. Check ahead with resorts, as some black out dates may apply. For full details, please visit ApexResort.com.

Day Lift Operations ~ Daily 9am - 3:30pm thru April 5, 2021. Night Lift Operations ~ Friday & Saturday 4-9pm as of Dec 18. Tube Park ~ Friday 4-9pm, Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday & Holidays 10am-3pm. Starting December 18, 2020 through April 4, 2021. Skating Loop & Hockey Rink ~ Open daily at 9am & night lit until 10pm. Tentative opening is Dec 18. Weather dependent. Snow Bus ~ Runs every Saturday & Sunday, plus Holidays & Spring Break. Starts December 19, 2020. Visit doublediamondtours.ca for info. Featuring ~ 77 Runs | 4 Terrain Parks 2000 Vertical Feet | 1112 Skiable Acres 16% Novice | 48% Intermediate | 36% Advanced/Expert | 20 Feet of Cumulative Annual Snowfall

Happy Holidays from all of us at ...

Dear Apex Property Owners; We are getting a lot of inquiries from local families in Penticton and throughout the South Okanagan looking to plan a family vacation at Apex and we are looking for more inventory! We are all limited in what we can do and where we can go this winter. We are excited about this year’s season at Apex and believe this could be great for our local ski resort and introduce new local skiing families to the resort. Stay at Apex is committed to following the protocols and procedures recommended by our Provincial Health Services Authority to keep our community safe. •

Providing space to allow people to maintain physical distance;

Practicing routine cleaning and disinfection; and

Ensuring staff and guests have easy access to handwashing stations or hand sanitizing supplies.

We are looking for a select few properties to add to our inventory and have made some changes to our business for this season: We have lowered our Management fee to 30%; Made substantial improvements to operating procedures; Have team members on the hill 24/7; We have expanded our booking channels; We are accepting non-exclusive contracts; and, have made substantial changes to our operating procedures. Call Michelle today at 250-282-8256 or email info@stayatapex.ca to explore the possibilities!


Nickel Plate Nordic Centre Update

Nickel Plate Junior Racers Update

By Tricia Wilson, General Manager

By John Garwah

As the season begins, we want to remind you of some positives that are associated with cross country skiing. We are so fortunate to be able to continue being outside in beautiful open spaces and surrounded by nature. Our skill development and masters programs are sold out, keen skiers young and old chomping at the bit. The Junior Racing team has been training since September and has seen significant improvements on their already impressive skills. They’ll continue training hard at Nickel Plate, anticipating the excitement of local races for the upcoming season.

The Nickel Plate Junior Racers have had a good start to the season. The Racers have been given new rules and guidelines to keep us safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are fortunate to have a season and train in a sport we love. We had our annual weekend on-snow training sessions on November 21-22. This year, we are coached by our new Head Coach, Jessica Roach. Jessica came to Penticton from Ontario, where she was one of the top Senior Women racers. The weekend training was very successful with 10 athletes taking part. We were fortunate to have And while we want to welcome everyone to our nordic centre, we very good conditions for both skating and classic. Coach Jessica have to ensure certain protocols are followed. We’re encouraging provided video analysis to help us improve our techniques. In all, local skiers and snowshoers only. Our lodge will be closed at least most athletes skied approximately 50 km. This year brings some until the new Covid-19 restrictions are announced on December 7. youth to the team with a couple younger athletes. With our official snow season upon us, we hope to continue our development and We’re also encouraging everyone to fitness despite uncertainty with our race season. This season will “ski out” of their vehicles and leave no doubt present several challenges and will continue to push all personal belongings in your car. ourselves and take each day as it comes. We look forward to seeing In order to do this successfully, it is more skiers on the trails and wish to thank the Nickel Plate Nordic important to bring a warm change Centre and all the people that contribute to keeping the trails open. of clothes, food and warm liquids. For those of you who need to wax for classic skiing, you’ll need to learn the skill of parking lot waxing. It’s simple, and you’ll be the envy of everyone around! This is going to be an amazing season. After months of restrictions and changes and worry, we’re about to enjoy one of the best outdoor spaces that exists ... worry free.

One of the Best Views at Apex! #905 - 2125 Clearview Road ~ MLS® $259,900 Immaculate top floor unit, sleeps 8. Panoramic views of the slopes, village and surrounding mountains. 1300 sq.ft, 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms. Renovated, brand new kitchen, appliances and flooring. Fully-furnished. Heated outdoor ski locker. 2 covered parking stalls.

Call Jeff for more information or to view.

Rest & Recovery By Fred Albrechtson, Nickel Plate Junior Racer Alumni The first half of November was spent mostly in bed to allow my leg a chance to heal from the stress fracture in my left tibia. The second half, I started getting on the stationary bike and ski ergometer to start regaining some fitness. We’ve also been working on a lot of mobility exercises that will help to improve my technique, once I’m back on skis. I am hoping to return to rollerskis, unless the weather changes, the first few days of December. It’s been a long process, but I don’t doubt that it has been a crucial lesson in my development as an athlete long term. As of now, it’s not looking great for races. All of our December races were cancelled. However, come January, the coaches of neighbouring clubs and teams are planning local races, and calling them the “Covid Cup”. Stay tuned for how the season turns out. Hoping for a great winter back home filled with many pow days! Climbing, Hiking, Camping, Winter Sports & Apparel #101 - 136 Front St | 236.422.3733 | www.eskalamountainsports.com

Covid-19 Protocols for The Mountain Shop For the safety of all, we are limiting customers in our store to 8, with a suggested shopping duration of 30 minutes. Only one customer in the boot fitting area at a time. Appointments for this service are encouraged! Cashless payments are recommended. Sanitize your hands upon entry at the designated station. Customers not respecting these guidelines may be asked to leave the store. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and choosing local!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @apexmtnshop Stay up to date on the latest sales and tuning specials.

Open Daily 8 am - 4 pm

mtnshop@apexresort.com 1.877.777.2739 | apexresort.com

Carvers Corner

By Jorgen Anderson, Head Coach & Program Director Welcome everyone to another season at one of the finest ski establishments in the country. I have been so fortunate to have skied at Apex my entire life. I remember the days of the Riordan chair and rope tow where we all spent most of our early December skiing days. Back then, we would hope for the first days on the Poma. The Poma was our ride to the top of the mountain. From tower 9 and 10 on the Poma, it would lift us little kids up off the ground, making it almost impossible to get to the top without help from mom and dad trying to weigh the cable down. As kids, we would all get very nervous on that Poma journey, just hoping and praying you could make it all the way to the top. Now, look where we are! From high speed lifts to getting a great meal at one of our great establishments to snow making. Early season snow making is key to our hill. A big shout out to the staff who move the guns around in an extreme environment. Great work folks. Follow the new Covid rules of our resort. Respect our awesome Apex staff and have an amazing winter in the best place in BC. Apex Ski Team ~ The U12s, U14s and U16s have all been enjoying the early start this season. Yes, it’s a bit different, but once you are skiing it feels magical. I have first hand witnessed this. Every kid that has skied so far has been so excited. The happy grins are hard to see under the face coverings, but if you look into their eyes it’s evident that the excitement was there. We have a great group of kids this year. Coach Tyrah, Brent and myself feel very blessed to have this early time with the kids. The snow has been perfect with great pre-season conditions. The pictures below are two of the U12s working on drills, which are key to skill development. The kids have all been working on keeping a solid platform and having lots of fun on the slopes.

3-Day Christmas Camps Camp 1 ~ December 19-21 Camp 2 ~ December 28-30

Camps $150 or $99 if in other programs

Apex Carver Program

Starts January 2 - Full Day Saturdays Starts January 3 - Half Day Sundays

Register at apexskiclub.com

A Great Start To The Season Apex Carvers ~ Soon we are going to see these kids ripping it up on the slopes. We will get things rolling with that group in early By Reece Howden, Apex Ski Club Alumni January and will be offering our Christmas Camps as well. See our ad space to the right and visit our website for more information. This November I had my first North American Training Camp of 2020 at Panorama. It compromised of 5 days of SX start training, www.apexskiclub.com GS and Super-G. There was only Brady Leman and I at this camp, Warren Miller Movie ~ Thanks to all who purchased the movie so we did most of our training with Alberta Alpine, the Canadian online. We hope to all get together next season in November at the Alpine Team, and fortunately, the BC Alpine Team. This was Cleland Theatre once again. That will be one big party! awesome, because I got to train with some of my old teammates BC Ski Team News ~ Marcus Athans will return for another Marcus Athans and Heming Sola who are on the BC Alpine Team. season with the team. The newest named member to this year’s As I write this, I am boarding a flight to Switzerland to get ready squad is Heming Sola. We are so excited for both young men. for the first World Cups of the season, Val Thorens and Arosa, Exciting news for our club racers! which will be taking place in mid December. If you are interested in We definitely have some challenges ahead, but remember “No Bad Days”. We live in an amazing place. The snow will fly this season and we have lots to look forward to. See you on the slopes.

Page 6 | December 2020 | ApexMatters.com

watching any of these races, go to Alpine Canada’s website, click Events and Results. In the dropdown menu, click on TV schedule.

Left above is Apex Ski Club Alumni - left to right is Marcus Athans, Heming Sola and Reece Howden. Right above is Brady Leman and Reece in the start section.

On Snowboarding ~ Young and Old, Experienced and Novice By Paul Girard, PT, CHT, & Carmen Eberle, PT, CHT Fifteen years ago when we moved to the Okanagan, Paul was a spry young man aged 35. At some point in those first couple of years, friends dragged him up the ski hill. This was on cheap Friday nights after work, and the goal was for Paul to learn snowboarding. By ‘learning snowboarding’ his friends meant renting a board and boots and getting on the lift with the group that raced to the bottom mostly by artificial light. What did this experience lead us to discover? •

Snowboarding/ski hill life is fantastic fun.

Snowboarding is an activity our entire family continues to enjoy.

There are better ways to learn snowboarding than just doing it through the ‘baptism by fire’ method.

There are proven safer ways to get and stay snowboarding, both as an adult and a younger person. We’re hopeful you might appreciate this, especially if you are one of the many pandemicweary folks looking for new and exciting things to do outdoors, where virus transmission risks are almost nil. Maybe you have picked up this Apex Matters for the first time and plan to experience champagne powder soon. Maybe you are a great skier thinking about mixing it up and trying something new. Maybe, like Paul, you are generally a mediocre athlete and need all the help you can get. Thankfully, just like wearing masks in a pandemic, wearing a helmet on the slopes no longer has a stigma. Helmets are good and better all the time with improving technology. Warmth. Style. Safety. The research is out, so for all the conspiracy theory and naysayer types ... You’re wrong. Just wear a helmet. Back on the prairies, Paul had this hockey coach who would often tell the punks under his supervision, “Use your Oaken Noggin’!” (Paul never actually understood that subtle poet of a man until he left Saskatchewan and found the BC Interior). Forget that this same coach once tried to relocate Paul’s dislocated shoulder while on the bench (it was, in fact, a clavicle fracture) and brought this poetcoach’s all-time crappiest left defense man to tears. The point is, just protect your head and brain. Do you see many players in the NHL without helmets these days? All wearing no helmet does is put you at risk of losing snow days. Stopping a fall is part of being active at Apex. Learning to fall more safely is in reality a researched phenomenon, and you can get lessons to train this skill when snowboarding. The natural idea of putting a foot out to correct a loss of balance just doesn’t apply when you have two feet strapped onto a snowboard. Therefore, it makes sense to practice either getting first onto one’s knees and forearms (when falling forward) or using your rear end and curling up (when falling backward) to initially make ground contact. Why is that a good idea? Because the wrist is the most common bone break in the arm, and it’s typically broken or badly sprained when an individual attempts to stop a fall on an outstretched hand. If you can overcome the tendency to FOOSH (fall on outstretched hand), you can spare your wrist this grief. Sign up for snowboard lessons from someone certified who can show you safe methods to: 1) Better maintain control; and 2) More safely fall when you don’t maintain control. Even elite snowboarders can learn roll-type maneuvers to dissipate fall energy when they go down. Train that if you are planning to start more advanced snowboarding.

when our family decided snowboarding was our group mountain thing, we mitigated the wrist injuries through the use of splints. Biomex and Flexmeter are two brands of snowboard-specific wrist guards that: a) fit within gloves/mitts; and b) reduce the incidence and severity of wrist injuries like sprains and fractures. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, “there is now convincing evidence from both laboratory studies and (more importantly) direct comparisons between groups of boarders with and without guards to show that wearing the right kind of wrist guard does significantly reduce the risk of wrist injury.” All four of our family members have used these devices since we got into snowboarding, and to date, no significant wrist injuries. Obviously, our family experience is not a rigorous research study. But between the old man starting later in life and the current teen jumping in the terrain park, we really believe we’ve prevented lots of snowboard wrist injuries. These sport-specific wrist braces are worth it. If you want to snowboard, look into appropriate wrist braces and get off your wallet. The lost days and potential long-term cost of nasty sprains/fractures far outweigh purchase cost of appropriate wrist splints. As we often tell our kids and our patients, the real risk is not getting active. In our passive screen-centric society, and especially in today’s environment, we need more time outside doing things ... safely socializing and moving. Of course there is always a risk on a snowboard, but taking steps to maximize the fun and minimize the hurt makes sense. Use your helmet, get some appropriate wrist guards, and take some good lessons that include teaching correct fall techniques. Stay out of the hand therapy clinic ... use your ‘Oaken Noggin’! Paul Girard and Carmen Eberle are registered physical therapists with

That noted, it remains a neurological safety mechanism deeply Certified Hand Therapist designation. They operate their Hand Therapy ingrained in humans to FOOSH. We believe if you snowboard, at Clinic out of Dale Charles Physiotherapy. OkanaganHandTherapy.com ApexMatters.com | December 2020 | Page 7 some point you are going to fall hard on your wrist. So knowing that,

Easy, Right?

Get Your Edge Wear! T-shirts, Touques & Hoodies!

OPEN till 9pm when the lifts are running!

By Jordan Kober, Canadian Freestyle Mogul Team Member

Sun - Thur 7am - 5pm Fri - Sat 7am - 9pm Holidays & Night Skiing

t Window!

Look for our *NEW* Take Ou Best Mountain Views!

Specialty coffees, teas, amazing breakfasts, lunches with homemade soups, sandwiches & loads of treats. “Artisan Take & Bake” Pizzas made fresh to order with your favourite toppings on a delicious stone baked crust. Simply throw it in your oven and dinner is ready in 12 minutes.

Located next to at Greift The Mountain Shop in the G s! Apex Mountain Village Idea

To order your “Artisan Take & Bake” Pizzas, or to book a Group Function: Colin - 250.488.2400

What’s Happening At The Edge? By Colin Mottershead, aka “Cheffy” The Edge Bistro is excited for the 2020/21 season. We are looking forward to seeing all of our Apex friends and families. The Edge proudly offers homemade soups, made to order fresh panini sandwiches and wraps, along with a wide variety of specialty coffees and hot chocolate. The famous Take and Bake Pizzas are back again this year too. Hours of operation are 7am to 5pm daily, and during the Christmas Holidays we are open in the evening until 9pm everyday. Entry to the Edge Bistro this season will be through the Mountain Shop/Rental doors. Our other doors are strictly for exit only. We still have a few tables inside for you to enjoy a warm bowl of soup or Latte. There are several other options in the village, if you wish to take your order to go. Well, you asked for it and you got it! The New Edge Take Out Window is HERE! It is located on the west side of the building and will be open very soon. Keep an eye on Facebook or Instagram, as we have another little surprise for you in the very near future. Don’t forget the Edge is here to help you with your Christmas shopping. The very popular Gift Cards are always available, as well as t-shirts and touques. New this year, we have Edge logo hoodies for sale. So, don’t be disappointed ... get yours today! From All of the Edge Staff, we wish you and your families a safe, happy and healthy Holiday Season.

Thanks to the greatest ski hill on the planet, I was able to do some early-season training at home this November. I got to work on my jumps for quite a few days with the highly esteemed BC team coach before my own teammates showed up for our training camp. Soon after they showed up, a fantastic course was built on Kristi’s Run. I got to ski a couple of fun days on the course, but then it was time for me to head to Ruka, Finland. With the World Cup opener on the first weekend of December, the team headed over early, on November 18th, for a few training cycles on the course we’ll be competing on. Unfortunately, despite being in the arctic circle, Ruka hasn’t been half as lucky as Apex for cold temps and snowfall. So, quite disappointingly I ended up leaving an absolutely pristine mogul course and arrived in Finland with nowhere to train. Left with very limited options, we spent a few days working technique on the groomers, while waiting for enough snow to at least get an air site going. It’s been a week now and we were able to train on an air site for the last couple days. Tomorrow the mogul course will be built, and we’ll have a few days to train before official training begins on December 3rd. The goal this season is to make at least two top twelves. I’ll have three chances before the New Year: One here in Ruka and then two in Sweden the following weekend. Last season I managed to get my best results ever on the Noram circuit, now all I’ve got to do is scale that success up to the next level, against the best in the world. Easy, right!? My first opportunity is a week away, or tomorrow if you enjoy reading Apex Matters on its release date. Oof, tomorrow. That sounds ... exciting! It has been a while, but thinking about it that way is enough to get those good ol’ nerves going again!

Lot for Sale ~ $139,500 101 Hedley-Apex Road (Big Bend) Email: Pastiche009@gmail.com

Hello To My Hometown Community By Alec Henderson, BC Park & Pipe Team Member In early November, my best friend Andre and I qualified for coaching by taking the Air Course 1 in Kelowna. This will help us with coaching kids in the future. We are grateful for the government’s approval for our Team BC’s training. In mid-November, we were able to go skiing at Sunshine Village. After waiting about 8 months since we had been on snow, it felt pretty epic. We had an amazing 3-day training session. My favourite part was doing the fast laps skiing the park. Though our trip to Yukon has been cancelled due to restrictions, we will most likely stay in BC and up next will be training at Sun Peaks Resort. I am really looking forward to more time on snow, and getting back to the basics. Hope that all of you are healthy and getting ready to ski. Until then, let it snow! Happy Holidays Everyone!

Ski Skills For Life! Moguls, Terrain Park, Big Air & All Mountain

for the kids club and community

Competitive & Non-competitive Programs for ages 6 & up

Hello Apex & Freestyle Fans! By Kristi Richards, Head Coach

The first of the season is here, with a great start to the snow year and sparkly excitement with each falling snowflake. It’s time to dust off the gear, get to The Mountain Shop for a tune, and try out your ski legs. Thanks to Mother Nature and some extra snow guns, Kristi’s Run has had its earliest start yet, with a November 15th opening for Teams on a full World Cup course. It was a great way to get our athletes prepared and ahead of the game. We had a trial run weekend in November for our Performance and Junior Teams, which was a huge success. Now of course this year has also come with uncertainties and worry. We are fortunate to have access to an outdoor sport, and we hope that skiing can provide a safe gateway for our physical health and mental wellness. That being said, it’s ninja style all year - bandanas up, and masks on! We are committed to keeping everyone safe, while we play in the snow. We have some exciting news on programming and facilities. NEW Programs! Visit https://snowreg.com/#!/events/40581apex-freestyle-club for full details. 1. 1/2 Day Jumps & Bumps ~ Due to the demand for the 1/2 day Jumps and Bumps, we have added a Sunday 1/2 day option. 2. Freestylerz PLUS ~ This is our newest addition - for those of you that still want to do the one day programs, but want to start in December and be involved in all of the Camps (Winter Holiday Break and Spring Break), this let’s you include these opportunities at a packaged price. 3. Split Payment Options ~ To help family finances out in these challenging times, we are offering a split payment option to spread your payments for these programs over the season in equal installments. https://snowreg.com/#!/events/40724apex-freestyle-club-20202021-split-payment-options New Coaches! 1. Yours Truly ~ I’m so excited to be at the helm of my hometown club and mountain. My aim is to be involved with athlete progression and skill development, create a mentorship coaching program, improve on our facilities, and build community involvement and relationships. 2. Mike Richards ~ Mike has extensive experience (15 years) in building and leading club programs, as well as coach mentorship and course facilitating, and venue building and maintenance. He has helped Momentum Camps build their park every year, and has managed the installation and operation of over 15 airbag and landing bag sites. He is our new Mentor Coach, as well as our official Facility Manager. 3. Ainsley Macdonald ~ Ainsley is coming off of her career at the NorAm level of mogul skiing, recently competition and training with the Canadian Mogul Academy, and is working through her coaching certificates and air pathways. She will be focused on developing the younger athletes, with a strong passion and focus on Girlstylerz events and camps.


Cole Patton ~ Cole is also coming off of his career with the Canadian Mogul Academy, and is stepping in as our Jumps & Bumps Manager, to help oversee the programs, athlete development and coach mentorship within the biggest program that Apex Freestyle Club has to offer. Welcome Cole!

New Vision For Facilities ~ We would like to officially announce that we have initiated the investment into an Olympic sized LANDING BAG from BAGJUMP in Austria. These are the best landing bags in the industry, and with this asset, Apex Freestyle Club will be the proud operators of the ONLY landing bag of its kind in Western Canada. What does this mean for us? This landing bag is becoming an industry standard tool for the safe progression of freestyle athlete’s skill development - it is a feature that athletes ages 6+ can either learn their first jumps, their first inverts, get qualified on their first inverts and practice them in a relevant and timely manner before taking their tricks to snow. A landing bag like this will also attract other athletes and teams to come use the Apex Club and Apex Resort Facilities, as this bag is intended to be a huge asset to not only mogul skiers, but to Park and Slopestyle athletes and from all levels from beginners to World Cup levels. The attraction is great for the Club and for the Resort, to build Apex as a World renowned training venue for decades to come. It is a great addition to our World Cup Mogul venue, and we hope to be able to diversify our offerings and user groups with this investment. This being said, we are MADLY fundraising to make this a reality ... We hope to raise funds, so that we can see this landing bag here for the spring! Fingers crossed! Fundraising & Sponsorship Opportunities: 1. We are launching a 12 Days of Christmas Online Silent Auction. Thanks to the fundraising partnership and efforts of Slackwater Brewing, we will be launching the online auction on December 2 and promoting it for 2 weeks. Funds will go towards the capital purchase of the landing bag and facility management. https://app.galabid.com/sw-apexfreestyle/items 2. Sponsorships ~ We are looking to create lasting and meaningful community partnerships, to help support our Coach Mentorship Program, Our Facilities and our Athlete Development. We have opportunities to be involved at any level, and can offer great exposure for your company in banner placement during the season and events, athlete branded jackets, or the newest opportunity to be a banner sponsor for the new landing bag - get your logo on the side! Please contact Teri for more details at treasurer@freestyleapex.com. COVID Safety & Mindfulness: 1. Safety and health is our number one priority. We will be mandating masks and bandanas 100% of the time, limiting small athlete group numbers that stay consistent through the season, frequent hand washing and sanitization, and opening our air site hut for a controlled lunch break spot with sanitization plans in place. 2. We will be following all Provincial and Federal health orders, while trying to maintain a level of outdoor activity. Please be mindful that all schedules and events are subject to change. 3. There will be no spectating of training or events, so parents and families, please be mindful to not congregate around training venues. We encourage a “ski-by”, but be mindful of prolonged supporting beside the venues. ApexMatters.com | December 2020 | Page 9

Airline Industry

By Richard Cannings, MP for South Okanagan-West Kootenay The airline industry has been hit hard by Covid-19, as travel restrictions put a stop to flight plans. Air Canada alone has cancelled thousands of flights, pulled out of eight regional airports and laid off 20,000 people - half of its workforce. Air travel is essential in such a large country as Canada, and it is nowhere more important than in the BC Interior. And, while travel restrictions are an essential tool in the fight against this pandemic, we have to plan for the future to make sure air options are available when people need to travel long distances quickly and safely. It’s been the cutbacks on regional routes to smaller airports such as Castlegar, Trail and Penticton that have had the biggest negative impact across Canada. These cuts have made travel very difficult for local passengers trying to do business or visit family across the country. Air Canada has pulled out of Castlegar altogether and has greatly reduced flights into Penticton. WestJet has cut back service to Penticton, as has Pacific Coastal in Trail. Passengers have not only been affected by the reduction in flight options, they’ve been left high and dry by airlines that cancelled flights, often with little or no warning. The airlines have then refused to provide refunds to these passengers, instead giving them a voucher for future travel that may be difficult or impossible to use after whole routes have vanished. Travel agents haven’t been fully refunded for cancelled bookings. As passenger numbers have plummeted, other services are directly impacted in a cascading series of impacts. Nav Canada, the agency that runs traffic control towers across the country has seen its funding cut drastically and is now studying whether to close towers at certain airports. Low passenger numbers directly affect the viability of small airports. The airport at Castlegar is owned and operated by the City of Castlegar, and 80% of its funding comes from passenger fees paid by airlines. When Air Canada pulled out of Castlegar (and shows no sign of returning any time soon) that source of funding vanished. Castlegar managed to convince Coastal Mountain Air to begin service to that airport, but it is unclear how long that arrangement will be viable. Airline travel in the BC Interior has always been challenging. Castlegar has invested a lot of money and time over the past few years in developing solutions to its problem of air travel reliability in winter. They are close to a solution for that issue, but now all that investment is at risk if Nav Canada closes the tower there and if Air Canada doesn’t restore full service. Until the spectre of the Covid-19 pandemic has been eliminated, the number of people wanting to or able to travel will remain low. Even after a vaccine is available it might take months or years for public confidence to return. So, what can be done to maintain these airline and airport services? I have been talking to passengers, airline executives, airline associations, airport associations, airline pilots, travel agents, the executives of Nav Canada, and of course local leaders about these issues. It is clear that significant government sectoral support is needed to help all aspects of the air travel industry. This has been done in other countries around the world. But, there must be strings attached to that support. As I’ve said in the House of Commons and made clear during my meeting with Minister Garneau, any government funding for airlines must be contingent on passengers receiving full refunds for flights cancelled by the airlines. And, we must ensure that funding goes to reviving lost service, not to shareholders and airline executive pay.

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Merry Christmas! The holidays are a wonderful time of year to celebrate with loved ones and reflect on everything we have to be grateful for. As we do, let's remember that many of our fellow Canadians are struggling. Please, take some time to reach out to them. Let's work together to build a fairer, more inclusive Canada. From my family to yours, have a merry Christmas, and a safe and happy New Year.

Richard Cannings, MP Penticton Office: 301 Main St, Suite 202 250-770-4480 Richard.Cannings.C1@parl.gc.ca

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Seasons Greetings from my family to yours. With the 2020/2021 ski season in full operation now, I look forward to meeting residents at the hill. I’ve been attending the APOA meetings to share monthly updates on RDOS activities at Apex, including the upcoming Apex Subrina Monteith Fire Service and borrowing bylaw. Director of Look for more info soon as the process RDOS Area ‘I’ unfolds with public consultation in 2021 through to a referendum on establishing the service. I would like to thank the AFBS for all their hard work in this process and encourage anyone with any questions to reach out to them directly. Covid continues to be a concern in all communities. Please keep up on provincial guidelines and increase personal safety as that will be key in keeping ski hills operational for the winter. Metal Storage or Shipping Containers Bylaw ~ A public hearing will be held online on December 15 for the pending metal storage containers bylaw. Visit www.rdos.bc.ca/development-services/ planning/strategic-projects/metal-storage-review/ Roads ~ Apex Mountain Road is provincially classed as “A”. The Province has a published specifications guide. If you would like the link for this guide emailed to you, please contact me. The winter objective on road maintenance is ... “To proactively monitor, anticipate, manage and respond to winter accumulations and compact to facilitate the safe and orderly flow of traffic. “A” class means 24 hrs to bare and wet when temps are -9˚C and rising. If the snow starts again or the temp drops, then the clock starts over.” Please be an advocate for your community and if you have a concern about road maintenance, contact Aim Roads contractor on their 24-hr hotline at 1-866-222-4204 or visit aim-roads.ca. Don’t assume others have called. Please know that AIM does not monitor social media for reporting road conditions. Wishing you all a safe winter with an abundance of snow and clean runs down the hill. I will be having drop-in coffee times this winter and will post on the “Apex Home Owners/Residents RDOS Area I” Facebook page. This is an opportunity to speak to me directly. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. Subrina Monteith, Director of RDOS Area ‘I’ Direct: 250.486.1346 | smonteith@rdos.bc.ca | www.rdos.bc.ca

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Monthly MLA Report By Roly Russell, MLA Boundary-Similkameen I’m honoured and humbled to have the clear mandate from our riding to serve you. Thank you. I am keenly enthusiastic about what we may be able to accomplish for our area, and look forward to the conversations ahead! It’s early morning while I write this, just after new orders from Dr. Henry have been implemented. It’s been an unpredictable year, but these regulations are no surprise - the upward case trends around the world clearly demonstrate the risk that surrounds us. At their core, the new orders and recommendations are simple: we need to travel less, we need to improve our mask-wearing practice, and we need to socialize less. Perhaps if transmission rates drop sufficiently, these regulations may loosen up by the holiday season. But if new case rates continue to climb, I expect that we will see such regulations continue. Top of mind for me are the mental health impacts that are on the horizon - for us all. I suspect all of us have a sense of what pandemic burn-out feels like. Going into winter, where the nights are longer and socializing with friends and family is a typical centerpiece of many of our lives, it’s important to keep these impacts of isolation in mind. Thus, I’ll ask that we all put some thought into who might be feeling the burden a little more than the rest; then reach out with a phone call, a video chat, or a handwritten note. Brightening someone’s day, and just being able to listen, may make a world of difference. People are asking what is on top of my immediate to-do list. I’m eager to jump into policy and program development, but at the moment my top priority is trying to define a model that really ensures that all of our communities have regular opportunities to connect and engage. We’re trying to define a model that gets my office into all of our communities. If anyone has brilliant ideas, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

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Finally, big thanks are due to my predecessor, Linda Larson. Linda has dedicated years of her life to serving our communities and we owe her our gratitude. We are in ongoing conversations to ensure that the transition is as smooth as is possible and your needs are met. Be safe, take care of yourselves, and take care of each other. I’m looking forward to working with you! May your holidays be full of wonder and compassion. ApexMatters.com | December 2020 | Page 11

Planning The Future For The Best Interest Of Our Community By The Apex Fire Brigade Society Board of Directors

In December, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) Board of Directors will be voting on the first readings of an operating budget bylaw and a borrowing budget bylaw for an Apex Community tax-based fire service. If the Board of Directors vote to support these budget bylaws, the process for a public referendum will be initiated. This process is expected to take 6-9 months before the actual referendum is held. The referendum will allow every Apex resident and property owner to cast their vote on whether they support a tax-based fire service or not. Many Apex residents have experienced significant insurance challenges with regards to their properties. With recent unprecedented significant losses of homes and businesses to wildfire on a global scale, insurance providers around the world have increased requirements to ensure their assets are better protected. Most insurance providers in BC are relying on a community having Fire Underwriters Survey certification. Currently, the Apex Community is considered “unprotected”, and therefore viewed as a higher risk for insurance providers. This issue has been front and centre with the Apex Fire Brigade Society Board of Directors who have been working tirelessly over the past year to determine the best course of action for ensuring a functional and sustainable Apex Fire Service that will meet the community’s public safety needs, as well as the requirements for Fire Underwriters Survey certification. The AFBS volunteer service has certainly “stepped up the game” recently, but are not quite there yet. After significant research and consultation with internal and external Fire Service and Insurance experts, and in collaboration with the Apex Mountain Resort and the Apex Property Owners Association Board of Directors, the AFBS Board of Directors has determined that a tax-funded fire service is the only reasonable solution to achieving a sustainable FUS rating that will offer increased confidence for any insurance provider when insuring Apex properties. The AFBS Board of Directors feel that the Apex Community is fortunate to have the calibre, expertise, and knowledge base that the current membership and board contribute to the organization. All board members and most of the current membership have significant personal investment in the community where they own homes, live and work. Meet the Board: John Davis (President) ~ John is a long-time Apex resident, business owner and involved community member. Over the years, John has worked for the resort operations, run his own hospitality business, built several Apex homes through his construction business, and keeps everyone’s driveways clear of snow each winter. In 2010, he had the unfortunate experience of losing his Apex home and business, the Saddleback Lodge, to a fire. John was extremely thankful for all the community volunteers who worked tirelessly in a valiant effort to try and save his building. Thankfully, nobody was hurt or killed. In addition to John’s role as board president and volunteer firefighter, he has contributed his construction expertise towards both our temporary fire hall and the planning of the proposed new fire hall. John has also been able to help get and keep the Engine 121, a.k.a. “Timber”, in emergency response ready condition. Graeme Lindsay (Vice-President) ~ Graeme is also a long-time resident of Apex. Over the years, he has worked for the resort in management roles, as well as volunteering for some 25 years with the Apex Ski Patrol. Graeme has managed construction projects within the community and continues to be heavily involved in community initiatives. Graeme is an accredited and experienced building designer, who is the Senior Project Manager for Greyback

Construction Ltd. In addition to Graeme’s role as Vice-President and firefighter, he represents Apex in the FireSmart program and serves as the Fire Prevention Officer. Graeme has spearheaded the building committee in planning and designing a concept for the new proposed fire hall - ensuring that the building codes and safety requirements are met, while keeping the design as economical and efficient as possible. Mark Rufiange (Treasurer) ~ Mark is also a long-time resident of Apex and has been a part of the fire brigade for several years. Mark is a retired Civil Engineer, who previously owned Structurlam and has a strong construction background. Mark brings a wealth of experience to the AFBS board, having sat on numerous boards over his professional career. Gabe Lavoie (Fire Chief) ~ Gabe’s career in resort operations as the Blue River Fire Chief, and in fire equipment technology has allowed him to develop extensive experience and detailed knowledge of fire equipment, training, and fire operations, as well as develop an extensive network of industry experts. Gabe is a qualified structural and wildland firefighter, as well as a fire and emergency service instructor. In addition to leading the Apex Volunteer Fire Rescue Operations, Gabe is a full-time resident of the Apex Community and is also a ski patroller with the resort. Gabe provides his expertise in managing and leading the Apex Volunteer Fire Rescue administration and operations. Through Gabe’s endless hours of equipment research and analysis, grant writing, and interaction with other fire service counterparts, he was able to outfit Engine 121 to meet our interim operational needs. Gabe also used his expertise to develop a comprehensive proposed operational budget that will allow the AFBS to meet and sustain the FUS requirements and provide our volunteers with the necessary equipment and training to undertake a safe and effective fire response. Kelly Johnston (Deputy Chief & Board Secretary) ~ Kelly lives full-time at Apex, works as a Paramedic for BC Ambulance Service, and ski patrols for the resort, while operating a wildfire consulting firm that provides services to government clients and communities across North America. Kelly is a qualified wildland and structural firefighter, registered professional forester, and fire and emergency service instructor. Over his 30-year career, Kelly has developed expertise in fire and emergency medical response, fire risk assessment, training, emergency planning, policy, and emergency program development. Kelly provides his expertise as second in charge of the Apex Volunteer Fire Rescue administration and operations, coordinating the Apex Community Wildfire Risk Reduction program and coordinating the overall strategic planning for the AFBS. Jeff Burko (Medical Director) ~ Jeff has had a long and successful career in emergency medical service, and through his medical and emergency response training firm, he develops training and emergency programs for emergency response organizations across Canada. Jeff is a part-time resident of Apex and the AFBS is fortunate to have his expertise in guiding the organization’s medical and occupational health and safety programs. Gary Vollet (Past-President) ~ Gary is a long-time resident of the Apex community. In his past role as president and one of the founding members, he carried the AFBS through by volunteering many hours to ensure the organization stayed operational and ready to respond. Gary’s community and historical knowledge and his technical expertise proved invaluable in working through the early years for the AFBS. The Board of Directors, the volunteer firefighters, our regular members, and all who have contributed to the AFBS success to this point are looking forward to working with the Apex community and Apex Mountain Resort to provide the necessary certified fire protection and increasing the overall safety for the Apex community.

What Is The APOA?

By Barry Leigh, APOA Vice President This was written prior to last year’s AGM, which was cancelled due to COVID-19; however, this content still remains relevant today. I thought it useful to review APOA’s beginnings and see how it has evolved over the years. APOA was originally formed to represent local property owners when faced with issues that were impacting the community. Since then, APOA has been involved in a number of resource industry issues impacting the community, with the most significant being forest harvesting and mining. Since the 1990’s when our organization was first formed, many changes have taken place at Apex. To keep up with the needs of our community, APOA must also change and adapt. Over that time, we have seen more families make Apex their permanent home presenting increased challenges with regard to services such as schools and transportation. As well, now with the availability of on-line booking services, we have seen an increase in the number of properties available as short term rentals presenting additional challenges for the community and it’s services. Another positive sign of the development of the Apex community is the growth of the AFBS with more qualified and better trained personnel, as well as their acquiring a functioning fire truck. Along with these developments has been the formation of a new community organization, the Apex Community Association. Changes have also occurred with our local government, the RDOS, with Apex being made part of a new Area ‘I’. This change has resulted in more RDOS support for our community, as evidenced by the completion of the new waste transfer station and RDOS support of the Apex Fire Brigade. With all these changes, our board recognizes that the APOA must adapt and evolve if it is to continue to fulfil its mission to support our community. The new ACA and the APOA have different organizational and societal structures allowing them to serve the Apex community in different ways. The two organizations are maintaining contact with each other and the hope is that theirs will be a synergistic relationship resulting in better service to the community. In closing, I would again state that the APOA board recognizes that changes are happening in our community and that while some past issues are still with us, we are also being presented with new challenges and opportunities. I would therefore conclude by saying that it is as important as ever that APOA continue to serve the community and so I would encourage all property owners to support our Association by joining or renewing your membership and to encourage your neighbours to do so as well.

The APOA ... The Heart of the Apex Community!

APOA membership is open to all Apex property and condo owners. Love your Apex playground? Want to keep it pristine? Love to use the snowshoe & cross country trails? Like to drive on safe roads to get to Apex? Concerned about the status of logging? Then, the APOA needs YOU!

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Diesel’s Snow Removal


Apex Snowshoe Guiding and Miscellaneous Musings ...

Season Greetings from the Apex Community Association (ACA). The purpose of the ACA is to promote, facilitate, support or undertake any activity that will enhance the quality of life in the Apex Mountain community. To this end, we are offering a trio of free, guided family snowshoe outings in January, February and March 2021 (with Covid-19 regulations permitting at those times) to several of the area’s primo snowshoe trail destinations. The first of these three outings heads out from Nickel Plate Nordic Centre parking lot, through summertime singletrack trails, to the beautiful Nickel Plate Lake at 12 noon on Saturday, January 23rd. February’s snowshoe tour begins at the Snowflake Loop trails parking area, along the Hedley-Nickel Plate Road, and heads up to the summit of Mt. Riordan at 12 noon on Saturday, February 20th. It travels along summertime two-track roads, to an inspiring 360 degree vista view off the summit. For the final of three outings, March’s snowshoe adventure finds us with seasoned legs, heading for the summit of Green Mountain on Saturday, March 20th, with its unique panorama of vistas. Meet at 12 noon in front of The Mountain Shop in the Apex village. All three tours will be led by Apex-area veteran, Andrew Drouin. Andrew has guided more than 50 sub-alpine hike, bike and snowshoe tours over the past 25 years, and writes the local trail guide book called “SweetSingletrack.ca”. We encourage people joining us to dress appropriately (in removable layers, within well-vented textile shells) and to bring a thermos of hot chocolate, coffee or your favourite beverage. Hot Tip: bring a clean shirt to change into at the furthest extent of each outing, as you’ll appreciate the dry warmth on the return trip! All snowshoe participants will sign waivers provided by our insurer, the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC in order to participate. Please also note: the ACA will be holding our second annual AGM on Sunday, January 17th at 7pm via Zoom. If anyone would like to join in, please email ApexCommunityAssociation@gmail.com and we’ll provide you login details. We always welcome additional members to the ACA and invite you to join us in making Apex an even more amazing place! Questions? Comments? Visit our Facebook site using the search phrase Apex Community Association, and/or visit our table at the Apex Artisan Market on Saturday, December 19th in the village.

Tune Up Your Body By Dr. Deirdre O’Neill, Naturopathic Physician November marks for me a time of preparation. Making sure that my kids’ gear still fit. Waxing and tuning all the skis. And new to this year, fitting masks that will match Apex’s COVID protocols. Now that the gear is set, I begin to think about how I can prep my muscles and joints for the onslaught of skiing over varied terrain. Because let’s face it, skiing isn’t all that forgiving on the ever aging musculoskeletal system. If you experience joint pain and stiffness, you may be looking to how you can support your joints to be able to get the most out of your ski season. Sure there are squats, biking, running - all forms of cross training that help strengthen your quads. Spinning on the bike or track are not the only things that can enhance your experience on the hill. Supplements and hormones both play a role in reduction of pain and inflammation and in building cartilage. Top supplements that I recommend not only for joint health, but are supportive toward regeneration and reducing aging are: Curcumin ~ Hailed from turmeric spice, curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is great for reducing pain. The nice thing about curcumin is that it doesn’t negatively impact the gut lining nor tax the liver. The one limit on curcumin is that not all products are created equally, as in curcumin isn’t readily absorbed. Be in touch with a professional to help you choose a potent and clean form of curcumin. Vitamin C ~ This antioxidant vitamin is what is needed for growth and repair of tissues. Vitamin C is used to form collagen - the ubiquitous protein found in skin, ligaments and tendons. It is Vitamin C that gives collagen its tensile strength. The added bonus of Vitamin C is that it supports the immune system, is an antiinflammatory and helps with wound healing. Optimizing Vitamin D ~ You may see Vitamin D all over the news. As it helps keep inflammation in check, regulates mood, balances and supports the immune system. Would you know it that Vitamin D has a protective effect on the joints. Higher intake of Vitamin D supplementation is associated with less cartilage loss. Don’t forget that Apex provides an added bonus of more bluebird days than being down in Penticton’s inversion. Balancing Hormones ~ When it comes to regenerative medicine and protecting joints, balancing hormones plays a key role. Have

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you ever thought of how kids just bounce back from injuries? And as we age, it’s more difficult to recover. The answer lies in the sex hormones. Sex hormones decline with age. Associated with this decline in estrogen and androgens is a loss of muscle mass and strength, known as sarcopenia. Luckily skiers can reduce sarcopenia by exercise as activity, of course, boosts muscle mass. Women after menopause also tend to experience more pain in their joints and have more symptoms of osteoarthritis. Estrogen, one of the hormones that tanks after menopause, protects cartilage from inflammation. Estrogen also influences how well our body holds water and our joints and cartilage are mostly made up of water. Less water means less flexibility and more friction. The good news is that bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can help this degenerative joint condition and get your joints back in shape. Bio-identical hormones are in the same molecular make up as the body’s own hormones. Using hormones after menopause and andropause can have a positive effect on many systems in the body - including energy, stamina, libido, mood, sleep and memory. If you are curious if bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is right for you, I start with a comprehensive medical assessment and utilize appropriate hormone tests to guide dosing. Remember that prevention is always easier than treatment. One part of prevention is taking supplements and doing hormone replacement. The core part of prevention is maintaining physical and mental balance. Investing in your health will help you enjoy your turns from the top of the season to the bottom. Dr. Deirdre O’Neill, Naturopathic Physician, has an expertise in Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma. She practices in Penticton at Alpine Natural Health. You can also find her on the hill as part of the volunteer Canadian Ski Patrol.

Penticton Snowmobile Club Update By Stuart Drake, President

Penticton Snowmobile Club would like to announce for the 2020/ 2021 snowmobile season that we will be postponing any and all upcoming club events and rides, due to COVID-19 and the difficult protocols that we are tasked with trying to make work. We have decided it is in the best interest of all of our members to keep their riding groups small and to only go sledding with members of their household or close friends that they consider to be in their bubble. We will still be here to help any of our members and the community in any way we can during this time. This has been a difficult decision for our executive to come too, as we feel a lot of our work that we’ve put into the club in the last few years will be diminished with this postponement. However, in the interest of safety, as well as following government protocols to keep all of our members safe, this is the route we have chosen for the upcoming season. We ask that you respect our decision and if you have any questions comments or concerns, please reach out to Club President Stuart Drake at pentictonsnowmobileclub@ outlook.com. Thank you for your understanding and we wish you all a wonderful winter season celebrating safely in the snow!

Pandemic River

By Lyndie Hill, CEO & Founder of Hoodoo Adventure Co Before 2020 hit us all like a tornado and we learned first hand what it is like to live through a pandemic, had a group of friends said to me, as an avid outdoors person, “let’s take a river canoe trip”, I would have responded, “SWEET! Where are we going?!” If the answer was, “We’re going to Pandemic River. It’s a backcountry river that no one has run in a hundred years, but let’s do it, cause if we make it through, we will be legends!” I would probably think, “that sounds terrifying and uncertain” and I would probably either politely decline or do a ton of studying on the river to see if it is even passable and if so, the safest way to move forward. For the purpose of this story, we’re going to pretend that we have no choice, but to ride that river. Now, we are all standing on the shoreline waiting to get into the canoes and none of us are sure what is ahead on that river. How big and wild the rapids will get or how long they will last? We all load up our gear and discuss our plan. Who’s the leader (the one with the most experience)? Who’s the first aider? What are the roles within the group? Check our lists for food, shelter, safety equipment. We make sure we are prepared before departure and the last thing we do is put on our life jackets. Is there a chance that we won’t need those? We hope so, but regardless, you still put it on. Then, we get in the canoe and start the journey. Anxieties are high, no one knows what’s ahead or where this river will take us, but here we are, looking up at the high canyon walls around us that are confirming there’s now, no other way out. We keep checking in with each other as we are all on this journey together, yet each one of us is facing this challenge as an individual with a different background and a different reason for being there. After some time of gripping that paddle and expecting the worst, the sun comes out and the canyon opens to reveal calm waters, allowing us to relax a little and take in all the beauty of this place we are lucky enough to be in. Anxieties lessen, our grip loosens on the paddle, we start laughing again and enjoying each other’s company. Our guards drop and some in the group even take their life jackets off, after all, if the river is going to continue like this, they likely won’t need them. Despite the leader’s recommendation to leave them on at all times, one person chooses to leave theirs off a while longer, while the other puts it back on, but doesn’t do it up. All of a sudden, the current starts to pick up speed and it’s increasing faster than anyone was expecting, things are getting real and stresses rise. That river that was meandering only minutes ago turns to a raging mess as the force of the water hits the rocks before the swirling eddies suck it down. Before anyone knows what hit them, we are all in the river. Those who took their life jackets off or didn’t do them up, may now be in the most trouble, perhaps near drowning, both sustaining the worst of the injuries, but luckily, we all make it to shore. The realization that those injured will leave us stranded becomes real. Leadership comes into play. The first aider tends to the worst injuries first, the leader makes a plan with the group, we must make fire, create shelter and comfort for the wellbeing of the group, keep everyone warm and safe. We must check our supplies, stay in place and continue to check in with each other mentally and physically, and finally, discuss what our options are to get us out of this disaster. Depending on the situation that is in front of us, this could be a very difficult plan to make. After all, no one has been here for a hundred years, but in saying that, this circumstance is not a new one. This is the risk we all take on any adventure. For now, we consider that we may have to triage, we may have to sit tight for a while, eventually we will need to make a move. Communication and leadership are key. There will most likely be

panic in the group. The leader must be honest, but remain calm if we are all to get through this safely together. While some may want to curse those who should have just listened to the leader and put on their bloody life jackets, because it’s their fault we can’t just walk out of here, the others point the finger and say, “that guy got hurt too and he had his jacket on ... It’s clearly the fault of the person who’s in charge.” At this stage, none of this matters, fighting won’t change what happened, the best thing we can do is stay calm and be kind to each other. In this story, we’re going to make a move, we’re getting back on the river as it’s decided as the best way forward. Now, the strong must protect the weak and when the leader tells you to put your life jacket on, you just do it, because the person with the most experience, the industry standard and now experience, tells you it’s probably the right thing to do. Should there be any arguing on this point, I would imagine at this stage the rest of the group doesn’t care much what the consequence is for the person who does not want to follow the mandate from the leader. However, what they don’t want is to be stranded alone and in fear, because other people’s choices transferred their risk to the whole group. This is where a strong leader stands up and removes options, “you want to get in this canoe, you put on your life jacket, as it is my job to make sure as many people as possible make it through this adventure.” While we still are unsure what is ahead on this river and while we think we may just see a clearing in the distance, it very well could get worse before it gets better. My hope is that we will continue to check in with each other, respect our leader who we all appointed, be kind, stay calm and work together to ensure as many people as possible make it through this adventure, which will eventually come to end. Now, it is up to us to decide ... will we finish as legends? ApexMatters.com | December 2020 | Page 15