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All systems go for snowmobilers

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A new Headingley warm-up shelter (above) was recently opened on the CCSD snowmobile trail.

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A new Headingley warm-up shelter (above) was recently opened on the CCSD snowmobile trail. Photo Store

Snowmobiling club Cross Country Snow Drifters (CCSD), has extended its trail system into Headingley over the past few years.

The club is in charge of over 300 km of snowmobile trail from Elie to Ste. Agathe. Its 60 to 70 members also maintain six warm-up shelters along the trail. The newest shelter is in Headingley and opened at the end of November.  

"We’ve had good support from the Headingley area. Recently, a lot of our new members are from Headingley and the Headingley Sport Shop is a great supporter of the club, they sponsored the new warm-up shelter," said Brian Franzmann, president of CCSD.

Franzmann says members like catching up with other snowmobilers in the warm-up shelters.

"It was through volunteers that our shelters were built," said Franzmann. "The shelters give people a destination and anyone is welcome.

"Last year, some guys and I went about 90 miles on the trails meeting up at different snow shelters where we warmed up and ate hotdogs. It was a blast," said Russ Henderson, Headingley resident and CCSD member.

"I just love being outdoors and floating on powder," said Henderson.

The trail the club maintains is the same every year.

"There’s a provincial map that shows how the trails across the province are connected. If you are part of one club, you can use any of the trails and actually snowmobile across Manitoba," said Rob Nowosad, CCSD’s vice president west.

Thirty to 38 hours a week go into maintaining the CCSD trail. The machine used to clear the trail is called a groomer. The club has two groomers and it costs about $1,200 weekly for fuel.

"The chances of having an accident on a groomed trial is slim because it’s made like a roadway and smooth. If anything comes up that could be dangerous we put up signs. If people start making their own trails, there are no guarantees," said Nowosad.

He began snowmobiling in his late teens and has been snowmobiling for over 25 years.

"Last year, I made over 5,000 km on my snowmobile. Some people in the club only snowmobile on the weekends and some only a couple of times a year."

To ride the CCSD trail, anyone can purchase a Snopass through Manitoba Public Insurance.

Money from pass sales help fund snowmobiling trails across the province.

For more information or to join CCSD, visit www.crosscountrysnowdrifters.com

Amber McGuckin is a community correspondent for Headingley.

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