This coming season, 2018, will mark the 50th Anniversary of organized skiing in the Stephenville/Bay St. George area and will be celebrated by Whaleback Nordic Ski Club with a series of special events, socials and other happenings culminating with the hosting of the 48th annual Newfoundland Cross Country Ski Marathon on March 3, 2018.
While individuals have always skied in the area from the time of the earliest settlers, in 1968 a number of interested enthusiasts from the community led by the late Percy Pieroway met and formed what was initially the Stephenville Ski Club and which was incorporated in 1970 under that name. At first the group focused on the development of a downhill slope with rope tow situated near where the Stephenville Dome is now located, with a chalet made from the renovated American TV studio at the top of Maryland Drive. But they soon recognized that the future for skiing in the area lay in cross-country, both due to the topography of the region and the efforts beginning at that time of the sports and recreation department of government to promote cross-country skiing with equipment and expertise imported from the Scandinavian countries. In 1983 the club renewed it’s incorporation under the name Whaleback Nordic Ski Club and has operated under that banner ever since.
Located at the intersection of Route 460 and the Cold Brook road near Stephenville with a current membership of approximately 300, the club operates some 25 kilometres of groomed trail, of which 2.5 kilometres are illuminated for night skiing. It has recently completed a 1.2 kilometre trail extension with assistance from the Town of Stephenville which will enable it to host the 2018 Provincial Marathon and future marathons with a regulation length of 42 kilometres in two equal laps.
The Club will hold its annual fall General Meeting on December 3rd at the chalet at 2 pm at which time more details on events for this 50th anniversary celebration year will be outlined. All members are encouraged to attend but especially the club would like to welcome new and former members and to that end will be offering special promotional fees reflective of this 50th anniversary year.
For more information contact:
Greg Noonan, President
Doug Fowlow, Secretary