Nickel Plate Nordic Centre
Our Impact Why We Exist
Nickel Plate Nordic Centre was developed to be a world-class cross country ski facility that would service the people of the Okanagan Similkameen and beyond. It is a community of approximately 540 seasonal members, as well as the public-at-large, who all want to enjoy the benefits of outdoor exercise, whether at a competitive level or recreational.
Exercising at Nickel Plate during the winter months allows for fresh air and an escape to sunshine, alleviating seasonal blues. At 6000 feet elevation, we enjoy one of the longest ski seasons in BC.
The social environment is relaxed and friendly and can be enjoyed on the trails or within the cabin in front of the fire.
Our Story What We Do
Nickel Plate Nordic strives to not only be a world-class facility for competitive athletes, but also for recreational skiers and everyone in between. In cooperation with the provincial government and local Indian Bands, Nickel Plate has been carefully designed to include trails for all abilities. This allows for highly competitive athletes and first-time skiers to experience the beauty of skiing in the mountains, often above the winter clouds.
Although the facilities are staffed daily, the club relies on its excellent group of volunteers to provide leadership as the Board of Directors; event coordination, including frequent social gatherings; and to coordinate and provide instruction for our youngest participants in the Skills Development Program.
Our Programs How We Do It
While the club receives many recreational skiers and snowshoers throughout the operating season (November through to March), there are also a number of different programs targeting all levels of ability.
The Skills Development Program runs from late December to early March and teaches the fundamentals of skiing for children ages 4 to 17. The volunteer-run and instructed program follows the long term athlete development plan and teaches the physical literacy required to become a strong well-rounded athlete, a serious competitor, or simply a life-long skier.
The Junior Racing Team is a group of highly motivated teen-aged athletes wishing to take their skiing to higher levels of competition. This program relies on many volunteers and one part-time paid professional coach.
The Ski S'Kool program targets all elementary schools in the surrounding area, including Summerland, Penticton, Kaleden, OK Falls, Naramata, and Keremeos. In 2016, 21 schools took part in this program, with 20 of them participating in the full three lessons. Part of this program includes a scholarship fund for those students of families who could not otherwise afford the lessons.
Throughout the season, Nickel Plate becomes host to many different area groups looking to get out and learn about Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and snow safety. In addition to this, in February 2016 Nickel Plate hosted the BC Winter Games.
What You Can Do
Nordic skiing is a winter-only activity, which means that being reliant on daylight limits the hours that individuals can safely ski. While some members ski in the evening using head lamps, this does not cast a wide enough spray of light to safely navigate the terrain. The Club is currently working on the creation of a night-skiing loop that would include solar powered LED motion sensored lights. This type of lighting system would limit the amount of maintenance required to keep the loop functional. Donations are currently being accepted for this project.