Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club
The Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club is one of the oldest ski clubs in Canada and can trace its roots back to 1891. In 1989, the RNSC separated from the alpine branch and began developing a trail network at the base of Mt Macpherson. Today, the club is a registered non-profit organization. Almost all of the services provided by the club are accomplished by dedicated volunteer members. These services include trail maintenance, trail grooming, groomer servicing, special events, our newsletter, and a Ski League program for children. The club has five seasonal employees: an executive director, a head coach, an operations manager, a lodge manager, and a book keeper.
Under the provisions of a User Agreement with the BC Ministry of Forests and Range, our club maintains a system of ski trails on Mount Macpherson. The trailhead and lodge is located 7 km south of Revelstoke on Highway 23, on the west side of the highway, at an elevation of 640 metres.
The Revelstoke area is famous for its huge snowfall–almost 350 cm per year, measured at the Revelstoke Airport at valley bottom. The trail system’s easterly aspect helps maintain excellent snow conditions. Approximately 26 km of trails are groomed for both skating and classic technique with a Prinoth 350.
Grooming usually starts in late November and ends in late March or early April. Trails are groomed daily if possible, for both classic and skate. Fees are collected for trail use and parking fees are in place for backcountry users.
In 2014, the club installed lights to illuminate 6 km of trail. The trail lights are located on the Sprint loop, Terrain Park, Mickey Olson loop, Evelyn’s Choice, Titan, and Dynamite Trails. The lights are turned on by a solar solenoid as it begins to get dark in the evening, and turned off by a pre-set timer.
If you are a history buff, you might be wondering who Mt. Macpherson was named for. Michael Morris, a long-standing member at the RNSC, provided us with an answer:
Mount Macpherson is named for Sir David Lewis Macpherson (note the spelling and capitalization). He emigrated from Scotland to Montreal in 1835 when he was 17 years old. He amassed wealth in his family’s shipping business before entering politics. Macpherson was the Minister of the Interior (1883-85) during the peak of construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The “interior” at the time meant most of western Canada, as Saskatchewan and Alberta did not yet exist as provinces. His ministry’s lack of understanding of Métis culture and their system of land tenure on the prairies was considered to be the cause of the North West Rebellion of 1885, culminating in the hanging of Louis Riel, compelled his resignation from politics.