Longlac Snow Club continues to be challenged.

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Club News | Comments Off on Longlac Snow Club continues to be challenged.

10410690_1521581241442966_8442440779857046615_nIf you’ve read any of my articles you know how much work is involved in having our trail system up and running.

Over the years we’ve learned to expect the unexpected. Such was the case this year when the Longlac Snow Club found out that someone had stolen nearly a years supply of fuel from them. This one will not be easy to forget and thanks goes out to some of you people who have graciously donated funds.

It’s also been well published just how much work goes into our groomers so they stay in running condition. A lot of time and a whole lot of money. The Longlac Groomer had been struggling in the last couple of years with multiple and various types of break downs. It’s pretty relentless, there’s always something breaking.

Breaking down when your still being able to make it home is really nice. But this was not the case this time. The Longlac Groomer broke down somewhere behind the ski-hill approx. 20 Km away from the snow club. Despite attempts to figure out the problem using the help of Tech personal from The Shop Industrial Inc. in Sudbury, they were not able to revive the Groomer. At this point they think that the computer may have crashed. The Groomer had to be towed back their shop, this was done with the help of the Geraldton Groomer.

3 years ago, a similar scenario had unfolded with the Longlac Groomer. The computer had malfunctioned and they had to get one of the technician from Shop Industrial to come down to Longlac and reprogram the computer. The cost for this was around $4000, basically draining their bank account. When you end-up with these unexpected costs, other essential maintenance it put off. This is a common situation for many small snow clubs. It’s not easy operating these types of businesses with very limited funds. With this comes volunteer burnout, there is so much time put in to these clubs that it becomes very frustrating and many will quit because of this. When this happens, a new group of volunteers take over where they quickly get into the same situation; lack of money so the machinery is “patched up” as they say. This can only go on for so long before the equipment fails all together. This could be it for the Longlac Groomer. The Club had recently purchased approx. $3000 of essential parts for the groomer and the cost to get it back up and running could end-up being between $6000 and $10 000! With next to no funds left in their account,s the situation was very much discouraging.

Many calls went out to other snow clubs in Ontario, looking for someone with a spare groomer to lend us. District 17 west of us, have a old Massy of which they were looking into seeing what it would take to get it back up an running. As did District 14 in Timmins where former Geraldton resident Pat Dzijacky was looking to do whatever it took to help us out. We also received many leads, from people posting on our Facebook page.

The Marathon Sno-Kickers Snowmobiling club are the ones who ended up helping us out. As you know, the Marathon snow Club is in the same situation as the Longlac and Geraldton snow clubs. They are known as an OFSC snow club but don’t belong to any district. They have lent their 1993 tucker snow groomer to the Longlac club for the rest of the season. This Groomer used to belong to the Geraldton Snow Club many years ago. In fact this was the groomer that was traded in so we could purchase are Lamtrac groomer.

Many hours were put into retrieving the Longlac Groomer from the bush, as many hours trying to line up a truck and trailer to go pick-up the groomer in Marathon. We want to thank all those who have helped us in the last two weeks, with a special thanks to Dave Davis for making the trip to Marathon and to Peter Kathmann for lending us his trailer.

The Longlac Snow Club now have a working groomer and will be able to maintain our trail system for the rest of this season. This will give them the time to figure out what will happen with their own groomer.10931438_1522385218029235_3523272406326223971_n

till next time, support our clubs buy your permit. www.snowclub.ca


Michel Lafrance