Revelstoke Snowmobile Club Timeline – 53 Years in the Making
Revelstoke Snowmobile Club Timeline
1968 – Formation of the RSC
The club was formed and registered in 1968, with a small membership of around 25 to 35 riders at first. At the time, snowmobiles were not yet designed for mountain use, so riding took place in meadows, fields and on logging roads in the valley.
Early 1970s – Riders Access the Alpine
As snowmobiles improved, some adventurous local riders started to push for the mountain tops. It would sometimes take two or more days of trailbreaking just to reach the alpine. Sleds toiled bumper-to-bumper, with riders walking ahead to stomp down the snow.
1972-73 – The Original Boulder Cabin
The original cabin on Boulder Mountain was a small, A-frame structure, built near a sub-alpine lake. The main floor was constructed 5 m off the ground to account for snow depths. A full basement which housed the firewood supply would flood each spring as snow melted. Although the cabin has since been dismantled, the original outhouse still stands nearby.
1973 – Oval Racing
Oval racing became part of the snowmobile scene in Revelstoke in the early ‘70s. The first sanctioned race, the BC Championships, was held on the weekend of February 24-25, 1973. That event was coupled with a week-long snow festival.
Oval racing continued until 1981. By then, machines had become more capable, allowing deeper access into the mountains. Local sledders began to lose interest in organized racing and it eventually faded away.
Mid-1970s – Grooming Operations Commence
Grooming starting in the mid-‘70s with the purchase of a second-hand Bombardier SV-301 Trail Groomer. Funding for the groomer was acquired through various sources, including the donation of three new Ski-Doo Elans by the manufacturer for auction. Boulder Mountain was the location of choice for grooming at the time, and eventually a management agreement for both Boulder and Frisby was established.
1970s and ‘80s – A Busy Social Calendar
The club activities back then were a lot more social that they are today. Many events such as dances, kids days, family riding and catered parties for Christmas and New Year’s were planned. Demo derbies and mud bogs were held annually as a way to raise money for the club.
Members from other snowmobile clubs were invited to participate in Revelstoke Snowmobile Club outings, with visitors from Golden, Vernon, Salmon Arm and Sicamous taking part in many rides. Snowarama was just such an event, hosting big crowds and corporate sponsors such as Bombardier.
Early 1980s – Frisby Ridge
For a time, the snowmobile club shared Frisby Ridge with cross-country skiers. But when logging operations ceased and the road was no longer plowed in winter, the area was abandoned by skiers and the snowmobile club took over management of the hut.
After many years of use, the hut was replaced in 1998 with a more substantial structure designed to carry a heavier snow load. In 2012, the Feldinger Hut was again renovated with better footings, a covered deck and many other improvements.
1984 – First Management Agreement
In 1984, the first management agreement between RSC and the provincial government was reached. At that time, riders gave up of two-thirds of Frisby Ridge, and limited themselves to weekend-only use of Sale Mountain for mountain caribou considerations. In the many years since, the club has been heavily involved in efforts to both keep snowmobile areas open and protect wildlife habitat.
Today, a closure still exists from January 1 to April 15 on Frisby Ridge. Over the years there has been pressure to make this a legislated closure, but it remains managed by the RSC and is well-respected by sledders.
2010 – New Cabin on Boulder Mountain
With increasing tourism, it became apparent that the original Boulder Cabin no longer had sufficient capacity. Applications were made, plans drawn up and money raised for a new cabin, which was relocated to higher ground and built over a proper foundation.
The new, ultra-modern Boulder Cabin is solar powered with lights and webcam, and has emergency equipment on hand for search and rescue operations. It features a large covered deck and plenty of seating and drying space inside.
2014 – A Modern Clubhouse
The building of the new clubhouse at the base of Boulder Mountain was a long process, involving acquiring the use of land, securing permits and raising money.
It is now the home of the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club—where the club can greet riders coming to Revelstoke to snowmobile, display its history, meet and discuss matters and sell memberships and club swag—right at the trailhead of the area’s most popular riding destination. It also provides a place to store and maintain the club’s groomers in a dry, warm environment.
The new clubhouse is the physical embodiment of everything the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club has accomplished in the timeline of the last 50 years, and a sign of the direction the club is heading down the road.