Roving truck damages ski trails

Vandals caused more than $600 in damage to three trails at the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club earlier this week.

Vandals caused more than $600 in damage to three trails at the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club earlier this week.

It happened on Tuesday evening when they drove two trucks along 15 kilometres of trails, including the Copper, Dog and World Cup 10k trails.

A smaller trail, closer to the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre, was also damaged.

“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Jan Polivka, head of trail maintenance at the club for the past five years.

Polivka believes the vandals made a first appearance at the ski club around 4 p.m. that afternoon, to check out the possibility of driving on the trails.

They left and came back in the evening. Most of the damage was done between 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., he said.

A skier who came across one of the vehicles was scared by the encounter but wasn’t injured, he added.

The trails have since been repaired and re-opened. But signs of the damage will be visible until the end of the season.

That’s because the vandals got stuck in the snow on a few occasions and had to spin their wheels to get out.

Once dirt gets mixed in with snow on the trails it doesn’t go away, Polivka said.

“Every time we go out to groom the trails it takes us about three or four hours – this time it took us 14,” he said.

That included levelling, moving large amounts of snow and setting the track again, he said.

The RCMP was called in to investigate on Tuesday evening.

The facility isn’t equipped with cameras and no one was able to jot down the licence plates.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

mylesd@yukon-news.com

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