Ski club rolls over on dog fee

Local pooches hoping to hit the trails this winter can stop saving their pennies.

Local pooches hoping to hit the trails this winter can stop saving their pennies.

The Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club has overturned its decision to include annual or daily fees for skiers who wish to bring their dogs on the trails, the club announced Wednesday.

The annual fee of $20 for one dog, $25 for two, will now be accepted by the club on a voluntary basis.

“When it comes down to it, the ski club is a big organization – 1,300 members, we have a $400,000-a-year budget,” said club treasurer Claude Chabot. “It’s a big operation and with 1,300 members, not everyone is going to agree on everything.

“We had all this issue on dogs on leashes (last year) and we did a bunch changes to the dog trail system and had a bunch of modifications. And somebody down the line suggested we need more revenue to pay for all of this, so let’s toss in a nominal fee for the dogs, that’ll help towards the cost of this. We didn’t think it would be a big issue, but I guess it was.”

The announcement that skiers with dogs would be charged an additional fee came a month ago when season passes went on sale. The club estimates about a third if its members bring dogs on the trails on occasion, a handful of which opposed the fee. Whitehorse’s Cord Hamilton was one of them.

“I didn’t believe the fee, as it was described as being applied, was fair,” said Hamilton. “Essentially the fee was identified as being required to account for some expenditures related to work on the dog trails. But the reality is the dog trails are used by a very broad selection of the membership over and above dog owners. On that basis it did not seem fair or reasonable to expect one user group would be responsible to cover the costs of those improvements.”

“I was grateful and satisfied they listened to concerns and made a reasonable decision,” he added of this week’s decision. “There was a group of skiers who volunteered to assist the board in looking at some dog-related issues over the summer, and the bulk of those people continued to supply advice about this issue the last several weeks.”

About a third of the club’s 85 kilometres of trails are dog friendly. Last season the club had another canine controversy when it introduced on-leash requirement for dogs between the “dog parking lot” off Hamilton Boulevard and Telemark Hill.

This season Sundog Trail is an off-leash area while Dog Trail – yep, that’s the name of the trail – up to Telemark Hill is now an on-leash area.

“We’ve done some changes on Sundog Trail, so when you’re out of the parking lot you can go right on Sundog Trail and be in an off-leash area right away,” said Chabot. “The whole area of Dog Trail to Telemark Hill is a really popular spot for lessons and school groups because of the terrain. So we were always a little bit nervous about loose dogs, especially when they are really hyper – they’re right out of the car they get hyper rushing around. We were just nervous about safety. That was the original intent behind that leash rule.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wyatt's World for Oct. 28, 2020.

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 28.… Continue reading

Yukon Child Care Board chair Amy Ryder says the board could be playing a bigger role in childcare policy making if they had more financial support from the Yukon government. (Submitted)
Yukon Child Care Board asks for larger role in annual report

The board is asking for a larger budget to increase outreach and advice

Yukon’s clocks will no longer change in March and November but will remain permanently on Pacific Daylight Saving Time. (Courtesy Yukon government)
Off the clock: Yukon prepares to end seasonal time changes

Starting on Nov. 1 Yukon will be one hour ahead of Vancouver and two hours ahead of Alaska

Dawson City as scene from West Dawson. Art Webster, the vice-chair of the Dawson Regional Planning Commission resigned last month over the Yukon governments unwillingness to pause speculative staking. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Vice-chair resigns from Dawson land-use planning commission

NDP warns that not pausing mining activity is the road to a second Peel decision

The opening ceremonies of the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg on July 28, 2017. The 2021 Canada Summer Games have officially been rescheduled for Aug. 6 to 21, 2022, exactly one year from the date the national competition was originally set to take place in the Niagara region of Ontario. (Canada Summer Games/Flickr)
Canada Summer Games dates set for 2022 but uncertainty remains for Yukon athletes

Yukon athletes continue waiting to get back into schools

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council passed first reading on a bylaw for the designation change at its Oct. 26 meeting, prompting an upcoming public hearing on Nov. 23 ahead of second reading on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Local contractors will be given an advantage on a contract for the design and construction services that will see a new reception building at Robert Service Campground decided city councillors during the Oct. 26 council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local firms will get advantage on contract for new Robert Service Campground building

Yukon-based companies competing for contract for new reception building will receive 20 extra points

Fallen trees due to strong winds are seen leaning on to power lines which caused some power outages around the territory on Oct. 26. (Courtesy of ATCO)
Wind knocks out power around the Yukon

High winds on Oct. 26 knocked out power to Faro, parts of Whitehorse and beyond

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over the Takhini elk herd be struck by the court. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Yukon government asks for Takhini elk lawsuit to be struck

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over… Continue reading

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging the reduction of its caribou quota to zero. (Yukon News file)
YG replies to outfitter’s legal challenge over caribou quota

The Yukon government has filed a reply to an outfitter’s petition challenging… Continue reading

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this year, saying that with COVID-19, it’s “more important than ever.” (Black Press file)
Get flu vaccine, Yukon government urges

The Yukon government is encouraging people to get the flu vaccine this… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read