West Carleton Trails Not Open Yet


Argo Groomer

Snowmobile trails still dangerous

Jan. 1 – We would like to remind riders that West Carleton Trails are not yet open, which means they are unsafe, and riding on them constitutes trespassing on our landowners’ private property.

We are in agreement with The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs’ statement, urging snowmobilers to hold off on their first ride of the season until trail conditions improve.

“We’ve got a whack of snow, but the ground is still warm. There’s no base there,” said Craig Nicholson, a spokesperson for the organization. “If people were to try to go out, they’re taking some dangers in their hands because there’s a whole lot of irregularities on the bare ground.”

The ground needs to be cold enough to freeze the boggy and swampy areas in the region and hard enough to support to weight of five- to seven-tonne grooming machines. And there are rocks and stumps that aren’t covered and there’s no base to protect the machine from those obstacles.

Please trust that we, the West Carleton Club are as eager as anyone to get out and start grooming the trails and are also in the process of assessing signage that has blown down by high winds on Christmas eve. The Club will keep everyone posted. For now we all need to will the temperatures to help get all of those water crossings and swamps you don’t normally even know are there during the season to freeze up.

Time to prepare

Nicholson encourages snowmobilers to take this time to check on their machines to make sure they are running safely and to ensure they have a first aid kit, a survival kit and a tow cable.

“As much as everybody is eager now to get out, and I’m as eager as anyone else, you’ve got to be really careful where you go,” he said.

According to Nicholson, it might seem like this is a particularly late start to the season, but the past two winters have been much colder than usual.

He anticipates the trails will to be safe by the middle of January and suggests riders check on the status of trails in their area by using his organization’s online map before heading out.

Thanks, and we hope to see you on the trails soon!

Trail signage course announced:  Nov 10, 2015

snowmobile-trail-signageSledding is just around the corner.  In preparation for the installation of trail signage and markers, the WCSTAI will be holding its annual trail signage course on  November 10, 2015, 6:30-7:30 PM in the Conference Room* at the Kinburn Community Centre.  Correct signage is the cornerstone of the clubs risk management program and critical to safe sledding on our trails.  The trails cannot be opened until this important work is completed.

If you are new to trail signage this season: a) THANKS for volunteering; and b) please plan to attend this course.  Note that preparing the trails depends entirely on volunteers like you.  If you just want to help out but aren’t sure where to start, feel free to come to the training and we will happily pair you up with an experienced installer.

If you cannot make this training, or have any questions contact the director responsible for risk management at safesledding@wcstai.com

*The conference room is located at the southwest end of the building (closest to the soccer fields).  It is NOT the room near the bar nor the large hall.

Driver Training Course – Dec. 12


Our club will hold a Driver Training Session on Saturday Dec 12 for those who would like to obtain a snowmobile operators license. A snowmobile operators license can be obtained for those over 12 years of age who do not have a valid Ontario drivers license. Anyone 16 years of age and older who would like to participate and apply for the motorized snow vehicle operator’s license will be asked to submit a form to verify that no driver’s license has already been issued to them.

The course will be held at the Kinburn Community Center, starting a 9 am. It is 6 hours in length, going over snowmobiling safety, followed by a test. Estimated time of completion will be around 4 or 4:30 pm. Proof of age is required in the form of birth certificate, passport or baptismal certificate, for example, along with a parent’s signature.

There is a fee for the course that is set by the province, at $40.00. Register soon, as spaces are filling up very quickly!

To register or ask questions, please contact us using the form below. Once registered you will receive a confirmation email within a day or two to verify that your application has been received.

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WCSTA Working Together with Ottawa Fire for Improved Safety

WCSTA working with Ottawa Fire Services to make locating riders on the trail faster and easier

West Carleton Trail patrol co-ordinator Scott Hamilton meets with the rescue snowmobile at Stn 63 in Constance Bay, providing them with up-to-date maps

The West Carleton Trails Association and Ottawa Fire Dispatch have worked together to have our snowmobile trail maps online with fire dispatch.

This means that in case of an accident on the snowmobile trails the rescue snowmobiles of Ottawa Fire can be dispatched with greater accuracy. For example if a snowmobiler calls in that an accident is on trail number W17 the dispatcher can reference the trail location, and send emergency services to best location.

Just before Christmas West Carleton Trail patrol co-ordinator Scott Hamilton and equipment manager Paul Asmis met with the rescue snowmobile at Stn 63 in Constance Bay and provided them with up-to-date maps. Trail patrol is looking forward to partnering with the rescue crews during snowmobile events this winter.