This is a story which was in today’s Rocky Mountain Outlook
Cross-country skiing to the Canmore Nordic Centre meadow is about to get cozier.
The provincial government has approved a proposal to build a 30 x 30 foot wooden warming hut at the Nordic Centre meadow, situated 2.5 kilometres from the day lodge. Located just beyond the lit loop on the Banff trail, the new hut is expected to be open Nov. 1, 2015.
Able to comfortably fit 30 people, the hut will contain tables, chairs and a natural gas stove for heating. Lighting will be solar-powered, and a toilet facility will also be built. Throughout winter, the hut will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and locked overnight.
“This will be a great benefit to the Canmore Nordic Centre. It provides a great destination for families in a beautiful location,” said John Gallagher, chair of the Canmore Nordic Centre Warming Hut Steering Committee.
The plan is to provide a warming hut that will benefit families and novice skiers, drawing them out from the stadium on gentle, relatively flat trails, hopefully lessening congestion on Banff Trail. Obviously, it will also provide a spot to warm up on cold days and a desirable spot for a snack or lunch. The hut will also provide educational messages on the local environment.
The site was also chosen to maximize passive solar heating, and minimize its visibility from across the valley. A new 100 m trail will be constructed to the location, designed by Don Gardner and Paul Ashton.
The Canmore Nordic Centre is one of the only ski locales without a warming hut. The need for a warming hut was first identified in 1998 for the Winter Olympics, but there has not been a push for the project until 2014, spearheaded by the steering committee.
In order to keep costs down, volunteers using in-kind donations will construct the hut. A crowd-source fundraising campaign will be launched to help cover the costs and much of the warming hut will be constructed with refurbished building materials
“It will be a community-funded project as we’re looking for approximately $100,000,” Gallagher said. “We are approaching local businesses for in-kind donations.”
Once constructed, Nordic Centre staff will split maintenance duties with the hut committee.
Due to its proximity to the Georgetown Regional Habitat Patch, the hut will be boarded up over summer, closing between May 15 and Oct. 14.
Those interested in more information on the project can email Gallagher at email@example.com