Yukon skiers dream of 5km paved roller-ski track

Cross Country Yukon is looking at paving a 5 kilometre track on the Mount McIntyre ski trails in Whitehorse so skiers can keep training all summer.

Paved summer training track could cost $600,000

Cross-country skiers on roller-skis on Hamilton Boulevard. Roller-skis allow cross-country skiers to train in the off-season, but they don't come with brakes. (CBC)

For skier AnnahHanthorn, roller-skiing is her main summer training, but it’s not without risks: there are no breaks, stopping is difficult and there’s a lot of traffic.

For Annah Hanthorn, roller-skiing is her main summer training. (CBC)
“Sometimes you take a spill and you're out into traffic so if there is a vehicle there, it can be dangerous,” she says.   

Cross Country Yukon would like to get the roller-skiers off the road and build a five kilometre roller-ski track on the Mount McIntyre ski trails in Whitehorse, something that’s common at other big ski clubs across Canada.  

The paved trail could also be used for biking or walking.

But ski coach Alain Masson says there are obstacles.  

Ski coach Alain Masson. (CBC)
“This year we've had two meetings so far, just trying to explore the feasibility, see what would be the challenges, obviously financial.”

Masson says a paved track would cost about $125,000 per kilometre — more than $600,000 overall.

It may not happen any time soon, but skiers like Hanthorn are hoping for a track where they could be free to focus on technique and not traffic.

“I think it would be beneficial because we could always use it,” Hanthorn says. “It would always be available. We wouldn't have to worry about busy traffic and things like that, I think I'd do more roller-skiing.”