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Update on Snowmaking at Nakkertok Nordic
By:  Team XC Ottawa   (2016/10/03)


Many of the ski community throughout Canada helped vote for snowmaking at Nakkertok Nordic in the Kraft-Heinz Project Play contest, and it is thanks to this tremendous support that Nakkertok’s bid won the grand prize.

If you were cycling or rollerskiing last Christmas day and desperate for something different, here’s some good news. Nakkertok volunteers have been working very hard on this project, and hopefully if mother nature cooperates and other plans fall into place, there will be snowmaking at Nakkertok mid-November.

Here’s a summary (from the Nakkertok website).

Nakkertok has been working to develop and implement plans to use the KHPP funds to purchase and install a snowmaking system for our trails and play park as well as investments in complementary trail upgrades that will both enhance the effectiveness of our new snowmaking capability and enable us to increase the use of our trail network in all seasons. I am writing to provide you with a brief update on this work.

With respect to snowmaking, we requested and received proposals from four vendors of snowmaking equipment and have decided to work with HKD (a Canadian manufacturer of snow making equipment located outside of Quebec City) to build the base of our system.  The system we will be building will draw water from a beaver pond located in the middle of the inner pond loop that is fed from the Waterfall stream.  A low pressure pump will be installed in the stream at the entrance into the pond which will pump water to a new pump house located on the west side of the power line close to the barn.  A generator, high pressure pump and compressor will also be located there. Pipe will then run from the power line area to the far end of the plateau with hydrants located at regular intervals for snowmaking lances.

The major equipment is currently on order and the environmental permitting process is proceeding. Pipes and hydrants are expected to arrive at Nakkertok for the second week of October and an installation contractor has been hired to install the compressed air and high pressure water piping in the ground.  They are expected to begin working around the middle of October.  Any users of Nakkertok need to exercise caution around areas under construction, and around any stored materials.  Piles of pipe can be very unstable and are not a safe place to play.

It is our hope to be in a position to begin making snow in mid-November. This is not, however, a guarantee. The timing of equipment delivery, speed of construction activities and permitting processes, and other factors will ultimately determine our schedule. And, at the end of the day, we will only be able to make snow when weather conditions allow.

That said, we have made tremendous progress on this snowmaking initiative in a very short period of time and I want to particularly acknowledge the hard work of Ken Lindfors, Nakkertok’s Trails and Facilities Director, for investing an incredible amount of time and energy to make this happen.

While not our immediate priority as we strive to get a snowmaking system in place, we have also set aside a portion of KHPP funds to support the purchase of new equipment that will allow us to do more to maintain and upgrade our trail network in the “off season” with a view to enabling greater use of Nakkertok for activities such as hiking, running and dryland training.

To enable us to move forward and make capital investments in all of these areas, we are supplementing the KHPP funding with funds raised over the last several years by the members of the Nakkertok Racing Program. At the same time, we have also had some initial engagement with the local municipality / community to explore opportunities for leveraging the KHPP funds in an effort to secure additional funding to support infrastructure development at Nakkertok.

Finally, we have also worked to develop a viable business plan that draws on new revenue opportunities associated with snowmaking to ensure that we are in a position to cover the annual operating costs of snowmaking on a sustainable basis.

We will provide a further update and be available to answer questions on this initiative at the Nakkertok AGM on October 22nd.


Robert Hornung, Nakkertok President


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