History | Pembina Valley Snowkickers - Snowmobile Club

History

It all started in La Riviere in the winter of 1992-93. That year, rather than just sticking to the small scale trails that had been groomed in the valley on an intermittent basis in years past, some of the area locals decided that they'd make an attempt to groom a trail from La Riviere to Maida. Unfortunately, their poor old J5 Bombardier just wasn't built for the job, and never did make it to Maida.

Undaunted, the guys thought that maybe it would be a good idea to form a club in order to expand the trail system. Word spread of this venture, and on March 12, 1993, a group of fifty-eight interested snowmobilers gathered at the Manitou Legion Hall to discuss the possibilities of running a trail from Mariapolis to Maida, and purchasing bigger and better grooming equipment.

There was lots of enthusiasm, so membership fees were established ($100.00/family, $50/single) and the idea of a fundraising venture was discussed. At the next month's meeting, an election was held, and an executive and delegates (representing Darlingford, Manitou, La Riviere, Pilot Mound, Snowflake, Mariapolis and Swan Lake) were established. A club name was chosen, and thus the "Pembina Valley Snowkickers" were born.

In the months that followed, things got underway quickly. The club was incorporated; an application was made to the Manitoba Lotteries Foundation for a fundraising raffle; a club logo was chosen; hats, crests, stickers and trail signs were ordered; and directors took on the responsibilities of obtaining land easements and marking trails.

Then the big questions came up: "What kind of groomer should we buy?" and more importantly, "How much can we afford?" Research was done, numbers were crunched, and it was at a General Meeting in Pilot Mound with thirty-three members present that it was unanimously decided to take out a loan and purchase a 1980 Tucker Sno-Cat and a reconditioned drag for $39, 500.00.

Fundraising got into high gear, and directors and members continued to sell tickets at malls, trade fairs, and community events. In December of 1993, the big and very successful raffle for a 1994 XLT, a Karcher pressure washer and a chain saw was held in Mariapolis MB.

Also in December 1993, the "new" groomer got going, complete with a cell phone - finally making the dream trail from Mariapolis to Maida a reality. Club membership expanded, and the level of enthusiasm generated by and for the club continued to grow. In January 1994, the Snowkickers developed a "mission statement" as they were applying for government grants (which, incidentally, were never received). At the time, the purpose of the Pembina Valley Snowkickers was:

  • To promote snowmobiling and tourism in South-Central Manitoba.
  • To protect and conserve the ecosystem of the Pembina Valley Region.
  • To develop marked snowmobile trails in South-Central Manitoba.
  • To encourage education and training for the safe and proper operation of snowmobiles.
  • To encourage snowmobilers to respect land owners' rights, the environment, and to respect and appreciate our natural resources.
  • To raise money by selling memberships to the public of the communities and by selling tickets for a draw on prizes.

Today, the purpose remains the same; but with an expanded focus. For the 2012 winter, PVSK will be utilizing a new type of trail groomer. During the past 6 months the club has sold the Tucker Sno-Cat and invested in a "Tractor Conversion" system, a system that uses the strength and horsepower of a front wheel drive farm tractor without the tires. Pembina Valley's new Massey Ferguson 7480 MFWD tractor has had its tires removed and a new set of Soucy tracks installed. These tracks are built and designed for snow by Soucy Tracks of Drummondville Quebec. The tractor has also been equipped with a new front 3 point mount blade built by Degelman. Over the past several years the club has experienced issues with other types of snow grooming equipment which has not be able to handle the terrain and changing conditions as well as had been hoped. It is the clubs hope that this new unit will be able to stand up to the harsh rugged conditions of the Pembina Valley.

Also new for this year is the addition of live groomer tracking equipment which will create a direct link to Snoman from the groomer in live time. This equipment also allows for more piece of mind for the operator when working alone. If a situation occurs where the operator experiences a problem while in an area where cell phones are not able to work properly, he will be able to simultaneously send an alert signal directly to Snoman as well as other individuals who will be given the groomers exact GPS location and be prepared to assist with the problem. Safety being the number one concern of snowmobilers and snowmobile clubs in Manitoba this technology is a much welcomed addition to the clubs safety and well-being of its operators.

Currently today, PVSK serves more than 15 communities developing and maintaining a total of 597km of groomed trails on a weekly basis weather permitting!