Outing Club Finishes Season with Bonanza

LYNDON - Jesse Holden of NEK Endurance had an idea for a fundraising event for the Lyndon Outing Club, and that idea was put into action on Saturday. This past weekend, over 70 skiers, hikers, runners, and observers showed up to support the Outing Club and get one last ride in for the 2021 season.

The 6-Hour Uphill Bonanza featured a one-mile loop around the club. Holden says that there was 500 feet of elevation gain per loop. The event also featured drinks, hot food, and music to pump up the attendees who would be climbing the hill for six consecutive hours.

Holden was very pleased with the number of people in attendance. He only advertised the bonanza for a few weeks before the event, but 50 people pre-registered ahead of the weekend and even more showed up. "It's really neat to see people come together, and want to come out and support the Outing Club," he said.

Wendy Beattie, the Outing Club Board President for the past two years, said that the fundraiser was a great way to end the season. The club opened for public use toward the end of January this past winter, which is about three weeks later than normal. "Our snowfall this year has not been great," Beattie said. "They got snow south, but we didn't get snow north." In addition to the poor snowfall, recently warm temperatures quickly melted whatever covered the slopes. Just prior to the start of the bonanza, Outing Club volunteers shoveled snow onto the trail bare spots so the event could continue.

Despite these hardships, Beattie described the season as "fantastic." Night skiing was very popular in the 2021 season and "everyone seemed very pumped to be here."

At the bonanza, attendees were so pumped to be able to be outside and around other people that there were several donations to the Outing Club in addition to the event registration fee. "I think we raised over $2,000," Holden said.

With the bonanza concluding the Lyndon Outing Club's season, Beattie says that the next step is organizing a spring clean-up. While the Outing Club is not active in the summer months, some of their trails are open hikers and the property also features a small skate park for community members to enjoy. In the fall, another clean-up event will be planned and the hope is to renew the tradition of a chili cookoff, which was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.