SHERIDAN — The volunteers behind the well-groomed trails off of US-14 transferred leadership ahead of the 2017-2018 winter season. Curt Schwamb, one of the founding fathers of the Black Mountain Nordic Club, handed the presidential title to two-year club board member, Dave Todd.
Dave Todd joined the club five years ago and transitioned into an elected board position after three years to be more active in the club. Cross-country skiing remains one of his favorite activities and he hopes to bring the joy of the outdoor sport to a wider variety of people in his new position.
Schwamb leaves a well-established club in Todd’s hands, as well as a high standard of care. The upkeep for the trails brought Schwamb up the mountain around 26 times last season.
Schwamb’s hope with stepping down is to use more of his time on the mountain for recreation instead of mainly upkeep, although he loves benefitting from the fruits of his labor.
“It’s fun to go up there and see other people enjoying it, also,” Schwamb said.
The purpose of starting the club, also an established 501(c)(3) nonprofit since 2001, was to help the US Forest Service enforce the rule of not allowing dogs on trails groomed specifically for skiers. Schwamb, with the help of other founding member Jim Goodwin, established the trails back in the early 1980s. Sibley and Cutler trails remain the most popular along US-14, with Cutler now allowing dogs.
Schwamb, who also helps groom the South Park ski trail within city limits, hopes to gain back free time and help Todd delegate the overwhelming duties of maintenance, project organization and event planning beyond the presidential position and into the hands of club members.
“It’s a transition,” Schwamb said. “Everybody’s busy. A lot of people have families and stuff like that, but if we can get a few people to commit a little bit of time, it’ll get done.”
Todd brings in energy, new ideas and prior experience with delegating responsibilities. Todd plans to continue moonlit ski events for the season as well as add an additional daytime skiing event on a Saturday in February. He hopes to further involve the YMCA or other clubs to bring more variety in the people utilizing the trails.
With those additional events, Todd will look to members and other volunteers to step up, take charge and transform the club into a truly engaging and involved group.
The common thread among both leaders remains the passion for the outdoors, group activities and providing a safe, smooth ride for all recreators utilizing the trails. Todd’s favorite parts of the club are the friendships and knowing the trails are groomed and in good shape so everybody enjoys the skiing.
“If you’re tired of staying indoors, get out and enjoy it,” Todd said. “If nothing else, snowshoe up to the warming hut and have a picnic lunch on a nice, warm, wintery day.”
Events through the Black Mountain Nordic Club will start up again in January, with Todd leading the charge and Schwamb enjoying the club as a more low-key member or possibly switching roles with Todd and serving as a board member.
However the roles shake out, both Todd and Schwamb will take full advantage of the trails as they push to share their passion with others.