The start of the snowmobile season is imminent in Mauricie, which has prompted various stakeholders to warn snowmobilers since many waterways are still dangerous.
Although a significant amount of snow fell last Saturday, above normal temperatures are making several stretches of rivers unsafe.
This is particularly the case on the Saint-Maurice between Saint-Jean-des-Piles and Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac. The manager of the rental company Maximum Aventure posted aerial photos on social media that illustrate the risks well. Jean-François Houle hopes to encourage snowmobilers to be cautious since some have ventured onto the stream in the last few days.
“There are reckless people who don’t know the area. Now is not the time to wander off the marked trails. It’s extremely dangerous right now, ”he commented.
Same story at the Champlain County Snowmobile Club. According to President Normand Drolet, the majority of rivers on his territory are not yet safe, which will not prevent the majority of trails from being opened this Friday.
“The snow was hit by the volunteers and our machinery is on the ground day and night. It will be conditions at the start of the season, even though we are in mid-January, ”said Mr. Drolet.
The industry has had to adapt this year as restaurant dining rooms are closed due to the pandemic. Several clubs in the region have rented construction trailers so that users can warm up.
These will not be monitored. Normand Drolet relies on the goodwill of snowmobilers to respect health instructions and physical distancing indoors.
At the Marineau Mattawin hotel in Trois-Rives, management and the snowmobile club have opted for the installation of a marquee which will be heated, while the establishment’s restaurant will serve take-out meals.
According to the director of the hotel chain, Donald Desrochers, this option will allow better control of the distance between snowmobilers. A staff member will be dedicated to ensure compliance with the rules, he said.