Looking for a challenge this winter? Consider participating in a virtual loppet.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, some of our favourite loppets have gone virtual. Here’s what the Canadian Ski Marathon, the Canadian Birkie and the Gatineau Loppet are doing this winter.
Please note that if heading out to ski, check websites regularly to ensure that you are up to date on and following COVID-19 protocols, including physical distancing and wearing face coverings.
Virtual Canadian Ski Marathon
February 6 to March 7, 2021
The Canadian Ski Marathon is Canada’s oldest ski tour. It welcomes all ages and all ski levels.
Typically, the Canadian Ski Marathon is held on a weekend in February in the Mont Tremblant and Gatineau region, in Quebec, on a trail that is only groomed once a year. It covers 160km that is divided into 5 sections, averaging 16km per section. Participants can ski as much or as little as they wish.
For the virtual version, participants are able to ski on any trails in their own regions. Keeping with tradition, they are offering three categories as noted below. Registration fees vary based on category and age of participant.
- Tourer – Ski as many 15km sections as wanted between February 6 to March 7, 2021
- Half marathon – Ski 45km in a single outing
- Coureur des Bois:
- Bronze – Ski 50km for two consecutive days
- Silver – Ski 50km for two consecutive days while carrying a minimum load of 5kg
- Gold – Ski 50km for two consecutive days while carrying a minimum load of 5kg and sleep outside between the two days
Virtual Canadian Birkie
February 12 to 21, 2021
The Canadian Birkie (Birkebeiner) is one of the three Birkebeiner loppets in the world – the other two being in the United States and Norway.
Typically, the Canadian Birkie is held over the second weekend in February in the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area in Alberta. The Canadian Birkie was founded in 1985, but legend of the Birkebeiner dates back much further: During a civil war in 1206 in Norway, the infant heir to the throne was rescued by two Birkebeiner warriors who carried him safely over a 55km route across two mountain ranges.
For the virtual version, participants are welcome to classic ski, skate ski, roller-ski, skijor, cycle, run, ice skate, snowshoe, or walk the 4, 8, 13, 31 or 55 kilometres in their own regions. There are several options available and registration fees range from $15 to $35 per participant.
Virtual Gatineau Loppet
February 13 to 28, 2021
The Gatineau Loppet is Canada’s largest international cross-country skiing event.
Typically, the Gatineau Loppet is held over three days in February in Gatineau Park, Quebec and sees approximately 2500 international participants each year. Founded in 1979, it remains the only event of the Worldloppet series that takes place in Canada.
For the virtual version, participants can cross-country ski classic or free technique, fatbike, snowshoe, bike, roller ski or run, any distance of their choice, anywhere they want. There are several options available as noted below. Registration fees range from $5 to $15.
There are five options:
- Virtual 50km
- Virtual 25km
- Virtual 10km
- Virtual 10km challenge (allows skiers to complete over several outings)
- Virtual mini 2km (available for children 10 years and under)
The Gatineau Loppet is one of the races of the Worldloppet Virtual Racing League.
For more information: