Cross-country skiing in cottage country
This winter sport is alive and kicking
On Wednesday I might have wondered if anybody still cross-country skis. By yesterday, it was a different story.
In an e-mail, my friend Norm Vanstone, who lives in Huntsville and cottages in Dorset (now there’s a nice weekend commute), happened to mention the Muskoka Loppet, a family friendly ski event (ages five to 80, plus a paralympic start) that was hosted by the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club in Huntsville last weekend. It’s difficult to know how many cottagers are among the competitors of this winter sport. It’s not like they pull up in bowriders, or provide clues in the clothes they wear (ski boots held together with duct tape anyone?). In fact, in the photos I saw, everyone pretty much looks the same in their ski gear and touques. And, cottagers or not, they look like they’re having a ton of fun.
(You might ask the origin of the word loppet, which makes me think of rabbits—the long-eared variety, not the ski bunny. In fact, loppet refers to a large, long-distance—about 35 km—cross-country ski event and is derived from the Norwegian lop, or race—and English lope.
Norm also mentioned the Sounder Ski Tour this weekend, which is hosted by the Georgian Nordic Ski & Canoe Club (can anyone tell me about the canoe part?), and the North Bay Nordic Ski Club’s Bluesky loppet March 3 and 4 (free chili for racers).
In fact, once you start looking, cross-country skiing is hard to miss. Consider, just to start:
- Frost Centre Ski and Snowshoe Trails
- the east and west gate trails in Algonquin Park plus trails in other provincial parks
- Haliburton Highlands Nordic Trail & Ski Club Association
- Kawartha Nordic Ski Club
- Highlands Nordic
- Hardwood Ski and Bike
Are you doing something fun outside this weekend? Have a good one.