Cross-country skiing in cottage country

By Penny Caldwell »Penny Caldwell

This winter sport is alive and kicking

January 27th, 2012


Photo by Jeremy Bronson

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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:

And now that we’re on the subject, have you noticed all the other off-season events in cottage country? Winter carnivals, dog sledding, pond hockey. Where will we find the time?

Are you doing something fun outside this weekend? Have a good one.


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Penny Caldwell