Come ski the Outaouais!

Published on January 4 2018

Every year, our region welcomes several major international cross-country ski events. It’s enough to make even the Norwegians envious!

CANADIAN SKI MARATHON – February 9–11

Become a cross-country trailblazer by participating in North America’s oldest and longest cross-country ski event. Once a year, skiers can follow a unique (and beautiful) trail from Mont Tremblant in the Laurentians to Lachute, by way of Montebello. Unlike other cross-country ski events, the Canadian Ski Marathon is not a race, and it’s open to skiers of all ages and abilities. You can choose to ski just part of the trail or the whole thing, from 12K to 160K. If you love a challenge, you can aspire to the Coureurs des Bois category. These demigods ski the full 160K distance over two days, and some of them spend the night outdoors! This family-friendly annual event brings together a group of passionate ski enthusiasts and dedicated volunteers.

GATINEAU LOPPET – February 16–18

Wiggle into your lycra suit and participate in this major international ski event, the only Canadian competition among the 15 members of the prestigious Worldloppet federation of cross-country skiing marathons. The Gatineau Loppet takes place in Gatineau Park from February 16 to 18, 2018. The enjoyment and enthusiasm of the participants is infectious, and there’s excitement in the air at every start. Experts will be on hand to help you wax your skis for best results! This 40th anniversary edition features several freestyle and classic ski races, with courses ranging from 2K to 51K. Freestylers will be delighted to know that on February 18, Trail 36, normally reserved for classic style skiing, will be included in a 51K linear freestyle course! There’s still time to register for the various races, including fat bike and snowshoe challenges.

If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in the area, the Crowne Plaza Ottawa-Gatineau, the official event hotel, is a good choice. Many of the guestrooms have kitchenettes, and there’s a free shuttle service to and from the Loppet site.

JACKRABBIT CLASSIC – January 20

Follow in the tracks of legendary athlete Herman (“Jackrabbit”) Smith-Johannsen, who was only three years old when he tried on his first pair of skis, in 1877. The Jackrabbit Classic is a day-long endurance race for long-distance skiers, a ski tour from the Laurentian Mountains to the Ottawa River along trails originally broken by Jackrabbit himself. Although the format is similar to the Canadian Ski Marathon, the sections are much longer, the checkpoints and feeding stations are farther apart, and fewer services are available, so participants need to be more self-reliant. The starting point is the Domaine Saint-Bernard at Mont Tremblant. Participants can ski a 65-km route ending at Boileau, or a 103-km route ending at the finish line of the Canadian Ski Marathon in Montebello.

Tags

Canadian Ski Marathon, Cross-country skiing, Flat bike, Gatineau Loppet, Jackrabbit Classic, outaouais, Outdoors, ski, Snowshoeing

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