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What the devil is a loppet?

Posted by Magi Scallion on

Just like most other sports, cross-country skiing has its own dialect of the common English language.  One of the first terms that new cross-country skiers need to navigate is loppet.

If you type loppet into any word processing program you’ll see that spell-check also has no idea that it exists.  But it does. 

The term loppet has its roots in Scandinavia and essentially means “a whole bunch of people going skiing together.”  If you’re a cyclists a similar term might be granfondo.   While some loppets definitely have a competitive edge at the front of the pack, most loppets are dominated by recreational skiers who take the advantage of skiing a marked course with food and drink stops along the way.

There are two loppets in Golden this winter.  The Huckleberry Loppet, on February 6 and 7, was a two-day affair with a classic event on the first day and a skate ski event on the second day.  The Huckleberry Loppet awards a full pound of locally picked huckleberries to the male and female winners in the longer distance events.  There are, however, prizes and distances for every age and ability.  Though you may have missed it this year, the Huckeberry Loppet traditionally takes place in late January or early February – watch the Golden Nordic Club’s website for more info.

Taking it straight from anti-oxidant berries to a more meaty theme, The BaconBeiner will take place on March 19.  Named after the historic Birkebeiner Loppet in Norway, the BaconBeiner puts a porcine twist on the traditional event, challenging skiers to enjoy slices of pre-cooked bacon along the course.  Vegetarians need not be alarmed or excluded as a vegetarian option will also be available.  The BaconBeiner, rather than setting distances, has a set time categories and encourages both skate ski and classic participation (skiers’ choice). 

If you’ve recently taken up cross-country skiing, or you’re an avid skier, now is the time to try a loppet – come to Golden!

Birkebeiner - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkebeiner

Magi Scallion's picture

Magi Scallion

What do retired racers do?  Move to their dream trails of course!  Magi Scallion represented Canada in World Cup and World University Games competitions before “retiring” to Golden.  Having traveled across Europe and North America in search of race trails, Magi lauds Golden as having some of the best Nordic trails, especially for the intermediate skier, in the world.

Magi Scallion's picture

Magi Scallion

What do retired racers do?  Move to their dream trails of course!  Magi Scallion represented Canada in World Cup and World University Games competitions before “retiring” to Golden.  Having traveled across Europe and North America in search of race trails, Magi lauds Golden as having some of the best Nordic trails, especially for the intermediate skier, in the world.