The Wells Grey Outdoor Club has skied in to save the day, or at least, the event.
The club will organize and operate the 14th annual Birchleg cross country ski event next month, filling the gap after last year’s organizers, the Murtle River Nordics, announced they would be retiring from the event.
The only difference this year is where the event will be held.
“We weren’t sure we would be able to keep the trails in good condition,” said committee member Jean Nelson. Instead of being held at Wells Gray Park, the event will take place at the Candle Creek cross-country ski trails near Clearwater.
Other than the location change, the event will be similar to past years, with an emphasis on fun.
“It’s not timed,” said Nelson. “We’re a small organization and we feel people can have just as much fun participating as competing.”
To add to the excitement, participants have the option of wearing a costume.
“We certainly encourage people to dress,” said Nelson. “Get out your best Viking outfit.”
The Wells Gray Birchleg, which has occurred in the North Thompson since the winter of 1999, is an event commemorating the heroics of two Viking warriors from the 13th century who skied across two mountain ranges carrying the son of their murdered king to safety. The event is named after the birch bark leggings they wore.
This year’s event is on Sunday, Feb. 3, with a mass start at 10 a.m., and a hot Norwegian lunch will be served at the Candle Creek warming hut after the event.
For more information, visit http://www.wellsgrayoutdoorsclub.ca.