55 km Torskeklubben with Pack

55 km Torskeklubben Birkebeiner with pack – February 9, 2019

Skiers recreate the legend of the original Birkebeiner skiers by carrying the equivalent of the infant crown prince, a 5.5 kg (12 lb) pack.

Details about the Pack:
If you are unsure if your pack qualifies, either bring your pack to the Registration Package Pick-up at the Nordic Fair on Friday or arrive early at the starting line on Saturday morning. If you are not carrying the correct pack throughout the full 55 km distance, you run the risk of being disqualified so please ensure your pack meets the minimum weight requirement.

The pack you carry must be one that is worn over the shoulders; fanny packs do not qualify. Most skiers wear day packs and some internal frame packs. The pack (including contents) must weigh a minimum of 5.5 kg or 12 lbs and it will be weighed prior to the start of the event and at the finish line to ensure the minimum weight is met. People use everything from spare clothing and wax kits, to sand and even bird seed to ensure the correct weight of their packs. Many skiers will decorate their packs with stuffed toys to signify the infant crown prince, or just to show off their Birkie spirit. The pack requirement originated in the Norwegian Birkebeiner Loppet where participants were for many years required to carry spare clothing, water, food and other survival items along the mountainous route.

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Start Line
The staging area for the long (55 km and the 31 km) events is at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (UCHV), located 50 km east of Edmonton on Highway 16. It takes 45 minutes to an hour to get there, please give yourself plenty of time.

Wave Starts
The Canadian Birkie features three start waves, with a mix of skiers from 55 km and 31 km events. The waves are at; 9:00 am, 9:15, and 9:30; based on skier speed instead of event selection. Please read Waves  to see how to select your wave.

What’s the route?
A point to point course from the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village along the east edge of Elk Island National Park and through the scenic Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area. It is gently rolling terrain which translates to lots of small ups and downs, and trails winding around beaver ponds and hills.

Age Limits

  • Children 2 – 11 years of age are not allowed.
  • Children 12 – 17 years of age are not recommended. If they register, they must be registered with and accompanied by an adult guardian.

Finish Line
The finish line for all races is at Waskahegan Staging Area in Cooking Lake/Blackfoot PRA, located just east of Sherwood Park.

How do I get back to my vehicle after I finish?
A free shuttle bus service for finishers runs from the finish area back to vehicles at the Long Start at the UCHV. Runs continuously from 10:30 until 5:30 pm.

Spectators, family wanting to pick up finishers
There is no parking at the Waskahegan Staging Area in Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area, where the finish lines and stadium are located. Spectators who wish to see the finish of any event can park at the Bethel Transit Station in Sherwood Park (shown here on the 2018 Venues Map) and take the Birkie Shuttle to the Finish area. The shuttle take approximately 30 minutes, depending on weather.

There will be one transport at 9:45 am which will run from Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village (UCHV) (Start of Long Courses) to Waskahegan Staging Area (Finish Line, Start of Short Courses). Catch the van outside the Red Barn.

Registration Package Pick-up
Pick up your registration package the the Nordic Fair.

More Details

Please see the Program Guide for more details.

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