When you ski the Birkebeiner, you are re-enacting the true story of winter 1206 in which baby Prince Haakon Haakonson of Norway was carried 55 km over two mountain passes to safety, by two Birkebeiner warriors, during a civil war. You may ski the 55 km course with a 5.5 kg pack symbolic of the princeling, or without; and if 55 km is too long, there are shorter, less arduous courses. There is even a 2 km “tour” perfect for kids! Ski the legend and don’t forget your Viking helmet! While Viking attire isn’t mandatory, it sure adds to the fun.
When & Where
- February 8, 2019: Opening Ceremony, Nordic Fair and Registration Package Pick Up at Woodvale Community Facility. You MUST pick up your package on February 8!
- February 9, 2019: Race Day & Vikings’ Feast! There are different courses, starting locations, and start times based on the distance you are skiing, so please review your registration information carefully! After your ski, enjoy a buffet dinner and live entertainment at the Vikings Feast (Note that admission to the Viking’s Feast is NOT included in Birkebeiner registration fee. Purchase a ticket in advance here).
- February 10, 2019: Birkie Sunday Family Event includes a 50 m dash, 500 m, 1.5 km and 3 km Barnebirkie and promises to be lots of fun.
|Start the race skiing across a frozen lake!|
For details and maps of each course, please see The Canadian Birkie Ski Events. Brief descriptions of each course follow:
- 2 or 4 km Birkie Ole’s Tour – Fun, untimed ski that kids and parents can do together! Choose your distance (one 2-km loop or two) on race day!
- 4 or 8 km Imperial Oil Birkie Fun Ski – Recreational event for new adult skiers. Do one loop or two!
- 13 km Global Mini Birkie – This loop course is perfect for young or new nordic skiers. Be a part of the fun without overdoing it.
- 31 km Birkie Tour – More experienced skiers may challenge themselves with this longer course that shares a lot of the 55 km route.
- 55 km Birkie Lite – The ultimate challenge! Times are recorded by age categories.
- 55 km with pack Torskeklubben Birkebeiner – Carry the 5.5 kilogram (12 pound) Birkie Baby to safety! Fortunately you don’t have to go over any mountain passes.
|Don’t forget your Viking attire!|
For More Information
Visit The Canadian Birkie Website to learn more about this legendary loppet.
Where to Train For the Birkie
- Canmore Nordic Centre
- The Best Beginner Cross Country Ski Trails in Lake Louise
- Pipestone Trail Network, Lake Louise (intermediate)
- Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Winter Trails
- West Bragg Creek Winter Trails
- Kananaskis Valley
- Ribbon Creek
- Mount Shark – Chester – Sawmill
- Strathcona Wilderness Centre
- Cooking Lake – Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area
- Hinton Nordic Centre
- Banff National Park Winter Trails
- Lake Louise Winter Trails
- Jasper National Park Winter Trails
- CanadaTrails.ca lists cross country ski trails across Canada!