Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for January 23, 2014

Famed XC ski race adopts circus theme

Preparations for one of the North’s famous annual cross-country ski races are underway.

By Marcel Vander Wier on January 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm

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Photo submitted

Preparations for one of the North’s famous annual cross-country ski races are underway.

Registrations are now being accepted for the 2014 Buckwheat Ski Classic, to be held on the Log Cabin Ski Trails north of Skagway, Alaska, March 22.

The Buckwheat Ski Classic will again have 50K, 25K and 10K classic cross country ski races, as well as a 5K kids race.

A record 393 skiers participated in last year’s race, and another big race is anticipated this year with a circus-themed aid station and race shirts.

New this year will be a best costume award based on the theme – Life is a Circus. The prize will be a tour package to Skagway’s Upper Dewey Lake cabin.

Also this year, the race has created a new award for the most inspirational skier, in honour of the late Father Jean-Marie Mouchet, who pioneered the Log Cabin trail system.

The Buckwheat is a fund-raiser for the Log Cabin Ski Society, which maintains the ski trails with equipment and volunteers.

The trails have been recognized as an official recreation area by BC Forestry, and the society has been working closely with the agency on trail improvements, a new map, and information kiosks.

The ski society also has assisted Parks Canada in keeping the rest room facilities open in the Log Cabin parking lot.

The society was formed in 2012 to continue the ski race founded by Skagway’s Buckwheat Donahue and keep the trails maintained for the benefit of all users.

Volunteers groom and set track on the ski trails prior to every weekend between now and the race, so skiers are encouraged to check trail condition updates on the site and use the area all winter.

The trails are located on the S. Klondike Highway, about 40 km north of Skagway.

Racers can sign up by clicking on the Race Entry tab on the website http://www.buckwheatskiclassic.com and then following the registration link.

There is a discount for registering early before the end of February, then fees go up in March. Racers also have the option of joining the society for $10 per year and donating to the society’s warming hut fund.

Print registration forms and membership applications are available at the usual locations: The Mountain Shop in Skagway, Coast Mountain Sports in Whitehorse, Lutak Lumber in Haines, and Foggy Mountain Outfitters in Juneau.

Those registration forms may be dropped off at the Skagway and Whitehorse locations by March 18 or mailed directly to Buckwheat Ski Classic, Box 636, Skagway, AK 99840.

After the race, the fun moves down to Skagway for a fabulous awards dinner at the Skagway Recreation Center. Following that, the party shifts downtown, where there will be music at local establishments.

Additional volunteers are always welcome. If you can help with race packet prep, race timing, serving breakfast, parking lot, and aid station prep, please call Jeff Brady at 907-973-2354 or Su Rappleye at 907-983-2127.

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