Barriere’s Carman Smith wears colourful red antlers on his hat as he takes part in the Wells Gray Birchleg last Saturday. The event was hosted at the Candle Creek Trails near Clearwater. Both Carman and his wife Barb were winners in the costume division.

Vikings have fun at Birchleg

annual Wells Gray Birchleg fun cross-country ski event on Saturday was a great success

The annual Wells Gray Birchleg fun cross-country ski event on Saturday was a great success, organizers report.

There were 80 people registered, down a bit from last year.

“I believe, with the great conditions at the Clearwater ski hill, many were skiing there (which is a wonderful competition to have),” said one of the organizers. “Also, it was a bit chilly for some people.”

Participants included many people from Barriere, Kamloops as well as Blue River and Vavenby.

Blue skies made for a sunny day with amazing skiing conditions.

“Lots of great food – a wonderful day!” said one report.

Costume winners were: Lynda MacLennan, Daniel Boudreau; Cathy Sauer, Jon Kreke; Charlotte Smith; Suzanne Foster; plus Barb and Carman Smith from Barriere. Kids’ costume prizes went to Claire Nevin from Kamloops; Sage Barstow and Sienna Foster.

Winners of the Clearwater Boat Tours prize were Daniela Romero (a Rotary exchange student from Bolivia) and Kathy Schachner (a cousin of the Wadlegger family who is visiting from Austria).

Now in its 16th year, the Wells Gray Birchleg formerly was held in Wells Gray Park by the Murtle River Nordics. For the past two years, Wells Gray Outdoor Club has hosted it at the Candle Creek Trails near Clearwater.

During the event, many participants dress in Viking or traditional Scandinavian costume.

A Norwegian-style lunch is included.

The Birchleg is an unofficial version of the Birkebeiner – a cross-country ski race that is held every year in Norway and other locations around the world.

 

The races commemorate an incident in 12th century Norway when two Viking warriors on skis carried the baby heir to the throne across the mountains to safety during a civil war.

 

 

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