55 km with pack Torskeklubben Birkebeiner – February 12, 13, 14, 2021
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.
The Birkie will look different this year to ensure the health and safety of our volunteers and skiers. This is in accordance with Provincial Health Authority Guidelines. There are numerous changes in order to comply with guidelines. Please read all of the following:
In order to allow the most skiers possible a chance to participate, the 55 km events (with pack and Lite) will be offered on Friday Saturday and Sunday, February 12, 13, 14, 2021. A maximum of 80 participants are allowed for both events, spaced over three waves.
There will be no mass start. We are required to spread skiers out on the course so you will need to choose a wave to start in. Picking the right start wave, will help us control movements through the start/finish areas and optimal spacing on the course during the event. Please read this waves document to aid in choosing one.
Due to strict limits on participation, we are not able to make any changes to your ski event or wave choice this year.
Starts will be continuous throughout the waves, allowing for two skiers to start at 30 second intervals. There will be no warm up track.
Start waves: 9:00, 9:15, 9:30 am
Registration and Bibs
There will be no registration package pick up this year. Bibs will be mailed to skiers ahead of time and will be required for entrance. Timing chips will be provided at the site. Skiers will need to fasten them around their ankle and return them at the finish. There is a $60 charge for non-returned timing chips.
Start Line and Finish Area
You will be required to fill out a pre-screening health questionnaire online prior to leaving for the course. Only skiers that have completed forms on file will be allowed to proceed to the parking zone.
This event starts and finishes at the Islet Lake Staging Area, in the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area. No spectators will be allowed at the start, finish, or on the course.
You must wear a mask at all times on site, from your vehicle to the start, and again from the finish to your car. It is not a requirement to wear your mask on the course. We encourage you to wear a face mask at aid stations.
Results will be posted online for review. There will be no awards ceremony or medals distributed this year.
There is a total of five aid stations spaced along the course. Volunteer and medical personnel will be on site. Re-hydration will be provided in 299 ml bottles. Nutrition shall be in the form of pre-packaged individual servings.
There will be no Festival Tent at the finish; you will not receive indoor food, beverage, or alcohol service. Please bring your recovery beverage and nutrition with you for individual consumption in your vehicle.
Dress appropriately in layers and bring extra clothing and wax for changing weather.
Indoor washrooms are not available, but there will be outdoor portapotties.
There are no buses or shuttles. Skiers must arrange to be dropped off or park their personal vehicles on site. Please share vehicles with a cohort where possible.
Please time your arrival no earlier than 30 minutes prior to your wave start time, to park only where directed, and then proceed as quickly as possible to the start zone. Skiers in later waves will not be permitted to park or start early.
Please wax prior to leaving home, with touch up at your vehicle prior to proceeding to the start.
What’s the route?
We redesigned the course to form a one-way loop starting and finishing at the Islet Lake Staging Area of 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.
Details about the Pack:
There will be no weigh scale at the start or finish area. The 55 km skiers will have to weigh their 5.5 kg backpack or weight vest at home. The accuracy of the weight will be based on an honour system for the 55 km with pack Torskeklubben Birkebeiner.
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.
- 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.
Please refer to our FAQ page (will be updated periodically)
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