Lake Louise to Banff Loppet

Once per winter – don’t miss it!

Racers on Lake Louise
Racers on Lake Louise

Jan 22 Update: The loppet has been postponed to Jan 31 due to the extreme cold.

Do you want to ski some fabulous trails that are available only once per winter? Well, it happens on Sunday Jan 25: The cross country ski race from Lake Louise to Banff. It covers 71K of varied terrain and spectacular, picturesque winter scenery. You can do it with a team of up to six skiers, or you can test yourself and try to do the entire 71K yourself. Banff National park allows the trails to be trackset for this special occasion once each winter.

Skier overlooking Morant's Curve
Skier overlooking Morant’s Curve

Darkness has barely lifted from the lake, known to tourists around the world as one of the most beautiful places on earth, when the starting gun  signals the beginning of this fun/gruelling/exciting race  at 8 a.m. where the unexpected can happen and often does.(actually there is no starting gun. Someone yells out a simple “go”) 

You’ll get to ski around Morant’s Curve, on the Bow river, through the Backswamp, up and down rolling hills and along the Bow Valley Parkway where your fellow team members can cheer you on. You’ll pass through places with names like Baker Creek, Castle Lookout, Silver City, Moose Meadows,  Johnston Canyon, Sawback, and Healy Creek. Imagine the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you cross the finish line many hours later.


Skiing through Moose MeadowsIf you participate as a team, you can have up to six skiers doing legs that vary in length from 7K to 21K. Click here to see a description of the course. There are a number of different categories: you can enter a men’s team, a women’s team, a mixed team, a family team,  go solo, etc. Click here to see categories and other info.I did the entire race solo back in 2004. To make it interesting, we had a substantial snowfall the night before the race, so the tracks were soft and slow. Somehow I willed myself to the finish line. Older and wiser, I will be on a mixed team this year. If you are thinking of entering, keep in mind that Banff National Park restricts the number of participants. You’ll have a chance to win really great door prizes at the awards banquet.

Jan 15 Update: I just talked to one of the organizers of the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet and he says the entire course has already been trackset. That’s a lot earlier than usual, so if you want to pre-ski any of the course it should be skiable.

If you really want to get some kilometres in, the day before the LL to Banff loppet is the Nipika Loppet where you can do a 36K or an 18K race.

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