This looks terrific! The original loppet, which really did finish in Banff, was actually 71K, but the distance from Lake Louise to Castle Junction and back is 72K.
The loppet was shortened to 50K a few years ago when BNP would no longer allow the racers to ski through the Backswamp.
The final year as a 71K was in 2016.
The virtual challenge will also have solo categories for each segment. I expect the most popular one will be the 9.7K Baker Creek to Castle Lookout with it’s magnificent scenery.
The Loppet’s chief organizer, Heidi Widmer, has provided the following information:
The Lake Louise to Banff Loppet will be running a virtual challenge. The event will run from January 23rd to 31st. Please note, event registration and event page will not be active until the respective opening date.
Challenge registration opens tomorrow, January 18 at 6am. Register here
Complete the challenge at your convenience between January 23-31. Upload times here
Additional course information and maps can be found at Loppet.ca
Given that the Bow Valley Parkway remains closed and the COVID restrictions, together with Parks Canada, Baker Creek, Castle Junction and Loppet volunteers, we will prepare original segments of the course from the Chateau Lake Louise to Castle Junction. This year, I’m really excited to offer a Corona Challenge for those that miss the good ‘ol days of the original Loppet distance, 72km.
The net elevation loss from Lake Louise(the lake) to Castle Junction is 325 metres. Descending Tramline(4.8K) accounts for 180 metres of that loss. Climbing back up at the end of a 72K ski trip is for the fittest and most tenacious. At least the trail conditions will get better as you come to the end.