Festivals garner attention and cross-country skiing organizers at Sun Peaks Resort are aiming to attract a crowd later this winter.
The inaugural Sun Peaks Resort Nordic Festival will be a two-day event, with the Sun Peaks Loppet slated for Mar. 4 and the Sun Peaks Nordic Sprint Challenge set for Mar. 5.
“It’s really good timing,” said Glenn Bond, the event’s chief of competition. “Now that Sun Peaks has proven itself, that it has hosted a number of events successfully, that’s one of the reasons why the provincial sport body opened up that weekend for us.”
In recent years, Sun Peaks would play host to two Nordic Loppets, one in early January and one in late February. Each would see about 100 participants take to the trails.
“Rather than have two events, we’re going to have two days of events on one weekend,” said Phil Youwe, Sun Peaks Resort’s Nordic co-ordinator.
“We always have snow at that time, even though the ski season is winding down a little bit. I’m super excited to see a lot of skiers come out.”
Youwe would like to see more than 200 participants.
The Loppet will offer two-kilometre, five-kilometre and 15-kilometre free-technique events, meaning timing will be combined for skate and classic-style skiers. The 30-kilometre distance (two laps of the 15-kilometre course) will be open to both skate and classic technique skiers, but timing will be separate for each discipline.
Bond described the sprint challenge event on Mar. 5 as, “ski-cross for cross-country skiers.”
The individual and team sprints will pit heats of skiers against each other on 400m to 800 meter courses that will include accents, descents, slalom gates, bumps, jumps, hills and rolls.
“This should be a really fun, technical event,” Bond said, noting clubs from across B.C. have been invited to compete.
“The date doesn’t conflict with other events in the region,” Bond said. “We’re expecting the numbers will be really, really good.”
“Bond described the sprint challenge event on Mar. 5 as, “ski-cross for cross-country skiers.”