50km. No split times. No course marshalls. Unmanned aid stations. A point to pub ski event. It’s SnowFun!
It all starts in the Sovereign Stadium, finishes inside Long John’s Pub, and hits a lot of great trails in between.
The first finisher will receive a free pint and 25% off food at the post-race party. Every subsequent finisher will receive exactly the same prize.
The logistics are simple. Choose your start time. Put your race fuel and drinks in the aid station (which will look remarkably like a large cooler), put your post-race clothing bag in the sled, show your dual area trail ticket and collect your wristband. Grab your own items from the aid station as you pass it twice during the ski. At the finish, enter Long John’s and find the starter to collect your prize and clothing bag.
Want to classic? Free technique means you are free to choose. Want to use your e-skis? Sorry, not currently allowed in the provincial park.
The starter/finish-judge/clothing-transport volunteer will also kickstart the process of shuttling people back to their cars after the party.
Registration will be on zone4, here. Registration will be limited.
Are you looking for something easier? The Sovereign Best in Snow Loppet is on March 14th and has 15km and 30km options with full support.
Want a full 50km epic experience, but with manned aid stations, lap times, and age group prizes? The Payak is your answer, just a few hours drive away in Whistler Olympic Park.
Want a real challenge? On April 2nd, you can race against the best skiers in North America in a FIS sanctioned event: 50km for the men, 30km for the women. If you consistently win your local Loppet, you have a reasonable chance of finishing without being lapped by the lead pack. FYI, this is Canadian National Championships and USA SuperTour Finals combined, with both Canadian and American National teams expected to compete.
Last year, George Jackson and Gerry Furseth designed a route of their favourite trails, then offered to take bribes to change it. No one complained about the final course, so we are doing the same again. There is about 1200m total climb and about 51km to experience.
The final version of the course is summarized here (more detailed version with signage details on the logistics tab):
The first 10km of the Loppet course provides a gentle start. Follow the Loppet signs around Woodland Bell, Passmore, and Carl Wylie.
From the stadium, ski the first 3km of the Upper World Cup (permanent signs), but turn right on Passmore instead of dropping down to Woodland Bell. Follow Passmore and Black Prince to SilverQueen.
Once on SilverQueen, take every right turn through the Zumas and White Elephant until you are back at the stadium. (26km so far, and second visit to the aid station).
Follow the Lars Taylor loop signs out Passmore and up Lars to the top. Turn left to ski around Shuswap lookout (enjoy the view!) before blasting down Coming Round Connector. Aid station two is the Chap’tix cabin.
Keep descending to Alder Point loop (counter clockwise for the best views) and return up Moose Alley.
Turn left on Coming Round, then right onto Upper Paradise. Blast down Coming Round Connector (again) and turn right on Coming Round. This is the second visit to the Chaptix aid station.
Follow Coming Round and Paradise into the village. Enter Long John’s Pub and find the finish table.
This downhill was so much fun, we are doing it twice.
The event will use a flexible start system. In order to have a good post-ski party, the goal is to have everyone finish between 2pm and 3pm, with the fastest skiers starting at 11am and normal people starting anytime after 8:30. Show your dual area ticket to the starter in the Daylodge and collect your wristband. If you end up skiing faster than planned, please stop and take more photos (tag them #mysovereign and #xc105 on social media).
At the start, you must show a valid day pass or season pass. You can buy a day ticket or a dual area upgrade at the front desk.
There is one unmanned aid station in the Sovereign stadium (aka the race start) which you will pass at 9.5km and 27km. There is a second water station at the Chap’tix cabin, which you also pass twice. Each skier is responsible for providing their own fuel and drink. Remember to put yours in the aid station (it looks exactly like a large cooler) before the start.
The starter/finish judge will hand out wristbands, deliver your clothing bag to the finish, and start the process of shuttling people back to their cars after the party. Athletes are expected to assist in the shuttle process.
The course marking will be simple and no trails will be closed to the public. There will be no v-boards or tape blocking intersections, so participants will need to look for signs at each intersection. When possible, we use permanent signs, with arrows on stakes added as needed.
For the first 9.5km loop, follow the permanent blue ‘loppet’ signs until you are back in the stadium.
For loop two, swing right around the parking lot then follow the permanent World Cup loop signs for 3km before turning onto Passmore at the arrow. Follow the Silver Queen loop signs past the Black Prince Cabin. Once on Silver Queen, take every right turn until you arrive at the back of the timing building (the building you started in front of). This is 26km done.
For loop three, follow the Lars Taylor loop signs up Passmore, past the Black Prince Cabin for the second time, and up Lars to the very top. Turn left at the arrow (do NOT continue down Aberdeen) and proceed up to the Shuswap lookup and follow the arrows around counterclockwise. Turn right and right to drop down Coming Round Connector (whee!) to the Chap’tix cabin. Refill water bottles here as needed. There are two arrows here, choose the one pointed downhill. Continue down to the Alder Point loop, following the arrows to ski counterclockwise (better views!) and then up Moose Alley to Coming Round. Turn left on Coming Round.
When you reach Upper Paradise (just before the chairlift), turn right and climb back up to Coming Round Connector for a second blast down to Chap’tix. This time, turn right and follow Coming Round then Lower Paradise into the village. Do not repeat the right turn onto Upper Paradise unless it is well before 2pm and you have time to kill.
Enter Long John’s Pub, and find the finish table. Persuade the finish judge that you have earned your prize.
The course map is broken into five sections for clarity. Printed versions will be posted at strategic locations on the course, but if you are skiing with a phone, it might be handy to download the pdf’s to have with you.