Lost Lake Shuffle this Saturday 

Cross-country ski season kicks into gear this week

There’s still time to register for the fourth annual Lost Lake Shuffle on Saturday, Jan. 8. The number of entries is capped at 100, and organizers are expecting a strong turnout this year with the addition of new categories and formats.

The solo events should get a little bigger this year with both four-hour and two-hour categories available. In past years all of the solo participants would race for four hours, plus a final lap of the 3.5 km course – a long stretch for most skiers this early in the season. With a shorter two-hour category available, organizers are hoping to encourage more solo participants.

The family category will also be a little different this year. The event will be just one hour long and take place on a shorter 2 km course. One member of each family team of three should be 12 or under, and all the team members race together in a group.

The team categories will run the same as past years, with male, female and co-ed teams of three making as many laps as they can in the four hours.

A DJ will play music during the race, while Chris Quinlan returns to provide his usual off-colour commentary.

The awards ceremony and chili dinner will follow the race, along with a prize draw for participants. The level of sponsorship is up this year, which means that all of the participants should walk away with something.

There will be no day-of-race registration this year, so register before Saturday at the Cross Country Connection. The cost is $25 for each solo, $30 for a family and $60 for a team of three. All proceeds from the event will go towards the Whistler Nordics youth development programs.

If you want to pre-run the course, the Shuffle will follow the usual route – Lost Lake Loop, Lower Panorama, and Old Mill Road.

Bib pick-up gets underway at 9 a.m. at the Lost Lake Warming Hut, and there will be a mandatory pre-race briefing at 10:45 a.m. The four-hour categories start at 11 a.m., the two-hour solos at 1 p.m. and the families at 2 p.m.

Volunteers are still needed. If you’d like to help out, or have any questions, please call the Cross Country Connection at 604-905-0071.

Free XC skiing and lessons for Ski Fest

The RMOW and participating cross-country retailers are gearing up for Ski Fest, a North America-wide event that was created to get people to try cross-country skiing.

Ski Fest takes place this Saturday, Jan. 8. All of the Lost Lake cross country ski trails and snowshoe trails are free to use for the entire day, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Participating retailers will be offering discounted cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals throughout the day, and festivities will be taking place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the annual Lost Lake Shuffle. A barbecue is being planned for the Lost Lake Warming Hut.

Whistler Cross Country Connection will be offering free demonstrations of skate skiing, and offering participants tips on technique.

Whistler Running Experience will be putting on a snowshoe running demonstration to kick off their series of regular snowshoe running clinics.

More information and details on activities will be available on the day of the event at the Lost Lake ticket booth.

XC social night planned for winter

Starting on Thursday, Jan. 13, the Cross Country Connection and Whistler Nordics will be hosting a weekly social night on the cross country trails.

The social gets underway at 6 p.m. with a barbecue, a social ski, and tips on technique from local coaches.

The plan is to host a weekly time trial if participants are interested, with formats changing from week to week to keep things interesting. The goal is to create a fun social event like WORCA’s weekly Loonie Races for mountain bikers in the summer months.

The cost is $2 to enter for members of the Whistler Nordics, and memberships will be available on the first night.

Participants should meet at the Cross Country Connection hut for 6 p.m., and the barbecue and events will take place out of the Lost Lake Warming Hut. For more details call 604-905-0071.

Social Monday planned for season

The RMOW will be hosting free night-skiing at the Lost Lake Cross Country Ski Trails every Monday night for eight weeks, starting Jan. 10 and ending Feb. 28.

"We’re trying to get people out on the trails, and it’s a good night for families," explained Roger Weetman, Manager of Program Services and the Community Liaison for the RMOW.

The idea to host a free night came out of discussions with Wild Willies, which runs its free Come Glide With Us cross-country programs on Monday nights.

All of the local companies involved in cross-country skiing and the Whistler Nordics have been invited to offer their own promotions to the public, with proceeds going towards the Whistler Nordics Jackrabbits and youth programs.

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