Yellowknife skiers hit the Haig Glacier

Haig Glacier Camp members from the Yellowknife Ski Team recently returned from their training camp – splitting time between Canmore and the Haig glacier, located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.

The team arrived in Canmore on August 21 and hiked/ran up to the Haig glacier the following day.

Time at the glacier was spent mostly skiing and eating (with a little bit of napping in between). Meals were nice and hearty, and the views were spectacular.

Below is the team on the last day at the glacier, as half the team went up for one more quick ski before hiking down, while the other half was dragged out of bed for a team picture, leaving the glacier a few hours later.

2017 Haig Glacier Camp members

Left to right: Tyson Green, Kevin Durkee (coach), Donny Boake, Nicolas Bennett, Jack Kotaska, Ella Kokelj

The latter half of the trip consisted of some fine dining, a big hike up East of Rundle summit in Canmore, and a bunch of gorgeous roller ski trails.

2017 Haig Glacier Camp - slacklining

The team even got their first experience of slacklining: as evidenced by the photo, the team enjoyed it so much they kept on going, and going, and going, until Coach Kevin had to pull the “I’m getting too old for this” card…

The final day was filled with intervals that sufficiently tired everyone out and ensured a nice, quiet drive to the airport.

We would like to thank Cross Country NWT for their support, as well as Kevin and Stewart who hosted us at the Haig. The YK Ski Team will now shift their training as they prepare for fall and anticipate nice, white, fluffy stuff to fall from the sky.

Kevin Durkee

Cross Country NWT remembers Pat Bobinski

Pat Bobinski

Cross Country NWT wishes to pay tribute to Pat Bobinski, a legend of biathlon in the Northwest Territories, who has passed away at the age of 77.

Pat touched many lives and contributed to a wide range of sports over several decades, from shooting to track and field, while working tirelessly in a number of volunteer roles on behalf of both the North and his home community of Hay River.

On top of that, his endeavours left a lasting legacy for biathlon in the North.

As the driving force behind his sport, Pat’s contribution to high performance included helping Brendan Green to success at the Canada Games and, later, two Olympic Games. However, his most important work helped to improve access to sport for young people from the spectrum of NWT communities.

Pat first became the president of NWT Biathlon in 1978. In 2010, he received Biathlon Canada’s June Hooper Award for his contributions to the sport.

He was loved and will be missed by a great many people. Cross Country NWT sends condolences to all of those affected by the news of his passing and thanks Pat for a life dedicated to the North and to sport.

Read more about Pat’s life and work on the CBC News website

Do your part to help the 2018 Arctic Winter Games!

Arctic Winter Games ulus

The Arctic Winter Games come to the Northwest Territories in 2018, with cross country skiing heading to the community of Fort Smith.

Cross Country NWT is proud to support its athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers as they prepare for the Games – and we are doing everything we can to support the Games as a whole, too.

The Arctic Winter Games provides an unmatched multi-sport atmosphere for northern athletes, never more so than when NWT athletes have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in an international event on their home trails.

The committee organizing the 2018 Arctic Winter Games is looking to hear from NWT residents prepared to help fund the Games by becoming a sponsor.

Sponsorship packages are explained in detail on the Arctic Winter Games’ website. The opportunity to become a Friend of the Games is available for $2,018, and will go toward providing the best possible atmosphere and experience for young, northern athletes when the Games begin next March.

In the months ahead, Cross Country NWT will post regular updates as we prepare our athletes to represent their territory as the host nation. It’s an exciting time and we are grateful for all of your support – for our sport and for the Games as a whole – throughout that journey!

Sharon Firth receives honorary doctorate of laws from U of A

NWT skiing legend Sharon Firth has been awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by the University of Alberta.

The ceremony took place on Wednesday night, and CBC’s cameras were rolling to capture Sharon’s acceptance speech.

You can read more and watch her speech on the CBC News website.

Challenging graduates to give their all for Canada, and referring to her late sister Shirley Firth Larsson, Sharon said: “Shirley and I challenged one another to be Canada’s top Nordic skiers, nationally and internationally. In my mind’s eye, and in my heart and soul, we gave Canada our best.”

Dates announced for Top of the World Loppet’s 50th anniversary

Start of 2016 Top of the World Loppet

The start of the 2016 Top of the World Loppet in Inuvik, NT.

Inuvik’s 2018 Top of the World Loppet will take place on Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8, 2018.

Next year’s races mark the 50th anniversary of the first Top of the World Loppet, hosted by the Inuvik Ski Club during its founding season in 1968.

Cross Country NWT is excited to support the Top of the World Loppet and celebrate Inuvik’s continuing contribution to Canadian skiing, while honouring the community’s place in the sport’s heritage.

If you would like more information about travelling to the Top of the World Loppet as a participant, volunteer, spectator or media, get in touch with us or you can contact Inuvik Ski Club.

The club says:

This event will offer some of the finest spring skiing in the world, even after the end of many 2017-2018 ski seasons. Sunshine into the late night, excellent snow conditions, and the unique setting of the Mackenzie Delta will ensure an unforgettable loppet experience. Inuvik was home to the Territorial Experimental Ski Training (TEST) program, which trained a host of Olympians, including Canada Sports Hall of Fame members and Aklavik sisters Sharon Firth and the late Shirley Firth Larsson. The Inuvik ski trails remain an important community heritage facility.

The start of the 1978 Top of the World Loppet

From the archive: skiers start the 1978 Top of the World Loppet in Inuvik.

The Inuvik Ski Club has a large network of groomed trails and seven months of snow cover, providing one of the longest ski seasons anywhere. Ski trails are nestled between the treeless tundra and the northern boreal forest, with spectacular views of the Richardson Mountains and town centre. A mixture of winding, forested loops, and open, willow-lined descents make for a technical and fun topography. Inuvik (‘place of people’ in Inuvialuktun) is the homeland of the Inuvialuit and Gwich’in peoples and residence for a wide variety of people and cultures. A place of rich diversity, Inuvik is located on the Mackenzie Delta – a maze of lakes and streams forming Canada’s largest freshwater delta, on the edge of the Arctic Ocean. The community is alive with activity during the spring, with weekly festivals and celebrations marking the return of warmer weather.

As this event approaches, the volunteer-led Inuvik Ski Club hopes to engage with potential attendees, racers, and supporting organizations to make the 50th edition of the Top of the World Loppet an unforgettable event. July 1st, 2017 will mark the opening of our TOWL Logo Contest, which will invite contestants from across Canada to design the emblem used for the Loppet. The club will also hold open TOWL Committee meetings monthly leading up to the event. We invite any interested parties or individuals to engage with the club online or by mail. Please help us celebrate five decades of ski racing in Inuvik!