The Yellowknife Gold Loppet sponsored by Gold Terra is always one of the most popular events on the sports and recreation calendar with hundreds of people signing up on an annual basis to ski the route laid down.
Covid-19 has thrown a wrench into everything for more than a year and the loppet was one of those events which fell victim to it right from the start, though there was the Great Covid-19 Non-Loppet that was held in its place.
But it’s 2021 now and the loppet is back with its regular name but with some of the 2020 rules still in place.
The Vee Lake loppet start/finish
The loppet has traditionally started and finished at Vee Lake but for the second year running, that won’t be happening. In its place, more than 50 kilometres worth of trails have been laid out courtesy of the Guerilla Groomers, a group of local track-setters who go around and set kilometres of trails for people to ski on.
This year’s crew includes such people as Kevin Hodgins, who’s working on Back Bay; Niels Konge, who does Frame Lake and; David Gilday, who helped put together the trails on Walsh Lake.
The trail routes this year include Dehcho Blvd., Range Lake, Kam Lake, Frame Lake, Frame Lake/Back Bay, Back Bay, Burwash, Yellowknife Bay, Walsh Lake and Madeline Lake. The routes for each of the trails are available on the Yellowknife Ski Club’s website.
There will be no skiing at the club this year due to the Polar Cup biathlon races being held this weekend.
Unlike past loppets, there will be no start/finish line, no checkpoints and no aid stations. That means you’ll have to make your own plans for the day and the ski club recommends making a safety plan of some sort before you go out.
There are already 373 people registered to take part.