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Building on a rich history

The Morin-Heights Viking Loppet is jointly organized - on a non-profit basis - by the Municipality of Morin-Heights and the Viking Ski Club and we are very grateful for the continued support of our sponsors and the more than 100 volunteers that make each Loppet a fun and memorable one. Without this support and involvement, the Loppet would not be what it is today. It is – and has always been — run by volunteers who truly enjoy cross-country skiing, who give of their time to help ensure a great time is had by all.

Surpluses generated from our Loppet are carried over to help improve the following year’s event and to keep costs affordable for skiers, in particular families seeking a healthy outdoor activity in one of the most picturesque areas of the Laurentians.

A family of four, for example, can ski the 10-km Jan Nordström Loppet down the area’s scenic Aerobic Corridor for no more than $100.00 (Cdn), if they take advantage of our “Early Bird” special. The outing includes parking, transportation to the starting area, transportation back to the staging area, a hearty hot meal after their ski, a souvenir Loppet pin and, of course, medals for those who excelled in their age category.

More important, though, the Morin-Heights Viking Loppet offers all skiers an experience unlike any other cross-country event in the region. In addition to the competitive aspect, our Loppet offers participants an opportunity to share a meal, renew acquaintances and trade anecdotes about their time on the trails.

The partnership between Morin-Heights and the Viking Ski Club was created for the 2002 Loppet. Each year since, the number of skiers taking part in our event has grown steadily and we have decided to limit the number participants to 500. This will enable us to comfortably accommodate all skiers and assure participants a great time, without sacrificing the intimacy – the feeling of family and friendship – for which the Morin-Heights Viking Loppet has become known.

The Loppet features three events – 10kms, 20kms and 33kms – using local ski trails maintained by both the Municipality and the Viking Ski Club. The events offer varying degrees of difficulty to provide enjoyment and challenges for skiers of all ages and skill levels. And, there is one thing registered skiers can count on: The Loppet will be held regardless of the weather. We do, however, reserve the right to modify courses if winter deals a nasty blow.

Our Loppet has well-established roots in the region. The Viking Ski Club, which makes its home on Jackson Road in Morin-Heights, launched the event in 1972 and, as recent as 2001, offered four events, including a gruelling 50-km test of a skier’s endurance, skill and fortitude. It was simply called the Viking Loppet and any who completed the trek in reasonable time earned the respect of fellow skiers.

The three events run by the club honour the forefathers, if you will, of today’s Morin-Heights Viking Loppet. The 10km Jan Nordström Loppet, which today takes skiers down the Aerobic Corridor, is named after a former president of the Viking Ski Club who, for many years, looked after the club’s extensive trail system. Jan passed away in 1997.

The 20-km event is named after Folke “Jack” Wahlberg, who was a former cross-country ski champion and represented Canada in world championships. Jack passed away in 1988. Meanwhile, our 33-km Smith-Johannsen Loppet was a 32-km event before 2002. It is named in honour of the well-known cross-country ski pioneer, Herman “Jackrabbit” Smith-Johannsen, a long time honorary member of the Viking Ski Club who died in 1987 at the age of 111.

In the spirit of these skiers, the Morin-Heights Viking Loppet takes participants tackling the 20Km and 33Km courses on narrow, single track-set trails through forests and valleys, and over mountains and across frozen lakes. All our courses are well suited to the traditional diagonal “classical” stride technique; so, in the interest of fairness, and to promote the enjoyment of our Loppet by all participants, ski skating is not allowed.

We look forward to seeing you on the trails!