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Wells Gray Outdoors Club Birchleg returns to Candle Creek trails

Nordic food, costumes part of the fun

The Wells Gray Outdoors Club’s Birchleg event brought viking costumes and Nordic food back to Candle Creek cross country skiing trails.

On Feb. 11, roughly 40 skiers from Clearwater and neighbouring communities took to the trails as the weather was ideal, according to organizer Hazel Wadledger.

“It is a really happy event and a lot of people come every year so it is great to see the people, especially the people we don’t see all the time,” she told the Clearwater Times in an over-the-phone interview.

“Seeing other people enjoy the day [is my favourite part]. They usually really enjoy the day and have good visits.”

Wadledgeder also appreciated the compliments on the quality of the ski trails, which are maintained by the outdoors club.

“Even though we think they are nice, it is nice to hear other people say they are very nice.”

The outdoors club made Nordic food — Noweigan-style meatballs with sides and krumkaka for dessert — along with a vegetarian chili option. Krumkaka is a waffle cookie shaped like a cone and served with whipped cream. Some people regularly try to attend every year just for the food, Wadledger added.

The outdoors club also gave out prizes for the best viking costumes along with draw prizes.

“It is a portrayal of a viking race that happened many, many years ago in Norway,” Wadledger said.

These prizes are only available because local businesses have been so generous in providing gift certificates, she added.

Wadledger has been involved in the Birchleg event in some form or another since it began roughly three decades ago, she said.

The annual event brought in roughly 15 people less than usual as some regular participants were occupied with other events such as hockey tournaments, after put on hold for two years because of the pandemic, Wadledger added.

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About the Author: Morgana Adby, Local Journalism Initiative

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