About 75 people, many of them in Viking costume, signed up to participate in this year’s Wells Gray Birchleg, organizers report.
The event was put on by Wells Gray Outdoors Club at the Candle Creek cross-country ski trails on Saturday, Feb. 3.
The Birchleg is an unofficial version of the Birkebeiner – a cross-country ski race that is held every year in Norway and other locations around the world.
The races commemorate an incident in 12th century Norway when two Viking warriors on skis carried the baby heir to the throne across the mountains to safety during a civil war.
The Wells Gray Birchleg started in the late 1990s in Wells Gray Park and was put on by the Murtle River Nordics, in part as a replacement for the Wells Gray Loppet cross-country ski marathon. For about the past five years it has been put on by Wells Gray Outdoors Club at Candle Creek.
During the event, many participants dress in Viking or traditional Scandinavian costume.
A Norwegian-style lunch is included.