Wells Gray Birchleg coming up on Sunday, Feb. 3

The 15th annual Wells Gray Birchleg, a fun family cross-country ski event, has been changed to Sunday, Feb. 3.

The 15th annual Wells Gray Birchleg, a fun family cross-country ski event has been changed from Saturday, Feb. 2, to Sunday, Feb. 3.

The event will be held at the Candle Creek Trails in Clearwater, and will be sponsored by the Wells Gray Outdoors Club. Call 250-674-2327 for more information.

The Birchleg commemorates a piece of Norwegian history. In 1206, during a civil war in Norway, two viking warriors risked their lives and traveled 55 km through forests and over dangerous mountain ranges in the middle of winter to bring the two-year-old heir to the throne, Haakon Haakonsson, to safety.

Many participants in the modern event dress in viking costume as part of the festivities.

Although details have yet to be finalized, it is expected there will be a choice of easy, medium and more difficult trails to follow.

At the end of the race a tasty traditional luncheon will be waiting at the warming hut, along with treats and warm drinks.

The name birchleg (the English translation of birkebeiner) is based on the footwear Norwegian warriors were wearing, which consisted of animal skins wrapped around their legs and held in place by birch roots.


Previous Wells Gray Birchlegs were held in Wells Gray Park and were sponsored by the Murtle River Nordics. Unfortunately, the organizers grew tired of the work involved and Wells Gray Outdoor Club picked up the task.