Wells Gray Outdoor Club rescues Viking costume event

The Wells Gray Birchleg will be held at a new location: the Candle Creek cross-country ski trails near Clearwater on Sunday, Feb. 3

The Wells Gray Birchleg is not dead. The 14th annual version of the fun family event will be held at a new location: the Candle Creek cross-country ski trails near Clearwater on Sunday, Feb. 3.

Viking costume will be optional. However, dressing up as a Nordic warrior or valkyrie adds considerably to the enjoyment, plus there will be prizes for the best outfits.

A mass start will be held at 10 a.m. Because the Birchleg is a fun event so there will be no timing.

Participants will have their choice of three courses with different lengths and levels of difficulty.

A hot Norwegian lunch will be served at the Candle Creek warming hut after the event.

A feature of the North Thompson winter since 1999, the Birchleg has traditionally been held in Wells Gray Park. However, last year the organizers with the Murtle River Nordics announced they intended to retire from the endeavor.

Wells Gray Outdoor Club, which had been involved in organizing the first local Birchlegs, stepped in to fill the gap.

The Birchleg commemorates an incident that occurred during a civil war in Norway in 1204. Two Viking warriors on skis carried the son of their murdered king across two mountain ranges to safety.

 

The Birchleg gets its name from the birch bark leggings they wore.