On Friday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2, 2013, the La Ronge Ski Club and the La Ronge community will welcome hundreds of skiers to the 30th annual Don Allen Saskaloppet in Lac la Ronge Provincial Park. Now an established Saskatchewan tradition, the Saskaloppet is well known for its enthusiastic volunteers, expertly groomed classic and skate trails, and the rugged beauty of the Park’s boreal forest and Precambrian Shield landscape.
Registration for all Saskaloppet events will be online at www.zone4.ca. Event options and fees will be set out in the online registration form. Click on the link on this page to go to registration.
The Saskaloppet’s longest event is the Kupesewin which has skiers travel a total of 84 kilometres over two days. Kupesewin skiers have the option of entering one of two categories—the Kupesewin Marathon where skiers must carry a minimum of 5 kg of survival gear must be carried and the tougher Kupesewin Sasquatch where skiers must carry their entire camping outfit with no outside support. Kupesewin skiers start from La Ronge on Friday, March 1 at 12:30 noon and ski 37 kilometres north to an overnight campsite on the loppet trail’s “Summit.” There, skiers cook their supper on an open fire and then sleep out under the stars. The next day, they ski another 47 kilometres to return to La Ronge.
On Saturday, March 2, the Saskaloppet’s main events all get underway. At 8:30 a.m., the 55-kilometre Enduro starts from the lake ice in front of downtown La Ronge. Then, at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, the remaining events—being the 5-kilometre Jackrabbit Glide, the 8-kilometre Lake Challenge, the 13-kilometre Precambrian Passage, the 20-kilometre Challenge, and the 35-kilometre Raven’s Tradition—all leave in a large mass start.
The Don Allen Saskaloppet is a timed event. Finish times are all recorded on skiers’ finishing certificates. Finish times will also be posted on www.zone4.ca and posted to the Saskaloppet website’s archived results.
Friendly volunteers at conveniently located checkpoints provide food, refreshments, shelter, encouragement, a warm fire, First Aid and toilets. If necessary, you may leave the trail at any checkpoint and be transported back to La Ronge. Be sure to dress appropriately for winter conditions.
The Saskaloppet’s northern hospitality starts with a complimentary “Meet and Greet” reception held Friday evening, March 1. When loppeteers have finished their distance on Saturday afternoon, March 2, they will be treated to a complimentary chili and bannock post-event meal. Then, on Saturday evening, there will be an awards banquet with northern gourmet dining, northern artwork awards and entertainment.
All skiers receive a Saskaloppet pin and certificate upon de-registration. Awards go to the top two finishers in each event by age category and gender (except for the 5-kilometre and 8-kilometre events). The top two fastest women and fastest men in the 55-kilometre Enduro will be rewarded with cash prizes of $300 for first place and $200 for second place (winners must attend the awards banquet to receive cash awards). In addition, the largest family, the largest community group from away, the furthest travelled individual, and the oldest skier and the youngest skier will all be recognized with prizes. There will also be hidden time prizes and random draw prizes.
Event Headquarters and Venue
The La Ronge Hotel and Suites is the 2013 Event Headquarters and Host Hotel. To make reservations, phone (306) 425-2190 or 1-800-332-6735 (toll free), or fax (306) 425-3066. Bib pickup, chili lunch, etc. will all be at the La Ronge Hotel & Suites.
For more information, skiers may click on the 2013 Saskaloppet brochure on this site. They may also telephone the Don Allen Saskaloppet Chair, Dorothy Looyestein, at (306) 425-7328 (days) or (306) 425-2807 (evenings) or e-mail the Don Allen Saskaloppet Committee at dmacauley(a)sasktel.net.