Though the annual Lake Placid Loppet has been a huge part of winter sports for over 30 years, this is the first year that the premier cross-country ski marathon has coincided with a weekend Nordic festival. According to High Peaks Cyclery owner Brian Delaney the hope of this first Lake Placid Nordic Fest is to celebrate all aspects of Nordic skiing.
“We want to celebrate Nordic skiing on all levels,” says Delaney. “The schedule has a variety of events like ski waxing clinics, beginning cross-country instructional clinics and ski orienteering. We want these events leading up to the Loppet to appeal to all ages.”
The Nordic Festival starts on Friday, February 27, at Mt. Van Hoevenberg with the St. Lawrence Carnival races, some workshops and Loppet registration. That evening there will be free waxing clinics at High Peaks Cyclery as well as an evening S’more party and headlamp night ski.
“The waxing clinics are open to everyone,” says Delancy. “We will have a firepit going and people can have S’mores. The evening headlamp ski does require some cross-country experience. For safety reasons people need to have some experience. We will meet at High Peaks and go over to some nearby trails for about a 5K or 10K loop. We’ll even give out free rentals and loan about 50 headlamps on a first come-first served basis.”
Saturday is a full day of activities with all scheduled events included in the Lake Placid Loppet registration fee and some free to the public. High Peaks Cyclery is organizing the 12:30 pm Kids Race at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. Delaney plans on gearing the races for the children that show up. It will be open to all ages and abilities as long as the child can ski.
The big event of the day will be the afternoon 6.25 km and 12.5 km XC races. That evening head to Cascade Ski Touring Center for a local farm food extravaganza from Mace Chasm Farm and local brew from Ausable Brewing Company with live music and more.
The weekend culminates on Sunday, March 1, with the popular Lake Placid Loppet. This marathon cross-country race is a winter staple for cross-country ski racers. Registrants can race either the 50 km course or the 25 km that starts and finishes at the Mt Van Hoevenberg Cross Country Stadium with food stations every 5 km. Check the schedule here or call Elizabeth Moeller at the Cross Country Biathlon Center at 518.523.2811with questions. After the big finish the annual Wood n’ Ski Rendezvous (the Official Loppet after party) is held at Cascade Ski Center to benefit the Adirondack Ski Touring Council/BETA. Enjoy the rest of winter!
Photo of Kids’ Ski Race provided by High Peaks Cyclery.