An international cross-country ski race
The Gatineau Loppet is an international cross-country ski competition where close to 2,500 skiers of all ages and levels come together on the trails of Gatineau Park. A member of the Worldloppet league, it is part of a circuit of the 20 biggest cross-country ski races around the world, including the Vasaloppet in Sweden, and La Tranjurassienne in France. The Gatineau Loppet takes place over a weekend in February, with 8 cross-country ski races, 3 snowshoe races and 3 fat bike races:
- 51 km classic technique
- 51 km free technique
- 27 km classic technique
- 27 km free technique
- 15 km classic technique
- 10 km free technique
- 5 km classic technique
- 2 km Mini (non timed)
- 40 km – 20 km – 10 km fat bike
- 10 km – 5 km – 2 km snowshoe
Both recreational and elite skiers tend to appreciate the trails prepared for them in the Park. Although most skiers hail from the Outaouais and the rest of Canada, close to 15% are from abroad, mainly the United States, but also France, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia and Japan.
Everybody loves skiing in Gatineau Park, which is an enormous 36,000 hectare expanse. Participants gather at École secondaire Mont-Bleu, a school located at the Park’s entrance in Gatineau. The school is an ideal meeting place, offering up its halls, gymnasium, locker rooms and cafeteria to the Gatineau Loppet for its many activities. These activities are essential to making the Gatineau Loppet a true celebration complete with post-race meals, the XC Ski Show and the Bistro après-ski all weekend-long.