Ontario’s Blue Mountain to Experience The Yeti

On Feb. 4, there will be a new King of the Mountain, but hopefully he or she won’t be too abominable.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures just outside of Collingwood, Ontario is hosting the Yeti, which is billed as “Canada’s first snowshoe series that offers an exciting alternative to walking and running during the winter months.”

“There are two distances to choose from and clinics to get you ready,” reads the website. “Snowshoeing is the fastest growing outdoor winter activity, get out there and find out why!”

Race spokesperson Kathryn Stanton elaborated on the event, which is a first for the resort, which is likely the area’s premier snowshoeing and Nordic skiing facility.

“It’s a great destination winter recreation area. The venue has well-maintained and mapped-out trails, as well as the facilities to host a race. In addition, one of our media sponsors, Get Out There Magazine, is hosting an event called NordicFest at the Scenic Caves that day, and invited us to be a part of that.”

While it’s a first for the resort and Ontario, the race itself has been around for a while, even if it’s not quite as old as the hills.

“The Yeti event company is not new,” she explained. “It was founded in 2001, though this particular event at the Scenic Caves is a new event for us.

“We successfully host off-road running events across Canada, seven of them in the Greater Toronto Area (5 Peaks Trail Running), as well as several Yeti Snowshoe races here in British Columbia, and have been doing so for 14 years. We’ve always wanted to expand the Yeti Snowshoe Series to other provinces, so it seemed a natural fit to look at one of our most popular summer regions when expanding. We put out some feelers, did some research and found a great venue, a good weekend, and hopefully some great snow!”

As the company goes into its 11th season, it’s the largest event and series in Canada, Stanton said.

“It’s a great way for people who love to run, to keep competing in the winter months. We are offering two distances, a five kilometer Sport Course and a 10K Enduro course. In addition, we have a free 1K kids run too.

The race is open to participants at all skill levels, from beginner through advanced level athletes, who want to be outdoors and having fun. Registration is $40 in advance. Snowshoes are available for rent from race organizers, as well as from Scenic Caves directly.

Stanton said the Yeti Snowshoe Sport course is a great option for the beginner snowshoer, and the Enduro course will give any runner or hiker the challenge they’re looking for.

“Typically we get anywhere from 175-250 people at an event, but I can see the sport growing to races with 500 or more participants. For this inaugural event, we are expecting about 100 racers.”

For more information about The Yeti snowshoe series, visit http://www.theyeti.ca.

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Timothy Giilck

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