One of Skagway’s major winter events takes places this weekend. Organizers say the Buckwheat Ski Classic will see great conditions but a lower number of participants.
Jeff Brady is secretary of the Log Cabin Ski Society, which took over organization of the event from its founder, Buckwheat Donahue, five years ago.
“We’ve got some of the best skiing conditions we’ve ever had up there,” said Brady. “Back to having it being a fairly cold winter with a decent amount of snow has created phenomenal conditions up there.”
The race takes place on the Log Cabin cross country ski trails, about 27 miles north of Skagway. Participants can choose from a 50-kilometer, 25K, or 10K route. There is also a 5K for kids.
Last year, the ski classic saw a record amount of interest, with almost 450 people registered.
“Last year was a record. This year is not gonna be,” Brady said. “Our numbers are a little low this year. Right now they’re right around 250. And we’ll probably wind up with 325, 350 because we do have quite a few that register in the last few days leading up to it.”
Brady says the numbers may have dropped because of a different ski event taking place in Canada the same weekend.
‘Oh the places you’ll ski’ is the tagline for this year’s race. The Dr. Seuss theme will carry into a Whoville snow sculpture at the aid station. It will also influence the costumes skiers are encouraged to wear. Cats in hats, Loraxes and Grinches are welcome.
“Probably a Yertle the Turtle in there somewhere too,” Brady said.
And there will be a green eggs and ham breakfast Saturday morning before the competition begins.
The races start at 10 a.m. Saturday. The 50K starts first, followed by the 25K, 10K and Kids 5K.
In-person registration is still available in Whitehorse on Thursday and in Skagway Friday at the AB Hall between 4 and 7 p.m. More information is available at buckwheatskiclassic.com.