An international cross-country ski race
The Gatineau Loppet is Canada’s largest international cross-country skiing event. As part of the Worldloppet international event series, the Gatineau Loppet welcomes approximately 2,500 skiers from around the world each year.
The event usually takes place in February in beautiful Gatineau Park, and offers several events of varying distances, allowing all cross-country ski enthusiasts to find a challenge that suits them.
History of the Gatineau Loppet
The origins of the Gatineau Loppet date back to 1979. The “Rivière Rouge” event was first organized near the municipality of Lachute, located east of the city of Gatineau.
Already positioned as the largest cross-country skiing event in Canada, the Rivière Rouge offered two courses, one of 55 kilometers, the other more recreational over a distance of 35 kilometers. Nearly 1,000 skiers took part in the first edition!
As the event grew in size, it was moved to Gatineau Park in 1983 and became “Gatineau 55”.
In 1989, the event expanded its courses by offering two 25-kilometre events, one in classic and one in freestyle, replacing the 35-kilometre event.
In 1996, Gatineau 55 was renamed “Keskinada Loppet” derived from the contraction of the words Quebec, ski and Canada. The term “Loppet” has its roots in Scandinavia and means “large gathering”.
On the occasion of its 30th anniversary in 2008, the largest cross-country skiing celebration on Canadian soil was renamed “Gatineau Loppet”.
The Gatineau Loppet remains today the only event of the Worldloppet series that takes place on Canadian soil. Each year, nearly one skier in five comes from outside Canada, giving the event an international dimension and exhibition.