By Bella Butler MANAGING EDITOR
PHOTOS BY BELLA BUTLER
Winter Fest is an Outlaw Partners event. Outlaw Partners publishes Explore Big Sky.
BIG SKY – Last night, nearly two dozen young Nordic skiers-in-training shimmied in a collective Macarena dance to warm up at the start line of this season’s third Viking Nordic Race.
The event’s youngest competitors kicked off the evening with a 1K skate ski at the Big Sky Resort Nordic Center on the Big Sky Resort Golf Course and were followed by 3K and 5K races. Though the air was brisk as the sun dipped below the mountains, a lively crowd of supportive friends and family—some decked out in Viking apparel—made the first event of Big Sky’s four-day Winter Fest feel warm and merry.
Since December, the Big Sky Ski Education Foundation Nordic Board has held monthly Viking Nordic Races to create competitive opportunities for beginner and elite athletes alike. The event, according to BSSEF Nordic Coordinator Nicole Barker, is also intended to bring community together to celebrate and use some of the world-class trails in Big Sky.
“The BSSEF Nordic committee would like to thank all who came out and braved the chilly evening to support the Viking Race and Winter Fest,” Barker wrote in a statement. “We feel it was a huge success, thanks to the support of our community and volunteers. The energy and excitement of the crowd, the heroic efforts of the racers, all made for a lively kick-off to Winter Fest.”
The races, as well as this first inaugural Winter Fest, also serve as fundraisers for BSSEF. BSSEF will host another race for classic skiing on Feb. 15 and a final race on March 8.
Winter Fest continues today with an ice sculpture demonstration, the Frozen Foot Obstacle Course, Retro Movie Night and a silent disco, and skijoring this weekend.
Visit outlaw.partners/winterfest for the full schedule of events.