Saturday February 28nd, 2015

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Foothills Nordic Ski Club's flagship event, the Kananaskis Ski Marathon (a.k.a. the Cookie Race) takes place the final Saturday in February in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.

The Cookie Race, begun in 1978, is widely loved and highly regarded by the nordic community in Alberta - over 600 participants enjoy the Cookie Race each year.

Race Information

The Kananaskis Ski Marathon is a "loppet", a cross-country ski race open to the public, emphasizing participation, personal challenge, camaraderie, sportsmanship, and fun. The competition takes place in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, one of Alberta's finest cross-country ski trail systems, about a ninety-minute drive west of Calgary in Kananaskis Country. All competitors - over 500 of them - are treated to beverages and hot soup, and (most importantly!) plenty of home-made cookies - that's why our loppet is called "the Cookie Race"!

Staging this event is only possible thanks to the coordinated efforts of many people (over 150 volunteers, plus all the cookie bakers). To help us continue this tradition we need an annual commitment from our members to:

The Cookie Race Details

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Start / Finish at Pocaterra parking lot
Getting There
Drive south on Hwy #40 from the junction with Hwy #1 for 56 km
All events are classic technique
Ages / Distances
Age appropriate categories of races are available from the age of 5 years old and up. Course distances vary from 500 meters to 42 kilometers depending on the age group, please consult the race notice for more information.


Registration for the 2015 Cookie Race is now open. Register now

500 Meter and 1 km Jackrabbit courses initiated in 2008. There will be a pedestrian crosswalk on Kananaskis Lakes Trail (main road). Please obey all traffic signs and directions from traffic controllers. While there will still be a timed 'Touring' category for 15km and 24km courses, medals only given for the 'Racing' categories. There is an overall limit on participation, so registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. So far, we have never had to cut off registrations, but there is always that possibility. Pocaterra parking lot reserved for car-pool vehicles only (greater than 1 person per vehicle).


You will need to review and fill out the following forms in order to participate.

Additional Notes:

The ski trail is available here (PDF)

Updated Trail Report

Weather and Trail Conditions (thanks Weather Network!)

Be sure to bring extra clothing and wax for changing weather conditions. If you wish to discontinue racing, you MUST hand over your bib and transponder to a race official at Boulton or at the finish line before leaving the area. A shuttle service from Boulton feeding station back to Pocaterra will be provided. If you're not a competitor, note that all the park's ski trails remain open to the public during the event. Finally, please note that dogs can be a problem around race sites. Please ensure your dog is on a leash, or, better yet, left at home.


The Delta Lodge at Kananaskis is the closest accommodation to the race site (approx. 35 minutes drive). Rooms starting from $132.00 per night plus applicable taxes (based on 2 people in a room)

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Race Sponsors

Lifesport Norseman LAZL Delta Lodge

Course Map

Kananaskis Ski Marathon - Race Courses

Summary Map - KSM Map - All Courses

Start of 3km, 15km, 24km and 42km Races

At Pocaterra Hut in waves commencing at 10:00 am SHARP. Detailed start times depend on registration and will be posted at the stadium.

Jackrabbit Races

The 5km race starts (10:30am) and finishes at Pocaterra Hut like the adult races, and participants require snowplowing skills. The 3 km race starts at 10:35 at Pocaterra Hut. The 1 km race starts at 11:30 on a course across the highway (please use the designated crosswalk).

view pdf

Tourer/Racer Categories

The course for the 15 km race will follow these trails

Start at Pocaterra Hut and following Pocaterra, Lynx, Woolley, Meadow, (9 km water station), Amos, Lynx, Pocaterra to finish line at Pocaterra Hut.

view pdf

The course for the 24 km race will follow these trails

Start at Pocaterra Ski Hut. Ski Pocaterra, Lynx, Woolley, Meadow (9 km water station), Wheeler, Lakeside (13 km feeding station above Boulton Parking), Packers and Pocaterra to the finish line at Pocaterra Hut.

view pdf

The course for the 42 km race will follow these trails

Start at Pocaterra Hut. Follow the 24 km course to Boulton Parking lot feeding station. Then ski Whiskey Jack, Tyrwhitt, (Elk Pass feeding station at 23 km), Elk Pass, Fox Creek, Moraine (Boulton feeding station at 32 km), Packers, and Pocaterra to the finish line at Pocaterra Hut.

view pdf

There is an elevation gain of about 300 meters from Pocaterra to Elk Pass, the high point of the 42 km course, located on the Continental Divide. The longest climb on the 42 km course is 280 meters on Whiskey Jack trail (km 13-17.3). The highest point on the 24 km course is about 190 meters higher than Pocaterra, and the longest climb is 130 meters on Packers trail (km 13-16.1).

Note: if trail conditions are unsafe, changes to the routes or the start area may be required.

Feeding Stations

The CUT-OFF TIME for skiers leaving Boulton (13km) feeding station on the outbound leg of both the 24 km and 42 km races will be 12:00. The CUT-OFF TIME for skiers leaving Boulton feeding station on the finish leg of the 42 km race will be 14:00. Any skiers arriving at Boulton after the cut-off times will be asked to discontinue racing. A shuttle van will be provided at Boulton for those who discontinue skiing, to transport them back to Pocaterra.

Volunteer Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Cookie Race (a.k.a. the Kananaskis Ski Marathon)! The Cookie Race requires more than 150 volunteers. It's only thanks to people like you that hundreds of participants can enjoy this wonderful event every year.

Extra Race Day Info for Volunteers

2014 Volunteer Coordinator: Mary Jane Espey

Event Date: Saturday, February 28, 2015

Volunteers are needed Friday, Saturday and Sunday (on Sunday we just a need a work party of about 3-5 people to wash the soup vats)

Below is a list of the Chiefs, a brief description of what it is like to work in each area, and a link to each of the Chiefs' volunteer sign up sheet. The sign up sheets allow you to see exact time commitments and where we still need help. Please note, many people volunteer for more than one job. It is also possible to race and volunteer (volunteer on Friday, or stay after the race to help with disassembly and loading the equipment).

Volunteer Jobs fall into 8 Categories:

Race Office: Bib/Transponder Handout (Saturday) (Chief: Tom Lambert)
Race Office: Bib/Transponder Handout Sign Up
  • When: Saturday morning
  • Where: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Race Site
  • What: Hand out bibs and transponder timing chips to racers on Saturday morning.
Course Crew (Friday, Saturday) (Chief: Dave Gammie)
Course Crew Sign Up
  • When: Friday and Saturday
  • Where: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Race Site
  • What: Course crew volunteers pre-ski the course, setting up flagging and placing signs and markers. At the end of the day, course crew volunteers ski the course, looking for stragglers, signs and flagging. Must be fit enough to ski the course quickly while carrying equipment in a backpack.
Stadium Crew (Friday and/or Saturday) (Chief: Kenji Yakamoto)
Stadium Crew Sign Up
  • When: Friday and Saturday
  • Where: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Race Site
  • What: Physical work outside work. Help set up the stadium, all the tents and fencing on the Friday, put the final touches on the stadium Saturday morning, then tear it all down and load it up Saturday afternoon. On Saturday, Stadium Marshals guide racers and spectators into their respective areas from the parking lot. This is the perfect area for people who want to race and volunteer!
Race Office: Timing (Saturday) (Chiefs: Tim Harris)
Race Office: Timing Sign Up
  • When: Saturday
  • Where: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Race Site
  • What: Answer general inquires at the race office on Saturday, or be right in the action at the finish line! We're timing with transponders this year to simplify the timing experience, on-site training provided.
Course Control (Saturday)Controller (Chief: Kevin McLean)
Course Control Sign Up
Extra Info for this Critical Job
  • When: Saturday
  • Where: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Race Site
  • What: Controllers take position at control points on the course in order to track skiers as they progress around the course and ensure no one goes missing. This is an outside job that requires warm boots, warm clothes and a thermos of hot chocolate.
Refreshments (Saturday) (Chief: Rosie Hickey)
Refreshment Sign Up
  • When: Saturday
  • Where: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Race Site
  • What: Volunteer either in the soup and cookie tents, where happy and grateful skiers and volunteers congregate, or at one of the three feed stations out on the course. The soup tents are warm and cozy, the refreshments stations are definitely a focal point of fun on the race course.
Storage Locker Load & Unload (Friday, Saturday)
Storage Locker Load & Unload Sign Up
  • When: Friday, Saturday
  • Where: Calgary and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Race Site
  • What: This is another perfect volunteer opportunity for those who wish to race. We need help loading the gear from the storage locker in Calgary onto the truck (Friday), driving the truck to PLPP and helping unload and setting up (Friday), reloading at the end of the race and then unloading again in Calgary (Saturday). Volunteers can choose to help on one or more of these days.
Jackrabbit Races (Saturday) (Chief: Reid Cummings)
Jackrabbit Races Sign Up
  • When: Saturday only
  • Where: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park Race Site
  • What: Help run the 1 km, 3 km and 5 km races for the kids.

Volunteer Information

Like all loppets, the Cookie Race relies on volunteers -- as many as 150 pitch in each year.  Many participants have expressed appreciation for our friendly, reliable volunteer officials.  We always welcome a few more volunteers for tasks before, during, and after the race.

Volunteer Check-In

On race morning, please check in at the tent adjacent to Pocaterra parking (there will be a sign).  We'll have any equipment you need, and will direct you if necessary.  Anyone bringing cookies may drop them in the main soup tent.

Ski Trails Still Open To The Public

If members of the public approach you wanting to ski where the trail is used for the race course, you should warn them politely that the trails may be congested in certain areas, but tell them that none of the trails are closed. Advise the public to go to the Visitor Information Centre for advice about where to ski.

Quitting Racers

If any competitor drops out of the race, please request their bib and transpoder (the timing chip on their leg!) and hand in them in at the timing shack. If you can't get their bib, please make a note of the bib number and let Timing know, by radio if possible. We make every reasonable effort to account for every competitor at the end of the day and we need to retrieve all the transponders.


Safety is a prime concern -- safety of volunteers, competitors, and the public. Please be sure to dress warmly, especially with boots, and bring adequate food and drink. Any volunteers shoveling snow on roads or directing traffic must wear the fluorescent vests provided. Be aware of the effects of cold and fatigue on yourself, your colleagues, and competitors. Especially in cold weather, monitor others as much as you can for frostbite or hypothermia. Blankets and warm beverages will be available at Boulton feeding station and at Pocaterra. At Elk Pass feeding station, the Park rangers usually station a rescue snowmobile and toboggan. The Ski Patrol and senior race officials have the authority to pull a competitor who appears unable to finish, off the course. There are cut-off times at Boulton feeding station to eliminate very slow racers who might have difficulty finishing. A vehicle shuttle is available at Boulton to carry people back to Pocaterra. All race courses are swept by course closers. The Jackrabbit races have extra course controllers to prevent kids from getting off their course.

First Aid Etc.

We operate the race with the cooperation and supervision of PLPP (K-Country) conservation officer. Our Club has a formal agreement with them. They are especially concerned with safety matters, and have responsibility for any rescues or evacuations. The Ski Patrol assists with first aid on the course. PLPP stipulate that no commercial signage or activity be carried out in the Park, so our sponsors' banners are confined to specific places. Of course since we are in a Provincial Park we are especially careful to pick up all signage and litter at the end of the race.

Radio Locations

The Calgary Amateur Radio Club provides VHF radio assistance as follows:

Course Flagging


View Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in a larger map

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