No snow? No matter, Ski to Sea will still be an epic race

Living in the Northwest, we don’t let the weather get in our way. Our warmer winter may have posed some precipitation challenges for this year's Ski to Sea race in Bellingham, but it won’t stop participants from all over the globe from coming to our corner of the country for this world-famous relay race.

Since 1973, Ski to Sea has showcased the myriad recreational opportunities in Whatcom County, where the mountains truly meet the sea. This year, the first two traditionally snowy mountain legs will be replaced by drier pursuits – instead of the cross-country ski, an alpine run. The downhill ski will be swapped with an added mountain bike leg, tacked on to the end of the race. Although the course has undergone some altering, it’s still the ultimate challenge for competitors of all abilities.  

In just a few short days, teams of eight teammates will embark on the adventure, each tackling a physical challenge to finish their leg in the race. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect:

  1. Alpine Run: An uphill run from the Mt. Baker Ski Area Heather Meadows upper lodge, following the Pandora Dome at 5,000 feet of elevation until descending down the North Face back to the lodge.
  2. Downhill Run: An 8-mile course down Mt. Baker Highway.
  3. Road Bike: A 42-mile ride into Everson, Washington.
  4. Canoe: Teams of two paddle 18.5 miles down the North Fork of the Nooksack River.
  5. Cross Country Bike:  A 20-mile trail including some Northwest mud and scenic farmyard views.
  6. Sea Kayak: A 5-mile paddle through Bellingham Bay, ending at the finish line.
  7. Mountain Bike: A cruise through Fairhaven’s greenway trails and the Interurban Trail to Arroyo Park, continuing up the north side of Chuckanut Mountain.

The WALLY team will attend this year’s race, so be sure to come find us at the finish line party and celebrate with a free souvenir photo! We’ll see you there!

by  Christa VanWieringen

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