The Canadian Ski Marathon: A Celebration of Canada's Winter
The Canadian Ski Marathon (CSM) is North America's longest and oldest Nordic ski tour. The CSM takes place during the second weekend in February on a trail that is only groomed once per year between Lachute and Gatineau, Québec. The trail winds through mostly privately owned land in the picturesque western Laurentian mountains. There is an over-night stop in Montebello, home of the famous Château Montebello, one of the largest log-built hotel in the world.
The CSM is a two-day, 160 kilometre ski event that is divided into 5 sections each day, with an average of 16 kms per section. Skiers of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate and can do so safely. There are feed stations, first aid and toilets available at the end of each section, as well as shuttle buses that run between accommodation and checkpoints throughout each day. The CSM alternates its direction each year, from east to west one year and then west to east the next.
Unlike most ski events, there are no winners or losers in the Canadian Ski Marathon: it is not a race. Tourers and families who ski less than the full distance make up about half the participants, (see CSM Categories). Each skier can select his/her own level of challenge and try to achieve it. One can ski as little as 12 km or up to the maximum of 160 km over the weekend.
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