The Coureur des Bois (CdB) is the ultimate classic Nordic skiing adventure. It’s not a race, but a true winter challenge. The two day event takes place on a point to point course, groomed for classic Nordic skiing between Lachute and Gatineau Quebec, Canada. The total distance for the weekend covers 160 kilometers, with each day being approximately 80km and split into five sections. The Coureur des Bois has three sub-categories: bronze, silver and gold. Each level brings new requirements that add to the difficulty of the challenge – and ultimately the satisfaction of completing the level! All participants under the age of 18 (Junior CdB) must be accompanied by an adult Coureur des Bois.
Although the CdB is NOT a race, skiers who are attempting the full distance must complete the first four sections by 3:15 pm each day to be permitted to ski the final section that day. Skiers who do not make this cutoff cannot earn their CdB designation that year.
This is the first level of Couruer des Bois and must be successfully completed before attempting the Silver or Gold level. To become a “Coureur des Bois” and obtain your bronze level you must complete the entire 160 kilometers over the two day period. There are no requirements for carrying a backpack, nor where you spend the night (a comfortable hotel bed is always a good idea!)
Note: Once you have achieved this level, you may continue at this level of CdB or move on to attempt the Silver Level
This is the second level of the Coureur des Bois and can only be attempted after completing the Bronze CdB. A CdB Silver level is obtained by successfully completing the 10 sections of the trail while carrying a backpack weighing no less than 5 kilograms. Again, at this level there are no requirements as to where you spend the overnight.
Note: Once you have achieved this level, you may continue at this level of CdB, return to Bronze level or continue up to attempt the Gold Level
This is the final level of the Coureur des Bois and represents the ultimate winter performance challenge. At this level success means the participant has skied the entire 160km course in the two days while carrying a backpack (weighing no less than 5 kilograms) containing all the necessities for an overnight camping adventure, including food, sleeping bag clothing etc. The successful skier is required to spend the night in the famous Claude Belanger Gold Camp.
Note: Once you have achieved this level, return in future years to compete at the Bronze or Silver Level, or return to collect Gold Bars in a quest to have your name written in the CSM history books by obtaining a permanent bib number!