Elementary Schools “Pirate Loppet”

Pirate Loppet Start LinePirate Loppet Skiers

Ian Clay photos – Click to Open


Friday, January 31, 2020

Registration starts: 9:30 a.m.

Loppet starts: 10:30 a.m.

5K, 2K and 1K routes

“PIRATES” – Participants, teachers, chaperones are encouraged to dress in Pirate theme in ski-friendly clothes.

AHOY MATEYS! – watch the Larch Hills Pirate Loppet in action on YouTube here (3’19”) 

Many draw prizes are awarded!! A school superintendent’s TROPHY is awarded to the school with the largest representation, based proportionately on the total student enrolment in the school.

Hot Dogs and Hot Beverages will be served to young skiers and event volunteers – hosted by an awesome group of Shuswap Lady Striders at the chalet. Hot Dogs and Hot Beverages will be available to others by donation. Your donation goes to “Skis for Schools” grants to SD#83 elementary school classes to purchase X-C ski equipment.

Class Photos:
An area will be identified for classes to gather for photos before and after the 10:30 a.m start time. Photos will be distributed digitally to Teachers through the SD83 Office after the Pirate Loppet.

Rental Equipment:
There’s limited inventory of rental equipment available at local ski stores. Book rentals early!

“Skis for Schools”:
Over the past nine years since 2011 proceeds from the School Pirate Loppet have been presented to fourteen School District #83 Elementary Schools: Armstrong, Bastion, Carlin, Grindrod, Highland Park, Hillcrest, North Canoe, Parkview, Ranchero, Salmon Arm West, Silver Creek, Sorrento, S. Broadview and South Canoe. Each School has purchased X-C Ski equipment. In 2019 South Canoe Elementary will receive $3000, Grindrod Elementary will receive $2000, Ranchero Elementary will receive $1500 and Salmon Arm West Elementary will receive $1000.

A total of $31,200 has been distributed to local schools by the Pirate Loppet host committee based on the $5 per student registration fee and generous donations from:

  • Askew’s Foods
  • CSRD – Shuswap Tourism
  • Hub International Insurance Brokers
  • Hudson Dental Clinic
  • Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union
  • School District #83
  • Shuswap Community Foundation
    Some School PAC Groups have matched “Skis for Schools” grants.

The Larch Hills Nordics School Pirate Loppet Host Committee plans to continue with this “Skis for Schools” initiative since local X-C ski rental equipment is limited.

Registration Details:
This event is officially for grade 3 to 7.  Grades 1 and 2 students can register if accompanied by, and under the care of their parents.  Registration fee is $5.00 per student. Parents are welcome to participate (unregistered) with their children at no added cost.

Pirate Loppet Poster

2019 Pirate Loppet Sponsors:

Argo Road Maintenance, Askew’s Foods, Boston Pizza, H2O4U, Hub International Insurance, Hudson Dental Clinic, LA Sign, North Okanagan – Shuswap School District #83, Shuswap Lady Striders, Shuswap Tourism, Skookum Cycle & Ski, Stella-Jones Canada, Tim Hortons, Toliver Advertising & Design Inc., Vella Radio Links – Thank You!

Each School is Responsible for:

  • Promoting the event,
    • Registering the students on the registration log, collecting the nominal registration fee of $5.00 from each student
    • Processing the registration per instructions in the registration package which is sent to the schools on the first week of school in January.
  • Completing the school board waiver forms in accordance with school policy
  • Assigning chaperones in accordance with school board activities policies
    • Arranging student transportation to and from the event for students to arrive at Larch Hills Parking Lot February 1, 2019 by 9:30 am and depart by 1:30 pm.
  • It is the responsibility of the teachers accompanying school groups to monitor and keep track of the students from their schools and ensure that they are brought back to the school at the conclusion of the event.

Ski Ability:
Participants MUST be able to control their speed on the occasional down hill sections with a strong snow plough or wedge.

There is one 450 meter long down hill section with average 6.5% grade on Larch Hills Road between Gullan’s Gulley and Stig’s Loop on the 5K route.

Snow Plough Technique (2 min. 45 sec.)

Herring Bone Technique (36 sec. and 24 sec.)

A reminder: since the Jan. 2017 Pirate Loppet a new 2K and a 1K route for younger and less experienced skiers was introduced – mostly flat & rolling. This will continue for the Feb. 1, 2019 Pirate Loppet.

Schools Ski Host Program:
Bookings will close for the January 2020 Ski Host Program on December 1st 2019.    Last January over 480 students registered for fun on skis and over 40 LHNS Volunteers hosted the event ! 
During the four weeks of January, prior to the January 31, 2020 Pirate Loppet, Larch Hills Nordic Society member volunteers provide an opportunity for students and teachers to gain familiarity with the trails through a Ski Host program. The ratio has normally been about 7 – 10 students per Ski Host.  There’s no charge. We like to see kids enjoy the Larch Hills trails and X-C skiing!  Read more about the School Ski Host program here.

Schools Information Sheet for Pirate Loppet  – Feb. 1, 2019 – posted November 27, 2018

Do You Have Any Questions? Please Call or Email:

Larch Hills Elementary School Pirate Loppet’s co-Captains:
Megan Weir,  and Genevieve Duclos,        

Elementary Schools – Larch Hills Nordics Ski Host Program Coordinator:
Karin Huster, 250-832-9959,

2019 Pirate Loppet Event Host Committee: Megan Weir, Genevieve Duclos, Susan Rothlisberger & the Shuswap Lady Striders, Jeremy Ayotte, Karin Huster, Megan Moore, Pat Danforth, Pat & Christine Hutchins, Tom Peasgood, George Zorn

The first Larch Hills Pirate Loppet was held January 21, 2005 with 125 students participating.

Thanks to ‘Captain’ Brian Smith for leading the event 2005 – 2015 and to ‘Captain’ Chris McMahen for leading the event 2016, 2017 and 2018!  

Event Photos:

Own the Moment Photography 2018 Pirate Loppet Photos (148) here.

Wendy Clay’s 2017 Pirate Loppet Photos here.

Ian Clay’s 2017 Pirate Loppet Photos here.

Jim Hoskins’ 2017 Pirate Loppet Photos here.

Ian James’ 2012 Pirate Loppet Photos here.