Website last updated 23 November 2013.
Registration is now open at zone4.ca. Register now for early bird rates.
The Frostbite 45 is a 45 km, continuous foot or classic ski event on an ungroomed trail. Compete solo or as a team of up to five participants. There are 4 road-accessible check points along a well marked trail and racers are encouraged to cache food, gear and have a support crew on stand by. This is an event, not a race. We will allow ample time for everyone to finish safely.
The lake sections of the course will be marked with spruce boughs spaced between 100 to 150 meters. The track is not set for xc-skiers. Competitors are responsible for (1) staying on the course; (2) slowing down to pay attention to course markings or the absence of course markings; and (3) keeping track of their location on the map provided. In the event that a competitor does not see a mark for 100 meters and they are not on the obvious or logical course, they should immediately return to the last known marker to find the correct course. In general, course markings will be visible under normal lighting conditions. Abnormal conditions may include snow, fog, wind or any other condition that reduces visibility.
Volunteer registration: Form – Frostbite 45 Volunteer Registration
The Yellowknife Ski Club is a co-sponsor of the Frostbite 45. They have provided their Chalet for the event. This provides a heated building with parking, washrooms, waxing facilities, a starting stadium, and water. The event will start and finish at the Chalet. You may leave personal belongings at the building. If they need to be secured, please speak to one of our volunteers. Currently, we plan to have coffee and muffins available prior to the event start, and a hot meal ready for you on your return. There will be a mandatory briefing at the Ski Club on Friday, March 28, and check-in on Saturday starting at 09:00. The mass start for all participants (ski and foot) will be at 10:00. All participants must complete the course by 22:00.
The event route is approximately 45 km. The event will start and finish at the Yellowknife Ski Club. From the Ski Club trails, it will follow ungroomed snowmachine trails to Yellowknife Bay, Walsh Lake, Prosperous Lake, Hay Lake, back to Yellowknife Bay, and back to the Ski Club trails. You may do the event solo, or in a relay team of up to five participants. For the safety of our participants, we will be instituting cut-off times. The cut-off times will allow 12 hours to complete the event, or an average speed of 4 kmph. The checkpoints, approximate distances and cut-off times are as follows (exact distances will vary from year to year depending on winter road alignments):
- Yellowknife Ski Club chalet, start at 10:00
- Walsh Lake checkpoint, 13 km from start, cut-off time TBD
- Prosperous Lake checkpoint, 21 km from start, 8 km leg, cut-off time TBD
- Cassidy Point checkpoint, 29.5 km from start, 8.5 km leg, cut-off time TBD
- Detah Road checkpoint, 40.5 km from start, 11 km leg, cut-off TBD
- Yellowknife Ski Club chalet, 46.5 km from start, 6 km leg, finish TBD
The finish line will be open until all racers are in.
The course will be marked with branches in the snow. Race staff will make every effort to keep the course markers visible and in place, however it is possible that markers may be taken, buried, blown over, covered or otherwise made difficult or impossible to find. It is the responsibility of the competitors to pay attention to the markings and to make intelligent decisions when following the course. Competitors/teams removing or changing the location or direction of course markings will be immediately disqualified.
There will be six categories for this event:
- men’s solo ski
- men’s solo run/snowshoe
- women’s solo ski
- women’s solo run/snowshoe
- team ski
- team run/snowshoe
Teams can have from two to five members. Every person on a team must register through Zone 4 individually.
Snowshoe category participants MUST bring snowshoes, whether or not you use them. You may switch out team members at the four checkpoints, and ONLY at the checkpoints. We encourage mixed gender teams. All team members must participate in the same discipline (all ski or all snowshoe). All checkpoints are road accessible, and you are welcome to come out and cheer on your team!
Bib numbers will be provided to all participants, and we will be recording times at all checkpoints. Remember to make sure that checkpoint staff get your bib number, both for safety and timing reasons. If they don’t get your bib number, we may send search and rescue staff to look for you.
We will be be tracking the event, collecting times and bib numbers, and ensuring the trail is well marked and safe. Yellowknife Search and Rescue will also be on hand, should someone go missing.
All racers must check in at Yellowknife Ski Club before 9:30 am Saturday, 29 March. All racers must stop at each check point and register their bib number with the Checkpoint Managers. Failure to do so may result in your footing the bill for an expensive search and rescue effort. Checkpoints will supply water for racers. Additional goodies may be supplied by CP managers if they choose.
Cut-off times have been instituted for each checkpoint. The cut-off times will allow 12 hours to complete the event, at an average speed of 4 kmph.
To keep the event safe and fair, and to set a good example for anyone out skiing so far from town, we require that the following items be carried by all participants, throughout the entire event. There will be an equipment check prior to the event, and random checks throughout the event. Overlander Sports can help supply these items.
- Route map (provided by us)
- Thermos (1 litre at least)
- Fire starter (i.e., lighter or matches)
- Personal first aid kit (with blister supplies)
- Face cover
- Headlamp & spare batteries
- Red LED light for your backpack
- Emergency food of 1000 calories (about 4 granola bars)
- Knife or multi-tool
- Space blanket or bivvy bag
- Spare heavyweight toque
- Spare heavyweight mitts
- Spare heavyweight socks
- Appropriate clothing for the event!!
- Drinking cup (for water at checkpoints)
- Sunblock and lip balm
- Pocket heat packs
- Ski goggles
A note on food- for an event like this, you should be planning on eating at least 200 calories per hour, and drinking a litre every 2 or 3 hours. Ideally, bring food that is high in carbohydrates, such as granola bars or energy bars, and have your thermos filled with warm energy drink. The 1000 calories is certainly not enough to get you through the event, it is a bare minimum in case of emergency. You may have someone meet you at a checkpoint with extra food.
A note on clothing - Temperatures and wind in March are very unpredictable. Temperatures for this event have ranged from -5 to -40 Celsius. We suggest layered clothing, breathable fabrics, and protection from wind for your face and neck. There is a delicate balance between carrying enough clothing to be safe in case of emergency, and travelling light and not sweating. PLEASE train properly for this event, to try out your clothing at the pace you plan to travel. Changing clothes at checkpoints is fine with us, but you have to organize this yourself.
Registration and Volunteering
- Registration for the 2014 Frostbite 45 is now open at zone4.ca.
- Participants must be 19 years of age to register online. Athletes aged 16-18 will be considered on a case-by-case basis with permission from parents and coach.
- We will refund 50% of registration fee up to March 22. No refunds after March 22, 2014.
- If you would like to register as a volunteer, please complete the Form – Frostbite 45 Volunteer Registration and email it back to Frostbite045@gmail.com.
- There will be a MANDATORY briefing at the Ski Club on Friday, March 21 at 6 pm. All participants are expected to attend this briefing. Bibs will be distributed at this time, and not on race day.
Our Sponsors and Volunteers
We would like to thank a number of organizations that support this event:
- The Yellowknives Dene First Nation, for providing input on the course
- Arctic Response, for providing safety advice and volunteers
- Yellowknife Search and Rescue, checkpoints and volunteers
- Yellowknife Ski Club
- Yellowknife Trail Riders Snowmobile Club
- Yellowknife Amateur Radio Club
- Northern Communication & Navigation Systems Ltd
- Last but not least, the volunteers who make this happen
Is the course groomed?
No, grooming is for pansies. The course is not groomed (except for a few kilometres in the ski trails between the Chalet and Back Bay). This is a trail run/xc-ski/adventure event and not a loppett. There are actually 2 road crossings where racers will need to remove their skis and cross a double lane, paved road.
Is there a mandatory gear check?
Yes. There will be a gear check prior to the event, and random checks for relay team members at the staging points. A copy of the mandatory gear list is at Overlander Sports, and they can help to get you prepared.
Is there support?
Each staging point will have water. If you want food or a change of clothes, it is your responsibility to have someone drop these off for you at the checkpoint. All checkpoints will be road-accessible.
How do relay members get to a checkpoint?
There are currently no shuttle services to or from check points. Racers are responsible for getting to check points and are responsible for their own transportation back to town. Car pooling with other racers, volunteers or media is the best option.
Here are some reviews from past participants:
Read a blog posting from an enthusiastic participant