Buckwheat Ski Classic enters new era

Online registration begins for 26th annual race

Registrations are now being accepted for the 2012 Buckwheat Ski Classic, which will be held on the Log Cabin, B.C. course north of Skagway on Saturday, March 24.


The popular cross country ski race is turning a new chapter. During the 25th annual event in 2011, founder Buckwheat Donahue announced that it would be his last one as the main organizer. However, several Skagway and Yukon volunteers and businesspeople stepped up at the time and said they would find a way to keep the race going. In the fall, the non-profit Log Cabin Ski Society was formed.

“It is the mission of the Log Cabin Ski Society to preserve and maintain the Log Cabin, B.C. cross country ski trails for the enjoyment of skiers in our region, and to organize the annual Buckwheat Ski Classic for competitors of all abilities and ages, so that everyone will have a howlin’ good time,” reads the new non-profit society’s mission statement.

Donahue agreed to be president of the LCSS for the initial transition year. Other officers are Tim Bourcy, vice president; Jeff Brady, secretary; and Su Rappleye, treasurer. Katherine Nelson and Mike Korsmo also sit on the board.

Race entry fees have been increased for the first time in 25 years, but by only $5 to help pay for the new online registrations. Racers registering early, before the end of February, will still be able to pay the old entry fees, then they go up on March 1. There also is a late fee for anyone registering after March 20. Registration can now be done online at a new website: www.buckwheatskiclassic.com .

Traditional print registration forms and membership applications also will be available soon at the usual locations: The Mountain Shop in Skagway, Coast Mountain Sports, in Whitehorse, Lutak Lumber in Haines and Foggy Mountain Shop in Juneau. Those registration forms may be dropped off at the Skagway and Whitehorse locations by March 20 or mailed directly to Buckwheat Ski Classic, Box 636, Skagway, AK 99840.

The race itself is unchanged. Once again there will be 50 kilometer, 25K and 10K classic cross country ski races, as well as a 5K kids race. All races take place at Log Cabin on the South Klondike Highway, and there are pre-and post-race events in Skagway.

The trails at Log Cabin along the S. Klondike Highway are currently set for the 5K and 10K courses, as well as the kids 2K, thanks to LCSS trail crew volunteers. The longer 25K course should be ready by early March. Trail conditions are posted on the website.

The Buckwheat in 2009 was named one of the top 49 things to do in Alaska by the editors of Alaska magazine.

Getting there for the event:

FERRIES: One ferry is coming north to Skagway on Friday, March 23. The LeConte leaves Juneau at 7 a.m. with a stop in Haines and arrives in Skagway at 1:30 p.m. After the race, the LeConte sails south on Sunday, March 25 at 2:30 p.m. to Haines and Juneau To book space on these ferries, go directly to the state’s Alaska Marine Highway site at www.ferryalaska.com .

PASSPORTS: Skiers are also reminded of document requirements for crossing the U.S.-Canada border that went into effect in 2009. You must have a passport or passport card to cross the border. The border is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (8 a.m. to midnight Yukon time). For more info. contact Skagway Port of Entry at 907-983-2325.


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