More than 500 skiing pirates from grades one to eight descended on Larch Hills for the twelfth annual Pirate Loppet last Friday.
Donning eye patches, tri-cornered hats, and even the odd stuffed parrot, the skiers cumulatively logged over 2,000 kilometres along the two kilometre and five kilometre courses.
Nineteen different schools from Armstrong to Revelstoke and Enderby to Sorrento were represented.
Grindrod Elementary took home the coveted Pirate Loppet Flag for having the most skiers per school population. The goal of this non-competitive event is to encourage cross-country skiing as a fun, active and social experience, and appeal to a wide range of ages and skiing abilities.
Throughout January, over 40 Larch Hills ski club volunteers hosted local school children, introducing them to the trails and preparing them for the Pirate Loppet.
These sessions enabled the young skiers to develop their skills and gain confidence in this lifetime sport.
The event was made possible by incredible support from the community. School District #83 Director of Instruction Morag Asquith acted as official starter along with Monashee Mountain Man Mike Evans and his black powder rifle.
Funds raised through the Pirate Loppet are given back to schools in the form of a grant to purchase cross-country ski equipment. Over the past five years, $10,000 has been granted.