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Is this YOUR YEAR to ski the Kortelopet?

Have you longed to challenge yourself in a brand new way? Set your sights on Korte 2021 and you’ll have something positive to train for, look forward to, be a part of, plan for.  It will be a 2021 Kortelopet experience to remember!  #BirkieStrongerTogether

Kortelopet skiers will experience a great race course, a memorable finish line, and the recognition you deserve for skiing an amazing 29 kilometer race!  Imagine skiing up and over the iconic International Bridge to the sounds of ringing cowbells and cheering crowds as you ski toward the finish line on the snow-covered Main Street of Hayward, Wisconsin.  Now, families and friends who have skiers participating in the Birkie, Korte and Prince Haakon have the opportunity to cheer each other on during their respective races.  Spectators will also enjoy the celebratory, festival-like atmosphere, food, and music in downtown Hayward.  We hope to see you in 2021!

The Kortelopet:

  • Spans 29 kilometers from the OO Trailhead to Downtown Hayward
  • Attracts 3,000 skiers who want the challenge and excitement of a shorter-distance race


During these times of uncertainty, we remain committed to providing inspiring opportunities to promote a healthy active lifestyle and wellness events for all. We don’t have all of the answers today, however, we promise you this: 

  • The 2021 Birkie, Korte, and Prince Haakon will happen, they may just look differently than they traditionally do.
  • You’ll receive your race bib, your participant SWAG, and if you complete the 2021 event that you are registered for (even if unconventional), you’ll get credit for skiing your race.
  • We will take every safety precaution and measure to ensure the safety of our participants, volunteers, spectators, and staff.
  • For skiers with travel barriers, who are immunocompromised, or are simply uncomfortable traveling to NW Wisconsin for their race, we have introduced a virtual option for the 2021 Kortelopet.  Simply select “virtual” during registration.  You’ll get your race bib, your hat, and if you complete your race (on skis or rollerskis from wherever you are), you’ll get credit and earn your pin.  Additional details coming soon.
  • See the Event Update page for information as it is developed.

2021 Kortelopet – Friday, February 26, 2021

Tier Entry Fee Tier Status & Registration



ALL U20 Skiers

Tier 1


Tier 1 First 3000 American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet & Prince Haakon Skiers – Closed 5/5/20

Tier 2


Tier 2 - American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, Prince Haakon Skiers - Closed 7/17/20

Tier 3


Tier 3 - American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, Prince Haakon Skiers

Tier 4


Tier 4 will open after Tier 3 is full

Korte Skate Waves

Korte Classic Waves

All participants must be 13 years of age or older on race day to register for the Kortelopet.

Please register under the same name (exact spelling) every year in order to keep track of your previous race finishes.  If you are unsure of the name you have previously registered under, please call the Birkie office at 715-634-5025 or email

Virtual Event Option

For skiers that aren’t able to travel to Hayward/Cable, or skiers that don’t feel comfortable traveling in February of 2021, we are offering a virtual event for the American Birkebeiner, Kortelopet, and Prince Haakon.  Register for your event now and choose to participate virtually.  You’ll receive your bib and participant hat in the mail so you can wear your bib on race day.  Complete your event on skis or rollerskis on the event day and within the event time limit, track your race using a GPS based app or have a reliable eyewitness verify your results.  Submit your results and you will receive credit for the race and your finish pin.  More details and specifics will be announced early this winter.  Participants already registered will be able to change to the virtual option this winter.

Protect Your Registration!

Get reimbursed up to 100% on your registration if you can’t compete for a number of reasons.  Next Wave Insurance offers Regsaver so you can insure your non-refundable registration fee in the case injury, illness, or another covered peril occurs.* Please see policy for complete list of covered perils at Limitations and exclusions apply. Next Wave Insurance, CA License #: OF00755.

Regsaver - An AIG insurance policy to cover your registration fees - Learn More

Learn More About RegSaver Registration Protection!

Entry Scholarship for Wisconsin Student Athletes

Middle school or high school students who are on a ski team in Wisconsin and have not previously skied a Kortelopet may be eligible for a free race entry provided by the Wisconsin Nordic Network. Contact your school team coach to apply. The Korte Scholarship is made possible by donations, contact WINN to donate and send a kid to the Korte!

2021 Birkie Gear BagAvailable During Race Registration Only!

It’s Back for 2021!  Everywhere we looked during Birkie week 2020, we witnessed skiers using their awesome reusable Birkie gear bags!  This year, as part of our ongoing Birkie Green initiative we’ve designed an all new custom Birkie gear bag with SWIX!  The reusable Birkie gear bag is available for $47 and only during registration for the Birkie, Korte, Prince Haakon and Fat Bike Birkie.  Through your support, over 10,000 Birkie gear bags are now in use, keeping thousands upon thousands of plastic bags out of landfills. Thank you for your support of Birkie Green
*New for 2021, check out the Junior Birkie gear bag, also from Swix! See details here.

Birkie Gear Bag

Birkie GreenAs part of 2021 race registration, ABSF members will automatically receive a copy of the 2021 Birch Scroll® magazine. If you are not a member and would like to join the ABSF or would like to purchase a copy of the 2021 Birch Scroll results issue, you may pre-order a copy during your race registration process. As part of ongoing Birkie Green initiatives, all registered participants will receive a digital copy of the 2021 Birch Scroll magazine.

Skiløper - New Kortelopet Recognition Program

Like Birkie skiers, Kortelopet skiers are a dedicated bunch!  In honor of a Korte skier’s determination and dedication, there is a well-deserved recognition program!  Skiløper, Norwegian for “skier” (pronounced “Shē-lōp-păh”), began in 2019 and recognizes Kortelopet skiers who reach the milestones of 10, 20, and 30-years.  In addition to the current recognition which includes a Kortelopet 10-year plaque and a finisher pin, Skiløper skiers receive a unique bib and deservedly a little swagger for earning it!  Here’s how it works:

  • Skiers are recognized at 10, 20 and 30 years for their Kortelopet accomplishments!
    • Skiløper – Ti (Pronounced “tee” means Ten )
      • Unique bib for 10-19 years
      • Listed in the results of the Birch Scroll as a Skiløper – Ti
    • Skiløper -Tjue (Pronounced “tu-a” means Twenty)
      • Unique bib for 20-29 years
      • Listed in the results of the Birch Scroll as a Skiløper – Tjue
    • Skiløper – Tretti (Pronounced “tre-tee” means thirty)
      • Unique bib for 30+ years
      • Listed in the results of the Birch Scroll as a Skiløper – Tretti

If you’ve skied 10 or more Kortelopet races, you’ll automatically receive a bib for the next year for your overall Korte accomplishments as a Skiløper (Ti, Tjue, or Tretti!).

Congratulations Skiløper – You’ve Earned it!

Wave Placement

The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation utilizes a seeded start structure for four of its events:  Birkebeiner Skate, Birkebeiner Classic, Kortelopet Skate, and Kortelopet Classic.  Participants are seeded into start waves based on their race history.  The first priority for wave placement is your best result from 2018 – 2020 Korte events for the same event for which you are registering- distance and technique (see the Wave Seeding Criteria tables below).

If you do not have a finish time for that specific event (same distance & technique) from 2018 -2020, but do have a finish time from any of the other distances/techniques, you will be placed in a wave based on the best finish result from that event, plus or minus an adjustment factor which accounts for the historical difference in the strength of competition between the races (see the Event Adjustment Factor table below).  If you have participated in multiple Birkie events in 2018-2020, wave placement criteria will use results from the similar distance race, then from a similar technique.

Participants who do not have a Korte event finish time from those years will be placed in the last wave.  The goal of wave placement is to place participants of similar abilities together to minimize passing and encourage a smooth flowing race.

The Korte has three special waves- Elite, U20 and Wave 70, for younger and older skiers. See the details for these waves below.

Kortelopet Elite Waves

The Kortelopet Skate and Classic races each have an elite wave. The Kortelopet Skate Elite Wave is comprised of the top 100 men and 50 women from the 2020 Kortelopet Skate Race only; Kortelopet Classic Elite Wave is top 40 men and 20 women from the 2020 Kortelopet Classic only.  Participants qualifying for a Korte Elite Wave will automatically be placed in the Elite Wave wave upon registering. Skiers qualifying for the Elite Wave may register for the race until January 26, 2021.  Elite Wave qualifiers that skied a different technique or did not participate in the 2020 Kortelopet will not be placed in the elite wave, but may request to be put on the Elite Waitlist. Athletes racing a different technique in 2021 or elite athletes new to the Kortelopet must request to be placed on the Elite Wave Waitlist by emailing  Emails should include a race resume or qualifications.

Elite Wave registrations & Elite Waitlist requests close on January 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm CST. Open positions in the Elite Wave will be filled from the waitlist after January 26, 2021.

Kortelopet Skate Wave Seeding Criteria

Korte Skate2020 Finish Time2020 PBE2019 Finish Time2019 PBE2018 Finish Time2018 PBE
Wave 1Up to 1:55:28Up to 50.5%Up to 2:03:43Up to 58.5%Up to 2:23:16Up to 72.5%
Wave 21:55:29 to 2:06:1250.5% to 64.5%2:03:44 to 2:19:2058.5% to 78.5%2:23:17 to 2:43:1272.5% to 96.5%
Wave 32:06:13 to 2:18:2964.5% to 80.5%2:19:21 to 2:38:0478.5% to 102.5%2:43:13 to 3:04:4896.5% to 122.5%
Wave 42:18:30 and Up80.5% and Up2:38:05 and Up102.5% and Up3:04:49 and Up122.5% and Up

Korte Classic Wave Seeding Criteria

Korte Classic2020 Finish Time2020 PBE2019 Finish Time2019 PBE2018 Finish Time2018 PBE
Wave 1Up To 2:38:00
Up to 94.5%
Up to 2:47:36Up to 95.5%Up to 3:07:27Up to 95.5%
Wave 22:38:01 to 3:13:4494.5% to 138.5%
2:47:37 to 3:26:1195.5% to 140.5%3:07:28 to 3:50:3695.5% to 140.5%
Wave 33:13:45 and Up138.5% and Up3:26:12 and Up140.5% and Up3:50:37 and Up140.5% and Up

Event Adjustment Factors

Event You are Registering For in 2021Using Previous Birkie Skate ResultUsing Previous Birkie Classic ResultUsing Previous Korte Skate ResultUsing Previous Korte Classic ResultUsing Previous Prince Haakon Result
Birkie Skate0+ 8 %+ 15 %+ 15 %Wave 7
Birkie Classic- 8 %0+ 8%+ 8 %Wave 5
Korte Skate- 15 %- 7 %00Wave 4
Korte Classic- 15 %- 7 %00Wave 3

U20 Wave for Junior Racers

If you are a skier born between January 1, 2001 and February 25, 2008 you will be assigned to start the Kortelopet in the U20 Classic or U20 Skate Waves.   If you are placed in the U20 and are a top skier, please see details in the “Kortelopet Elite Waves” section above for requesting placement in the Elite Wave.

The U20 wave is timed using a gun start– all U20 skiers will receive the same start time in their respective wave.  Official time of U20 skiers that start late will still reflect the U20 gun time.  If you are a junior skier and do not want to ski in the U20 wave contact and you will be placed in a wave based on the normal seeding process and your time will start when you cross the start line. U20 skiers not starting in the U20 wave will not be eligible for overall or age group awards.

Wave 70

Cross country skiing is a lifestyle sport that allows people to stay active and healthy into their later years. Each year the Kortelopet provides an opportunity to celebrate this for over one hundred skiers over the age of seventy! We recognize these skiers with a special bib and special wave.

Event/Technique Change Request

Participants may request to change from the Korte to the Birkie or Prince Haakon and/or change technique between Skate and Classic at any time until 4:00pm CST on January 19, 2021.  Wave placement is subject to availability at time of request. If the wave that you qualify for is full, you will be assigned to the next wave with space available. (Participants may no longer transfer from the Korte to the Birkie once the Birkie is full.)  A change fee of $25 will be applied. You will receive an updated e-mail confirmation reflecting the change once the change has been made. If you do NOT receive an updated e-mail confirmation within 10 business days, contact

Click here to request an Event/Technique change.

Wave Upgrade Request

Participants may utilize their result from the list of qualifier competitions to improve on their placement from the above criteria. Similar to the comparison between the American Birkebeiner events, the results of the qualifiers will be adjusted based on the strength of competition, distance, and course elevation profile.

Click here to make a wave upgrade request by 4:00pm CST on January 19, 2021. All requests will be charged a $15 service fee, whether a wave upgrade is granted or not. Wave upgrades are subject to availability, if the wave that you qualify for is full, you will be assigned to the next wave with space available. You will receive an updated wave placement email confirmation if an upgrade has been made. If you do NOT receive an updated e-mail confirmation within 10 business days, contact

You may request to use a race result from the list of qualifier competitions to improve your wave placement. Follow these steps to see if you are eligible for an upgrade:

  1. Determine your percent back in the qualifier race. Take the Difference in time between You and the Winner. Divide that by the Winner’s time. (Example: your time is 2:36, winning time is 2:00; Difference =36 minutes/2 hours = 0.3 x 100 = 30% back)
  2. Determine your Percent Back Equivalency (PBE). Add the qualifier race’s Adjustment Factor, which is found on the Qualifier List. PBE = Your % Back + Adjustment Factor (Example your 30% back + 57% Adjustment Factor = 87% Back Equivalency.)
  3. Determine where your Percent Back Equivalency (PBE) would place you. Look up your PBE in the 2020 column of the Wave Seeding Table of the race for which you are registered. (Example: A PBE of 87% will place you in Wave 5 for Birkie Skate or Wave 2 for Birkie Classic or Wave 3 Korte Skate or Wave 1 Korte Classic)

Request an upgrade only if your PBE will place you in a lower wave.  Make sure you have completed steps 1-3 before submitting your request as there are no refunds.

Race Policies

The race is run according to the rules and regulations of the FIS and any special requirements stated in the entry form, Birch Scroll, this web site, and participant race instructions. Offenses against any of these rules may lead to disqualification for current or future events and the forfeiture of any and all awards.

All participants in the Birkebeiner must be 18 years of age by February 27, 2021. Kortelopet skiers must be 13 years of age by February 26, 2021. There are no refunds allowed for any reason including race cancellation. Entry fees are non-transferable between individuals or to future races.

Participants who complete an event for which they are not registered (for example – ski the skate course when they registered for classic) will be credited for completing the race but will not be given a finish time, will not be eligible for awards and will not be included in the official results.

Clothing Bag Procedures: policies for using the clothing transport from the start to the finish

Participant Rules.

NEW! Trash Penalty. 

A trash penalty is now in place for all Birkie events.  Any participant, ocach, or support crew caught throwing waste on the trail or into the woods between aid stations could be assessed a 15 minute penalty. There will be “Last Chance” garbage disposal areas as you leave aid stations at all 2021 races.  Violators should be reported by bib number via email at or to a volunteer at the next aid station.  Read more in the Participant rules above.

Cut-Off Times

Cut-off times for races must be strictly followed for the safety of participants and volunteers.  Participants not following guidance from Medical Staff and Race Chiefs will risk penalty and possible ineligibility for future Birkie Events.

TimeLocationKilometer from Start
1:30 pmGravel Pit Aid Station9 KM
2:30 pmMosquito Brook Aid Station15 KM
3:35 pmHatchery Park Aid Station21 KM
5:00 pmFinish Line29 KM

Course Information

Korte Elevation Profile

Korte/Prince Haakon Course MapClick the image above for PDF map.


Kortelopet Skate and Classic Overall Awards

The top three male and female finishers across the line in both skate and classic will be recognized at the Kortelopet Award Ceremony in the Celebration Plaza in Hayward at 12:45 pm on Friday.

Wave Winner Awards

Top male and female Korte skiers in each wave: Skate & Classic Waves 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, U20, Wave 70.  On race day, check Korte “Wave Winners” results online, then go directly to the Clif Lodge on the corner of Main Street by the Birkie Bridge (hours: Friday – 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Saturday – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) to claim your award.

Finisher Recognition

Skiers finishing their first Kortelopet will receive a medal at the Finish.

Skiers who have completed more than one Kortelopet will receive a pin indicating the number of Kortelopets they have finished.

Age Class Awards

Age class awards will be awarded to the top three males and females, in both the freestyle and classic races, in each of the following age classes. Awards are based on the participants net time (finish arrival time minus start time).

13-14, 15-16, 17-18, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, and 85-89.

10 Year Recognition

Kortelopet Skiers who finish their 10th race will be rewarded with a personalized commemorative plaque.



Worldloppet is an international association of long distance ski races, created in 1979 from the inspiration of American Birkebeiner creator, Tony Wise. The Birkie is among the nine races that comprised the founding events, which have grown to over 20 races on five continents.

Worldloppet Ambassadors

There are many Birkie Skiers who have experience traveling to races around the globe. If you are interested in a particular race or just about the Worldloppet in general, we can connect you with someone who can share their experience with you and help to plan a trip. Click Here to submit an inquiry.

Worldloppet Passports

Tens of thousands of skiers around the world record their Worldloppet race finishes in a special Passport. Finishers of the Kortelopet Skate or Classic can have their passport stamped for Worldmaster Silver credit or purchase a new passport to start their Worldloppet adventure.

Worldloppet passports may be purchased on-line by clicking HERE. If you have completed an American Birkebeiner or Kortelopet race in the past, you can request that a stamped passport be mailed to you at any time.  The cost of new passports are $35.

Worldloppet Breakfast

All are welcome to join Worldloppet Skiers, delegates from other Worldloppet Competitions, and honored guests at the Worldloppet Breakfast on Friday of Birkie Week.  More information and registration details coming for the 2021 event.

Lodging & Services


For lodging information, see our Lodging page.

Camp Birkie Childcare

First Lutheran Church has provided childcare for Birkie events on Friday and Saturday of Birkie week.  Stay tuned for 2021 plans!

For information on Camp Birkie, click here.







Skiers, whether elite or citizen, count on spectators to cheer them on as they set their sights on the finish line. Just when they think they’re fading, spectators provide an emotional lift that encourages them along their way. Catch Korte Fever!

Watch, cheer, and ring cowbells for skiers.

Join the celebration at the Peoples Bank Midwest Celebration Plaza on Main Street between 3rd and 4th Streets. The first finishers are welcomed with the ringing of the church bells as they come off of Lake Hayward on to Main Street at approximately 11:30 am. Good viewing is possible along the length of Main Street.

Parking is available at designated parking lots with shuttle service throughout the day. There is limited street parking within the downtown area, respect the parking direction signs and utilize the parking lots.

For skier and spectator safety, there are no pedestrian crossings on Main Street.  Please use the access under the International Bridge for travel to the other side of the street.

Wax Services

Check back soon to get this year’s wax recommendations from our sponsors — Swix, New Moon, Gear West, Start, and BNS.

Future Event Dates

Future Birkie Week Dates:

2022: February 24 – 26

2023: February 23 – 25