Up to 200 cross-country skiers are expected to converge on the Snow Farm in the Cardrona Valley tomorrow for the annual Merino Muster.
The cross-country ski races cater for all levels, with the 42km Merino Muster attracting world- class athletes, the 21km Snow Rake aimed at novice to intermediate skiers, and the 7km Straggle Muster, which organisers say is perfect for beginners. There is also a Mini Muster for those aged under 10.
The Merino Muster attracts cross-country skiers from throughout the world, with previous winners hailing from Slovenia, Japan, Finland, Russia, Norway, Australia, Britain and the United States.
It is held annually on the third Saturday in August, a week before Australia's World Loppet race, the Kangaroo Hoppet. An application has been lodged for the Merino Muster to become an associate member if the renowned World Loppet series.
Established nearly 20 years ago by Cardrona's pioneering Lee family, the Merino Muster celebrates the stockmen who, at the start of every winter, regardless of the conditions, would bring the stock down off the high country.
Entries in the races are accepted on the day.
- © Fairfax NZ News