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Skiing full tilt, in full kilt, at Ski Wentworth

Staff writers
January 20, 2013 — Nova Scotia ski hill celebrates famed Scottish poet's birthday in splendid style

Skiers said the kilts actually helped against the wildchill.
Skiers said the kilts actually helped against the wildchill.

What better way to pay tribute to the legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns than by sporting a kilt as you hit the slopes?

Skiers at Ski Wentworth in Nova Scotia did just this weekend, donning Scotland's most famous attire as they sped down the hill.

"This had become a tradition for a group of friends," one kilted skier, Tim L'Esperance, said. "We come up and pay a little tribute to Robbie Burns and we enjoy a bit of a free ski if you wear a kilt."

There were also kilts available for rent, with all funds raised going to the Children's Wish Foundation. The tradition is 21 years old and, in all, around 250 would-be Scots took part this year.

"Gives people a chance to have some fun, celebrate New Scotland here in Nova Scotia, put on a kilt, have a little haggis and act silly for the day," Ski Wentworth's general manager, Leslie Wilson, said.

Maneuvering down the mountain can be a little difficult with a kilt, but some skiers said the extra layer helped them keep warm in the windchill.

"It's pretty surreal, especially the ones who've got the proper kilts and they're swishing all over the place, especially skiers and snowboarders are doing good with kilts swishing in the breeze, especially with the wind we have today," kilted skier Desiree Stockermans said.

And, most importantly, most who wore them had a great time as they dashed down the slopes full tilt, in full kilt.

Robert Burns (b. 1759, d. 1796) is widely regarded as Scotland's national poet. Among his works are the lyrics to popular New Year's song "Auld Land Syne."

With files from Nathan Coleman

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