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The legendary Yukon hair freezing contest is back

After some pandemic-induced cancellations,  the very unique and legendary annual Hair Freezing Contest at the Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs is back and officially underway.

The contest began in 2011 at the century-old hot springs near Whitehorse up in the Yukon with a prize of $100 given to the best frozen hairdo. It has grown exponentially, both in prize money and the number of contestants. Now, there is $10,000 in available prizes over five categories including Best Male, Best Female, Best Group, People’s Choice sponsored by Nongshim Noodles, and Most Creative sponsored by Air North. 

According to the official rules, entries will be accepted starting once the outside temperature reaches -20C and the contest will end on March 25, 2023.

The winner for each of the six categories will receive $2000.

The Takhini Hot Springs property has over 300 acres of wilderness to explore with hiking and biking trails for the summer and cross-country ski and snowshoe in the winter. After some good exercise, you can treat yourself to a relaxing soak in their hot springs as people have been doing in these very cold parts for more than a century.

To enter the contest, participants head to the Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs on a day when the temperature is below -20°C. Once their frozen hairstyle has been perfected, participants can ring the wireless doorbell to have their photo taken by Takhini Hot Pools staff, and then officially enter the contest before leaving.

“This year everything changed. We were contacted by two companies who wanted to sponsor the contest, so we called Mammoth (marketing agency) and asked for their help,” says Andrew Umbrich, owner and operator. “We installed a wireless doorbell outside so participants can let us know when their frozen hairstyle is ready to be photographed, and we added an iPad to the front desk for people to sign up and upload the photo they liked best.”

The contest has received approximately 240 entries to the website hairfreezingcontest.com, a figure that is more than double the number of entries received since the contest started in 2011. 

“It’s all due to two sponsors. We couldn’t have done it without them” says Umbrich.

In addition to being the wacky contest the world needs right now, Umbrich also uses the opportunity to give back to the local community. 

“For every entry into the contest five (5) packs of Nongshim’s instant noodles will be donated to the Whitehorse Food Bank and Tim Horton’s has agreed to donate a portion of each entry fee into the hot springs to The Outreach Van, managed by Blood Ties,” he says.

The contest ended on March 8, before the facility was closed due to COVID-19. 

Online voting is underway and all winners will be announced on April 1.

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