About the Guide

Back in 2010, I had a ski blog. I was the most prolific poster of trail reports on skinnyski.com and also posted the reports on the blog, along with race reports, weather (read: snowfall and snowmelt) speculation and other assorted tidbits (I gave out awards in 2010 which no one really cared about). And before the Birkie, I dashed off The Guide. I’d been surfing around the web looking for Birkie information (I had what many people call “Birkie Fever”) and hadn’t found much. It would be my fifth time skiing the race, and my umpteenth time skiing in the greater Cable-Hayward metropolis, but if I were one of the hundreds of people coming up to Birkieland for the first time, I realized I’d be lost.

So I jumped on a keyboard and furiously typed. A few thousand words later, I had a somewhat snarky but mostly informative—if rather barebones—list of things to know about the race. I went and skied, had a couple of beers on the lake, and came home and wrote about the race. And while I kept posting trail reports, I also spent a lot of time with the Birkie results, parsing all sorts of statistics from the 2010 version of the race. I figured that overly-analytical skiers like myself might like to know who finished in what wave where. The “statistics” part of this site is a direct outgrowth of that. When Ned Zuellsdorf, then the Supreme Leader and Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (SLED-ABSF) asked me to run the numbers again in 2011, I was glad to, but I asked for an excel file, because that was a lot easier than grabbing the data out of a PDF.

With all those charts, I didn’t want to try to handle things on a rickety home server. Plus, I was already paying for server space for another web project (TSAstatus.net, RIP) and registering birkieguide.com cost an extra $10. (BirkieFever.com is not in use, but it is owned by the Birkebeiner foundation. It was my first choice.) And since I had some time on my hands, I decided to mutate the guide in to a full-fledged website for the 2012 version of the race, update it every so often, and start a podcast. I hope that it will act as a resource, it will provide some modicum of useful information, or, at very least, it will at least make you chuckle.