100k Day

I’ve skied the Birkie 13 times, the 70k Marcialonga and plenty of other 50k races, and have thus logged more than 50k in a day dozens of times in my skiing career.

I’ve skied two Double Birkies (which come out to between 80 and 90k).

Only once have I skied 100k in a day. March 16, 2008. On—of course—the Birkie Trail.

Here is the report, from the Skinnyski archives:

Conditions: Beyond perfect.

It’s been an amazing year. I headed to the North End Cabin this morning for a ski. The trail was very well packed and turned, a bit icy but with great corduroy, and very, very fast. I skated to the powerlines, then all the way to OO on the classic trail, then back to the cabin on the Birkie Trail (38k). It was my first look at the classic trail and it is fantastic — perhaps laid out better than the Birkie trail, if that is at all possible. It’s intimate and narrow to the Korte split and then wide enough to encompass a race turned at OO should conditions necessitate. Most of the climbs are stride-able and the climb to high point is magnificent. With all the hills, a 53k race turned at OO will be far harder then the usual Birkie route.

I ate some food and took out my striding equipment. A bit of klister on the bases and I was off. Back up to High Point on the Birkie Trail, then down the Classic Trail (with a hill repeat southbound from 13 to 14k) all the way to the 1.5k marker where it intersects the World Cup (part of Telemark is groomed, some is not) and back about 1k on the Korte Trail. I was thinking of going in but the skiing was too good. I went back up the Classic Trail to the 14k marker on the Birkie Trail, then turned and took the Birkie Trail (absolutely flying down the frozen tracks north from High Point) back to the powerlines, turned up the Classic Trail and came in to the cabin (50k).

The tracks were deep and firm throughout. The sun baked a few sections of trail at times, but they stayed quite firm, and by evening they were freezing up. Klister worked like a charm with lots of kick and little drag. I wish I could wax this well for races! The base should hold for some time—I saw nary a thin spot.

Having racked up 88k I went to Cable for some grub and then down to OO for a bit more skiing (well, 12k to be exact). It was dusk and the lights were on, and the trail had frozen up nicely but had a good edge. The only trouble spots will be where people snowplowed on mushy hills and it has iced up, the rest has a good edge. I skated down to the 29k marker, went up the next hill, and then skated back, elated but sore to the bone. My first ever 100k day!

The Birkie Trail is so darned good that if I had done any less I’d be playing hooky from work tomorrow—a grand suggestion for any real skier. With some new snow forecast on WOJB I’ll probably be back next weekend. But I would doubt that it would ever get any better than today. Yet this season, I may be proven wrong.

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