It wasn’t the Bikini Birkie …

That was in 1981. There was just enough snow left in Cable to have a race that year on Birkie day, although barely. What happened then? There was snow, but then it was warm. It rained. They considered moving the race to Ironwood. But Telemark had snow (it once was home to the largest snowmaking installation in the country, in 1961). Eventually something was cobbled together.

Friday (February 20) the elite race went out at 7 a.m., before the temperature got too high on a 6 kilometer course for eight laps (only 30 finished). International tour groups and Americans from afar went out at noon for 7 laps as temperatures reached into the 60s; 74 crossed this line. By Saturday, the snow was down to 1.83 kilometers, a few dozen skiers went around this course 23 or 12 times to finish their Birkie or Korte. (Results here.)

Then a colder snap brought snow, and a few weeks later, everyone else got to ski the race.

2024 worked out better, I think we can all agree. And if it snows next week (fat chance) you know the Birkie will get out and groom the trail.

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