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2009 Canadian Ski Marathon - Attendance and Trail Conditions Update
By:  Bill Syrros   (2009/01/14)

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It is that time of year when we are seeing plenty of skiers training with backpacks in Gatineau Park and preparing for their upcoming Canadian Ski Marathon 160km journey from Lachute to Montebello to Buckingham. For many, this will be their 20th, 30th or even their first time. For the gold Coureur des Bois, they are trying to figure out what dinner will be at the gold camp and what clothes they will be wearing to stay nice and warm as they sleep overnight on their bale of straw.

We have been blessed again this year with excellent snow volume. Add the expected 20-30 cm of new snow in the next week or two and we'll once again be able to offer an awesome experience for both skiers attempting their Coureur des Bois and tourers ready to conquer a section or two. CSM trail people have been monitoring various sections of the trail and they are very confident that we'll have similar conditions as last year - solid snow base and plenty of snow along the side of the trail in case of mishaps. This year also marks the first year since 2005 that the skiers will be skiing west towards Buckingham from Lachute. Yes, that means Section 3 will get plenty of action this year and the great "toboggan run" experience will be recited over and over at gold camp and in the grand hall at Chateau Montebello.

At last count, the CSM is experiencing a 20-30% increase in skiers this year. Much of that can be attributed to the record snowfall over the last few years and more interest in becoming a Coureur des Bois. x-country skiing is also an affordable and fun way for families to enjoy the great outdoors and start an excellent tradition for years to come.

It looks like over 30-35% of the skiers this year will be attempting to become new or repeat Coureur des Bois. Yes, these people are attempting to complete the full 160km. There is also a 30% increase in Coureur des Bois bronze attempts this year so Gold Camp may be quite interesting in a few years. As in previous years, skiers are flying in from various countries (Finland, Germany, Austria, UK, USA) and CSM regulars are looking forward to seeing old friends that they only see at the CSM every year.

So for those sitting on the fence, now is the time to grab a friend or two and enjoy a truly unique skiing experience close to home. The CSM needs your support and it's 500 plus volunteers will be ready to greet you at every checkpoint and road crossing.

 
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