We at XC Ottawa are great fans of the Keskinada. We participate every year and have done so for a very long time. We think it is one of the very best cross-country ski events in the world, and we really want it to be a successful and ever-improving event.
The most recent maps published at the Keskinada web site (www.keskinada.com) indicate that the 53km and 28km courses will be taking place mainly on the parkway network, and that in addition to the removal of Trail 3 and Trail 15, the course has now been modified to not include Trail 1 (the famous Ridge Road).
This appears to be a controversial decision. While there are certainly some thin spots for snow on the Penguin climb, many believe that a reasonable amount of work would make for great skiing. At the same time, the current decision to have a course that will inevitably involve significant amounts of two-way traffic on the parkways would appear to have many hazards of its own.
Finally, many consider the narrower trails to be an important part of the race because of the technical and physical challenge that these provide, as well as the variety that is added to scenery and terrain. From this perspective, the fact that the sections involving Trails 3 and 15 were already removed last week means that the inclusion of Ridge Road is even more important.
On a last note, the current forecast calls for a significant amount of snow to fall on Wednesday, making the decision to change the courses arguably premature.
While the prevailing view among XC Ottawa members is that the Keskinada would be wise to include Ridge Road for the reasons mentioned above, we recognize that not everyone necessarily shares our view.
We would encourage all interested to parties to e-mail the Keskinada office at email@example.com with their views.
We would also like to hear your thoughts ourselves. Please send XC Ottawa an e-mail as well at firstname.lastname@example.org.