2007 Canadian Ski Marathon (CSM) Report #1
By: Bill Syrros (2007/02/13)
The 41st edition of the Canadian Ski Marathon occurred this weekend and from many discussions I had with participants, it was a huge success. Everyone seemed to be pretty happy with how the folks at CSM were able adapt to the snow shortage and offer a unique new course that was for the most part less technical but still as challenging as previous years. The weather was great and grooming on Friday and Saturday night made most of the trail very formidable to ski on. It was also quite amazing to see how many families and young children were out on the trails.
The Kenauk reserve had most of the snow and there were plenty of pretty sights to take in. The start of the CSM probably scared people right away as most of the teams and tourers took off at 8am only to find that they would have to remove their ski's and walk about 10 or 15 minutes up a newly cut trail. Once past that walk, the trail opened up nicely and for the next 30km or so to the end of Section 2, people experienced perhaps the best ski conditions they've had all year. Section 3 was very beautiful while Section 4 into Montebello ended up being the most challenging even though it was considered "easy" on the course description. This was predictable as the shortage of snow could clearly be seen on that section as you got closer to Montebello.
There were over 230 people in the Gold camp braving the -26°C overnight temperatures. Everyone seemed pretty happy. Pierre Harvey apparently was the first to arrive in the Gold camp at 11:30am while others were still arriving as the sun was setting. I'm sure Chris Blanchard wasn't too far behind. Everyone had smiles on their faces and were very happy that the CSM made the decisions that they did to keep the event on. On Sunday, it was pretty inspiring to be passed by most of the coureurs des bois along the way. They were very determined but would smile and chat with you if you could keep up with them...a very classy bunch.
At the Montebello, most people seemed pretty happy as they sat by the fire and warmed up. Most were adamant that they would be back next year. Also, the checkpoints and the buses were very well organized and departures seemed to be right on schedule both Saturday and Sunday.
Congrats to the staff at the CSM for pulling this amazing event off again this year. Looking forward to participating next year.