2008 CSM Stories: A brief history with a few pictures thrown in.
By: Parham Momtahan (2008/02/11)
It was a great Canadian Ski Marathon weekend!
It started with our usual luxurious stay at Buckingham Palace (AKA gold dorm, i.e. gym floor) in Buckingham, Québec.
Some of the fastest skiing to be had on the CSM, ever, was on Saturday: -5C fantastic glide and grip.
Jean-Louis Dorego:#23 , 23 Gold Bars and counting!
Pierre and Parham at the 3rd checkpoint.
The first Coureur des Bois got to the gold camp around 12:30. With 6:45 minutes to complete 82 kms, and a backpack full of overnight camping gear, min. 20lb, this is really impressive.
I got there about 2 hours after that, which as my earliest arrival, impressed, at most, me. However, my friend, Trevor, had got there by 1:30, he was the 7th one in, which meant I had a warm fire on arrival. That was very impressive. Then our friend Paul arrived to selflessly share with us the fine bottle of Cabernet he’d brought in his 35lb backpack. Now, that was truly impressive!
Party time: life is fine at the Gold Camp on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday overnight at the gold camp: It snow drizzled all night. I had a plastic sheet over my sleeping bag. I alternately lifted it from my head, getting a snow shower, or covered my head with it, my breath condensing and raining down on me. It got pretty damp. But it was warm. So it was not too uncomfortable under the circumstances.
Start Me Up! Getting going at the Gold Camp 4:30 on Sunday Morning
Sunday was another great day of skiing, but more challenging. With more humid and warmer -3 to -1C weather, waxing was more tricky, with wax clumping under the skis at times. It'd also snowed about 3 cms on the tracks since they’d groomed it over night. Somehow the lead skier had not done a straight enough job of track setting. So, passing was harder and getting into a skiing rhythm was not that easy because of the inconsistent tracks.
At the end it was a great day with a sunshine finish in Lachute. We finished around 4:30 with my friend Pierre who was completing his first gold. Also completing her first gold was my friend Lynn (who, by the way, is Dr. Lynn Morgan the pet behaviourist veterinarian on the CBC Radio Ontario Today show.) Congrats Lynn! Our friend Natalie completed her fifth gold and has now her permanent bib number. Way to go Nat! The first and the fifth gold are the ones to savour (the only ones I remember any way)
Oh What a Feeling: first time Coureur des Bois Gold, last downhill into Lachute
Evidently this was a weekend of firsts by Pierre’s: Pierre Harvey, the Canadian ski legend, and three other guys, whose name I wish I could remember, were at the Banquet. They accomplished the incredible feat of skiing 160 kms NONE STOP! having started at 8 pm on Saturday night in Buckingham, as an "expeditionary" exercise, they arrived in Lachute before I did. I did not catch how long it took them to finish, though I’d like to find out. They looked remarkably good given what they had just done.
Very special accolades go to Jesse Krejcik, the 13 year old girl who completed her Coureur des Bois gold and raised money for children with cancer ( http://jessie160k.wordpress.com ) also becoming the youngest female gold. A 10 year old boy, from my ski club, Nakkertok, also completed his bronze, I wish I could remember his name. Peggy Smith, Jackrabbit Johanssen’s daughter was the oldest participant at the age of 90 and she looked very sprite at the banquet.
And then there is Nick Bendeli. He’s come all the way from Australia to XC ski in Canada this winter. He’s been skiing around Canmore since November and done a number of Western loppets. He did the whole 160 kms, and camped out overnight. Though he will be listed as a Coureur des Bois bronze,not having done the bronze and silver prior, his is a golden accomplishment in my eyes. He’ll be doing the Keskinada, sorry I meant the Gatineau Loppet, next weekend. Look out for him: should be pretty obvious, he’s an Australian with a beard (sorry forgot to take a picture.)
The usual fantastic organization, support from the Canadian army reserve, Scouts Canada, and the hundreds of cheerful volunteers, generous sponsors, made it all happen for the lucky CSM participants.
À La Prochaine!
Parham Momtahan (CSM permanent bib# 166).
All right reserved. Copyright, Parham Momtahan, 11 Feb 2008
Links to other ski stories by the author:
- http://momtahan.com/vasa2007 - 2007 Vasaloppet 2007 in Sweden
- http://www.xcottawa.ca/articles.php?id=737 - 2007 Keskinada Classic 53
- http://canadianmarathonstories.com/Stories/Parham_Momtahan.htm - 2006, 40th Canadian Ski Marathon