Friday, January 30, 2009

"Epic" Lake Louise to Banff Loppet

The Lake Louise to Banff loppet is a 71-km point-to-point classic race which starts on the frozen Lake Louise in front of the Chateau. It is a 6-leg relay race which allows solo racers as well. Leg 1 descends over 200 metres elevation in a few km and then follows old highway 1A meandering on trails tucked in the trees. The last leg is on the frozen Bow River 10 km into Banff.

The race was postponed last Sunday due to the -31C weather and windchill. With the darn Chinook's warm winds this week, the latter half of the course is abit icy. The temperatures will be nice around -5C to -10C, though it is to snow 5 cm as we are skiing making for slower conditions.

From my experience in the past, after the first two immaculately groomed legs, it turns into an adventure ski of an assortment of conditions including bare patches, jumping logs and icy descents. My rock skis are buffed and ready to roll across anything in its path... well almost anything.

I laughed at this entry the race organization recently wrote "Trail crews were out yesterday renovating the snow and resetting track where possible. Leg 2: Three delinquent moose are walking on the trail around Baker Creek. If you see them, give them the right of way. They're bigger than you are."

My old Ecochallenge teammate Philip from Winnipeg is flying in tonight to join me, and we'll be sharing accom with another hardcore skier Darryl Mekechuk from Calgary.

It'll be a fun race... with the unexpected along the way! I'm hoping to get the expected locally-made brownies at the feedzones which fueled me to the finish in 2004 and 2006!

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