Saturday, February 02, 2013

Nipika Classic Loppet - Double-pole & Scramble

Rest weekend... nah, wouldn't want to miss a trip out to the Nipika trails near Radium Hot Springs. I did forego doing a double-header and opted out of the skate race for Sunday.
 showing the awesome tracks and scenery - photo

Last time I raced a loppet here was 2006 when we had to remove our skis after a huge descent, and cross a narrow metal bridge with metal steps - twice! It was wickedly crazy fun, though super glad the course now sticks to the same side of the creek. Funny recap of the bridge crossing from 2006 on my old website (see Jan 24 posting).

30-km classic (2 loops), -4C to start, brilliantly sunny, +1C finish

Small and speedy crowd. Looked like a group of 20 guys stormed ahead of me. Tons of double-poling.  A small group of 4 guys passed me.

The first climb was herringbone and it was cool to see bumper to bumper skiers slowly making their way up. Again, I was skiing alone most of the course with minimal visibility of the next guy ahead.

Team MitoCanada Tent -
Mark Toth, Nancy Krar, Jeff Krar (my 100-km ski buddy) - photo Nancy

Last night, I put on a very thin klister blue for base binder. Before the race, I topped it off with 2 layers of VR60 at the MitoCanada tent before Team Mito scrambled off to the start. One more layer of wax might have helped.

Had just enough kick to single-kick double-pole, as most of the course was double-pole and the climbs were so mushy it was herringbone.

Team MitoCanada - Troy Hudson, Darryl Mekechuk, Mark Toth, Mikhail Kudienko, Jeff Krar - photo Nancy Krar

The descents were fast and windy. One descent caught me by surprise with a 180 turn at the bottom. Prepared to take a fall, I did my best to stay low as I turned into the corner.

Surprise - my skimo legs had me naturally heavy weight the outer ski, and voila, I snapped into the turn upright! It wasn't a fluke as I did the same wicked turn the 2nd loop too!

Of that group of 4 guys, I was happy to catch one guy on loop one, and caught another two on the second loop. They were sketching out on the ascents.

I ripped up the climbs by scrambling up the snowy track in the middle. Skis iced up then glided well after getting back in the track.

Happy warm finish - photo Nancy Krar

My 2nd loop was pretty close in time to my 1st loop. Total time 1:53 (GPS 28 km)

Awesome temp skiing in minimal gear, no worries of getting cold.

Drank up my fresh coconut water I put in my Camelbak.

Good company to carpool with Darryl Mekechuk and Brooke Campbell with entertaining stories! and pee stops!

Scenery outstanding!

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