Frank Soos Distance Race #1 training at -23 to -30 deg F

The groomers had done their magic on most of the major trails (except the blacks) yesterday. Ken Coe had set beautiful tracks that cut down to leaves only in one very short section of Heartrate Hill. Otherwise, they were firm, filled with snow, and set best line. Unfortunately, the trace of new hoarfrost snow overnight slowed the skis, so we were able to tuck and ride Ken’s tracks on the downhills (helped with a little doublepoling).

Today’s goal was to ski the course for the Frank Soos Distance Race #1 to be held on Saturday, 11 December 2021 starting at 11:00 a.m.

You can register for the race and view a map of the course here:

It was clear and sunny today with a brisk -23 deg F in the stadium, and -30 at Beacon Cutoff and the bottom of the White Bear. We were well-Dermotized, but camera batteries even with handwarmers don’t last long so we took a group photo at the top of the Tower Loop:

Four skiers on skins and three on waxable skis at -23 deg F

Some skiers don’t have any natural insulation so they bailed before skiing the entire 15 km. Bill Husby skied 17 km, throwing in extra loops to help burn a few more kcals. I ended up skiing alone from Coronary Bypass cutoff until I found Bill in the stadium. I skied the Warm-up Loop while Bill finished at the groomer’s garage. Two of us finished our workout goal for the day. As we trudged up the slower sections of the course, I could see Frank Soos ahead of me with his long arms and legs moving easily.

The trails are in great shape. If you dress for the temperature, you will have a stunning workout in the orange light near winter solstice.

Bernardo on White Bear–photo by Joanna Fox
Subtle winter light--photo by Joanna Fox

Norma and Joanna, post ski:

Photo by Joanna Fox

SCUM begin training for 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot

Although it was -10 deg F in the stadium at 10 a.m. AST, it was -22 deg F at the biathlon range 30 minutes later, and likely colder than that at the low point of the course for the Kinross Fort Knox Town Race from yesterday. As the B SCUM were finishing their ski of the 7.5 km course, we met up with Eric Troyer, an A SCUM who had been out skiing with the Nanooks before joining us. (At least that’s the story he gave us).

As we headed up the stadium hill on newly set tracks, we encountered the A SCUM (the faster, younger SCUM, who even travel to races), and the entire alphabetic SCUM headed up the new tracks on the Tower Loop.

When we got to the high point of the trails, we wanted a group photo, so we recruited an impromptu photographer. Kendall Kramer, who was skiing today in conditions just 110 deg colder than she had raced on Saturday, was gracious in offering to take our photo. A U.S. Ski Team Skier, Kendall is former FXC skier and West Valley skier/runner, and had just returned from the NCAA cross country running championships in Florida, where she finished 72nd of 250 of the best NCAA cross country runners in the nation. Although we thanked her for stopping to take our photograph, we didn’t congratulation her for her historic run yesterday. She was one of a trio of Nanooks at the NCAA national championships. Congratulations, Kendall!

Here is the collection of SCUM skiing today in brisk conditions:

SCUM on the top of the Tower Loop–photo by Kendall Kramer

And then being SCUM, Eric Troyer needed assistance to get back up:

Eric being assisted back onto his skis by David Prusak

However, while David assisted, the rest of the SCUM watched:

SCUM watch and debate on their excuses for not skiing in the Turkey Day Relays

Dave ultimately was successful and smiling, while Eric took away a little snow from the trails:

How many SCUM does it take to get up from the snow?

So, if you’re going to be town for Thanksgiving, sign up now for the Beaver Sports Turkey Day Relays. It’s a good way to burn off those extra calories that you’ll consume. Some of the SCUM will be participating so your team won’t be last.

Here the link to information about the T-Day Relays, a low-key “race” where costumes and fun are important.

SCUM ski new tracks on Black Loops

The Black Loops retained significant snow pack from the early season snowfalls. So when the groomers set tracks on Wednesday and Thursday, they didn’t punch through to leaves in very many places. Thus, firm, glistening white tracks awaited us today. Temperatures in the stadium varied from -10 to -12 deg F over the course of our workout.

Here are four SCUM on the N40 loop:

Bernardo, Byron, Robert, and Bill on the N40 hump

In order to savor all the Black loop tracks, the SCUM first skied the Black Hole loops via Black Baron. It was likely close to -19 deg F at the bottom of the Black Abyss. The tracks were fast so the wind chill was significant.

However, we didn’t want to miss out on skiing down into the Black Hole over the old luge run. Nothing like doing the Black Cross on your second outing on skis, but that why Bernardo is a SCUM. Here’s an edited version of Robert’s and Bernardo’s descent of the bottom portion of the Black Cross hill:

Black Cross descent by Robert & Bernardo, editing by Mr. Husby, former Lathrop High School IT instructor

Here are the SCUM again on the Flat Black section after having done the Black Hole loops first via Black Baron and the second time via Black Cross and returning uphill via the Black Funk. The skiers on skin skis were noticeably slower on the downhills, but weren’t quite as maneuverable on the corners as those of us on “old style” classical skis.

SCUM after doing Black Baron and Black Cross: the snowy one rolled in the snow to cool off

By the time I reached my car, I looked like a reverse pumpkin. However, now we have done all the black loops (and variations) this season.

Selfie in the parking lot after Friday morning ski

I think there are now enough trails with set tracks for the SCUM to safely resume their Sunday group workouts.