Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Can't Wait?

Don't want to wait until January for headlamp skiing?  Jon tells me there were at least 25 people there last Wednesday night, skiing around in the dark, lit only by their headlamps and their big smiles, and he said the grooming was fantastic.  Peter and I are headed up tomorrow after work; see you there?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Headlamp Racing -- Coming Soon!

The new 2012 schedule is now posted over there on the left, so it's almost time to block out Wednesday nights all winter, throw your skis in your car, and head up to Cabin Creek for another season of headlamp racing!

You know the drill: bring your own headlamp and your own watch; start whenever you want to and time yourself; write down your results on the sign-in sheet in the cabin.  That's all there is to it.  If you don't want to race, come anyway and enjoy a fun couple hours of skiing after work.  The cabin will be warm and open, available all evening for changing clothes and eating dinner and telling stories with your friends.

This is a super fun way to get a blast of fresh air in the middle of the work week, and the sight of all those headlamps twinkling in the trees is magical.  You want to be a part of it this year!

Happy holidays, everyone, and see you in January!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

While We're Waiting ...

Patience, my friends; winter is on its way back!  While you're waiting, check out a special invitation for all headlamp skiers over on the other blog:


And keep training!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mar 18, Relay

Okay, that's it for another year!  Winter gave us one last blast for the end-of-season relay, snowing and blowing at the pass, and our old friend the wintry mix, sleety rainy snowy, at Cabin Creek for the race.  Didn't matter; 20 loyal skiers came out to say goodbye to another successful headlamp season, blasting through the sprint relay, then heading up to the cabin for dinner and age-group awards and draw prizes, courtesy of Mr Helle Hansen, Brent Turner.  Thanks, Brent, for the awesome prizes!

And thanks, Jason and Neil, for these photos.

Here are the final season standings:

Men 20-29 (three racers)
1st: Jim Wood
2nd: Jordan Goldwarg
3rd: Owen Burbank

Men 30-39 (ten racers)
1st: Alex Horner-Devine
2nd: Bryan Schaeffer
3rd: Kyle Nagle

Men 40-49 (15 racers)
1st: Jon Fewster
2nd: Jim Cahill
3rd: Chris Fast

Men 50-59 (nine racers)
1st: Brian Dumais
2nd: Peter Boveng and Jeff McGrew (tie)

Men 60-69 (one racer)
1st: Richard Rice

Women 20-29 (one racer)
1st: Heidi Fischer

Women 30-39 (three racers)
1st: Jessica Kleiss
2nd: Emily Rimas
3rd: Martina Widman

Women 40-49 (four racers)
1st: Mona Deprey
2nd: Carey Gazis and Amy Snover (tie)

Women 50-59 (three racers)
1st: xcskigirl
2nd: Joy Cordell
3rd: Elizabeth Bailey

Junior Boys (two racers)
1st: Magnus Melbourne
2nd: Nils Melbourne

Junior Girls (one racer)
1st: Elise Stacey

Many thanks to everyone, especially to Brent, the guiding force behind this super fun event; to Brian, the go-to guy for getting things done when they needed getting done; and to Robert, for grooming as well as he could, given the conditions.  But most of all, thanks to you and you and you, for showing up, week after week, in the rain and snow, bringing your energy and smack talk and love of skiing to the dark dark trails.  It has been another fantastic season, and I will miss all of you! 

We'll start back up again next January, and until then, have a great summer.  I'm transferring my focus now to the training and racing blog, http://www.xcskigirl04.blogspot.com/, so if you have any fun roller ski/mountain bike/trail running/other adventure stories to tell, send them on to me and I'll post them so we can all share in the fun!

In the meantime, you know what US Ski Team Coach Pete Vordenberg says:

"Train, train well, train a lot, train hard, balance it with rest.  Train."


Monday, March 14, 2011

Mar 16, Preview

It's time for the end-of-season relay and party!

Relay: starts at 6:30.  Two-person teams, one skating and one classic.  Each person does three sprint laps (alternating skating and classic) around the first part of the Berg loop, then coming straight back down the road and around the little PK loop to tag your partner.  Results don't count for this one, so it's fun to mix up fast skiers and slow skiers.  We probably won't even need headlamps!

Party: bring your own food and drink; there may be a grill set up to barbecue.  Hopefully Brent will bring schwag for prizes, both age group winners and draw prizes.

This is always a super-fun evening, so bring your friends and come up for one last night of headlamp skiing before you get out your running shoes and mountain bikes!  See you there!

Mar 9, Classic

Wow, I can't possibly improve on the awesome race report submitted by Anonymous in the March 2 comments section!  So I'll just add a few results and leave it at that.  Thanks, Anonymous!

Masters, 5k

Jon Fewster, 17:25
Brian Dumais, 18:23
Brent Turner, 19:24
Chris Fast, 19:33
Jeremy Littell, 21:11

Just Skiin'

Melbourne Boys
Ian Whyte (skating!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mar 2, Skating

It looks like I missed some interesting weather while I was in Sweden!  Many thanks to Chris Fast for wading through two feet of snow to open up the cabin, putting out a list, collecting the results, and sending them to me.  Here is his report on conditions:

2 feet of fresh snow got groomed in the morning.  The track was very bumpy and rutted.  Poles with powder baskets were the gear of choice tonight, because the poles kept punching through.  The first time classic would have been considerably faster than skating!

I'll try to track down the results for the other week I missed; if anyone picked them up, please let me know.

Next week: end of season relay and party!  Details to come.

Masters, 5k Skating

Nikolay Nachev, 16:56
Chris Fast, 17:20
Eric Kamila, 17:50

Just Skiin'

Tim Melbourne
Jon Fewster
Brian Dumais

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Feb 23, Classic

Wow.  Chris Caviezel is reporting 54 inches of snow in the last 60 hours!  Did anyone make it up there last night?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feb 23, Conditions Preview

Yikes!  Kent reports that he is slowly coming back from the pass, with heavy snow and cars in the ditch.  He skied at exit 62 and said within 15 minutes, his tracks were filled in.  If you go, be careful!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Feb 16, Skating -- RESULTS!

Finally ... sorry for the delay!  There might have been some creative course design this week: it looks like some of you added the PK loop and some did not, and at least one of you did the upper part of the Berg loop instead of the road.  It's all good.

Masters, 5k

Jon Fewster, 13:58
Christopher Fast, 15:30
Alex Horner-Devine, 15:57
Bryan Schaeffer, 16:18
Eric Kamila, 16:22
Jim Cahill, 16:45
Jeff McGrew, 17:04
Dale Bohm, 18:03
Ian Whtyte, 20:55
Peter Turcan, 23:15
Tim Melbourne, 77:77

Just Skiin'

Brian Dumais (20k, 1:01)
Brad Laesch
Ronnie Schmeer (2xViking)
Jason, Anita, and nine Bush School kids
Robert Gordon (4xBerg)

This week: classic, and a possibility of fresh snow!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feb 16, Skating

It looks like at least a couple of racers made it up there last night!  Dale reports fine skiing under clear skies and a full moon.  He said the course was groomed Tuesday night, but another couple inches of fresh snow after that made the skiing slow but fun.

Anyone else?

Masters, 5k Skating

Chris Fast, 15:xx
Jeff McGrew, 17:04
Dale Bohm, 18:03
Ian Whyte, 20:xx
Peter Turcan, 23:15

[note: I'm told there is a sign-up sheet with 15 to 20 names on it -- hopefully I can find it this weekend!]

Next week: classic.  This weekend: Stampede!  5k and 15k at Cabin Creek -- you've been training for this one all winter!  Details at http://www.kongsbergers.org/.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feb 16, A Little Help?

I'm not going to make it up there tonight, so if everyone who goes could email me their times, I'll compile a results list.  And if someone wanted to send me a conditions report, that would be great!  Have fun, everyone -- it's snowing up there!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feb 9, Classic

When Peter Boveng walks across the bridge to the ski trails and steps onto the snow and gets a big smile on his face and says, "Ooh, fast!", that can only mean ... ice.  Again.  The course was wicked fast last night, rock solid, with classic tracks blasted out of cement.  Even the laps of the skating bikers couldn't soften it last night.  Even a whole posse of skiers doing multiple laps couldn't destroy those tracks.  For good downhillers, it was pure fun; for timid downhillers, it was fantastic training, spending some time at uncomfortable speeds.  For everyone, it was another in a never-ending streak of excellent nights of headlamp skiing!  Easy driving, smooth grooming, temps in the upper 20's, clear sky, with a quarter moon bright enough to cast shadows and blot out all but the brightest stars.  We're halfway through the season; if you've been thinking about coming up, it's time!

Next week: skating.  Good luck to everyone going to the Langlauf, the Nickel Loppet, and the Cariboo!

Masters, 5k

Jeff Hashimoto, 13:17
Brian Dumais, 13:53
Peter Boveng, 14:38
Brent Turner, 14:39
Kyle Nagle, 14:48
Jeff McGrew, 17:22
Eric Kamila, 17:50
Jim Cahill, 18:28
Chip Nevin, 19:45
Ian Whyte, 23:10
Amy Snover, 26:00
Debbie Kolp, 28:15
Tim Melbourne, 77:77

Juniors, 2.5k

Magnus Melbourne, 7:52
Nils Melbourne, 8:12

Just Skiin'

Jessica Kleiss (one lap, 15:25)
Robert, Kris and Karen Gordon
Anita Campbell, Jason Paur, and 14 Bush kids
Ben Corwin
Carey Gazis
skating bikers
other nameless people

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Feb 9, Conditions Preview

Just heard that Ozzie and the Wednesday guys spent the morning finishing the repairs on the Berg loop washout.  A LOT of man-hours of hard physical labor have been going into that washout, so many thanks to everyone who has contributed to that little project!

Ozzie also reports that it's really nice up there today, with fast corn snow, and he set a track around the whole Berg loop, including the washout repair section.  Time for some classic skiing!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feb 2, Skate

Wow, we almost forgot what to do when the temperature actually drops below freezing!  The chilly clear air made for a gorgeous night of skiing: a dark dark sky, with billions and billions of stars.  You could turn off your headlamp when no one was around and look far into the universe, searching for those new suns that might have livable planets circling around them.  The parking lot was a sheet of ice (be careful out there!), and almost full of cars.  Robert did the best he could with the course, but this interminable thaw/freeze/thaw/freeze cycle we're stuck in has turned that stuff on the ground into something that doesn't remotely resemble snow -- it's just rock solid ice.  Fortunately, a couple of turns around the course by a bunch of skaters sugars up the top layer and it becomes really nice, really fast skiing!  And, of course, there is always the cabin afterward, to change clothes and eat dinner and share stories with your headlamping friends.

Next week: classic (hope for snow so Robert can actually set a track).  Good luck to everyone heading to the Race of the Methow (boasting of excellent trail conditions, clear and cool weather) or the Boulder Mountain Tour (where I hear it's -6F!).

Masters, 5k skate

Kyle Nagle, 37, 13:07
Peter Boveng, 52, 13:17
Jim Wood, 28, 13:29
Alex Gardner, 40, 13:30
Jason Paur, 40, 13:37
Jim Cahill, 48, 13:42
Bryan Schaeffer, 34, 13:48
Chris Fast, 44, 13:50
Jeff McGrew, 50, 14:15
Alex Horner-Devine, 38, 14:20
Eric Kamila, 37, 14:35
Romic Scheet, 42, 14:35
Dale Bohm, 52, 15:00
Mona Deprey, 44, 15:02
Chip Nevins, 52, 15:08
Rolf Sunnerup, 15:13
Carey Gazis, 48, 17:10
Heidi Fischer, 25, 17:37
Amy Snover, 42, 18:29
Ian Whyte, 48, 18:50
Peter Turcan, 19:17
Debbie Kolp. 57, 27:06 (classic)
Guillaume Mauger, 31, 38:04 (classic)
Tim Melbourne, 99:99 (can't read your handwriting, Tim!)

Juniors, 2.5k

Nils Melbourne, 8:32
Magnus Melbourne, 8:43

Just Skiin'

Terry Buchanan
Spencer Reeder
Anita Campbell and nine Bush kids
Michael Wenger (Night of Adventure award: Michael skied around the Amabilis loop in the dark, by himself, with his headlamp; it was so icy he used skins for both the uphills and the downhills!)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jan 26, Classic? Relay? Classic Relay?

Sorry about the confusion, everyone!  I guess we were sending out mixed messages, and when we finally got there, it seemed easiest to just call it a classic night, no relay.

The parking lot was a little emptier, the sign-up sheet a little shorter, the people on the trail a little fewer.  Don't give up yet, skiers!  It was 48 freakin' degrees and sunny at the pass yesterday and the friendly little creeks running alongside the road are graduating into full riverhood, but there is plenty of good snow cover.   The temps were still near 40 when racing started; with no moon, the sky was very dark and the stars were very bright.  The course was nicely groomed, and the snow itself was a little soft, but still pretty fast, kind of like a former college football player.  It's still a fresh and fun way to spend a Wednesday evening, so come on up before it's gone!

Next week: skating.  Good luck to everyone heading for the Bavarian Cup, the Teacup, and the Marcialonga!

Masters, 5k classic

Jon Fewster, 14:10 (all double pole)
Brian Dumais, 14:12
Kyle Nagle, 14:50
Peter Boveng, 14:58
Alex Horner-Devine, 16:38 (all double pole)
Chris Fast, 16:51
Jeremy Littell, 17:10
Joy Cordell, 19:00
Jim Slyfield, 20:30
Di Houta (sorry; I have no idea what this says!), 23:38
Debbie Kolp, 25:58
Elizabeth Bailey, 29:15
Ian Whyte, 29:40


Tim Melbourne, 14:15 (5k)
Magnus Melbourne, 8:23 (2.5k)
Nils Melbourne, 9:10 (2.5k)

Classic/Skating Relay IronMan (two laps classic, two laps skating)

Robert Gordon, 51:06 (yay for you!)

Just Skiin'

Michael Wenger
Ben Corwin (didn't want to embarrass anyone)
Ellensburg junior team (skating)
Anita Campbell, Jason Paur, and 12 Bush kids
Four bike racers, all in a peloton
Lots of other people who prefer to remain anonymous headlamps passing in the dark

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jan 19, Skate

Knee-deep slush last week, heavy heavy rain over the weekend, then temperatures dipping down just below freezing ... you know what that means!  Very firm and fast conditions, especially as Robert was there grooming when we arrived.  He did his best with the rock-solid conditions, and as more and more skiers circled the course, the snow turned into a layer of sugar over a hard crunchy base, kind of like your favorite dessert.  He also did his best to repair the washout that required a re-route of the Gunnar Hagen race last weekend, but we really need some substantial snow before that can be fixed, so we left that little leg out of the race course.  Your times may vary.   Jon brought a gigantic bag of new no-wax Madshus skis to test, and even though conditions were not conducive to classic skiing AT ALL, he found plenty of willing testers.  It was a great night of skiing -- the temp was near freezing, the highway was bare and dry, and a ghostly full moon rose silently behind a fuzzy little cloud cover. What a pleasure, to be out here skiing on a Wednesday night, in the dark!

Next week: relay!  Meet at 6:30 to form two-person classic/skate teams, three sprint laps per person.  Good luck to everyone heading to the Methow for the Pursuit, or to Austria for the Dolomitenlauf, or staying here for the Jente Loppet!

Masters, 5k
Brian Dumais, 53, 12:58
Jon Fewster, 40, 13:08
Doug Reid, 42, 13:10
Jeff McGrew, 51, 13:36
Jordan Goldwarg, 29, 14:15
Alex Horner-Devine, 38, 14:15
Jim Cahill, 48, 14:30
Tim Melbourne, 42, 14:32
John Outterson, 40, 14:40
Jim Wood, 28, 14:49
Bryan Schaeffer, 34, 14:54
Jason Paur, 40, 15:04
Eric Kamila, 37, 15:20
Craig Fowler, 39, 15:38
Spider Burbank, 56, 15:46
Rolf Sunnerup, 45, 16:50
Emily Rimas, 31, 16:55
Jim Slyfield, 53, 17:41
Brad Weed, 45, 18:19
Heidi Fischer, 25, 21:40
Jessica Kleiss, 33, 20:02
Jennifer Wagner, 20:22
Michael Black, 42, 22:10
Ian Whyte, 48, 22:10
Marketa Eisner, 33, 22:58
Kris Gordon, 12, 29:21
Debbie Kolp, 57, 40:04 (lonesome classic skier)

Just Skiin'
Elise Stacey
Robert Gordon
Karen Gordon
10 Bush School kids

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jan 12, Classic

Hey, guess what!  Some people did make it up to the pass for headlamp racing this week, notwithstanding the flooding roads, the slushy parking lot, the crusty trails.  I'm impressed!  Here are two stories; if anyone else made it up, let us know so we can admire you.

Jeremy Littel's story:
At 4:34 pm when you wrote the entry on the headlamp blog, I was headed up the highway with two others in the car to go skiing in the rain. There was impressive standing water on the highway, and I too got temporarily stuck in the parking lot, but nothing 5 minutes of shoveling couldn't fix. There were a handful of other cars.

We skied from about 6:20 to 7:30, and got pretty wet. There was skate lane set, but no classic tracks, so we had to make do. Skating would actually have been okay, if a little soft.

I skied a 22:23 5k classic on the standard course, maybe my slowest ever? Anyway, good to be skiing, but good to be home and dry too.
Rolf Sonnerup's story:
Ingrid Tohver, Jeremy Littel and I must've really needed to get out.

Raining HARD at the summit, deep water on the highway, and anyway we've driven this far, why not?  At 6:15, freshly groomed but no classic tracks. Light rain. Ingrid (3rd time on skis) did the road and declared 'this is so beautiful!' JL and I did the TT, Jeremy came in at 22:22 and I was, amazingly, done in 2:25. Amazing because we did not ski together. Later we discovered that my skis (rilled very coarse) were running substantially faster than Jeremy's. I would stand and scratch myself on slight downhills [ed. note: he means adjust his headlamp] with Jeremy double poling the same pace. this explains the near coincidence as JL > RS in reality world.

Pity there weren't more folks - the skiing wasn't as bad as it looked. Yes, we got stuck in the parking lot. yes, it was raining. anyway it was nice.
Masters, 5k

Jeremy Littel, 22:23
Rolf Sonnerup, 22:25

Next week: skating.  This weekend: Gunnar Hagen, come hell or high water!  Pre-register and get all the info you need at http://www.kongsgergers.org/.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jan 12, Update

Ozzie went home early (which NEVER happens).  He said there was freezing rain forming an icy crust on top of a ton of new snow, although Robert was grooming, and the parking lot is a deep slushy mess.  Scott also emailed and said he got stuck in the parking lot until someone with a truck pulled him out.  Given that, plus the fact that the pass is currently closed for avalanche control, Peter and I are pulling the plug.  Color me disappointed but resigned.  If you do go, please send me a report, and kudos to you!

This Sunday: Gunnar Hagen!  In the rain!

Jan 12, Conditions Preview

Early report from Ozzie at 11:30: 28 degrees, snowing hard.  No cars in the parking lot; no grooming yet.  Ozzie ran the track sled around Ozbaldy, but the tracks filled in as fast as he could set them.

It's gonna be a fun one -- see you there!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jan 5, Skate

We're back! Another season of headlamp skiing started this week, with, guess what, freezing rain. It looked so pretty, sparkling in the beam of our super-bright headlamps. Even with areas of standing water on the freeway and temps in the mid-30's, the parking lot was half-full and there were plenty of eager skiers ready to start the new year skiing in the dark.  The course had been groomed in the morning, but then it snowed a couple inches and then it rained. That left us with some pretty choppy slop when we arrived, but when you send a bunch of skiers around a short course over and over, it starts to pack down into something skiable. The downhills turned into slickety luge runs carved into the heavy wet snow, and got faster and more exciting with each lap. For classic skiers, striding out of the tracks to try to get some traction was a great workout for all those little tiny balance muscles.  It was a fun evening of skiing, and so cool to see my favorite guys in the cabin again afterward!

Next week: classic. Good luck to anyone (that would be Martin) heading to the Czech Republic for the 50k Jizurska!

Masters 5k
Brian Dumais, 53, 14:11
Brent Turner, 56, 14:19
Jon Fewster, 40, 14:24
Peter Boveng, 52, 14:51
Jeremy Littell, 37, 15:35
Seth Davis, 34, 15:37
Bryan Schaeffer, 34, 16:39
Gareth Hardwick, 15, 16:55
Jonathan Sirois, 36, 17:15
Jim Wood, 28, 17:21
Alex Horner-Devine, 38, 17:28
Craig Fowler, 39, 17:36
Rolf Sunnerup, 45, 17:43
Spider Burbank, 56, 17:58
Owen Burbank, 21, 17:58 (home from college)
Eric Kamila, 37, 18:45
Jim Slyfield, 53, 20:15
Richard Rice, 60, 23:00
Peter Turcan, 53, 23:20
Jessica Kleiss, 33, 23:54
Martina Widman, 33, 25:00
Markita Eisner, 33, 26:00
Kent Robarge, 46, 28:30 ("setting low expectations for the next race")
Debbie Kolp, 57, 30:58 (classic)
Elizabth Bailey, 50, 34:15 (classic)

Juniors, 2.5k
Elise Stacey, 14, 10:23

Just Skiin'
Brian Palm
10 kids from Bush School