Fantastic day of skiing and racing

Lake Louise to Banff loppet – one of the best ever!

Update Jan 26: Finally have my photos posted here

“So to all who participated, from first to last and everyone in-between, thank you! You all made my day.” – Mike Freeman(see comments below)

There’s just no other ski race like this one. Here are a few photos from a terrific day…

7:59 a.m. on Lake Louise: The starting line of the Lake Louise to Banff loppet. Blaine Penny, #33, was the first to reach the finish line at Banff, skiing the entire 71K solo in 4:09. Jan 24, 2010

To all my fellow loppeteers, congratulations on finishing and being a member of this lunatic skier’s club.

Daylight has arrived as skiers on the first leg traverse the narrow ledge above Morant's curve.

A comment which I received today(Mon Jan 25) regarding Leg 2:

“If I wasn’t chained to a desk today I’d be back out there for sure. It’s perfection on skinny skis.”

Just finished 10K on leg 2, Cheryl arrives at Castle Lookout as Peter sets off on leg 3. It's now 13K for Peter as he skis to Johnston canyon.

We corrected last year’s mistakes and were ready to ski at each transition point. My teammates get irate if I’m sitting in the car eating soup when I’m supposed to be skiing!

More skiers transitioning at Castle Lookout while Tony(#40) and Brendan fuel up for the remaining 40K. The ladies must be from team "Skeedors." Those colourful leggings are a dead give-away.

Whether you win or come in dead last, the enjoyment of this event is the journey. Everyone has an interesting story to tell about their section of trail.

A "swamp creature" as she finishes leg 5, barely able to crawl from the Backswamp.

Conditions on the first 2 legs were as good as they’ve ever been. My time on the first leg( 21K) was 17 minutes faster than last year, and the team was 45 minutes faster at the end.  Things started to deteriorate half-way down leg 3 as you neared Castle junction. The popular consensus of people in the apres-ski hot tub was that leg 5 along the Parkway was probably the most challenging. The last section of leg 5, however, on the river and through the Backswamp was reported by experienced skiers to be in great shape. The past two years, we’ve had to contend with icy, wind-blown snow and no visible tracks through parts of the ‘swamp.

Peter of Team TNT crosses the finish line at Banff

We were lucky and finished first in our category(Mixed 40+) with a time of 5:09. We were the sixth team overall of 31. When we see an individual time of 4:09, however, we remain humble.

Team TNT: Bob T, Cheryl T and Peter N at the finish. Thanks to Jon A for snapping the photo.

 By the time we finished, the individual and overall winner, Blaine Penny, had already showered, changed clothes and ate dinner.

Cheryl congratulates Blaine Penny, the overall winner of the 2010 Lake Louise to Banff loppet

A heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers. I appreciated the snow bridges which the road crews were continually reconstructing throughout the day, and was happy that the volunteers didn’t have to stand around in the cold, windy conditions of the past two loppets.

I was thrilled to meet a lot of readers who said Hi upon seeing my toque.  

You can see more of my photos here including a skier dressed in bubble-wrap.

Some photos have been posted here You can also read and see a photo of ironman Paul Doyle who skied for over ten hours! Paul had to surrender his bib, but he continued on anyway for the sheer enjoyment of it all. Now there’s a man who appreciates this unique event!

Final results are posted here

Marg has posted her reconstruction of events Marg’s race

Some of my favourite team names this year:

Life is Not All Downhill
Finnish b4 Dark
Paddlers on Ice
Bubble Wrap Appreciation
Beauties and the Beast(Hi to the beast, Dennis Kolba)

One Comment:

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  1. Hi Bob,

    Great to meet you at the race. Your team did great and it looked like you were all having lots of fun.
    I was volunteering and I spent the whole day trying to keep up with Blaine (I was driving…) so that I could drop food and water and make sure the road crossings were set up. Every time I thought I was ahead Blaine would fly and off I’d go again.
    4:09 for a 72km adventure ski is insane.
    Much as I love watching the front runners though, I have to say the favourite part of the race for me is standing out at the finish line waiting for those last skiers to arrive. This year it was around 5:30 that the last two official finishers came in. Nine and a half hours on the trail is a huge achievement and I have great respect for anyone who pulls that off.
    So to all who participated, from first to last and everyone in-between, thank you! You all made my day.

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