–Althea and Nicole load up on cookies at the Boulton feeding station-
The Kananaskis Ski Marathon, more affectionately known as the Great Cookie Race, took place today in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park in K-Country.
It might have been the second warmest Cookie Race ever. The snow was wet which made for difficult waxing conditions. A few of the 42K skiers I spoke with had waxed with sticky red wax which may have been okay at the start, but colder snow on Whiskey Jack created clumping problems(more affectionately known as high heels).
I wasn’t around for the first ever Cookie Race in 1977, but it sounds like the conditions were very similar to this year. Gillean Daffern wrote about it in her guide book, Kananaskis Country Ski Trails:
“Who will ever forget the very first race, certainly not those of us who smothered our bases with red klister for the ice low down, then were wobbling around with six inch heels in the fresh powder…”
I knew there would be fresh tracksetting in PLPP for the race, so I thought it would be a good place to ski and take photos of some racers. When I arrived at Boulton Creek at 11:30 a.m, the air temperature was +4°C. I could plainly see the snow was wet, so I used my Skintecs which are perfect for these conditions. It snowed off and on throughout the day, just as the forecast had predicted.
I made the short climb to the Boulton Creek feeding station and took some photos before I climbed Whiskey jack. The tracks on the lower part were full of snow fleas but were cleaner higher up. I actually skied a good distance on the corduroy rather than in the tracks.
At the top of WJ I turned left and took Pocaterra to the Packers junction. This section of Pocaterra is not part of the race course and there was a skiff of fresh snow in the tracks which really slowed me down(a downside to the Skintecs). Again, it was faster to ski on the corduroy.
Racers were coming through at the Packers – Pocaterra junction so I took a few more photos, and headed down Packers. At the bottom of Packers I did a loop on Wheeler – Amos – Woolley – Meadow. All had wet snow.
I was thrilled to finally meet Alison as she was climbing Packers. She had a big smile on her face, just like it says on the header of this blog. I don’t remember smiling very much while climbing Packers when I used to do the Cookie Race.
Congratulations to Brian McKeever who was first overall with a time of 2:17:05. I heard a rumor that he double-poled the entire race(no wax), maybe someone can confirm that. Can you picture yourself double-poling up Whiskey Jack?! You can see all the Cookie Race results.
The Calgary Herald has posted photos from the 39th annual Cookie race
My photos from the Cookie race are below:
The Kananaskis Country groomers and staff did a super job of bringing the whole course into shape with a lot of shovelling and grooming during the last week before the race.
Not to mention the work of the 100+ volunteers who setup the stadium, course, refereshments, registration, timing, etc. An enormous effort by many people these past 39 years!
I agree Ken – can’t believe the grooming job they did considering what the had to work with, and the conditions over the last week. Hat’s off to all involved for a great day!