Every year, while I’m in the middle of it, I swear I will never do it again. I’m of course speaking about the venerable Canadian Ski Marathon, now in its 49th year. The event is pretty much unique in its nature. At the core, it is 160km of cross-country skiing, split over two days. Each day is split into 5 sections, with varying degrees of challenge, from easy to hard, depending on whether there are big climbs, tricky descents, or wide open fields. Participants have the option to tackle the whole event as a coureur de bois, or just be […]
coureur des bois
Now, normally, people chase gold when they head into the hills. But if you’re me, and the event in question is the Canadian Ski Marathon, you chase silver! At least this year. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry, it will all become pretty clear, and it’s pretty simple really. This blog post will be all about my quest to complete the CSM for the second year in a row. CSM has a progression if you are trying to complete the whole event as what is known as a Coureur des Bois. The first time, you need to just finish, that gives you bronze. The 2nd time, you must ski the entire length AND carry a packing weighing a minimum of 5kg, giving you silver. The 3rd time, you must ski the entire length, carry a pack AND sleep outside overnight on a hay bale. Doing so gets you a gold pin. As this was my second year, I was trying for silver. Deanna was also with me, and going for bronze. I was there to ski, as well as document the trip for Get Out There and produce some videos, which I’ve embedded further below. You can also check out some pictures we took before reading the whole story.
A warm welcome back to you all. I’m back from another epic odyssey over the past weekend. Although the Canadian Ski Marathon is not a race, strictly speaking, I’m still putting under my ‘race’ cartegory. This is mainly due to the fact that there are strict time cut-offs, which mean many skiers don’t actually complete the entire 160km distance. Ergo, it is a race against the clock in my mind :-). I also wish I got paid to race, because I would have gotten overtime. Over 20 hours outside in the bitter cold, and up at 3am and 4am! Seems like more ‘work’ than my job! At any rate, it was an amazing event, and I hope you’ll all read on for my personal take of the entire event. I covered it for Get Out There Magazine as well (videos appended at end), and took a bunch of pictures. Should give any skiers out there a great idea and reason to try the CSM next year!