Karl Saidla races for XC Ottawa and will be writing articles about Canadian ski racing for FasterSkier.com this winter
Ok. So like I’m gonna to be writin some articles for the website eh, and I just thought all you Yanks should know what goes on up here in the Great White North. Right now I’m out at deer camp, right. I got some back-bacon cookin on the Coleman, and me and Hosehead here just cracked open a couple a cold ones, so we’re feelin pretty good eh. The only thing we’re missin is about 6 jelly doughnuts for desert.
So there is my little tribute to the infamous Bob and Doug Mckenzie, perhaps Canada’s best representatives abroad. If you don’t know who these guys are (I hesitate to say â€œwereâ€) I would strongly suggest you rent their most terrific film production: Strange Brew. This movie chronicles the trials and tribulations of average-joe Canadians Bob and Doug Mckenzie and their struggles with the evil Elsinore brewing company. Their album, entitled, The Great White North, is also strongly recommended. It contains all kinds of useful information including and interview with Geddy Lee, from Rush, and includes instructions on how to play a most fantastic party game called Beer Hunter. To find out more about Bob and Doug, please visit the following website:
Enough digressions. This year I will be pleased to be bringing you stories, race reports and interviews with all kinds of cross-country skiers mainly from Canada, and I thought I should provide a brief overview of what goes on up here in The Great White North.
Major races in Canada (Canada Cups, Canada Cup Nor Ams etc) tend to happen mainly in the provinces of BC, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Other places have great skiing as well, and I will try to bring you some info about them as well. Here is an overview of some of the places where I will be collecting news this winter:
Nov. 11 to 15.
Training Camp-Foret de la Montmorency Quebec-
Might be described as the SilverStar or West Yellowstone of the East. Great early season skiing. Great back bacon, great baked beans.
Nov. 17 to 29
Canada Cup racing-Silver Star,BC-
World Famous. This place seems to steal all the snow that is supposed to fall in Ontario. Kind of a Disney World. Always makes you feel spoiled to be there.
Dec. 11 to 18
Canada Cup Nor Am racingRacing-Foret de la Montmorency, Mt St. Anne.
Mt. St Anne has some of the most beautiful and abundant trails in North America. It is also the home of Canadian skiing legend Pierre Harvey.
Jan. 29, 30
Racing-Eastern Canadian championships-Gatineau, Quebec.-
Right in my backyard. Across the river from Ottawa and home of the Keskinada, Canada’s Worldloppet.
Location described above. The Canadian version of the Birkie. Certainly a more tame experience, but terrific course, well-organized, and lots of fun people. Also usually either snowing so heavily that the grooming machines get stuck, or bitter cold that leaves three quarters of the field with undiscussable locations of frostbite. Usually provides entertainment one way or another.
Feb. 27 to March 6
Racing-Canadian Championships-Prince George BC. Have not been here in a while, (not since I camped in a parking lot for a week before starting the Canadian ski racer’s summer ritual of tree planting back in 1997) I remember it as a typical BC logging town. Certainly much Canadian culture to be found.
All in all, I hope to bring you a taste of what the Canadian racing season has to offer. So fire up the Coleman, fry up some back bacon, crack open a couple of cold ones, and sit back and relax and make sure you are ready to enjoy it in true Canadian style!