Rushing For Gold in a Blizzard

FasterSkierMarch 27, 2009

a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=””img style=”float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 165px; height: 200px;” src=”” border=”0″ alt=”” //abr /br /br /br /a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=””img style=”float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 133px;” src=”” border=”0″ alt=”” //abr /br / br /br /br /br /br /br /Nordic Dave (AKA Dave Knoop)br /br / Stein Lager (AKA Dan Packman)br /br /Fellow webskis teammate and friend Dave (aka Nordic Dave, from park city)br /writes a weekly race report. this week I’m filling in for him as he is offbr /to Finland for an epic adventure of his own- Lapponia ski week- 3 races inbr /5 days, /br /Nordic Dave spent last weekend immersed in a Finnish language quick studybr /program, learning that s-a-u-n-a means… sauna – in Finnish and /His cohort from Oregon, Stein Lager, ventured south for the the fabledbr /California Gold Rush. Gather round the fire for a front row race /br /Eyebrows raised and pulses quickened, as participants of the legendary Goldbr /and Silver Rush saw the updated weather forecast the day before the /Tonight.. cold and windy with heavy snow accumulation of 14-19 /Chance of snow 100%. Tomorrow.. continued heavy snow with a high of 22-25 /Considerable blowing and drifting.. Did I bring my softest skis? Which waxbr /to use? To fluor or not to fluor? Will the course be changed from a hillybr /21k to several shorter laps? Race officials made a wise decision at 5am tobr /use the old course, a stout 15km lap with plenty of climbing. Silver rushersbr /completed 2 laps while the gold rush skiers were to make 3 passes on thebr /challenging /br /This event is not for the timid masses, and 10 minutes before the start thebr /starting corrals are deserted. Five minutes to the start and men and womenbr /line up in the storm, anticipating an epic battle. The day would favor thebr /light and agile skier, and Stein is licking his chops. His skis test fastbr /and he is eager with motivation, his tank of panache and elan topped off andbr /ready for discretionary use. The gun goes off and Stein easily glidesbr /into… the lead! Not where one wants to be for a 45km journey, he backs offbr /into 8th and lets the young and fearless charge into the wind. Visibility isbr /about 100m. Seven km into the game, 3 strapping young lads test the waterbr /and venture off into the abyss. Stein contemplates pursuing them, yet hebr /quickly realizes that there are only 5 survivors in the chase pack andbr /decides to keep his powder dry. Jon Engen, Tav Streit, Zack Violet and Peterbr /Hanson make for good company. They settle into a pace, each taking turnsbr /leading the chase into the lashing /br /Stein enjoys fantastic glide, (Solda F31 Pink, Solda F40 Red, Solda Fluor 100) speaking many an apology to the taller skiersbr /in the group for having skied up onto them.. again. The feeding stations arebr /run by seasoned professionals, running alongside with warm drinks and openedbr /gel packets. Contrary to many events where there is a guy standing next to abr /table with slushy kool aid in large slippery plastic cups. Midway thru lapbr /2, the patriarch of ski marathoning lunges ahead, splitting the group. Steinbr /is relaxing at the back, and is slightly gapped by Engen’s surge. Not tobr /panic, Stein wisely lets the others go on, and on the 3rd lap he catches andbr /passes a couple of them, and they yell good work, nice job! Stein holds abr /steady 6th position into the finish, a satisfying result for a great /Some days it’s good to be the windshield instead of the bug. Stein reportsbr /into Nordic, who congratulates him in Finnish and suggests his favoritebr /post-race recovery- a beer in the sauna. That’s s-a-u-n-a, pronouncedbr /s-a-u-n-a. It means sauna, in English and /br /Stein straps on the dh skis for a powder day at Mt. Rose after the /br /Photos and complete results at;br /br / /br /Stay tuned for Nordic Dave’s lenghty and animated reports from /Until then.. keep the klister side down and enjoy spring skiing!br /br /br /– br /Mr. Stein Lagerbr /(steinlager is a new zealand beer)div class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’’ alt=” //div