2008 Canadian Ski Marathon:



A brief history with a few pictures thrown in

Parham Momtahan CSM permanent bib#166


It was a great Canadian Ski Marathon weekend!



Buckingham Palace: Linen costs extra


It started with our usual luxurious stay at Buckingham Palace (AKA gold dorm, i.e. gym floor) in Buckingham, Québec.


Some of the fastest skiing to be had on the CSM, ever, was on Saturday: -5C fantastic glide and grip.


The first Coureur des Bois got to the gold camp around 12:30. With 6h:45 to complete 82 kms, and a backpack full of overnight camping gear, min. 20lb, this is really impressive.


Pierre and Parham at the 3rd checkpoint.


I got there about 2 hours after that, which as my earliest camp arrival record, impressed, at most, me.  However, my friend, Trevor, had got there by 1:30, he was the 7th one in, which meant I had a warm fire on arrival. That was very impressive J. Then our friend Paul arrived to selflessly share with us the fine bottle of Cabernet he’d brought in his 35lb backpack. Now, that was truly impressive J


Party time: life is fine at the Gold Camp on Saturday afternoon.


Saturday overnight at the gold camp:  It snow drizzled all night. I had a plastic sheet over my sleeping bag. I alternately lifted it from my head, getting a snow shower, or covered my head with it, my breath condensing and raining down on me. 


Pampered sleeping at the Gold Camp: ear plugs extra charge (credit: Real Perriard)


It got pretty damp. But it was warm. So it was not too uncomfortable under the circumstances.


Start Me Up! Getting going at the Gold Camp 4:30 on Sunday Morning


Sunday was another great day of skiing, but more challenging.  With more humid and warmer -3 to -1C weather, waxing was more tricky, with wax clumping under the skis at times. It'd also snowed about 3 cms on the tracks since they’d groomed it over night. Somehow the lead skier had not done a straight enough job of track setting J.  So, passing was harder and getting into a skiing rhythm was not that easy because of the inconsistent tracks.



Jean-Louis Dorego:#23 , 23 Gold Bars



At the end it was a great day with a sunshine finish in Lachute. We finished around 4:30 with my friend Pierre who was completing his first gold.



Oh What a Feeling: first time Coureur des Bois Gold, last downhill into Lachute


Our friend Natalie completed her fifth gold and has now her permanent bib number, and now joins her father Lorne and her husband Dave in the permanently golden club. Way to go Nat!



Permanently Golden: Nat on the left, dad Lorne on the right, husband Dave in the middle, Paul #173, and Real who has 14 gold finishes!


Also completing her first gold, crossing the finish line with her spouse Tom, was our friend Lynn (who, by the way, is Dr. Lynn Morgan the pet behaviourist veterinarian on the CBC Radio Ontario Today show.) Congrats Lynn!


Together across the line:  newly minted Gold!(credit: Chris Busby)



Big congrats also to our friend Michel Collette who got his bronze. I think this was not the easiest year for the bronze and silver given the track conditions on the second day made it harder to pass the slower skiers. The bronze, first and fifth gold are the ones to savour the most for me (the only ones I remember any way.)


Evidently this was a weekend of firsts by Pierre’s: Pierre Harvey, the Canadian ski legend, together with three others  Michel LeblancFrançois Guy Thivierge and Daniel Banville accomplished the incredible feat of skiing the whole 160 km CSM trails in one go! Starting at 8 pm on Saturday night in Buckingham, as an "expeditionary" exercise, it took them 21 hours to complete the distance. At the banquet, they looked remarkably good given what they had just done. Here’s an account of it, en français:  http://blogues.cyberpresse.ca/ski/?p=78


Very special accolades go to Jessie Krejcik, the 13 year old girl who completed her Coureur des Bois gold and raised money for children with cancer ( http://jessie160k.wordpress.com ) also becoming the youngest female gold. An 11 year old boy, Andreas Besemann,  from my ski club, Nakkertok, also completed his bronze. He may well be the youngest Coureur des Bois this year. Go Nakkertok! Peggy Smith, Jackrabbit Johanssen’s daughter was the oldest participant at the age of 90 and she looked very sprite at the banquet.


And then there is Nic Bendeli. He’s come all the way from Australia to XC ski in Canada this winter.  He’s been skiing around Canmore since November and done a number of Western loppets. He did the whole 160 kms, and camped out overnight. Though he will be listed as a Coureur des Bois bronze, not having done the bronze and silver prior, his is a golden accomplishment in my eyes.  He’ll be doing the Keskinada, sorry I meant the Gatineau Loppet, next weekend. Look out for him: should be pretty obvious, he’s an Aussie with a beard.


The man from Down Under: Nic Bendeli


The usual fantastic organization, support from the Canadian army reserve, Scouts Canada, and the hundreds of cheerful volunteers, generous sponsors, made it all happen for the lucky CSM participants. Thank You!


À La Prochaine!


Parham Momtahan (CSM permanent bib# 166).

All right reserved. Copyright, Parham Momtahan, 11 Feb 2008


Links to other ski stories by the author:


http://xcottawa.ca/articles.php?id=996 2008, The Triple Folly Challenge

http://momtahan.com/vasa2007   Vasaloppet 2007 in Sweden

http://www.xcottawa.ca/articles.php?id=737       2007 Keskinada Classic 53 

http://canadianmarathonstories.com/Stories/Parham_Momtahan.htm  2006, 40th Canadian Ski Marathon


Canadian Ski Marathon Web Site: