Birkie

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Greggb
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Birkie

Postby Greggb » Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:21 pm

With only two weeks to go I, havent heard too much chatter about the Birkie?

I just checked trail conditions and it seems the Birkie trail isnt enjoying the large amounts of snow the rest of Wisconson has. But obviously better than past years.

For the Birkie website:
The trail is firm and fast with a solid 5-6" base. Conditions are very good to excellent. Tracks on the Birkie Classic Trail are excellent.
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Postby Montana » Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:48 pm

A friend of mine skied the Pre-Birkie yesterday (Feb 9) and said the trail skied very well with good snow. He commented on the fact that while air temps were in the 20s the snow seemed to ski like it was a lot colder than that. Maybe because the temps have been so cold up there previously.

I'll be heading over to Hayward (from Montana) next weekend but won't be able to post any conditions until I return home after the Birkie. ;)

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Postby E365 » Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:54 pm

I'm signed up. I even took the week of the Birkie as vacation so I wouldn't miss it. Working weekends sucks :-( My goal is the top 200 so I can be in next years Elite wave. Missed it by just a few seconds in 2006.

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Postby kuan » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:30 am

I'm in too. I'm in wave 4, but with a good performance, I hope to be in wave 3 next year.

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Postby lkm » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:42 pm

Conditions are currently great on the Birkie trail. I did the Pre-Birkie Saturday and have skied on the trail near Double-O a couple of times before that. Certainly they are better than the last few years, even though the area has not received any substantial snow since before Christmas. The only area of concern is Lake Hayward. The lake itself needs some snow on it, although if needed they will probably fix this with some plowing of snow to make a trail. The jaunt across the lake during the Pre-Birkie was interesting, only a couple inches of fluffy snow on top of glare ice (Most people skated carefully, while some people mostly double poled). And this was before the high winds that probably blew a lot of it away.

In Cumberland, the largest snowfall we have received in the last six weeks was ONE inch, all the rest have been very light dustings. However, skiing remains good all around the area since the base from the early December snowfalls has never melted and we have received enough light snowfalls to freshen things up.

Also, looks like the possibility of a good storm later this week (I've heard that before and it never comes), but I'll keep my fingers crossed. Anything to add to the base since the last minute meltdown before the Birkie is always a concern.

The snow drought continues, but the difference this year is that it has mostly stayed cold enough to prevent a major meltdown. We are well below normal for snowfall for the year, what a different story from a little farther south.

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Postby E365 » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:25 am

I took a trip up to the Birkie trail yesterday (Wed, 13 Feb) to check out the trail and get a good ski in. Snow-wise the trail is excellent. There was a fresh .5" of powder over what looked like a fresh grooming. The only downside was the tree debris in certain spots. Really a nitpick, but I had to come up with something to report. Mostly it was pine needles in the few kilometer north of 00.

It appears Hayward got about 3" last night, so I'd guess the trail will be perfect after a grooming! I took some pictures, but the light was bad.

Just north of OO, looking south.
Image

The worst of the pine needles in the dense forest section north of OO
Image

Looking great!
Image

Looking backwards up the new classic trail. This is where it rejoins the main trail I believe.
Image

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Postby lkm » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:08 pm

Just as I predicted would happen, a warmup is already showing up in the long range forecasts for Thursday-Saturday of race week.

It says only mid 30s right now but usually that means it will get above 50. Last year the fatal blow was 52 degrees on Thursday when only 30s were predicted.

I hate being pessimistic, but this is the way it always seems to go.

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Postby lkm » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:19 pm

Every outlook looks the same, this one especially bothers me.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/p ... /index.php

Also, here is a troubling quote from the Duluth National Weather Service forecast discussion (which covers the Hayward area):
"a significant and more lasting warm-up is apt to
begin sometime late in the coming week."


There is no guarantee the race will even be held at this point.
Last edited by lkm on Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby donpollari » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:57 pm

Oy 1k, such negativity this far out is uncalled for.

If you turn out to be right it will break my heart, no need for it to be broken yet though.

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Postby fishskicanoe » Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:55 pm

It would take a week of above freezing weather, day and night, to affect the trail to the point that the race would be threatened. No reason to even be concerned at this point. A couple of days of above freezing weather combined with below freezing nights will just mean the course will be faster.

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.ph ... 1.4803&e=0

http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/U ... arch_10day

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Postby Nordicnorm » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:03 pm

A little historical perspective. From my logs, data may not be perfect but it is close. Temperatures at the start of the past 31 Birkes. Temps in F

1977 15
1978 0
1979 19
1980 21
1981 16
1982 21
1983 9
1984 22
1985 10
1986 12
1987 28
1988 1
1989 33
1990 19
1991 9
1992 28
1993 10
1994 5
1995 20
1996 35
1997 20
1998 32
1999 34
2000 30 Race Canceled
2001 22
2002 32
2003 12
2004 28
2005 4 I don't remember it being this cold
2006 9
2007 23

Again, my logs are very casual and sometimes written down a couple of days later.

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Birkie

Postby JeffM » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:49 pm

I question you temp for the 1988 race. It was really about -6 to -10 at the start that year.
I'm still not worried about the race next Saturday.

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Re: Birkie

Postby Biffbradford » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:38 pm

JeffM wrote:I question you temp for the 1988 race. It was really about -6 to -10 at the start that year.
I'm still not worried about the race next Saturday.


That's what I recall also. We woke up and it was -18 or something, and when I finished, my turtle neck was frozen to my skin. :?
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Postby lkm » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:44 pm

2005 4 I don't remember it being this cold


I remember it! I just looked at my ski diary, and I wrote that it was 4 BELOW at the start and 30 degrees after I finished. I remember wondering how I found wax that worked pretty well over that range.

Also noteworthy looking at my log from that year, there was still good skiing for a month after the Birkie and my last ski was on March 27th, which was Easter morning. [/url]

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Postby snowhunter » Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:51 am

I think those temps are legit, from my memory. Just that when you add wind to the equation, it sometimes feels colder, and with no wind and sun, and warming (i.e. 05) it's not too bad. I do recall the 88 race was pretty brutal, and I had frostbite on my nose, cheeks and ears after the race (skin peeled like sunburn later), and one frozen groin area that hurt like all get out for a while.

Anyway, I was contacted by the Birkie office to do a promotional interview with Birkie founder John Kotar today. If you are interested, here is the link to the interview: http://www.weau.com/newscenter13today/headlines/15587137.html
I'm the guy who doesn't look quite old enough to be a founder...not quite used to this TV interview thing yet either ;)


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