Saturday, March 01, 2014

Local Tourathon 2014

Starting as an early teen and extending into adulthood I have enjoyed ski marathons.  The first one was the 35-mile Chautauqua Overland that originated in Westfield by a guy named Jack Volker.  It died out after a few consecutive winters without enough snow so later I tried the Tug Hill Tourathon but didn't really like it as much as the route wasn't very challenging or interesting.  A couple skiing friends from the Ithaca area, Regis Carver and Rob Licht, gave a marathon a go in Hammond Hill State Forest which was fun but was too tough to catch on and get the necessary momentum.

This winter, after skiing consistently enough in December and January to get the urge for a marathon I looked into one near Watertown but it didn't sound too interesting since it was four laps around a course for a total of 30 miles.  I decided to take advantage of the frozen creeks downtown to form a route that would provide at least 30 miles of trail.  It wouldn't be the most interesting places to ski but the concept made up for some of the short comings; leaving from home and heading down Six Mile Creek to the Inlet which would link to both the Black Diamond Trail and Buttermilk State Park.  In the end I only made it 25 miles, but on two long uphill sections and one long flat one I had to break trail in snow deep enough to bury the tips of my skis.  It was nine hours of fine skiing in a light snowfall and ten minutes in a heavy squall.

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