From the Larch Hills Nordic Society’s scrapbooks, Cec Pulsifer and Gullan Hansen are pictured at the then-new Cec’s Cabin in the late ’80s. (Photo contributed)

From the Larch Hills Nordic Society’s scrapbooks, Cec Pulsifer and Gullan Hansen are pictured at the then-new Cec’s Cabin in the late ’80s. (Photo contributed)

Column: Girls rock 100-kilometre ski days at Larch Hills

Trail Tales by Marcia Beckner

Trail Tales by Marcia Beckner

It’s that time of year when one can be doing so many activities one has trouble deciding.

My mantra has always been, “If you have to make a choice, so both!”

Right now the skiing is still good in the Larch Hills, the roads and some trails have dried up enough to entice folks out on their bikes and the yard is looking for some attention in the pruning and spring clean-up department. So we ski some mornings, cycle some afternoons, do yardwork in between.

Sometimes the afternoons are more inviting for skiing since the conditions can be somewhat icy in the morning, with warm temperatures during the day, softening the tracks and freezing overnight making them icy.

If you choose to ski in the morning, the trick is to follow the route the tracksetter has taken in the early hours of the morning. These days, it is the Ginzugroomer which is the choice of tracksetter. The PB, with its size and weight, is too much for the springtime trails.

Following the tracksetter route assures the skier that she will be on tracks which will not be icy. Thanks to the tireless cadre of tracksetter fellas who volunteer so many early-hour outings to make our experience in the Larch Hills so wonderful!

Sunday was one of those lovely days on the hill. It had been raining in town, which means snow further up. We arrived at noon to a dusting of fresh snow and the sun making an attempt to come out. The tracks set that morning had snow in them and were not icy. Glorious to ski both bogs, Cottonwood Cutoff, Ermine Frolic, etc. A highlight was to run into three gals on Larch Hills Road who were just 18 kilometres from finishing their Sunday 100-km ski. Abbi May, Sheila Corbett and Laura Hepburn were certainly looking fresh 82-km into their quest! Saw them again just before they finished – still going strong. Congrats, gals, on this terrific accomplishment!

Read more: Trail tales: Appreciating Cec’s Cabin at Larch Hills

Read more: Column: Staying active while social distancing in the Larch Hills

The Sunday 100-km gals may have taken their inspiration from a trio of teenage gals who accomplished the feat the week before. Samantha Vukadinovic, Zara Buchar and Isabelle Wilkie challenged themselves to do the distance and succeeded handily. Congrats to them, also! And one can’t help but notice that both trios of successful 100-km outings consisted of females. Girls rock!

These 100-km Larch Hills ski events remind me and Jim of skiing the 90-km Vasaloppet in Sweden in 1994. That was an amazing day! Such a feeling of accomplishment – and a great way to spend a day! The longest of the 20 loppets in the Worldloppet series, the Vasaloppet holds special memories – likely because of its length, but also the friendliness of the Swedish folks who looked after us before, during and after the day-long ski.

While going through some photos recently I found a shot of Cec’s Cabin taken in 1991. Gullan Hansen and I are poised in front of the cabin with hardly a tree to be seen in the vicinity! Amazing how things can change in 30 years! A veritable forest around Cec’s now!

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