Border to Border Ski - Day 4 - Double-Poling to the Max!
After icing my leg last night, I woke up this morning to a lot of color!
I immediately made the decision to go easy on it and set a goal of 20k for the day. I passed on starting from the resort as I had no interest in falling and making matters worse. The weather was in sharp contrast with the previous day as instead of a clear sky it was snowing heavily.
I took the 9:00 a.m. bus to Rytinki with the idea of at least getting to the lunch stop at Kelenkyla. I sat with Ruedi on the way there. Ruedi is the really great guy from Switzerland who I initially met at the airport in Helsinki and we roomed together at the Tropiiki resort. I snapped this photo of us before we started our ski.
The snow was coming down pretty good from the very beginning. After a short stretch in the woods, the course would quickly move into the swamps. One really nice thing about these conditions was that its flatness facilitated double-poling which would help protect my leg From further abuse.
I really appreciated the coaching I received from Marcel regarding double-poling on Day 1 as this greatly increased my efficiency and reduced my required effort.
After crossing a lot of swamp, we dipped back into the forest for the final stretch heading toward lunch.
The Alaskans (Bob, Molly, and Mark) who had started from the beginning caught up with me. Mark looked totally gray from the snow sticking to his hair.
Mark and I had a great discussion about Remote Workforce Keweenaw the previous evening as he is involved in economic development up in Alaska.
Right before reaching the lunch station, the basket on my second pole fell off. As good fortune would have it, Hannah from Sweden came along and indicated that she had a spare set of poles that she could pull from the bus at lunch.
Lunch was once again in a teepee with a fire heating it. Potato soup was on the menu and really hit the spot!
Hannah lent me her poles (which happened to be exactly the same length as mine) so I was committed to moving onward! The large amount of double-poling was making a big difference for my shin as it was largely eliminating the need for striding. A quick side note and shout out here for Derek Sturos at Aspirus for rehabbing my shoulder issue last year as there were no ill effects to be felt in this significant repetitive use.
Continuing on, I indulged heavily at the next aid station until Marcel, Craig, Sherry, and Matti showed up.
I double-poled along with them for 5k until I met up with Michael from Perth, Australia who was my roommate last night and would be one of three roommates tonight.
Michael and I wrapped up our days at Petaja and took the bus to the Gasthaus Ranua. Dinner was available and I went ahead and ate early with Jared from the U.K. (he is a freelance film editor from London) and Anne from Sweden (she is a union labor attorney from Stockholm). Anne and I had quite a conversation and it was very interesting to do a comparison/contrast of how our two countries approach labor relations.
Tomorrow our ski is only 43k, but we will be sleeping communally as a group in a building with limited facilities.
As final items, here is the map for today’s ski and Strava’s take on what I did.
Thanks for reading Keith’s RWK Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.