Kristy Maki/Ben Popp Live Birkie Video Update Takeaways
Silent Sports Magazine
Kristy Maki and Ben Popp hosted the January 29, 7 PM Birkie update, with weather and conditions on everyone’s mind. The first takeaway is that Kristy and Ben deserve kudos for their straightforward honesty in presenting the truth, but also for the amazing effort of the ABSF staff and volunteers. This is the truth, not lip service.
The next takeaway is for you to keep the following Birkie link on hand:
This takes you to the now-recorded and available January 29th Q. & A. with Ben and Kristy, along with the prior Q. & As. It also will provide updates for you. The live Q. & A lasted 30 minutes.
The ABSF has 4 contingencies planned, including everything from a full Birkie to cancellation, based on weather and snowfall. As far as a full Birkie is concerned, that is very unlikely given the current condition of Lake Hayward, with the ice at about 4″ now, down from 10″ ten days ago, with warm temps continuing for a time before things turn colder. With 9″ needed for safe skier crossing, and 12″ for safe groomer crossing, a near-miracle would be required for a Main St. finish to happen. A finish short of Lake Hayward is a consideration if other conditions permit. But just as a full Birkie is unlikely, given expected conditions closer to race week, a full cancellation is unlikely. An option is to have the Birkie start at Telemark Village on the Skate trail, returning to Telemark on the Classic trail. Another option is a 10K loop. These options are realistically possible given the impressive snowmaking capabilities going on right now, creating a huge “mountain range” of human-made snow at the base of Mt. Telemark (please stay off!).
The Open Track distances will occur on Wednesday as planned, but modified along the line of the Korte and Birkie events, with the Birkie classic possibly being held on Sunday. The Giant Ski, Barnebirkie, and other great events will happen in some fashion. The Birkie Expo will not change nor will the Birkie Bash with special guest Jessie Diggins. Should the 10K lap be the result, the chance to watch Jessie Diggins and all the other great elite skiers will be enhanced.
As Ben pointed out at the start of the presentation, the Birkie has been in this type of situation before, but there has been a lot learned and a lot accomplished at Mt. Telemark Village to make a good Birkie experience possible! Thank you!