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Stuart wrote:

>Here's two seasons as bad or worse than our current. Go to the Mt Mansfield
>snow depth historical data and check out (parameter: snowdepth) 1982, and
>1973.

Instead of using the historical stake data, I'll use my own experience as
evidence of what was worse or better than one year or another.

1982 was bad, but this year is worse. Evidence: on this date in 1982 our x-c ski
team (high school in Rutland) could not ski locally due to lack of snow, but
with a 45 minute drive to Woodstock and Quechee, we were able to train on the
flat golf courses that had an icy base of 5-10 inches. We were able to ski on
local x-c ski trails earlier that December.

There is no such icy base for x-c skiing in south-central Vermont presently, and
there has not been enough snow for any x-c skiing in this region yet this year
(and only a handfull of weeks last season).

I only vaguely recall 1973 so I cannot say if that was worse.

The bad conditions in 1982 were good from one point of view. They trails were so
icy and firm that we got so tired of using klister that we decided to try this
new technique called "skating" that we heard Bill Koch was using on the World
Cup circuit. In January, as few of us on the boys team were brave enough for
forego klister in the races and skate it entirely. By February a few others
were trying it, and by the end of that season even the girls were doing it. We
didn't do it on every race, but rather decided just before the race started
based on the terrain and snow conditions.

It wasn't for several years later that skating and classic became separate
events. It was an exciting time to be x-c racing. There are few other instances
in any other sport where a new technique almost completely changes the way it is
done. The Fosbury (sp?) flop in high jumping would be another example. I'm sure
there are others.

Jim

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