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Lowell_Skoog
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Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« on: 03/01/16, 05:33 PM »



The northern half of the Mountaineers Patrol Race route.  The base map was drawn in 1931 by H.V. Strandberg and H.R. Morgan.  Historically, the route started at the Mountaineers lodge near Lodge Lake, but today it starts at Summit West ski area.  (The route line should not be taken too seriously in the Lodge Lake vicinity.) 


During the fall of 2000, I began a long-term project to research and document the history of human-powered skiing in Washington.  I started by reviewing the Mountaineer Annuals, and soon was engrossed in stories of the club's old Patrol Race, an 18-mile dash between Snoqualmie and Stampede Passes.  The race ran from 1930 through 1941, then stopped, apparently for good.



Patrol Race trophies. Left: Mountaineer club trophy awarded from 1930 through 1936. Right: Open Patrol Race trophy awarded from 1936 through 1941.


I was intrigued by the stories I had read and inspired to follow the tracks of the old-time skiers to better understand their accomplishments. In January 2001, I scouted the north and south ends of the route on separate trips.  Then, on a cold, foggy day, I skied the route end-to-end, taking eight hours to navigate from Snoqualmie Summit and break trail to the Mountaineers Meany Lodge near Stampede Pass.



Navigation without a GPS near Stampede Pass during my first solo ski of the route, January 2001.  (Selfie with a film camera.)


Something about the route intrigued me. I felt transported in time and began to appreciate what skiing in the Cascades was like before there were rope tows.  In 2002 I tried to organize a Mountaineer outing to repeat the route with partners, but the trip had to be cancelled due to high avalanche hazard.  After the danger passed (and my party was disbanded) I repeated the route solo again as a consolation trip.

These trips were done before the first Life-Link randonnee rally was organized in Washington (and well before Vertfest) so the community of skiers interested in covering distance without the prospect of good turns was small and poorly connected.  Though I had been a member of the Mountaineers for many years, I had never been active in the club.



John Mauro follows the snow-covered Crest Trail toward Tinkham Peak in February 2004.


In 2004, I put out a call on turns-all-year.com to repeat the Patrol Route with a partner. John Mauro contacted me, and we completed the trip on Washington's Birthday.  I came home from the trip with a new friend and some nice photos of the route, and I soon published a story on my website about it.

This led to an invitation from the Mountaineers to organize a reenactment of the old Patrol Race in 2005.  I didn't feel up to organizing a full-blown race, but I offered to lead a tour instead.



Wolf Bauer tells stories of the Patrol Race on his 94th birthday at the "new" Snoqualmie Lodge on February 24, 2006. 


The winter of 2005 was a snow drought and the tour had to be cancelled. We rescheduled it during the winter of 2006.  By this time, I had met and interviewed Wolf Bauer several times, and I'd published a profile of him in the Northwest Mountaineering Journal.  In 1936, Wolf's team set a course record for the Patrol Race of 4 hours, 37 minutes, and 23 seconds.  We invited Wolf to speak to our group at the "new" Snoqualmie Lodge (between Summit Central and Summit West) the night before our tour.  This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as the lodge burned down a few months later.



Brandon Kern skis across Mirror Lake during the first modern running of the Patrol Race in 2014.


The 2006 tour satisfied my interest in the Patrol Race route, and I didn't ski it again for eight years.  In 2014, a new group of Mountaineer skiers spearheaded by Nigel Steere got serious about reviving the Patrol Race.  Nigel is an avid split-boarder and his family has been involved in the Mountaineers Meany Lodge for four generations. I consulted with Nigel on race planning and organized my own team with Seth Davis and Brandon Kern, two skiers I'd met at Vertfest rando rallies.  My teammates were eager to challenge Wolf Bauer's old record, but I was skeptical we could do it, perhaps jaded by too many slow trailbreaking trips.

Ultimately, fate intervened. The night before the race, Seth twisted his knee skiing in a City League race at Alpental.  He was out.  Brandon and I skied the Patrol Race but were disqualified because we weren't a full team.  Our time of 5 hours, 39 minutes would have been been fast enough to win, and we realized that if we could eliminate a couple errors we'd made enroute, we might have a shot at the old record.



Brandon Kern leading the way up Dandy Creek using a tether in 2014.  We found tethering helpful to link individuals into an energy sharing team.


The winter of 2015 was another snow drought and the race could not be held.  For 2016, Nigel Steere organized the largest Patrol Race ever run, with 20 three-person teams competing.  Brandon, Seth and I signed up at our first opportunity and trained with enthusiasm.  I was worried about hypothermic conditions due to the rainy whether pattern leading up to the race.  But Saturday, February 27 proved just dry enough to enable us to ski without rain gear without getting soaked.

We left the parking lot at Summit West at 7:30 a.m. and made our way to the old starting line near Lodge Lake in about 26 minutes.  There we started timers to compare our pace to the historic teams, which started at the old Mountaineer Lodge that stood there until a fire destroyed it in 1944. 



Team "Wet and Scrappy" at Meany Lodge at the end of the 2016 Patrol Race (L-R: Lowell, Brandon and Seth). Photo: Tracy Fuentes, Meany Lodge


When the trail conditions were good, we often linked ourselves into a train using short tethers.  Far from being cheating, I think this technique from skimo racing is a key step to link individuals into an energy-sharing team.  The old Patrol Racers acknowledged that their race was really a contest between the slowest members of each team. Had the tethering technique been known in the 1930s, I think they would have embraced it. (Nothing in the rules prevents using it.)

With Seth and Brandon's slightly faster pace and my knowledge of the route, we moved well and made no mistakes this time. In the end we completed the route from Summit West to Meany Lodge in an official time of 4 hours, 52 minutes, and 7 seconds.  Based on timer and GPS data, our time from the old Lodge Lake start to Meany was 4:25:56, a little over 11 minutes ahead of the 1936 record set by Wolf Bauer, Chet Higman and Bill Miller.

When I first skied the Patrol Race route alone in 2001, the achievements of Wolf Bauer and his friends seemed almost super-human.  To honor Wolf by challenging his record has been the fulfillment of a 15-year dream.  Wolf died just over a month ago at 103 years of age.  His Patrol Race record outlived him, and I knew him well enough to know that this would have been a great satisfaction to him.



Southern half of the Patrol Race route. The race ends at Meany Ski Hut (now called Meany Lodge) near the abandoned railroad townsite of Martin.


« Last Edit: 03/01/16, 09:35 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
jtack
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #1 on: 03/02/16, 12:11 AM »

Congratulations you guys! It was a rainy day, and did not seem like a day for records. It does not seem possible to travel that far over such demanding terrain in such a short time, an exceptional effort!

Lowell, we were holding up the "old" patrol race tradition, and stopped for coffee:





Meany Fun
« Last Edit: 03/04/16, 11:05 AM by jtack » Logged
Bronco
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #2 on: 03/02/16, 09:26 AM »

Congrats Lowell, Brandon and Seth!  Kind of a crappy weather day but we did have a sun break or two.  You guys passed us right where the trail dropped off the old road and crossed Rockdale Creek.  We would've continued on the road if you hadn't come by when you did, thanks! 

Thanks to all of the volunteers, especially Nigel and Pat for organizing and executing the event.  You guys are awesome! 
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cumulus
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #3 on: 03/02/16, 01:02 PM »

Way to go!

Next year: leather boots, wooden skis and wool sweaters. I'd join you for that!
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #4 on: 03/02/16, 02:30 PM »

Great report Lowell - it is really neat to see you passion for this route and we really appreciated the articles that you shared during the awards.  After the results from the first year (when you and Brandon ran the "modern" route as a twosome) I was skeptical that Wolf's record could be equaled.  Here's to a great Patrol Race in 2016 and the beginning of a rekindled tradition!
-Nigel
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #5 on: 03/02/16, 04:30 PM »

Great report Lowell - it is really neat to see your passion for this route and we really appreciated the articles that you shared during the awards. 

For those who weren't at Meany during the evening, and for those who'd like to refer back to the articles I read, here is the text I extracted from three articles in the Mountaineer Annual. The full articles contain a lot more stuff, but these passages captured themes that I thought were fitting for this occasion:

Quote

The Mountaineer, 1963
MOUNTAINEER SKIING, 1927-1933 
by Fred Ball

The trip between the Lodge and Martin became very popular about the time the Patrol Races started.  The initial scouting trip was made in February, 1928, coincident with the first special ski outing at Stampede.  A sizable group started from the Lodge, traveling by contour map, compass, and faith, expecting to join the party at Stampede Saturday night.  Something went awry, however, and the skiers were forced to spend the night sitting in a hole around a stump, baked by the fire on one side and frozen on the other.  They continued at first light, emerging somewhere below Stampede and straggling in to join the outing Sunday morning.  Their original route was improved and became standard, later being well marked.  Any novel or whimsical idea could easily set in motion a trip across.  It was quite a satisfaction suddenly to appear on the lane at Martin complete with pack and to answer the question "Where did you come from?" by saying, "Oh, we've just come from the Lodge." [...]

The first Patrol Race was run on March 23 [1930].  Four patrols entered [...] The real heroes of this event were the public-spirited souls who got out of bed in the blackness, ate a hasty breakfast, and took off by headlight to break trail for the racers.  Wolf Bauer, Hans Grage, and Chet Higman, being under twenty years, were not eligible to race (although they could probably have won) but volunteered as trail-breakers together with Otto Lunn and possibly others.  They left the Lodge very early, and a similar group was to leave Meany to break trail.  It took the Lodge group nine hours to complete their trip [...]

The Grigg-Hayes-Shorrock patrol drew first starting place with Anderson-Ball-Giese starting five minutes later.  Our patrol caught up with the first one on the back side of Tinkham Peak and kept ahead to the finish.  We had provided small pouches in which to carry food that could be eaten with one hand and attached them to our packs so we could reach them without stopping to remove the pack.  Thus we were able to munch as we traveled, at little loss of time. [...]



The Mountaineer, 1956
PATROL RACES HIGHLIGHT THE '30s
by Paul Shorrock

The Ski Patrol Races from the old Snoqualmie Lodge to Meany ski hut were started in 1930 and continued until the winter of 1940-41. [...]

There were three men on each racing team.  After drawing for places, the teams were started about 10 minutes apart and the three men of each team were required to go over the finish line at Meany within one minute of each other.  [...]

Each of the three skiers must carry an emergency ration weighing not less than one and one-half pounds, electric flashlight, matches, snow glasses, extra sweater or jacket, extra pair mitts, extra pair socks, and bandana.  Each contestant was required to start, carry and finish with a pack weighing not less than ten pounds. [...] The usual weight amounted to between fifteen and twenty pounds, as a matter of fact. [...]

At any rate, I remember that one year I raced the whole 18 miles with a brick in my pack which some of my prankster "friends" had slipped in after the pack was weighed by the officials.

The night preceding one of these grueling tests would be a scene of much activity, speculation and secret planning at the old lodge.  Theories on everything from ski wax to fad diets were discussed with passionate partisanship.  There were those who asserted that you raced on the dinner you ate the night before and, according to them, the less breakfast eaten, the better; those of the hearty breakfast school of thought brought their own lamb chops, steaks, or whatever they figured would best energize them for the long trek across.

The route was laid out via Olallie Meadows, up over Tinkham Pass, around Mirror Lake, then down Yakima Pass, with a steep climb up to the Cedar River Watershed.  After a long descent came the hazard of Dandy Creek crossing (usually on a slippery log), then up again to Dandy Pass, around Baldy, down to Stampede Pass, over the Powerline Hill across Meany Hill and down the Lane to the Meany Ski Hut.  The average time for the trip was between five and six hours. 

On the morning of the race the trail breakers were aroused and fed about four o'clock and were soon on their way, headlights penetrating the darkness.  Races have been run in rain, through deep, fresh snow and on death­ defying crusty conditions.  Once a race was scheduled, it was run!

The racers would probably get off around eight o'clock and soon afterwards the "cleanup" crew were on their way, supposedly to herd in any stragglers, or to assist the maimed and wounded.  After things were put in order at the lodge, most of the crowd drove over the pass, skied across to Meany from the  highway and were in on the excitement of the finish. [...]

Most of the participants took the whole thing very seriously and went into the contest with intense competiveness but I remember one year when three men from another club entered who knew little about skiing and cared less about winning.  They signed in just for the fun of the trip across and no three men ever had a better time.  In another race one team lost their way completely and missed the train home.  Excitement always ran high at the finish line.  To watch the men at the end of an 18-mile race over the roughest kind of terrain, their legs all but numb from fatigue, try to run the steep "lane" at Meany and cross the finish line in some kind of an upright position, filled the audience with suspense, sympathy and admiration.  It seems to me that one year the winning team finished only seconds ahead of the second place team!  And many years less than ten minutes separated the two winning teams. 

Those were rugged days!



The Mountaineer, 1963
TELEMARKS, SITZMARKS, AND OTHER EARLY IMPRESSIONS
By Wolf Bauer

The moment the term "memoirs" crept into our editor's request for contributing some "I-was-there" background notes on our Roaring Thirties in Northwest skiing, I began to realize that the jig was up.  Clearly I was tagged and classified with the elders of the tribe whose memories must be tapped before they are lost in senility.  This unhappy suspicion, however, began to fade somewhat as I strained to recall those exciting years of the Twenties and Thirties.  It soon became obvious how right the editor might be, after all, for it is astounding how much trivia the mind recalls at the expense of facts and figures of value to others.  Thus at the risk of offending my old skiing companions with important omissions while boring our younger schussboomers and schneehaserl, let me ramble a bit about our ski-doings as seen from the happy-go-lucky eyes of a Bavarian teenager, experiencing the excitement of the ski explosions twice in two successive decades on two separate continents. [...]

The Patrol Race, instituted in 1930, soon became one of the highlights on the club racing calendar.  Its early appeal probably stemmed from the adventurous and sometimes "expeditionary" aspects of the event, as Fred Ball and others can reluctantly be made to testify.  To many, also, appealed the beauty of the region between our lodges.  These three-man team races were run at the speed of the slowest member, thus allowing at least half of the participants to negotiate the course under comparatively moderate effort and enjoyment.  Exceptions could be cited in the case of two unwitting stalwarts who carried rocks and bricks in their rucksacks all the way across.  These desperation methods failed, however, to achieve their purposes.  That one of these victims should turn out to be Paul Shorrock was a more or less foregone conclusion to anybody but him.  Hans­ Otto Giese never did find out who-dun-it.

I well remember the more leisurely early pace of these races when one flopped down on the trail to eat a filling lunch until the puffing of the next patrol came too close for comfort.  Five club patrol races were held before 1936, when the course was also opened for this and five more races to outside club competition.  That year, with the help of Bill Miller and Chet Higman, we established a club-race record of just under four and one-half hours.  Using narrow cross-country racing skis and dispensing with the three-course coffee break, the race became a hard-fought open chase with little time and inclination to enjoy the sweat­blurred scenery.  If it accomplished anything, the patrol race made this region certainly more accessible and popular for a considerable period in the thirties, especially after the permanent trail markers were installed. [...]

Numerous racing anecdotes could be recounted, many of which now seem as hilarious and funny as they were serious and embarrassing at the time.

« Last Edit: 03/03/16, 02:40 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
Lowell_Skoog
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #6 on: 03/02/16, 05:13 PM »

Note that Wolf Bauer writes in 1963 (27 years after the race occurred) that his 1936 club-race record was just under four and one-half hours. Two different times have been published, and I've spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out which one is accurate. The two times are 4:27:23 and 4:37:23 (ten minutes apart). I have gone with the longer time for the following reasons:

1. The longer time was published in both the Seattle Times and Seattle P-I immediately following the race. It was also published in the Mountaineer monthly Bulletin within one month of the race. In the March 1936 Bulletin, it is said that the new record lowered the old record by nearly 55 minutes.

2. Both the Times and the P-I wrote that the former record was 5:32. (I'm not sure which year that refers to, because I haven't found written documentation of that specific time. The closest result to that time that I've found in Mountaineer publications is 5:35:22, which was recorded in 1935. There are several years where I have not found a record of a time, and the 5:32 record may have been set during one of those years.) If true, this would provide further evidence that 4:37:23 is the correct new record, based on the statement in the March 1936 Mountaineer Bulletin that the new record "lowered the old course record by nearly 55 minutes".

3. The shorter time was published in the Mountaineer Annual near the end of the year of 1936. My theory is that this was an editing error introduced in the Annual. Note that the annual says this shorter time was "nearly an hour faster than the old record." That statement is inconsistent with an old record of either 5:32 or 5:35:22. If the new record was truly 4:27:23, then it would be MORE than an hour faster than the old record. To me, this reinforces my theory that the 4:27:23 figure is a typo.

Happily, Seth, Brandon and I skied from the old Snoqualmie Lodge site to Meany Lodge in less than 4 hours, 27 minutes, so regardless of what the former record really was, we bettered it.
« Last Edit: 03/20/16, 09:39 AM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
Lowell_Skoog
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #7 on: 03/02/16, 05:42 PM »

At the end of the awards program at Meany Lodge on Saturday, several of us sang an old 10th Mountain song to celebrate the event.

For those who would like to learn the tune, you can listen to it on this video I produced in December:

https://www.facebook.com/lowell.skoog/videos/1162627847097885/?pnref=story

The video features my teammates Seth and Brandon, as well as a third friend, Ian Mackie, skiing powder at Snoqualmie Pass.

The Facebook page includes the full lyrics for the tune, and I've reproduced them below:

Quote

TWO BOARDS

The years may have more than one season
But I can remember just one,
The time when the rivers are freezin’
And the mountains with whiteness are spun,
The snowflakes are falling so fast,
And winter has come now at last.

1st CHORUS
Two boards upon cold powder snow, Yo-ho!
What else does a man need to know?
Two boards upon cold powder snow, Yo-ho!
That's all that a man needs to know.

The hiss of your skis is a passion;
You cannot imagine a spill!
When, Bang! — there's a godawful gash in
The smooth shining track on the hill.
What's happened you can't understand;
There's two splintered skis in your hand.

2nd CHORUS
Two boards and some snow down your neck, Oh heck!
Your skis are a hell of a wreck.
Two boards and some snow down your neck, Oh heck!
Your skis are a hell of a wreck.

I care not if government taxes
Take everything else that I own;
Two hickory boards and some waxes
And I'm free in the mountains alone.
If death finally finds me in Spring,
Inscribe on my tomb what I sing:

1st CHORUS
Two boards upon cold powder snow, Yo-ho!
What else does a man need to know?
Two boards upon cold powder snow, Yo-ho!
That's all that a man needs to know.

-----
Lyrics composed to an old Austrian ski tune
by the men of the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment
Paradise, Mount Rainier, 1942

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Seth
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #8 on: 03/02/16, 06:26 PM »

Nigel and team, Thanks for putting on such a great event.  It is a special route ending in a special place.  Next year our whole family is coming to make turns on the Meany rope tows!  The Mach rope tow is impressive!
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JasonGriffith
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #9 on: 03/02/16, 08:57 PM »

Note that Wolf Bauer writes in 1963 (27 years after the race occurred) that his 1936 club-race record was just under four and one-half hours. Two different times have been published, and I've spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out which one is accurate. The two times are 4:27:23 and 4:37:23 (ten minutes apart). I have gone with the longer time for the following reasons:

1. The longer time was published in both the Seattle Times and Seattle P-I immediately following the race. It was also published in the Mountaineer monthly Bulletin within one month of the race. In the March 1936 Bulletin, it is said that the new record lowered the old record by nearly 55 minutes.

2. Both the Times and the P-I wrote that the former record was 5:32. (I'm not sure which year that refers to, because I haven't found written documentation of that specific time. The closest result to that time that I've found in Mountaineer publications is 5:35:22, which was recorded in 1935. Where are several years where I have not found a record of a time, and the 5:32 record may have been set during one of those years.) If true, this would provide further evidence that 4:37:23 is the correct new record, based on the statement in the March 1936 Mountaineer Bulletin that the new record "lowered the old course record by nearly 55 minutes".

3. The shorter time was published in the Mountaineer Annual near the end of the year of 1936. My theory is that this was an editing error introduced in the Annual. Note that the annual says this shorter time was "nearly an hour faster than the old record." That statement is inconsistent with an old record of either 5:32 or 5:35:22. If the new record was truly 4:27:23, then it would be MORE than an hour faster than the old record. To me, this reinforces my theory that the 4:27:23 figure is a typo.

Happily, Seth, Brandon and I skied from the old Snoqualmie Lodge site to Meany Lodge in less than 4 hours, 27 minutes, so regardless of what the former record really was, we bettered it.

How much advantage do you reckon modern gear gave your team Lowell?  I'm not nearly as familiar as you with the old gear, but I have to think that it was a lot heavier than what you had? 
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #10 on: 03/02/16, 09:38 PM »

How much advantage do you reckon modern gear gave your team Lowell?  I'm not nearly as familiar as you with the old gear, but I have to think that it was a lot heavier than what you had? 

I think modern gear provides an advantage, but it's hard to say how much. Wolf's 1963 recollections say they used "narrow cross-country racing skis." They were probably still heavier than our light skimo gear.

More interesting to me is the difference between using skins and using wax. They used wax in the old days. When it's working well, wax can be very fast, probably faster than any sort of skins. But I'm no good at waxing, so I can't say much more about it.

I think there's no doubt that Wolf Bauer and his friends were super strong skiers. I have the utmost respect for them. (They were also young. When Wolf set his record in 1936, he was one week shy of his 24th birthday.)

Those were rugged days!
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kamtron
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #11 on: 03/03/16, 09:05 AM »

The Facebook page includes the full lyrics for the tune, and I've reproduced them below:

Lowell, that song is great! Beats the heck out of all those other Winter songs
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #12 on: 03/03/16, 10:19 AM »

Fine work, guys! A tremendous accomplishment and a fitting tribute to Wolf at the same time.
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #13 on: 03/03/16, 10:30 AM »

Wolf's 1963 recollections say they used "narrow cross-country racing skis." They were probably still heavier than our light skimo gear.

Turns out I have pictures of some of those skis.

Bill Degenhardt's team won the Patrol Race in 1935 and 1937 (the years that bracketed Wolf Bauer's victory). Degenhardt was later President of The Mountaineers and Mount Degenhardt in the North Cascades is named for him.

His Patrol Race skis are hanging in the Mountaineers Mt Baker lodge. A plaque on one of the skis identifies them as his Patrol Race skis.

Here's a photo of the memorial display, with skis:



And here's a close-up of one of the bindings. These bindings are kinda cool because when you lift the toe bar, it raises some little wings that clamp down on the boot sole on either side of the toe. You can see some pins sticking up into the sole of the boot to keep it from slipping out of the binding when the clamp is down. I think there are two pins on each tow iron.



It looks to me like those skis do not have metal edges, but my photos don't show this definitively.
« Last Edit: 03/03/16, 10:33 AM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #14 on: 03/05/16, 10:30 AM »

Thanks for the write up.

I think you should post a video of you guys singing that song. Smiley
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #15 on: 03/05/16, 03:34 PM »

I think you should post a video of you guys singing that song. Smiley

I'd love to, if I knew where find a video. Some folks were taking cell phone pictures, but I don't know if they were stills or video. I didn't keep track of who they were.

If anyone has a video, I'd like to get a copy.
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #16 on: 03/05/16, 08:18 PM »

Throw in my two cents about an awesome day in the mountains. Thanks to all the volunteers that worked so hard to make this happen, pretty awesome. And a big thanks to Nigel and Pat for getting this thing resurrected for what will hopefully be a continued PNW tradition for many years. Also, nice job to all the other teams that slogged 20 soggy miles and arrived with smiles at Meany. Gotta say, no other skimo race that I've been to offers hot showers, in house massage, amazing all you can eat food, and great company like the Patrol race does. I'll keep coming back as long as my teammates will tolerate looking at my skinsuit for 20 miles!

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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #17 on: 03/07/16, 09:48 PM »

Thank you for the great story Lowell - and thanks for reposting the stories you shared at meany as well. There's little doubt that without your passion and interest this would be off of most people's radar. I feel blessed to have been able to participate in such a cool event.
A huge thank you to the patrol race committee, the mountaineers and the other volunteers -


Thanks for sharing the group shot of all of us jtack! I've been hoping that one of those would surface.
  Can't wait for next year!
The guy who won the duck tape
« Last Edit: 03/07/16, 09:58 PM by mick_scott » Logged

BUSHWACK AND....
larry's sister
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Re: Feb 27, 2016 - Long game on the Patrol Race route
« Reply #18 on: 03/26/16, 09:01 PM »

I talked with my almost 100 year old Dad, Lonnie Robinson about skis, bindings and poles and wax tonight. He remembers the 1935 time period very well. He said he knew Wolf very well then. He also said there was a difference between the racers and the regular mountaineers (clearly Wolf Bauer made his mark in both camps), which he has maintained forever. He said his skis were Broderna Sandstrom, bindings were made by local Sid Gerber as were the poles in competition with the foreign imports. He knows all about that because he worked  for Gerber in 1935 cutting leather for the binding straps and pole baskets and straps. Gerber sold "crummy"( Dad's words) imported skis to Filson and they wanted to open a ski shop at that time so Dad then went there to be their ski pro, wrapping Christmas packages when the ski work was slow.  He also talked about waxes.  He said for that kind of race with different elevations and snow conditions the popular wax was "A24" probably like the old Swix blue but a little softer. He said it wouldn't climb perfectly but wouldn't ice up as it got colder.He taught me to wax when very young and when younger I would rather wax any day over skinning up, depending on the temperature range of the route. He talks endlessly about the finer points of waxing. As for weight I was also very aware that 1 pound on my feet was like 10 on my back. Dad says they cut out the middle of the heels in their boots to make race boots lighter, using a wood piece instead. He will be 100 in August and loves to talk about the old ski days.
« Last Edit: 03/27/16, 07:47 AM by larry's sister » Logged
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