The old movie Top Gun had Tom Cruise and his sidekick chanting I feel the need for speed. Of course, us skiers have the ski bum character from Hot Dog whose goal was also to go as fast possible. I have some of that in me.
On Saturday the snow was cold and therefore not lending itself to super fast skiing. While the skis were hot-waxed the night before, the wax suited the temperatures I thought we would have not the ones we did have. However, things lined up much better on Sunday. The temperatures were in the 20° F range and what wax remained on my skis was well suited to that temperature range. In addition, I was skiing with skill, confidence, and an aggressive mindset.
What was my top speed on skis? Read on!
View 2011-02-27 14:27 in a larger map
Created by My Tracks on Android.
Total Distance: 16.02 km (10.0 mi)
Total Time: 1:20:11
Moving Time: 1:18:38
Average Speed: 11.99 km/h (7.4 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 12.22 km/h (7.6 mi/h)
Max Speed: 93.62 km/h (58.2 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 334 m (1095 ft)
Max Elevation: 460 m (1509 ft)
Elevation Gain: 1350 m (4431 ft)
Max Grade: 31 %
Min Grade: -35 %
Recorded: Sun Feb 27 14:27:44 CST 2011
Activity type: skiing
58.2 miles per hour! I did this I believe on Blackjack’s Shanty Boy Run and I believe it was the first run I made where I skied for speed. I ran down the run at first, inspecting it, looking for bumps or any kind of adverse condition such as ice, sudden up bumps or sudden drops that might pose a challenge. In addition, I scanned the run for its general shape in order to find the fastest line. After that first run I started it in a tight and low tuck, arms reaching out in front as far as possible and skis in a parallel, flat, and wide apart. I only used my edges enough to make sure I was pointing in the proper direction.
I could tell I was going fast. The sensation of speed like that is greatly magnified when you are not wrapped in a ton of metal, about 5/8s the way down to the bottom, the grade inflects upward and forms a small flat, I really felt that change in the pitch push against myself! As I said, that flat was brief (especially at 50+ mph) and then I would hit the final drop to the runoff. This is where I had to use judgment, and usually shortly after hitting that last drop I would stand up and start to work my edges again, working them in skidding fashion to rapidly bleed off the speed. However, as the day went on, I kept in my tuck longer and longer. Eventually, I would have to switch the edges a couple of times to finally get myself slowed down back to lift area speeds again. This runs ends in a wide open area with a lot of visibility around so I could see people coming with lots of time to react and they would be able to see myself.
I was hoping to break 60 MPH, but was unable to do so. I think the previous day’s skiing did a number on my wax job. In addition, I do not wear a racing suit but the standard bulky ski parka with lots of loose flappy things to wave about and grab at the air. The neatest thing about these runs is I felt calm, confident, and 100% in control from top to bottom.
I think one time, I was close to catching air, but do not recall leaving the ground.
Riding home that evening, I thought of the people pulled over by the WI State Patrol, that could have been myself had I been skiing down this road!