Andrea Roenning

Wisconsin Skis: Make-up ski at Eau Claire Tower Ridge

After training to ski the Birkie, and eating a little extra during tapering, I was itching to get my skis on one more time this season. The snowstorm missed the Hayward/Cable area, but had dumped up to a foot in areas of Wisconsin. 

I checked the snow depth reports and SkinnySki.com and determined that Tower Ridge in Eau Claire County was the best place to drown my tears in a pile-o-snow. I arrived to see a parking lot full of cars with Birkie and Korte stickers. There were so many skiers wearing the 2017 Birkie Participant hat — some were even wearing their race bibs. 

Wisconsin Skis: The 2017 Birkie that didn’t happen

This February, a week of springtime temperatures and an inch of rain quickly melted most of the snow in Wisconsin.  Seven days before the Birkie, I went for a run in Madison. It was 60 degrees so I wore a t-shirt and enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine while knowing that it probably meant the race I was training for wouldn’t happen.

Nine Mile Forest Cross Country Skiing

Wisconsin Skis: Nine Mile Forest

Nine Mile Forest is a gem of a ski trail tucked away in the rolling hills near Wausau, Wisconsin. The trail boasts of nearly 30km of great grooming, a huge lodge with dual fireplaces and lights for those night skiers. 

Two weeks before the Birkie, and I needed to get one more good ski in. The forecast was calling for 40 degree weather in Madison, so I headed north hoping that Wausau’s snow could hold out a bit longer.

Wisconsin Skis: Training for the Birkie

For this year’s Birkie, I decided not to adhere to a rigid training plan, but to just ski as often as I could, wherever I could. We were lucky enough to get some December snow which helped lengthen the ski season quite a bit. Many times, I’ve been able to ski with friends and family, but there have been a few times that I’ve needed to hit a ski trail by myself and whittle the kilometers away with just me and my skis.