March 2001 NewsLetter

President Message Jack Rabbit and Bunnyrabbit Corner
DD's Supper Club Mad Hatters A Day at the Races
Canadian Ski Marathon Ski O Results
Welcome New and retourning members Touring
Pot Luck Congratulations

President’s Message

  PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE -- MARCH NEWSLETTER / 2001 At the moment of writing, in late February, we can look back on one of the best snow years in recent memory. Trail preparation and maintenance have also been excellent, allowing us the opportunity to spend some great days on our extended trail network. This season, part of the trails in the Lac Notre Dame area have been included on trial basis. Regrettably, the previous problem, with access from Jackson Road to the eastern end of Lac Edouard, remains at an impasse. In addition, the first couple of kilometers of the Crown East , going south from Lac Edouard’s eastern end, has been out of bounds since the land owner has withdrawn access. Our special sub-committee, formed last year to examine the future of trail and land use, is now looking into other options including a possible link-up with the Crown trail system directly from the western part of our racing trails.

The Jackrabbit / Bunnyrabbit program with our new coach Brian Morin and the Challenge / Racing program with Rick Nesbitt and Sylvie Bouffard, are continuing to be very popular and successful. The Saturday touring program has enjoyed large and enthusiastic turnouts; unfortunately, the much looked-forward-to Valdurn tour had to be abandoned, as a result of the same storm that forced the cancellation of the first day of the CSM. Unless new snow falls soon, it is also possible that the remaining two tours, the popular Loken tour and the Lac Superior - Mont Tremblant 5 day outing, may have to be cancelled or postponed, as a result of the freezing rain that fell on Loppet weekend.

On Saturday, January 27th, we had our traditional Pot Luck Supper or Social Dinner Evening at the Club House with a full turnout, this year organized by Daphne and David Mitchell. The food and ambience were indeed first class, following a day of great skiing.

Pierre Fluet and J. P. Campeau have recently completed a site review of trail intersection markers on all of our trails. An order is being placed for additional signs required and it is envisaged that all trail intersections will be fully identified, both in the field and on our trail map, by the end of the present ski season. A review is also underway of Viking’s present trail identification and information signs to see what improvements or modifications should be made.

On February 25th, Loppet was held for the 29th time. This year it was scheduled one week earlier than usual because of past uncertainties with snow and weather. From my personal experience, the last few loops around the Red (Viking-50k), turned out to be quite an adventure, with the changing precipitation, ranging from snow, ice pellets of varying size and intensity, to freezing rain.

At this point in the season, I wish to express appreciation and thanks to all those who have volunteered in our many various activities such as hosting, children’s and youth programs, touring, social events, phone committees, Loppet events, Club House and trail maintenance etc. Particular thanks go to the Directors and Co-ordinators for all their contributions. I would also very much like to thank our Newsletter Editor, Helen Matheson, for her ongoing and tireless work in the production of our Newsletters. You may have noticed recently that the Viking web-site has undergone significant transformation, and from incoming enquiries and number of site-visits, it is clear that we are reaching and responding to an ever-increasing audience. We are very appreciative of Richard Labonville’s continuing work in this specialized area.

On behalf of the Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the new members who have joined Viking during the season and wish everyone in the Club some glorious weeks of Spring skiing now that warmer weather is approaching.

Erik Vikander

DD’s Supper Club for Mad Hatters!

Popular highlight, and welcome mid-season break on the Viking social calendar, is the traditionally termed "Pot Luck Supper". Making their brave debut as first time event organizers were David and Daphne (Mitchell). They pulled it off…as the 45 well-fed and entertained attendees will eagerly attest!! Strictly speaking, the "Luck" bit has been placed in Chef Ron’s Ste. Anne de Bellevue restaurant’s "Pots" …..not unlike Mr. Fawlty ordering out meals for guests at his Faulty Towers Hotel! Behind the scenes logistics for this gastronomic event involved the services of a bonded vehicle and appropriate security….all this to convey the valuable cargo from Chef Ron’s premises on the West Island up to the Viking clubhouse. Thanks for this task must go to Mike and Mary Hiles Fargo! Timing is everything, as delivery organizers must face nature’s laws of thermodynamics i.e. hot things tend to cool down pretty quickly. Enter the woman’s sauna. Any late sauna takers may well have thought that they were traveling in the first class galley aboard an SAS flight! Hot mashed Swedes (turnips that is) anyone?

Around 5:30 PM saw the lower lounge transformed into a room full of Mad Hatters, unsuspecting members might wonder if the Saturday children’s program was still in progress. For visual entertainment, Supper Club attendees had been advised to attire themselves with innovative headgear. Secretly appointed judges were quietly going about their work of grading talking heads during the mulled apple cider cocktail hour. Later, prizes were awarded for hat categories covering: the most Viking-like, the smallest, the largest, and the least useful for trail clearing!

Daphne and toiling co-workers finally gave the word that the scene was all set for cocktailers to migrate to the upper dinning section for the Main Event…which delectably comprised:

Country Style Beef Stew Chicken Pasta & Cheese Sauce Rice Pilaff Roasted Vegetables and Peppers Potatoe Boulangière Mashed Turnip and Squash ….and for desert… Lemon, Lime and Orange Pie Apple Pie & Chocolate Cake

From all this you might conclude that Vikings is a gourmet club with a skiing problem!

All fine occasions must come to an end, tables cleared pots and pans to be cleaned, but here it was performed to the accompaniment of a strumming guitar…thanks to Sandy…and stalwart folk singing voice of Doug. …and other more memory lapsed vocal supporters!

In concluding, appreciative thanks go to Daphne, David and their supporting cast and crew in pulling it all off and keeping a great Viking tradition alive!

Derek Wills

Ski O Results

Participant Time Club
Course 1 Men 2.5 km    
Davis Fejfar 31.36 Viking
Eric Butz 37.00  
Course 1 Women 2.5 km    
Maaike Hibbeln-Kirby 37.35 Viking
Maureen Mc Gregor 38.15 Viking
Kendra Pomerantz 67.30 Viking
Course 3 Men 5.5 km    
Francis Falardeau 63.11 Viking
Sebastien Waerstad 69.08 Viking
Patrick Levesque 69.41  
Nicolas Cote 75.29 Ramblers
Robert Weiler 84.53 Viking
Gord Hunter 89.10 Ottawa
Jasmin Meloche 103.59  
Pierre Grodin 104 Momo
Patrick Demers 110 Momo
Jason Dubois 117 Ramblers
Bernard Guimond 134.52  
Course 3 Women 5.5km    
Emilie Allard 80.45 Vikings
Genevieve Allard 96.22 Vikings
Catherine Edgar 113.55 Ramblers
Phillip & France Bernard 130.52 Viking
Jennifer Michel 136.40 Ramblers
Michael Kearns & family Not timed  

Half a Canadian Ski Marathon is better than none at all!

With the text book perfect winter so far and only a few days to go for the "Great Event", organizers and participants alike anticipated it would be a shoe-in for a great Canadian Ski Marathon on 10/11 February weekend. Alas, a potential dream turned into a nightmare in a very short space of time! On the Friday, a wicked cocktail of rain, freezing rain, gale force winds, followed by plunging temperatures, came in from the west (thanks Mega City Toronto!) and wrought havoc for everything and everybody involved. Beautifully rolled and double track set prepped ski trails were rendered into what could be best described as ‘glazed porcelain’. As well, they were strewn with pine cones, twigs, branches and the odd capsized tree…such had been the violence of wind gusts.

Participants driving to the various Montebello area venues on Friday evening met with traffic jams as police and tow trucks dealt with numerous icy highway "spin-offs". In our own personal case, one of our companions just could not get to our country B&B due to ice-sheet covered roads …and only a few kilometers to go …he ended up sleeping over night in his vehicle!

Saturday morning and participants diligently got up early, breakfasted, and set off for the school buses…but none were running. At first it was announced in the lounge of the Chateau Montebello that all bus schedules would be advanced by 2 hours. A little later it was announced that, due to the extreme conditions, Saturday’s event, at least, was declared officially cancelled. Later that morning, we witnessed first hand for ourselves the trail conditions and concluded that the organizers had indeed made a very wise decision, skiing on boiler plate would have been softer than the surface trail conditions that day! I believe that this was the first time in its 35 years such a cancellation had been made. Our sympathies went out to all the hard working organizers and volunteers who had done so much preparation work and now to "abandon ship" for the 5 sections between Lachute and Montebello. Some hope, at least, was held out that Sunday, the 5 sections on to Buckingham would be "a go" since the weather was predicted to remain below zero and be sunny.

Resigned to our fates, it seemed people fell into two camps.-either becoming lounge lizards and curling up in front of the Chateau’s magnetic fireplace ..or to at least get out for a walk or even a short ski on the local 2 km loop around the Chateau, it having at least the benefit of being "de-iced". It must be said that the Chateau Montebello lounge is pleasantly conducive to meeting fellow Vikings, friends and those "once a year" encounters with fellow Marathoners, all sharing the magic of this event. Those old railway barons of the 20 and 30s certainly knew a thing or two about ambiance in generously timbered structures!

Sunday morning and it was Marathon business as usual. Thanks to the event organizers, a massive Bombardier machine had been deployed to mince up the nasty and lethal ‘glazed porcelain’ trails into user-friendly ‘icing sugar’ trails....little short of a miraculous over night transformation! Our bachelor trio (granted temporary divorces for this weekend only) set off for the first 16 km section out of Montebello around 8:50 am with Jack Frost nipping our heels at a cool 18 degrees below zero.

Feeling in good shape, we all decided to press on for a second section of some 15 km, but this can best be described as a re-enactment of Scott's expedition to the North pole.....facing head on relentless winds across seemingly endless flat exposed fields! No stopping for idle picnics (or toilets stops) on this stretch! The only saving grace was the brilliant sun and blue skies. Never has final arrival at a check point been more soup, Gatorade, cookies etc. all served up by wind swept but cheery volunteers! With 31 km under our belts by 1 p.m., we mutually agreed to press on for a third section...described as only being 12.5 km. Scenery-wise it was the best and being mostly in the forest, we had some rest bite from frost bite, those cursed vicious winds. Maybe perceptions begin to wane toward the end of the day’s exertions, but it seemed a slogging 90% uphill and 10% downhill....had we not been cheated of our gravity along the way? The usual morale affecting ¼ , ½ and ¾ signs, were missing (visual faculties fading too?) and it was not until a faint image of a yellow school bus through the trees, plus 100 deci-Bells booming out "I feel so sexy in my shirt".....actually heralded the arrival of this forest-secluded Check Point No.9....our last for the day! The face-saver was that the next section was officially closed so no need to discuss whether we should contemplate a fourth section! Phew...we had skied a total of 45 km…not bad, we concluded, for us old geezers!!

With the trio all assembled, we took the school bus back to the Chateau for a celebratory refreshment round the fireplace and then set off home....highways now dry and clear, we drove back to Montreal in a fraction of the time it took to come up on that dreadful Friday evening!

Derek Wills



Jackrabbit and Bunnyrabbit Corner

Ski lessons

We were blessed with plenty of snow and excellent weather conditions for the first five lessons of the season. The twelve new Jackrabbits in the first week’s classe d’accueil found their places in the various JR groups.

The extended tours were refreshingly different for all those who rarely get to go north of the Clubhouse. Combining this with an on-trail lesson that day made for a memorable morning for both those who could and those who could not find their instructor at the appropriate time. The February 3rd lesson at the old Bellevue Ski Hill location received a thumbs-up for a nice change. For Viking instructors it was a reminder of years past when it provided the alternate location for poor conditions at Viking, and for heads of families, a reminder of pre-children days when they used to ski the Triangle, Salzburg and Bellevue regularly. Some of the groups will see the Bellevue Ski Hill again at the end of a point-to-point tour coming up soon.

JR 5 plus group

Under the leadership of Peter Kirby and Arne Moore, many of the JR 5 group have been able to take advantage of an enriched program that has included Saturday afternoon tours and Sunday skiing with the Challenge group. Many thanks to Rick and Sylvie for welcoming them into their group.

Jeux du Quebec Regional races

The Lac-St-Louis and Montreal/Concordia regional qualifying races for the Jeux du Québec in Rimouski in March were held January 27th, 2001 on the trails of Gai Luron Ski Centre. Karen Oljemark was there in support of

participating Viking Jackrabbits and she reports elsewhere in the newsletter on what happened.

The qualifying race for the Lanaudière region, La Coupe de Lanaudière, was held at Montagne Coupée on Saturday, February 17th. Sarah Moore and Erika Ladouceur from our JR 5 group entered this race under the close supervision of Arne Moore. The track crossed open fields where strong winds caused the course to disappear under drifting snow. With a field of 8 participating in the Mini-Midget category, the 3km skating race lasted only 14 minutes. The standings are listed below.

Ski Marathon

Reports from those Jackrabbit families who participated in the Canadian Ski Marathon were nothing but positive, even though freezing rain and water on the lakes resulted in the cancellation of Saturday skiing for the first time in the Marathon’s history. (Coincidentally and without guilt, Viking JR lessons were also cancelled that day.) Those returning to ski sections of the marathon on Sunday were rewarded with good weather and skiing conditions after organizers had spent considerable time working the trails. Maaike Hibbeln Kirby, Sarah Moore, and Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt completed 3 sections. Alba Taylor-Cape, Erika Ladouceur and Sarah Lone completed one section. Congratulations to all participants, especially those parents who willingly gave their time so that these JRs could experience this unique event.

Don’t forgets

  • Don’t forget to have your child record the distance skied each week in the Jackrabbit Dossier/Record booklet that was part of his or her registration package handed out at the beginning of the season. The distance badge that we award acknowledges the skiing that each participant does during the season and is totaled from the entries in this JR Dossier/Record.
  • Don’t forget to consider accompanying your Jackrabbit in the Club Championship races at the end of the season. Distances and awards will be available for almost anyone who can stand on two skis. Care-giving for young tots will be arranged as required.
  • Don’t forget, we need pictures for our JR/BR scrapbook and Club newsletter. Two rolls of 35mm film (135-24, ASA 200 Colour Print) are available on a first come, first served basis to take JR/BR program or related photos. Developing costs will be covered by the program and the prints will be displayed and submitted to the newsletter for publication.

Geoff Anderson and Alice Havel

JR/BR Program Coordinators

A Day at the Races

And they’re off! On Saturday, January 27th, I spent a day at the races, ski races that is. I showed up bright and early at the Gai Luron Ski Center just north of St-Jérome, site of the Jeux du Québec Regional Trials for the Lac St-Louis and Laurentian Regions. I was there to help out some young Viking skiers, Sarah Moore and Erika Ladouceur, who wanted to try out for the Jeux du Québec for the first time.

We waxed and warmed up to get ready for their late start times. As we waited there was a lot going on to keep us entertained. We watched the skiers who had earlier start times start and finish with great cheers and ringing of cowbells from the crowds lined up along the course. There were hundreds of young racers skiing around lending a festive air to the site in their brightly-coloured outfits. Hundreds more spectators were there to cheer

on their favourite skiers and to join in the excitement of the event.

With a last pep talk from dad Mario, mom Christina (Ladouceur family) and me, our skiers were all ready to go. They completed their 3.7 kilometer race in very respectable times, Sarah finishing first in her category and Erika finishing fourth. All Viking youngsters who participated in the event did the club proud, all skiing their best that day. A few of them will continue on to participate in the Jeux du Québec Finals, to be held March 3-4-5 in Rimouski. Should you like to see some of the action of these Games, tune in to RDS March 2 - 10. See your television directory for more precise viewing information. You’ll most likely see some cross-country skiing March 5 and 6 from 17h30 to 18h30.

Karen Oljemark

Welcome New and Returning Members


Viking extends a warm welcome to new members previous members who have rejoined and Lac Notre Dame, Association members including:

John Allman and Geneviève Desbarats

Robert Boucher et Famille

Janet Brien

Irma Butz

Sebastien Campeau

Manlio Castellani

Nissen Chackowicz and Deborah Cohen

John and Sharon Cozens and Family

Julie de Chazal

Mohamed Elamiri and Anniken Kloster

Daryl and Tracey Erickson

Michael Evans and Micheline Gosselin

Ted Fairhurst and Rosanna Grande

Devis Fejfar

Martin and Hannah Franklin

Chris Gardiner

Ian and Marie Gilbert

Louise Gour

Peter and Rhea Grutter

Guy Hanchet

Steve King

Helen Klockars

André Larocque and Nathalie Cuende

Berndt and Marianne Lindquist

Michael and Ann Loken

John McInnis and Lynda Beriault

Heather McShane and Family

David Marshall and Ulle Doettling

Audrey Martin

Walter Nymark

David Percival and Holly Robertson

Carol Pomerantz and Rhonda Fisher

Charles Sabourin and Marjolaine Bourque

Alain Sioui et Famille

Dale Stilwell and Casey Scott

Peter Stoyel and Benita Verwoerdt

Chris and Louisa Teron

William Trower

Mark Ware and Susan Smith

Drew Wawin and Nicola Philpott

Frank Wiemer and Patricia Orsoni

Doug and Kati Yeats

Marilyn Geddis

Membership Secretary

Touring Update

Blessed by a combination of timely snowfalls and clement weather our tours have attracted a large number of Viking skiers and have been of exceptional quality in terms of weather, ski conditions and hospitality. Steve and Winona Sewell welcomed 29 of us on January 6th to their house on Lac Brulé. The trail was in tip top shape and the temperature was –5 degrees. Diane and Bill Pollock hosted the crowd for our lunch stop.

Robert Weiler’s tour on January 13th was attended by 22 skiers at –5 degrees C. We did the Triangle and Salzburg trails which were in fast but excellent condition.

On January 20th we were at Lou and Jean Lukanovich’s house on Lac Notre Dame. We skied the Notre Dame trail which has been extensively re-routed and packed by Viking’s able crew of Pierre and Doug. It was a sunny –12 degrees C and 32 Vikings attended.

On February 3rd Sylvie Fendle welcomed 19 of use at Auberge Suisse. We started up the Viking West to the Rapide Blanc. We wanted to climb up to one of the look-outs but the trail had not been broken and the snow rather deep so we turned around before reaching our objective, returned to Lover’s Leap, back on Corbeau to the Viking West and then back to the Auberge. The larger group turned west on the Corbeau to the Alpine, Dutch Dash and back to the Auberge. The new proprietors, a young couple from France provided a delicious bowl of homemade soup in their charming inn.

Chris and Linda Lyle’s tour on February 10th had to be cancelled because of freezing rain the day before and their renowned soup went begging.

Aben MacKenzie turned over his Mt. Legault tour of February 17th to Niels Hollum but the Northern Laurentians had received no fresh snow since the previous week’s rain and since this is a tour which requires fresh snow we had to cancel. However, the following day conditions were excellent for Stan and Sandy Cytrenbaum’s tour from their cottage on Blue Hills Lake Cook. Thirteen of us went along the Portageur, Birkebeiner, Coureur de Bois, Chevreuil and Edelweis back to Ruth Braithwaite’s house where our co-host was waiting for us.

Walter Van Walsum reports that the Thursday tours have a core group of 7 participants with as many as 10 and conditions have been as great as the Saturday trips.

I hope to see y’all at the Loken Tour March 3rd and Michael Dohrendorf’s Tremblant trip the following week. The last I heard there was still room at the Auberge Versant Nord where we shall be staying. Phone Michael at 437-4092 (H) or 932-8660 (B) for details. Some of us are going up as early as Thursday March 7th.

Gordon Cohen, Touring Coordinator

Congratulations Marathoner Roman Jezek!!

For the second year in a row, Viking member, Roman Jezek, who will be 87 years young in May this year, was the oldest skier participating in the 35th Canadian Ski Marathon contributing four sections to the total of sections completed by the Viking Maxi Team. Roman recounts his experience from what he refers to as the "the agony and the ecstasy" weekend.

"Not far from the start at Section 6, on the 2nd day, while accommodating a young and eager skier passing me on a narrow, climbing section, I lost my balance and fell awkwardly into the deep, soft snow on the shoulder. What a shock and disappointment to find myself with a broken binding on one of my skis and the screws hardly holding. What could I do now? The easiest solution would be to give up and return to the starting point. But what about our motto, "Viking Members NEVER give Up!" (Viking, December 1999). This slogan gave the answer! I am happy to report, that with special caution and perseverance, I reached the next check point, CP 7, where I got a replacement for the missing part of the broken binding and was thus able to complete the next section with flying colours."

Roman plans this year to repeat the Sprint Triathlon he completed in Toronto on July 8th 2000 where he won a first place for Men 75 Years and Older. Go get ‘em Roman!