I had always remembered a skiing trivia question. What was the biggest ski day ever? What day of the year has recorded the most skiers at a ski area? Most folks would guess sometime during Christmas or New Year’s or Presidents weekend in February. But alas it was Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Killington in Vermont recorded 14,000 skiers on Black Friday sometime in the 1990’s. This number was eclipsed by Mammoth Mt. in California sometime later.
Biggest Ski Day Ever – The Vasaloppet!
But I recently saw an article about the Vasaloppet in Sweden. This 90km. (that’s more than 55 miles!) cross country ski race has almost 16,000 skiers registered for the March 2, 2014 event! The entire week of racing will see 68,000 skiers cross country ski racing! The race commemorates the victory of the Swedes over the Danish Rulers by Gustav Eriksson Vasa in 1521. Read the Vasa History Account here.
Most of the racers are Swedish and they take this race very seriously with a combination of national pride and fitness training. Here is a photo of Ernst Alm the first winner in 1922. Check out that equipment to go 90km in!
There is an American version of the Vasaloppet held every year in Mora Minnesota – Vassaloppet USA. This Loppet features a 58km. freestyle event and a 42km classic event.
If you can’t make it to Sweden or Minnesota, local racers can enter the Lake Placid Loppet. This year the Lake Placid Loppet is held on Jan. 25, 2014. The Lake Placid Loppet is held on the same trails as the 1980 Olympic cross country ski events were held on. Skiers can choose a 25km classic or freestyle (ski skating) event or the full Loppet 50km, either freestyle or classic technique. Get training!