Vasa

The skate skiing hook may have been set – it turns out that skate skis are fun going downhill too. A perusal of available nordic skis reveals a preponderance of skis from many manufacturers all labelled ‘Vasa’.

What, where, or who, is Vasa? The man who led Sweden to independence was Gustav Vasa. A 90 km ski race that follows a historically important route is called the Vasaloppet (think the original Marathon). The race is huge, and the mass start is incredible.

Whence Vasa on every ski? I’m not certain. This post suggests that mass-start skis are labelled Vasa. If you’ve more information, please leave a comment! (thanks!)

It wouldn’t be a measuredmass post without a plot; here are the winning times since 1922, as found on Wikipedia.

vasaloppetWinningTime

Speed

How long does it take a gaggle of inbounds skiers to observe a slide, band together, figure out that beacons aren’t working for them, start probing uphill of trees, and get a successful probe strike?

7 minutes and 30 seconds.  Videos like these are going to strengthen the way we do avalanche education. Simple schemes to help unaffiliated groups to do rescue effectively will save lives.

Awesome job to everyone involved.