Forerunner #3:
John & Kine Torinus

Kine and John TorinusWe met skiing in the era when metal edges on wooden skis were a big deal. Then Head skis came out with an astonishing innovation – metal skis!

It all started for us at Moon Valley Ski Club on the hills along Bairds Creek in Green Bay, WI in the 1940s. We depended on nature for snow and willing volunteers on skis with bear trap bindings to side step uphill to pack it.

Love of winter started with having fun on snow in any way we could. It has continued to this day. No flights to southern climes for us while our contemporaries look at us in puzzlement when we tell them, ”We are going north, not south, for our winter vacation.”

Then cross-country skiing took hold in the 1970s for both of us. It was easy and accessible. Kine skied her first Kortelopet in the early 1980s and John the Birkie at the same time when everyone climbed up the big hill from Telemark Lodge. John completed 15 Birkies and 15 Korties. Kine skied one Birkie and said, “That’s the last time for me!” and opted for the Korte instead, winning her age class in all but one of 10 when a Russian sneaked in and dusted her.

We love the camaraderie, excitement and pageantry the Birkie brings to our favorite region. Kine no longer competes in the race, except for the Barkie Birkie. John continues to slog it out on new hip and knee, refusing to do what’s expected of an octogenarian.

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