Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sprint Race, Crested Butte

Sprint Race 1/28/12

The North American Championships weekend started off today with a Sprint Race. The morning dawned clear and cold, really cold. Familiar faces, big smiles, and that ‘race day’ feeling were all good vibes. To reach the Start of the race, all competitors skinned up a few hundred feet to Uley’s Cabin part-way of the resorts slopes.
Uley's Cabin
The Sprint consisted of a 250 foot vertical skin, a downhill, another skin 150 feet, to a boot-pack for 80 feet, then another skin to the top and a final downhill.
I caught up with Janelle Smiley on the skin up to Uley’s Cabin in the Brrrrr of the morning. One of many good friends, we were able to swap a few smiles and laugh a bit on the way to the start.

Luke Nelson, 2012 U.S. Ski Mountaineering National Champion, was looking relaxed and fluid. I asked him how he felt and he humbly nodded and said ‘I feel good.’ Luke is a major powerhouse for the U.S. skimo team. He is consistent and fast. I wished him luck prior to his start. With many great athletes participating, I knew Luke would be one of the top performers. The Italians did arrive and raced. Both Manfred Reichegger and Lorenzo Holzknecht from Italy are amongst the top 5 in the world of ski mountaineering racing.
Italian coach and Bryan Wickenhauser
Before the race began, racers were having skin troubles and failures. Cold hands and cold bodies were all around. People were nervous. We took shelter in Uley’s Cabin to stay warm. The anticipation before a race can be a bit nerve wrecking, and this race was no exception. There have been times I have been completely relaxed before a race. Today was not the case. I knew I wasn’t in top form and that added a little pressure. At the same time, I am no longer expected to win, so I can release some pressure there. I feel well and ready to race, but need to work on a few things to speed-up a bit more.
The Sprint Race today for me went fair at best. I made huge mistakes on transitions. Many others also had ‘issues’ and some made no major errors. In the end, I came through the Finish Line smiling…there were friends cheering me on (thanks Jari, Janelle, Jeff) and I wasn’t going to let them down. The race is a great group of people and athletes and today it was good to be racing with all the good skimo folks.
Tomorrow's summit and downhill
Tomorrow we will race in the Individual Race. I look forward to this high altitude race. Start time is and the course should serve cold weather, altitude, and a strong field of racers. Finish times from the Sprint and Individual races reveals Final Finish order.

Results are in from the Sprint Race today:
MEN                                                             WOMEN

  1. Manfred Reichegger (ITA)             1.  Melanie Bernier  (CAN)      
  2. Thoni Reiner  (CAN)                     2.  Janelle Smiley  (USA)        
  3. Lorenzo Holzknecht  (ITA)            3.  Sari Anderson  (USA)        
  4. Andrew McNab  (CAN)                 4.  Gemma Arro Ribot  (ESP)  6:41
  5. Jan Koles  (GER)                  5:24       5.  Lyndsay Meyer  (USA)       7:11
  6. Men's Sprint Results (partial)
    Women's Sprint Results

Thursday, January 26, 2012

North American Ski Mountaineering Championships 2012

North American Ski Mountaineering Championships 2012
Crested Butte, Colorado January 27-29
Race course profile
The Crested Butte Mountain Resort hosts, with representation from the International Ski Mountaineering Federation, the North American Ski Mountaineering Championships. The race involves two days of racing: Saturday will be a Sprint venue. Sunday will be the Traditional Individual race. The combined times of both days reveals the winner.
The course follows the ridges to the Peak

Saturday’s Sprint venue will consist of a quick technical uphill/downhill/boot-pack/transition course. The vertical will be approximately 600 feet. The course will start with an uphill skin, downhill ski, uphill skin followed by uphill boot-pack and skin to top then a final downhill. A lot of transitions and a super fast pace throughout the race is expected.

Big views from Crested Butte
Sunday’s Individual race venue boasts approximately 5,300 feet of vertical gain. The starting elevation hovers at 9,375 feet and the first limb takes us to the summit of Peak 12,162. A via ferrata system on fixed ropes will be used while ascending a Class 5 ridge to the summit of Peak 12,162. Three major climbs will be involved as well as two boot-packs. Three long downhills will provide some relief to the lungs.
The weather forecast calls for a quick storm tonight with some snow and then cold temperatures dropping below zero for both race days.

Terrain near CB
The race will draw the best racers from the United States, Canada, and rumors have some of the Italian Team members competing as well. The Italians are currently the top Team in Europe on the 2012 World Cup ski mountaineering circuit.

The weekend looks to be busy. Tomorrow I plan on checking out the Individual course in the morning and the Sprint course later in the day. There is a mandatory meeting/gear check from on Friday. I look forward to seeing all the good friends and racers. Today I briefly ran into friend and race coordinator Bryan Wickenhauser and two Canadians. Another update tomorrow. Fortunately, the good friends and supporters at JHMR and CBMR provided excellent slope side accomadations.

Sleep well for the big races

Monday, January 9, 2012

Skimo races 1/7/12, 1/8/12

U.S Ski Mountaineering Championships and Grand Targhee Ski Mountaineering Classic


Congratulations to Luke Nelson and Sari Anderson - the 2012 U.S. National Champions.!
And congrats to all the racers who entered and finished.

I finished the races with the results below.
U.S. National Championship                          1/7/12   11th place
Grand Targhee Ski Mountaineering Classic     1/8/12    6th place

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

U.S. Ski Mountaineering Championships 2012

2012 U.S.SkiMo National Championships            
January 7,2012 Jackson Hole, Wyoming                                               
Overall View of course

Second downhill - Paintbrush

Rendezvous Bowl
Lower Sublette Ridge (from near Bottom)
View from top of Tram into Teton Range

Cody Peak
The 'alternative' 2012 race course has not been anounced yet for the U.S. Nationals. These photos were taken mostly on 1/3/2012. An update is expected from soon.
As far as I can tell, the course will cover the distance and vertical of previous years. There will be a few diversions on the downhills and on the Big bootpack. I believe the Race division will skin around Corbet's Couloir and follow a 'booter' up Dean's area.
The line-up for the race is looking great with racers coming from all over the country and Canada.
Should be a great race and good to see all the good racing friends and folks.
If you are thinking about signing up - do it, the more the merrier. This is a grand race.