Wasatch Citizen Series Season Wrap-Up

Thanks to everyone for a great first season for the Wasatch Citizen Series.  I have wanted to get something like this going for several years, so thanks ANDY DORAIS for stepping up and getting it done.  The season was a huge success with several races having over 50 participants. That is larger than some of the official races on the USSMA calendar!

Our last race was Friday, April 20th.  We had around 25 participants.  Since we were unable to get a pumpkin pie, Courtney took home a pecan pie for being the overall winner (we disqualified Jason since he didn’t wear his helmet).  We also had 2 new racers come out who were both rewarded with gift certificates.

Enjoy a few of the photos from the final race and we will see everyone in November when the series kicks off again.



Spring SkiMo Race & BBQ – Friday April 20th

As we continue to try to extend ski season as long as possible (for those that have already written it off, there is still a lot of great skiing up high and on the big peaks), we have decided to have 1 last citizen series skimo race this week followed by a BBQ. We will be starting earlier this week in order to enjoy the nice evening weather after the race (the forecast is for 40F). 

Meet at this Friday (April 20) at 5:30 at the Millicent Base of Brighton.  As usual, we will be racing for about 1 hour and the race will be followed by some social time.  Instead of gathering at Molly Greens after the race, bring your portable BBQ grill, favorite meat or non-meat product, something to share (if you want), post-race beverage of choice, chairs, and anything else you want for a Brighton parking lot BBQ and skimo party. 

The race format is still being finalized. If you have preferences, please post your preference as a comment to this post.  Beacon, shovel, probe, and helmet will all be required for the race.

In addition, the Wasatch SkiMo Team will be showcasing their new speed suits.  Come check out the new team colors.  If you purchased a suit, bring your money so you can pick it up from Jared at the race.

See you all Friday!

Citizen Series Finale and Season Summary

Last night we held the final race of our inaugural season of racing.  Some 50ish hearty souls came out with enthusiasm to win the Sportiva skis and to once again get some exercise and ski by headlamp while the rest of America sat at home and watched something stupid like the Bachelor.

Pre race instructions

The format was a two person team relay, with each person being required to complete two circuits on a figure of eight course (two climbs with shared descent).  Each circuit seemed to take from 10 to 20 minutes depending on the person, gear, and motivation.

Teams were decided by once again having the “fast folks” step forward and then having everyone on regular gear claim their partner.  Once that was settled, we stepped forward to the straightest starting line of the year and then the drag race was off.  The course began with a couple hundred meters of low angle cat track before tucking into the trees for steep technical skinning.  With the pack strung out along the double track, Jason tried to drop the field but Jared hung on.  My skins were starting to fail as were many others given the cold temps and the unsettled skinner.

Jake and Blake on the final booter

After the first descent, sneaky little Jared managed to jump into a second set of skis and was off before Jason and I had even skinned up one.  Everyone was fighting their own battles though.  I was chasing Jason and trying to avoid being caught by Teague.  Teague was chasing me and trying not to get caught by Chad and Courtney.  They in turn had their own pursuers.

But the evening was determined by those on the heavy gear.  My partner Jake was locked up in a contest with Teague’s partner, Blake.  Those two guys went back and forth and both put in gutsy performances.  In the end, Blake lost a skin and Jake took advantage, pulling away for the win.

Psyched to beat Jared’s team.
The victor’s pie
Raffling PW gear

After the racing, we made our way to Molly Green’s for food, beverage, and prizes.  This time there was a bit more energy as everyone was anxious to win the Sportiva GTR skis, which were being raffled off as our Series grand prize.  The customary pumpkin pies were given to Blake and Jake and then a couple more large pies were passed out to share amongst everyone for all being “winners”.  Then, for each of the nine races attended, people placed their names in the lucky boot and Jared drew the winners.  Noah Howell of the Powder Whore Nation also kindly contributed some PW gear and movies, which we raffled off first (Surprisingly, Jared’s name didn’t come up every time).  Then, a very befitting winner took home the new skis.  Tim White has come to almost all of the races and has been an ardent supporter of the new series.


Series in Review:

So what started as a casual get together of friends on Thanksgiving morning has turned into a wonderful tradition of more friends, skiing, suffering, pies, and prizes.  In all, we had 9 races this year, all of which where held in the Brighton Ski area and the surrounding backcountry.  I estimate that over 80 people came out and participated in at least one race and many many folks raced multiple times.  The format varied and we tried out a few different styles of races ranging from vert style (as many laps as one can do in an hour or two), team relay, hill climb, standard Skimo course, and a four lap short course.  We had current and former US Skimo National Champions (both mens and womens), local hardmen such as Tom Diegle, weekend warriors, newcomers to the sport, people on carbon boots, tele boots, race skis, mega watts, and everything in between.  Many companies rose up to show support including Kirkham’s, Minus 33, the Powderwhores, and main sponsor, La Sportiva.  Brighton was a gracious host all series long and allowed us to use their terrain free of charge to pursue our shenanigans.  Jared Winkler, Brandon Dodge, and Greg the cat driver all deserve special mention for giving the OK from an administration, patrol, and driver perspective.

 My goals at the beginning were many fold:

1. Get faster

2. Get others involved in this great sport

3. Preach the “light is right” philosophy

    a. Help point others in the right direction gear wise as others have done for me

4. Have fun

I think all four were accomplished and hope to grow the series next year and continue our relationship with the above mentioned great companies.  Special thanks to La Sportiva for contributing the grand prize. And, special thanks to all of you who competed and made the series a success.

Comments and suggestions on how to make things better are welcome.

Series Finale This Thursday – Grand Prize

Come out for the last race of our evening race series. If you’ve come before, that only increases your chances of winning a new pair of La Sportiva skis at the after race party at Molly Green’s. If this will be your first race, you still have a chance to win the skis and just might walk away with a pumpkin pie for being faster than your friends.

Meet at 7:00 PM, ready to go at the base of the Millicent lift. The race will be a sprint style relay with your partner being determined on scene. Hopefully, we’ll match dorks in spandex on skinny skis with those on regular gear. Plan on staying after to participate in the awards as you must be present to win the skis. Also, you must fill out the form below by Thursday at 4:00 PM to be entered to win.

Get psyched! See you all Thursday.


From Jared,

“The 9th and final Wasatch Citizens Skimo Race will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm at Brighton, Utah.

We will conclude the inaugural series by giving away a pair of Sportiva GTS skis.

Here are the rules:

1. To be eligible for the drawing, you must have participated in at least one WCS Race.

2. To enter the drawing, you must fill out the form below.

3. Procedure for drawing: (a) based on form submissions (paragraph 2), a list of all entries will be compiled; (b) each entrant will get 1 entry for each race in which he or she has been a participant; (C) a randomly numbered list of all entries will be compiled; (D) each entry will be assigned a number between 1 and the total number of entries; (E) a randomly selected person at Molly Greens will select a number between 1 and the total number of entries; (F) the selected number wins the GTS skis!

4. You must be present to win.

Thanks and Good Luck!”

Wasatch Citizen’s Skimo Race #8: Vert 60

Pre race briefing

Last night we held our penultimate race for the year and I think it was another great success.  Around 35 people showed up to suffer and have fun with friends for 60 minutes.  We warmed up together to the base of the Snake Creek lift where the usual crooked start line was drawn in the snow.  After a couple announcements, I gave the starting commands and 3 dozen athletes of varying backgrounds were off.  They were all chasing their own goals.  For some, it was a desire to beat a friend.  For others, a certain number of laps equated to success.  Some were just happy to be hiking in the sharp night air amongst friends.

Group Warmup

After putting away the camera, I gave chase and caught the leaders who seemed to have arranged some sort of “gentleman’s agreement” to take it semi easy on the first lap, allowing everyone to warm up properly.  I hung around for a few more laps and then reverted to “race director” and took pics/video of the whole crew.

The usual fast start

It looked initially like it might be a competitive race between Jason, Jared, Tom, Tom, Teague, Courtney, Layne, Chad, Chad, and others (sorry if I didn’t see you up front).   But, one by one skin failures, binding malfunctions, or natural attrition resulted in a two man race.  Jason claims he was toying with Jared but then he lost his skin and he looked like a fool, unable to catch up over the final minutes.

A few random pictures of people getting after it above.

As for the women, Gemma Arro Ribot, fresh off a 2nd place finish in the European Skimo Championships, hung with most of the men and turned in the most laps.  It was great to see at least five other women out racing the men as well.

The little pie for our littl winner

After the hour of pain, most people skied down for the traditional after race party at Molly Green’s for drinks, food, and prizes.  Minus 33 was the sponsor for the evening and donated hats and a couple proform cards.  Pumpkin pies were handed out to Jared and Gemma and then to newcomers, the Diegle brothers, and to Layne and Toph for making every race thus far.

Gemma with the pumpkin pie and a new hat courtesy of Minus 33

Join us next week for our last race of the series.  We will be having another team sprint relay where someone on race gear and spandex is paired with someone on traditional gear.  The first team to complete 4 laps (two each) will be declared the winners.  They will get a pumpkin pie and someone will win a pair of brand new skis from our main sponsor, La Sportiva, in the season finale raffle.

Series sponsor La Sportiva will be giving away a new pair of skis next week!  The skis above a just a few in their new line.


Race Series Returns

The Citizen’s Ski Mountaineering Series returns this Thursday night at Brighton. Be there at 7, ready to go. The format is yet to be determined so suggestions are welcome. Remember there are just two more races to fine tune your game before the Powder Keg on March 10th.

I know there’s powder out there but you know you won’t be doing anything on a Thursday night. Come laugh and suffer with friends and make these last two races a success. As always, pumpkin pies to the winners and random lucky people.

Don’t forget your helmets or headlamps. See you all Thursday.


2 Great Upcoming SkiMo Events

Wasatch Racers, there are 2 great SkiMo events coming up.

If you are up for a road trip, check out the Vert Fest at Alpental next weekend.  Also, be sure to support our new Alta Tele Rando Race the end of this month.


Alta Tele Rando Details



 ( Telemark skis / Alpine touring equipment )

This event will begin as a timed point to point climb over low angle terrain. The competitors will then proceed to the Alta race arena for their timed giant slalom run.  Both runs will combine  for the final results. The entry fees for this race are set at 30.00 dollars. Competitors will be required to race both uphill and downhill on the same skis and boot set ups. Metals will be awarded to all top finishers in each category.

Alta will require each racer to purchase a discounted lift ticket to help offset the cost of hosting the event. This will be a fun race with two discipline

Categories including: telemark  / alpine touring division. Skill levels groups will include citizen men’s and women’s, race men’s and women’s for each discipline.

SATURDAY FEB 25TH 2012; 8AM TO 3:30 PM


This event will include a judged giant slalom type gate race. The course will also include a short skating section combined with a small distance jump. A judged telemark race indicates that a one second penalty will be added to each racers time for any non -telemark turn while on course. The course will also feature a small / easy jump for distance which will also require a telemark landing to avoid jump penalties. This event should be a fun race with several skill level categories, including: citizen men’s and women’s, open men’s and women’s, and junior’s boys and girls. Helmets are required. The entire race will take place at the Alta race arena in the Sunnyside area.

Race Tomorrow Night!

Don’t forget to wash your spandex, wax your skinny skis, and get ready to trash talk your friends because we will be racing again tomorrow (2/9) night at 7:00. Plan to meet at the base of the Great Western lift where the evening’s format will be revealed. Hint: you’ll be both the hunter and prey. As always there will be pies for the winners.

Bring your friends and spread the word. Make sure they know all are invited and that there are actually only a few people in spandies and on skinny skis. And, don’t forget helmet and headlamps are required.

See you all tomorrow night!


Wasatch Citizen Series Sprint Relay

Announcement: Before recapping the race, I want to reiterate that being able to skin uphill at Brighton is a privilege and not a right. We are guests and need to act with courtesy to ALL Brighton employees. The correct course of action is to defer without argument to any request while traveling uphill. Please don’t let any unpleasant interactions ruin it for the rest. End rant.

Last Friday we had a record turnout with 50 or so people in attendance. Tom and Jared came up early and helped me set a figure eight course with two climbs and joint descents that each person would complete twice. Teams of two were chosen by having all those on race gear step forward and then those without, stepping forward to select their horse. In the end, there was an odd number so I went partnerless and after racing the first lap, turned my attention to cheering, jeering, and cleaning up the course flags.

The first climb ascended a mellow cat track before cutting up switchbacks for around 350-400ish vertical feet. We descended the corduroy back to the base before skinning up for another mild section of groomed trail. From there the course cut up for a couple kick turns and then turned straight up a 150 foot boot pack. Topping out that section, we skinned a low angle trail to the joint transition zone with the first climb.

It was decided the faster of the partners would go first to keep things competitive throughout the whole race. So 25 of us lined up at the crooked start line until someone from the back yelled, “go!” That was sufficient and the whole group surged forward with one Tom Goth at the head pushing the pace. Jason and I and the rest of the crew were just a little unhappy about being forced to suffer early. The remainder of the lap went as planned with Jason wrecking fantastically and me winning. I can only write that every so often…

As we returned to the base, each of our partners would take off, one by one, hoping to reel in the guy/gal in front and avoid getting caught. There were numerous lead and position changes as well as glorious wrecks in the soft light that was reflecting from the low clouds.

The coup of the event occurred when Jared came absolutely tearing into the uphill transition, stepped out of his skis, and stepped into another pair already with skins, and took off seconds after arriving. Couple that with his coupling of himself and Morgan (out for the first time but is a former US ski team member and also on race gear) and the win was sealed. Since Morgan had nothing to do with masterminding the shadiness, she still won the big pie as the overall winner.

Tom Goth and Sarah (on tele gear and also out for the first time) came in second a couple minutes back. Layne Caldwell and his partner, Trent Duncan pulled off third but I don’t think anyone really cared too much about how they placed. The whole night there was someone to chase and someone to cheer.

Afterward, we moved the party over to Molly Green’s for some food and prizes (pumpkin pies) and laughed about the night’s events. We have three more races planned, all leading up to the Powderkeg. Our next race will be this coming Thursday so come out and race your friends, get faster, and ski more!

Subscribe at citizenseries.wasatchpowderkeg.com to get updates on all the events.