After last year’s successful Wasatch vs. The World Skimo Race during the OR Show we are back at it this year. OR kicks off today with the on mountain demo and tomorrow commences the activities at the Salt Palace.
We have a morning race planned for Thursday, January 24 at 7AM at Brighton Ski Resort . Please be at Brighton no later than 6:45 AM as we will be starting at 7AM sharp start to ensure everyone involved in OR is done by 8AM and can get back to town and to the show by 9AM. The race will last about 1 hour or less and the format will be determined Thursday morning based on any snow we might get.
The race will be followed by awards at Milly Chalet. Milly Chalet wil also be serving their great breakfast.
Helmets, beacons, shovels, and probes are mandatory. It will be dark for the first part of the race so you may want a headlamp as well. All ski gear is welcome – split-boards, tele, AT, and race gear – as well anything from baggies to spandex.
Come up and see some of this year’s US National Team who will be competing in Pelvoux, France February 9-15, get in a good workout before your workday, and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine to start your day off.
My life is almost impossibly busy right now and with too many balls in the air, Chad, Jared, and Jason, Teague, and Tom jumped in and put on the race last night. It was cold but still 8 degrees over at the base of the Great Western lift. Around 40 people, some new and many regulars, toed the line and then worked hard to complete the three (heavy metal) or four (racers) lap course. They skinned over groomer, bumps, and single track through trees with a harrowing choice to balance over the “death log” or to drop into a small pit of despair. Oh, and the skiing wasn’t too bad either with the soft snow and mellow lighting from the nearby night skiing operation.
In the end, Jason won the race division with Teague and Jared rounding out the non existent podium. The women’s group was led as usual by our adopted Catalonian, Gemma Arro Ribot with Sarah and Emily taking 2nd and 3rd. Out of those not on true race gear, new comers Rusty, Chris and Chris did an admirable job at their first Citizen’s Skimo race leading all others.
Another oddity of the night was our departure from pies as prizes and the distribution of doughnuts. Jared was gracious enough to pick them up but struggled to find pies in the middle of January. It didn’t matter though as the winners were happy to pass around some chocolately doughnuts to share. Also, thanks to La Sportiva for the ski straps that were given as prizes to the new people!
Next up is our 2nd annual Wasatch vs the World skimo race on Thursday the 24th. This one will take place in the morning with the race starting at 7AM. For you locals, come out and show all the OR Show folks how we are stepping it up around here and speeding up the Wasatch!
Trying to stay warm before the start
Early one in the race
A lone racer approaches the transition
Chad trying to stow his skins prior to leaving the transition
A tight race with more than three guys in the transition together
Happy New Year. With the National Championship race and US National Team qualifying races behind us (congratulations to Tom Goth and Jason Dorais for making the US National Team to travel to Worlds February 9-15), it is time to resume the Citizen Series Races. Race #5 is tomorrow night (January 15) at 7PM at Brighton Ski Resort. As usual, park by the church and meet at Milly Chalet. Come prepared for a fun night of racing followed by libations at Molly Green’s. Don’t forget to bring your friends and introduce them to this great community sport.
This snowy Christmas Eve morning we had another delightful race with around 40 in attendance, earning their holiday feasts. The course was to summit three prominent peaks along the Brighton ridge line but visibility and conditions didn’t cooperate so plan B was to put in three climbs of decreasing vertical gain along the Great Western boundary line.
Tom, Layne, and Josh, very graciously joined me just before 6 AM to set the course in the new snow. We put in a skin track that offered a variety of terrain including steep kick turns, flats, and groomer drag racing. The first lap ascended to the top of the GW run (1750 gain) and then mostly followed the track for off piste skiing back to the base. The new 6 inches provided great racing conditions. The next lap climbed just under a 1000 feet along the same course and the last was a sprint with around 400 vertical gain.
Overall the “peloton” has gotten much faster. I noticed people with new race skis, new speed suits, and generally moving much better. The Trab Tour Rando demo skis allowed a couple more people to catch a glimpse of why “light is right”. There are three pairs available…let me know before the races if you’d like to try em out.
After the racing, most of us congregated at the Milly Chalet for some breakfast and to hand out some quick prizes and pies. Tom dominated the field but gave up his pie which went to the next rightful heir, Tim Holmberg (Chad left early and missed out). On the woman’s side, a new threat (name?) showed up and pushed Emily throughout and was awarded a big apple pie. The Sport Loft generously supported this race and provided custom ski straps and a pair of Fly Low gloves as the grand prize for the day. Those guys are true pros and have been great to work with over the past couple years. Thanks Sport Loft!
We will now take a break from racing to get our powder fix and will resume the shenanigans on January 15th at 7:00 PM. Hope to see you all there! Happy holidays!
The field strung out early on the first climb
Eric, Chad, and some more suits
Luther and Tim
People with more fashion sense
Except Brent? and his new speed suit
Tom with victory sealed while still only on the second of three laps
Don’t forget about race #4 tomorrow morning at 7:30 am. Park by the church. Bring beacon, shovel, and probe if you have them. There will be 2 courses, so if you don’t have backcountry gear, come anyway.
Pies an prizes after!
Bring everyone and start your Christmas off with a great workout.
Tonight was a great night. We counted 55 people that came out to join in the festivities. It was cold with a faint glow in the air from the night lights of Brighton skiing reflecting off the clouds and people were jolly in spite of the hour of suffering they were about to endure.
Milling about before the start
We all sprinted from the start but quickly settled into a pace we could each sustain. The course was almost entirely off piste and meandered through pines, made tight kick turns, sported a short boot track, and then subtly climbed to our high point. From there, a quick transition sent skiers (and a few splitboarders) down a parallel path through fantastic powder.
The challenge was for the dorky looking folks in spandex (actually really good looking and fashionable) on skinny skis to do four laps and for everyone else to do three. The cold air and dry powder stymied those who didn’t have extra skins but I think everyone completed the course. After crossing the always crooked start/finish line most made it to the official finish line…Molly Green’s
There, we enjoyed food and drink and handed out some great prizes. The Powderwhores donated a copy of their new movie, “Choose Your Adventure” and SCARPA donated the grand prize for the night which was a pair of Ski Trab Race Poles. As always, pies were awarded to the winners and then shared with other hungry racers.
The movement is growing! There seems to be solid interest in learning to move fast. It makes sense though. Climb faster to ski more and have more fun.
And, special thanks to Brighton, Brandon Dodge for being our advocate, Tom and Chad for help setting the course, SCARPA for the pin flags and the demo skis (3 pairs of Ski Trab Tour Rando skis which were well received and will be available at each future race on a first come first available basis), and to all of you for coming out and making these things so fun.
See you all next time (December 24th at 7:30 AM).
Below are some pics from the evening, most courtesy of D. Maack. I’d like to get pics of everyone but these are the ones that turned out given the poor lighting and fast movement.
Kick turn conga line (photo by MH)
Tom G smiling in the middle of a tough lap?
Watch out for this man in the future…
Is that who I think it is?
Josh racing on Megawatts?
Newcomer Katie on the Ski Trab demo skis looking like she’s having a good time
These awesome women braved the cold (along with a few others) to cheer us on with cow bells
Come join us for the third Wasatch Citizen Series race on 18 December at Brighton Ski Resort at 7PM. As always, the race is free. We will be inbounds Brighton so beacon, shovel, and probe are optional. Helmet and headlamps are REQUIRED. Please at the Milly Base along the row by the church. Please be sure to stay for awards and festivities at Molly Green’s after the race (we will ensure they are open this week).
As always, everyone is welcome from spandex on toothpicks to Duke’s on Pontoons to Splitboards.
Whoa! We just had a huge turn out in the spitting rain at our first Tuesday night race. Thanks to all who endured the elements and raced! These things are fun because of all the positive energy and support everyone offers each other. Also thank you to all the wild family and friends that braved the cold and rain and cheered from the base with cow bells. That made the night!
I’d guess that in total well over 40 people raced the rainy dark course. The format was new and I believe suggested by Courtney Phillips and was an instant hit. We climbed to the top of the Milly lift via off piste skinning and then descended back to the base by headlamp. Our second climb ascended the same skin track but stopped just short of the dam before once again descending to the base. Finally, our last climb followed the now very well worn highway for only a few hundred vertical and then finished back at the Milly base. There were no mishaps that I’m aware of and it seemed that everyone had a great time and workout. Afterward, we mistakenly thought Molly Green’s would be open for prizes, food, and drink but they had closed since there is no night skiing on Tuesdays. We improvised and handed out cookies to the winners (Jason and Gemma) on the deck of the Milly Chalet. A few newcomers earned a strawberry and an apple pie and other lucky folks walked away with a DVD courtesy of the Powderwhores or some skimo clothing schwag!
Next time, if we can’t convince Molly Green’s to stay open for a party, we’ll move the show down to the Porcupine Grill (a bunch of people did just that tonight). Also, as interest grows, we will add a page to the citizen series website that will hopefully include a gear swap listing as well as info for training, touring, carpooling, or racing for those looking for partners with similar schedules.
Thanks again to everyone for coming out, to Brandon Dodge and the rest of the Brighton patrollers for being so friendly and supportive, and to Brighton for being a real skiers resort!
See you all at the next gathering on December 18th at the same time (7:00 PM) and same place (by the church on the Milly side).
Come join us for the second Wasatch Citizen Series race tonight (04 December) at Brighton Ski Resort. As always, the race is free. We will be inbounds Brighton so beacon, shovel, and probe are optional. Helmet and headlamps are REQUIRED. Please at the Milly Base along the row by the church. Please be sure to stay for awards and festivities at Molly Green’s after the race.
As always, everyone is welcome from spandex on toothpicks to Duke’s on Pontoons to Splitboards.
We are kicking off another season of evening and holiday races this Thursday (Thanksgiving morning) at 8:00 AM at Brighton. This will be the first of 10 races that comprise the Wasatch Citizen Series(ski mountaineering not the nordork skiing) throughout the winter that all lead up to the Wasatch Powder Keg. Those of you who participated last year know what to expect. There will be an hour of suffering on the up and hopefully some sheltered powder on the down. We will chase each other, gain fitness, and earn our turkey dinners! Afterwards, as usual, there will be pies as prizes and a few other skiing related items to be given out.
Everyone is invited regardless of gear, fitness, or skill level. Last year we had every variety of gear from full carbon to full iron.
…a couple more housekeeping items:
The price is free but helmets and courtesy to Brighton’s paying customers, cat drivers and patrollers are mandatory.
Park by the church on the Milly side, not in front of the Milly Chalet. We will warm up together to the start of the course (location TBA).
So forget flag football or turkey trot 5Ks and come out to the 2nd annual “Skin the Turkey” ski mountaineering race!