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!
Now in its 4th year, USAW has become a start of winter tradition for my ski partners and myself. With the unusual snow pack last year, this year’s workshop should be a great learning experience from a snowpack most of us had little experience with. Whether you are a backcountry veteran or newcomer, I highly recommend this fun and educational workshop. Tickets are $26 and by clicking the image below.
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.