2013 Skin the Turkey – Utah Ski Mountaineering Kicks Off

This Thanksgiving morning nearly 100 of us showed up at Brighton to a beautiful clear morning and beleaguered snow pack to sear our lungs and earn our turkey.  What started as three friends chasing each other up hill four years ago has become an great tradition with many new faces added each year.

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90 people earning an extra piece of pie on Thanksgiving morning
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Dorks in spandex
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The remarkably fast Gemma at the transition
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Gathering at the start line…nearly one hundred strong!

The course was limited by the lack of snow but provided entertainment along the double skin track as racers worked to pass and avoid being passed.  The downhill portion of the course seemed to ski well even though by the end of the hour some rocks and grass could be seen poking through.

Our format was again the vert style where we did as many laps as possible in one hour.  Tom Goth pulled off an impressive 7 laps to claim the W and a pumpkin pie for his efforts.  Gemma Arro Ribot beat all but a few men and took the women’s victory.

There were many other great races within the race too as many friends were trying to claim early season bragging rights while others were happy to just breath some fresh air in the mountains while moving on skis.

After the race, we moved to the Alpine Rose where prizes were donated by the Sport Loft, Skimo.co, BCA, the Powderwhores, Voile, Kate’s Bars, and others.  Some guy even won a prize for being extra good looking in his flannel shirt while racing.

Our next event will be December 3rd at 7 PM.  Please park along the church where you’ll be directed to the race start.  Also, if you haven’t already signed up, checkout utahskimo.org to join and make a small donation to cover race costs.  And lastly, don’t forget that if it has snowed at all, please check in with ski patrol before traveling uphill at Brighton.

Thanks again to all who came out and made this a great event!

Citizen Series Race 1 – A Better Kind of Turkey Trot

We are kicking off another season of races this Thursday (Thanksgiving morning) at 8:00 AM at Brighton.  Keeping with tradition we will race in the “Vert 60” format. Those of you who participated last year know what to expect.  We will go for 1 hour and see how many laps we can do on a  short (500-800′) course. The goal will be to 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.  Since Molly Green’s is not open that early, we will hold the awards at Alpine Rose which is the cafeteria in the building just uphill from them main ticket office.  They will be serving breakfast as usual if the Vert 60 gave you an appetite.

Everyone is invited regardless of gear, fitness, or skill level.  Every race we have a wide variety of gear from full carbon to full iron.

 A couple housekeeping items:

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).

Helmets and courtesy to Brighton’s paying customers, cat drivers and patrollers are mandatory.

The price is still free but we are trying to raise enough money to pay for our insurance to cover the Citizen’s Series. UT Ski Mountaineering is the official organization that will put on the Citizen Series.  Please consider joining UT Ski Mountaineering to support the Citizen Series and ski mountaineering in Utah in general.  An annual membership in UT Ski Mountaineering is $30.  100% of the membership fees go to support the Citizen Series.  For those not wishing to be members or if you do not know if you will race very many races, we are recommending a $5 donation each time you race to help cover these costs.  To save time on logistics on Thursday morning, please sign up ahead of time on the  membership page of the UT Ski Mountaineering website.  Please also print out and sign the waiver on the membership page.  Some of the benefits of your membership include:

  • Entrance to and support of 8 great Citizen Series races
  • Entry into an additional end of season opportunity drawing for great prizes (skis, clothing, etc)
  • 15% off a skimo gear purchase at Gear 30 in Ogden
  • We will be providing additional benefits as the season progresses including some swag and discounts at local retailers

Enough with the details. See everyone Thursday morning!!!

2014 Wasatch Citizen SkiMo Series Starts 28 November

With winter trickling in, the first Citizen Skimo Series race is just over 1 week away. Race season will kick off at 8AM on Thanksgiving morning (28 November).

Our goal of the Citizen Skimo Series has been to grow participation of the sport by introducing people to ski mountaineering races in a fun and non-intimidating atmosphere. The races have grown from ~15 people at the early races to over 70 people at the races last season.

We have been very lucky for the past 2 seasons to be able to make the races 100% free. Unfortunately due to the growth of the races we have had to formalize the races more than prior years and for the 2014 season, we are faced with very large insurance costs this year. We need to raise $2500 to cover the insurance for 7 of the 8 races (not including the OR Show Race).

We have started the non-profit Utah Ski Mountaineering association to promote and sponsor skimo events (races, clinics, etc) in Utah.  We have submitted our non-profit application and hope to have 501(c)3 status by the end of the year.  UT Ski Mountaineering will be the official organization that will put on the Citizen Series.  Please consider joining UT Ski Mountaineering to support the Citizen Series.  An annual membership in UT Ski Mountaineering is $30.  100% of the membership fees go to support the Citizen Series.  For those not wishing to be members or if you do not know if you will race very many races, we are recommending a $5 donation each time you race to help cover these costs.   Some of the benefits of your membership include:

  • Entrance to and support of 8 great Citizen Series races
  • Entry into an additional end of season opportunity drawing for great prizes (skis, clothing, etc)
  • 15% off a skimo gear purchase at Gear 30 in Ogden
  • We will be providing additional benefits as the season progresses including some swag and discounts at local retailers

We will also be requiring a race waiver this year. Please print the race waiver and bring it to the first race you attend this season.

Please see the membership page of www.utahskimo.org for more details, to join, and for the race waiver.

2013-2014 Utah Ski Mountaineering Race Schedule

 

 

 

 

race_schedule

The dates for this season’s races are listed below:

 

  • NOV 28 Thursday: Thanksgiving Race – Race #1 @ Brighton Ski Resort 8:00 – 10:00 am
  • DEC 3 Tuesday SkiMo Evening Race – Race #2 @ Brighton Ski Resort 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • DEC 17 Tuesday:  SkiMo Evening Race – Race #3 @ Brighton Ski Resort 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • JAN 7 Tuesday SkiMo Evening Race – Race #4 @ Brighton Ski Resort 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • JAN 21 Tuesday Outdoor Retailer Show SkiMo Race – Race #5 @ TBD 2:00 – 4:00 pm
  • JAN 28 Tuesday SkiMo Evening Race – Race #6 @ Brighton Ski Resort 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • FEB 11 Tuesday SkiMo Evening Race – Race #7 @ Brighton Ski Resort 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • FEB 15 Saturday Crowbar Backcountry Race @ Sink Hollow Trailhead
  • FEB 25 Tuesday SkiMo Evening Race – Race #8 @ Brighton Ski Resort 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • MAR 7 Friday Wasatch Powder Keg Sprint Race @ Brighton Ski Resort 4:30 – 6:00 pm
  • MAR 8 Saturday Wasatch Powder Keg @ Brighton Ski Resort 7:30 am – 12:30
  • MAR 9 Sunday Wasatch Powder Keg Technical Teams Race @ TBD

Get ready for skimo

Winter is coming. The forecast is calling for a few inches of snow at Brighton this week.  Before we all know it we will be out looking for early season rocks buried under a few inches of snow as we work to get our skimo legs under us.

The Citizen Series calendar has been posted with this season’s race dates.  We have lots of exciting things planned for this winter so stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.

In the mean time, get excited about skimo by attending one of the showings of this years PowderWhore showings which have a light and fast feature on Andy and Jason (lycra included).

Wasatch Skimo Series Finale

Yesterday, we held our ninth and final race of the season and I must admit, I never thought they would be so fun.  This season was an overwhelming success because of the infectious enthusiasm of every single person who came out and raced.  We also could not have done this without the support of Brighton, Brandon Dodge, and Max McNeal.  Those guys are psyched for all things skiing and are awesome.  Further, I could not have anticipated the support from the local outdoor industry as we have had an outpouring of prizes donated throughout the year.  In the beginning, I questioned my judgement as I gave away a “lightly used” jacket as a prize.  Now we have had donations from The Sport LoftVoileGear ThirtySkimo.coLa SportivaMomentumPowerbarCAMP, the PowderwhoresScarpa, and Ski Trab (please let me know if there is anyone I missed).    And thank you as well to all of you who helped set the courses, pull pin flags, brought pies, or helped in any other way, including just showing up.  So with that longwinded speech out of the way, here’s a recap from last night.

Over 70 people came out to race by head lamps and moonlight and I hope enjoyed the most technical course of the year.  Jared and I set the course in the waning afternoon light and wondered if we were a little too ambitious with the technical skinning and a steep and very tight choke on the descent.

At the Milly base, I yelled out some informal instructions and pleaded with everyone to be careful on the descent…there was only room for one at a time.  Shortly thereafter, we were sprinting, 70 strong across the parking lot toward the southeast corner of the resort.  The nerds in spandex would complete three laps on the 800 foot course and the gluttons for punishment with the heavy gear would do two.

We booted a rocky outcrop, made kick turns up a couple steep slopes, traversed a ridge, and landed above Lake Mary at the top of the course.  From here, a short traverse along the plateau led to the mini chute, then a track through the trees, and onto the lower section of groomer, which brought everyone back to the booter.

By the time I made it to the steep choke, it was obvious that the very limited amount of snow still left wouldn’t withstand the onslaught of 70 people for another two laps.  In fact, a handful of racers were stymied by what now appeared to be a mandatory air onto very firm snow with a rock or two thrown in for excitement.

Jared and I hurried to find an alternate passage and luckily another choke into the trees served just fine. Our system was then for Jared to block the first option and wave people towards me, where I directed them through the detour.  This seemed to work well and I think everyone was happy to have the course refreshed for their next laps.

In the end, Eric Bunce edged out the PowderKeg master, Chad Brackelsburg for the win and Marta (hailing from Spain) edged out Gemma (also from Spain but adopted by the Wasatch) for the women’s victory.

To celebrate their performances, as has been our tradition, we gathered at Molly Green’s en masse and overwhelmed the staff.  Beer, nachos, and pizza were everywhere.  We handed out pies as prizes and then turned to a proper raffle to hand out a Voile shovel and probe (thanks Voile), an Arva shovel and probe (thanks Skimo.co), some CAMP shirts (thanks CAMP), Momentum climbing passes (thanks Momentum), many many boxes of Powerbars and gels (thanks Christian Knight, who is a rep for Powerbar), a CAMP Speed helmet and Comp gloves (thanks Gear Thirty), and some La Sportiva GTR skis (thanks Jared and Sportiva).

Paul Diegle was the big winner of the skis and I think we were all big winners for coming out throughout the winter in the dark, rain, and snow.  We got fitter, made new relationships and improved old ones.  Many people learned about light gear and moving more efficiently in the mountains.  Others just lugged heavy stuff cause they are tougher than us weight weanies.  So many folks won prizes or pies throughout the season and it was cool to see some of that gear in action.  It was also cool to see people sitting around at Molly Green’s sharing their victor’s pie and exchanging stories with other racers.

Also, I’d like to wish Courtney Phillips and Robby Babbit (sp?) a speedy and complete recovery from their injuries.  Both have been regulars at these races and have always been happy and encouraging to others.  They represent everything good in the backcountry skiing community and I can’t wait to have em back!  See you soon guys!

So to finish off, thank you again to all of you for an exciting season.  Don’t forget about the real racing coming up this weekend with the Powderkeg and hopefully, we’ll pick up on Thanksgiving morning right where we left off…

Jared, Chad, Paul, Andy and Andy setting the course

 

Unknown racer

 

Transitioning

 

 

Eric and Marta with their victory pies

 

Part of the crowd at Molly Green’s

 

 

Final Wasatch Citizen Series Skimo Race – 26Feb

That time has sadly come where the scheduled Citizen Series Races must come to an end. Watch the blog as we may have a race and BBQ similar to last year later in March.

As always, we will start the race promptly at 7PM. Headlamp and helmet are mandatory. We will again have some demo CAMP gear and the demo Ski Trab skis. If you want to use any of this gear, make sure to show up early.

Make sure to plan to stick around afterwards for awards at Molly Greens. We will have a great raffle including a pair of La Sportiva skis. If you want to be registered for the ski raffle, fill out the questionnaire below or at this link.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday and celebrating the end of the Citizen Series.

Also, don’t forget that you must be registered for the Powder Keg by 8PM Monday night (Feb 25) in order to receive the technical race T-shirt.

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Racing Under the Lights

Last night we had our penultimate race of the Citizen’s Series and it was another great success.  We all warmed up to the base of the Snake Creek Lift and then rallied for an hour, putting in as many laps as we each could on a meandering short course through the trees.  Witnessed were many great battles with Jared Inouye just pulling out the win over Teague at the last minute (8 laps) and Sarah edging Emily and Liz after a very close race. We all raced through pockets of darkness  but also enjoyed the lights of Brighton’s night skiing operation for sections of the course.  After the hour of pain, most folks again congregated at Molly Green’s where we had a short gear demo by Brett from CAMP USA and then a huge haul of prizes was passed out.

We had climbing passes from Momentum, shovels and probes from Voile, a pack and shirt from Gregory, and of course pies for the winners of the races (both heavy gear and race gear categories).  We also had Trab demo skis, CAMP demo gear, and course markings provided by La Sportiva, Scarpa, and CAMP.  It really is amazing the support we are getting from the ski industy!

Once again, thank you to all of you for coming out and creating an infectiously enthusiastic environment.  These free, informal “races” are a success because of all of you.

Also, thank you again to Layne, Tom, Jared, Brett, and Greg for helping set the course and carrying course markings and gear.

Finally, our last night race will be this coming Tuesday with the finale for the season being the Powderkeg over March 7-9th.  Make sure to sign up to test your fitness and skill against the Wasatch and the rest of the country.

Since this will be our last night race of the year, suggestions are welcome regarding the race format.  What were your favorites? Anything new you’d like to see?  Comment below and let’s have a fantastic last race!

 

Race Tonight!

Don’t forget about our penultimate citizens race tonight (2/19)!  Be ready to go at 7PM for an hour of uncomfortable fun followed by some actual fun at Molly Green’s.  Please park along the Milly side and defer to cat drivers during your warm up.

More great prizes will be given out tonight and you’ll have the opportunity to demo CAMP gear and Trab skis!

As always, all are welcome.  See you all tonight!