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.

AD

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

SUNDAY FEB 26TH 2012; TIME: 8AM TO 430PM

TELEMARK / ALPINE TOURING RACE:

 ( 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

TELEMARK SPRINT CLASSIC

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!

Andy

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.

 

Thursday Night Racing Is Back!

This Thursday we will be back up at Brighton for another evening of racing friends, getting faster, and eating pumpkin pie.

Meet at the Milly base at 7 and we will get going shortly thereafter. Spread the word and bring your friends. All are welcome!

Remember, helmets and headlamps are required.

The wasatch is speeding up! See you all tomorrow.

Andy

Wasatch vs the World Citizen Race

Friday morning 33 folks of varying racing backgrounds once again toed the crooked start line for another race in our Wasatch Citizens Series.  The unusual start time was to accommodate some out of town racers who were attending the Outdoor Retailer Show.

The format for this race was simple.  The first to complete four laps up a skin track set that morning through the trees, powder groomers, and over a small sub ridge would be the winner.  To add some friendly competition, we decided to score the race like a cross country meet – each place counts (through the top five on each team) as its number of points and the lowest number of total points wins.  The confusing question was on whose team would Luke Nelson count?  He is this years USSMA National Champion and lives in Pocatello, ID.  Since that’s basically an extension of the Wasatch and he’s going to be seen at times in a Wasatch Skimo speed suit, we claim him.  The problem is so did the “out of towners”.

Anyway, the competition was fantastic with 5 out of the top ten at this years national race in attendance and  the former woman’s National Champion, Janelle Smiley giving us all a run for our money.  Just a bit back, everyone on more standard gear (extra girth and lacking carbon fiber) waged their own battles.  It was pretty awesome to look down the skin track and see 30 headlamps bobbing as people were making kick turns through the trees on the first lap.  After the first descent, Jared dropped out citing illness and a bloody cough.  I transitioned well and chased Luke through the trees with Wick and Pete following.  Once the course opened up, I could feel Wick on my heels and let him go by as he in turn encouraged me to stick with it.  After the second descent, Luke got out first with Wick chasing and Pete turning in a fast transition and getting out before me.  That’s the way things stayed with the gaps widening slightly.

Pete Swenson giving chase (photo by JI)

The final standings (according to Jared who became the default course marshall):
1. Luke Nelson. 56 min
2. Bryan Wickenhauser
3. Pete Swenson
4. Andy Dorais
5.. Tom Goth
6. Janelle Smiley
7. Courtney Phillips
8. Mark Smiley
9. Chad Brackelsberg
10. Layne Caldwell
11. Tim Holmberg
12. Luther Birdzell
13. Matt Hart
14. John Swain
15. Adam OKeefe
16. Nate Kartchner
17. David Morris
And about 15-20 others, before he had to leave.  Sorry to all those that didn’t get counted.  

So for the scoring, Team Wasatch Skimo placed 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 10th and Team “Rest of the World” placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 8th. That would make the final score 35 to 20 with the out of towners taking the win.  

Except we count Luke.  Ha!  So the real score was 1, 4, 5, 7  vs 2, 3, 6, 8 (only 4 present) or 17 vs 19 giving the Wasatch the W!

Regardless of how we score it, everyone had a great time getting faster and skiing some powder.   Our next race is Feb 2nd with more on the 9th, 23rd, and March 1st.  It all leads up to the Powderkeg and then hopefully to ticking off some of our more adventurous objectives for the year.  So come on out and join the races.  It’s free, a good way to meet others and learn how to be efficient, and great training for your own projects.  

Check out citizenseries.wasatchpowderkeg.com and subscribe to get the updates.  

And lastly, a Cannon S100 was left at the lodge and it’s owner would desperately like it back.  Please comment below if you have it or know where it went.  

The top three (photo by JI)

Great Race and Lost Camera

We had another awesome race this morning with 33 people in attendance (not bad for a Friday morning). Current and former national champions were racing and we had 5 of the top 10 from this year’s race. More details and pictures to follow.

But for now, a black Cannon S100 was left in the lodge after awards. Its owner (me) would really like it back. Apparently the staff ran it out to someone in a sliver Toyota Tacoma wearing a Dynafit suit. Sound familiar?

801 628 3929 to get it back. Thanks!

Stay tuned for a full race recap…

Upcoming Race Calander

Our Thursday night series will pick back up on February 2nd at 7 pm! Races will follow on the 9th, 23rd, and March 1st. This will be a perfect tune up for the big one, the Wasatch Powderkeg, on March 10th.

Also, don’t forget about our bonus race this Friday morning. It’s a 7am start at the base of the Milly lift. We will be done by 8:30 so everyone can make it to work, the OR show, or any other responsibilities that exist besides skiing.

We are working on obtaining a title sponsor for the series so there may eventually be some decent prizes. But, for now, the pumpkin pie tradition continues!

See you all Friday,

Andy

Wasatch Versus the World Race

We are having a bonus Friday morning race to accommodate the OR show folks who will be in town and restless. The start time will be 7AM at the base of the Milly lift. Park at the church and park tightly and organized to keep everyone happy. The format is yet to be determined by the amount of blessed snow we get this week. We plan to be finished by 8:30 so everyone can make it to their respective engagements…which might just be breakfast for those that don’t have to hightail it to the show.

So come on out and show these out of town folks how the Wasatch is speeding up!