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!
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